View Full Version : Low energy - from exercise or from raw?
02-20-2006, 11:27 AM
Hi, all :)
I went 100% raw in mid-January (I'd been 50-80% raw since November) and started exercising at the same time. However, I'm confused. I actually had more energy when I was less raw. I don't know if that's because I wasn't working out much, or because I wasn't detoxing as much, or what.
For the first couple of weeks of lower energy, I assumed it was because I haven't worked out seriously/regularly in about six years (though I've always been athletic). But then I started thinking that my energy levels may have more to do with Raw than with fitness. I had a couple of days where I was so weak, I knew I should just rest.
I've lost a lot of weight on raw that I didn't want to lose, and part of my motivation for exercising is to put it back on (I'm a girl, by the way :)). My muscle mass is pathetic right now, but lifting weights is what makes me so tired - both during exercise and afterwards. Cardio is no problem.
I feel like exercise is almost as important as diet when it comes to health, but I don't know how to approach it right now. Should I just do moderate exercise until my energy levels return? If the body is needing to preserve energy for healing, I probably shouldn't push it - but then it doesn't seem like I'll be able to build muscle mass . . .
How do I know which energy level things are related to Raw, and which are related to exercise? Why did I have more energy on partially Raw? Raw things aside, how hard should a person work out at first when he/she is relatively out of shape?
Thank you so, so much for reading (I know it was long!) and for your replies.
02-20-2006, 12:02 PM
Without knowing what you are actually eating it is hard to determine whether your low energy stems from the food or the activity.
However, from the fact that you are losing weight that you do not want to be losing, I would wonder if you are getting enough food/calories on a daily basis.
Most of us do not anticipate the quantity of leafy greens, fruits and veges we need to eat on a daily basis on a totally raw diet. Fred Patenaude suggests we eat a minimum of 10calories/pounds of our ideal weight a day (for example 150 lbs = 1500 cals). This formula mind you is for a low activity lifestyle if you are getting more activity then you really need more calories. I know some people consume upwards of 3500 calories a day on raw.
Here are a few other questions to ponder...
Are you getting good fats in your diet? Good fats are essential for a woman's body to thrive, avocados, brazil nuts, high quality coconut oil, olives, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, flax oil, hemp oil etc etc etc.
How are you combining your foods? A lot of times the body has an easier time assimilating nutrients when similar foods are combined as opposed to really different ones. General rules of food combining: (I am not an expert on this and wouldn't even pretend to be one, I am sure you can find others here with way way way more experience) never eat melons with anything but themselves, avoid mixing fruits with fats, avoid mixing fruits with starchy vegetables (like carrot/apple juice for example). Leafy greens mix with nearly everything (except melons)
Are you eating heavier meals earlier or later in the day? For example it is often easier for your body to process nuts and fats during the day than to digest them as you sleep overnight.
Are you getting enough leafy green vegetables?
Victoria Boutenko who just came out with her new book Green for Life http://www.rawfamily.com/articles/odetogreen.pdf suggests that intitially we might want to be consuming 2 big bunches (like you buy at the store) of leafy greens a day, give or take depending on how your body feels.
Did you just transition off of caffiene? If yes the body can take some time to adjust from stimulants, it will take a good amount of rest and repair to restore your natural clock.
Hope this is helpful, I will look forward to hearing of your progress.
02-20-2006, 02:50 PM
I have to agree with the above post, it is probably a caloric intake issue. I had the same problem when I went raw. Of coarse you will have detox symptoms. I found that if I increase my calories I can have the energy to workout plus more.
Also, my favorite pre-workout smoothie is bananas/celery and water. Try two very ripe bananas and one stalk of celery...Enough water to blend
If that is gross, try to eat an apple or banana or 2 c. of melon, 30 minutes or so before your workout. then I go for a green smoothie with a banana/4-5 cups of spinach or kale and a fruit of my choice (2 c. of blueberries/mango/strawberries etc. )
Hope this helps. I didn't used to eat before a workout, but on raw, I needed to.
02-20-2006, 04:25 PM
So you became raw 100% in mid Jan.........only a personal opinion, but sounds like your body is making changes internally and alot takes place when you go 100%
I tend to look at health from an eastern perspective integrated with rawhood.
I really think that your body is cleansing and changing......along with that "detox and change", the liver --KING of filtering toxins, is working hard to filter and transport blood when you are working out--you'll notice eyes get tired when you feel sluggish........liver is said to open up thru the eyes. Another reason why folks feel brightened after a colon cleanse. The blood flow of liver has been increased. Spleen is repsonsible for dispersing the energy for the food and liquids and sending the impurified liquids to kidneys to expel.
You are doing nothing wrong. Perhaps give your self a rest day for your organs to catch up and rebuild . Enhancing your liver thru more greens is helpful.
I use castor oil packs, grapefruit oil with jojoba and lemon water for liver/kidneys.
but then again, what is your dail intake? water? my most famous question "HOw are your BM'S???" :D
02-20-2006, 10:54 PM
I think a few of us posted about this in a few other threads....
I had this same expereince in the first few months. I was detoxing and my body need to get used to the change. Stick to it. At 6 months Raw I am not long tired weaker and fatigued. I am full of energy, stronger and I am running harder and longer than I did prior to raw. Give it time, you will be glad yopu did. Worth the wait. :o
02-20-2006, 11:21 PM
Thank you so much for your thorough replies!
To answer your questions, I'm getting a lot of calories each day - at least the 10 cal./lb. of ideal body weight. In addition to fruits and veggies, I eat a lot of sprouted grains, nuts and seeds.
I have a green smoothie as part of my breakfast every morning, and include lots of greens in it.
I eat a fair amount of fat -- much more than I ever ate before raw -- in the form of nuts, seeds, coconut oil and avocado. I don't go overboard, but I do include it in my diet.
I'm conscious of food combining, and I definintely try to follow the "rules" at least 60% of the time. I could do better with it, but I'm not as convinced on the merits of food combining as I am on other things like 100% raw and green smoothies and the like (though if you can convince me, I'm open to it!).
I've eaten a pretty healthy diet for my whole life. SAD, but whole grain/no junk food SAD. Always loved fruit. Never did caffeine or anything.
My bowels movements have been normal for the first time in years (until about two days ago . . . I haven't had one in about two days :(). If I eat tons of greens in one sitting (like, two green smoothies), they take on a greenish cast. I don't think my body can assimilate that many greens yet.
Since the dip in energy, I've also experienced skin eruptions and rashes. I'm thinkin' it's probably detox. The energy isn't what bothers me. It's not bad, really. The skinny thing is the part that I hate! I got even skinnier when I first started raw, before going 100%. That's the main thing if anyone has any insight . . . do you see anything I'm doing that could be detracting from weight gain? I've heard that it's not good to eat extra just to gain weight at the beginning. Your body needs to preserve its energy for detoxing, doesn't it?
The recent thing that's been most confusing is hunger . . . I haven't felt super-hungry in days. I get this feeling that tells me my stomach is empty, but it's not really hunger. If I ignore the feeling, I dont feel more hungry for a really, really long time. If I eat when I feel this way, it feels unnecessary at first, but then once I start eating, I dont feel full for a really, really long time. So basically, I cant tell when Im hungry or when Im full. How do you know when to eat, and when to stop?
Thanks again so much for your replies, and for sticking with me through such long posts! Your encouragment means more to me than you probably know :) I'm very interested to check out that link you posted, rawfigure. All of you who have replied have been a blessing! Thank you for giving your time to help us newbies!
02-20-2006, 11:37 PM
Wow! Just read rawfigure's link, and a lightbulb went off in my head when I got to the part about the green smoothies/alkalizing foods providing tons of "fast recovery" benefits. I've been so fixated on the fast/easy digestion of raw as being what helps the body to heal quickly. I'll definitely be doing even more green smoothies! Thank you so much!
02-21-2006, 09:48 AM
I think you may wanna focus on what you're eating moments BEFORE you exercise and also AFTER you exercise. I'm not sure if you concentrate on those things, but certain things as simple as a banana or even an orange, work wonders when it comes to energy during a workout.
Also, me personally, when i first went raw (a little over a year ago) i was still working out like i still do. I've been working out consistently for years now. But during those first 3-4 weeks the biggest thing i noticed was my apparent "weight loss". For me, it appeared to the physical eye to be a lot more dramatic then it actually was. Many of my friends and family looked at me and thought that i was "sick" or somethin' because it looked like i had lost 10-15 pounds (and i already have a small body type for a male) And i've always been at a healthy weight, never had any weight issues in my life. But what actually happened from my understanding was that there was a re-distribution of body fat. My body fat percentage dropped from about 15 to about 7%. And that's with more or less doing the same workouts; the only difference was the food intake.
When i weighed myself on the scale (back during my first 3-4 weeks) i was down to 139-140, which was only about 5 pounds less than my normal weight before i went raw. And since then i've gained that weight back (with HEALTHY weight this time) and i have no problems at all with energy during workouts.
I would just analyze again, what you eat to prepare for a workout and make sure you replenish yourself afterwards and you should be ok.. I also don't think it's a good idea initially to push it and try to force yourself to workout if you know that you dont' have the energy to at the time ( I need to take this same advice! )
Hope that helps.. ;)
02-21-2006, 02:22 PM
That's interesting that you should mention the before- and after-workout snack. I've been trying to figure that very thing out! I have several questions about this topic, so I think I'll ask them in another thread.
Also, the redistribution of body fat idea is an intriguing one . . . I've begun to see that happen somewhat, and it confirms what I know will eventually happen - I will lose fat in the gross areas and fill out more evenly all over (I've always been thin, and actually wouldn't mind a bit more overall fat on my frame).
Thanks for your reply! I can tell it's spurring me on to the answers :)
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