Sunday, January 22, 2012

[Article] Why does a raw vegan who eats junk food get sick? Explained at last!

"He who is drowned is not troubled by the rain." - Chinese Proverb

Many people who enter a raw vegan 'lifestyle' find that they can't eat the things they used to without getting sick. For example, they may have eaten fried shrimp each Friday night with pizza and a glass of bottled fruit juice. Now they might find that eating that same meal would leave them rolling in pain and misery.

I've heard it said before, "I can eat steak and feel great, but a raw vegan can't, thereby my body is stronger."

  • But is this reasoning correct? And:

  • Why does a raw vegan feel sick from steak?

I'd like to endeavor to answer these two questions to the best of my ability.

To understand why a raw vegan feels sick from "junk food" but a "regular American" does not, we must examine detoxification and what it is.


In short: 

Detoxing is when toxins move from the lymph fluids or organs into the bloodstream to be eliminated. This only happens when there is "room" for this to happen as well as "energy" in the body.

Why might someone lack the energy to detox?


Most of the energy burned by typical Americans is in the process of digestion. This takes a lot of energy when you eat something like beans. 

Beans can take over six hours to digest by someone who is reasonably healthy. They take even longer (up to three days!) in someone unhealthy.

The problem is that the nutrition of the beans never gets extracted in an unhealthy system. The sum of the extraction is empty calories and fat. 

The body pulls the fibers apart, the broken cooked proteins apart, and all the while the beans are moving through the digestive tract. What our bodies can't use ends up being a meal for bacteria in our gut, such as candida.

I think is is why the Paleo diet does not recommend beans.

This exhausting digestive process leaves no energy for detoxification.

Meat, dairy and eggs take two to four hours in a healthy digestive system. They can also take days in an unhealthy digestive system. 


The body requires digestive enzymes to digest food, and all enzymes are "destroyed" by cooking. These cooked foods (milk is cooked before being sold) are exhausting to digest.

A raw vegan diet is loaded with enzymes because everything is raw. The vegetables and fruits are loaded with everything needed to digest them already.

To get the details on enzymes and how they work, read this article all about the science of enzymes.

Fruits are the easiest foods to digest when they are eaten alone (but they are nightmare for your stomach when combined with dense food like beans, rice, meat, etc -- more details about food combination are on my page: "Food Pyramid"). 

Fruit can take as little as twenty minutes to digest in a healthy system! This leaves lots more energy for you.

Back To Detoxification

Your typical American breaths in smoke or smog or paint odor and they feel fine. They're currently working on digesting something. Most Americans are always working on digesting something. So the toxin can not be dealt with. The toxin has to be wrapped in fat by the liver and stored.

The moment you eat something cooked or fatty (meat is both cooked and fatty) you stop all detoxing because all the energy goes into digestion. Toxins take minerals and energy to eliminate. The easiest way to handle them is to store them as fat.

Raw vegans are always detoxing. They have the energy to always detox. 

But there is something key to understand about detoxing: 

What you feel is what is happening in your blood. If the level of glucose in your blood is low, you're tired. Likewise, if the level of toxins in your blood is high, you feel terrible.

A whiff of smoke comes into a raw vegan's body and then the toxins enter their blood so they can move through their body and be eliminated. The person then feels sick from smelling the smoke almost instantly.

If the toxin is stored as fat, you don't feel it. The smoker does not feel the toxins in the smoke. What they feel are the hormonal reactions. The toxins are wrapped in fat and sent to the organs or fat of the body. 

If you eat bad food all the time you don't necessarily feel nauseated all the time. You might be consuming toxic substances like hydrogenated oils and aspartame and feeling pretty decent. This is because most of the toxins are being processed by the liver.

When the liver can't handle all the toxins anymore, then you start feeling terrible. Or, when you try to eat a low-fat high-toxin diet. Fat-free yogurt, sugar-free gum, and I-can't-believe-it's-not-butter are a huge recipe for disaster. These items are loaded with toxins with no healthy protective fat for the liver to protect you.

What's worse is that animals store toxins in their fat just like we do. When we eat that fat we eat their toxins. It isn't the fat that makes us fat. It is their toxins stored in their fat getting re-stored in our bodies as fat. The fat of an avocado, olive or seed will not make you fat, but the fat of an unhealthy toxin-laden animal will. This is the real reason why some people lose weight by going vegan -- they stop consuming the toxins stored within animals.

But as long as you are getting enough healthy fat, or at least non-toxic fat such as organic olive oil, and your liver is working: you don't feel the toxins you consume. The toxins are not in your blood and you feel fine.

However, if someone who eats a raw vegan diet who is always detoxing ate the same foods, they'd feel terrible. Their detox may be slowed dramatically by eating the unhealthy food, but at least when they begin to eat their body is in detox-mode. This may cause a stomach upset, a headache, muscle cramps, dizziness, and so on. 

Eventually the bad food stops the detox entirely and they feel a little better. The next day they eat their healthy food again, like a green juice. This green juice begins the detox again and they finish detoxing from the unhealthy meal they ate last night and they feel very sick again in the process.

Bottom line: You don't feel it unless you detox it. It just keeps getting stored as fat.

This actually is what causes brain tumors. If the body runs out of places to put toxins, it'll put it in your brain.

Weight Loss

Anything toxic in your life causes weight gain, including stress. Hormones in your body trigger weight gain and weight loss.

putting on fat

  • Feeling fearful, angry, jealous, upset, etc, trigger fat gain. 
  • Not sleeping enough causes hormonal imbalances that cause fat gain.
  • Staying up late at night and missing your "power hours" causes fat gain and "aging."
  • Never letting your insulin drop by always digesting food triggers fat gain.
  • Eating anything toxic triggers fat gain, especially aspartame, white sugar, white flour, hydrogenated oils, animal fats and corn syrup.
burning fat and building muscle

  • The hormones involved in feeling good trigger fat loss. 
  • Exercising activates hormones for burning fat and building muscle even if you only exercise for a couple of minutes.
  • Detoxing from heavy metals and other toxins happens simultaneously with fat loss.
  • Sunlight exposure without burning balances hormones and promotes muscle building.
  • Foods rich in antioxidants such as blueberries and pomegranates assist in detoxification and thereby assist in fat burning.

Losing weight can feel terrible. As you burn fat you are also releasing toxins into the bloodstream.

That is why it can be very unhealthy to lose weight too fast. If toxins enter the blood but then they don't make it out of the body, they can get re-deposited in an organ, such as the kidneys. That can be very serious. 

This is why starving yourself to lose weight is really dangerous. That is burning toxic fat without having the nutrient intake to actually get rid of the toxins.


The liver wraps toxins in fat and stores them because it doesn't have the nutrition and vitality to send the toxins out of the body. To send the toxins out the body needs a modicum of hormonal balance, plenty of calcium, iron, magnesium, etc, it needs hydration (which comes from a balance of potassium, sodium and water), as well as enzymes and vitamins.

Not everyone who leads a toxic lifestyle is overweight. Toxins may be released by sweating, which can cause adverse skin reactions. With enough water consumption and exercise, many toxins are never really 'absorbed' by the body and pass through in excrement and sweat. A very smelly bowel movement is a sign of consumption of toxins.

You may notice that on very stressful days, or days when you breath in a lot of second-hand smoke, or on days where you pig out on a lot of sausages, you have a very unusually smelly bowel movement the next day. It is important to notice these signs in your body. Bad smells, just like pain, are warning signs flashing: something is wrong.


  • To have the healthy amount of fat for your body type and lifestyle you must not have exposure to toxins or you must detox from all toxin exposure.

  • A raw vegan feels sick from unhealthy junk foods because they detox immediately or very soon after instead of storing the toxins as fat.

  • A diet must be at least wholly raw for part of each day to detox. Being raw for breakfast and lunch would be enough to detox from breakfast (say around 7:00am) to dinner (say around 6:00pm), getting eleven hours of detoxing time each day (provided that there wasn't much fat involved. Nuts slow detox in small quantities -- like a tablespoons -- and stop detox in high volumes -- like a half measuring cup.)

  • Paying close attention to bodily reactions in combination with self education can bring you to a place where you can interpret your body's condition and be your own doctor. You can notice that your sweat smells terrible after eating fried soy and come to the conclusion that fried soy is toxic to your body. You can discover that you have metal poisoning by seeing if cilantro tastes like a penny to you.

Thank's for reading! I hope you feel empowered with new understanding after reading this entry.

Let your divine-self shine and honor yourself by treating your body with respect: give your body what makes it feel good, smell good and look good. When you honor yourself others will honor you!

~ Raederle Phoenix PS: Check out some of my raw vegan meals here in my facebook album called "Living Cuisine"


  1. I really enjoy your positivity and empowering message.

    Not everything you say accords with my experience, though. For example, when I was detoxing heavy metals, I actually gained weight (which I needed to). It's worth mentioning in the context of heavy metals that if a person who is very thin is exposed to heavy metals, they don't have the fat to store the metals in, and instead they store them in vital organs.

    This is why my ND retests everyone after a first round of "chelating," and sometimes thinner people test with higher readings than when they started, after detoxing a bunch of heavy metals, because they're all flooded into the system from vital organs! And yes, that can feel awful...

  2. Ela -- That's a very good thing to point out, indeed! I've read that this is why some "juice feast detox programs" include a teaspoon of oil each day. That way, you stick with fluids, but you still get the essential fat needed to deal with and pass toxins.

    While it's true that there is some fat in vegetables (lettuce is 20% calories from fat) not every juice feast program includes many of the vegetables that contain enough of it. Also, the fat in vegetables in different than the fat in nuts or seeds, the same way the protein in nuts and seeds is not the same as the protein in vegetables.

    I didn't gain or lose weight when detoxing heavy metals personally. I felt incredibly, incredibly sick though. I drank some really powerful "wild" juices -- dandelion, burdock root, clover, kale, broccoli, wheatgrass, garlic, leeks -- much of it coming right from the backyard... And it was incredible to suddenly like the taste of cilantro. But yeah, during the actual detox my saliva tasted like metal and my entire body felt wretched. I think I could have done that more delicately and that it would have been much healthier if I had done it over time.

    ~ Raederle

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