I Am Taking One Month Break from The Road…

brendan brazier running 01 I Am Taking One Month Break from The Road...

Photographer: G Monkie (CC)

I’m back to Vancouver for the summer, it’s nice to be home. My focus up until September will be finishing my new book. It will be based on the theory of THRIVE, but will be a full-scale diet book to compete with The Zone, GI Diet, South Beach Diet, etc. It will include 75 recipes and a 12-week meal plan. It will be published in March of 2007 by Penguin. The title will be The THRIVE Diet; the subtitle has yet to be determined.

In September I’ll be back on tour. I have rough dates now, but will confirm them later.

I’ll be speaking at the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s food fair at 3pm on September 9th and 10th. I’ll then have speaking dates in the Ottawa area as well as Montreal and Quebec City. From there I’ll be speaking at events in the San Francisco area including World Vegetarian Day in Golden Gate Park on September 30th. From there I’ll be attending a large natural food trade show in Baltimore called Expo East, then will speak at events in the New England area. Like I say, I’ll get back to you with the details.

In the mean time, here’s an article about raw food, a topic I’m being asked more and more frequently.

Raw food article
As a society, we are inundated with an abundance of nutrient deficient foods. Eaten primarily for convenience, processed and refined foods have resulted in an overall decline in health and elevated medical costs. Processed foods are usually high in refined carbohydrates and calories yet we have to consume so much more of them to fill up due to their absence of usable nutrients.

Due to 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 does provide a short term energy solution through stimulation. However, it offers nothing to curb the payment that the body will inevitably endure if this route is regularly taken. Consumption of stimulating, nutrient deficient food can only occur for so long before the body becomes either exhausted or sick and where the body goes, the mind is sure to follow.

Raw food for optimal absorption
Without efficient absorption and assimilation, even healthy whole foods will have limited nutritional value. Fortunately, the way to ensure you are getting maximum return on your eating (ie. most energy value out of your food) is actually simpler than you might think. As a general rule, the less that has been done to your food the better its return will be. Here is where raw, plant-based whole foods really shine.

The cooking and processing of food can destroy enzymes needed for efficient digestion. Before the body can make use of processed food it must produce enzymes, which creates more work and therefore more stress. Enzymes in food that are destroyed during processing have to be generated by the body to compensate for the unnatural food’s shortcomings in order for it to be digested.

There is evidence to suggest that consuming cooked, processed foods for many years may actually exhaust the body’s enzyme-producing glands, resulting in poor digestion and assimilation of food later in life. This is one possibility for rapid signs of aging and disease; food is no longer nourishing the body the way it once did simply because it’s not being digested properly anymore.

Raw food for cost-free energy
For long-term health and vitality it is important to understand the difference between energy obtained from stimulation versus energy derived from proper nourishment. As a general rule, the more processed a food is, the more of a stimulating affect it will have on the nervous system. In contrast, the more natural and whole a food is raw and sprouted being the ultimate the less stimulating and more nourishing it will be.

Whole, raw foods provide cost-free energy that is, sustainable energy that does not have to be stoked regularly with processed carbohydrates, refined sugars or caffeine in order to last. Ironically, many so-called energy foods are the biggest energy draining culprits. While convenient, many energy bars on the market offer little more nutritionally than candy bars. As with shopping with a credit card, stimulating the adrenal glands may provide you with more energy in the short term, but you will likely pay for it (with interest) in the future.

Conversely, enzymatically alive, whole raw foods provide cost-free sustainable energy and vitality, not quick bouts of stimulation.Cost-free energy producing foods are:

  • whole unprocessed and unrefined (ie. nothing added, nothing taken away)
  • raw and rich in naturally occurring enzymes
  • alkaline or alkaline-forming
  • high in natural vitamins and minerals
  • best in sprouted form

Sprouted food for maximum net energy gain
I believe sprouted foods offer unparalleled net energy yield over all other foods. Enzymatically alive and nutrient packed, sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional of all foods tested. Rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, phytonutrients and enzymes, their nutritional value was discovered by the Chinese thousands of years ago. Recently, in North America, numerous scientific studies are confirming the benefits of sprouts in a healthy diet. Sprouted mung beans, wheat grass and sprouted flax seeds are among my personal favourite sprouted foods.

Because sprouts are essentially a pre-digested food, they have a higher biological efficiency value than whole seeds. Less food is required, yet more nutrients reach the blood and cells. The process of sprouting substantially increases vitamins, minerals and protein while decreasing calories and carbohydrate content. This increase in protein availability is key as it indicates the enhanced nutritional value of a food when sprouted. The protein from sprouted foods is the most easily digestible of all proteins available in foods.

The sprouting process does much of the energy conversion for the body; one less step in the digestive process therefore results in a greater net gain. Contrast this to consuming cooked, processed, isolated proteins that the body must break down before it can be recognized and utilized, resulting in a significant loss in efficacy.

As described in my book THRIVE, the net gain of food is a term given to the energy we are left with from food once digestion and assimilation have taken place. As a rule, cooked, refined and processed foods yield the lowest net gain. Unprocessed, whole food sources offer a superior return. When raw, it is even better. Taken one step further, whole, raw, sprouted foods provide the absolute greatest net energy gain possible through nourishment, not stimulation.

  • http://piscesplace.blogspot.com K

    A great, informative post, Brendan. Looking forward to the book.

    All the best from San Diego…

  • Jamie Chicanot

    Hi Brendan, I owe you big time! Reason being is that I came across you and your book at a time when I desperately needed (although didn't know it at the time) to revolutionize my diet and training (fellow west coater in Victoria). It has helped me so so much; many thanks. As I see Vega take-off, added to your increasing popularity as a speaker and entrepeneur, in addition to a new book on the horizon, I wonder if your days as an elite triathlete are giving way to those of a speaker, product developer, visionary etc.? I wonder how you find the time to train so hard, yet continue to write, speak, develop new product etc.? Just curious, as you have been a major inspiration in my training and eating lifestyles.

    Oh, two last things, do you have any views about Aceh, and what is your take on Dr.Graham's 811 pure raw, principally fruit based diet?

    Thanks in advance for any reponse. Cheers. Jamie

  • Dan

    Thanks for the great talk in Chicago @ Whole Foods…the stuff you are doing is really inspiring. Hope you got to go for a run on the lake front while you were in town as it is a must for any visitor!

    Keep up the good work with all that you are doing, and I look forward to the upcoming book!


    p.s. – what do you think of Dean Karnazes' 50 marathons in 50 states deal? Have you checked out his diet? Do you think it would be possible fueling for something like that primarily on raw foods? Thanks!

  • http://brendanbrazier.com/bio/index.html Brendan

    Hi Jamie,

    Thanks, glad I could help.

    Right now getting everything done is certainly a challenge. I'm mostly just running and with a few gym workouts a week and the occasional bike ride for cross-training purposes.

    I'm not sure what next year will hold in terms of racing, but I think it's safe to guess that it probably be running focused since touring simple does not allow for any serious cycling and swimming. I'd like to focus on the marathon for a while anyway, we see where it goes…

    Personally, I like a bit more fat and protein in my diet than the 80-10-10 allows. I'd say I'm closer to 70-15-15, at about 85% raw.

    Thanks for your question Jamie.


  • http://brendanbrazier.com/bio/index.html Brendan

    Hi Dan,

    It was nice to meet you in Chicago. I did get out for a couple runs along the lake front, very nice. Very hot also. I think I was there at one of the hotter parts of the year.

    I don't know what Dean's diet is like but I know it can be done on a raw diet. In fact, I know a couple who did the same thing, 50 marathons in 50 days in New Zealand, all on a raw diet. That was about 10 years ago when they were in their 60's. They still maintain high mileage even now and run a near-100% raw juice bar on Vancouver Island called Zen Zero. I'd say raw or very close to it is optimal for an event like that.

    Thanks for your input about what races we should be involved with also Dan. We want to sponsor events in the Chicago area, as you know, so I appreciate your help with that. I'll likely be back in October to do more work in Chicago.

    Good luck in your up-coming triathlons,


  • shane

    Hey Brendan!
    Sounds like your touring went well. I suppose it's good to be back home to settle down for a while. Good words about the raw food! I love raw food! I try to eat everything raw/sprouted, the only things I don't eat that aren't raw are things like tofu, soymilk, carob, small things like that. When you sprout legumes, is it generally a good idea to let it fully sprout like the store bought ones? Cause I usually let the sprout grow like an inch then eat em. Hmm, I have two more questions: 1) Is it bad to over consume plant foods that contain oxlates{things that bind to minerials} 2) and do soy products like..tofu contain protease inhibitors? like usually I don't cook tofu..should I being doing that? darn contreversaries about soy!
    Anyways, keep up the good work!

  • http://brendanbrazier.com/bio/index.html Brendan

    Hi Shane,

    Yes. The tour was good. I start the next one on September 7th. I’ll update my BLOG with details about it once I get them.

    As for the sprouts, I usually don't wait that long for them to sprout. I eat them just as the sprout is sticking out. Either way is good.

    I have heard that oxlates can cause sensitivities, similar to gluten, wheat, or yeast. That's only if you're sensitive to them though.

    I've heard a lot about soy as well, especially recently. I used to eat tofu a few times a week back a couple of years ago, but now I'll eat it maybe once a month, if that. I felt fine when I ate it often, and I feel fine now, so cutting it out didn't really affect me. I know that in high amounts it's said that the inhibitors can cause problems, but I haven't seen anything to confirm that. If you eat tofu a couple times a week, you won't have any trouble, unless you have a sensitivity to it.


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