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A Beginner’s Guide to the Raw Food Diet

The human body has an amazing, self-healing capacity that only requires a healthy diet to maintain continued health and vitality. Sadly, the Standard American Diet of meat, dairy products and processed foods weakens the body’s natural self-healing mechanisms, which greatly increases your risk of developing chronic disease. On the other hand, a mostly raw food diet supplies the amount and quality of nutrients the body most needs to maintain optimal health and long life.

When just starting out on a mostly raw food diet, it helps to know what kinds of challenges you may be in for, such as meat withdrawal symptoms, sugar withdrawal, and hunger pangs, so you don’t get discouraged along the way. Knowing how to manage your eating as the body gets used to the new diet is half the battle. The Hallelujah Diet goes a long way toward eliminating these challenges, allowing you to settle into a lifestyle of healthy eating habits.

What Is a Mostly Raw Food Or Plant Based Diet Diet?

Raw foods, such as fruits, veggies, seeds, and nuts, contain a host of natural vitamins and nutrients. A raw food diet makes the most of these vital materials by combining them in ways that reinforce the nutritional benefits each nutrient has to offer. In other words, eating an apple a day may be good for your health, but combining it with other raw foods that reinforce the nutritional benefits of the apple helps the body better extract and use its available nutrients.

word cloud of toxins in everyday foodRaw foods also contain something that cooked, processed and refined foods lack: living enzymes. Enzymes play a vital role in helping to break down food into materials the body can use. Cooking and processing typically involve heat, which destroys enzyme materials. For this reason, raw foods only include foods cooked below 116 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Ultimately, a raw food diet consists of whole, unadulterated foods, which are the most nourishing of all foods.

While switching from the Standard American Diet of meat, unhealthy fats, refined sugars, and processed grains is the very best thing you can do for your health and longevity, your body may go through an uncomfortable transition period until it gets used to going without unhealthy foods. Meat withdrawal symptoms, in particular, may develop, depending on how prominent a role meat played in your eating habits. Not to worry! The right raw food diet can minimize these discomforts, which is one of the things that makes the Hallelujah Diet so effective.

Possible After-Effects When Making the Switch to a Mostly Raw Food Diet

Meat withdrawal symptoms, sugar withdrawal, and even psychological withdrawal symptoms may develop as your body clears out the toxins left behind from years of unhealthy eating. While sugar can be addictive, in and of itself, meat contains large amounts of toxic substances, such as growth hormones, antibiotics, and unhealthy fat. Years of meat-eating leaves the body in a weakened state, creating chronic inflammation throughout, as well as increasing your risk for developing chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

When making the switch to a mostly raw food diet, the first three to four days can be the most difficult in terms of withdrawal symptoms. Each person’s body reacts differently, with some people experiencing little to no discomfort, while others may have on-and-off periods of withdrawal over the first three weeks. Knowing what your body is going through ahead of time can help you better stay the course. Withdrawal symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Crankiness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Cravings
  • Anxiousness
  • Feeling gassy
  • Change in bowel movements

How the Hallelujah Diet Helps Decrease Detox Discomfort

salad with colorful array of vegetablesAlong with managing meat withdrawal symptoms and other uncomfortable after-effects, you’ll also want to make sure you’re consuming enough calories on a daily basis. While raw foods are, no doubt, nutrient-packed, calorie counts can run low. Low-calorie meals can leave you feeling hungry shortly thereafter. For these reasons, the Hallelujah Diet incorporates a small percentage of cooked, plant-based foods into your daily menu plan.

In addition to 85 percent raw foods, the Hallelujah Diet includes 15 percent of cooked foods, such as whole grain pastas, steamed vegetables, and beans, along with a range of other food choices as part of a healthy eating lifestyle. These types of foods not only leave you feeling full but also help decrease most if not all of the uncomfortable, detox symptoms that develop when switching to a plant-based diet. When you feel full, you’re less likely to be tempted by cravings for unhealthy foods and more likely to stay the course as your body adapts to your new diet.


  1. Vicky Rose April 3, 2019

    There is so much talk about lectins and how seeds are the worst culprits – that would leave out tomatoes and cucumbers just to begin with. Not to mention that legumes are included in avoiding lectins. Can you speak to this? Is this something to be concerned about?

  2. Connie April 6, 2019

    I like the vegetables that are pictured in this blog. When vegetables are fresh and colorful they provide a lot more incentive to eat them. That is why I like to purchase food from the farmer’s market that is in season and sometimes harvested the same day I purchase it. It is fresh and nutritious. This morning I purchased asparagus. This is the best time of year to eat asparagus because it is fresh. I also bought baby kale, spinach, turnips and a combination of leafy salad greens. I purchased many these vegetables directly from the farmers (or their spouses) who grew them. Last week my friends loved the rainbow swiss chard I served them and wondered why it tasted so good. It is because I purchased it fresh from the farmer! That makes all the difference if you want good taste and nutrition.

    • Melody Hord April 9, 2019

      I agree. Organic food that was picked the morning you purchase it tastes so much better.

  3. Angela M Solomon April 9, 2019

    This is great information to have as a person is adjusting from the Standard American Diet over to the Hallelujah Diet. Our bodies will detox and go through changes. It is great to know some of the changes to expect from this transition.

  4. Annette Whitworth April 17, 2019

    This was some good information. Some great tips for a person when they want to start with eating more healthier. Some of the systoms listed above when you start to change your diet, I hear so many people say they go through those. I do suggest to them that they should continue with the plan and drink more water to get started as well. Thanks again

  5. Awesome.

  6. Jodi Davis February 18, 2021

    Dietary I see very I.portant

  7. Great article. It’s amazing how much good a plant based diet can do for our bodies.

  8. Transitioning to a mostly raw, plant-based diet is beneficial to most anyone. There is a real possibility that a person will experience some type of detox in the beginning, but the symptoms will vary from person to person depending on the toxicity of their body. It’s definitely worth making the change!

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