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Afraid of detox

Hi everyone,

I’ve been researching raw for months and months now and seriously want to go for it but I’m scared of the detox! Not all aspects of it, but I’m worried about blisters and coldsores. I used to get coldsores in my early teens (I’m 26 now) and I’m worried about been covered in them for the next year if I go raw.

I know I’m probably being irrational but my confidence isn’t all that great already.

I understand that detox, however it presents itself, is a necessary part of getting well and becoming healthy but this is really concerning me. Can anyone offer me any advice on this?



  • I personally find that whole raw foods cause a slow and steady detox, whereas juice fasting causes a much quicker and more noticeable detox. On whole raw foods, you have nothing to worry about. Allow your body to heal and detoxify through clean living. It is the toxins in our bodies which keep us in a perpetual state of illness.

  • i think its important to take at least a 4 day weekend off work, a week if you can. i think the first 2 weeks are the worst as far as detox, but also your energy levels will fluctuate, and its good to just take time to rest when you need to. enemas help the process along, especially if you get headaches. i think it also depends on how toxic you are. my experience was pretty mild, but i haven’t eaten meat since the 80’s. i’ve had no issues with my skin at all. you might buy a skin brush and use that twice a day, and take a couple hot baths every day, this will help to clear out toxins. saunas are great. drink lots of lemon juice. i hope you decide to go for it, its so worth it. stay positive!

  • also, if you considering a juice fast, do raw food for at least 2 weeks before, this should make the transition easier.

  • I never had any detox issues. I was vegan before, so maybe that helped. Detox things may or may not happen for you. Going slowly can help. You don’t have to go 100% raw overnight.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    My husband Chris didn’t have any detox symptoms at all. He took his time transitioning from sad to veggie to vegan and then raw over 3 years.

    I had some sores which I am not even sure were due to detoxing, I might have been picked up when travelling, apart from that I didn’t get any skin problems.

    There are no definates with detoxing, it’s different with everyone.

    Even if you do get blisters they won’t last long and then your skin will be better than you can ever imagine.

    One thing you don’t understand yet because you haven’t experienced it is that when you go raw you will feel amazing. Your mental and emotional state will be better than ever before. This will way eclipse any detox you go through. In my expeience detox is nothing compared to the high of being raw.

    P.S.Cucumber juice is really good for skin.

  • I actually have some mouth sores right now from what I think is detox, and I’m doing about 70-80% raw. Yeah, it’s a little painful, but it’s temporary, and considering the other benefits I experience, ie. clear mind, calmer mood, no aches and pains, weight loss, I feel it’s worth it. I was vegan before and vegetarian before that, and I haven’t had drugs or alcohol for 20 yrs, so I think that’s been helpful in my detox being more minor. and if I jumped in at 100% raw, of course, it would likely be more dramatic. I’m breaking out a little, too sigh, but it’s ok. I know this will also pass. Don’t be scared :) One day at a time, you’ll survuve whatever discomforts you might (or might not) experience. Go for it!

  • raw_earthraw_earth Raw Newbie

    Transitioning slowly (meaning not going 100% raw overnight) and adding in more raw foods and cutting out cooked foods over time helped me tremendously. You will still detox, but it won’t be as uncomfortable! Also, heavier foods such as avocados and nuts will slow the detox moreso than lighter foods like fresh fruits.

    A couple of my ‘transition foods’ were steamed veggies, baked root vegetables and winter squash, and sprouted grain bread. A bowl of steamed carrots or a baked yam won’t kill you. ;) ...Although I think there are probably some strict raw foodists who would disagree with me about that.

  • Hello!! I find that the use of high levels of chlorophyll (dark greens, blue green algaes including e3live and liquid chlorophyll tinctures) they help to minimize the toxins before they are excreted. Also helping with inflammation and stablization of blood sugars.

    My skin was a big issue when I first went raw I noticed it was getting a bit inflamed so I added more chlorophyll to my diet and noticed drastic results.

    Hope it is helpful in your detox.

  • Thank you to everyone for your replies. All very helpful and encouraging :)

    I think I’ll have to go into this slowly at first… I’m curious though, when some of you say you aren’t 100% raw, do you eat raw and cooked separately or do you mix and match?

    I’ve just experimented with a green smoothie! I have to say, first thought… bleurgh! Plus I’m not sure my blender has puree’d it all that well. However I will persevere :D

  • Congrats on breaking the ice with the green smoothie! WHOOHOO!!

    Incidentally, I use ONLY baby spinach in my smoothies, as far as leafy greens go, because I didn’t like the taste of kale. I’m totally cool with that. I eat collards, kale, other lettuces in salads and wraps, etc. But the spinach with another fruit or two and maybe a cucumber is very light and good! What greens did you use?

    As far as not being 100% raw yet, some non-raw things I still eat are non-raw hummus, sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel, Wasa or Ryvita crackers, and store-bought hemp/rice/almond milk. That’s basically it, I think. I’m getting around to sprouting some chickpeas for the first time and making some raw hummus, now that I’ve learned how easy it is. After that, my goal is to get in the swing of making my own nut milks. I’m sure it tastes much fresher and more delicious, and it’ll be nice to control the sweetness. But I’m loving the process of doing it like this. It works for me, it’s gentle, and I’m feeling pretty darn good. I am intrigued by reading about dramatic detoxes-it’s always interesting-but I don’t really want to experience going raw like that. I’m having FUN with it, getting comfortable, reading stuff, salivating over recipes, deliberating about what kind of dehydrator to get, etc.

    Good luck and sorry for the long post!

  • Hi LovesPeter… no need to apologise for the long post, lots of great info in there! :D

    I used spinach, watercress, a small orange and a small apple in my smoothie with some water. Just thought I’d give it a shot! It was bearable but I need to experiment of course. Interesting about the baby spinach… I’ll consider that definitely.

    Funny you should mention Ryvita too as that’s probably one of the things I’ll keep eating for now. Bought some more today in fact! My diet isn’t at its best these days which makes me think my transition would be a struggle if I jumped straight into raw, as much as I’d like to. I tend to get impatient and think it’s all or nothing, but I know if I’m going to do this properly then it’s worth my time to research and experiment and take it slowly if needs be.

    Aaargh! Scared but excited! :)

  • Intense detox symptoms:

    Hi everyone, wanted a bit of advice by someone who has been raw for a while. I am in my 8th month raw, I have had a few episodes where I have eaten cooked vegan. Either on the road or travelling or in social situations.

    This past week I was feeling low and missing some of my favorite old vegan dishes. In particular Dhal, which is spicy curried lentil pulse or cream. I made some Tuesday and ate it with some sprouted quinoa. I have done this type of thing occasionally this summer while at the beach house or just on the road. Well this time I got really sick. I am wondering if cooked food can trigger a massive detox reaction?
    Since Tuesday I am not digesting anything, its just going straight through me whooosh! My hubby had some and is fine so I know it wasn’t bad. I have had diarrhea for the last 2.5 days. I am wondering why. Today finally I figured out that fasting might help so no food just water since 6:00 pm yesterday. Was up all night in the loo, and so far (I am in Europe so its 2:30 pm here) I have been to the bathroom 6 times today. Massive quantities of loose mucous filled n. 2, and the urge to go is strong and violent. I did not go to work because of this today, didn’t trust myself.
    Won’t go to the doc, all he would do is prescribe meds for the symptoms and I am past that.
    Just wondering why would an old truly favorite vegan dish cause so much waste.

    Any words of wisdom anyone? Please help if you can and thx.

    the only thing that comforts me at the moment is thinking “Don’t be scared D, this is just another detox” this is what is reassuring me at the moment. Ciao :) Dea

  • Hi, deasmiles!
    Do not worry! I had a similar reaction after eating vegan cooked food. Just like you, my hubby ate it too and he was fine. (I am 95% raw, he is 50% raw). I was hoping to slow the detox instead I ended up with diarrhea for 4 days. I drank only water for those four days and I felt great afterwards. On the fifth day I started with a cup of freshly squeezed apple juice. I went to the doctors because I was dehydrated and had fever. He did not prescribe any drugs but told me to sip a tablespoon of water every ten minutes to keep myself hydrated. It worked like a charm.I hope that you will feel better soon. Good luck and keep me posted!

  • Planet organic,

    thanks so much, you really gave me peace of mind w/yr advice. I am drinking water still and the tummy is beginning to calm down. I think I may switch to green juice tomorrow and take it slow. Man! that was wild, did not see it coming. Detox attack! :) thanks again xo Dea

  • eshne: I don’t know about the cold sores, but your smoothie sounds tasty. You can cover up the taste of greens with a thin slice of ginger. Some shakes taste better cold, so you could try throwing in a frozen banana at the end. And don’t be afraid to blend for a long time, for a whole minute or two if that’s necessary.
    A lot of the detox symptoms I experienced were actually caused by nutritional imbalances and blood sugar issues (too many raw cookies and too many fruit only shakes). Looking back, I wish that I had taken some time to experiment and find out which foods actually make me feel good, like green shakes.

  • alpdesignsalpdesigns Raw Newbie

    eshne, I think this is a good reason to transition gradually to raw. Your body may not be ready for an overdose of nutritional food. I think it would be easier for you if you didn’t try to do it all at once. See how it goes when introducing more raw and if everything goes well, increase the raw veggies and fruits a little at a time until you get where you want to be. Eat more simply most of the time than the complicated recipes found on this site.

  • deasmiles – The same thing happened to me the first time I ate a big cooked vegan meal after being raw for a while…. it just confirmed why I want to stay raw!

    Eshne – I have heard that if you use 60% fruit and 40% greens in smoothies, that the sweet fruit taste is predominant, and you won’t taste the greens. Most smoothies I make are this way, and I usually use a combo of fresh and frozen fruit and some juice (or juicy fruits like oranges) with a large handful or 2 of mixed greens. At Trader Joe’s they sell a ready-to-eat bag of mixed southern greens with collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and spinach. So good in smoothies and so easy.

    Also, when I first detoxed I mostly had stomach issues and flu-like symptoms, but no skin problems. Everyone is different though.

  • For my green smoothies I put in 1 banana, some orange juice, and then stuff the blender about half full of various different greens + some mint or another herb. The banana makes it nice and creamy, and makes it seem more like a smoothie.

    Green smoothies will really help you transition because they’ll take away detox symptoms (made my acne go away), and they’re a great way to get more greens without eating more fat (such as in dressings). You’d probably want to start out with more fruit than I mentioned, but you might want to move up to that after. Just try it out and see what you like. You’ll find that your taste for greens will change as you progress.

  • I am still transitioning into the RAW life. So far my only detox symptoms have been a few headaches during the first week. One day I went out to eat with my parents and the only raw thing I could find on the menu was an iceberg lettuce salad.Instead I had a SAD meal, thinking one wouldn’t hurt. I immediately lost all of my energy. I had to go home and take a nap. The only thing that kept me awake during the drive home was how angry I was at myself for putting all that mess back in my system.SO now I’m back to RAW with gusto.

    Green smoothies are my favorites and I am getting pretty good at them. Spinach is the absolute best green taste-wise, but I have been able to make even strong greens like arugula taste good. The trick is not to add too many greens – you only need enough to turn the concoction green – a 40% greens, 60% fruit is recommended. I make them different each time – different greens and different fruits. I add a fruit juice (apple is best), water, ice and FROZEN fruit – either berries or apples or pears (the absolute best). If using a strong tasting green, I may have to add a bit more fruit or frozen bananas. Sometimes I have cheated and add a little agave. After reading about agave in the last day or two, I think I’m going to switch over to date syrup, which looks very easy to make. When I think I’m done with the smoothie, I always have a little taste before I pour everything into a glass. Oh – spices are good to add, too – things like grated ginger, a tad of parsley (strong tasting – don’t use the stems) and mints.

    Note about the bananas – slice them and put on a cookie sheet (in one layer) in the freezer. After an hour or so take them out and transfer them to a freezer container. Store in the freezer to use with your smoothies. Frozen ones give you a better smoothie experience.

    I still need to learn more about adding spices. I am hoping to get Victoria Boutenko’s book, GREEN FOR LIFE, which I understand has a lot about smoothies. Dr. Oz interviewed the lady who wrote CRAZY SEXY CANCER (her name is Kris Carr) on Oprah recently. She does a lot with smoothies and serves them in a wine glass. Dr Oz and Dr. Roizen make them as well. Google any of them and you will find a ton of green smoothie recipes.

  • Thank you for all the input and advice people have given :)

    I’ve found the correct way to make green smoothies now and I love them. (Favourite at the moment is spinach, banana, white grapes and mint. Lovely!)

    I’m taking raw slowly and trying to get the green smoothies in every day. I noticed when I stopped having them for a week that I felt a bit run down and my skin broke out! So I’m back to them and trying to influence other people to try them… to which the general reaction is: “EURGH”! I’ll make them greenies yet! ;)

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