So, I was raw for about 4 months...basically 100% minus my morning coffee. But I ended up getting really, really ill... Not only did I drop down to about 100 lbs (and I'm 5-foot, 7-inches) but I started getting agitated, couldn't seem to think straight, etc. I was eating a great variety of food, fruits, veggies, nuts, coconut oils and such for fats, buckwheat, etc. but it didn't seem to matter.
I want to try the raw thing again because eating "normal" tends to really screw with my digestive system, and I can't seem to STOP gaining weight, even when I'm not eating a lot. (and I exercise 5-7 days a week! a combination of weight lifting and usually about an hour of cardio a day)
So is there any advice on doing this thing RIGHT, without getting sick? If any of you are taking vitamins, what kind of vitamins are you taking? I personally cannot afford the super expensive ones that some have suggested to me... I am okay with the vitamin part of my diet being NOT raw. I used to take some vegan vitamins from veganessentials.com called "Advanced Vegan"
Since I do some pretty intense weight lifting I'd like to up my protein a bit too...any suggestions for that without overdoing it on the nuts?
Again... I am on a budget. Vitamins under about 25-30 dollars are what I'm looking at. And I'd like to hear some great sources of protein, other than nuts. I've never had any experience with lentils, but know they're a good source, so if anyone has any ideas on how to prepare lentils for a newb, that'd be great :)
I use hemp powder for protein to put in smoothies. It's soooooo expensive at my health food store, like $20 for a 1lb container. I found a 3lb bag of Nutiva hemp for the same price (maybe one or two dollars more) at vitacost.com - that site is a good source for decent vitamins too. Everything I've read says that multi-vitamins are crap so I get individual vitamins. I'm on a specific regimen for MS, so what I'm taking may not apply to you. Sounds like you had some neurological stuff going on before though. Maybe flax seed/oil for omega 3's would be good?
Hmm... yeah like I said I'm on a budget. I bet getting all those individual vitamins must run up a pretty good bill too :(
So given that you're on a specific regimen for MS and all that... do you have a doctor that knows about your raw lifestyle and works with you on it? It would be a great help to me, to get some professional medical advice, but I
fear that the doctor I see won't understand the raw lifestyle enough to be able to help me...
Flax seed oil sounds like it might be a good idea, though I was eating a good amount of flax when I was raw before so I don't quite know what was going on. I really tried to pay attention to what I was eating and make sure I got a good mixture of everything to get adequate nutrition... maybe it was B-12? I know everyone says it takes a long time for b-12 deficiency to show up...BUT, I have been vegan for awhile before going raw, so maybe my body didn't have an adequate supply stored up to begin with?
I don't know... thanks for your suggestions though, I'll try to go off of that somehow :)
Would you consider transitioning to decaf coffee or green tea? With your body becoming more sensitive with raw, weight loss and agitation seem likely side-effects of too much caffeine.
For me, too much sugar and not enough protein and fat make me fuzzy-headed, but everyone's different. Perhaps you just weren't getting enough calories? I agree that flax seeds are pretty great. Spirulina has lots of nutrients and is about 60% protein--I like the Healthforce brand, which costs about $30 for a pound. Like freewitheft says, you can find some good deals for hemp protein, which is pretty low in fat.
If you haven't been supplementing with B vitamins, you might want to do so for the B-12 (though many, many people on this site will disagree with me). The Vitamin Code B complex is pretty inexpensive, and the company claims it's raw and vegan. As a caveat, I find that taking the recommended number of capsules makes me agitated--but that's always been my reaction to vitamin B pills. I now only take one every few days.
Good point about the caffeine ambiguous. I didn't notice that myself when I was drinking coffee, but I had been off of it for quite a while before going more raw last year.
Tweedle, it just occurred to me when you mentioned the B-12. The reason that I take a methyl-B12 is that, from what I've read, the cyanocobalamin form has *no effect* on the nervous system. So if your body is needing that, the regular B-12 supplements aren't going to do the trick. Yeah, it might end up costing more to do the individual supplements, but I don't really have a choice. I'm taking many more times the RDA of vitamin D for example, so a multi won't come close. RDA is 400IU/day and I was taking 12,000IU/day in winter, now 8,000IU/day.
I'm not under a doctor's care, healing myself all on my own and doing my own research. :) Haven't been back to the neurologist since diagnosis more than 2 years ago cuz all she wanted to do was push immunosuppressive drugs on me. I do listen to my acupuncturist's advice though. Don't agree or follow it 100%, but he has helped me a lot!
luckyvitamin is a good source of discounted vitamins. just pick the one you can afford. the prices will vary. i personally prefer ones that are geared towards vegans so i know they have B in them and are not from animal sources.
I actually drink coffee because when I don't, I have really bad issues with my hands and feet/circulatory issues. I don't quite know why coffee makes it better, but it does, and I have read that apparently it's pretty common for small amounts of coffee to be beneficial towards issues like that.
That said, I don't intend on giving up coffee, but I can assure you that I don't drink much. A cup a day. That's it.
Thanks for your suggestion guys...
ambiguous, the majority of my diet was fruit, so maybe you have something there with the too much sugars and not enough proteins and fats? Like I said I was eating nuts, flax, etc, but maybe not enough?
coffee gets your heart pumping right? get the blood flowing through your body? maybe that why it helps your hand and feet.
go to 1/2 and 1/2 then when you feel read decaf and so on.....
Do you Run? my help with the circulation...
If there was one supplement i was suggest taking it probiotics and lots of em. you can get most everything else from foods and dont need expensive supplements.
Hm, from the sounds of how you were eating, I don't think you were getting enough calories. If you dropped 100lbs while doing weight training, you definitely needed more calories to help sustain body weight, energy levels, and to help fuel your muscle production.
Since I've gone raw, I haven't lost a pound, nor have I gained. I'm 5'4" and 115lbs. I'm not into weight training, but I do yoga 4 days a week, jog at least 2 miles everyday, and walk/bike to wherever I need to go (I don't have a car). I also eat between 2100-2500 calories a day, depending on how active I am that particular day. All my major calories come from fresh fruit, like mangoes, bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries, dates, tomatoes, red bell peppers, zucchini... And then I get my protein and minerals from eating greens. I'll go through at least 2 heads of lettuce (or 2 bunches of spinach, kale, or other leafy greens) a day... more if I was really working up a sweat. Leafy greens are a great source of protein. Though it doesn't seem like it, greens like spinach are great sources of protein. (Check out spinach's protein quality: spinach on nutrition data) Eating one bunch of spinach will give you 19% of your daily value in protein. I know eating one bunch of spinach seems like a lot, but most of it is water, and it will keep you hydrated and help move toxins out of your body. Plus, you don't have to eat it all in one sitting. Most people eat 3 meals a day, so spread out the greens to all the meals... or at least for lunch and dinner.
I mostly do low fat, but on occasion I'll have nuts... even yummy sweet treats like nut-based raw ice "cream". I also do relatively low protein, compared to the SAD, or even cooked vegan. I just found that foods that are easier to digest are better absorbed and utilized by my body, so I don't need excess to over compensate for the stuff getting passed through my system. My energy levels are great, I sleep so much better, my digestion is awesome, and I've never been sick since going raw.
As far as supplements, I don't take any except the methylcobalamin sublingual drop version of B12 once a month. The kind I use is only $14 for 2 oz. and I only do 10 drops a month. The suggested usage is way more, but it says that 20 drops will give you 16,667% your suggested daily value. lol... I don't think I need that much every day.
Anyway, I hope you figure out how to balance your health and diet.
rawmamanibbles: I do run. I exercise 5-7 days a week either running or doing the elliptical, plus weight lifting at least 3 days a week. Sorry to dismiss all of your advice about coffee, but I've already decided that's one thing I will NOT give up.
missc: I didn't drop 100 lbs... I dropped down TO 100lbs. haha. :) I'm not sure about calories... I'd say I was probably getting enough but maybe just not from good sources? Maybe I was doing too much nuts, not enough fruits, or something to this effect.
What's the kind of B-12 you use called? I'd love to look into getting me some of that.
no worries here, i love coffee :) wasnt sure if you were trying to quit or not.
rawmamanibbles: awesome, a fellow coffee lover hehe. I don't drink more than a cup a day so I'm not too worried about it having much adverse effects. maybe somewhere down the road I'll try to quit(again) but right now is definitely not the time lol :)
Tweedle, you will know when it's time. ;) I used to go off coffee everytime I would do a cleanse then it would creep back in. lol I decided to try eliminating it along with everything else back when I went gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, etc. Now I just have it as a treat now and then and it's so yummy. :) Wanted to let you know, though, that one herb you can look into for helping with circulation is horsetail. I might start taking it myself since there seems to be some new evidence that it's an issue for folks with MS. HTH!
I'll have to check that out!! thanks for the suggestion. The more I read about 80/10/10 the more I want to do it, which would mean cutting coffee out. Like I said, right now isn't the time, but maybe, hopefully, somewhere down the road if I can get my circulation under control!
Speaking of 80/10/10--- is that suitable for those who are diabetic or have blood sugar issues in general?
I'm not diabetic, but I do think there's something screwy with my blood sugar for many reasons...circulation in my feet and hands being one of them.
were you taking in any seaweeds when you were raw? Iodine is commonly low in vegan/raw diets and could cause all the symptoms you list.
apart from being greatly healthy rich in minerals, anti cancer, good for adrenals/thyroid, prebiotic etc seaweeds also stimulate your metabolism so that will help with getting the weight off.
well just as an update... I actually decided to give coffee the boot for a second try, and we'll see how it goes. day one! so far so good :) haven't had any headaches...knock on wood :)