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

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Product Description

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).

Customer Reviews:

  • Thrive
    First raw vegan book I have come across that relates food and nutrition with strength and endurance. Loved reading every minute and have ordered his next book just published called Fitness...more info
  • This is the Best Diet Plan
    In addition to being a part time personal trainer, I'm a full time college student. My life is pretty hectic! Last summer, I decided to become raw vegan and found myself tripping up along the way. "Thrive" provides specific information in order to properly balance your diet. Some days I start my day at 5:30am and end it at 8:00pm. I run, lift weights, rock climb, do homework for heavy duty science classes; the "Thrive" diet helps boost my stamina - not only physically but mentally! I also use Brazier's VEGA products and all of my clients love them as well. Brendan Brazier is the man!

    I tell all of my clients to buy this book!...more info
  • Alkaline vegan diet proves a responsible pattern for athletes and everyday people
    In a mere coincidence, I bought this book when I just had completed the Golden Bridge Yogi cleanse, an alkaline based vegan cleanse, with a real sense of where my diet should be at. I was vegan based during my marathon trainings in the past, but had developed Hashimoto's disease a year after my last marathon, which made me quit soy products, thinking I had to go back to dairy for protein sources, only to not feel good about it physically and mentally. In addition, the skin on my arms and face getting rough, my energy levels not improving either.
    So I read about Brendan Brazier, a vegan triathlete, and wanted to give his plan a try. I love his ideas and I love the fact that his food lists are based on alkaline levels, explains how eating this way can improve muscle recovery, help endurance, and just generally make you feel really good, and it is true. I LOVE the pizza recipes and have been sprouting like crazy. My husband loves them as well. This book is great for any vegan who wants to be back to basics, and develop a real love of raw food eating with some low temp baking options. ...more info
  • It gets easier
    I just finished my second marathon season, and am ready to take a step up in the laziest manner possible. ha ha! My previous diet was vegetarian, no dairy, but fish and eggs were included because I didn't feel like I was getting the right fats and protein. What I like about this book is that Brendan gives you the info to dive right into a vegan diet, but he also gives you the basics for someone that wants to slowly ease in, with regards to effort. I have started by adding to my intake every day: a veggie rich salad, a smoothie, and an energy bar. They were pretty simple, and did not involve spending $237 at whole foods (beside, I found a great co-op which is way cheaper). I pick a few things, and then shop only for the ingredient they require. I have tried sprouting quinoa and buckwheat, and the quinoa has become a new favorite in salads and energy bars. I'm also a big fan of BOKU Superfood powder, which has a lot of the ingredients he talks about like Chlorella, Sea Vegetables, and other good stuff. I don't spend much time cooking during the week, so I prep all my veggies, salad items, and energy bars on Sundays, and then everything is really fast during the week. I'm not much of a dinner person either... I often go out with friends and follow his eating out tips, and or myself eating a bowl of cooked psuedograins for dinner, and that's enough. After a few weeks, I'm down from 130lbs to about 127, and my body fat has decreased about 2% as well. Weightloss is appealing, but its not really my priority, mind you. Its all easy enough, becomes easier after you try recipes a few times, and you feel very good since you're getting proper nutrition for once without crazy supplements! This is a lifestyle change and something I feel like I can do on an ongoing basis....more info
  • Must read for athletes
    Great nutrition plan for athletes. You can build with this plan. Great info for everyone. ...more info
  • reformed sugarfreak
    I recently kicked my sugar addiction and read "The China Study". While browsing amazon for vegan cookbooks I came upon this book. It is very good. I made one of the burger recipes yesterday and it was delicious. My husband and 19 year old son also thought they were delicious. Making bars today and bought some of this guys bars at whole foods last night. My son took them to school,so I'll find out later how they were. I have recommended this book to others, you don't have to be a super tri-athlete to benefit....more info
  • Good Information, not well organized
    I bought this book looking for some ideas on how to improve my way of eating. I am an aquatic and equine athlete who is older and trying to come back from severe auto-immune and fibromyalgia. I eat raw foods often and juice because I feel better when I do.

    The book is full of wonderful information. The recipes are quite good and some of the author's ideas are practical and useful. He includes sports gels that are brilliant because of the healthy ingredients, unlike the commercial ones full of maltodextrin and sugars and dyes.

    I only left off one star because I feel like the recipes could have better organized and indexed. Some groups of recipes has a lengthy explanation before them which would have been better served by writing about the ingredients in a chapter beforehand. Visual layout is not easy to use, I feel confused when I use the book to find recipes

    Some reviewers complain about the cost of these recommended foods and ingredients, but that is not the fault of the author. Eating well costs alot and you can spend it there or at the pharmacy and doctors later when you fall ill....more info
  • Best book of its type
    The book is really about "biological debt" coming in the form of highly processed foods with few enzymes and take a toll by reducing energy and shortening life. Although not a vegan, I found the recipes in this book vbery helpful, particularly the energy bars and the green smoothies. As Brazier suggests, start small as any changes the body perceives will be processed as stress. ...more info
  • THRIVE on the food nature intended for us
    "The cornerstone of the Thrive Diet is high net-gain foods. It's that simple. By eating more high net-gain foods, your energy will rise, body fat will decrease, mental clarity will be enhanced, and cravings for refined foods will fade." ~ Brendan Brazier from "The Thrive Diet"

    We all want to Thrive in our lives, don't we? It's kinda hard to live at our highest potential if we're having a hard time getting out of bed, eh?

    As an active, athletic vegan, I've worked hard to make sure I'm as healthy as I can be. That's why I was thrilled when I first met Brendan Brazier (we actually met at John Mackey, the CEO of Whole Foods' ranch). Brendan's a professional Ironman triathlete and is one of only a few professional athletes in the world whose diet is 100 percent plant-based.

    Yep. Ironman. And no meat. No dairy. No refined foods. Nothing but plants.

    I'll repeat: Brendan only eats plant-based foods and he's a professional athlete in what must be THE most grueling sport out there. (For those curious souls, an Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim followed by a 112 mile bike ride and wrapped up with a 26.2 mile marathon. The best athletes in the world do it in under 9 hours. Brendan's among that group.)

    "He does THAT and he only eats plants, you say?!?"


    "But where does he get his protein?!?!"

    From plants. Tragically, plants don't have quite the same marketing spend as the meat and dairy industries so you don't hear quite as much about their nutritional value but you'll learn how to best THRIVE on the food nature intended us to eat in Brendan's brilliant book, "The Thrive Diet."
    ...more info
  • Thrive Diet Book
    This book is fantastic! Everyone knows how to become a vegan, but rarely do they know how to THRIVE as a vegan and be healthy. It can be tricky, but Brendan Brazier spells it out in detail and gives you recipes. And he makes it simple and flexible! The only problem is I didn't have a food processor but even so, there are other options in his book. ...more info
  • Thanks for my good health
    I concur with previous 5 star reviews they describe accurately this life changing book I received. It hit an absolute bullseye for me as a vegan and weekend cross country mountain bike racer that occasional likes to enter longer 8+ hour endurance rides. If I didn't ride a bike at all though this book would still be a bullseye simply on general health grounds alone.

    The section on sprouting is brief. My recommendation for a thorougher companion book on growing sprouts is Sprout Garden - Revised Edition...more info
  • A Dream Come True
    Sounds a bit over the top, but I'm an actress in Hollywood with an athletic build. I've always found it hard to stay really lean, even though I'm a hard-core athlete, and that makes it hard to compete with the waifs. I bought Brendan's book two months ago and for the first time I am shredded without starving myself. I feel better than I ever have in my entire life and I honestly can't believe it.

    I love the diet, love the food, love the philosophy. (I'm also an environmentalist)

    I read the book cover-to-cover, excited by the philosophy but dismayed by the foreign foods that I needed to learn to locate, sprout and soak in order to start. This was just initial panic. I got over it.

    I started with the smoothies and energy bars. I bought the Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer he recommends and I found that making the smoothies was super-fast (throw my fruit, water, optimizer in a blender and go) and that while the energy bars took a little time, I could make a 2-month supply at a time, and then have a quick, easy snack always ready. I like them best frozen, so I'm not worried about spoilage. That was week one.

    Week two I did my big shop (it was a bit pricey to start, but it's been very cheap ever since) which took a little to psych up for, washed and sanitized my fruits and veggies, and started sprouting. As soon as my sprouts were ready (a few days later) I took a full day and made pizza, burgers, crackers, sauces, salad dressings, etc. I basically made a little of everything. The joy was that I then could eat all week without doing anything but opening up the fridge. Since then, I've run out of things one by one, but since I've done it before, I had all of the ingredients on hand and it was no big deal to replenish; getting started was the hard part. I was glad I just bit the bullet and did it all at once.

    Sprouting and soaking have become part of my routine and I actually find it kind of fun. It's very fast and I get the "farmer's joy" of seeing the first shoots every few days.

    I keep Brendan's book on the table and I read part of it every day while I eat. I'll probably keep doing that until I feel like I have fully absorbed it and can really remember what nutrients are in which food.

    Last night I did I bathing suit scene in my acting class and didn't think twice about stripping down in front of everyone. That's a first.

    I cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to look in the mirror and feel great about my body, without having to punish myself to get the look I want. When I told my husband he said, "I never thought I'd hear you say those words." Yeah, neither did I....more info
  • great book
    Great book and well informative. Recipes easy to follow with easy to obtain items. Great reference section to what is written....more info
  • A must have for the health concious athlete
    I have had this book for two weeks and have shared information from it with many of my friends. I like the recipes for electrolyte and recovery drinks from scratch and look forward to the energy bars and gels as well. The first four chapters have good information about nutrition. I like the assortment of raw recipes, the almond flaxseed burger is delicious cooked or raw. I found the section about soaking and sprouting seeds, nuts and legumes very helpful. I was all ready a vegan, but this book has changed my life by adding more raw, nutritious energy packed foods into my diet. I can feel the difference especially when I am cycling or hiking. I gave it 4 stars because the 12 week meal plan looks like it will take a lot of make ahead planning and an extensive grocery list....more info
  • True vegan health
    This cookbook handles all my concerns and interests: vegan, food sensitivities, whole foods, super foods, fueling my body for weightlifting. The recipes are quick to make, super-nutritious, and vegan. My body is feeling awake again after feeling lethargic for a long time. I understand now why my body would simply rebel after two months of intense activity, and I understand how to feed my body for steady energy and plenty in reserve.

    Bravo Brendan! Your reasoned approach to nutrition is long overdue!...more info
  • Thrivalicious
    We've tried several vegan/raw foods cookbooks in my house, and this is the only one with recipes that don't take 24 hours advance planning and hours to make. The meals are delicious, easy to make and satisfying. So far we've had the book three days and made five recipes. Everything is good. I am ready to buy this book for everyone I know. My boyfriend says, "This guy's a f-ing genius!"...more info
  • The answer for healthy living...
    I have MS and it is important to me to be able to sustain energy with nutrients maximized; following this path has made this possible. I recommend following this triathletes wisdom and guidance. Minimizing to eliminating sugar, salt, fats and processed foods is a win/win combination that is no fail....more info
  • A prescription for vibrant health the whole-food way
    Most Westerners' typical diet is absurdly unhealthy: junk foods, fast foods, big meals with artery-clogging red meat entr®¶es, rushed breakfasts, sugary snacks, corrosive sodas and super-sized portions. Professional triathlete Brendan Brazier presents his "Thrive Diet" to introduce the gluttons stuck in this fat and flabby world to fresh, unprocessed, healthy foods. His main premise: Many people expend more energy digesting dreadful food than the food delivers, so they are tired and "nutritionally" stressed. Instead, Brazier argues, people should eat easily digested, nutritious whole foods. Based on raw vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouts and other "nutrient-dense" foods, Brazier's diet is as healthy as the typical Western diet is harmful. Yet some readers may find it hard to eat (popped amaranth hemp seed salad?), complex to stock (where do I buy spelt?) and time-consuming to prepare (how long do I soak my pumpkin seeds in purified water?). Of course, people should eat nutritious, whole foods, but Brazier's seed beet pizzas and pomegranate green tea pancakes sound like lots of extra effort in the market and the kitchen. getAbstract thinks that this heartfelt book raises two questions: Do you want to be healthier? And could this rigorous regimen be the way? ...more info
  • great concepts, want more supporting material
    Brendan Brazier has followed up his last book, Thrive: A Guide to Optimal Health & Performance Through Plant-Based Whole Foods, Expanded Second Edition, with a substantial and satisfying work. Brazier writes clearly and cogently about the need to reduce different types of stress, starting with diet. He offers many important insights throughout the first half of the book, with the latter primarily consisting of (mostly quite tasty and simple) recipes which give the reader some very pratical insight into how to apply the more abstract ideas he introduces earlier in the book.

    Although this book has many good points, I found myself constantly wishing for more concrete evidence about many of his assertions. Raw foodists may take it as dogma, but I need some convincing that a (mostly) raw diet is the right way to go. The author need not give us a full defense of his ideas, but I would certainly have appreciated some reference to more concrete medical literature that might bolster his claims. I felt this even more when he talked about food/body alkalinity, maca, chlorella, etc. The few references in the bibliography left me unconvinced. Throughout the book, Brazier's "objective" sample size is consistantly exactly one--himself. Although he is clearly a stellar example of a sucessful vegan athlete and person, his book would have a lot more cogency it revealed a slightly more stable scientific basis. Although Brazier's book would be weakened by excessive footnotes and the like, I hope he might consider a more explicitly rigorous approach as in books such as Vegetarian Sports Nutrition or The Vegetarian Sports Nutrition Guide: Peak Performance for Everyone from Beginners to Gold Medalists.

    All this is not to say that the book is fatally flawed and it may be perfectly convincing for other readers. However, I hope that subsequent editions will go beyond the anecdotal so as to be more convincing to those not already "converted." All in all, Brazier should be applauded for a practical, substantial, and meaningful plan for eating and life that I hope will inspire many people....more info
  • Thrive Diet
    Brendan's book Thrive Diet has become my BIBLE for Vegan nutrition.
    As he is a very successful athlete who personally explored many different approaches to getting the nutrients he needs for peak performance.

    I appreciate learning from his experience - especially when it comes to endurance which is critical for a participating in triathlons.

    His recipes are simple and easy to prepare and his explanations of the function of various foods are easy to understand. I love the fact that when I eat some of the dishes he outlined in his book I felt very full with small portions, leaving me with so much more energy.

    This book is a MUST have for anyone who wants to understand vegan nutrition and take their athletic performance to the highest level.
    Raw vegan food will completely change your life and Brendan's book Thrive Diet will quickly assist you in a smooth transition....more info
  • Healthy Advice
    I used to be a vegetarian and gave it up for reasons I am still trying to work out (though one is that I like to eat meat). After gaining 20 pounds and a high cholesterol problem (at 24 no less!), however, I have been looking for healthy, realistic and affordable ways to become healthy again. Though the plan laid out in this book is certainly healthy, it is not exactly the very definition of affordable. That being said, it is not the author's fault that we live in a world where a meal at McDonald's is often (though certainly not always) cheaper than a home-cooked vegan meal. In addition, the author does make note that while good quality ingredients cost more to begin with, the health benefits outwiegh the wallet pinch (the idea being you'll spend more later in life on medicines that only treat sympotoms of debilitating diseases rather than the causes, and eating well will prevent a myriad of these diseases). I was already leaning in the vegetarian/vegan direction when I discovered this book and was surprised when I tried a pizza recipe and loved it (so did my meat-loving boyfriend). I was so impressed at how great I felt after following his plan for a few days, that I bought his exercise book, which I have already picked through a bit (note: though this is not a review of that particular book, I would highly recommend it). In addition, once you get the hang of it, the recipes are effortless, easy and quick to prepare, and delicious. I recommend this book to anyone interested in alternative, concise, and healthy ways to feed their bodies so they can live long and happy lives....more info
  • Not an athlete or a true vegan, still found book helpful
    I think I originally bought this book because I was amazed that an athlete could be a vegan, but was skeptical as I did not want as many calories in a diet as a full time athlete would consume. I found the diet plan somewhat hard to follow for a new vegan, but the concept of how food and the way we digest it can be a form of added stress was very interesting and informative. I am hooked on the smoothies, this alone was worth the book- with in a few days I felt more energized, had fewer allergies and better mental clarity. I have tried a few of the other recipes and the buckwheat pancakes were the best- the pancakes with yam were too long to make and never formed into pancakes- burgers had the same problem- there are vegan burgers at the store from a company called just good energy- [...] that take the place of making my own. Overall I really enjoyed the book and found it a new and exciting reference for total body health.
    ...more info


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