Interview with Brendan Brazier & his new cookbook THRIVE
Brendan Brazier is a Canadian endurance athlete, bestselling author, advocate of a vegan diet and lifestyle, and creator of the award winning Vega line of food products and nutritional supplements. Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete and a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra marathon champion. His Thrive Foods Direct program is a plant-based nutrition program based on his vegan whole foods philosophy adapted from his Thrive book series. Now Brendan has blessed us with a cookbook full of tasty recipes that will keep you boosted with energy and glowpower.
As a vegan athlete growing up, I had to learn first hand the science behind the food I ate. I only wish I had access to Brendan’s books then when I was competing in track and field and field hockey. As a busy mom I want the foods I eat to work through me to achieve optimal wellbeing while keeping us balanced in mood and energy. I’m excited to introduce you to our friend Brendan Brazier and his must-have book- THRIVE Energy Cookbook.
For people new to the concept, what are the key benefits of plant-based foods?
A plant-based diet sets out to conqueror three overarching nutritional objectives; high-net-gain nutrition, alkaline-forming foods, elimination of biological debt.
Not everyone is ready for full on veganism. What are three baby steps for moving to a more plant-based diet?
Start slow and easy into it, don’t give up everything you normally eat all at once. Eliminate certain factors one by one, dairy, meat, processed foods, etc. Nutrient-dense smoothies are also a good starting point to incorporate more veggies and fruits into your diet.
When applied to fuel, what’s the theory about why plant-based gels/powders work better for sustained endurance and performance?
The plant-based foods and products are much easier to digest. The less energy you spend digesting your food, the more energy you’ll have to use as fuel, thus enhancing your performance. Race day adrenalin reduces digestive strength, thus fuel coming from food during your workout is crucial to sustained endurance.
When kicking off a fitness goal, it’s easy to forget about or ignore the importance of food. Why is it so critical to marry both fitness and food?
If you’re not well fueled by the food you eat, your workout won’t be as strong and effective, thus making your progress slow or unnoticeable. If your body isn’t receiving the proper nutrients, your body is less likely to recover quickly, thus preventing you from training consistently and powerfully.
How has a plant-based diet helped your physical performance as a triathlete?
The plant-based foods and products are much easier to digest. The less energy I spend digesting my food, the more energy I have to use as fuel, thus enhancing my performance. This applies to all people who do all sorts of activities. In addition, race day adrenalin reduces digestive strength, thus fuel coming from food during your workout is crucial to sustained endurance.
What types of recipes can we find in the Thrive Energy Cookbook?
You can find recipes filled with plant-based, whole foods recipes. The recipes are easy to make, colorful, and full of vibrant flavor. The recipes are functional, which means that each ingredient has a nutritional purpose. All recipes are labeled either with one or several colored symbols: Transition, Raw, Gluten-Free, Protein Rich, Super Nutrient-Dense.
Recipes consist of vegetables, pseudo grains (buckwheat, millet, quinoa), legumes, seeds, fruit, (healthy) oils, nuts, grains, flours, and (natural) sweeteners.
Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman tri-athlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. He is now a successful performance nutrition consultant, bestselling author of the Thrive book series, formulator of the award-winning line of plant-based Vega nutritional products and creator of Thrive Forward, an online video series designed to inspire and educate people about plant-based nutrition. For more information, please visit www.brendanbrazier.com and follow Brendan on Twitter.
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