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A few weeks ago I was contacted by Sequel Naturals, the company behind the Vega brand, asking if I would be interested in reviewing Brendan Brazier’s new book, Thrive Foods. Brendan is a professional Ironman triathlete and the creator of Vega, a vegan whole food plant-based product line. I jumped at the chance and was really excited when it arrived in the mail.
In Thrive Foods, Brendan discusses his findings in his extensive research regarding plant-based nutrition and it’s affect on our energy levels, ability to recover post-workout, weight control, sleep patterns and the environment.
Brendan discusses in detail the importance of eating nutrient dense foods and the difference between macronutrients and micronutrients (macronutrients being carbohydrates, proteins, and fats and present in anything edible; micronutrients being vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, hormones etc. and there is no guarantee that food will contain them).
A few remarks that stood out to me:
- There is no such thing as overtraining. Issues arise when you under-recover.
- North Americans are now an overfed yet undernourished society. So many consume empty calories while ignoring the nutritional content of their food.
- If eating a nutrient-dense whole foods diet, portion control isn’t necessary. Your body will tell you when it’s satisfied.
- Because of over-farming, a large percentage of our modern food supply lacks micronutrients.
Brendan shares his five Thrive guiding principles:
- Eliminate biological debt: acquire energy through nourishment not stimulation.
- Go for high-net-gain foods: make a small investment for a big return.
- Aim for a high percentage of raw and low-temperature-cooked foods.
- Choose alkaline-forming foods.
- Avoid common allergens.
Brendan also discusses the effect that food production (both crops and livestock) has on the environment, as well as on the food itself. Overproduction, genetic modification and pesticide-usage have effected the nutrient-density of our foods greatly. And according to organic-world.net, only 0.8% of the world’s total crops are grown without genetic modification and organically. Not even 1%! It’s also noted that livestock production uses 70% of all arable land (land that can be used for growing crops) and 30% of the land surface of the planet.
Included in the book are over 200 plant-based recipes and I had a list of things to make after flipping through just once. Things like a spicy lentil salad, salt and vinegar kale chips, kale and avocado salad, Indian spiced lentil burgers, and raw key lime pie…yum!
I decided to try the spicy lentil salad (from Beets Living Foods Cafe in Austin, TX) first and it did not disappoint. The flavors were great, though Reid and I both thought it tasted more like a salsa than a salad. We actually ended up scooping it up with chips! The lentils gave it a heartiness that we loved, similar to a bean salsa.
Spicy Lentil Salad, a chilled salad containing lentils, tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapenos, and cilantro.
Overall, I found Thrive Foods to be very informative. The book didn’t lead to any drastic diet changes for me but it opened my eyes to the importance of micronutrients and reaffirmed my resolve to buy organic and locally produced foods whenever possible. It obviously focuses on a vegan plant-based diet but doesn’t ‘preach’ against meat and dairy consumption.
Check out the Vega Facebook page here.
Disclaimer: I received the book Thrive Foods for free to review on my blog. As always, any opinions expressed on Will Run for Food are honest and my own.
I woke up this morning after a dreadful night of sleep (or lack of), feeling like…garbage. My stomach was unsettled and my head was aching. Happy Monday, all right. I got up and showered to head in to work but I didn’t end up going and crawled back into bed instead. After a few more hours of sleep, I felt a little better but still rather annoyed. I hate being sick! 😦
I ate some peanut butter crackers for ‘breakfast’ and called it good.
I stationed myself on the couch with a book and my laptop for some blog-reading…
Rather than dwell on the fact that I don’t feel fantastic and that I missed work, I’m choosing to focus on the positive and joyful aspects of my day! Just by thinking of a few things that make me smile puts everything into a different perspective.
It’s such a beautiful, breezy day so the windows are open and the curtains are fluttering! Colbie Caillat is playing…
That makes me smile. It feels like fall!
I managed to get out for a bit and grabbed an iced coffee…
which also makes me smile! 🙂
This weekend was fun-filled and busy…some highlights:
- a hike up Mt. Watatic on Saturday.
- a fireworks show on Saturday night.
- lunch al fresco at Twelve Pine yesterday.
- an evening run last night…I only made it just over 3 miles before it got too dark but it was still awesome.
What were your weekend highlights?
I’m hoping that I feel up for a run later and I’m planning on actually making dinner tonight…it’s been a while!
How do you ‘choose joy’?
Need some money management help? Check out Errign’s post on budgeting! She’s got some great tips that I plan to utilize, like automatically putting a percentage of your income into savings, even if it’s only a small amount. I usually wait until the end of the month before transferring extra into savings but this method seems much more effective.
Hi friends! Today was a much better day than yesterday! Hope you had a good day too!
Breakfast consisted of a bowl of Cheerios with blueberries and an iced coffee…which reminds me that I need to brew some more for tomorrow! I’ve only purchased one coffee in the past two weeks! Not bad…
I got home around 1:30 but could not think of anything that I was in the mood to eat for lunch. It was a sticky day so nothing really sounded good. I finally made a tuna sandwich at 2:30…nothing special, just tuna with mayo and s&p, with pickles and lettuce.
I need to get some decent bread in this house. Yuck. I had an iced tea too.
I started reading The Help this afternoon in between loads of laundry and I love it so far! I couldn’t take my nose of it and started dinner a little late. Oops! This bookworm thing is becoming problematic. I had to take a break from Harry Potter since the store didn’t have the third book in the series…I’ll have to find it this weekend! It’s the only one I’m missing…
Back to dinner, I had a whole chicken to use and wanted to try something new. After some Googling and Foodgawker searching I threw together a glaze/sauce and started prepping the chicken.
All dressed and ready for roasting…
And the masterpiece…garlic mustard chicken!
I can’t wait to share the recipe because this was so delicious! It was very moist and flavorful…yum! I’ll post it soon.
I ended up having to head out to Zumba just as this was coming out of the oven but it was still good reheated. Enjoyed with sautéed kale and boiled potatoes from the garden!
I came home to find pictures of Reid’s dinner on my camera…
He’s a keeper!
But, this is a good example of how important natural light is for food photography! The camera was on the same settings for both, mine were just outside (well, picture #3 and #4 anyway)! Summer, don’t leave! Just a little tip for you…not that I should be giving any advice!
Zumba was fantastic but it was super hot in the gym tonight…they need to crank up the AC; I was sweating even before we started! Yeah, I know…it was bad news once we started moving!
Time to stick my nose back in my book!
Are there any foods that you were hesitant to prepare but turned out to be really easy?
Whole chicken is one for me! I stayed away from it for a while but now am always surprised by how quickly it comes together (other than cooking time). Bread and other yeast recipes scared me at first, too, but it just takes a little practice!
A few random things that are making me smile today…
And more books!
Tiny tomatoes from the garden.
New workout clothes…so motivating!
Freshly baked cookies…the perfect baking endeavor for a summer night…easy breezy and clean-up is a snap! But kind of negates the point listed above. 😉
A rearranged corner in our living room…it’s the simple things!
What is making you smile today?
Hi friends! How is your weekend going?
The results from yesterday’s race are posted but I think they are messed up…and my dad isn’t even on there! I emailed the race director to see if we can get his time; I think he placed in his age group!
Mine is showing a time of 28:17 but at a 9:07 pace, which doesn’t make any sense…I know the clock was under 28 minutes when I crossed the line so it’s a little annoying…even though it’s only about 30 seconds off, that’s a lot in a 5K! I was 24th out of 125 females, though! They didn’t even post the overall results…
It’s an amazingly sunny day today and after church Reid and I went out for some Mexican food at our favorite spot, Ixtapa Cantina in Lunenburg, MA…I tried the pork carnitas and they were really good, but spicy! (Droid pics)
We stopped for a giant iced coffee on the way home…hazelnut crème with milk and sugar. And this is only the medium!
Now I’m going to relax for a little bit with a new book…
Edited to add- I am only a few chapters into this book and am not sure I’ll finish it because of the language and content. Not my style at all and I wouldn’t be able to recommend it! Just my thoughts! 🙂
Have you read it or seen the movie? I’ve only read the prologue but I’ve heard that it’s good! Like The Hunger Games, this is definitely different than my normal reads.
I’m hoping to get a run in this afternoon, if only a short one!
What was the last book you read? Did you enjoy it?