Brendan's writing style is easy to read, even for those who don't love reading. The book is packed with information and illustrations, which help readers, who love visuals, to further comprehend the topics discussed.
I found the book intriguing and important for my personal growth. Every other line that I read, I wanted to share with everyone I know... but it is better to actually buy the book instead. However, there are a few things worth highlighting.
Brendan's background in sports pushed him to look into not only quality of foods to improve his performance, but foods' nutrient density-getting most out of each meal. Brendan dissects the topic of foods' Nutrient Density importance, which will lead the reader to understand why organic foods are so much more superior to their counterparts. I eat 99% organic already, but having read the book, I appreciate it so much more--I am getting higher return on my investment nutritionally by going all organic.
Organics deliver MORE for each penny we spend on them-they are nutritionally dense, filled with minerals, and natural bacterial fighters, which won't be found in conventionally grown foods.
Brendan show how the "self-protecting compounds plants would have naturally produced to make them undesirable to the insects are in fact powerful phytonutrients." In addition to that, conventionally produced foods lead to poverty of micronutrients. If we lack micronutrients "our hunger signal remains active; overconsumption and weight gain are likely to result."
I love the Five Thrive Guiding Principles, laid out by Brendan:
1. Eliminating biological debt: acquire energy through nourishment not stimulation.
2. Go for high-net-gain foods: make a small investment for a big return.
3. Aim for high percentage of raw and low-temperature-cooked foods.
4. Choose alkaline foods.
5. Avoid common allergens.
So simple and common sense--anyone can follow.
Brendan also talks about the importance of preserving our land--after all, our food is only as good as the soil it is grown on. You cannot grow a nutrient dense food on a mineral depleted soil! The the more junk we put in our soil [should I start naming all the "-cides" to you: pesticides, herbicides, etc.?] the less nutritious our foods are, so in the end, you are wasting your money for the foods that look good, but are nutritionally void.
Here is a simple way Brendan demonstrates this problem.
Lack of minerals in the soil-> Micronutrient deficiency in our food-> Chronic hunger: tendency to overeat-> Weight gain and risk factors increased for: diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, etc.
Brendan further highlights the uneven land consumption distribution and comparison between animal based and plant based foods. "Livestock production uses 70% of all arable land and 30% of the land surface of the planet." The plants grown for livestock consumption are mostly: corn, soy, wheat-things that would help livestock gain weight quickly so more of it can be sold, and more money can be made. So, if you had the illusion [if you are a meat eater] that you are getting nutrients from meat which you cannot obtain yourself otherwise, it is time to wake up-you are eating mostly corn, soy and wheat, along with some other junk that would make livestock grow exponentially faster. Production of these grains, in such huge amounts, is subsidized! Yes, you are paying for it! [and unfortunately so am I, through my taxes]. The organic produce production, is not subsidized, however, so those of us who care about our health, are stuck with a bigger sticker price. If livestock industry were not subsidized, meat eaters and milk drinkers, would be paying $25-$300/lb of meat. Would not that make a fairer world for all of us?! However, Brendan's point in the end is that we still get a great return on our money if we spend it on plant-based, nutrient dense foods, and I cannot help but agree.
Brendan talks about resource consumption needed to raise livestock vs. plant foods. Being that I am mindful how I treat the planet, not only for myself but for the future generations, I was ecstatic to have learned the difference between carbon footprint of a carnivore vs. herbivore. A person eating SAD [Standard American Diet] would create emissions [equivalent to miles driven] equal to: 13,549 miles in a year [that's just from eating food and does not include other source of emission for the person!], whereas a herbivore [i.e. vegan] would create only 1,928 miles/year-that's a staggering 11,621 mile difference worth of carbon emissions!
To make it more clear, if a person would switch to a nutrient dense, plant-based diet, it would be equivalent of him quitting driving his car for ONE FULL YEAR in one year's time! Multiply that number by millions of Americans, and we would no longer have to worry about Global Warming!
Brendan then dedicates a couple of chapters discussing 8 Key Components of Good Nutrition & Nutrient-Dense Foods. The whole two chapters in Thrive Foods are dedicated to the conversation of the principles of what makes a good, nutrient-dense diet, and then gives you a list of must-have staples for every kitchen--you can easily create a grocery list from it or take the book with you when you go grocery shopping. It's like having a mini nutrition bible on your book shelf. I made a ton of notes in the book to add foods that I might have been previously missing in my diet, and learned a thing or two about foods I never head of before.
The rest of the book is dedicated to 200 delicious plant based, scrumptious recipes, created by some of the best chefs in America.
To sum it up: You HAVE TO GET THE BOOK! It is great not only for athletes, vegans [i.e. herbivores], but for anyone who cares to improve their health through a properly structured diet.