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Raw and working out

Hi everyone, first post! :)

I've been testing raw food for little over a month, still eating some cooked foods now and then and using some non-raw ingrements. I've felt good, having more energy in normal living and felt . I've lost ~6 kgs during my raw period, and same time feels like I've lost muscle strength, working out haven't been as good as before. I mainly do some pushups and stuff like that (nothing too extreme :) ), I can't do them as much as before, and feel also that recovering from exercise is taken more time, muscles ache more :). I think it is that I don't have enough energy doing the exercises or I don't get enough protein? I do my exercises couple of times a week, but would like to start doing more exercises, swimming, yoga and so on, but afraid I will lose even more weight. I wouldn't like to lose more than I have. I guess previously my mine source for energy was pasta, potatos, beans and soya products.

Before I started eating more raw foods, after the exercise I drank protein shake (soya protein, bananas, berries and so on). I've tried doing same kind of shake after the exercise, using nuts&seeds&ground hempseed as protein source.

My daily menu is usually something like this:


Smoothie (nuts, banana, ground hempseed, frozen berries)

Fruits (usually one apple)

Little flaxseed oil


Mixed salad, using sprouted seeds and beans, nuts and seeds, lettuce, other vegetables, some pates, some sauce, maybe olive oil or avocados.


Usually same kind salad, maybe try variate a bit about what vegetables to use.

Evening snack

Fruits and dried fruits

I've been thinking increasing my calories, maybe using sprouted/soaked grains (maybe spelt or millet) and eating more dried fruits. Any other good source for calories (which don't have much fat). And maybe making two or three smoothies per day.

Other suggestions?


  • RawKarenRawKaren Raw Newbie

    Welcome. Try eating more sweet whole fruits, not dried. Bananas are great.

  • Try green smoothies for breakfast. If you pack them full of greens, you will get a lot of protein.

  • joannabananajoannabanana Raw Newbie

    parabola, i've noticed the same kind of problem with my workouts, but for the past week, i've tried different classes.

    i've done some hiphop classes, cycling, and strength classes. i used to just do straight weights, elliptical, and some pushups, but i was getting too tired!! i'm trying to perk my energy up.

    i've just been tired in general lately, no matter how much i workout.

    maybe try a juice fast to give your body a break (3 days-7 days long). i wouldn't recommend working out during your fast because i did that once, and i was DRAINED. i did feel much better when i was done and my body felt renewed.

    i would do yoga though. it is great for your toning your muscles!!

  • I was really skeptical about going 100 percent raw for the same reasons- Being a personal trainer, my fitness is top priority. I did, in fact, lose some muscle along with the fat. Now that I am past that point, I realize I was detoxing.

    Now, I am much more flexible than I had EVER been before in my life and am gaining strength more quickly, too. I also have more endurance. It took me about 12 weeks after my complete transition to a raw lifestyle for this to happen.

    Being trained in the classical approach to fitness, I freaked at not having a lower calorie proetin source. Its really not necessary, but I still like to 'ensure' I'm getting the amino acids. But, I don't worry anymore because I found Sun Warrior protein. (www.sunwarrior.com) Its great- I mix it in my raw granola recipes and make raw protein bars, I make shakes with it or will just add the powder to the water in the gym right after my workouts.

    So, the protein, even in the 'classic' sense is doable, if you feel its necessary. And they sell it at a very reasonable price (as I have been a guinea pig to many types of protein concoctions in my day). Personally, I LOVE the fact I can reach past my feet when I stretch my hamstrings and am much more limber and stronger, even if it means less muscle mass.

    Thats just my long-winded way of saying "I wouldn't worry about it too much, keep on keeping on. Just listen to your body"

  • Thanks everyone for all the comments!

    RawKaren: any other good fruits besides banana? I've heard mango has alot of calories?

    leafekat: any suggestions for good ingredients, what vegetables to use? I've noticed many drink green smoothies for breakfest :)

    joannabanana: I'll consider the fasting, but I don't think I'll have time to really go through it, maybe a short one :)

    court4short: I though detoxing also, maybe my body is just getting used to new kind of sources of protein and energy, I haven't had any other major detoxing symptons. Were you 100% raw in your detoxing period?

    The sunwarrior protein looks quit good, though I don't think I'll find it in local stores :)

  • RawKarenRawKaren Raw Newbie

    Mangoes, papayas, pineapples etc. All of the tropicals give good energy. Some raw fooders eat masses of bananas. I agree also about the green smoothies. They do help to sustain when mixed with fruit.

  • While I'm not 100% raw vegan in the hard-core sense (the occasional miso or a cup of green tea every now and then), it was when I was transitioning that I started to have the problem- I was still eating cooked grains and beans: hummus, oats and oat bran, and puffed cereal. Sushi was the last to go (its still raw, right? :D) after I got a nasty metalic taste in my mouth from it.

    Since right before Christmas, however, I have been focusing more on timing my nutrient intake (always eat a small something right before and immediately after a workout) and switched from a half-cardio and half-lifting to a mostly-lifting regimen and have seen very enjoyable increases in strength. Not too drastic in muscle-gain (I'm female, but even subtle differences are expected).

    So, let me slip into my 'professional' hat:

    I used to be a nutrition coach, too, (again, in the classical sense) and when people had issues such as fatigue or strength decrease, we would look at CCNT: Calories, content, nutrients and timing.

    Calories- clearly you are eating less calories because of a raw diet. This isn't so bad as long as you keep challenging your body to let it know you need your muscle mass (aka, work out). Use it or lose it! Even bodybuilders in their last days before a competition will lose muscle mass- it happens to us all and isn't as bad as we think. It is something that we need to pay attention to.

    Content- this is your fat-protein-carb content. Lots of different theories are out there for this. Not really going to go into it. You may be getting 'less' protein but I doubt its 'inadequate' protein.

    Nutrients- just make sure you aren't acidic and are taking in enough minerals; if you are too acidic, you will break down your own body to make sure you have them. If you are too basic, same problem, but usually most people aren't.

    Timing- extremely crucial when working out. A small snack before and after moderate to intense activity is crucial to maintaining lean mass. They always said it should have at least 30g of carbs and 5 plus grams of protein, which is why I like Sun Warrior (and I order mine online, too).

    And then there is your workout- if you aren't varying your activity and challenging your body in different ways, then it has no reason to grow.

    There could be a lot going on that is leading to your current state. If raw is 'bad' or 'causing' this, it is hard to say, but I doubt it.

    Best of luck!

  • You stipulated not much fat, but I feel like fat is unavoidable if you're looking for a healthy calorie source. Does anyone have any info on this?

    Besides, I find that cashew butter and avocado in my green smoothies give my a lot of energy. Are you worried about putting on weight? I only ask b/c I honestly struggle to keep weight on as a vegan and a dancer, and I'm curious to see what happens as I transition into raw.

  • I noticed quite the opposite effect: When I went raw, it just happened to coincide with an injury I sustained while doing Olympic lifts. So my detoxing phase coincided with my resting phase and I wasn't able to really accurately gauge any changes in strength and endurance. I slowly got back into my exercise routine, doing mostly body weight stuff at first. When I got back into my crossfit style workouts, I was simply outperforming my two workout partners. My recovery was fantastic (although I mostly attribute that to drinking tons of water and always eating after workouts) and my endurance was better than theirs. My strength, in proportion to my body size, is also much greater than it was before. I lift almost as much as my former personal trainer friend and he has at least 50 pounds on me!

    But I agree with court4short in that you should lay back on the cardio and do more resistance training. And just eat as much as possible. I found this website online that gives you nutrition information for your recipes, and I've found that pretty much any nut combined with mushrooms (or corn) gives you complete protein with the ideal amino acid ratio. So make sure you put that stuff in your salad! Good luck!

  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    I used nutridiary.com to make sure I was getting enough calories. A lot of people on raw don't get enough calories and then use fat to make up the extra calories which is not really recommended by anybody. I need 2,500 calories a day to maintain my weight and I eat 90% of it in fruit. I feel great and I don't crave cooked food unless I am deprived.

    Have you watched this video? It is absolutely fascinating!

  • gratefultobegratefultobe Raw Newbie

    Good one zinfandel. She was great! 3 & 4 spoke to me. LOL my husband and I will be attending our first counseling session Thurs. It just took 23 yrs. Dont really ever want to go back to numbing myself again, BREATHE

  • zinfandelzinfandel Raw Newbie

    Airing everything out is so much more worth it! I refuse to stagnate ever. In fact, I'd rather bring up my own problems as fast as possible. A tiny bit of pain and so much gain. So worth it! You might be interested in checking out flower essences. For those people who are sensitive (emotionally or spiritually or physically) they are remarkable. I would have some all the time if I had the money. I love them so much.

  • Hiya vegansquared....what was the link for the nutrition site you wrote about?? also you mentioned crossfit style...can you elaborate more. I was into bodybuilding MANY moons ago...when that old adage "No pain No gain" ran rampant.[screw that! pain is just pain to me nowadays] when Cory Everson & Gladys Portaguese were rockin the house. Did a muscle camp with them actually. Ah memories what happened to me LOL time keeps moving regardless if I'm stuck in a rut. But I'm finding my way back and getting it together...I'm like the turtle, sadly I wish I didn't look like the turtle tho :P but change takes time. Raw is def the way to go though. I'm making my transition...setbacks and all I'm still inspired and motivated.


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