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detox survival - what's the payoff?

jenergyjenergy Raw Newbie

Hi everybody :o)

I’m going to start this out with a disclaimer… I have what I consider a valid question, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to type it in a non-controversial way. What I mean to say is, I totally don’t mean any offense to anyone or want to impose my views on anyone. Also, I’m afraid this is going to sound rather whiney. But I’m truly curious.

Now that that’s said (phew), I’m gonna go for it. ;o)

Basically what I’m wondering is, what are the eventual payoffs of going 100% raw – or as close to it as I can possibly manage – that will make all these (insert swearword of choice) detox symptoms worth going through?? Argh. My head is killing me. I’m tired and cranky. My muscles hurt. Etcetera.

I’ve been as close as I can get to all-raw for about two weeks now, and I’m pretty much at the point where I need to decide: should I eat a cooked meal a day to slow down the symptoms? Am I uncomfortable enough to drag the detox process out longer, but to a lesser degree, by eating some cooked foods? If I do start eating cooked foods to slow down the detox process, does that mean I’ll never really know for sure what it feels like to be all raw? And just how great can that be, anyway? I felt better before all this icky detox.

Has anyone else dealt with these kinds of questions? C’mon, I know you have… ;o)

Really, though. I’m interested in hearing from those of you who’ve weathered the storm and come out the other side… what does that feel like? And anyone else like me who is questioning the payoff… how do you decide whether to go all raw? Some raw? Rah-rah! OK, sorry, I am seriously off my nut now. I think one of my detox symptoms might be rambling brain syndrome, lol!

(The coolest thing about detox is, you can blame EVERYTHING on it… ;o)



  • Jen

    I feel the same way and would love an answer! I have been trying raw for about 5 months now. I was totally raw from Jan to March and felt GREAT!! I mean my skin cleared up, I felt awesome. Then, I had some work travel come up, and the other list of excuses and started to creep some cooked food in at night. For the past month, i have been an absolute nightmare to my poor husband. Grouchy, moody, – like the never ending PMS!!

    So – what I personally think – is that you have to play with it. I do use the raw chocolate, and the agave – but you can’t always be perfect. Try to do things that you enjoy so that it is a lifestyle -

    It really is person specfic how long it takes to detox – but let me confess that i have been trying to get back on the wagon and after all the craziness(really:-)) I feel great again!

    So – long and short – KEEP it up if you really WANT to – You’ll get past this part.

  • Jen, I think you have a very valid question ( even if it is detox ramblings ). To me, the best pay off is knowing that every cell in my body is vibrantly healthy ( or getting there ) and that I will avoid the “inevitable diseases ” ( oh yeah, and everyone at work did not believe that I was 38, they wanted to see my license—they guessed I was around 24—okay, maybe you have to be my age to appreciate that ) I guess the biggest pay off depends on what was going on with you before going raw. Did you have any physical conditions ie; allergies, acne, digestive problems, diseases or depression, anxiety or even low engery? If you find the right raw diet for you ( and there is lots of controversy over this )you will be able to clear any of adverse conditions in your body. Anyway, through the hardest part of my detox I would eat a half of cup of organic cooked brown rice every 3 days to slow the process so I could actually be productive at work ( I don’t need to do that anymore ). I wish you lots of blessings on your journey and keep us informed on how it’s going.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    Jen, I can totally appreciate your question. I had a HORRIBLE detox (I posted about it not too long ago). Unfortunately, I slipped a little and had to go through the detox again. Thankfully, it was nowhere near as bad the second time. From those experiences I can tell you that it WAS worth it for me to get through the detox’s. When I am as raw as I can be, I feel like I am in the best frame of mind- positive attitude, better mom, better wife, better friend, etc. I notice the joy in the world more. I am also more creative, which is important to me and my job. I know it sounds cheezy, but just plain feel like I am more apart of the universe and the world, instead of just watching things go by. Also, my running and other exercizes improve, and I am more flexible. I won’t bore you with any more, I could keep listing though! I encourage you to finish the detox, and will send you positive energy that your detox finish soon and with little more discomfort.

  • jenergyjenergy Raw Newbie

    Hey, thanks you guys. :o) I was feeling so damn cranky this afternoon, heh… I did decide to have a baked potato with my salad tonight, and my head doesn’t hurt anymore, which is good. I think maybe I’ll try that every third day or so and see how it goes. I really do feel wonderful on raw foods most of the time. Today was rough, though. Spiritedmama, I totally agree about feeling more part of the whole universal consciousness or whatever… cheezy or not! Heh. ;o)

    And spirit… I am your age. I’ll be 37 next week. Not that I act like it, heehee!

    Love to all. :o)

  • kauaigirlkauaigirl Raw Newbie

    The payoffs are perfect health, clear mind, flawless skin, bright eyes….longevity!

    You can certainly slow detox without resorting to cooked food…just eat more fats. Or speed it’s way out….enemas, colonics.

    LOL, you CAN blame everything on it! I actually like it in a way…gives me an excuse to lay down, rest, take a bath, SLEEP! You almost always feel better after sleeping. Stick with it!

  • writeeternitywriteeternity Raw Newbie

    Hi Jenergy,

    I am glad to hear about your struggles because it is realistic and honest. I don’t think that raw exclusively is causing the detox symptoms people talk about. There can be many factors involved and should be considered. One is low blood sugar- or blood sugar fluctuations. If someone switches from a typical breakfast of protein and grains and starts eating fruit- they are raising their bllo sugar and it may crash an hour or two later- thus giving them a headache.

    Because your headache was fixed so easily by a baked potato- that tells me that you just needed some carbs which you could have gotten with an avocado, banana, jicama, etc.

    If symptoms are addressed more scientifically they can be eliminated to some degree. Also if someone decides they’re not going to drink coffee anymore they can include peanuts in their diet which have natural caffeine, or chocolate. That way their withdrawl symptoms won’t be as severe or at all.

    Good luck! =)

  • It is wonderful to hear everyone’s experiences with this. I also feel incredibly calm and connected when I’m “all raw” but often backslide after a few days after I eat socially and then find that it’s hard to get back into it (because it is hard to go through food cravings again and I forget that I did feel so great that it’s worth it). I was a little skinny to begin with so I con myself into believing cooked food will help me feel more satisfied—I know this improves with consistency to the diet. I was wondering if anyone has noticed that their brain feels less “sharp”? I do alot of math at work and notice that I’ve been missing things that I wouldn’t usually miss, and I feel ok otherwise so it concerns me that I’m just a little “out of it”. Has anyone noticed that cognitive ability improves or declines all raw?

  • writeeternitywriteeternity Raw Newbie

    Riversanctuary, I would say to make sure you eat things with b vitamins. What do you eat in a typical day? Some things to eat with b vitamins are sweet potato, buckwheat, and avocados. Next to that make sure you are balancing what you eat to maintain blood sugar levels. Crashing from eating a lot of fruit could cause you to “miss” things.

  • spiritedmamaspiritedmama Raw Newbie

    riversanctuary, I have never experienced this being raw, for me it’s quite the opposite. I feel like I have more mental clarity on raw than when I eat cooked foods.

  • MarichiesaMarichiesa Raw Newbie

    Hi Jenergy,

    I love your post! I’m 39 and have been about 4 months raw. The first few weeks I had really rotten detox symptoms. Dizziness, hot flashes you name it. And all that despite the fact that I was eating an essentially accidental vegan diet already. I plowed through it and felt great for the next month but noticed all my hair was falling out!! So I cut my hair short! :-) Two months later-Still felt great but then started getting weird dry patches on my face. Bottom line its all GONE now. Skin is great. Hair is thicker again and the best bennies? I’m afraid to sound like a goofball but I am clearer and feeling much more compassionate to myself and my friends and family. So I say stick with it. But honor your body and if you feel really crummy maybe you do need to slow down the detox process. There is no judgement in all this and no finish line. Its all process. Cheers!

  • Jenergy,

    I personally have found there’s a huge difference in “almost raw” and “all raw.” Even eating 90% can drag out detox symptoms for a longer period than you’d experience eating 100% raw. I went through a lousy detox, too—lethargy, rash, headaches, etc.

    What are you eating, exactly? If you up your greens, I think it’ll make the transition much easier. Also, have you read Victoria Boutenko’s books? She has excellent advice on transitioning.

    The thing to remember is that your body didn’t get this way overnight, and it’s not going to clean out overnight, either. When you eat raw, your entire system realigns itself to do the job it was meant to—keeping you healthy. It’s no longer using its own enzymes to break down food, as you’re putting those in your body. Organs are able to get back to their initial jobs. And so things are dusting off and creakily starting to spin again.

    Something that might help with the process is doing hot yoga, or just working out. I suggest yoga because it’s a nice, slow, gentle movement, and the hot versions of it speed detox and push stuff out fast. Any sort of sweating activity will help you out. Skin brushing will speed up your lymph’s sluggish ways. And even using a mini-trampoline or rebounder will be great to get your system pushing out the bad stuff.

    Good luck!!

  • Peanuts have caffeine???? No wonder I love chocolate covered peanut butter!!!

  • PS. I’m really glad to hear all of this. It seemed that I felt terrible and couldn’t figure out why, since all the food was “good for me.”

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Peanuts themselves don’t contain caffeine – but chocolate does! :)

  • this is where I got the caffeine info: writeeternity writes, 13 hours ago: (49 posts) Hi Jenergy, ....if someone decides they’re not going to drink coffee anymore they can include peanuts in their diet which have natural caffeine, or chocolate.

    Maybe I just read it wrong.

  • writeeternitywriteeternity Raw Newbie

    Hi= Sorry if what I said was misleading. A person I worked with had a heart condition and said she couldn’t eat peanuts, or drink orange soda or rootbeer because of caffeine. Either she was mistaken or I heard her wrong. Maybe she said salted peanuts because of the salt. I didn’t research the info but I swear I’ve always felt more awake after eating peanuts since she said that!

  • jenergyjenergy Raw Newbie

    I’ve had a much better day today. I had two green smoothies and I think that helped a lot. We get a weekly delivery of organic produce from a local farm and it’s been almost all greens (I never knew there were so many kinds of lettuce, lol!), so I’m putting as many of them as I can cram into my blender, along with whatever fruit I have on hand. Pineapple is great in smoothies! I’ve tried blended salads, too, but it’s pretty hard for me to drink a non-sweet smoothie. It just seems “wrong.” Heh… I’ll get used to it, I’m sure. Thanks everybody for all the support, it does help a lot. RawVee, about exercise – that’s one area I definitely need to work on. It seems I always find a reason not to! I’ve been going on hikes with my son lately though and we both really enjoy it. And I have a membership to Curves… it’s just the getting my butt there part I’m having trouble with, lol! :o)

  • Glad to hear you are doing better jenergy! I have gone through lots of detox: mood swings, extreme fatigue, headaches, mouth sores, mild acne, ect. I’m telling you, after it is all over – it’s totally worth it!

    Greens are good cleansers, among many other amazing qualities! Glad to hear you’re doing well!

  • Thanks everyone for input—thanks especially for the reminder to take B vits and also maintain blood sugar. I do generally feel much clearer and incredibly calm and peaceful and expect memory lapses probably are related more to a transient change as my body adjusts to being healthier and handling brief fasts! Been all raw x 1 week and feeling amazing, so many moments of bliss and connectedness. Thanks for your insights and experience. More greens, more fresh foods verses too many (albeit) yummy mixed foods also seem a good rx for me right now, as I transition… So glad to hear that you are feeling better jenergy!

  • At 2 months raw, I can totally relate to the spaciness RiverSanctuary posted about. One benefit I’ve found is that if I do make a mistake, being raw I am less of a people-pleaser and it doesn’t faze me as much. This is good because I seem to make a LOT more mistakes since I went raw. (I also quit caffeine.) I am not 100% raw because I still have cashews, agave, etc. I am hoping the spaciness will subside. I wonder if it is lack of (or not absorbing) protein, but at 46 years old, it may be that I’m in for a long detox. I was a junk food vegetarian for a long time. Being raw has been a lifesaver for me. I never want to go back to feeling sick and getting sick (colds, etc.) so often as I did when I was cooked. Even when I do feel tired now, I always have more energy than I did when I was crashing off of caffeine and feeling like I was dragging myself around the planet. Raw food rocks! Good health to you…

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Benefits of being 100%?

    Emotional and mental bliss.

    Complete happiness and confidence.

    Optmism and enthusiasm.

    Great body.

    Feeling absolutely ecstatic in my own skin, just sitting here now, my body feels like it loves me and is giving me pleasure just sitting here doing nothing!

    Looking younger every day instead of older.

    Did I say complete emotional and mental bliss??

    Feeling Love like never before.For everyone and everything, every second of the day.

    100% is pure magic. Worth every pang and detox pain. It is a pure amazing high, all the time, with no come down!

    P.S. Yoga, greens, alternative therapies,straighten out / or often remove detox symptoms.

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    Peanuts are notorious for causing allergies. They’re full of aflotoxins, a mold. They’re also legumes, subject to molecular mimicry. The body can’t always recognize them as foreign until they connect to self protein and the immune system attacks the whole chain. These are free-radicals. For many people, including myself (with an overactive immune system), legumes that haven’t been sprouted or fermented could cause an inflamatory immune response. I don’t eat peanuts or unsprouted beans and I eat those very rarely.

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