Basic Guidelines on
Fatigue, Sleepiness and Lethargy
When Starting RVAF Diets

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A RVAF diet seems to promote healing and cleansing throughout the body, and often-times promotes far more rapid cleansing than does even a raw vegan diet.  It appears that the animal proteins and animal fats serve to rather strongly accelerate some healing processes and especially many cleansing processes. Although even raw vegan diets are sometimes known for rather violent cleansing reactions in the early stages, many RVAF diets are notorious for cleansing reactions which may be extremely violent and uncomfortable at times. However, the most common symptoms early in the diet are simply fatigue, sleepiness, lethargy and "heaviness".

I would not worry much about a lack of taste for raw red meat -- I would recommend following your own taste and instincts.  However, I would recommend caution when eating raw pork unless you are absolutely SURE that it is fully organic, and that the pig was not fed junk (trash and waste) or rendered animal products.

Fatigue, tiredness, lethargy, and need for frequent naps are very common in starting raw diets, especially RVAF diets (those containing raw animal foods) and seem to be a reflection of the body's need to perform deep healing and cleansing activities due to the influx of wonderful, much-needed food (and the absence of harmful "nutrients").  The intensity and length of duration of these fatigue-cluster symptoms will depend largely upon the following factors:

  • your age (generally, the older we are, the greater the damage we have accrued)
  • how toxic your body is; in other words, how much cleansing needs to be done
  • how much damaged tissue is in need of repair; in other words, how much healing activity needs to take place
  • how much raw animal food you eat daily, where larger amounts will accelerate healing and cleansing rates
  • how much raw fresh green juice you drink daily, where larger amounts will accelerate healing and cleansing rates
  • how much raw dairy products you consume daily; higher rates of consumption will yield much faster (and often uncomfortable) and much more intense healing and cleansing
  • how much cooked or processed foods you eat daily, where larger amounts will decrease rate of healing and cleansing, or even arrest it totally, and zero amount will allow fastest cleansing and healing
  • finally, a final factor which is a bit metaphysical;  simply your background and experience in allowing physical and mind-body symptoms to clear and resolve quickly from a level of spirit and heart (see my Heart Release website for more details on some systems which may help with this.)
How long before your energy levels rebound? It can range from 2 months to 2 years, with the average range being perhaps 6 months to 2 years depending upon levels of toxins and tissue damage.  I am fifty years old (as I write this), and I started the diet in May 2000, and was fully on it by June 2000.  I experienced 9 months of intense fatigue-type symptoms, and an additional three months of modest fatigue, plus several periods of intense and NASTY cleansing reactions (so-called "cleansing crisis"), one of which was so painful and debilitating (pain, swelling, fever, gut pain) that I was largely incapacitated for 2 months.  It was really only at 11 months into the diet that I started feeling really energetic.  However, even those first 9 fatigue-ridden months were interspersed with periods of feeling really healthy and robust, and even from the start (first 5 weeks), there was a deep underlying sense of stamina, robustness, sturdiness and health which I had never experienced before.  Further, my incidence of colds and flus went from near-constant (perhaps 23 colds and 3 flus per year when on the previous low-fat vegetarian, Dean Ornish type diet) to ZERO!  Further, my chronic fatigue syndrome and CFS largely disappeared within the first month.  Indeed, when I would get up from my frequent naps in the first 9 months on this diet, I would feel extremely healthy and robust.  I chose not to work in the external "work" world from the beginning of my fourth month onward on the RVAF diet, and this allowed me to sleep and nap at will, and also allowed me the luxury of having really nasty healing and cleansing crises.

I had previously (over the past 15 years) trained in and practiced several natural and energy-based natural healing systems which also induce powerful cleansing and healing reactions in the body, along with increased fatigue, and so I was not unduly alarmed at the gory cleansing or healing reactions, nor by the increased lethargy and increased need for sleep.  One of my friends who has been on a RVAF diet for four years has mentioned to me that her first 2+ years on the RVAF diet were riddled with fatigue and lethargy.  Aajonus took far longer, due to the level of damage and toxicity in his body; the same is true for Owanza, who is mentioned in his book We Want to Live.

If you have not yet seen it, you may wish to also read the accompanying article on this site on cleansing and detoxification reactions, also known as "cleansing crises".  

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