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Here's a first - how to transition *back* to cooked foods?

davidp80davidp80 Raw Newbie

Hi everyone,

It saddens me to have to say so, but after 6 months of being more or less 100%, I have to begin making my way back to cooked, vegan foods.

The reason: I’m leaving for India in six weeks, and having been there before, I know that there’s no way I’m going to be able to stick to my raw ways. Most of my time is going to be spent in ashrams and meditation centers, and there’s really just no way to get around the rice and dhal routine in places like that. You eat what you are given to eat.

So, my question is, how to I go about transitioning back to the funk I’m going to experience. I ate some cooked food tonight for the first time in several months, and really felt spaced out, unclear, and genearlly just ‘out of touch’ for quite a while. It’s lingering now, although the experience is becoming normalized a bit.

I can’t decide whether to do it all at once, eating nothing but cooked food a week or so before I leave, and staying 100% until then, or do it gradually, one meal at a time over the next 6 weeks. What would your advice be? What kind of foods should I use to transition back?

Thanks guys. Oh how I wish I could stay raw.



  • BeTheChangeBeTheChange Raw Newbie

    Bread in the middle of the day. At first at night, it will mke your sleep horrible, and in the morning, it will offset your digestion. Cooked nutbutters, maybe just a spoonful a day? Also, i would think that sauteed or steamed vegetables would be a good place to start, mixed with raw foods. Also, hell, why don’t you eat what you will be eating in India, bit by bit? Maybe try adjusting your diet to the time zone before you leave, too, so your body will not go into so much confusion at once!

    The reality is that the human body is a very capable, very amazing thing, and millions of bodies survive on cooked foods, and you will be able to, too. And when you come back, you can return to a raw lifestyle. If you want your body to adjust, it will.

  • MeditatingMeditating Raw Newbie

    If there was ever a good reason to go cooked, Indian food has to be it. I am so happy for you that you are making this trip. I would love to go to India. At least you aren’t going SAD! And, you can change your Indian ways and return to raw. It is an adjustment though.

    I just took a few days from raw (to eat mainly Indian and Thai food with a friend) and was entirely shocked at how the cooked food made me feel. After 4 days, I just wanted raw food, which seemed weird since it took me so long to transition over to mostly raw. I think a deliberate attempt to transition now is a smart move on your part. I would think adding a cooked item here and there would start you in the right direction.

    Have a lovely time in India. :) You are very lucky to have this opportunity.

  • stylistchickstylistchick Raw Newbie

    i try to stay high raw most of the time, but when i do eat cooked foods, i try to eat gluten free and vegan, this keeps me from going overboard, and the effects are minimal if i have lots of fruit and salads.

    the most amazing mangoes come from india! i think you ought to get one of those travel blenders, so you can at least take advantage of the wonderful local fruit. have a smoothie for breakfast, that would help.

  • try to eat high water fruit and veg during the day and save your cooked food for the evening meal if you can….keep water consumption high to help deal with the cooked matter

    eating like this will allow you more energy in the day and to not feel like you’re ‘missing out’ in the evening

  • davidp80davidp80 Raw Newbie

    Thank you everyone for such encouraging replies. I am very fortunate to be taking this trip, and I do know that my body and mind will accomodate the foods I’m consuming. Probably after a week or so of nothing but cooked food, I’ll feel normal again – although I know the cooked food ‘normal’ is certainly lacking in vitality and clarity.

    And I have thought about the travel blender, which would definitely be useful for when I’m just generally traveling around. Fruit is offered in abundance, but the thing is, in many ashrams and meditation centers, they don’t serve any fruit at all! Wheat porridge for breakfast, and rice, dhal, and curried vegetables for lunch and dinner. Salads are generally considered unsafe due to the possibility of picking up intestinal parasites. I thought about taking a years supply of E3Live flakes with me to try to add a bit of mental clarity to the menu, but that would definitely be quite an investment.

    So, I’ll do what I can, and I really appreciate all the support. I’m going to start introducing cooked foods slowly – maybe one meal every three days – and then add in a bit more a week or so before I leave. I certainly don’t want to be walking around India for my first week in a complete cooked food daze – anyway, She does that well enough on her own! :)

    Best to you guys. Thanks. Keep it up!


  • wow, you’re going for a year

    and sorry, i didn’t read all of your post… i didn’t pick up on the ashram thing

    i too have spent much time in meditaion retreats…luckily salad is served at these retreats…not because i was raw at these times, but because they help to digest the more complex foods that you are served

    one way to help your energy out is to try and practice good food combining….one day have rice and veg…one day have dahl and veg, but maybe try to avoid the two together

    on the 10 day long, silent vipassana retreats i attend there are 2 meals served…one at 6:30 in the morning and one at 11:30 in the morning…..i always skip breakfast and have 1 meal a day….this helps my energy out enough to keep me on my cushion for 10 hours day….if i do feel for breakfast i take only a couple of pieces of fruit

    when travelling between centres, eat the best you can…get as much fruit as you can…if you are worried about hygiene than go for fruits that you need to peel

    hope this helps a little

  • davidp80davidp80 Raw Newbie


    That’s good advice, about keeping food combining in mind – rice and dhal has never sat in my stomach well, and often kept me from getting to my yoga mat in the evenings.

    I also thought about eating only one meal a day during retreat times, especially since Indians like to eat really late. Eat late, sleep with a full stomach, and then get up early and eat something more, something that’s usually gluten-laden! Haha, I don’t know how they do it, but most everyone seems to be doing alright. I guess we westerners are just much more sensitive.

    Thanks everyone. This is a big help. Thankfully, I’ll be spending most of my time in the South (and Sri Lanka) where fruit is much more prevalanet and widely available. I just wonder – will I lose my desire for raw foods after a month or so of being back on the cooked food wagon? We’ll see.


  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    davidp80, where are you going in India? We plan to go next year… somewhere near Mumbai. I’ve never been to India. Currently figuring what to do about vaccinations. A friend just told me about homeopathic vaccinations… but, anyway.

    I just learned about a medical missionary place that serves raw food! It was in Bangalore. Then, I did a google search a while back, and found a raw food restaurant in south India! Good luck to you. Please share your experience… since we plan to visit later next year. I would love to hear about it.

  • angie207angie207 Raw Newbie

    This isn’t a first, actually – there was a post a few months ago about transitioning back to cooked foods, although for different reasons – you’re not alone! On that thread, I remember someone suggested following Natalia Rose’s “Raw Food Detox Diet” book (hope I got the name right) in reverse. A year’s supply of algae WOULD be an investment; I have thought of doing something like that just to have something good around in case of emergencies. Good luck!

  • davidp80davidp80 Raw Newbie

    Germin8 – My plan is pretty loose. I’m meeting a friend in Uttaranchal for a month of hiking soon after I arrive, and will probably hang around there until it gets too cold – sometime around the middle of October, and then slowly start making my way south, eventually focusing my time in Tamil Nadu. I’d also like to check out a few meditation centers in Sri Lanka while the dry season is in (Oct – April). Other than that, I have a few ideas for possible stops, but no definite plans. The joy of traveling in India is moving by word of mouth! Where and when are you planning on going? On a side note, I wouldn’t worry too much about the vaccinations. Of course I’m no doctor, and take my advice with a grain of salt, but most just make sure that they have Hep A and are up to date on all their childhood vaccinations. Outside of those, it’s really pretty much a personal decision, and I think you’d be ok with nothing more. But again, please don’t let this deter you from doing what you need to do to be and feel safe!

    Could you also pass along the details about the medical missionary organization and the raw food restaurant in South India. FYI, Auroville in Tamil Nadu also has it’s fare share of raw food enthusiasts. Best to you, and happy planning! It’s half the fun.


  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    I asked where exactly in Bangalore the Medical Missionary place is, but I have not heard back…

    As for the restaurant, I stumbled across it a long while ago (on the ‘net) when I was searching to see how raw-friendly India is (not). I did another search, but was unable to find it again. Sorry, I’m not much help.

    Wow, so there are raw food enthusiasts in Auroville! That’s awesome.

    We’re going to Mumbai and Pune. Probably around Dec 2009.

    Thanks for the info on the vaccinations… and disclaimer. :o)

    Happy travels! One month is a long time to travel. Sounds like a fun trip, with hiking and seeing a lot of India.

    Looking forward to keeping us posted on your travels! I’ll let you know if I find out about Bangalore…

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    I just found out that he has no ‘center’ or ‘building’ where he works. :o( Sounds like he works at several places…

    Happy travels.

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