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Weight Gain, Tired, Spacy, Depressed

Not sure what’s going on here. I seem to have less and less of an ability to put a thought together in my head. I keep falling asleep in the afternoon right after work and I have no energy for anything.

I’ve been doing this for about 21 days. I stopped drinking caffeine entirely and toughed it out through the headache, but waking up is still really hard. I think I slept a total of fourteen hours yesterday and working out is out of the question.

I don’t want to give up on raw. I want the GLOW and so forth. But I’m feeling like I just can’t get anything done, I can’t think straight. Also I’ve gained about four pounds, probably because I spend all the time I’m not at work in bed.

Also—this has never happened to me before, but yesterday I started craving a cheeseburger( something I don’t eat normally anyway) and ended up eating about 2600 calories.

What should I do? Supplements? I’ve been reading about maca. What do you think?


  • hey there rawcuss, i’m new to all of this as well, and just started a david wolfe book (the sunfood diet success system) and he brought up some interesting ideas about detoxing. He explains it as the blood thinning to a point where it is less concentrated than the lymph fluid, thus allowing the toxins we’ve been holding in our lymphatic system to release into the blood, where it is then filtered out of our body as waste. Perhaps you are detoxing too quickly. He suggests introducing steamed veggies and more raw foods with high fat contents (young coconut, avocados, nuts and seeds) to allow you to detox at a more comfortable rate. I have been feeling a few of the symptoms you mentioned as well, but am not entirely raw yet, and am finding that a slow transition will be best. I slept 12 hours last night (way too much!) but don’t find that I am drowsy even after nights of regular sleeps. Anyways, hope that helps a bit!

  • jenny2052jenny2052 Raw Newbie

    I’ve gone through several phases like this on my journey to raw. They’re annoying, but they do pass!

    When I’m feeling run down, juiced or blended greens and fruits seem to help me a lot, as does drinking a ton of water.

    My favorite “recovery” drinks:

    -spinach/pineapple -spinach/orange -watermelon -lemon/ginger/cucumber/carrot -dilited apple/lemon/ginger

    I also tend to eat a lot of sprouts with citrus dressing when I’m not feeling well.

    Detox baths help me a lot, too. My favorite are epsom salt baths and mustard baths.

    Hope you feel better soon!

  • Thanks Rosita! It’s pretty likely I’m detoxing too quickly. I went from SAD to raw overnight. I was so thrilled by all the testimonials I wanted to get started right away and get to all the marvelous health benefits. Mostly I’ve just been cranky and exhausted though. I’ve never been good at transitions.

    :). hey jenny, i did take a detix bath today and felt a little better, and drank lots of water. I was kind of better after that.

    I ate half of what I usually do today. Maybe like you say it’s just a phase :).


  • When I learned about raw a few years ago, I wanted to try it out. After doing my research and becoming convinced that raw was the life for me…I tried to do raw. The longest I’d done it up until now was 30 days. Those 30 days were SO ROUGH. I had an experience like yours. I actually went into a deep deep depression with massive cravings, definitely gained weight…My depression went to suicidal thoughts before I knew it…and I was calling suicide hotlines for help. Then I talked to the friend who told me about raw food. She said I was detoxing too heavily, and that I needed to eat some bread or something to slow it down. So I did. And I felt better the next couple of days.

    Sometimes our detoxes are too heavy for us to keep up with. It’s nothing to feel bad about. Knowing in your heart that raw is something you want to do doesn’t mean that slowing down your detox makes you a hypocrite!

    I had to go through many detox stages before I went to eating fully raw. You’ll find your way…with much water, rest, light, laughter and love…you’ll get there!!!

  • amysueamysue Raw Newbie

    Rawcuss – I second what Rosita-Khan, jenny and megan wrote, and I can tell you from experience I went through the same symptoms. I did exactly the same as you, changed overnight, and it was an unpleasant slog through. I always know when I’m detoxing, whether I’m doing a cleanse or changing my food when I can’t read to my daughter without slurring and confusing the words, and naps were a must! The slower you transition the less you suffer because, like megan said, your body can keep up with it. I’ve reread my David Wolfe book and Matt Monarch Raw Success and they seems to agree that it’s better to move ahead gradually with less setbacks than to dive into it, feel miserable and fall back on cooked food. The back and forth is tough on your body.

  • I started doing live food catering at the beginning of this year—I’ve actually never been a “full-on” raw-foodist, ranging from 25% in winter to 95% in summer—but I really have faith in the healing properties of live foods. Since I’ve started focusing on live foods to make for other people, I find myself slowly but surely craving the things that are good for me… raw soup instead of cooked, live breads and crackers and cheeses… sprouting the beans, grains, nuts… I’ve probably had one of the slowest possible transitions to raw foods—it snuck up on me! But that slow transition has felt more comfortable on my body.

    Laxatives used in moderation can really help move some of the toxins out of your system more efficiently—so they don’t float around in your system making you feel like a wad of clay. Put psyllium husk powder in your food, binds toxins up so the laxatives can move them on out—then drink a laxative tea like “Smooth Move” by Traditional Medicinals before bed.

    Also, tea of red clover blossoms or burdock root … really really good for gently cleansing the blood. Boil the root herbs for at least 10 minutes, then let sit for at least 20… overnight is best. Good luck!

  • :). Oh, thanks so much, all of you! I’ve been doing more reading and thinking about all this, and I’m thinking first of all that I’m not eating enough green veggies. I’ve been eating veggies but more colored ones and less salads and smoothies so I fixed that yesterday. I was also reading about people binging on raw when they first start out because they’re trying to sort of match the feeling in their stomachs that they have when they’re eating cooked food, and I realized that was true for me as well. It’s been sinking into my consciousness for a few weeks now that I can run without hunger on a lighter diet. You know, before eating this way I’d be positive that there was no way an apple and a banana could tide me over for five hours, but actually that’s happened to me lately a couple of times. When you’ve been hypoglycemic as long as I have you generally expect a sugar crisis at the three hour point. This hasn’t been happening lately at all, and that’s just plain amazing right there.

    I’m relieved to hear other people have had the same experience—and the thing about slurring words! couldn’t keep my eyes open yesterday. I know exactly what you’re talking about. What I did all weekend was just lay in bed and yesterday I ate barely anything and drank a lot of water. I guess if I have the space in my life to lay in bed when I need to then that’s a better option than having a cheeseburger.

    Some other weird things are happening too, in my life—some really bizarre breakthroughs and showdowns and things that I never expected to happen in certain key relationships. I can’t help thinking that the change in my diet is changing the way my energy goes out and comes back to me. You know what I mean?

    I would slow down I guess if I really really needed to. I would do that before I gave up on raw. To tell you the truth this is all getting too interesting to quit.


  • jenny2052jenny2052 Raw Newbie

    rawcuss, glad things are starting to sort out (mentally, at least…).

    i think eating raw has really helped me to respect my body’s needs, and sometimes what it needs is a lot of rest! it’s hard to get in touch with those needs when one is constantly in the cycle of eating heavy cooked foods then compensating with caffeine to pep back up (me for most of my life).

    also, i love what you said about the apple and banana…even more so than all the physical/mental/spiritual benefits, i think perhaps the most amazing change for me on raw has just been the realization that i don’t NEED so much of anything. i hadn’t realized it, but i’ve always thought that i needed to complete this very complicated equation in order to be full, or to have had a “real meal”. it’s so liberating to realize that it is so much simpler than that, and that fruit really is PLENTY to keep me satisfied! i’ve found that incredibly meaningful.

  • —“it’s so liberating to realize that it is so much simpler than that, and that fruit really is PLENTY to keep me satisfied! i’ve found that incredibly meaningful.”—

    jenny, I so agree! I have found the longer I stay raw, the less I tend to think in terms of meals, and more in terms of what my body instinctively asks for. I spend so much less time on food prep, because I hardly ever make “meals” anymore. I just reach for whole, natural goodness whenever my body wants it! I think when you let go of SAD, you begin to find there is a lovely art to fueling your body. Whereas a trip to the grocery was once a drudgery I dreaded, I now find great joy and fulfillment in my search for the purest living foods available to me. Especially trips to the farmer’s market…what a spiritual experience!

    Sooooo, hang in there rawcuss! You DO have a lot to look forward to if you can stay the course. Don’t beat yourself up about taking the slow road to raw…just keep working toward your goal in the way that works for you and you WILL get there! Believe me, I’ve been through a rough detox as well, and I am living proof that what is on the other side is worth every minute of fatigue, and worth every extra pound (especially since those will fall off later). ;)

  • OK, I guess I accidentally typed some crazy code that produced a strikethrough…I was attempting to quote jenny. :)

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    Delete the dash(es) before the quote and the one(s) following. The formatting for a strikethrough is dash text dash. :)

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    maybe it’s time for a colonic.

  • Rawcuss – thank you so much for sharing! I couldn’t believe your post – it is exactly what I have been going through and it helps so much to hear from everyone that it’s common. I think I also went too raw, too quickly. I was actually horizontal for about three days! Sunday evening a friend invited me to join her and her husband and another friend to see a concert from their boat. She had gone to the trouble of preparing a great spread of food; steak strips, veggies and cream cheese on wheat crackers, teriyaki chicken meat balls, and so on. I couldn’t bear to say no, I didn’t want to appear rude or ungrateful, even though I had been eating about 95% raw for the past week. I stepped on the scale Monday morning and had gained 3+ pounds over night!!!

    I am trying SO HARD to lose about 50 pounds before my fortieth birthday in February and, that was just devastating for me to see! I’ve been concerned that, after having such great success 5 years ago with Atkins, maybe I’ve messed up my ability to handle even natural sugar? Or, maybe I’m not eating enough and my body is hoarding fat? How can I know how to balance my intake? For the past week eating raw, I haven’t been hungry. I’ve been eating a lot of apples, raisins, agave, juicing veggies (carrots, celery, peppers, tomatoes, etc.) and the scale isn’t moving in the right direction. Any suggestions? Help…?

    Bitt, Jenny…?

  • Hey Sl! We have a lot in common! I lost a lot of weight on Atkins exactly five years ago. I was wicked thin and had tons of energy. I lost about 135 pounds and kept, well, a lot of it off except for about 50 of it. Most of it in the past six months. I also noticed that Atkins sort of stopped working for me—but I’ve also noted that lowcarbing doesn’t give me the energy it once did. I think it’s a brain thing, no carbs makes the world kind of flat.

    I’ve had the same thought about processing sugar. I’ve had a fantastic time eating dates and bananas and other things I wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole on lowcarb. My other thought is this though—the way I was eating before had NO fresh fruits, very few vegetables and lots and lots of fat and protein, so I must have stripped myself of nutrients over the past five years and unbalanced my body that way also. We can’t be anabolic or catabolic for too long, regardless, this is another one of the trillion ways you can kill your metabolism. I was also curious about what would happen if I stopped using artificial sweetener. I’ve lost about fifteen pounds, and I don’t feel very much better,but like I said, it’s interesting.

    Anyway, the thing is, I know that however successful I was on Atkins, I wasn’t healthy and I was feeling worse. I did a fair amount of cycling between tootsie roll weeks and chicken breast weeks near the end. So I’m trying to make raw eating about being really healthy for the next twenty years and beyond. It might be something to consider about your 40th birthday; the gift of being superskinny ( which rocks) vs. the gift of being happy, healthy, and free ( which could be even better).


  • Wow Rawcuss, nice point. It really should be about being happy and healthy, shouldn’t it. I’m not even wanting to be wicked thin. In fact, believe it or not, even though I’m only 5 ft, 3 and one half inches (gotta get that half in there!), I am really comfortable at between 145 and 150. I have a pretty athletic build, fairly dense. At least I used to be.

    Ok, so, how strange (or not) is it that we are having the same symptoms on raw and we both did Atkins previously? I would bet that you at least did it properly. I, on the other hand, had every intention to but, did the induction phase for 3 and a half months and then started eating carbs again without gauging them properly (see my profile for the details if you’re interested). The thing is, I continued to lose weight for another month or so even though I was eating pure junk. It took about a year to even start gaining anything and that was slow. A pound or two here… 3 or 4 there. But, now it’s been 5 years – stress, stress, and more stress hasn’t helped. I’m so glad to know that you’ve experienced both Atkins and raw. How long have you been doing raw food and how did you start? What kinds of food did you start with and, did you eat ANYTHING cooked? I have at least one meat per day, or a protein shake.


  • This is exactly what I want to avoid. I can’t really find anything to explain what I should do, what to avoid etc. in a clear manner. I bought several books but all are very generic; main part of book is the damn recipes. Is there a really good book that explains how to transition and once you are full raw- what do you eat? how to get all the nutrients, the right combination etc. I need to know how to properly eat raw- even the detox needs to be slow- I can’t afford to be tired, spacey

  • It’s actually easier to get your nutrients on a varied raw diet than a typical omnivorous one. Put your food in Fitday for an idea. Get plenty of fruits, green vegetables, and sprouts. You’ll see. If you’re low on selenium, eat a Brazil nut.

  • I’m going to cut against the grain here and suggest that if you did well on Atkins, then perhaps you have the sort of metabolism that needs fats and heavier foods in quantity. You may be eating too much fruit for your metabolic type. Gabriel Cousens has a good discussion of this sort of thing in his book “Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine”. Metabolic typing has strong parallels to Ayervedia, which is certainly nothing new. You have to choose the right Raw foods for YOUR body.

    I personally cannot just eat veges and fruit and feel good at all. I need lots of nuts and seeds in addition to tons of greens, plus high-fat things like avos and coconuts. I lost 20 lbs and kept it off when I went high-percentage raw 2 years ago.

    Good luck!!!

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