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For the past several summers, I have volunteered at a series of running races, The ENDURrun, which is attended by a variety of elite runners. During the course of the week, they run seven races over some very challenging terrain, covering a total distance of 160 kms.

The greatest challenge of the week is feeding these runners in such a manner that they can recover quickly and run again the next day. Add to this task that at least several of the runners have dietary restrictions such as vegetarian/vegan, lactose intolerance etc.

Author Brendan Brazier is himself a vegan who mostly relies on a raw food diet to supply his nutritional needs. He is recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on plant based nutrition.

I first heard about raw food cooking for a race participant last summer. While reading this book, I was fascinated to learn that in almost every incidence, raw vegetables are much easier to digest than cooked food (exception starchy potatoes and sweet potatoes).

In the first chapter, Mr. Brazier clearly explains why eating nutrient dense foods, such as vegetables, are important to our overall health. It's not the number of calories we eat, but whether we are eating foods that are packed with the micro-nutrients that our bodies crave.

For the past few weeks I have been discussing this book with my teenage son who is an amateur body builder. Food and protein is very important to him. I am a runner and fencer and have different energy demands. We are looking forward to trying a number of recipes that are directly aimed at the sports minded reader.

Lemon-Lime Sports Drink - contains coconut water which is perfect for electrolyte replacement
Sunflower Seed Hemp Milk - This was easy to make and tasted great.
Ginger Pear Smoothie - daughter and I enjoyed sharing this. More ginger next time.
Green Energy Bars - Looking forward to trying both these bars and hope they will replace the store bought bars that are usually less than appealing.
Walnut Cranberry Energy Bars -

As for the upcoming running races, I am planning on having ground flax seeds and hemp seeds on hand for inclusion in the post race smoothies.

This book is jam packed full of nutritional information that is relevant even to non-vegetarians. To learn more about this approach to eating, check out Brendan earlier books The Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness. You can also sign up for Brendan's free Thrive in 30 .
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on April 23, 2011
Brendan Brazier is a guy who walks the talk. He's proven that his dietary recommendations work. According to his own words, the only reason he eats the way he does is BECAUSE it works. When he started looking for the best dietary habits for the sake of acheiving his athletic, he was willing to eat anything. For him, the additonal ethical and environmental benefits of the diet are totally beside the point. ... which is good to know when human health is your goal! Brazier's book is a great all-purpose reference, everything you need all in one handy book.
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on March 12, 2011
This is a must read. As a former olympian (4th in olympic cycling road race in 1988), I think this is one of the best nutrition book around. It is not about performance, it is about health which in turn produces a well functioning body.
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on December 19, 2010
What I loved the most about the book is that other than the powder protein, supplements are not necessary to have a balance diet contrary to other vegan diets. I found all the recepies I've tried so far in the book are delicous as well and as a reference point...I am not a vegan yet, therefore, difficult to please when it comes to vegan food!
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on June 3, 2010
It's not another diet book. It's a 'how you can achieve optimal health' book.
Ironman Triathelete Brendan Brazier has put together an excellent long-term eating plan based on nutrient dense plant-based whole foods. Weather or not you are an athelete or a Vegan, this book tells everyone how they can achieve optimal health through nutrition.

Fasinating reading about stess, Ph, hydration, exercise plus a 12 week meal-plan and shopping list to get you started.
Definitely worth it!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon September 30, 2009
What an excellent book. I got The Thrive Diet as a birthday present while camping and I read the entire book with-in three days. It was such a great, inspiring read. I was familiar with the author Brendan Brazier's main message as I had just finished his new (and free!) Thrive in 30 program offered from his website. The book has clarified and expanded on those points, where I now have a much better understanding on his approach to a healthy body (and mind).

I love his premise on reducing all types of stress (nutritional, psychological, environmental) and his explanations for his Thrive diet. Truly amazing. And definitely following his advice will get you extremely healthy! I have many books on health, and the good ones stress the same elements: eat more vegetables. Especially green leafy veggies, plus switching a plant-based diet. Of course there's so much more, which is why I recommend reading this book.

I would say my only gripe is Brendan doesn't footnote; he does mention a lot of research and science-based studies but there are no further noting/resources about these studies. I know what he says is correct as I've read other books on plant-based nutrition (like Eat To Live book by Joel Fuhrman, MD and Michael Greger, MD DVD series) who do mention similar studies and research and provide the footnotes (and/or shows the studies on the DVD). I figure Brendan is coming from an athletes perspective, not from a researcher and/or MD, so he doesn't need to provide all the medical and clinical studies.

I have tried many of his recipes and I enjoy all his smoothies, pre/post exercise, cereals, and some of his veggie recipes. I have had to adapt many of his other recipes to suit my own tastes, but the recipes are definitely a good starting point. For newbie cooks, I suggest getting other healthy eating or specifically raw cookbooks (or checking out the internet) to complement Brendan's recipes. I love Ani's Raw Food Kitchen, Becoming Vegetarian, and The Gluten-Free Vegan, but of course, I usually adapt those as well.

Good book! Change your life (and health) and read it!
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on February 24, 2009
Difficult to find a lot of the ingredients for a small town dweller such as myself. Felt hungry too quite a bit in between meals. Food tastes good just have to get used to it.
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on February 4, 2009
This book offers a lot of informations regarding the food we are eating. It demonstrates why sometimes we do not have as much energy as we expect even if we are eating "good things" and training a lot. The reason is stress. Everything causes stress in our life, even food. The Thrive diet explains what we should eat to obtain more energy by eating(sometimes)less. The key is to eat what don't requires much energy to digest. The Thrive diet gives simple recipes to create and that gives a lot of good energy. I did not follow the 12 weeks meal plan, but there are a lot of recipe really good. There is a couple that does not suit me, but everbody is different!
Sincerely, I really enjoyed (and still enjoy!) this book since there are lots of good tips, good recipes and interesting information.
I recommand to buy this book, you will not regret it!
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on January 14, 2009
When I first wanted to go vegan I wasn't too sure how to go about it while ensuring that I get all the required nutrients. The Thrive Diet changed my life for the better by informing me clearly and simply about what I needed to maintain a balanced diet. I was also able to learn about raw foods and their digestibility.

This book provides you with a 12-week meal plan to get you started off, as well as some excellent exercise complimentary snacks. I never thought that going vegan could be this simple and I was able to gain a lot of insight about the importance of our food choices and their impact on all aspects of our lives.

One of the most important topics the author discusses is that of stress and I can tell you from experience that applying the Thrive Diet to your life does alleviate a lot of stress in your body and mind. I have never felt so great in my life and I am not an athlete. I do moderate physical activity and I do see the enormous impact this diet has had on my life.

The Thrive Diet is not so much of a diet as it is a way of life. It's a must-read for anyone looking for self-improvement, stress relief and a healthier life.
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on September 30, 2008
It is a good book, with good recipes in it. But with the Creamy Ginger Dressing there must be a misprint - there is no way that recipe makes 1 1/2 cups. Also, for the Energy bars it says 'they become easier to handle as they dry' but dry where? you don't use a dehydrator - so I am guessing you leave them on the counter? All in all it is a good nutritional book with some yummy recipes! He should have included his Rejuvenator Brownies - those are good!!! Also, I can't find an email address anywhere so I can ask questions about the book.
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