Since it rained for most of the weekend, my time was spent hanging with Scott and Buddy and reading a book I just picked up called, Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide To Optimal Performance In Sports and Life by Brendan Brazier (creator of the Thrive Diet).
Now even if you have no interest in veganism this book and its core principles can still speak to you.
Brazer, a professional triathlete, promotes a plant based lifestyle. Eating this way has helped him increase his performance over the years and stay lean in the off season.
Personally, I am not a vegan, nor am I a vegetarian. But I do believe that animal based products should be consumed in moderation –> meaning that we should be focusing on a plant based menu.
In fact, best selling Author, Michael Pollen agrees. In his book, Food Rules, Pollen outlines 60+ food rules you should be living by for optimal health and reduced disease risk. These rules can be summerized by 7 simple words:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Why a plants based diet? Because numerous research studies have clearly shown a strong correlation between animal products consumption (meat, dairy, eggs) and diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
That’s not to say you have to give up your favorite indulgences such as steak or ice cream. Just stop making them the foundation of your diet and start viewing them as treats that you allow yourself occasionally.
The Thrive Diet, therefore, is a long term eating plan that can help you:
- Lower body fat and increase muscle tone
- Diminish visible signs of aging
- Sleep better and more restfully
- Experience better moods
- Increase energy and mental clarity
- Build a stronger immune system
- Lower cholesterol
- Eliminate cravings
Who wouldn’t want to experience all of these?
The best part about The Thrive Diet is that is also comes with a 12 week whole foods meal plan with over 100 wheat-, gluten-, and soy-free recipes. Brazier also includes some outstanding recipes for pre and post workout nutrition, gels, sports drinks, smoothies, and energy bars, as well as burgers, salad dressings, pancakes, and veggie dishes.
Here is a recipe for a homemade energy bar that I made yesterday and thought were outstanding:
Chocolate Blueberry Energy Bars
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup cacao powder
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup hemp protein
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Sea salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in food processor and mix until blended. Lay out on a clean, flat surface and roll out into a thin square. Cut into bars, wrap individually ans store in freezer or refrigerator.
I got 10 bars using this method although the recipe says 12. If I made them into 12 they would have been more like energy bites not bars!
Anyway, I was so into this book I finished it in less than 24 hours. I am so excited to give plant based eating a shot.
And I am going to keep you updated on my progress too. And if you feel like doing the same I would appreciate you letting me know how you are doing in the comments section below.
I’m off to make a smoothie!
Your Friend and Coach,
Susan Campbell, MS, CSCS