Interview + Giveaway with Brendan Brazier, author of THRIVE

by Gena on February 14, 2010

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you’re having nice celebrations.

So I think it’s pretty clear by now that the majority of Choosing Raw readers are ladies. This is no surprise, given the food blog world demographics. And it’s nice for me, because I can often address some of the women’s issues—birth control, for instance—that are near and dear to my heart, along with others—such as eating disorders, body image, and peer pressure—that impact both genders, but affect women more prevalently.

That said, I have a solid and awesome male readership (wassup, Ian!) and I love to open up the conversations on the blog so that they’re of interest to men and women alike. In addition, I have a bunch of wonderful male clients, and I like to keep them reading, too!

I notice one big difference between my male and female clients. Women are mostly concerned with how proper nutrition will make them feel: how will their digestion improve? How will their energy levels increase? How will their relationship with eating and body image shift? How can they foster feelings of pride and enthusiasm for the foods they eat? My male clients, on the other hand, are interested in what proper nutrition will enable them to do. How will it boost their athletic performance? How will it help to transform their bodies? Will increased energy help them to function better at work, and accomplish more? Can it get them dates?

The answer is, of course, that proper nutrition can and will do all of these things. It’s not unusual for my male clients to ask me for evidence of that promise over the course of our first few sessions. They want guarantees that, if they’re willing to clean up some of their nasty little habits (fast food, drinking too much, too much red meat, or—for the gym rats—junky soy protein powders and brick-like meal replacement bars), they’ll see results. So what guarantee can I give them?

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I give them Brendan Brazier. Which is to say that I nearly always give my male clients—especially the very athletic male clients—Xeroxes from Brendan’s first book, The Thrive Diet. I consider it one of the definitive books on vegan athletic performance, and it answers (better than I can or do!) some of my clients’ most burning questions about the vegan diet for athletes. Calcium, protein, iron, stress, recovery? The answers are all in there, in simple, well researched, and authoritative language. Brendan has a knack for making such complex concepts as acidity/alkalinity, athletic recovery, and adrenal fatigue feel comprehensible and clear. Best of all, he speaks from experience, from the vantage point of a professional ironman triathlete who has been fueling with a 100% plant based diet for over a decade now. Just as my own experience with raw and vegan foods can often help to inspire my female clients directly, Brendan’s lifestyle and achievement is an inspiration to my male clients. And he is, of course, an inspiration to athletes everywhere—male, female, vegan, or omni.

The cornerstone of Brendan’s advice is this: reduce bodily stress by optimizing diet. Reducing stress will, in turn, shorten and maximize recovery time. Brendan noted early in his career that recovery was an oft-ignored, but significant component of athletic performance–more, even, than the training process. Shorter recovery times mean more prolific and higher quality athletic output. Brendan began research the benefits of a plant based diet in depth, and what he found was that eating a diet that maximized alkalinity and minimized stress (stress to the adrenal system, the liver, and the kidneys) was likely to minimize recovery time. This diet, he concluded, was 100% plant based, with a focus on raw foods, along with ancient grains and legumes.

Sound familiar? :-)

Adopting this diet has allowed Brendan to maximize his own athletic performance, and it has inspired him to help others. Since The Thrive Diet was published, Brendan launched his now famous Vega brand: drink infusions and bars that are 100% whole foods and plant based. Many bloggers have blogged about them already. I had my first introduction to them this month, when I was offered the chance to sample some of Brendan’s new Vega whole foods Vibrancy Bars. These—to quote from the Vega site–are:

“…a unique and utterly delicious blend of all-natural, raw, organic, and enzymatically-active plant-based superfoods including sprouted buckwheat, sprouted almonds, acai, Salba and hemp seeds.

Unlike any other bar on the market, Vibrance bars maintain a taste of guilty pleasure while also being vegan, gluten-free, sprouted, alkaline-forming, and rich in Omega 3, antioxidants and phytonutrients…Clean and green, Vibrancy bars contain no refined sugars, oils, gluten or soy and are GMO and pesticide-free. Decadent and delicious, Vibrance bars are available in Chocolate Decadence, Green Synergy, and Wholesome Original!”

More on these below!

Since Brendan has been such a personal inspiration to me, I asked whether or not he might be willing to answer a few questions about his experience and his nutritional philosophy with my readers. And, much to my delight, he graciously said yes! So it’s with great excitement that I present a short Q & A with bestselling author, ironman triathlete, and environmentalist Brendan Brazier.

1) Welcome, Brendan! Let’s start at the beginning. How did your fascination with vegan and raw nutrition begin?

Well, I guess it began in 1990, when I was in 10th grade. I liked running and swimming and biking and wanted to do it as a career. I was constantly looking for ways to improve. What I noticed was that the top training programs didn’t differ much from most regular programs. And those programs didn’t really differ much from one to the next. This led me to suspect—though it would become clearer later on—that recovery was more decisive than training in boosting athletic performance. And I quickly realized that recovery was all about nutrition. So I understood the value of recovery at the beginning of my career, and that has made a huge difference for me.

Of course, this didn’t all come together for me right away. Like most athletes, I tried a bunch of popular regimes at the beginning: high carb, low carb, high protein. I even tried a plant based approach, but it didn’t work at first. I was always tired. My coach (this was in 1990) was a great coach, but he didn’t understand the connection between nutrition and performance, and he was dubious about vegetarianism. So I became proactive, and I took a good look at my diet, determined to clean it up and also see what I was lacking.

Well, it turned out I was lacking a lot of basic things: protein, B-12, calcium, and iron. I decided to put them in a blended drink after my workouts; it seemed like an easy and efficient way to do it. I added pumpkin seeds, for example, and my iron levels immediately shot up. The whole experience—adding whole foods to a blended drink—planted the seed and the habit that later that became Vega.

2) It’s definitely not an unusual experience for a new vegan to find that he or she hasn’t quite mastered the art of getting enough dietary variety, balance, and nourishment. Tell us more about what you were low on, and how you remedied it.

Well, iron was the main thing. But again, when I started adding ¼ cup soaked pumpkin seeds to my smoothies, my iron issues disappeared. Today, I’m also sure to frequently eat greens with citrus, because Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron. This means big salads with citrus dressing!

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3) Talk to me about calcium.

Well as you know, the problem is that we’re losing calcium, not that we need to ingest more and more of it. High acid foods force our bodies to leach calcium from our bones. So what we really need to do is increase our alkalinity. But what I did to boost calcium through food was to add unhulled sesame seeds to my blended drinks, and it worked really well.

4)   I find it interesting that all our national conversation about athletics is all about training or performance—with almost no attention paid to recovery. Can you talk about how you discovered the importance of recovery?

Well, as I said, noting the similarity of various training programs and had a lot to do with the “aha” moment. It must have been recovery, rather than training, that helped to distinguish who excelled.

Really, exercise is nothing more than muscle tissues and cells being broken down. And when you rest, the body grows back stronger — it overcompensates. Good food provides the building blocks for this process. The body pools the resources you take in through food and helps you to grow muscle back. If you eat poor nutrition, cells don’t grow back after athletic strain—they don’t have the resources—or they grow back abnormally (which can proceed to cancer). So although lots of athletes load up on junk food after grueling performance—they figure they can afford to, or that they’ve earned it, now that a competition is over—it’s actually the worst time to eat junk food, because that’s when the body will assimilate most quickly and seriously. If you want to eat junk, fine, but eat it later—not right after a workout, when the body will assimilate it directly, and be less likely to filter it out.

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5)   How has your athletic performance changed since you went vegan?

Once it started working, I was able to train significantly faster, which meant that I could become professional more quickly. I think my having been able to go professional so fast was a testament to my attention to detail and to good nutrition. I feel like a lot of athletes are overfed and undernourished. They’re getting the total calories they need, but not the enzymes and vitamins and nutrients. They suffer overconsumption and weight gain later on—and all the problems that accompany them.

6) Amazing point, and part of the reason I think calorie counting is such a flawed practice. Many of my athletic clients do, though, get very hyper-concerned about caloric intake. How many calories do athletes really need?

People put so much faith in calories out, calories in. I was doing that for a long time, eating a ton of peanut butter and bread, but they were the highly processed variety, which means that that I was expending so much energy trying to digest them [of course, my readers know that hard-to-digest foods sap us of energy and make us exhausted!]. The net-gain, in other words, was low.

That’s what I wrote about in Thrive—high net gain foods—foods that allow you to expend very little and gain a lot of energy.

After I changed my diet, I was getting far fewer calories than I had before—at least 20-30% less. And I was performing so much better. You would think that more calories would mean more energy, but if that were the case, people eating a ton of McDonalds would have a ton of energy! Today, I eat far fewer calories than the conventional athletic book would dictate. People would never see my age and calorie intake and believe that I maintain the kind of training and athletic regime I do, but again, it’s about net gain, not a calorie in, calorie out abstraction.

vega 7) So this clearly factors into the idea of smoothies and recovery shakes. They’re a ton of nutritional gain with very little expenditure, since they’re all whole foods and they’re blended, to ease digestion…

Right. Here’s what the drinks have going for them:

1) Convenience—they’re quick to make
2) Digestive ease
3) After a workout, blood needs to be in extremities, delivering oxygen and cleaning up lactic acid, so you can’t have it rushing all to your digestive tract to digest heavy food
4) They can add a lot of high quality, plant based protein really easily, as well as variety of foods in one single source
5) You don’t crave things as much, because you’ve gotten all the nourishment you need
7) They provide energy through nourishment, as opposed to stimulation in the form of short term chemicals

8  )   Let’s move on to your incredible understanding of high-raw, vegan foods. You offer, I think, the best, most condensed account of the acid/alkaline balance of any author I’ve read. In fact, I Xerox your chapter on it for new clients! Say a few words about acidity and alkalinity, and how/why they matter.

Well, it sounds complex, but when people hear it, it makes such sense. If your body is acidic from too much caffeine, processed food, toxins, and tough to digest animal proteins, everything suffers, and your body, again, has to leach minerals from your blood to neutralize the acidity. The more alkaline you become, the better. It’s that simple!

9)   So here’s a confession: compared to most people in the raw community, I have a fairly skeptical attitude towards “superfoods.” I know that you’re a fan of some of these, but not to the kind of fanatical degree I’ve seen elsewhere. Could you share a bit more about your feelings on superfoods? Which ones do you really support, and why?

Thrive Diet mentions a few of these. Maca, chlorella, spirulina, and rooibos tea—these are the kinds of foods that can really give you a boost. But without the basics—proper diet and lots of greens, etc.—they’re not going to guarantee health.

10) I usually tell my clients and readers that, if you’re eating well, dietary supplements aren’t necessary—with the qualification that many vegans do need B-12 or D3. I know you’ve mentioned before that multivitamins shouldn’t be necessary if you’re eating a varied and plant based diet. But of course, the Vega infusions are supplements of a sort. Can you tell me more about them? What purpose do they serve, and how did you formulate them?

Vega is a fairly faithful replica of what I was making myself when I was fifteen. The vibrancy and energy bars are the same as what I used to prepare at home. I really liked them and they worked for me. The bar recipes are in the book, so people can make them themselves, without too much cost. None of the Vega products are proprietary, and there are no special secrets. My recipes aren’t hard to make. It’s all just food. The same idea goes for the Vega line, and it’s important for people to get that.

The Vega smoothie infusion is really popular. A lot of parents like giving it to their kids because it tastes so good, and it has fiber, so it won’t create a sugar spike. Stable, nice. Several parents have actually said that they thought their kids had behavioral problems, and in fact it was just dietary—usually too much sugar.

The Vega smoothie infusions and whole foods optimizers also have EFA oils. As athletes, you breath more and oxidize quickly, so you need more antioxidants.

Vega sport is a pre-workout drink. It has brown rice protein, herba mate, green tea, trace minerals, naturally occurring caffeine, which preserves muscle glycogen, kombucha, and coconut oil.

As for vitamins, well, I thought I needed them, but I got over that when I stopped taking them, and nothing bad happened. My bloodwork stayed the same, and my health stayed the same. If people want to take supplements, fine, but for people who are looking for alternatives, they can get everything they need through good, conscious food choices.

11) A lot of my male clients who are vegans or vegetarians get skepticism, even teasing, from other men about their diets. Of course, they look and perform better than their doubting friends! Is it hard to be a male vegan athlete, socially? Is it hard within the industry?

I used to get teased, but I don’t anymore. People just see the results. They see the steady improvement, and the ability to train harder. There are a lot of athletes I know who aren’t vegan yet, but they’re close. The culture is really changing. Many used to think they needed to go plant based to perform, but now they also like the taste and the lifestyle, which is an important distinction. They eat the food cause they like it. Every athlete I know now eats no meat, and no dairy.

And by the way, I think really people are really catching on about dairy [I hope so!!]. Frequently when they become vegetarian, dairy consumption goes up, and people immediately don’t feel well.

12)  So you think that professional athletic culture is shifting with regards to food, and how people think about food? That makes me really happy to hear! Is this lifestyle gaining traction?

I’m sure I’m a bit skewed, but from what I see, there has been a lot of progress in the last few years. People are open minded and willing to try. And when things work, people stick to it.

And you don’t have to make it complicated! I don’t spend a lot of time preparing food. I think people get the impression that I spend more time doing recipes than I do. When I’m on the road, I spend most of my time eating from the salad bar at Whole Foods, and I make a lot of big salads at home. Not complicated.

13) Final question: what’s the future of Vega, Bredan? Tell us how you plan to see it grow and expand!

More of the same, but keep expanding. Get more good products and messages out there that are going to help people make good choices. I’d like to do a whole sports line: recovery drink, electrolyte drink, gels. I also just started another book, one that will go beyond sports or diet. It’s going to be a food issues book—so it’ll have a lot to say about nutrition, but also the environment, health care, animal rights, and more.

Wow! I can’t wait to read that book. I have to say that what distinguishes Brendan in my mind from other athletes or fitness/lifestyle writers is this: he’s tremendously thoughtful in ways that extend far beyond food and fitness. Brendan isn’t just interested in recipes or meal plans—though he offers readers both—or in workout tips. He envisions being active and eating well as only two parts of a much bigger vision of how we ought to nourish ourselves in this world: consciously, with thought given to the environment and to each other.

I know this, because I had the tremendous pleasure of sitting down with Brendan to lunch two days ago! A phone interview simply didn’t give me enough of a chance to hear about his vision, and luckily for me, Brendan came into NYC for a few days to promote Vega at GNC (um, vegan, whole foods supplements competing with the usual sea of soy, whey, and processed junk? Yes please!!!).

Upon realizing that we are both devotees of Bonobos coconut soup, Brendan and I decided to grab lunch there, where we proceeded to enjoy the soup and giant salads (OK, his salad was slightly more giant than mine).

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We chatted about healthcare, the planet, school lunches, the raw community, and the writing/editing life. And what became increasingly clear to me was that Brendan is as much an advocate as he is an athlete. He has a positive vision for changing the planet and the national dialogue about wellness, and he’ll continue to explore and expand this vision in his work. I expect that Brendan’s writing career will—to make a terrible pun—thrive for a long time to come, moving into topics that go far beyond nutrition.

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But while we’re thinking about nutrition, let me mention that the Vega bars are really good. Here’s the chocolate and the green vibrancy, both of which I’ve tried:

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I love that these are sweet but not too sweet. And I can taste the green, which may be a turnoff to some, but guess what? I’m all over it!! Hardly a surprise. My only issue is that the bars are a little miscombined (buckwheat + nuts/dried fruit), but the amount of buckwheat is minimal enough to be too problematic. I’ve also tried the Vega smoothie infusions, which are delicious! I like them with just a big of almond milk or hemp milk and ice.

OK. I hope you’ve made it this far in a very looooooong post, because a) Brendan is awesome and b) I’m giving away a copy of his new book, Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness, along with samples of the new Vega Vibrancy Bars. In order to win, simply comment on this post. Period. And tweet it for a second entry. Winner will be announced next Sunday, Feb. 21st.

And naturally, if you haven’t yet entered to win a Tribest Blender, you really should.

Thanks again, Brendan, for your throughtful interview. You are an inspiration to all of us!!!

xo

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{ 378 comments… read them below or add one }

Annie February 16, 2010 at 11:47 pm

All that and he’s cute, too :-)

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Claudia February 17, 2010 at 12:53 am

Fantastic interview! I really love the vega products and have been looking forward to the new book. :)

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Katie February 17, 2010 at 2:17 am

Great interview! I love reading as much as I can about Brendan Brazier. I’ve always been a little afraid of trying his products-glad you think the bars are tasty

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brittany February 17, 2010 at 2:25 am

Yay healthy athletes! Even if he wasn’t such an amazing advocate, the fact of his existence as a triathlete on a plant-based diet would already do a lot of advocacy for the health benefits of eating raw.
Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained. Can’t wait for the new book.

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Debbie February 17, 2010 at 7:32 am

This is great! I just ordered his first book and I would absolutely be way excited to win this one! I have a 16 year old nephew sport fanatic, that told his momma last night “if eating the way Aunt Debbie does would make my shoulder better I would do it!” Let the challenge begin! I think he would totally get into this book!

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Cee February 17, 2010 at 7:43 am

I am on the wait list for The Thrive Diet at our local library. I’m fifth in line, but that’s still about 15 weeks if everyone keeps it for the max amt. of time. Thank you so much for this interview and giveaway. I’m sending the link to my husband to share the information with him. Thank you again! ~Cee~

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renka February 17, 2010 at 8:08 am

this was really interesting interview, I for myself am convinced that vegan and especially raw foods are more than enough for each individual, but I am really having problems explaining and proving this to my friends, they so much don’t want to give up what they’ve used to eat .. I hope the interview, or better the book can be more convincing ;)

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Briana (aka Trilby Drew) February 17, 2010 at 8:13 am

I love Brendan! On mornings that are especially stress filled, I whip up a big Vega shake and instantly feel calmer and more centered. As a rather active, vegan-curious person, I would love to read his book!

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Lindsey February 17, 2010 at 8:18 am

What a great post! As a young athlete (currently training for my first Boston marathon–second marathon ever!) and only a year in my no meat no dairy lifestyle (and using your blog to help properly add more raw into my diet!), I found this post to be SSOOO educational and inspirational! I train hard and do recover fast than all of my omni friends, I loved that point!!! As a fitness and community health education major, I LOVE finding books like this to help fuel my debates in classes as to what athletes really SHOULD be eating!! I’m going to have to get my hands on this book (and those bars) asap! Thanks so much for the post!!! :)

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Julie February 17, 2010 at 9:32 am

I’m intriqued! I’m transitioning towards a vegan diet and as an athlete, I’m interested in learning more. Thanks for the great post!

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Kate February 17, 2010 at 9:41 am

I am not vegan or an athlete but I absolutely LOVED Thrive! It is a great book for everyone to read – informative and thought provoking! Thank you for the great interview!

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Mandy February 17, 2010 at 10:21 am

It’s funny… I was just pondering about Brazier and his Thrive Diet. I hopped to your blog and *poof* – an interview with Brazier! ;-)

As always, thank you for such an insightful and interesting post.

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Francesca February 17, 2010 at 10:27 am

That was a very inspiring interview! I’ve always heard that it wasn’t possible to get enough protein, etc, if you’re egan, so I never adopted that type of eating, but this article really makes me think it can be done and can make you feel great. I’d love to read Brendan’s book for more info on how he does it. Thanks for the great post :)

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Krysta February 17, 2010 at 10:32 am

What a great post! I love hearing about nutrition for athletes. I’d love to give a copy of this book to my boyfriend!

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concetta27 February 17, 2010 at 11:52 am

Brendan makes perfect sense and has proven that his lifestyle works. I would love to read more about it in his book and the samples would be great too. I have been to his website and he has a great series of emails you can subscribe to. Great information!

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Kelsey February 17, 2010 at 12:33 pm

love this so much!

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Cleo February 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

I used to be the average unhealthy vegetarian who eats tons of dairy and soy, which dragged my energy and got me fatter.

I’m not the ultra athletic kind – I bike and walk a lot everyday, that’s all – but I did notice an amazing improvement in my disposition since I became vegan and started focusing on unprocessed and raw foods a few months ago.

It’s sad that there’s no alternative to Vega in France! I love having a high-protein shake in the morning – it’s so filling and practical.

(And oh, Brendan is so pretty!)

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Jackie February 17, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Great post. Look forward to the opportunity to check out this book.

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Cristin February 17, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Great post, great interview. I’d love to learn more through his book.

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Melissa February 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

Can’t wait for my turn to have this book from the library (or to win it)! I want to share it with my brother, who still stands unconvinced. Next time he sees me I’m sure he’ll change his mind :)

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Melissa February 17, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for this Gena. I make friends and family sign up for Brendan’s Thrive in 30 videos/e-mails and I always send all of my male friends to his website. He provides great, accessible information about the myths of protein and all that gym junk food they try to pass off as healthy at so many fitness clubs. Wish I still lived in my hometown of NYC to have some of that Bonobos soup. (BTW, we have a friend in common, Jennifer Gonzalez.) Love your blog!! Love, love, LOVE it!!

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Katie February 17, 2010 at 3:42 pm

So motivating. I’m a marathonner, and running is one of the few things I can usually count on for feelings of strength, freedom, and power. It’s totally liberating! I injured my back a few months ago and haven’t been able to run since then, so it’s been sorta tough keeping up morale — and a healthy diet — in the meantime. I’m a longtime vegan, but I often struggle with making good choices like incorporating more raw, whole foods (it’s easy to slip into the junk food vegan arena, especially when I’m not running).

But reading your blog — and Brendan’s interview here — is totally inspiring. Makes me want to take better care of my body and the planet so I can return to running soon … and run stronger than ever. Thanks, Gena and Brendan! :)

Katie

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Tiff February 17, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Excellent Information!

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Anna February 17, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Great post. I have always been interested in Vega products, and now that I am weight training, I should give them a shot!

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Rachel February 17, 2010 at 4:48 pm

awesome!

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Tess Donohoe February 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Wow this was an awesome interview. I would love to win this book or else I’ll probably end up having to buy it. It looks SO interesting…..

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Jenn February 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

I love Brendan! And equally would love to read his book. It has been on my “must have list” for awhile now.
Warmly, Jenn

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Leilani February 17, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I love it – I have a step son who is a football player but is still hitting up the junk and fast food. I would first read his book and then pass it on – maybe the knowledge and proof coming from such an incredible athlete will get him on the healthy band wagon :)

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K February 17, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Wow! I love hearing about such wonderfully well-rounded individuals! I have heard plenty about him, but I have never actually looked at his books or products (I figured that a ballet dancer had no use looking at super runner type plans/products) now I’m interested! I think I might pass this along to my younger brother who seems to have gotten into exercising (along with the whey protein and crap) as of late.
Thanks again Gena for such a fabulous and informative site!
-K

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tiffnie February 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Fantastic and informative post! He is truly an inspiration.

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Tina February 17, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I am looking forward to reading his first book-its on my (long) list! I would love to add his new book as well.

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Kaysie February 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I ran a couple 1/2 marathons in college but it wasn’t until 3 years later when I had cleaned up my diet (high raw) and reading Thrive I decided to have another go at it. I was able to train so much better and more efficiently… I took 9 minutes off my 1/2 marathon! (I was totally surprised because I thought I was in better shape THEN!) I’d love to get his new book!

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ida February 17, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I had no idea he was behind Vega- so cool!! i’ve been wanting to read his book for a while- i hope i win it so i can do just that:)

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Pam Cook February 17, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I’m all over this post! This my fave subject matter as an aspiring raw vegan distance runner. This page is going into my favorites for future reference as I write this.

I’ve been interested in his book for some time, and this blog post just confirms why I’ve been meaning to get it. If I don’t win, Amazon, here I come…

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Claire February 18, 2010 at 6:34 am

great interview! quite an awesome guy.

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Miranda February 18, 2010 at 7:31 am

It’s nice to hear a male voice in the raw world every now and then – my guy friends’ skepticism should be assuaged by Brendan’s story!

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Johanna February 18, 2010 at 7:39 am

So inspiring! Thank you for the post:-)

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Heather February 18, 2010 at 7:51 am

Thanks for the interview! I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while so count me in for an entry!

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Jenn February 18, 2010 at 8:26 am

Wow! I loved Thrive and can’t wait to read Thrive Fitness! The recipes were so good! It also helped me convince my fiance, a big-time weightlifter, that he doesn’t need to be pounding down whey protein and cow’s milk to be an athelete!

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Grace February 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

Speaking of alkaline diets…here’s my most favorite simple alkaline soup recipe (credit goes to Ross at http://www.energiseforlife.com/wordpress/).

Ingredients:

1 shallot or small brown onion
1/2 cucumber
1 tablespoon of olive, flax or Udo’s Choice
250ml vegetable stock (yeast free)
2 sprigs of mint
1lb or 450g of frozen peas
1/2 avocado
Salt & pepper to taste

Run some warm water over the peas (in a sieve) to soften and slightly defrost, chop the onion into small pieces (or mince in a pestle & mortar) and then place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy gently heated (not cooked) or cool!

Hope you find this soup as delicious as I do!

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Thanmayi February 18, 2010 at 10:17 am

This was a great post! This lifestyle sounds so perfect, but being in college, it’s nearly impossible so hopefully when upon graduation, I will be able to make the switch!

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Neslie February 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

I loved the interview…very inspriring. And I’m so anxious to read Thrive!

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Samuel February 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Wow! Great information. Thank you!

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Laura February 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Great interview and great giveaway! Thank you-

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Kerry February 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm

I agree with whoever said it – he’s a cutie! Pick me. i would love to read the book!

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Heather February 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Beyond awesome interview. Thank you. :D

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Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather February 19, 2010 at 6:28 am

Great interview! I would love to win Brendan’s book and learn more about his approach and especially about alkalinity and the superfoods he recommends for performance.

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holly February 19, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Awesome interview! It was so informative and i’m off to buy this book, and hoping to win a copy to give to a friend!

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Madison February 19, 2010 at 3:34 pm

I would love to win a copy of this book. I’ve been seeing it on alot of different blogs. I may go out and get it myself if I don’t win it. Thanks for this terrific interview with Brendan.

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Heather Marie February 19, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I really am curious about his book!

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Jessica February 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm

This is a great interview! Thanks for taking the time to do this and write it up, it was very informative. It’s great to see very successful people who can talk so well about healthy eating and performance.

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Matt February 20, 2010 at 4:40 am

wow – loving your blog all the way from Oz – keep it up!

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shannonmarie February 20, 2010 at 6:35 am

I am so behind on your blog lately. I’m trying to catch up today. Love the Brendan Brazier interview. I’ve always found him inspiring and very real. When I was active on the GLiving community, I was impressed with how much he participated and was willing to answer most questions.

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amanda@thegrainsofparadise February 20, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Always loved Brendan Brazier. What an inspiration! Aloha:-)

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Kath February 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I just finished THRIVE and and LOVE those bars!!!! He really nailed the texture.

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iggy February 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm

I would love to win the book!

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sabrina February 20, 2010 at 9:02 pm

amazing! what an inspiring individual, thank you so much for the post :) makes me want to try those bars!

i do have the vega powder in berry flavour, i put in a bit into smoothies on occasion – still haven’t had it with only water yet but that’s next!

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Teri [a foodie stays fit] February 20, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Awesome interview!

I didn’t know he was the creator of the Vega brand! I haven’t read his book (but would LOVE to!), but from what I’ve read about him and from this interview, now I finally feel like I’ve found a smoothie supplement brand I can trust!

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vneisler February 20, 2010 at 11:27 pm

Well, he is a cutie and I really hope I win his book. It sounds so informative! BTW, what about your female clients who are athletes? Do you give them xeroxes of his book too?

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Tiffany February 21, 2010 at 12:28 am

Very interesting! Thank you for explaining everything. I need to try eating more pumpkin seeds like he mentioned. I am currently training for my first Boston marathon/second marathon. This post was so helpful. I am always looking to increase my athletic performance and now would love to read his book and try some of his products. I just wish some of his bars didn’t contain almonds so I could try them. I love hearing about products from the actual source. Thanks for the post.

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Jana February 21, 2010 at 12:41 am

This post was really interesting to read and very informative. I agree many athletes are undernourished and also that eating highly processed foods expend more energy to digest. I am going to have to go out and try vega products now.

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Neven February 21, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Wow amazing post! Very informative.

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Katherine February 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Wow, I love Brendan! He has been such an inspiration to me. I have read The Thrive Diet cover to cover and it now lives in my kitchen. I have Maca, Chlorella and a few other goodies in my daily arsenal now, thanks to his recommendations. The Thrive Diet is a wonderful book, and just so sensible! I am about to embark on a year long training program for a very challenging two-day multisport event, and I think Brendan’s advice will become my mantra! I would so much love a copy of his training book, as I think this will be the perfect supplement to kick-start the plan! And how wonderful to have such an accomplished Vegan-Raw athlete to show us that it IS possible! Thanks Brendan and thanks Gena for the interview! Perfect timing!

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Alisha February 23, 2010 at 1:15 am

i’m a wannabe vegan/raw.
i hope to read this book so i can finally make the transition
from vegetarian to a vegan!

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Krystyna February 24, 2010 at 7:57 am

I’ve read his Thrive book and it has changed the way I think about being vegan. I’ve been vegan for 5 years and only because of his words and ideas did I slowly realize the importance of shifting away from soy and towards strongly alkaline foods. :)

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Berry February 25, 2010 at 11:46 am

Book looks fascinating.

I am in the process of moving from Veg to Vegan, but am struggling to maintain my energy levels when working out. (In the gym, and in more fun ways- surfing, rock-climbing etc.) initially i thought i was mentally tired- so kept adding coffee to my routine- obviously not ideal!

Keep up the good work.

B

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Amanda Sellers August 20, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Awesome book, awesome products. Brendan is so inspiring. I am at 90% vegan, almost fully transitioned!

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Ariella August 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

This is awesome! I teach elementary school and can’t even begin to tell you how many kids with ‘learning difficulties’ come to school with sugary snacks and lunches. I am totally going to recommend the Vega meal replacement to parents who want to help their kids but don’t know what to give them. Thanks!

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Jenna May 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Thank you so much Gena, you are both very inspiring. I’m only just getting the hang of the raw vegan lifestyle and I am loving its benefits. I was about to throw in the hammer because I was bored of my recipes and was worried about not getting enough protein especially with my workouts but after reading your blog and this interview I am all over it again :) Thank you

xx

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psn cards January 13, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.

Anyways, I’m certainly happy I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

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