By the time I post, I will be well into my Thrive Journey. I was asked by Maya Henderson to join her and a few others on the Thrive in 30 challenge. Can you eat raw for 30 days the way Brendan Brazier eats raw? Are you ready to experience more energy? Are you ready to be free of cravings? Are you ready to get all your nutritional needs met? Even the nutritional needs of a triathlete? Are you ready to handle stress more easily? Are you ready to sleep great?
I picked up the book, Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life ,and read it one Friday night. I felt like I was hearing my own words on many of the pages. Brendan Brazier is a professional Ironman triathlete. He is a vegan. He tried lots of ways of eating. He developed this way of eating and developed the Vega product line. I do use and love to use the Vega EFA oil blend. If his energy bars didn’t contain wheatgrass, I’d love those too. I am allergic to the stuff, really allergic like go to hospital throat closing up allergic. If I had zero time in my life, I would also use his smoothie powder, but I have enough time to toss in my own ingredients. I also had enough time to try some of his raw recipes: energy bars, nut and seaweed pates, crackers, and my favorite kale wrap.
As some of you know I’ve been drinking a quart of smoothied green veggies and a little fruit every day the last five months. You may have seen a facebook status or a twitter post stating my smoothie ingredients of the day. Some weren’t so palatable, but most were awesome. The program I followed from the summer forward, of which the smoothies was only a portion, increased my energy, eliminated cravings, deepened my sleep and began the physical and emotional cleansing I needed.
So I can say Thrive maintained those achievements, educated me on some foods, and posed some time management challenges. Had I not gotten my feet wet with the summer smoothie adventure into raw food, I don’t know that I would have stayed with the Thrive Challenge. Life has been chaotic and the Thrive food prep took a mind shift, a little forethought, and an extra bag to carry every day! Unfortunately many of the ingredients since they are raw or a bit obscure must be purchased at a natural grocer. You aren’t going to find hemp seeds, maca, raw cacao, or raw goji berries, nuts or seeds just anywhere. Sometimes the Raw and Macrobiotic bars at the local natural grocer were lunch, snack and dinner for me. Not cost effective but exactly what I needed.
Did I have days that were not entirely raw? Heck yes. Two consecutive days – PMS days, mild irritation amplified to high stress and I ate bread. Good bread. Local bakery bread. And a not so good 10-pieces of bite size Halloween chocolate binge. My body rebelled with a flare of mouth sores. Nice. I ate a few eggs. I went out for Indian another night. I had a couple glasses of wine and a bloody mary. I wasn’t craving a drink, I wasn’t stressed, I was just out and enjoying life. So 2 of the last 30 days were stressful, while 5 of the last 30 days were off the Thrive wagon. Those aren’t terrible statistics.
Post script: in the three weeks since the end of the Thrive in 30 challenge, I ate a cooked Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey and lots of vegetables; I ate real pizza; I ate ice cream. I was low spirited and low energy and a little reactive. This isn’t how I want to feel or present, so I do my best every day. I drink my quart of veggie smoothies; I grab nuts and fruit if I didn’t prepare meals for the day; and reserve the deviations from a raw vegan lifestyle when with friends and family.
More to come on my Thrive experience!