View Full Version : Vegan Fatigue!
07-22-2006, 02:44 PM
First of all forgive the length of this post. I can't seem to explain my question in a shorter format.
I've attempted going Vegan multiple times in my life and each and every time I do fine for about 6-8 weeks at which time I am overcome by fatigue. When I say fatigue I don't mean just a little tired. I mean overwhelming almost can't get out of bed, something is really wrong here fatigue. The last time I can remember driving to work telling myself that if I could just make it through the day I would go to bed the minute I got home that night! Each time this has happened I begin by eating eggs and within 2 or 3 days I'm feeling so much better that I decide that being a vegan isn't for me.
Flash forward to raw food. Please understand that my "normal diet" is at least 80% raw fruits and veggies with 3-6 ounces of fish or chicken a day along with small servings of whole grains and occasionally eggs. So last November after learning of her web site and reading Alissa's book I decided to give Raw a chance thinking that it might make a difference in the fatigue thing.
In the beginning it did and the high energy lasted longer than it ever did with cooked vegan foods but darn if I didn't eventually get that exhausted feeling again at which point I ended up adding back in small amounts of cooked animal protein.
I recently bought a used copy of Alissa's dvd and I've been watching it and I admit that I love the concept of raw and I love the taste of raw. If I could only figure out how to beat that darn fatigue that sets in around week 10-12.
Thanks for any info or advice you can provide.
07-22-2006, 02:53 PM
It seems like you're not pushing through the fatigue. Each time you go back to the other foods your body is so desperately trying to detox. This happened to me (not the animal products, but fatigue) After 3 months of raw I had about 3 weeks of fatigue, but then it's getting better slowly each day. You have to just ride with it and push throuh. Are you having enough calories and balanced diet with raw?
07-22-2006, 03:07 PM
Thanks for the fast reply. I honestly did try to push through the fatigue. I guess my post made it sound like I jumped right back into cooked protein but I actually didn't. It was only when it got to the point where I was fatigued to the point of not being able to do normal activities that I succumbed to an egg. (sounds funny doesn't it?) Once I almost fell asleep at the wheel in the middle of the day!
As for calories, I think I was eating plenty. I hadn't lost any weight and I really didn't need to lose much if any weight so I think I was ok there. I also wasn't allowing myself to go hungry. If I was hungry I ate.
Please don't think I'm throwing up roadblocks here. I'd really like to do this otherwise I wouldn't keep trying it over and over. If I could even lighten that period of fatigue enough to plow through it I think it would make a huge difference.
07-22-2006, 03:11 PM
-I agree with the above great posts.
-I think YOU need to determine what kind of food YOU think is right for you in the long run.....and concentrate on eating that....and moving toward that.....for a long enough period of time to evaluate how it really makes you feel.
-Keep in mind that the higher your percentage of raw....the more sensitve you will be to crap (just my opinion). If you are still eating cooked.....and/or your habits were quite bad in the past.....then you may have long periods where you are tired.....or wired........you just have to decide what you want.....and accept responsibility and the consequences for getting there.
07-22-2006, 03:19 PM
I didn't expect a lecture. I do accept the responsibility for what I eat. I have eaten at least 75% RAW food for over 10 years - just coincidentally. I don't eat junk. I don't eat processed food. Exercise regularly.
I was simply looking for a supplement or combination of foods that might help lift this overwhelming fatigue I feel at the 10-12 week mark or perhaps someone who had experienced this and was able to move through it someway.
I'm sorry but when you wake up and your car is headed off the road because you're so exhausted despite having 10 hours of sleep no amount of resolve or responsibility is going to make it safe to drive in that state.
If anyone else has any positive advice I'd be happy to hear it but honestly you can save the lectures.
07-22-2006, 03:34 PM
how much fruit do you eat? It seems to me that when I eat mostly fruit, especially watermelon or bananas and get my greens through green smoothies, I get more energy.
07-22-2006, 03:37 PM
Hi. I am new around here. I joined looking for advice and support. I know exactly what you are talking about. The last time I tried this i fell asleep at work. I literally dozed and fell off of my stool so I know you are serious. I would love to be a raw vegan so if someone has figured this one out please let us know.
07-22-2006, 03:49 PM
Kitty thank you for your response. I was eating what I thought was a large amount of fruit but after watching the first part of Allisa's video, maybe I wasn't eating enough fruit. I was and am basically eating it for breakfast but eating it until I was full. It was nothing to have 4 bananas or even three apples for breakfast. I still eat fruit for breakfast but maybe I need to eat more of it throughout the day.
tgaski2 thank you so much for understanding and for posting. It helps to know that someone out there knows what I'm talking about. Do you initially feel energized and then begin to feel tired or did you feel tired right from the start? I feel an incredible amount of energy in the beginning and when that fatigue hits it's like I've just run into a wall. If anyone marathons it's actually worse than the wall you can hit on a 20+ mile run.
07-22-2006, 03:52 PM
Hi, I am also new to this site. I read Victoria Boutenko's book called 'Green for life' in which she states that she also became very tired after being raw vegan for a long period of time. She said that once she started drinking green smoothies, the change has been enormous. She now has her energy back and doesn't experience this fatigue anymore. Something you could maybe try to increase in you daily routine... :)
Beepollen and honey have helped me through the first period of fatigue and adjustment, when I started my raw journey about 2 months ago (I only needed them a short amount of time and then the craving for it just stopped). They are not vegan though. Before that it was spirulina tablets (Marcus Rohrer has good quality and affordable ones), which are packed with protein amongst others, when I just started eating raw (I used to eat meat and fish before that), I had these daily until suddenly felt I didn't need them anymore. Also seaweed, you wouldn't believe the amount of raw nori rolls and salads with seaweedmix I ate those days (once or twice a day). And that also subsided. At the moment, I'm around week 10 too I guess, I also experience fatigue and at the moment automatically crave honey and beepollen again, so I listen to that. I also think about fish again, but hope the beepollen will take care of that and perhaps some extra adjustments in the way I eat.
When I started going raw, I didn't have the intention to become a vegetarian or vegan, so occasionally I had some fish or a bit of meat. But as time passed, I also became more and more drawn to a vegetarian lifestyle again (I have been a strict vegetarian for about nine years earlier in life, so it isn't new to me). And now veganism seems gesturing me, although I'm not totally ready for that yet, but am willing to make adjustments slowly. One step at a time...
Maybe wheatgrass juice is also an option. I'm thinking about that myself. It seems to be one of the most amazing superfoods, fully absorbed by your body in 20 minutes and very good for your energy. I've heard so many good things about it, allthough I've come to understand it doesn't taste good. Some people even get 'high' from it, from that, and green juices. I didn't want to go on this road because you have to grow the wheatgrass yourself etc and I'm going to a foreign country for a long time, so I didn't want to buy all the stuff right now (I also hoped that a normal, simple raw diet would give me enough energy in time, so I don't have to do complicated stuff). And with the juicing, you need a juicer of course and so many vegetables for one glass... Personally, I don't want to become dependend on stuff you cannot easily eat just like that, or can't get somewhere when you are traveling (like the wheat grass) and I don't think it's necessary. However, in periods of fatigue, I think the body can use a helping hand.
Well, I'm babbling... Hope this information can be of help, thnx for starting this thread, because I was thinking about this energy issue too the last couple of days.
07-22-2006, 04:06 PM
Thanks Protea and Judy,
I do have the book "Eating without Heating" and will check out the smoothie recipes, will also check Alissa's book.
Judy, like you I really want to keep this simple. It just fits my busy lifestyle better. Funny thing about fish, chicken and eggs - I don't enjoy them all that much. Just can't stand feeling like the walking dead.
I really appreciate this input. At least I feel like I have some options to try if and when I get smacked in the face with that feeling again.
07-22-2006, 04:16 PM
I am also in the TIRED stage while running after two small kids - whew! I have found keeping hydrated helps along with very green smoothies throughout the day.
When I really need something more but i am not nessasarily hungry I have my orange Julius. There is something in this combo that really works:
07-22-2006, 04:22 PM
I think that eating lighter does help...at times. But if it's a form of cleansing/detoxing that the body needs to go through, it seems that no matter what you eat, you are more than likely going to just have to go through it. Each time you go back to eating something cooked in order to "alleviate" it, it just means ending up going through it once again whenever you decide to let those cooked (or animal-based) items go again.
Another thing to consider is how are your BM's and digestion? I know that for me, personally, that was a BIG issue with me. I know it's a controversial issue, but I did enemas in the beginning stages to help with getting toxins out of me because I had SUCH poor bowel movements and digestion prior to going raw. I know that eventually eating raw would have cleaned me out, but it's what I felt I needed to do for me at the time and as far as I'm concerned, it helped...helped with the fatigue, helped with the headaches I used to get frequently and helped "get things moving".
So I guess what I'm saying is, if digestion is slow for you, it's something to consider during those times when you get so bogged down.
I also wanted to add that I didn't think DavidMason was trying to lecture you...from reading his past posts he's very oftentimes come across with a very laid-back mindset as far as going raw...his posts often say, "Go raw at YOUR own pace"..."Eat the percentage of raw YOU feel most comfortable with and not what any gurus tell you should eat"...stuff like that. That's kinda the message I felt he was conveying to you when I read it...eat what makes you happy/feel good...but be aware that there may be consequences to face from those choices later down the line (such as the fatigue you get when you try and give those items up).
Also, during those times when the fatigue hit you the hardest, consider trying to add more rest into your day by perhaps going to bed earlier (if at all possible, that is), resting ANY chance you get during the day or, when those times hit, monitor what you are eating and if you see that you're eating a lot of nuts or other fattier foods, cut back on or eliminate them and just do lighter fruits and light salads only until it passes.
I'm sure you will work through it and eventually find a solution that works for you!
07-22-2006, 04:32 PM
.... monitor what you are eating and if you see that you're eating a lot of nuts or other fattier foods, cut back on or eliminate them and just do lighter fruits and light salads only until it passes.
I'm sure you will work through it and eventually find a solution that works for you!
Wow! I think you may have hit on at least part of the problem. I was eating a ton of nuts! I kept thinking that maybe I needed more calories. Kind of silly really when I knew I wasn't losing weight. I just never thought to lighten up my diet.
Also, my apologies to DavidMason for my snarfy reply to his post. I can see where I misinterpreted his meaning.
Thanks much for the insight! I will take all suggestions to heart.
07-22-2006, 05:27 PM
No problem! I apologize! The 'D' is for Didactic! LOL. :)
07-22-2006, 05:43 PM
Tee42. I felt more energied for like the first three days and then I felt very tired. It lasted for weeks but I stuck it out. I figured hey I'm on vacation so what's the big deal about a nap at 1pm. I am off the raw diet now. I am currently in Barbados for three weeks and grocery shopping here proved too challenging for me. Stick it out as best as you can. It seems like there is a lot of support too. Maybe the eating light suggestion will work. I for one ate a lot of nuts on a daily basis. When I get home I won't make that mistake. Believe me I can't wait to get home to try it. I have the worst headaches and the worst skin erruptions since eating cooked food again. It makes me sad but I simply cannot afford produce here. I didn't expect that it would be harder and more expensive to come by in a tropical paradise so I left home unprepared. I will certainly be looking to you guys for guidance when I get home again. Let me know how it goes Tee!
07-22-2006, 05:53 PM
Hmmm on my high raw and 100% raw days I find that fruit throughout he day is necessary for improved management of my blood sugar.
I use to be a big yeast roll addict, sometimes eating 3-4 at lunch with a salad. My blood sugar would rise and plumet like clock work and then I'd need a "protein" bar laced in sugar and chocolate to make it thru the day.
Now I consume a mid afternon orange followed by a serving of nuts and I feel fabulous until supper.
I've even enjourd a mid afternoon drink of juiced carrots and oranges and felt wonderful again.
07-22-2006, 05:56 PM
Hi, I am also new to this site. I read Victoria Boutenko's book called 'Green for life' in which she states that she also became very tired after being raw vegan for a long period of time. She said that once she started drinking green smoothies, the change has been enormous. She now has her energy back and doesn't experience this fatigue anymore. Something you could maybe try to increase in you daily routine... :)First, bear in mind that Victoria didn't/doesn't exercise much (she's the first to admit this). Secondly, it's a great suggestion to add in a green smoothie or two each day. Many people experience a surge in energe from it, including raw runners. I don't have the fatigue issue myself and don't notice green smoothies giving me any extra energy, thank goodness!
Other than this, I'm hesitant to try giving you specific advice without knowing you and seeing a week or two of a food and exercise diary.
07-22-2006, 06:19 PM
I had the same experience!!! I was blasted with 2 weeks of dreaded exhaustion - while I remained raw and vegan - it was a tough road....eventually I couldn't take it anymore and turned to the board for some advice and support....WOW - I was amazed at all the wonderful advice I got!! For me what seemed to really help was adding a shot of wheatgrass everyday - The stuff is something else -and takes a bit of getting used to - but for me it worked WONDERS!!!
I hope you hang in there and feel better and energized soon!!
07-22-2006, 09:31 PM
I agree that cutting down on the fats would be a great thing for you to try. They make a lot of people sluggish and tired. Try to only have them at night when it won't matter as much if you get tired afterwards. Since simplifying my diet and reducing my fat intake I've found that I'm even tired the next day after having more fat than the small amounts I usually eat.
Also, many people experience fatigue as a symptom of detox. Your fatigue could be detox related, but I'd try cutting the fats first. :-)
07-22-2006, 11:04 PM
Nuts are awsome but they can totally sap you.
I don't think anyone here has anything but good intentions and we are all different so take everyone at face value with a grain of salt (celtic or hymilayn of course).
Information is the ticket and hopefully something can be discovered for you to be able to remain eating the way you feel best and still have LOTs of energy.
Hang in there :)
07-22-2006, 11:16 PM
I only have one word: WHEATGRASS! I have had chronic fatique issues and it totally works!
07-22-2006, 11:58 PM
i haven't read the other responses, so if i repeat something ignore me.
i'm not 100% raw, and though it's something i aspire to be 80%ish is where i'm most comfortable right now. one thing i've noticed, however, as i've tweaked my raw diet over the past year (i've been 100% at times) is that i have a LOT more energy when the majority of my raw diet comes from mostly veggies and seeds, with little fruit (with the exception of bananas...those are energy lifesavers after a long ride or run). since going back to completely vegan and 80ish% raw a few weeks ago (i'm making a slow transition to completely raw and allowing my innerself to decide when i'm ready) i've noticed an incredible spike in my energy...and since doing so my diet has been almost completely: carrots, bananas, sesame seeds, various oils (sunflower, hemp, olive, etc.), peppers, hummus, sprouted grains, cucumbers, celery, lettuces.
on this "new" veggie-focused raw diet (as opposed to my fruitarian raw diet beforehand) i'm able to wake up around 8, work on my feet for 8.5 hours a day (i work at a bicycle shop and am up/down ladders constantly), ride 15-40 miles a day, and then spend time with my boyfriend until midnight or so, rather than crashing after 7 hours like i used to when i lived almost exclusively on fruit.
i guess what i'm trying to say is maybe mess around with your diet a bit...include more veggies and energy-filled seeds/nuts. i know fruits are often more tempting (and still wonderful for you), but maybe your body's craving the protein and fat in other foods
good luck :)
07-23-2006, 01:52 AM
A good vegan source for protein would be chlorella and spirulina. They are both 60-70% protein. Your body might require more protein than right now.
07-23-2006, 06:51 AM
I havn't had a chance to read all the replies, but I'd like to add something. Having a lot of nuts and fats can slow digestion and cause fatigue in people (including me). If you want more calories do it through fruit, not just for breakfast. Try different ways to do raw; all fruit, no sweet fruit, mostly greens (smoothies), vegetables, no veggies, ect. Just try to listen to your body, but every time you eat animal protein you'll just have to start that detox over each time.
07-23-2006, 07:37 AM
eatyourbroccoli...what do you usually eat in a day....
07-23-2006, 08:34 AM
I feel great and have more energy when using algae, earth's first food, at the bottom of the food chain. I have eaten algae for 25 years. I use superbluegreen algaes from celltech and have regularly for 10 or 15 years, before that I ate spirulina and chlorella, then when the superblue was found changed to that because it is raw and grows in a pristine mountain lake with deep volcanic sediment in the bottom, so it contains the full spectrum of minerals and nutrients that may not be in our soils anymore. If you want to know more, email me personally as I am a distributor. Virginia
07-23-2006, 12:44 PM
Exactly, eatyourbroccoli, you got it the empirical way. :)
There are different types of fatigue on a low-calorie diet, where you burn your own tissue fat for months. Most common, I think, are connected to water- and mineraldeficit in combination with acidified tissues.
The latter can happen during a long-term lipolysis, breakdown of tissue fat to (triglycerides, free fatty acids to formation of ) glucose. A by-product, as an example, is the hepatic production of ketone bodies (an sensitive nose can smell buturate and acetone in your breath), sometimes to much with an acidosis. Tired liver - tired body.
Not only detox, but retox(ification) arises from an unbalanced metabolism under physiological stress as fastening or starvation. There are several more acid formation mechanisms. But this stuff is of minimal practical value for us, even for a clinical MD. Only the end result is of interest: What can we do?
Fruits are alkaline, but only after the burning in the powerplant of the cells, the mitochondria. Primary they are acidifying. One of the purposes of fruit acids is to prevents animals from eating them before the seeds are matured. When the fruit ripens, they develope small amounts of alcohols which neutralize the acids to produce esters, those highly aromatic, bouquet-giving paradise compounds we love the fruits for.
Most of us eat our fruits un-ripened, because we really don't know the taste of a ripen fruit. I bet you eat your bananas yellow...
A ripe banana has brown spots, wait for them, Buy your bananas green or green-yellow and hang them up --- bunches in different ripeness stages.
I understand from the thread What did you eat today? that most your guys are on a high-fruit low calorie diet. Green leaves have complimentary minerals to fruits. Chlorophyll is based on magnesium. Calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc are the top of the anti-fatigue iceberg. Muscles need calcium to tighten and magnesium to relax. Minerals/elements are important.
Improve your stuff with at least green leaves daily the minerals.
Eat your fruit ripe - to avoid primary acidifying and mineral disturbances.
Drink water - good on a weightloosing diet.
Don't give up!
When you reach your ideal weight and have balanced your raw-vegan food you are on a luxurious, sumptuous cruiser.
07-23-2006, 02:00 PM
Loads of information to think about but the thing that jumps out at me the most is the amount of fat I was taking in.
I'm thinking that I may just use Alissa's book and go through 4 weeks using her recipes as she lays them out and adding fruit and veggies as needed. If that goes well I may just start over at week 1 and do the whole 4 weeks again. I'll keep careful tabs on how I'm feeling up to that point and if I'm feeling great I may just jump back in at week 1 and do another round. Some might say that's a boring plan but I can't imagine that the menus she lists in her book would be less than adequate and I can always sub a similar recipe for one listed if I'm feeling totally at loose ends. When and if the fatigue hits I'll reassess and ask for additional help if I need it at that point.
Thanks to everyone!
07-25-2006, 03:18 AM
I had the same enormous fatigue set in too. I craved protein like you too, and was a frequent meat eater before going raw. At first I had the feeling of overwhelming well-being and energy while feeling tired and lousy from detox (concurrently- weird I know, but I can't explain it). I stoppped being raw for three weeks, and am now back to being raw for about two months. Hemp is the main difference for me right now, and I find it not only takes care of my meat/egg cravings, but my energy too. I eat it plain and eat a varied raw diet too with lots of greens, or green smoothies and fruit and veg. etc Another thing I've found that gives me profound energy is carrot, celery, apple juice.
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