Detoxing on a Vegan Diet

Digestive pain plagued me and the toilet became my new best friend. Sharp pain filled my belly until I could only pray that going to the bathroom would make it subside.

I called in sick to work one morning. I was in the bathroom in more pain than ever when my vision started to blur, my hearing became fuzzy and my face was cold. As I sat there, the upper half of my body started to sway and my vision went from blurred to black.

I woke up when my head hit the bathtub.

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Let me back up a couple weeks.

April 13, 2015 : “Today I ate completely raw til 4. I was eating literally all day, just grazing rather than sitting down to have a ‘meal’. I ate over 1,800 calories in fruit: bananas, grapes, dates, mango and my smoothie. I felt bloated most of the day and now I have a bit of a headache.”

That’s a journal entry from one of the early days of my transition to veganism. Before I started, I was mentally prepared to endure the effects of detox from eating a Standard American Diet and had an idea of what to expect.

Detox during my transition from the SAD diet to veganism began with bloating, a small headache and some acne. Nothing debilitating. I told myself, “Stay consistent and push through because the health and clarity on the other side would all be worth it.” I held tight to that throughout the entire month of my detox.

Two weeks into my detox and I was waking up after hitting my head on the tub. Headaches and bloating were the least of my problems.

There’s no doubt that passing out from the pain of detox scared me. More importantly, though, it motivated me even more to get these nasty toxins out of my body for good. After the month of detox that my body endured, I felt energized, happy and on my way to health.

Ridding your body of animal-product toxins is serious business and should not be taken lightly. Your body begins to cleanse your cells, forcing your digestive system and other major organs to flush the toxins out of your body. Symptoms can range from bloating and headaches to acne and digestive pain to fatigue and depression and they can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.

Bloating and stomach pain, and digestive issues as a whole, plague the body as toxins are disturbed from their resting place and carried out of the body. Animal products have zero fiber while plant-based foods are packed with fiber, and this sudden influx can kick-start your digestive system to work at a level it’s never known before. This causes bloating, loose stool, stomach pain and frequent trips to the bathroom.

As all these toxins are racing through your body trying to find a way out, your face may be their exit route causing breakouts. As there become fewer animal-product toxins in your body, your skin will clear up.

Not only are you making a physical change to become vegan, you’re also affecting your emotions. Don’t discount that this is a radical change and your body may react emotionally. Feeling discouraged, fatigued or sad is not uncommon.

Your journey will likely be very different from mine as you endure your own combination of symptoms.

Are you going through a detox? Share your highs and lows in the comments.

14 thoughts on “Detoxing on a Vegan Diet

  1. Interesting experience! Having eaten vegetarian for 5 years, and vegan for 1 now, I wonder if I would experience similar if I tried a raw diet. Hope you’re on the other side now and feeling great every day! 🙂

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    1. I hope you wouldn’t! It’s definitely not a fun experience. Although, I did enjoy it a bit solely for the fact that I knew I was improving my health.
      Yes, I’m on the other side now, free and happy and light. Never ever going back.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a very interesting post and this info is new to me. I cannot categorize myself as vegan as an occasional chicken shawarma or egg is part of my diet but otherwise, it is curried vegetables, veggie salads, and other veggie preparations. Was not aware that detox meant this much. Hope you feel much better than you did before. Thank you for sharing, Rachel.

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  3. Wonderful post 🙂
    I first removed meat, ending with fish (and the industrial waste they contain). Then I systematically dropped all the animal-based products and am now concentrating on eliminating those frankenfoods that mess with your chemical-processing system. We really are all bags of chemicals. IMO gradual change is an important part of overcoming the holy, sanctioned, and never to be questioned meat and meat-byproduct industries.
    Wishing all and each a successful detox!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good for you! It’s amazing what we’ve been tricked into thinking is food. I had an AHA moment a couple years ago when I was reading the label on a processed food item and couldn’t pronounce anything listed. I realized that these ingredients weren’t food. They were chemicals. So eye opening.

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  4. The nutrition label on a “Lunchable” is scary enough without all those unpronounceable chemicals. But it’s the packaging, convenience and marketing that overwhelm. There is a lot of garbage to excrete through each organ of your body, including your skin. The more industrial waste products in your system the more you gain from detoxing, so it is well worth the effort 🙂 Thank you for poweredbymangos. Here is a Lunchable back panel featured on a fellow WordPress blog:

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  5. Hey, Rachel.
    I’m new to veganism and new to your blog, as well, so forgive me if I seem too lost (or lazy to search).
    May I ask how you did your detox? Did you follow a specific diet plan? What’s up with this “raw until 4” hype that I have been seeing everywhere? Is it supposed to help on the detox?
    Right now it’s been 8 days since I last ate animal products. I can feel my body reacting to this change already and it’s not exactly easy. But, like you said, I’m confident that I’ll reap the benefits on the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey there, Lucas!
      First off, welcome to the family. This is the best decision you’ll ever make.
      I ate raw til 4, focusing on lots of fruit during the day and rice, potatoes and pasta in the evening. The concept behind raw til 4 is that raw foods are best for you whether they’re fruits or veggies. Because going completely raw isn’t for everyone, incorporating cooked, high carb foods at night is a good way to finish off the day.
      Detox is completely normal. The best thing for your body right now is to eat clean (not a high fat diet) and make sure you’re eating enough! I can’t tell you how important getting enough calories is.
      Your body will eventually clean out of all those toxins and your symptoms will go away. Just be patient, strong and consistent.
      Thank you for asking. I’m here to answer any other questions you have. Welcome to my blog!

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