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Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life

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The thrive diet is a long-term eating plan to help all athletes (professional or not) develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy. As one of the few professional athletes on a plant-based diet, Brendan Brazier researched and developed this easy-to-follow program to enhance his performance as an elite endurance competitor.Brazier clearly describes the benefits o The thrive diet is a long-term eating plan to help all athletes (professional or not) develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy. As one of the few professional athletes on a plant-based diet, Brendan Brazier researched and developed this easy-to-follow program to enhance his performance as an elite endurance competitor.Brazier clearly describes the benefits of nutrient-rich foods in their natural state versus processed foods, and how to choose nutritionally efficient, stress-busting whole foods for maximum energy and health. Featuring a 12-week meal plan, over 100 allergen-free recipes with raw food options—including recipes for energy gels, sport drinks, and recovery foods—and a complementary exercise plan, The Thrive Diet is “an authoritative guide to outstanding performance” (Neal D. Barnard, M.D., Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine).


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The thrive diet is a long-term eating plan to help all athletes (professional or not) develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy. As one of the few professional athletes on a plant-based diet, Brendan Brazier researched and developed this easy-to-follow program to enhance his performance as an elite endurance competitor.Brazier clearly describes the benefits o The thrive diet is a long-term eating plan to help all athletes (professional or not) develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy. As one of the few professional athletes on a plant-based diet, Brendan Brazier researched and developed this easy-to-follow program to enhance his performance as an elite endurance competitor.Brazier clearly describes the benefits of nutrient-rich foods in their natural state versus processed foods, and how to choose nutritionally efficient, stress-busting whole foods for maximum energy and health. Featuring a 12-week meal plan, over 100 allergen-free recipes with raw food options—including recipes for energy gels, sport drinks, and recovery foods—and a complementary exercise plan, The Thrive Diet is “an authoritative guide to outstanding performance” (Neal D. Barnard, M.D., Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine).

30 review for Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I was back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, and rounded up in the end. Brazier is a professional athlete - he does IronMan triathlons and many other amazing feats of human strength and endurance - but the most interesting thing to me is that he does it all on a 100% plant-based diet. And he totally knows his stuff. Like every single detail with pie charts and graphs. I was blown away with the sheer scientific research on why a vegan diet is truly the best for stress reduction, training, and recov I was back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, and rounded up in the end. Brazier is a professional athlete - he does IronMan triathlons and many other amazing feats of human strength and endurance - but the most interesting thing to me is that he does it all on a 100% plant-based diet. And he totally knows his stuff. Like every single detail with pie charts and graphs. I was blown away with the sheer scientific research on why a vegan diet is truly the best for stress reduction, training, and recovery. The best part of it all is that you really don't have to be an athlete to gain this wisdom... I am not an athlete and never will be, but I greatly enjoy exercise, and want to take care of my body and my mind. I feel that this book really shows a viable way to do this for the long-term. When I first heard about this book (about a year ago), I figured it would be about a bunch of powders and supplements, so I held off. So, when I finally picked it up and read it, I was so happy to be wrong. Brazier focuses solely on the importance of whole food sources, and even highlights the importance of raw foods in the daily diet. He has formulated this diet, called the Thrive Diet, that introduces the body to these whole sources over a 12-week span. It is not a diet in the traditional way of thinking about calorie-counting and/or deprivation - he includes dozens of recipes for all sorts of amazing foods (I especially love his use of "pseudograins" like amaranth and quinoa, as well as his copious use of medjool dates - love them!) One of the most clever things is that he turns these marketed sports-performance notions on their heads and has recipes for "sports drinks", "energy gels", and "recovery shakes". They are not Gatorade or "power" bars packed with synthetic ingredients that the body cannot even use... they are fresh fruits and vegetables (along with algaes, grains, fungi, etc.) used to their maximum potential to unlock true and sustainable energy inside your own body. Brazier's case for veganism is very strong: he discusses how nutrition and the typical Western diet can be one of the biggest stresses on the human body. By going to the original source - not the highly processed foods - we can revitalize our bodies to be at their best, whether you are going to run marathons or simply do 30 minutes on the elliptical. His case is backed up by some very convincing research. He also discusses how veganism can help save the planet by replenishing the soil, the water, and the air. While many people become vegans for ethical/animal rights issues, this topic is not expressly mentioned in Brazier's books. I made the choice to be a vegan for ethical reasons (first) and health (second), but I really enjoyed learning his story, and how he came at this from a much different perspective. Brazier is quickly becoming a well-known personality in the "veg" circuits with regular write-ups in newspapers and magazines. He also has some new books out that delve deeper into the diet, and the other about "Thrive Fitness". I am looking forward to more of his work. This one is highly recommended to anyone who cares about veganism and wants to learn more about how this choice affects your health and your general well-being.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Annie Smidt

    On the one hand, yes! Totally agree. Eat a nutrient-rich, varied vegan diet. Keep it unprocessed, veer toward raw. Add some superfoods like chlorella. Yup, I like it a lot. On the other hand, it's a very simplistic take on nutrition, and documented chiefly anecdotally. I think I'm looking for evidence that this kind of diet (as above) is the right way to go (as opposed to the low-carb, high-protein variation my nutritionist advocates) and this book didn't really provide any evidence. Except that On the one hand, yes! Totally agree. Eat a nutrient-rich, varied vegan diet. Keep it unprocessed, veer toward raw. Add some superfoods like chlorella. Yup, I like it a lot. On the other hand, it's a very simplistic take on nutrition, and documented chiefly anecdotally. I think I'm looking for evidence that this kind of diet (as above) is the right way to go (as opposed to the low-carb, high-protein variation my nutritionist advocates) and this book didn't really provide any evidence. Except that the author is an ironman and does just fine. Thing is, I'm not an ironman (yet). But I am trying to heal/optimize my metabolism, and learn lots about nutrition in the process. I mean, I've been vegan for a zillion years, but I'm working on being a smarter vegan. The stuff in this book is good... I like his recipes a lot, and I like his ideas generally. There's lots of information about powering workouts and speeding recovery through nutrition — those are the most differentiating and interesting parts of the book, really. I also learned a bunch of things about the benefits of various "superfoods" — some of which I was already eating but didn't know how "super" they really were! Interestingly, there's info in this book that directly conflicts with the info in "Wheat Belly", the last nutrition book I read (as to what's a grain, what's a seed and what has gluten in it). I didn't think very highly of Wheat Belly, but this just opens up more questions for me. I totally agree with Mr Brazier about the only realistic ways to eat being ones where you eat healthy food but don't go crazy counting calories of macronutrients. Anyway, I would, despite the 3 stars, recommend this book to anyone interested in veganism, especially vis-a-vis athleticism. A quick read, good recipes, good ideas for easy whole foods consumption.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    I cannot say enough great things about this book. I was already interested in the interplay between health and nutrition before reading this book, but I think that interest has now grown into a full-fledged hobby--with much more science behind it. I will likely be going mostly vegan now (exceptions may include humanely-made eggs or wild coldwater fish). I am also already making other changes to my diet, making sure I get enough of certain nutrients--not just the obvious B vitamins that vegetarian I cannot say enough great things about this book. I was already interested in the interplay between health and nutrition before reading this book, but I think that interest has now grown into a full-fledged hobby--with much more science behind it. I will likely be going mostly vegan now (exceptions may include humanely-made eggs or wild coldwater fish). I am also already making other changes to my diet, making sure I get enough of certain nutrients--not just the obvious B vitamins that vegetarians miss out on, but other more subtle nutrients I hadn't even previously thought of (things like getting enough tryptophan, which is a precursor to the whole seratonin/melatonin cycle, etc). The recipes in the back will definitely provide me some starting points to make my own version of this way of eating. I can't imagine using them all verbatim, all of the time, however. For example, I'm ok with small amounts of gluten--so if I'm going to make a pizza, I'm going to make it with wheat, then perhaps cut with a gluten-free flour, not exclusively use the bean and seed flours the Thrive pizza "crusts" call for. :) However, one subset of the recipes I likely will be following exactly are the excellent pre-, during, and post-exercise eats. He even breaks down for you the ratios of macronutrients you should be getting depending on the intensity/duration of exercise you are doing, and denotes specific recipes for each. It doesn't get much more helpful than that. I should probably stop here, because I could go on and on about how much I love this book. Suffice it to say it's a stellar introduction to much healthier way of eating, and a great jumping off point to begin your own personal nutrition investigations.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Let me start by saying, I am not vegan, nor do I want to be vegan. I saw this book recommended on a number of sites, so I decided to pick it up at the library, and I was very pleasantly surprised. First, while the author is vegan and his ideas are based on vegan principles, there is no mention of "veganism" in this book. I expected it to push for a vegan lifestyle, but it didn't. This book is a discussion of nutrition and fitness, and it's one of the best books I've read on this subject. It desc Let me start by saying, I am not vegan, nor do I want to be vegan. I saw this book recommended on a number of sites, so I decided to pick it up at the library, and I was very pleasantly surprised. First, while the author is vegan and his ideas are based on vegan principles, there is no mention of "veganism" in this book. I expected it to push for a vegan lifestyle, but it didn't. This book is a discussion of nutrition and fitness, and it's one of the best books I've read on this subject. It describes many concepts plainly in a way that is easy to understand. My favourite part of the book was Brazier's explanations of different types of stress and how they affect the body differently. In particular, Brazier focuses on "nutritional stress" and how to reduce its impact on the body. I had other "lightbulb" moments when reading this book, such as the explanation of cravings (kind of like, "why has no one explained it that way before?!") In this book, the extreme athlete is used as a model of efficiency. So even if you aren't an athlete, there's still lots to take away from this book. We can all operate a bit more efficiently. The thrive diet and recipes themselves (2nd part of book) are vegan (many raw vegan). I found the first half of the book the most interesting. The author is the founder of Vega, and I expected it to be more, rich guy who thought writing a book would be fun, but he is clearly quite knowledgeable. He describes things with an ease that shows that he's clearly been understanding and applying these principles for a while. This book offers a lot of useful information and I expect I'll want to re-read it at some point. It's a lot of take in all at once.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Al

    This book was interesting, but it wasn’t new. Oh, reduce stress and eat real whole foods and you’ll feel and perform better? Fancy that. Brazier presents a lot of “facts” and “scientific information,” but I would have liked to see more/better sources. There is a reference list in the back, but it is not connected to any specific statements made throughout the book. Additionally a lot of his information is geared towards endurance athletes (yes, I do realize he is an triathlete), as revealed when This book was interesting, but it wasn’t new. Oh, reduce stress and eat real whole foods and you’ll feel and perform better? Fancy that. Brazier presents a lot of “facts” and “scientific information,” but I would have liked to see more/better sources. There is a reference list in the back, but it is not connected to any specific statements made throughout the book. Additionally a lot of his information is geared towards endurance athletes (yes, I do realize he is an triathlete), as revealed when he lists “quick” workouts as those lasting 1-2 hours. I was looking for information that would apply to weightlifting and was somewhat disappointing by his limited view of an "athlete." Okay, despite the criticisms, I enjoyed reading this book, I just took it all with a grain of salt. This book has some good advice for balancing life, fitness and diet. It is not lacking in inspiration--I am definitely on a mission to eat more greens and other raw/minimally processed superfoods now. It stresses how important diet is to overall well being and offers great options for whole meals with raw options (and great options for buying Brazier’s products! Okay, okay, I was going to be nice for a moment). I’m not going to take on his twelve week meal plan, but the healthy, wholesome and balanced recipes will keep me coming back to this book, even if the information in it won’t. A Review of the Buckwheat Pancake Recipe from Thrive: Brazier’s buckwheat pancakes are amazing–they are full of buckwheat, hemp protein and banana yet were still giant, light and fluffy. The recipe said it served two, so I halved it…and still got a ridiculous amount of food. I felt full for multiple hours after eating these–and let me tell you, that does not happen often. I’m usually hungry ten minutes after finishing a meal. I found Brazier’s buckwheat pancakes to be delicious, but I won’t lie, they do taste healthy (a.k.a. like hemp and buckwheat), and someone just transitioning to whole foods may not be as excited about their deliciousness as I am. These are definitely going to become a regular meal, and I’m excited to try more Thrive recipes (at least those not calling for ridiculously obscure or expensive grocery items).

  6. 5 out of 5

    Hanako

    I am really kind of surprised at how many great ratings this book has received. In a lot of places it read like he had been doing all of his research online - and trusting all kinds of crazy sites as factual. He doesn't site any of his information and even in the resource list at the end - he has sources from the 70s and 80s...the book came out in 2007, and there were only a handful of sources from 2003. One in 2006 was Michael Pollen, which, while a great book, is not exactly a primary source. I am really kind of surprised at how many great ratings this book has received. In a lot of places it read like he had been doing all of his research online - and trusting all kinds of crazy sites as factual. He doesn't site any of his information and even in the resource list at the end - he has sources from the 70s and 80s...the book came out in 2007, and there were only a handful of sources from 2003. One in 2006 was Michael Pollen, which, while a great book, is not exactly a primary source. One of my favorite examples was "So complete is this wonder-food that, when consuming nothing other than chlorella, human life can be sustained for an extended period. This was discovered by NASA when the space agency was looking at ways to sustain astronauts for space travel." Now, just guessing here, but I'm thinking that if NASA did a study - the results were a little more precise than "an extended period" which means nothing. Extended over what? I bought this thinking it would be a bit more about his actual experiences - he claims to have come to this diet style from experimentation on his own diet and training. That would at least have been interesting to read instead of all this pseudo-science that he puts in here. Especially as he never claims to be a scientist or dietician or in any way have any nutritional or medical knowledge. So I would have appreciated more about his training and how he felt eating certain things - a personal story, which is all he seems qualified to write. And then the recipes. Almost none of them even sounded remotely worth trying. There are a lot of times where he sounds like he is simply repackaging Dr. Fuhrman's books (and indeed, he recommends reading Eat to Live in his list of resources) - he coins his own terms for all the same concepts. But then he recommends eating lots of oil - because it is nutritionally more dense than the seeds it comes from. Which makes absolutely no sense. Anyway, really wasn't what I thought it was going to be, and really wasn't quite worth reading. Oh, and of course he is trying to sell you his own products throughout - even while he tells you that whole foods are best.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    I am giving myself credit for reading this even though I didn't read every single word. I read most of the running text. This is pretty interesting. Why aren't there more vegan/vegetarian diet guides for athletes? When I started lifting I wanted something that didn't recommend a chicken breast and oatz for every meal. The only criticism I have is that some of this stuff is pretty complicated to make (like oh no big deal just making some pancakes HOLD ON 40 MINUTES WHILE I POP SOME AMARANTH LOL) I am giving myself credit for reading this even though I didn't read every single word. I read most of the running text. This is pretty interesting. Why aren't there more vegan/vegetarian diet guides for athletes? When I started lifting I wanted something that didn't recommend a chicken breast and oatz for every meal. The only criticism I have is that some of this stuff is pretty complicated to make (like oh no big deal just making some pancakes HOLD ON 40 MINUTES WHILE I POP SOME AMARANTH LOL) and, like Mark Hyman's ULTRAMETABOLISM, includes some pricey ingredients (particularly when it comes to the raw stuff). And really, you basically need a food processor for everything, so hope u like cleanup, because I sure do. I really do love that they give you whole food alternatives to sports drinks and other chemical-laden athlete goo, though. Good stuff.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Karole

    The author spouts a lot of pseudo-science in an effort to back up some pretty strong claims about "stress" and diet, but cites no evidence to support any of his assertions (I think there's one citation in the whole book!). I'm a vegan and a runner, and I could barely get through this book. Some of the things he says are true, but many are just so clearly made up it's ridiculous. The author spouts a lot of pseudo-science in an effort to back up some pretty strong claims about "stress" and diet, but cites no evidence to support any of his assertions (I think there's one citation in the whole book!). I'm a vegan and a runner, and I could barely get through this book. Some of the things he says are true, but many are just so clearly made up it's ridiculous.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Vic

    Great book for understanding the impact of stress in our body, the different sources, and going deeply into nutritional stress. Emphasises on High Net Gain nutrition, which explains the extra tolls of energy we pay due to eating processed and nutrient poor foods. We need to change to nutrient rich and easy digestible foods. Great insights on key ingredients to stay healthy, increase energy and specially to boost RECOVERY from exercise. When you are exercising your are not building strength, on the Great book for understanding the impact of stress in our body, the different sources, and going deeply into nutritional stress. Emphasises on High Net Gain nutrition, which explains the extra tolls of energy we pay due to eating processed and nutrient poor foods. We need to change to nutrient rich and easy digestible foods. Great insights on key ingredients to stay healthy, increase energy and specially to boost RECOVERY from exercise. When you are exercising your are not building strength, on the contrary, you are tearing down muscle tissue. It is the recovery that, if fuelled with the right nutrients, will lead to an increase in your fitness level. Won't be doing the 12 week meal plan but there are great recipes in the book I will use for sure!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jacquie Des Rosiers

    I agree with the majority of what Brazier says concerning health and nutrition but I wish he would’ve taken a more scientific approach. Quite a bit of what he stated seems like information that’s been debunked or is highly debated. Notably the stuff about detoxing and recalibrating. He didn’t back that up with any evidence. The book has a ton of good information and recipes so I will still give 4 stars. I believe in the power of healthy eating and think this book gives a really good basic outlin I agree with the majority of what Brazier says concerning health and nutrition but I wish he would’ve taken a more scientific approach. Quite a bit of what he stated seems like information that’s been debunked or is highly debated. Notably the stuff about detoxing and recalibrating. He didn’t back that up with any evidence. The book has a ton of good information and recipes so I will still give 4 stars. I believe in the power of healthy eating and think this book gives a really good basic outline of how to fuel for an active lifestyle using a plant-based diet.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kit

    I couldn’t actually finish this book. So many of his claims go uncited and border on “fake science” at best, if they aren’t outright falsehoods.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

    This book had some info I haven't come across in my veg research that was SUPER helpful: how to manage your body's pH balance, a food pyramid for endurance athletes, differences between the caffeine function of tea and coffee. My favorite parts were the helpful lists and the extensive recipes offered-- from energy gels to dressing to crackers and "pizza," this book has ya covered. This book had some info I haven't come across in my veg research that was SUPER helpful: how to manage your body's pH balance, a food pyramid for endurance athletes, differences between the caffeine function of tea and coffee. My favorite parts were the helpful lists and the extensive recipes offered-- from energy gels to dressing to crackers and "pizza," this book has ya covered.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    I hoped that I would like this book, but I just did not like the way it was organized. I read other reviews and people stated that the recipes called for oddball ingredients and that was true. The recipes looked time-consuming to make as well. I started skimming through this book back in June just to see if it got better with the intention of looking through it again, but that has not happened. Side note: I also bought this as an ebook and I will never by a recipe ebook again; it is too difficul I hoped that I would like this book, but I just did not like the way it was organized. I read other reviews and people stated that the recipes called for oddball ingredients and that was true. The recipes looked time-consuming to make as well. I started skimming through this book back in June just to see if it got better with the intention of looking through it again, but that has not happened. Side note: I also bought this as an ebook and I will never by a recipe ebook again; it is too difficult (and annoying) to flip back and forth between pages. That is not reflected in my rating.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dan Wool

    This title jumped out at me at the market. I have been looking for a good vegan diet plan. I have been on a paleo diet for the past three years and while very effective, I believe I eat entirely too much meat, lean and local as it often is. In fact with my various food sensitivities (gluten, eggs, dairy), I call myself a "vegan who eats meat". I am always on the lookout for ways to shift more toward the vegan side of that statement both for my health and for the environment. "Thrive" was a compe This title jumped out at me at the market. I have been looking for a good vegan diet plan. I have been on a paleo diet for the past three years and while very effective, I believe I eat entirely too much meat, lean and local as it often is. In fact with my various food sensitivities (gluten, eggs, dairy), I call myself a "vegan who eats meat". I am always on the lookout for ways to shift more toward the vegan side of that statement both for my health and for the environment. "Thrive" was a compelling read. As a competitive triathlete, Brendan Brazier has instant credibility. His diet fuels his activity -- both excelling as a racer but also recovering more quickly. It is well-written and he really knows what he's talking about. The diet centers around "net energy" -- he looks at food as draining energy or creating energy. That which drains energy taxes the body and ultimately causes health problems, many of which are subtle like fatigue, or minor aches and pains. He suggests making choices that maximize cell energy. He discusses in detail the types of foods and supplements that do this. I really appreciated his biological approach. I have always been wary of having too many carbs, including fruits. Brazier suggests that if you are eating small meals of nutrient dense foods which maximize cell energy and if you stay somewhat active, this ultimately doesn't matter - you will reap the benefits. This was the first 150 -excellent- pages. Then we "hit the wall" - Brazier's practical but impractical 12 week diet plan. Bravo for outlining this day-to-day meals in such meticulous detail. Grain of salt as I am just starting out, but preparation feels complex. Essentially, on Brazier's plan, we are looking at six small meals a day and sometimes (after salad dressings, etc.) up to nine recipes -- PER DAY. While there are smoothies (which I love!), most requires a lot of forethought and prep. For example, breakfast on Day 1 is Wild Rice Yam Pancakes. Sounds delicious and prep seems really easy, right? But wait! The recipe requires cooked quinoa (one session with rice cooker), cooked wild rice (another session with rice cooker) and a cooked yam (if keeping to Brazier's suggested raw/low temperature that's 300 degrees in the over for about an hour) -- all things that have to be worked out well ahead of time for easy prep. Flax seeds and sesame seeds need to be ground ahead of time too. And this is just meal one, day one! Prep like this seems to be similar for other meals too. That said, ground seeds and ingredients like quinoa and wild rice appear in many recipes so hopefully this is as simple as creating big batches on the weekend having it at the ready to scoop into the mix. Again though, you really have to plan everything out. To wit, my shopping list for week one took more than an hour to compile. I have a well-stocked kitchen and pantry and still spent more than $250 at Whole Foods for the initial set-up and first week of meals and supplements. I hope this is not a weekly occurrence! I hope that having the base of ingredients will make meals and shopping easier week to week - i.e. just buying fresh fruits and veggies and the odd ingredient I run out of. So while it's a little daunting right now, I am optimistic. Fortunately, I am committed to cooking more and following a stricter diet to clean up some residual health issues. I want this type of diet. But I realize I am not most people. I'll try to update this review as I get into Thrive.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    *From surviving to thriving * Although Brendan Brazier's _Thrive_ could easily be the Bible for the vegan athlete, it's also undeniably a great resource for anyone committed to living a healthier lifestyle. If I was a salesperson, I think I'd find this book quite easy to sell. First, it provides clear and convincing evidence for the key role that nutrition plays in long-term health. Specifically, it outlines how a nutrient-dense, whole foods nutrition plan, i.e, the "Thrive Diet," not only reduces *From surviving to thriving * Although Brendan Brazier's _Thrive_ could easily be the Bible for the vegan athlete, it's also undeniably a great resource for anyone committed to living a healthier lifestyle. If I was a salesperson, I think I'd find this book quite easy to sell. First, it provides clear and convincing evidence for the key role that nutrition plays in long-term health. Specifically, it outlines how a nutrient-dense, whole foods nutrition plan, i.e, the "Thrive Diet," not only reduces the body's stress levels, but also frees it up to focus on its crucial restorative and anti-aging functions. (OK, I have to add a side note here: Although this plan is referred to as the Thrive Diet, it's really not so much a diet as an overall approach to healthy living. Diets are things that you go on and off; this plan is a way of life.) In essence, following the Thrive Diet is the pathway to literally staying--and, of course, feeling--young. _Thrive_ also provides the rationale for all of the components of the Thrive Diet that lead to optimal performance, including achieving high net-gain nutrition, incorporating raw and low-temperature cooked foods, creating an slightly alkaline pH balance, choosing nutrient-dense whole foods, dealing with common food sensitivities, eliminating biological debt, and achieving adequate hydration. The final part of the book provides a detailed 12-week meal-by-meal plan and the recipes for each of these meals. Not only delicious and amazingly nutritious, these recipes are super-easy to make and typically require less than 30 minutes to prepare an energy-sustaining, satisfying meal. And, if I were to be that sales person, I could easily stand by how the Thrive Diet helps to "get us healthy at the core" with all that it aims to do (as detailed on p. 6): * Reduce biological age * Increase life expectancy * Help reduce body fat and maintain lean muscle * Increase energy without coffee or sugar * Increase strength and endurance * Improve productivity * Improve mental clarity * Improve sleep quality * Reduce sleep requirements * Improve resistance to infection * Quicken recovery from exercise * Reduce or eliminate sugar cravings * Increase desire to excel Although I'm not a salesperson, I can whole-heartedly promote this whole-foods holistic way of life as a means for achieving optimal health, performance, and overall life satisfaction. If you're ready to move from surviving to thriving, _Thrive_ can certainly help you make that shift.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Renée

    Athletes and other folks who have food sensitivities or allergies (wheat, gluten, corn, and soy), energy problems, or chronic immune system issues would do well to consult this book. Some of the minor variations between this diet and the plant-based doctor's books ought to fill a few gaps for you. For some of the population, the fat and protein is higher than necessary - if you have a history of SAD eating or chronic disease or heart disease this diet might be too rich for your recovery... but y Athletes and other folks who have food sensitivities or allergies (wheat, gluten, corn, and soy), energy problems, or chronic immune system issues would do well to consult this book. Some of the minor variations between this diet and the plant-based doctor's books ought to fill a few gaps for you. For some of the population, the fat and protein is higher than necessary - if you have a history of SAD eating or chronic disease or heart disease this diet might be too rich for your recovery... but you will find out how to add a vast range of ingredients to your diet, particularly pseudograins like amaranth... which I have grown to love! Popped amaranth has a delightfully nutty flavour, somewhere between popcorn and toasted almonds maybe... Recommended by Dr T Colin Campbell PhD, Thrive is mostly good science, a touch of reliance on anecdotal evidence. A good read, and some amazing grain-free pizza and energy bar recipes. It'll encourage you to expand your diet to include some nifty pseudograins and other cool nutritious guff. The health-conscious/energy-conscious recipe style will be new, even for seasoned vegan cookbook nerds. :) For active people with no history of chronic disease, additives like oil might do your body good! Particularly if you have abysmally low cholesterol and blood pressure (unusual in the western world, granted! but that's me), and are trying to avoid depression and anxiety and increase energy (less unusual), this particular vegan active lifestyle is a recipe for success! If you are less active, you can simply trim a few fat calories off Thrive-style recipes for a great wholefood style as well. This diet is packed with more micronutrients than most which may improve your health a great deal. It may also suit mothers with postpartum/post-breastfeeding depletion/exhaustion/other health issues. If you could combine the best of Thrive with the best of T Colin Campbell's work, eg. Whole, you'd have the best, most comprehensive plant-based fitness book ever... so read both! NOTE: The Thrive Diet program is based around a hefty amount of vegetable consumption. If that's a bit cost prohibitive, you'll need to invest some time in a wee bit of gardening - easy herbs and leafy greens should do it, or grab Vegan For Life for a cheaper, accessible, more familiar, similar alternative program with cheaper grains involved... or use it as a stepping stone to Thrive if you are currently eating a more SAD-style diet.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jacquelyn

    After reading more science-heavy books like Eat to Live, The China Study, and Whole, I felt like Thrive had the tone of a friend explaining the concepts of nutrition in a way that was easy to understand, but it was still clear that the author was passionate about it and had dedicated decades to figuring this out for himself. If the four dense pages of references isn't enough to convince you that he's not making stuff up, read the books mentioned above. What I liked the most was that he didn't se After reading more science-heavy books like Eat to Live, The China Study, and Whole, I felt like Thrive had the tone of a friend explaining the concepts of nutrition in a way that was easy to understand, but it was still clear that the author was passionate about it and had dedicated decades to figuring this out for himself. If the four dense pages of references isn't enough to convince you that he's not making stuff up, read the books mentioned above. What I liked the most was that he didn't seem to be pushing an agenda, and he didn't seem like an a-hole. It was just a casual conversation: "Hey, exercise is good for you, for these reasons!" Cool, what kind of exercise do I have to do? "Whatever you like! Here's how different kinds of exercise will affect your body." And what do I have to eat? "Here's what works best for me and why." Do I have to follow your plan exactly? "Just do what you can, and what works best for you. You can start small by adding a salad each day, or a smoothie, and work up to it, or jump right in, or settle somewhere between." Yes, in the genre of "this worked for me, it could work for you", Thrive is definitely not pushy or preachy. He even says that too much change will cause your body stress, so if your diet is the opposite of the Thrive diet, it's actually better to adopt it gradually. I have yet to try any of the recipes, but they seem super easy and tasty. It might be difficult to get some of the ingredients at the local supermarket, but a specialty store or higher-end grocery store should carry them. If not, there's always The Internets. Also, I love that he recommends nutritional yeast. After cutting out the meat, eggs, milk, and cheese from my diet, I'm not sure I could stop eating nootch too.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lesley Lane

    Great book and introduction to training on a vegan diet. I have been vegetarian for 8+ years and vegan for 2. I have never had a problem with getting enough nutrients nor with feeling sluggish. However, I wanted to learn more of what to eat regarding training. I am currently training for my first half marathon and would like to increase performance and muscle production without resorting to unhealthy, processed foods. This book was a great introduction. The science is there, but it would have be Great book and introduction to training on a vegan diet. I have been vegetarian for 8+ years and vegan for 2. I have never had a problem with getting enough nutrients nor with feeling sluggish. However, I wanted to learn more of what to eat regarding training. I am currently training for my first half marathon and would like to increase performance and muscle production without resorting to unhealthy, processed foods. This book was a great introduction. The science is there, but it would have been nice if he would have cited sources within the text. I know what he is saying it true based on my own extensive research on plant based diets, but others will not. Despite this, the book is very easy to read and understand witout a background in nutrition. His recipes look and sound great altough I have yet to try them. However, many of the recipes are time consuming, expensive, and require special kitchen tools (all of which I have, but most people do not). I plan to implement his 12 week plan in a week, but I am sure I will modify and supplement as I see fit. If you are looking for a plan to help with your fitness goals, this is a great place to start and much cheaper than buying a vegan nutrition plan online. Trust me, I looked at those too.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carla

    Pros: I learned about nutritional stress & found encouragement to try some new foods based on their nutritional value. Cons: Some information was redundant at times and most of the recipes require many ingredients (and specialty ingredients, at that). While I generally will not even finish reading a recipe that requires a food processor and/or hard to find items, I actually might try making the energy bars and soups (after I get a food processor, that is, and assuming Amazon ships ground flaxseed Pros: I learned about nutritional stress & found encouragement to try some new foods based on their nutritional value. Cons: Some information was redundant at times and most of the recipes require many ingredients (and specialty ingredients, at that). While I generally will not even finish reading a recipe that requires a food processor and/or hard to find items, I actually might try making the energy bars and soups (after I get a food processor, that is, and assuming Amazon ships ground flaxseed and hemp protein). The book does not provide citation of any scientific studies or professional articles. This is simply one athlete's experience with eating healthy, whole foods and fueling his body with the best possible nutrients. Brazier promotes his healthy lifestyle and diet choices as "the Thrive Diet" and has marketed a line of related products. Overall, I'm glad I read it and will take some of the high points of the Thrive Diet philosophy and incorporate them into my own daily nutritional goals.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jo * Smut-Dickted *

    I think this is my most fave of all my vegan books that are really designed for athlete's. The explanations were superb and I really could not stop reading. Loved how the different parts were explained and the fact there is recognition that no one is perfect. I'm excited to try some recipes and I feel like here is the info I need on how to fuel nutritiously on a vegan diet while pursuing endurance sports! I think this is my most fave of all my vegan books that are really designed for athlete's. The explanations were superb and I really could not stop reading. Loved how the different parts were explained and the fact there is recognition that no one is perfect. I'm excited to try some recipes and I feel like here is the info I need on how to fuel nutritiously on a vegan diet while pursuing endurance sports!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katlyn

    I was transitioning to veganism in the middle of training for a marathon and, honestly, I doubt I could have done it without this book. I finished the race feeling wonderful and energetic thanks to a variety of homemade bars and drinks based on his recipes.

  22. 5 out of 5

    VBergen

    this book explains very well about nutrition. Too bad that Brazier did not include the international equivalences of the measurement units (celsius degrees, Kg, etc.) and that the ingredients are not so easy to get. He should include some substitutes or alternative ingredients.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anastasia

    For the vegan endurance athlete hiding deep, deep inside of what i aspire to be! YEAH!! But seriously, the recipes in this thing are borderline crazy-pants.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kerstinchen

    Questionable "scientific" conclusions and downright false information on body functions. Questionable "scientific" conclusions and downright false information on body functions.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim Thompson

    I've been aware of Brendan Brazier for a long time. I've followed him in articles in various vegan magazines, I read a short book of his a little more than a decade ago (I don't remember what it was called, but it was less than 100 pages). And I've been a fan of Vega, the product line he launched (and later sold)... good energy bars, smoothie mixes, recovery drinks, etc. I'd been meaning to read this for years, my sister bought it for me for my birthday last fall, and I finally got the chance to I've been aware of Brendan Brazier for a long time. I've followed him in articles in various vegan magazines, I read a short book of his a little more than a decade ago (I don't remember what it was called, but it was less than 100 pages). And I've been a fan of Vega, the product line he launched (and later sold)... good energy bars, smoothie mixes, recovery drinks, etc. I'd been meaning to read this for years, my sister bought it for me for my birthday last fall, and I finally got the chance to go through it. I like the book, but not every bit of it. Here's the stuff that's just not so great: One, lack of footnotes. There is a long list of references in the back, but he never specifically cites any sources when making claims throughout the books. Unless you're up to reading the 100 or sore titles he lists at the end, you'll never really know where information is coming from for any particular claim. And some of the claims... well, they could use a little citation. Some back up. Because as much as I'm with Brazier on his overall point and think that the gist of what he's selling is solid, some of the details seem a little exaggerated. 70% of "uncomplementary" stress comes from nutritional deficits? That's a pretty conveniently round number. Does it come from somewhere, or is it just a gut feeling? No citation, so no idea. Some pretty extreme claims about the benefits of hemp and chlorella and yerba mate and so on. Are they backed up by research? Not a clue. Two, the meal plan, which, to be honest, bothers me way more than the lack of citations. Brazier offers up readers a detailed 12 week meal plan to help them incorporate the Thrive diet into their lives. The cover references "easy-to-make recipes" and throughout the book he mentions the importance of keeping the meals simple so that they can really become a part of the daily routine. The reality? The recipes are ridiculously complicated and the meal plan is almost impossible to follow. Following the plan would require devoting hours per day to cooking, no time for family or career or anything other than cooking and, well, endurance running. Every breakfast is a big event, lunch is never dinner's leftovers, everything is fresh all the time. No doubt that's a great way to eat, but it's tough to implement. And the individual recipes themselves? Well, you can have pancakes with sprouted buckwheat and buckwheat flour and hemp protein and ground flaxseed if you want to keep it on the simple side, or you can make your own pizza crust with ground sesame seeds and grated sweet potato and chickpea flour and top it with grated beets if you're in the mood for a fun Friday night. All the recipes are complicated, all of them require expensive and hard to find ingredients, many require thinking way ahead (to soak, to sprout, etc). Just not practical. So, yeah, that's what I didn't like. What I did like is the rest of it. This is a book by a vegan ultra-athlete about what has worked for him. Brazier is a guy who has for years fueled himself with plant based whole foods (and piles of superfoods) in order to allow himself speedy post-workout recovery and give himself the competitive edge. It's cool to read some of his ideas, learn what worked for him. The book inspired me to stick to a more whole foods diet, and to add some healthy ingredients that I often forget about-- chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds. It's also got me thinking about sensitivities, willing to tweak with diet a bit here and there to see if various aches and pains and inconveniences might be affected. Overall, worth reading. Up till the recipe section. Enjoy the first 160 pages. Then just stop there.

  26. 4 out of 5

    An Te

    A foundational book for any health-seeking individual who wants to maximise and sustain good sports performance, conditioning and health. From which foods are anti-inflammatory to inflammatory, acidic, alkaline to the how-to's and the benefits of sprouting, soaking, there is a lot of useful material for an active individual to consider putting into practice. I'd also recommend this book to busy professionals seeking to remain on top of their busy schedules. I have one gripe. Brendan has a plethora A foundational book for any health-seeking individual who wants to maximise and sustain good sports performance, conditioning and health. From which foods are anti-inflammatory to inflammatory, acidic, alkaline to the how-to's and the benefits of sprouting, soaking, there is a lot of useful material for an active individual to consider putting into practice. I'd also recommend this book to busy professionals seeking to remain on top of their busy schedules. I have one gripe. Brendan has a plethora of recipes for coconut oil. The resources are not wholly evidence based. For example, with coconut oil, it is not as healthy as some people espouse. Medium chain triglyercides, which are oxidised more readily than longer chain saturated fats, are indeed found found in coconut oil. However, it is only a small proportion and myristic, palmitic and lauric acid, each saturated fats predominate, making up about 70% of coconut oil. So treat coconut oil with caution as it can, like other saturated fats, raise cholesterol (LDL) levels. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Claudia Turner

    Excellent message and foundation for eating a plant-based diet as an athlete. Brazier understands the importance of veganism in optimal performance as well as curbing extra stressors in life. I think he misses a few important points, for instance Cushing’s syndrome and disease is one health issue that effects the pituitary and adrenal glands and entire endocrine system increasing stress response and subsequent health symptoms but it’s not something directly caused or healed by nutrition (though Excellent message and foundation for eating a plant-based diet as an athlete. Brazier understands the importance of veganism in optimal performance as well as curbing extra stressors in life. I think he misses a few important points, for instance Cushing’s syndrome and disease is one health issue that effects the pituitary and adrenal glands and entire endocrine system increasing stress response and subsequent health symptoms but it’s not something directly caused or healed by nutrition (though from my own experience eating wfpb has helped). Anyway that’s a rare condition so I never expect to hear about it in vegan books. One thing I’ve read about more recently is the importance of fiber and starch in a Whole Foods diet and Brazier’s thrive pyramid gives protein and fats more importance. I think Greger, Campbell, Ornish and other doctors would agree that starches and carbs should be much higher here than protein (even natural plant protein) and fats (even natural like avocado but especially oils). Anyway overall very good and lots of useful information and delicious recipes for athletes and layman alike.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I rarely write reviews, but sometimes I want to write it out for my own knowledge to help me remember what I took from the book. I began my plant based diet over 4 years ago after reading Rich Roll's book, Finding Ultra (and his podcast!). Some top level notes I took while reading Thrive: - Cortisol and stress. What adds to stress. What removed it. Ever notice how you'll get sick after a serious stressful time at work or life? Cortisol affects everything. - Chlorophyll is amazing, basically "gree I rarely write reviews, but sometimes I want to write it out for my own knowledge to help me remember what I took from the book. I began my plant based diet over 4 years ago after reading Rich Roll's book, Finding Ultra (and his podcast!). Some top level notes I took while reading Thrive: - Cortisol and stress. What adds to stress. What removed it. Ever notice how you'll get sick after a serious stressful time at work or life? Cortisol affects everything. - Chlorophyll is amazing, basically "green blood" and is easily absorbed by the body - Cook veggies at a lower temp! Why? Better for all the natural enzymes. - 12 week meal plan is great, tons of ideas. - For instance, making a big batch of raw energy bars to keep down shitty snacking. - Make food BEFORE the workout - Dates are great, incredible how many recipes have dates. Lots. Of. Dates. - Don’t obsess about protein or forcing greens and veggies. Simple carbs are totally ok! Did I mention dates?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Magnus van de Kamp

    I was pretty hyped about this book, because the title offered exactly what I was looking for - a vegan diet for high performance. It did it's job in updating my knowledge about where to get the right nutrients for hard workouts and right recovery. Thanks to Brazier I am also on his advised 12 week program for recalibration and improved recovery, consuming mostly non-processed, gluten free food. I have to update my review at this point. Although Brazier lacks scientific evidence in some parts - I I was pretty hyped about this book, because the title offered exactly what I was looking for - a vegan diet for high performance. It did it's job in updating my knowledge about where to get the right nutrients for hard workouts and right recovery. Thanks to Brazier I am also on his advised 12 week program for recalibration and improved recovery, consuming mostly non-processed, gluten free food. I have to update my review at this point. Although Brazier lacks scientific evidence in some parts - I have to say, that I got carried away by other reviews - his input was basically priceless for me. I have never had such a clean and healthy diet before and while following Braziers guidelines and the 12 week program I am experiencing enormous improvements in recovery and in performance. Although I am only about 2 weeks in the program, I feel that it's working and my training has never been better. So after all the geeky talk of people about missing scientific evidence and all, I would advice readers to not only read and criticize his book, but to actually apply the information given. I guess most of the people leaving bad ratings or reviews are still sitting on the couch drinking beer and eating chips and wondering why nothing is happening. So: Follow the program first and then you will be able to give a adequate rating. Thanks for the great Book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Amita Sethi

    The major portion of total energy produced gets consumed by food industry worldwide including production/packaging/distribution and consumption. What we chose to eat has direct impact on the environment and on our body. Thrive is an ultimate book which inspired me to know my food better. Planning to read this regularly in couple months to keep myself motivated. It's important to know what you are eating and how you can do better for yourself and your echo system. The major portion of total energy produced gets consumed by food industry worldwide including production/packaging/distribution and consumption. What we chose to eat has direct impact on the environment and on our body. Thrive is an ultimate book which inspired me to know my food better. Planning to read this regularly in couple months to keep myself motivated. It's important to know what you are eating and how you can do better for yourself and your echo system.

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