Lack of energy

Hello dear readers of this topic,

Nearly two months ago (01-01-10) I started a 100% raw vegan diet (and tried with less success the 80/10/10 thing). After the first days I felt an increase in energy which was great seeing that was my main purpose with the diet. However, these last two weeks I've not been very energetic (sometimes quite ok, sometimes like a bad day before I started). Obviously it could just be a little flu or just me being overworked and needing a holiday (or still detox..?). However, seeing this is about the time I expected possible defficiencies to arise, that is a significant option in my mind.

Would anyone know what nutrient I could be missing, if any? My usual meal contains oranges, mandarins, kiwi's, tomato's, apples, pears, a lot of bananas and usually grapes. Then I also blend a different vegetable (preferably greens) each day together with bananas and either strawberries, blueberries or raspberries. Occasionally I eat grapefruits, pineapples, mellons or mango's. I eat some nuts almost dayly (usually cashews), seeds only rarely and I supplement only B-vitamins (for B12).

Maybe more experienced raw foodists on this forum instantly see something that I'm missing? That would be really helpful indeed!

Kind regards,



  • edited August 6

    Hey. This can be really frustrating. I went through it too back in 2007. I kept thinking, "UGH WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?" I believe that I was going through a much more intense detox rather than just a light headache here and there.. like my body was thinking "okay this is it this is how it's going to be, fine I'll give up the junk." By increasing my physical activity and getting more sunshine it faded in about a month for me. I broke out pretty bad during this time. Blemishes from who knows when started coming up from deep within my pores. Awful... but well worth it. Once everything cleared up I was golden.

    How many calories do you think you are getting a day? Is it enough for your height/weight/activity requirements? It seems to me like you are getting just what you need by what you are eating. How are your sleeping patterns? I recently gave up fats and am getting a max of 10 percent a day and am going through a whole different kind of detox and feel really tired too :( .. stick with it. I don't know if I helped answer anything but it seems to me like you're getting all the foods you need variety wise. At least now since I commented this thread will be up on the main page.. I am sure answers will come flowing in now :D



  • M42M42

    Hello Ketrin,

    Thanks a lot for your story; very inspiring to go on for a while :-)

    As for the sleeping pattern - I'm trying to get up earlier and (especially) at more constant times. When going to bed at night I'm unusually restless, itchy and it can take me up to an hour to get to sleep (for me that's unusual) which too started about two weeks ago. I guess the getting up earlier thing could have a role in the tiredness too, though my total sleep time is about the same...

    A little extra detail. The tiredness feels like, I want to do things but I don't have the energy too. It's not a total repulsion towards doing anything; I just don't have the energy. I also don't really feel I'm extremely irritable, something that happens if I'm tired frm not sleeping for a night or something like that... It feels a little different, I hope my explanation is somewhat understandable.

    Kind regards,


  • M42, I think there are lots of possibilities here like needing more calories or that you're detoxing. Just want to raise another possibility that I never would have considered unless I went through it myself. ;) Not only did I realize that I had some food allergies once I gave up gluten, dairy, soy, etc a couple years ago, I also found that I still have a leaky gut that allows new sensitivities to come up if I eat a particular food too often. For instance, I developed a corn allergy last year, prior to going more raw (I sometimes ate corn tortillas or gluten-free flours or breads that contained corn).

    There are 2 reasons your post made me bring this up. One is that you are eating some foods that are more allergenic than others, like strawberries, tomato, and pineapple. The other is that it sounds like you are having a bit of the yo-yo effect on your energy (better one day, then worse the next) which could be due to the foods you are eating on particular days. I have been keeping a food diary for the last couple years, and it helps a lot in pinpointing trigger foods since it takes about 36-48 hours for me to have a reaction, which is usually fatigue and brain fog (unable to concentrate or think analytically very well). I was diagnosed with MS so sometimes those symptoms come back too, like tingling or numbness in my hands and feet. I'm also having my first ELISA test next week, which will help me determine if I'm starting to react to anything that I'm currently eating - the IgE antibodies eventually disappear when you avoid the food long enough so the test really only applies to foods currently in your diet.

    Anyways, just thought I'd throw that out there as something to consider! HTH

  • ktkt

    i would replace the cashews with either almonds, brazil nuts or pumkin seeds

  • M42M42

    Hello freewitheft and kt,

    Thanks for the ideas. I'll try to keep track of foods and energy/clarity for a while to see to see if I find any relationship. It may also help to find defficiencies and check total calories (though I think that's fine... I eat a lot, I'm rarely hungry and I don't lose much weight). Also useful to know what the timespan for reactions roughly is.

    I'll replace the cashews with other nuts(/seeds); they are too addicting to have around anyway. Possibly it makes the 10% fat thing easier as well :-)

    Thanks everyone!


  • yah that'a a good idea.. keep a diary (everytime I write that I think did I spell that right or did I type dairy lol) of all the food you consume, energy levels before and after the food, sleep patters, and if you do exercise that too. Maybe then you can figure out what is causing the low energy. :D good luck!!


  • I would begin incorporating new foods. Sprouted garbanzo beans(chickpeas), red clover sprouts, flax, wheatgrass, etc. Its, cheap easy, and more nutritious per pound than spinach. I recommend researching sprouting. Read the Sproutman book, its great. Also, your body needs more greens than you are consuming. Have you noticed teeth sensitivity? Your high intake of fruit needs to be balanced with greens. Kale, chard, spinach romaine, etc, LARGE quantities daily. For info on this subject, I read Green for LIfe. Its awesome.

  • This is a little different from what everyone else said, but do you think you are eating too much? I find that if I overeat on a day my energy goes down a lot..... like I just want to lay around and not do anything if I eat a really big portion of anything. It seems like you're eating really awesome stuff, though! So kudos on that!

  • I think you're possibly eating too many different types of food per day and should mono meal.

  • M42M42

    Thanks for the replies everyone!

    I'm eating much fewer cashews now, I eat the suggetsed other nuts in their place but not as many. Eating few nuts and especially less cashews seems to work nicely.

    About the over- or undereating I was wondering.. is simply being or not being hungry a proper indication of having had enough calories? Or should I really calculate it every day?

    For the greens; I haven;t noticed anything wrong with my teeth myself, but my dentist wasn't so happy so I guess something is wrong (well he was probably was happy because he earns money if my teeth are bad, but he said they weren't are they should be). I have read Green for Life and it's a good book, I'm drinking green blends but probably too few...

    I'll try to get the book about sprouting for som variety in foods. With a little luck it even saves money which would be welcome. And it should help with the calories if I get too few of those.

    I'll also try to drink more (that was already my plan but I'll have to try harder) and eat more the same foods on a day, also makes things easier ^^

    Thanks for all the input!


  • edited August 6

    It's likely that you aren't getting enough calories. I have to eat a lot of raw food every day, I mean a lot. Occasonally I can feel I'm lagging and when I eat I get my energy back. When people start eating a raw food diet they don't realize how much they really need to eat. Eat a lot more fruit and salads and actually anything considerd raw to get more calories. AND more often throughout the day. I eat many times throughout the day. I've been all raw for ten years--- cured my breast cancer with raw foods and juicing.


  • Hello,

    I would like to suggest trying putting hemp seed in your raw intake. Seeds and sprouts are really full of energy, and I use them allot in my raw preparations. You seem to be lacking a longer term energy source - fruits are great but they are a fast burn. That's why raw foodists who eat mostly fruit are eating fruit all the time. It makes sense too that a seed, would be packed with energy as it would have to grow a whole tree! Even chocolate is a seed!

    I had a couple of guests come to the Waterfall Villas, Costa Rica in Jan. and they brought me a tub of hemp seed from Canada, They were here at the retreat for 18 days all raw food, and also told me their AMAZING testimonial with pictures! You could hardly believe these were the same people - LOL! They had enough energy buzz to light me on fire to start experimenting with hemp seed in various pates... and my favorite hemp dish is Mark Russel's wilted kale salad - that is the most awesome salad - and everyone loves it here at the villas, and the more hemp seed the better. But you really have to make it exactly as specified to get the best results. Hemp seed in a vita mix gets very sticky, so I mix it in whole after the blending of the other ingredients - that;s how I like it. Now there is also this Mila seed I just heard about too that is a super food. I have yet to try that.

  • M42M42

    Hello nurse and Fateh,

    Thank you for your feedback. I ordered a book about sprouting a few days ago (it hasn't arrived yet) to help me get started with that. Most likely that will help both in getting more calories and in introducing more seeds. Also I will try to add more greens, but that's more for general health than for energy.

    I should say that overall I'm already more quite a bit more energetic than when I made the first post, though it is possible I sleep a bit more. I think eating more calories, less nuts/fat, improved food combining and timing and more drinking (water of course) has really helped. I also started using MSM which has had beneficial effects, but I don't think it has to do with energy much. I have a feeling it can get better though, and I'd love to need less sleep, so I'll keep trying.

    Kind regards,


  • up your greens

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