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A lot of people following me on my social media networks were very curious about this series of vegan food photos appearing in my timeline/feed, and I promised to explain all that in detail. This is an overview of the whole experience–an introduction to THRIVE, describing my background and the results of the detox. If you want to skip ahead to the menu of the 3-Day Thrive Detox Program, click here: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3.
Here we go!
Kat Holigores first introduced me to Edgy Veggy by nutritionist Denise Celdran, and she’s been getting me to try Thrive since September last year. I was putting it off for the longest time. I hate most vegetables, as anyone who has known me for a time will tell you. Kat knows it very well by now, too, and she’s seen me eat enough times to be familiar with my little habits. I don’t exercise nor diet, but I’ll eat mostly any kind of food in front of me that isn’t a green leafy vegetable. I’ve been told often enough that I eat a lot for a girl my size and in most of my circles, I am the favorite foodie companion (because again, besides the aversion to veggies, when it comes to food I am adventurous, knowledgeable of curious and new places plus I eat often or a lot and I don’t have allergies. Though I’ve actually been food poisoned a lot of times—you think I’d learn). I am a proud member of the extra rice club—so very Pinoy! I love Mang Inasal and Chic Boy because of the bottomless rice servings and I can eat up to 3 cups with little ulam and a bowl of thin soup. Beef is my favorite, and most of the dishes I love are made from cow. Or red meat. Sorry PETA!
I’ve sometimes tried in the past, and failed, to infuse vegetables in my regular food consumption. And I grew up in a household that loves it, because my dad is very Cebuano and he can’t live without his gulay Bisaya in every meal. Every now and then I’d feel guilty and try to eat the stuff, but I usually end up drowning them in rice so I don’t taste it or eat it all before I start on the actual meal so it doesn’t ruin the dining experience for me.
So why go for the 3-day Thrive?
I have to admit it was initially for vanity. I noticed one day that Kat looked like she was glowing and she seemed so very zen (I was to learn she is like that most of the time) so I commented on it and that’s how she told me about her Thrive diet. I don’t have problematic facial skin, really, but I am very into skin care. And if I can have smoother, radiant skin, why not? I apply moisturizer and sunblock religiously and wear very little make-up, if at all. I just don’t want to be that kind of old lady with caking foundation on her face, trying to hide her wrinkles. When I’m older, I hope to have nice skin so I can just go out au naturelle.
And then later on, it kinda became for health reasons. A friend who has a similar diet to mine (no veggies and a lot of beef/steak) got his blood chemistry checked and he had a high cholesterol count despite the fact that he was pretty slim and seemed healthy enough. He got a warning from his doctor. I know I’m not getting any younger, and though I don’t feel anything—yet—I thought it might be prudent to get used to some healthier alternatives.
That, and the fact that before I started Thrive, I was eating bulalo (beef shanks) everyday in Boracay. Literally everyday, at Smoke and Island Inasal, either for lunch or dinner or both. And slurping the fatty bone marrow each and every time. Sometimes, with extra rice (the only reason I didn’t do it every meal was because I was often in a bikini and well, that much piggery could be very embarrassing in a two-piece). Smoke had different kinds of bulalo on the menu and I couldn’t resist, I had to try all of them! It’s funny that for all the 8 days I was there, I didn’t eat seafood at all even though we were in frickin Boracay.
So, after months of guilt-tripping from Kat, I finally agreed that my digestive system needed a rest or a thorough detoxfication after all these years of non-veggies and careless eating of refined carbohydrates and processed food.
What is THRIVE?
Thrive stands for Transformative Healthy Regenerative Inspired Vegan Eating. You can read about the Thrive Recalibration Program in more detail here, but in a nutshell, the diet is designed to recalibrate and detoxify the body by providing high quality nutrients. Calorie-counting is not done in Thrive and weight loss is not the ultimate goal—this is all about getting high quality nutrients from unprocessed and alkaline forming food into your body. And because this is a detox, artificial stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars, all dairy, junk food and refined starches are a no-no.
There are 3, 5 and 7-day Thrive programs in Edgy Veggy (you can also check the menu on AVA.ph, as the Thrive programs are on promo and can be paid via credit card installment). For more than 7 days you may call 0917-THRIVE-1 or 0917-847-4831 for special rates.
A sample menu. You get breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Because I am apparently notorious as a “veggie-hater” among my friends and I am the last person they’d imagine who’d go through any weight loss diet, I got a load of questions.
Why are you dieting? You’re already so skinny!
Like I explained above, Thrive is a vegan detox, not for weight loss. And just because I’m thin doesn’t mean I am healthy—far from it. I never watched what I ate and I don’t exercise. I don’t even sweat a lot so I don’t know how well I am able to get rid of my body’s toxins.
I don’t eat a lot of veggies, either. How does it taste?
I suspect that the major reason why I don’t like veggies is because of the way they are prepared. I don’t like them in stews, and I am not a fan of gulay Bisaya which is regularly served at home. I realized that I do eat some veggies, when push comes to shove, but some only in soup form, others uncooked (like carrots). Edgy Veggy prepared the meals in such a way that they were easier for me to eat. They were tasty for the most part, and some I really loved. They always tasted fresh. It was just difficult for me to eat without rice, and I wasn’t used to eating so much green, and only greens as my entire meal. But speaking as someone who’s not used to it, it was quite doable.
When ordering from Edgy Veggy, you can discuss your food options and preferences. I didn’t; it was basically “Surprise me!” I’m not used to vegetables anyway, and it is a detox after all, so I thought they might as well decide what’s good for me.
One of my last dishes from the Thrive detox: Tofu with Japanese sauce. So GOOD! It tasted like meat. Be sure to include this when you order yours.
Didn’t you get hungry?
Surprisingly enough, no. Not so much (because one time I remember smelling hotdogs and yes they made my mouth water). But I really paced myself and I slept early after dinner, because I didn’t want to deal with cravings late at night. The snacks helped a lot. Avoid lunching with people who eat meat while you’re on detox!
Whenever I’d get hungry, I’d eat some fruit and drink soy milk because I read from Denise’s guidelines that if you’re not after the weight loss, you can do that.
Can I work out during Thrive?
I asked Denise about this and she said yes! In her words: “This is not a starvation program. The body is getting more vitamins, minerals and nutrients. The smoothie alone has enough to power to get you through morning.”
I’d throw in a couple more fruits and nuts just to be safe, so you don’t get hungry. The smoothie is the Super Green Super Food one that was included in all my Thrive days.
I am actually thinking of going through some form of regular exercise. When you see your lower belly pooch gone just like that from this detox, it gets you motivated. I think my midsection would look awesome if I could do a bit more about it. Plus, I noticeably shrunk in a pair of non-stretch pants that I used to love and used to fit me perfectly, so I’m paranoid that I might’ve lost a little booty. I need to do something about that to make sure my curves and shape is still there. But I can’t do gyms, they bore me. So if anyone knows where I can play football, soccer, ultimate or any other fun contact sport near Makati or Fort area, please tell me!
Do they deliver?
Yes they do, in fact, it was delivered to me in Makati every day for 3 days from 7:45-8:45 am. Check out the list of areas where Edgy Veggy delivers. If not on the list, you can call to make requests for a minimum order. But you have to order at least 1 day in advance so they can plan and prepare the meals for you. The menu varies, so you can discuss your preferences with them.
Here’s how my food delivery looked like on Day 1 when it arrived.
Why have someone else do it for you? If it were me, I can easily do that on my own.
No, you can’t or won’t, unless you’re a house wife/husband whose daily routine includes planning, buying and preparing meals. Let’s face it—we all want to imagine that we can DIY everything, but a vegan diet is no easy thing to do if you’re not used to it. My peers don’t have the time and energy to prepare well-balanced meals such as these.
I did a “vegan” diet a few years ago for 3 weeks, because a friend of mine wagered I would never be able to stay away from bacon and steak. I agreed to the bet just to spite him and also because the prize was an eat-all-you-can steak dinner at Elbert’s. Technically, it was “vegan” in that I didn’t consume any animal by-product, but I doubt if it was healthy. I bought packs of frozen veggie meat back then that I fried and ate with a lot of white rice and had potato chips for snacks. I got sick after 3 weeks, though I won the bet. The same friend also told me as I was doing the Thrive that we were on par as far as diet was concerned, because he was just eating the vegetarian sandwiches from Subway. But I really doubt that we were consuming the same amount of nutrition.
This was my prize at Elbert’s Steakroom. Super Prime Ribeye with Mushroom Risotto.
So enough of the prattling! What exactly did Thrive do for you?
A lot of people were asking me about before-and-after’s, so I guess I can give you a quick summary with some easily quantifiable details.
THE “NORMAL” ALEX:
Body type: Mesomorph. I have fast metabolism. (Thanks Mom and Dad). Also, I’d like to think I’m lean rather than skinny.
Regular meals: Mostly red meat, fried and fatty food, a lot of white rice and bread, a lot of black tea, milk tea, chocolates, pastries, buttery and creamy food. At least 3 rice meals a day, 4-5 regular meals in total and mostly in the morning. I drink vitamins. To my credit, I don’t normally eat chips nor drink softdrinks.
Height: 5’1” 1/2
Waistline: 25 in
RIGHT BEFORE THRIVE:
Weight: 100 lbs
Surprising, as I really did pig out in Boracay. I was expecting to be heavier. So either I was less than 100 before going or I pooped it all out before stepping into the weighing scale at the airport that was meant for luggage haha.
Waistline: 26 ½ in
This isn’t normal for me, which was further proof of my piggery in Boracay. But still, it’s not very shocking as I’m the kind of person who has “eating” pants—to acccommodate the temporary enlargement of waistlines during buffets, so yeah it’s been known to happen.
DURING AND AFTER THRIVE:
Unfortunately, we don’t have a weighing scale at home so I thought I’d take waistline measurements instead just so I’d have statistical data to add to my report. I’m glad I did because they were pretty awesome results! People who want to know if there will be some weight loss will be interested to read on. I kind of wish I measured everything else like my hips and thighs. Note that I measured at around 5:30 every morning before I started eating.
Day One: 26 ½ in
Day Two: 25 ½ in
Day Three: 24 in
I only did Thrive for 3 days, but I went on to measure for the following days anyway to see if there would be a difference after going back to carbs. I can’t explain why this happened:
Day Four: 23.8 in
Day Five: 23.5 in
Again, I have very fast metabolism. So my results may be different from others’. But even so, this was pretty shocking to me. I wasn’t too awed at the 1 inch shave from Day 1 to Day 2, because like I said, my normal waistline is 25 and I’m pretty confident that if I wanted to, I can lose at least a quarter inch in a day easily. It might have been the water weight. But Day 2 to Day 3 really surprised me that I had to check several times if I were seeing right. That was 1 ½ inches off in one frickin’ day! I rarely get to 24 inches anymore unless I’m really busy with work where I don’t eat as much and I move around so often, or I’m sick. I was blown away again at Day 5, because I had just gone back to eating rice and meat, although admittedly, with a bit of guilt. I felt so clean after the detox, and it was kind of shameful to be consuming carbs again. To alleviate some of the guilt, I added some big pieces of pechay to my lunch that day after Thrive—something that I wouldn’t normally do and can’t remember ever doing. So Kat’s plan to make me eat healthier for a longer period seems to have worked. For now. I will also try switching to brown rice next week.
I was really amazed at what Thrive did for my midsection, because although I usually have a pretty small waist in proportion to the rest of my body, I’ve always had that little lower belly bump that’s characteristic of a major rice eater (this portrait by Adrien Teng was taken shortly after New Year’s this month, only 2 weeks before I did Thrive. It’s unliquified so you can see what I’m talking about). I didn’t mind it so much before as I thought there was nothing that could be done about it, but after Thrive, it had lessened considerably and was barely visible! It has always been there even when I’d get sick or lose weight. It makes me wonder if that’s where I was storing all my toxins and cholesterol all this time. I still can’t stop running my hand over it every now and then, patting it sadly sometimes because I know I can’t give up rice yet so I know it’ll be back. And I’m still trying to talk myself into regular exercise.
So far, I’ve been trying to lessen my sugar intake. Like I said, I’ve been feeling really guilty lately that I haven’t quite returned to what used to be my normal diet. And now I have this silly rule when I’m out that I won’t buy sweet food and sugary drinks or pastries unless my companion does so first. My brother, who’s also cutting back on his sugar, was with me at the mall the other day. And we both wanted to head to Krispy Kreme but no one wanted to admit who brought it up first. We ended up not going.
I tried observing my complexion, but I didn’t see any visible differences. I’ve been told several times that if I cut sugar from my diet, the skin on my face and back (which is forever my frustration) will improve. But like I said, I don’t have major facial skin problems to begin with (but if you had the opportunity to look better, wouldn’t you take it, too?). And if I manage to stick to less sugar, my back will continue to be under observation. Maybe the changes would be more visible with the 5 or 7 day programs.
I didn’t feel nauseous, grumpy or had bouts of dizziness that’s said to come with the detox, fortunately. I noticed I was even in high spirits and energy by the end of Day 2. I was busy, but I was in a pretty relaxed atmosphere and I think I did a good job in pacing my food intake. It would probably be better though, if you’re detoxifying during a retreat or meditation. And with access to a decent comfort room as in my experience, I felt the urgent need to go always right after dinner. So immediately in fact, that it was funny.
I highly recommend the Thrive Detox to everyone I know, since even my vegetarian friends still eat a lot of processed food and refined sugar. Think of this as getting your body a tune up, just like your car. I’d definitely go for it again next month or on March. Brides-to-be and vacationers heading to the beach, it’ll be a good idea to try this.
Want to know about the food in my 3-Day Thrive? The menu varies for each person, and Edgy Veggy also takes note of your preferences when you call. Read on: