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I'm Feeling Worse, not Better

I've been on a mostly raw diet for about three weeks now and starting this past weekend I just feel my health is getting horrible.

My symptoms are that I am extremely lethargic. I have been in bed from 9:30pm - 7:30am the past few days. I would get eczema, itchy skin before starting this diet but now it is just horrible. My face & scalp are extremely dry and looks like it is falling off. When I look in the mirror I look like I've aged 10 years. The eczema on my hands is also worse than normal.

I've read a lot about raw diets now and thought it should give me more energy and improve my skin. I'm pretty sure I'm eating enough as I eat when I'm hungry until I'm full. Are there any ideas what I could be doing wrong? I would really appreciate it as I just want to be healthy and have good health.


  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    "I'm pretty sure I'm eating enough as I eat when I'm hungry until I'm full."

    That really isn't a good measure for eating enough. I've had days where I ate and ate, but barely took in 600 calories, in the beginning. I found this site, and it was a G*D-send: http://www.fitday.com The free online version works just fine. It will tell you if you are eating enough, and what, if anything, you are lacking.

    Sure hope you find your answers to your health issues. Good luck.

  • If you go cold turkey (pardon the expression) with raw you will no doubt experience detox symptoms that can be overwhelming. Try a more relaxed approach of adding more raw food into your diet and cutting out all cooked fats as they are really bad for the skin. Take some flax oil over your veggies and eat lots of greens.


  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I felt under the weather for the first 2 months of eating all raw. Then my health improved quite a bit, my energy came back, my skin and hair looked better. During those 2 months, I slept more than before, I was exhausted and unmotivated. I may have been affected by other factors in my life too - diet isn't everything. Emotions, stress, exercise, sleep habits, friendships. Everything can play a part.

    Anabrese is right in describing detox that can be overwhelming. I made a transition into raw food for an entire year, slowly upping my raw percentage - my detox was slow because it took the whole year. Then when i went completely raw, it only took 2 months of detox to get into better health.

  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    i feel better with no spices, high fruit, very little fat. you could try that out if nothing else works.

  • Thanks for the tips. Yeah, it could be because I jumped into it. Odd though because I thought my skin was getting better for the first two weeks.

    I did realise that eating bananas made my lips less dry so the other day I must have had about 10 bananas during the day. My face still looked flaky but my skin felt much better and the sight of it has improved these days. I've read that bananas are the only fruit to contain all the amino acids so perhaps I was lacking something. I will try out that website.

    Unfortunately, even though my skin is slightly improving, I am getting stomach aches now. Hopefully this will pass soon and I can enjoy this diet more.


  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    I've never had a problem with it, but I have heard that banana's that are not quite ripe enough can give a stomach ache. Perhaps...?

  • rawcanadianrawcanadian Raw Newbie

    Here is what I am eating now, it is not raw, and I feel way more better, have more energy and am sleeping better too.

    ( and I cut my cholesterol levels in half -- just found out today)

    12-15 servings of fresh fruits / day

    one large salad everyday ( includes greens, one tomato, 1/3 celery, 1/4 red pepper, raw raisins, 5-6 snap peas)

    1 - 2 servings of meat at supper time

    no dairy

    cooked foods everyday to boost calories , i usually rotate for variety on different days : oatmeal,steamed veggies, boiled potatoes, brown rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, tomato sauce (blend tomatoes with celery and add fresh mushrooms and put on top of pasta)

    power drink: 4 bananas, berries, 2 Tbsp cacao, 4 Tbsp Hemp/ day

    The big BIG thing IMO is to eat lots of carbs, like fruits. Where do high raw eaters get their carbs, not from veggies, but from fruits, that's your main energy source.

    You need to keep track of cals, because high fiber will fill you up. Nutridiary.com is really good for doing this.

    Just keep track for 2 or 3 days should give you a really good idea. I will put money on it that you need more cals, but not the high fat kind if you want energy.

    I work out for 1 hour, and have even more energy after I am done.

    I feel best at 3500-4000 cals.

    Do what works for you, listen to your body, do your best, and forget the rest!!!!


  • angie207angie207 Raw Master

    "Where do high raw eaters get their carbs, not from veggies, but from fruits, that's your main energy source."

    I get my carbs from: fruits, sprouted legumes, fresh raw corn & peas, sprouted grains (wheat, barley, buckwheat...)

    I get lots of calories from: grains, legumes, fruit, nuts, seeds, oils.

    Rawcanadian - I'm glad you're learning to listen to your body. :)

  • ras-saadonras-saadon Raw Newbie

    In my opinion a very clear case of detox, I was on an 90% organic 100%vegan diet before going raw and I still had about 2-3 months of detox, with all the symptoms you describe, stomach aches, headaches, rash&skin irritation, eye inflammation and more, if its overwhelming for you introduce some cooked back and transition to raw more slowly.

    As for cals, I personally gets them mostly from fats, many say that its not good for you and that our carbs should come from mainly fruits, I personally find that it works the best for me, I do a lot of exercise and in order to get all the carbs I need from fruits(I'm talking energy wise and not counting wise) I need to eat really insane amounts of fruits so fats work better for me, I really favor the listen to your body way more then the counting calories way, it does takes some practice and getting your body back on track in order to do it but I really don't think that sitting in front of charts, counting&calculating is the way to go, all that data on what we need ect` is based on cooked carnivore diets anyway.

  • waterbaby12347waterbaby12347 Raw Newbie

    Greens, greens, greens... The greens will increase your energy level soon... Dry brushing and coconut oil... Drink Water... Scrub your body with baking soda in the shower after dry brushing before showering... All those flakes will be gone soon, it takes time to clean up the environment from the inside... Use coconut oil generously daily after dry brushing and or showering...

    I feel it is too soon for you to feel good from eating raw if you were a sad eater prior... Most people transition from SAD to vegetarian to vegan to raw and still have detox problems... But the day your detoxing is over.... WOW, will you be happy you stuck it out!!!

    Good luck with your journey, it will be worth it in the long run... smile

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    I second the suggestion of coconut oil for rash or itchy skin, not just externally, but internally, as well. I've known of a few folks (myself included) to get rid of a persistent rash by daily intake of virgin coconut oil. And in my case, it was before I was even raw. Good stuff, virgin coconut oil. :~)

  • Thank you all for your support. I will keep fighting on and hope that it will be worth it.

    I think I will start using one of those websites tomorrow to track what I am eating and post it in a few days.

    For coconut oil, do you mean pure coconut oil? Where can you buy that? I just went to the pharmacy and they weren't really aware of such a product so I bought this Inecto Leg & Body Scrub which contains pure coconut oil along with other ingredients.

    Can you do dry brushing on your scalp? Because my scalp is the worst now. (I'm semi bald so I don't have hair in the way :)

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    You want *virgin* coconut oil. Nutiva brand is good, so is Tropical Traditions. I do NOT recommend Spectrum; I think Spectrum tastes nasty. Here are a couple links:



  • superfood2superfood2 Raw Newbie

    These are the words I look for when I buy oil: raw, unfiltered, virgin (or extra-virgin), organic, first cold-pressed.

  • derrycklderryckl Raw Superstar

    There's very little that I can add to the excellent insights that you have already had here. My understanding is that sometimes as you detox, toxins that have been (hitherto) locked away in fat cells can come back out during the detox, so you can relive symptoms of long-forgotten past issues - but this time, the toxins are going the right way - out through your poo or wee!

    Many thought leaders in raw say that it is important to distinguish between detox and illness symptoms, but at 3 weeks, I would dare say that it is most likely detox.

    .. sometimes you detox through through the skin.. After 3 months raw, I went through a spell of rashes - as earlier poster (waterbaby) mentioned, dry brushing helped a lot. However, I think it made my skin really dry, and I went through many different oils (I don't use "skin lotion"), in order to get to current place. Currently, I use only olive oil and avocado oil. I heard Happy Oasis on Rawkathon 08 talking positively about flaxseed oil, which I have not yet tried.

    For the dry skin, try oiling your skin more often (especially if you are using artificial heating in your environment - like winter). Olive, Avocdo or flaxseed might be good. Put it on immediately after shower. If you swim in chlorinated pools, or go in chlorinated jacuzzis, etc - try to stop that.

    All the best - your body will eventually thank you for this.

  • Virgin coconut oil should be readily available at your local health food stores also. I have eczema and it really helps to eat it in my diet as well as use on my body. Also, I have mister bottles around and in my purse to mist my skin before patting on my oils or butters on my skin. It makes a HUGE difference in the effect of the moisturizers.

  • maryssamaryssa Raw Newbie

    Hi Pirawna - are you misting with water?

  • pixxpixx Raw Master

    I agree, the skin really should be moist, before adding oils. (ie: directly after bathing, or misting, etc.)

  • Yes, water. But I sometimes I add a bit of colloidal silver, aloe vera, or GSE, rosewater, etc to the water. I carry a little mister and hemp butter in my purse to always have on hand.

  • I first went started raw food I was colder, and felt tired more than usual and I had headaches,

    which I took cayenne pepper, Three weeks later I felt tremendously better and I lost ten pounds,

    but the body sometime will get worse before it get better is my experience from going from a vegetarian to a raw foodist . I think it is just from eating processed food and your toxic, My suggestion is see a dermatologist or nauturopathic and see if they can suggest something to ease the problem . If I have minor health problems I usually just go to earthclinic.com for cool mother nature's cures...they all work great.

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