Many, if not most people, begin transitioning to a more healthful diet high in raw vegan foods when they are severely ill; some do so when they are attempting to recover from minor nagging illness symptoms; and still others make the change when they are free of symptoms. In all of these conditions, once the body begins to assimilate a higher proportion of health-promoting foods, it initiates detoxification and health-building actions since it is always striving to establish a higher state of wellness.The new, enzymatically-active live raw foods with their nutritious, energizing sugars cause the body to spring into action, utilizing much of its energy in cleaning house: purging debris, shedding old inferior cells, and using the new raw nutrients to build a completely new, healthier body. It is recommended that the transition be made gradually, to avoid triggering the uncomfortable symptoms that can accompany a drastic cleansing process. As long as there is vitality, the opportunity exists for the body to rejuvenate to a far more vigorous level of health. Results are often noticed within 24 hours of beginning a new healthful regimen.Detoxification is a natural process of self-purification which the body carries out at all times, but most aggressively during the early to late morning hours. It is advantageous to eat lightly in the morning. Heavy foods eaten at this time suspend the cleansing process, keeping us toxic, sick, and, in some cases, overweight. The process of “detox” entails: 1. the cells off-loading metabolic wastes and environmental toxins into the bloodstream for filtering by the liver and kidneys for elimination, and 2. the organs of elimination (bowels, kidneys, lungs, skin, vagina) releasing metabolic, environmental and residual food wastes via feces, urine, breath, sweat and menses. Toxins are also expectorated in mucus via the throat and sinuses.Under normal conditions of healthful living and natural diet, the body is able to eliminate metabolic wastes and other environmental pollutants through its normal organs of elimination. However, under chronic excessive bombardment with unnatural dietary fare, environmental pollutants, emotional stress, and/or overeating on even good natural foods, the body’s eliminative capacities are not equal to the task, and a buildup of toxins increases as the days and years go by. This condition, called toxicosis, leads to accelerated aging, fatigue, illness, and, in many cases, to obesity. In this condition of toxicity, which is particularly likely if one has lived on a diet of foods such as cooked meat, dairy, bread, and junk foods, the body harbors sticky and insoluble debris and waste matter on artery and bowel walls, as well as in the bloodstream, tissues, bowels, and organs.Fortunately, the body is a magnificently designed masterpiece of self-regulation and self-healing, always striving to establish and maintain purity and wellness. When a toxic load becomes too dangerous for the body, it intelligently enacts a detoxification/elimination/purging/housecleaning event or phase, manifested by any of these “symptoms”: sore throat, inflammation, fever, skin outbreaks, coated tongue, mucus expectoration, body aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Malodorous body wastes and underarms are signs that toxic putrid fermented matter and acids are being eliminated. During the detoxification phase, many people experience lightheadedness and headaches as the body stirs up and dumps toxins into the bloodstream for processing and elimination. During a thorough detox, unhealthy fat, cysts and even tumors are also broken down (autolyzed) and eliminated. As toxins are stirred up and released, the body relaxes and people also typically experience short-term symptoms of mental-emotional detox: mood swings, depression, sadness, anger, and crying.When the organs of elimination are weak and/or overloaded, the body will resort to eliminating toxins through any convenient outlet it can find: e.g., the eyes, ears, throat, vagina, skin (sweating, rashes and suppurations), sinuses, and scalp. When we experience any of these signs of elimination, we typically feel fatigued and sleepy, as the body is directing much of its energy toward accomplishing the housecleaning. At such times, it is always wise to assist the body by heeding the calls for extra rest and sleep. All of these “symptoms” will diminish and then vanish when the body is sufficiently cleaned out, providing we adhere to a healthful lifestyle regimen.In conjunction with the heightened detoxification action, the body works at repairing any damage, regenerating new cells, rejuvenating and restoring wellness. The repair work mostly occurs when we sleep. When there is damage to be repaired and rejuvenation to be accomplished, the body needs extra sleep. We typically feel weak and need plenty of extra sleep in the beginning stage of the rejuvenation phase. If the toxemia, physical damage, degeneration and emotional distress is severe, this phase may last for weeks or months. It is important to understand that the symptoms of the detoxification and rejuvenation process signify the workings of the awesome rejuvenative power of the body. It will help the process if we appreciate the workings of the body and do everything possible to assist it in its healing processes. We can do this by taking a break or a sabbatical from our normal routines, obtaining plenty of extra sleep and rest–if necessary, complete rest–as well as eating simply, until the work is sufficiently accomplished and we experience new vigor and vitality. It would be ideal to take the sabbatical at a comfortable health center or retreat with fasting supervision, juicing, deep rest and hygiene education.If we persevere through the uncomfortable detox symptoms, get extra sleep and rest when feeling tired or unwell, and resist covering up symptoms with medicines (which only add more toxins to the system), we will arrive at a wonderful state of well being in the quickest time possible, and in the process, we will learn invaluable lessons about how the body works to restore health. Some of the rewards include freedom from illness, sweet smelling breath, no body odors, easy and inoffensive elimination, shinier, thicker hair, clearer eyes and skin, more mental energy and clarity, better memory, more joie de vivre, slimmer belly, no cellulite, greater stamina, deeper connection to spirit, and finding a mutual attraction with healthy, vivacious people like ourselves. Through healthful living practices which keep our bodies clean inside and free of energy-robbing toxic matter, we can ensure a healthier, longer, more vital and youthful life, free ourselves from disease and aging, and tap into the wellspring of joy within.