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What to expect

Never been a vegetarian. Going from omnivorous lifestyle to raw cold turkey. What should I expect? Is there a physical/emotional changes that may occur that I should be aware of?Thanks a million.


  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    Oh boy, you are in for a massive transition. People have written entire books about this so it would be impossible to tell you what to expect, and everyone's different...but yes, physical and emotional changes are probably in store.

    If you cannot sustain this cold turkey, be kind to yourself. Try again, or try "leaning into it" by omitting the major problem foods first - dairy, meat, refined sugars, etc. Learn some kitchen skills and try new recipes/foods. And have fun!

  • I'll be blunt. This will be hard for you. I went from cooked vegan to raw vegan and I had some detox symptoms for a few days, so I can only imagine what you'll be like!! Maybe it's best to transition gradually, ease yourself into raw vegan instead of just plunging head first into the deep end. Otherwise it's going to hit you hard when your body is finally able to clear out all the accumulated junk.

  • Okay everyone. Keep the suggestions going. Well, I'm sure I'm experiencing some detox symptoms if that's what it actually is. But, I'd like to be sure about that. So, be specific and list a few and any other things I may be about to battle. Thanks!

  • Kayla TheillerKayla Theiller Raw Newbie

    It will definitely be hard but you can do it. I just transitioned from SAD to vegan/85-90% raw and its been tough. I've been on and off vegan for years and was doing really well until Christmas and I'm just now getting back on track. I started on Monday and have experienced extreme stomach and chest pains and detox headaches. I think the only thing that helps is getting lots of sleep and rest and drink lots of water. I haven't had any cravings for junk food or meat/dairy. Today I'm eating 100% raw and so far I feel amazing! It just takes time but in the end it will be worth it. Just don't give up, and keep in mind if you do cheat and eat cooked food you will get sick. Last time I was raw I went for a month and then I decided to have cooked soup and bread, the next day I was sick with a cold and fever. It's not worth it! Good luck stay strong!

  • superfood2superfood2 Raw Newbie

    It doesn't have to be hard. I enjoyed my transition. A positive mind does wonders.

  • daniefondaniefon Raw Newbie

    I agree with superfood. I had been a long time vegetarian when I went raw, so my transition was different than your's will be. However, after two years, I still look at it like a half full glass. I think of all the new foods and combinations that I GET to try. It's also a food prep challenge, I love to make food, so I am excited by coming up with new and wonderful foods. So, embrace it, be excited and rise to the challenge and you'll do really well.

  • RubyLaineRubyLaine Raw Newbie

    Cool Daniefon said it spot on.....RISE TO THE CHALLENGE!! Keep your eye on the prize. You'll feel great as soon as you get years of SAD out of your system. Good luck!

  • you have some amazing strength to do this. and you totally can! but, just like others have said... going from even a cooked vegan to raw vegan is challenging, so there are going to be a plethora of obstacles for you to run into.

    I went from veggie to vegan to veggie to vegan again and then finally raw vegan over a span of 6 years. Adjusting to vegetarianism wasn't a huge deal for me; I was never a huge fan of meat anyway. My boyfriend recently went veg, and hasn't had a problem doing so either... but he's also been around me for two years prior to that, adjusting to other foods.

    going vegan was a challenge for me the first time I did it. I was only 17 or 18 and many things have changed since that time, but it's difficult for most people to adjust to lack of cheese. cheese is huge.

    I felt my body cleaning out just from going from veggie to vegan; not to sound gross, but I can recall running to the bathroom multiple times a day the first week or so on vegan.

    going from vegan to raw wasn't as challenging as it could have been, but it definitely had its moments. There are days where the only thing you want in the world is a cupcake and you'd probably kill someone for one. There are days when one look at a head of broccoli makes you want to gag. Detox symptoms vary from person to person, mine were quite minimal... I had minimal acne, a few headaches, and some loose bowels for a few days, but that was about it. It's more the adjusting to what you're eating that's a challenge... getting past the cravings for cooked and processed foods, and sweets if you liked them to begin with.

    beware of eating too many greens, as you might get a tummy ache. Larabars (or dates and nuts) are great for curbing cravings and filling the tummy, especially sweet tooth. raisins are a lifesaver, too. I turn to bananas when all else fails.

    you will adjust to it, but it might take some time. I'd say it took around 1 and a half to 2 months for me to get over the plaguing cravings, to adjust to eating lots of greens, etc.

    One of the biggest adjustments you'll have to make is the way you prepare your food. Unless you're just grabbing for a fruit and some baby carrots, preparation can be time consuming sometimes. You'll be relying a lot on blenders, food processors, etc. and a dehydrator if you have one.

    A lot of things have to be made in advance...especially when you're soaking nuts and what not. But I wouldn't get that heavy into the preparation until you've adjusted a bit more.

    hope that helps... don't be afraid to ask us questions you have along the way :)

  • Thanks tweedle. That's more of what I was looking for. Some specific symptoms to be exact and even more if anybody has some. No matter how embarassing it may sound. I heard of some cases where people's urine gets funky and for some women who have had vaginal discharges, funky breath, and actually funky smelling skin that needed extra cleansing. Can someone please fill me in on whether these things are possible? Because I know people choose not to talk about it because it's a little more personal. But I'd want to be prepared for it all.

  • I'm sure they are possible... everyone's body reacts differently... but I personally didn't have a problem with it. The only time my pee smells funky is after asparagus! normal :)

    some people might get slight acne and funky smelling skin while detoxing, but that shouldn't last too long... for someone in your position though, going from a cooked omni diet straight to raw vegan, it might last longer or be more intense.

    I think the best thing to live by is to be prepared for ANYTHING :)

  • I became vegetarian about 7-8 months ago, then vegan about 3 months ago. During the process of going meat-eater to vegetarian, detox symptoms were noticable. Especially when I eliminated dairy. The elimination of dairy to become a vegan brought many detox sympomd because of how bad dairy is. And now I am a raw vegan, 2-3 weeks and coutning. Currently I am experiencing detox symptoms such as dizziness, low energy, weakness, and slight troubles breathing fully. I know all of these symptoms will disapear and I will feel better than ever!

    Good luck on your transition, it is the best choice you will ever make for your health!


    Everything that you have been poisoning your body with over the past years is now going to come out of your bowels (with gusto), through your urine and through your skin (prepare for some funky B.O. thanks to meat and dairy) I personally had monster headaches and flu-like symptoms (runny nose, sore joints & back, a stomach that gurgles, fatigue). I'm also heavy into exercise and couldn't do any for the first week without feeling like barfing/fainting so go easy on yourself. Your tongue is going to start expelling and you might want to buy a tongue scraper to remove the gunge 'cuz it can get a bit thick and gross like thrush (sorry if this is TMI). If you have depression or anxiety, be warned - it might get worse before it gets better. During detox, I experienced strange bouts where I felt irrationally angry and would want to punch the microwave. I also experienced severe restless leg syndrome - possibly because my diet changed from cooked veg to 100% raw fruit and veg and I had a lot of extra expendable energy that seemed to reside in my legs.

    If you're going to make it through the detox crap - like Tweedle said - stock your fridge with raw and be ready for when the second-guessing this lifestyle choice hits (inevitable). Your mind is going to play dirty tricks on you. Sometimes it will try and justify food that can and will destroy you (screw you, Nestle Crunch bar and all your delicious poisons). Best to start shoveling in the fruit when this happens to keep your mouth and hands occupied with something that isn't going to put you back at square one. Stand firm! Don't let that sneaky mind tell you that a turkey on whole wheat sandwich is a healthy alternative when you feel you can no longer muster the energy to stay raw. It's hard to look at everything you want to eat and think, "is this going to lead my body to health awesomeness or not?" (and realistically if it's not raw, it's NOT!) but you have to. Otherwise that sly brain can cause some major interference. Don't underestimate the power of bananas. Whenever my weird cooked food nostalgia hits I start stuffing my face with them or make them into a monster 1 1/2 liter smoothie. I'm a firm believer in you can never eat too many bananas :)

    If you're going to make a serious go at this - get yourself a blender (and if you can afford it, a VitaMix). It will make your life easier and you won't become marginally suicidal from eating salads 19 times a day.

  • SuasoriaSuasoria Raw Newbie

    "now I am a raw vegan, 2-3 weeks and coutning. Currently I am experiencing detox symptoms such as dizziness, low energy, weakness, and slight troubles breathing fully."

    Shawn, congrats - some of those symptoms may also be that you aren't getting enough fuel/calories. It's easy to underestimate how much food you need to eat in a day. I assume you've got it all under control but wanted to point out that you may simply have to eat more, at least temporarily, until you adjust completely.

  • Okay ladies. This one is especially for you. I love how honest everyone has been concerning the body odor and funky bowels and strong urine and all of that stuff so it's not TMI Ms. Bush it's just what I wanted to hear and need to hear. But here goes, I have had a friend who went raw. She used to keep recurrent yeast infections. She said, concerning detox symptoms was that her vaginal area was extra funky, and she could see all of the yeast in the toilet every time she urinated. Has anyone else gone through this? Is this normal? Could this be a part of detox as well? I want to be ready for everything because I would hate to call a doctor for something that's passing through that I really shouldn't be alarmed about. and if so, what did you do to curb the odor? i asked her and she said she just washed more and scrubbed that area with baking soda and inserted spoonfuls of probiotic non sweetened organic yogurt down there. WOW!

  • YIKES! I've actually never heard about this kind of candida detox happening vaginally (it's usually most apparent on the tongue) but then again infected vaginas are not generally used talking points :)

    I wouldn't think this is abnormal at all - it only makes sense that your body is going to flush out all the bad bits on its way to becoming clean. I don't have any odor-control suggestions, though, as I didn't experience this. Scrubbing the area with baking soda sounds horribly abrasive (and a probiotic dariy douche doesn't sound that much better). A bit of googling says that apple cider vinegar spritz (?) baths are helpful. There's not a lot that organic wetwipes and pantyliners can't fix!

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