But a lot of folks have indicated that they think the only kind of detoxification symptoms that one gets on a raw food diet is diarrhea. Perhaps that is the only thing they have experienced and quickly reverted back to a SAD diet to make the misery go away as quickly as they could. Chickens! You should stick with a raw food diet and experience the full palette of irritations that can come as the body throws out the junk we have been stuffing into it all these years!
Having eaten a 100% raw vegan diet now for 4 months, 1 week and 4 days now, I feel somewhat qualified to speak about the many and varied ways the body tries to cleanse itself of the toxins, poisons, and crap that the typical person ingests in a lifetime. While none of these are particularly pleasant, I will say that once a bout of detox has completed in my body, I feel so much better. But I am a little more hesitant to shout "Bring it on! It's all good!" anymore.
On Sunday, Andy Reed told me that a good rule of thumb is that a month of eating raw will equal a year of not eating raw. Given the number of years I have been on the planet and not been eating as well as I could, I figure there are a few years of detox ahead of me yet. Here is a short list of some of the things I have already experienced:
- Excessive earwax
- Runny nose
- Joint aches
- Muscle aches
- Mood swings
- Emotional breakdowns
Each of these symptoms has presented with numerous variations that have frequently left me wondering if something was seriously wrong. But the telltale sign that it is detox is that the condition will come and go in a short period of time.
One morning I woke up early with a sudden, serious cough. It became quite intense and I couldn't stop coughing. As it was coming from deep in my lungs, I began to wonder if I had whooping cough or some form of pneumonia. I used to get pneumonia once or twice a year and remember the horrible feeling of not being able to breathe. After about 2 hours of non-stop coughing, I suddenly choked up 2 large, disgusting, brown balls of yuk from the bottom of my lungs! The episode was over and it has not happened since.
I have never been a smoker so I have no idea what this was or why this stuff was in my lungs. But I have been able to breathe better ever since!
I have now come to regard these kinds of things as just part of a process that will likely continue for the next year or two as my body lets go of a long time build-up of toxins. I should also mention that each and every one of the symptoms listed above could have it's own discussion! Especially the last two...mood swings and emotional breakdowns. Topics for another time.
On Monday I had:
- Breakfast: Muesli with chia, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts and almonds, raisins, coconut flakes, apple and banana with almond milk.
- Lunch: Power balls.
- Supper: Kale salad with red bell pepper, pine nuts, lemon juice and olive oil.
On Tuesday I had:
- Breakfast: Green smoothie with mango, orange, banana and Swiss chard.
- Lunch: Kale salad with bok choy, sprouts, celery, carrots, avocado, black olives and a dressing of lime juice, Dijon mustard, agave nectar and olive oil.
- Supper: A salad with escarole, bok choy, celery, sprouts, parsley and a dressing of apple cider vinegar and olive oil.