Fuel for the Road

brendan brazier coolguy Fuel for the Road Photographer: G Monkie (CC), The Thrive Diet was created by Brendan Brazier

I just got back home to Vancouver from 3 ½ weeks on the road. One week in Toronto and 2 ½ in LA. It was a great trip. During my time in Toronto I spoke at the Holistic World Expo. Held at the convention center, as expected it produced a good turn out. Then, on to Anaheim for the official US launch of VEGA. Expo West is the largest natural products expo in the world, held in Anaheim each year. The rest of the trip was spent in the LA area, visiting friends, working on projects and helping to get VEGA established. I did a few demos at Erewhon, a large well-know health food store in LA.

I’m off again on April 26th, this time for at least a month. Washington DC, Toronto, Chicago and likely other parts of Ontario.

Since my diet is based purely on plants and about 80% raw, I’m often asked how I maintain it while I’m on the road. In fact, one of the reasons I eat the way I do is because it requires the least amount of effort and provides the most energy a great combo for travel. Also, since I’m training for the up-coming racing season (I have the Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Championships on May 6th in Toronto), I have to pay close attention to my diet.

Carbohydrate is the body’s preferred fuel source. Without sufficient carbohydrate in the diet the body will not have the energy required for high performance sport. My primary carbohydrate source is fruit. Fruit is known as a simple carbohydrate meaning that is made up of primarily sugar. Sugar from fruit is very easy for the body to burn as fuel. In contrast, many processed grains commonly eaten have to be broken down from complex carbohydrates into simple sugar since the body cannot burn complex carbohydrate, therefore an extra step is created, making it’s utilization less efficient.

To ensure my body is properly fueled, I graze on fruit for most of the morning and afternoon.

Bananas are easily digestible and are easy to find in most any corner store in North America, making them a reliable source. Other good options are dates which are high in a quick absorbing sugar called glucose. They’re idea right before a workout to fuel up on. I also eat lots of mango and papaya. They are both easily digestible, plus papaya has an enzyme in it that helps the digestion of other foods eaten with it. Pears, apples and oranges are more of my staples. I often gnaw on a bit of ginger as well to help speed digestion even more.

One of the things I like most about raw foods is that there’s no preparation required, I just eat the fruit as is. It frees up a lot of extra time in the day for other things.

Next installment I’ll talk about protein.

Until then,



  • Danielle

    Very cool! I can't wait until the US stores all start carrying Vega.

    What else do you eat besides fruit while traveling and do you have any trouble finding ripe organic fruit? Or also what your thoughts are on people eating that much sweet fruit who are not very active like you are, and so don't really use it for fuel or burn it off.

    I'd also be really interested in hearing about how you keep up your training while traveling and how you adapt it to fit in your traveling schedule. How many hours a day do you train for something like this coming up? Thanks.

  • http://www.brendanbrazier.com Brendan Brazier

    Hi Danielle,

    Thanks for your question

    Since I travel mostly to big cities, it’s quite easy to find fresh organic food. Whole Foods is the fastest growing grocery chain in North America, I’m pleased about that. Their explosive growth is forcing other grocery stores and markets to compete. Even some department stores, including Wal Mart, have organic produce now!

    For people who are not as active, I’d suggest replacing about 40% of the sweet fruit with cucumbers, celery, sweet peppers, carrots, a variety of greens and my favorite, sugar snap peas.

    Training on the road takes organization. I have to plan each day and stick to it. I usually get up early to run. Just before dinner I’ll sneak in a weight training and core stability session. I try to stay in a hotel that has a gym, but can also do the main exercises with just body weight in my room. Since travel will make up a large part of this year, I won’t be competing in triathlons this year. Ironman requires too much time (between 5-8 hours a day) and is near imposable to do on the road at a high level. Especially considering I can’t be wanting to sleep for the rest of the day after a hard training session, which is standard for competitive Ironman training. Running is manageable though, so that’s what I’ll stick to this year. For my up-coming races I train anywhere from 90 minutes to four hours a day.


  • Rob Dubois

    Thanks for updating the blog Brendan. With each new entry I get another good tip or two.

    Once again, I'll be happy to help out at the Sequel booth this weekend at the Vancouver Wellness Show. See you there.

    Peace and Blessings


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