Brendan Brazier

Brendan Brazier

Brendan Brazier is one of only a few professional athletes in the world whose diet is 100 percent plant-based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA. He is also a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion.

Raw Energy Bar Recipe With Brendan Brazier

Our friend Brendan Brazier, the vegan tri-athlete, author and formulator of the Vega food products, stopped by to show Sarah and Boise how to make a raw energy bar. This is one of the first products Brendan created during his early days of training.

Expediting Recovery, Benefits Of A Balanced pH For Athletes

brendan brazier balance ph 03 Expediting Recovery, Benefits Of A Balanced pH For Athletes Photographer: V Blak (CC)

It amazes me how little attention the value of balanced pH has garnered from the mainstream medical world. Positive acid/alkaline balance is one of the most important factors in athletic performance. In my opinion, by disregarding this fact, sport supplement manufactures have significantly reduced the effectiveness of their products. In fact some of the energy bars currently on the market are the worst offenders. Processed for the sake of shelf life and convenience, and consequently denatured and acid forming, many energy bars are not much more than disguised junk food.

When acidic forming food is consumed, starting with digestion and continuing until elimination, it produces toxins that the body must deal with. Denatured foods are toxin producers and as a result have the greatest negative impact on pH balance within the body. Highly refined and processed, denatured foods are void of any usable nutrients, yet retain their caloric value the worst combination. Toxins in the body lead to premature aging through cell degeneration. Aside from food, most prescription drugs, artificial sweeteners and synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements are extremely acid forming.

Highly refined and processed, denatured foods are void of any usable nutrients, yet retain their caloric value the worst combination.

Athletes in peak training are the most affected by acidosis. Vigorous exercise creates stress in terms of muscle trauma cased by the workout. Physiologically speaking, hard exercise is the stressor but equally important is rest and recovery. The correct balance of theses two opposing elements is the recipe for growth. Already physically stressed, many athletes also must deal with various types of performance anxiety. An increased metabolism is yet another factor athletes are met with, further lowering pH. Furthermore, athletes require more food in general with an emphasis on protein to aid muscle recovery.

brendan brazier balance ph 01 Expediting Recovery, Benefits Of A Balanced pH For Athletes

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The Thrive Diet A Complete Nourishment Diet

brendan brazier healthy nutrition 01 The Thrive Diet A Complete Nourishment Diet

G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

The following is our second excerpt from Brendan’s new book “The Thrive Diet”, on sale now in Canada and and in the U.S. in January.

Whole Foods For Complete Nourishment The healthiest way to meet nutritional needs is to simply eat a diet rich in whole foods. Food-sourced vitamins and minerals are superior to their laboratory-created counterparts. As I noted earlier, many calcium supplements are derived from nonfood sources — oyster shells, bovine bone meal, or dolomite — none of which the body is able to use efficiently. Again, the more work the body must do to assimilate nutrients, the less usable energy it will be left with. Salt is another illustration of this. Salt derived from the earth or the sea is often added to food during processing; salt is rarely consumed in its alternative form — plants. Yet, that is a much better way to get sodium in your diet: Let the plant draw and assimilate it and other minerals from the soil or sea, doing most of the work for you. My favorite source of sodium is raw dulse. A sea vegetable, dulse is exceptionally healthy, offering a plethora of minerals that help prolong hydration and therefore endurance.

thrive diet books by brendan brazier The Thrive Diet A Complete Nourishment Diet

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Whole Food Marathon Fueling And Making Your Own Raw Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

brendan brazier training thrive diet 01 Whole Food Marathon Fueling And Making Your Own Raw Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

As you are probably aware, commercial versions of many sport nutrition products are not always the healthiest option. Commonly packed with artificial flavours, refined carbohydrates, denatured proteins and sometimes even harmful fats, I certainly don’t want to consume anything that doesn’t put overall health first.While some commercial options are not as bad as they once were, I like to know exactly what goes into mine and keep them completely natural.

I make my own.

Whole food energy bars, sport drinks, energy gels, energy pudding, post-workout recovery drink, whole food meal replacement smoothies and even performance pancakes are all part of my specific sport nutrition program.

Immediately before exercise

The body’s first choice for fuel during intense exercise is simple carbohydrates. However, once the body has burned all the simple carbohydrates available, it will then opt for available complex carbohydrates. It’s in the athlete’s best interest to ensure that the body is provided with enough simple carbohydrates to fuel activity so that complex carbohydrates are not relied upon. If the body has to resort to burning complex carbohydrates while exercising at a high intensity, it will have to use extra energy in order to convert the complex carbs into simple carbs. Additionally, if too much protein is eaten before intense exercise, it will likely cause muscle cramping due to the fact that it requires more fluid to be metabolized than carbohydrate or fat does.

Also, protein is not what you want your body burning for fuel. Protein is for rebuilding muscle post-activity, not fuelling it. When too much protein is consumed in place of carbohydrates immediately before exercise — and therefore burned as fuel — it burns “dirty,” meaning that toxins are created as a result of its combustion. The production and elimination of toxins is of course a stress on the body, and as such causes a stress response. Ultimately endurance will decline.

brendan brazier training thrive diet 02 Whole Food Marathon Fueling And Making Your Own Raw Apple Cinnamon Energy Bars

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Using Stimulation To Your Advantage

brendan brazier sea weed 01 Using Stimulation To Your Advantage Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

Unexpectedly hearing a loud noise when the room is quiet, you might feel a sudden rush of energy. This is the most basic form of stimulation, left over from your primal survival mechanism. Your body assumes the loud noise is a threat and prepares you for action by engaging the adrenal glands to draw more energy.

In reaction to the first onset of stimulation — a form of stress — we gain energy. We become more alert, our strength can increase and we have the ability to process information more quickly and react faster. Summoning its hormonal resources to momentarily improve strength and reaction time, the body would have likely improved its odds of getting out of a prehistoric bind. Early man would certainly have benefited from greater strength and quicker reaction time if confronted by a predatory animal.

Of course, we aren’t confronted with those types of threats today. But we face a host of modern-day ones that evoke the same hormonal response. Stress of any kind — be it too much work, family-related concerns, poor diet, breathing impure air, constantly having to be “on”, and not enough down time — put strain on the adrenal glands.

brendan brazier sea weed 02 Using Stimulation To Your Advantage

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Brendan Braziers One-Step Nutrition Based On The Thrive Diet

brendan brazier onestep nutrition 01 Brendan Braziers One Step Nutrition Based On The Thrive Diet

Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

The following is our third excerpt from Brendan’s new book “The Thrive Diet”, on sale on Amazon.com. Or take a look at a Digital version of The Thrive Diet on Google Books.

One-step nutrition is the term I use to describe food containing nutrients already in a form usable by the body, with no breaking down required. The nutrients get into the body and go straight to work. Nutrients in foods in a typical North American diet are in a form that the body must first break down and convert before it can utilize them.

By consuming one-step foods, the body is fueled and able to rebuild efficiently. Requiring minimal energy to become usable and assimilated, foods containing one-step nutrients in effect provide the body with more energy by helping conserve energy. Gaining the greatest amount of energy from the least amount of food is the goal of the Thrive Diet.

thrive diet books by brendan brazier Brendan Braziers One Step Nutrition Based On The Thrive Diet

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GreenChefs Quick / Easy Recipe With Brendan Brazier

Our friend Brendan Brazier, the vegan tri-athlete, author and formulator of the Vega food products, stopped by to show Sarah and Boise how to make a raw energy bar. This is one of the first products Brendan created during his early days of training.

Alkaline-Forming Foods pH Balance the Body on a Thrive Diet

brendan brazier black 01 Alkaline Forming Foods pH Balance the Body on a Thrive Diet Photographer:V Blak (CC)

G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

The following is our fifth excerpt from Brendan’s book “The Thrive Diet”, on sale now.

The balance of acid and alkaline within the body is referred to as pH (meaning “potential of hydrogen”), and measured on a scale ranging from pH 1 (the most acidic) to pH 14 (the most alkaline). A neutral or good pH balance is 7.35; maintaining this balance is vital. If the body’s pH drops, meaning our body has become too acidic, the likelihood of ailments rises sharply. An acidic environment within the body negatively affects health at the cellular level. It is not possible to be truly healthy when the body is in a constant state of acidosis (characterized by excessively high acid levels).

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Enzyme Enhancement On The Thrive Diet

brendan brazier onestep nutrition 02 Enzyme Enhancement On The Thrive Diet
Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

The following is an excerpt from Brendan’s new book “The Thrive Diet”, on sale now in Canada and and in the U.S. in January.

Raw and low-temperature cooked foods | Enzyme Enhancement
High-temperature cooking and processing of food destroys the enzymes and nutrients that allow the food to be efficiently digested. Therefore, before the body can make use of cooked food, it must produce enzymes to aid in the digestion process. That takes work.

One of the least appreciated yet most important components of our diet, enzymes are vital to achieving optimal health. An absence of enzymes in your diet can result in the same sickness and disease associated with malnutrition, even if your diet is otherwise healthy. Without enzymes, food cannot be turned into usable fuel for the body. As with hormones, enzyme production in the body diminishes with age, leaving us reliant on diet to provide them. In the distant past, that was of little concern, as enzymes were plentiful in food. But today enzymes are not so abundant in our foods. As our fresh whole-food choices dwindle, making way for highly refined, processed options, enzymes in our foods diminish.

thrive diet books by brendan brazier Enzyme Enhancement On The Thrive Diet

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Omega-3 and its Rise to Mainstream Acceptance

brendan brazier omega3 02 Omega 3 and its Rise to Mainstream Acceptance Photographer: G Monkie (CC), The Thrive Diet was created by Brendan Brazier

Omega-3 has moved to the upper level of awareness, even for the average consumer. In fact, it’s become “mainstream”. Recently I saw a generic brand of knock-off Oreos. Not surprisingly, their first ingredient was refined sugar and the second was bleached white flour. However, across the front of the box in a font larger than the name of the cookies it said “Omega-3!” If there were any doubt that Omega-3 was hot, this should lay it to rest. And while Omega-3 is vastly important — essential even — its usage and the way in which it’s being promoted has become somewhat misguided. As with many healthy foods or nutrients — once grabbed by the mainstream, they tend to be slightly misunderstood.

An upswing in awareness of Omega-3 consumption began to develop soon after a World Health Organization (WHO) report was released that suggested the average North American eats a vastly out-of-balance ration of Omega-6 to Omega-3. And that this was linked to serious health problems. Consumers of the Standard American Diet (SAD) commonly ingest a ratio that is in the realm of 20:1, the report states. That means that 20 times more Omega-6 is being consumed than Omega-3.

brendan brazier omega3 01 Omega 3 and its Rise to Mainstream Acceptance

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Learn To Eliminate The Biological Debt

brendan brazier thrive diet 01 Learn To Eliminate The Biological Debt  Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

G Living’s Brendan Brazier is one the world’s few professional athletes whose diet is 100 percent plant based. He’s a professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called Vega.

The following is our fourth excerpt from Brendan’s book “The Thrive Diet”, on sale now.

I use the term biological debt to refer to a state that the body goes into after energy from stimulation has dissipated. Often brought about by eating refined sugar or drinking coffee to gain energy in the short term, biological debt is a state of fatigue.

For long-term health and vitality, we need to understand the difference between two types of energy: one obtained from stimulation, the other from nourishment. As a general rule, the more processed the food is, the more stimulating its effect will be on the nervous system, and the less nourishing. In contrast, the more natural and whole a food is — raw and sprouted being the best — the less stimulating and the more nourishing it will be. Because of our insatiable desire for quick, convenient energy “on the go,” our streets are crammed with coffee, donut, and fast food establishments. This solves the convenience problem and offers a short-term energy solution through stimulation. However, it does nothing to help with the payment inevitably required by the body if this route is taken regularly. The body can subsist on stimulating, nutrient-absent food only so long before becoming either exhausted or sick –and where the body goes, the mind is sure to follow.

brendan brazier thrive diet 02 Learn To Eliminate The Biological Debt

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Reducing Stress From Your Diet Can Save Your Life And Strengthen Your Body

brendan brazier reducing stress 01 Reducing Stress From Your Diet Can Save Your Life And Strengthen Your Body Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

There are several reasons people struggle with change. In fact, those who make positive changes are more likely to discontinue them than those who make negative ones because those who see themselves as making a sacrifice in exchange for a certain improvement want their investment to pay off quickly. If results aren’t instantaneous, interest quickly dwindles. In addition, negative initial results are almost certain to be a deterrent.

For example, many athletes I know have, at some point, tried a vegan diet, although usually not for more than two weeks at a time. Here’s the problem they encounter: when a new way of eating is adopted, the body must adapt. And with adaptation comes stress. Most commonly referred to as detoxification in this case, this is the body’s way of eliminating toxins accumulated over years of consuming sub-optimal food.

Our bodies are equipped with coping mechanisms that allow us to function optimally relative to the nourishment supplied. Seemingly counterintuitive, the first few days of an optimal diet will not be a pleasant experience. Often, years of less-than-ideal eating practices have rendered the body nutritionally stressed. The poorer the quality of the previous diet, the longer the detoxification process will last. Those converting from a Standard American Diet (SAD), for example, to an exclusively whole food plant-based diet will likely take in excess of four weeks to ‘cleanse’ the body of toxins. Usually detox symptoms include headache, blotting, fatigue, and sleep disturbances.

As you can imagine, an athlete who has made the transition to a vegan diet for the sake of improved performance is not going to be tolerant of these symptoms. Also, to make matters worse, most athletes are hyper sensitive to change. In effect, the detox symptoms are magnified in an athlete’s body due to the high level of “body consciousness” that most athletes have innately developed.

brendan brazier reducing stress 02 Reducing Stress From Your Diet Can Save Your Life And Strengthen Your Body

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