DEPT Mind and Body
Issue Fall 2012
Author Hilal Nakiboglu
HED: Blast Off
When we saw Ani Phyo’s latest book, Ani’s 15-Day Fat Blast, we knew we had to try it. But first, Hilal Nakiboglu grills the Korean American organic chef and self-proclaimed “eco-stylist” about her incredible 15-day claim.
Audrey Magazine: What was your relationship with food like growing up?
Ani Phyo: Well, my dad had a terminal illness. He was raised in North Korea and there was tuberculosis in the water supply. The antibiotics they distributed were too strong and Dad had kidney failure as a result. He ended up having to get a kidney transplant and then he extended his life 10 or 12 years beyond what was expected because we moved out of the city and into the Catskills, to this mountain town literally in the middle of nowhere. There was one main street, one block of stores and that’s it. We had five acres of land and my parents grew their own food.
AP: It was more than organic. Totally natural. No chemicals. Every morning my mother would go out and see whatever was ripe and from that she’d make vegetable juice. A lot of that was because my dad was sick. So I ended up being raised on a heavily raw diet.
AM: What do you mean by “raw?”
AP: Whole food. Unprocessed. That’s how traditional Korean food is, too, actually. It comes from the earth. It’s food that’s not manufactured. That’s a raw food diet and that’s pretty much how we ate. Growing up, I saw firsthand how food is really medicine and how you can use food to create health and increase longevity and boost your immune system.
AM: And then you left home for college.
AP: (Laughs) Right. When I went to college it was, oh my gosh, like a smorgasbord of all this food I never got to have. All the deep-fried cheese, the pizzas and pastas, the white flour, cakes and cookies. I gained a lot of weight.
AM: How much weight?
AP: About 20 pounds. And my cholesterol skyrocketed to almost 300. I went back home for Thanksgiving and my mother was shocked. I never had a weight issue growing up, so she knew how to get me back. She said, “There’s a reason we brought you up on those foods.”
AM: So what’s your advice for the college-bound?
AP: Avoid everything white: white flour, white sugar; avoid dairy. Gravitate toward whole food as much as possible. The salad bar is a good bet.
AM: And if you stumble, there’s always the 15-Day Fat Blast to get you back on track. But why 15 days? Is there a magic to that number?
AP: In 15 days you’re eliminating common allergens, which help reduce inflammation in your body. So you will immediately notice that you feel lighter, tighter, leaner because that swelling has decreased. You also have more energy because there’s nothing challenging or draining your system. We’re eliminating the foods that bog us down and replacing them with fruits and vegetables, with all these nutrients that our bodies need. We want our bodies to hum, like a well-oiled machine. That’s why we need to give our bodies rocket fuel, not low-grade, watered-down fuel. When we switch to rocket fuel, we not only become leaner and tighter but we gain mental clarity. We can focus better. We feel better. We are better.
Read on to see how writer Hilal fared as she tried the 15-day raw food diet!
I’ve been eating like a Jersey Shore castmember. I can’t go on having sandwich meat
straight out of the refrigerator and calling it “lunch.” Maybe that’s cute when you’re 21
and drunk and it’s 3 am, but that’s not my life. I’m a grownup. Let’s do this.
Day 1: Start morning with blueberry shake. Over the first three days, Ani promises to dissolve
the “caked-on engine crud” that slows us down. Mmm, engine crud.
Day 2: Recipes include goji berries, camu camu and chlorella. I’m thinking a trip to the
health food store is in order. I’m also thinking: new blender.
Day 3: Love in the time of chlorella! So far so good: feeling full, feeling focused.
Day 4: Realizing there are a lot of smoothies involved in this. “Liquid lunch” now has a
whole new meaning.
Day 5: Diet promises to send my energy soaring, my “health markers positively upward,”
and to launch my mood, skin, body into highest stratospheres of hotness. Fully expect to
become Gisele Bündchen.
Day 6: Feeling light, alert, and totally self-righteous. Like Gisele after a Master Cleanse.
Day 7: Had a dream last night about deep dish pizza shaped like the President. What
could it mean? Pondering over morning shake.
Day 8: On today’s menu: cucumber soup. Must go grocery shopping again. Luckily, Ani
Day 9: Pleasant bonus of Fat Blast Diet: fab hair! Am aglow. Channeling Princess
Kate. Not-so-pleasant bonus: frequent bathroom breaks. Channeling pregnant ladies
Day 10: Ani says: “Be honest … and get rid of the anchors that may be holding you
down from blasting off into the body and life you want.” Hmm …
Day 11: Collard rolls. Can we not and say we did?
Day 12: Ani wants me to “begin a gratitude practice.” Am grateful the collard rolls are
Day 13: An abundance of energy today. They should call this the “roar-food diet.”
Day 14: Today’s Beauty Berry Shake was divine. Am an expert at working new
blender, and now qualified for employment at Jamba Juice.
Day 15: Starting weight: 114 lbs. End weight: 108 lbs. My skin is clear, my hair
healthier. So long engine crud!