Since it rained for most of the weekend, I spent my time reading a book I just picked up. Thrive: The vegan nutrition guide to optimal performance in sport and in life by Brendan Brazier (creator of the Thrive Diet).
Even if you have no interest in veganism or vegetarianism, this book and its core principles can still speak to you.
Brazer, a professional triathlete, promotes a healthy vegetarian diet — essentially a plant-based lifestyle. Eating this way has helped him increase his performance over the years and stay lean during the off-season.
Personally, I am neither vegan nor vegetarian. But I believe animal products should be consumed in moderation – which means we should focus on a plant-based menu.
In fact, bestselling author Michael Pollen agrees. In his book eating rules, Pollen describes over 60 dietary rules you should live by to achieve optimal health and reduced risk of disease. These rules can be summed up in 7 simple words:
Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.
Sounds like a healthy vegetarian diet to me.
But why? Because numerous research studies have clearly shown a strong correlation between the consumption of animal products (meat, dairy, eggs) and diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite treats like steak or ice cream. Just stop making them the foundation of your diet and think of them as treats that you indulge in occasionally.
A healthy vegetarian diet is therefore a long-term eating plan that can help you:
- Lower body fat and increase muscle tone
- Reduction of visible signs of skin aging
- Sleep better and more restfully
- Experience a better mood
- Increase energy and mental clarity
- Build a stronger immune system
- lower cholesterol
- Eliminate cravings
Who doesn’t want to experience all of this?
The best part The thriving diet This is also a 12 week whole food meal plan with over 100 wheat, gluten and soy free recipes. Brazier also includes some great recipes for pre and post workout nutrition, gels, sports drinks, smoothies and energy bars, as well as burgers, salad dressings, pancakes and vegetarian options.
Here’s a recipe for a homemade energy bar that I made yesterday and thought was excellent:
Chocolate Blueberry Energy Bar
- 1 cup chopped dates
- 1/4 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup cocoa 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 blend until combined. Lay out on a clean, flat surface and roll out into a thin square. Cut into bars, wrap individually and store in the freezer or refrigerator.
I got 10 bars using this method even though the recipe says 12. If I made these 12 they would have been more like energy bites than bars!
Anyway, I was so enthralled with this book that I read it in under 24 hours. I’m so excited to give a healthy vegetarian diet a try. I know that not only will it make us all a lot healthier, but it will also help us lose unwanted weight.
Thanks to Susan J. Campbell