A New (body) Year with the Thrive Program

In Philippine Star Column on January 6, 2012 at 3:18 am

Polly wanna cracker? Flaxseed crackers for easy snacking

Over the holiday crush, my family and I were entertaining friends visiting from overseas and as the conversation moved to the phenomenon that is social networking, a cousin commented, “It’s only Pinoys who post pics of what they eat.” It was an innocent remark but highly observant. Even I am guilty of posting all the delicious dishes I have had the pleasure of consuming, I do it so often that I’ve already dedicated two albums just for my food posts. Scanning through my own pics and other amateur food bloggers I realized, wow, we do love to eat, but food posts featuring healthy meals were rare to non-existent. Suffice to say, after all the feasting my body needed a break, as it takes way more effort for it to digest heavy meats, refined carbohydrates and sugars. I looked to Edgy Veggy for a respite from all this “bad” eating. Owner Denise Celdran told me she was starting a new lifestyle program called “Thrive,” inspired by the book by vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier.

Where's the beef? Tasty, vegan burgers

The program, which Celdran described as “rehab for the body,” consisted of loading up on foods that are rich in nutrients and could help in the prevention of high-blood, high cholesterol, diabetes and even cancer — all lifestyle-related diseases that stem from stress and the consumption of nutritionally “empty” food. Smooth operator: a smoothie rich with antioxidants The program is not necessarily meant for weight loss but that could definitely happen in the long-term as it aids in removing cravings and addictions to sweets, refined foods and junk foods. “I really recommend that people be on this program for a minimum of five days, usually with a pre-detox, detox and post-detox. After 15 days there should be a noticeable change in their cravings,” explains Celdran. The pre-detox is five days of smoothies and salads eaten before their regular meals and in lieu of sweets and junk food. This is meant to crowd out their usual diet with healthier alternatives.They are also encouraged to exchange white rice, sugar, bread, etc., with whole wheat or whole food counterparts. The daily ration of smoothies, snacks and salads are delivered every other day.

Bean me up Scotty: Pinto bean soup

The detox period is five days of mostly raw (60 percent) vegetables, with whole food snacks (flax crackers, granola bars, chocolates, etc.) plus a few cooked meals (stews and burgers). Then the last five days is like the pre-detox where they still take the smoothie, snacks and salad before their usual meal. If you stay true to the program the cravings for refined foods should be much less and there will be more willpower to stick to a mostly ‘‘live food‘’ eating regimen. I wasn’t sure if I could take on 15 days of this, so I went for the bare minimum of five days in the hopes that I could shed a little weight or at least bring down some of the bloating I had acquired from too many days of deep fried foods and booze. First of all the flax seed crackers that were sent with every meal were amazing, they really helped with my “snack attacks” since they came in a variety of flavors: sweet, salty and spicy. I’ve eaten Edgy Veggy prepared vegetarian meals before and loved the taste of the ulam type meals. I felt full even with just half a serving.

Smooth(ie)operator:Superfoods smoothie for anti-aging benefits

The key to the entire program is the Superfoods Smoothie which earns its name from being made up of 12 super foods that help suppress the appetite, increase energy and are made up of many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components. I was told it was inflammation that causes aging and most diseases. I am definitely a meat lover, and as the five days passed I came to the happy realization that I didn’t miss it at all. For those not familiar with Edgy Veggy, it is completely vegan with most of its ingredients grown organically in Celdran’s farm in Batangas. Celdran feels so strongly for the program that she insists on a personalized customer relationship so she can see to it that their cravings and addictions to food that do not do a body good are addressed.

Each day I observed my body, I wasn’t hungry and I was definitely full of energy, waking up early and working out with increased stamina and strength. It was amazing how light I felt so quickly. I didn’t lose weight at the end of that short program but considering I was eating three full meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) two snacks and a smoothie, that was a welcome outcome. Had this been a “normal” foodie week for me there would be dramatic weight gain for sure. Even without the weight loss my body was obviously digesting food better as my bloating had gone down considerably, not just in my midriff area but also in my arms. It could have just been my imagination but I felt leaner after a workout and since Thrive was the only thing I was doing differently that week I attributed it to my dietary switch. It looks like doing the 15-day full program is now in my near future. What better way to recalibrate inside and out for 2012?

* * * The Thrive Program costs P10,000 for the full 15-day program. P1,000/day for four days or more or P1,100 for three days or call 0917-8202081 or email for information.

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