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Wednesday
Nov112009

Lack of Energy? Potential Causes...

 

If you’ve been following a raw-vegan diet for a while but aren’t feeling as energetic as you know you should be, take a look at this list. 

Here are a number of possible causes that can contribute to fatigue or lack of energy, and prevent you from getting the most mileage out of your new lifestyle.    

Detoxification:

If you’ve only been raw for a few months, there’s a good chance that you’re still going through the detox period.  If this is the case, your body’s energy is frequently being tied up in the processes of cleaning out built up toxins, which causes the rest of your body’s systems to make do with the leftovers. 

Unfortunately, there really isn’t much you can do about this other than wait it out.  Detoxification is a temporary inconvenience that we all have to go through if we want to reverse our past mistakes.  Rather than let it bother you, hold your head up high knowing that soon it will all pass, leaving your body cleaner and healthier than it’s been in years, and feeling thoroughly refreshed and energized.

Lack of sleep:

We recently covered the importance of sleep, and some pointers on how to get a good night's rest in the previous blog post, but if you missed it, here’s the shorthand:

  • Do your best to stick to a relatively consistent sleeping pattern.
  • “Early to bed, early to rise” is most effective.
  • Avoid eating for a few hours before bed (especially heavy foods).

 Eating too much fat:

There are plenty of reasons to stay away from a high-fat diet.  Improving your energy level is just one of them. 

Remember that fats are very heavy foods.  This means they take a lot of effort to digest, and waste a lot of energy in the process.  If you eat a proper raw-vegan diet, most of your calories will come from fruit, and your fat intake will automatically be down where it should be.  This means digestion will require a minimal amount of effort, and your energy level will be much higher.  Keep in mind that this principle also applies similarly for high-protein foods and most other heavy foods.  

Overeating:

Digestion is a much bigger energy drain than most of us realize.  It’s this energy drain that causes us to feel so tired after a big, cooked meal.  Sure, a certain amount of digestive effort is required every day, but overeating creates unnecessary work and basically turns the body into a living, breathing, compost factory.  Remember the differences between false and true hunger, and try to avoid eating for the wrong reasons — that way you can save your energy for more important things.  

Negative emotions and stress:

Prolonged negative emotions and high levels of stress sap more than just your spirits — they can really drain your batteries as well.  Sometimes these matters are outside your sphere of influence, but do your best to limit the stress you experience in your daily life.  Not only is it fatiguing, it’s extremely hard on your overall health.

Lack of activity:

Sitting around the house all day doesn’t do much for your energy level, or stamina.  It’s important to get up, move around, breathe some fresh air, and get your blood flowing — after all, we want to eat vegetables, not be one!  ☺

Too much exercise:

Of course, it’s always possible to bite off more than one can chew.  If you push yourself to the limit on a regular basis, make sure you give your body the time it needs to recover before your next session.  Without that time to rebuild, you’ll overextend yourself and leave your body susceptible to fatigue.          

Lack of fresh air / poor breathing:

The quality and the volume of the air we breathe have profound effects upon our health and energy levels.  Oxygen is one of the most basic requirements of the cells in our bodies, and getting an abundance of it is essential. 

Yet, despite its importance, breathing isn’t something that we really tend to think much about.  After all, air is everywhere around us, so it’s not like we aren’t getting enough.  You’re either breathing or you’re not, right? 

Not necessarily.  There’s a big difference between getting enough oxygen to simply get by, and truly getting an ideal amount.  Most of us breathe too shallowly and with bad form, and aren’t getting the most out of every breath.  The quality of the air we breathe can also be very poor, depending upon where we live, meaning that our breathing is further hampered. 

The quality of our breathing is actually a huge topic that should be addressed separately.  I'll be writing about it more in a future post.  In the mean time, just keep in mind that getting outside for fresh air and pumping your lungs with a little exercise will do your energy levels a big favor. 

(If you're interested, in learning more about your breathing, follow this link to Optimal Breathing. Michael Grant White, the Optimal Breathing Coach, has many excellent resources available for you.  Start by taking the free breathing test online.  It's definitely worth a peek.

Dehydration:

Water is, by far, the most abundant substance in the human body.  It’s an essential component of every living cell and is involved to some degrees in everything that goes on inside us.  

When our bodies experience a loss of water, all our fluids and tissues dry out and thicken.  Thicker body fluids don’t circulate or flow as easily as they’re supposed to, and cause the body to have to work harder to perform its functions.  This is why we feel tired and worn out when we’re dehydrated.  

Eating a raw-vegan diet makes it much easier to stay properly hydrated, because the foods we eat still possess their natural water contents, but it’s still important to make sure you drink enough water — especially in the summer heat, or when you’re exercising.  

So, in closing...

If you're eating a raw-vegan diet and feel less energetic than you should, take a look at these factors.  There's a strong possibility that you've overlooked one or more of these areas of your life.  If so, a simple adjustment can go a long way toward solving the problem and giving you that boost you deserve.

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Real-World Raw Health and Nutrition:
The raw food diet made easy for your busy life!

Mike Dillman is a self-taught raw-vegan who began his journey nearly five years ago.   Having worked his way through all the challenges firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself.  You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle.

If you want to experience the amazing health that comes with living the one truly natural diet, Mike's new book, "Real-World Raw: The Busy Person's Guide to the Raw-Vegan Diet" is just what you're looking for.  See for yourself. 
To Download a FREE 20-Page Sneak Preview of the eBook click here!

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