When I flirted with being a vegetarian in college, my parents told me tales of a collegiate basketball player from their co-ed days. The athlete decided to eat a plant-based diet and subsequently was injured all the time. My parents seemed to think that meat was a form of injury prevention. They would be amazed by the whole food, plant based, vegan, almost raw diet that professional Iron Man athlete Brendan Brazier
cooked dreamed up and promotes in his book The Thrive Diet ($16.32).
The first third of the book lays out a very convincing argument for a plant based diet. It decreases stress, decreases over all body acidity (which is cause for inflammation), and provides more nutrients per calorie. His food philosophy is to eat plenty of small meals a day, drink nutritious smoothies daily (some recipes contain kale), eat raw greens daily, and to partake of an afternoon snack. Brazier also believes we should all be eating a raw energy bar daily concocted out of ingredients like dried dates, quinoa, and ground flax seeds. All that sounds healthy, but for me to follow this diet I would have to completely change how I eat and approach food. Brazier definitely sees food as fuel to power his extreme workout schedule. Food for me is also about taste, texture and pleasure. Not to mention food provides a social forum for family and friends.
To see how to start the diet, just
Brazier is clear that you need to take on the Thrive Diet one step at a time. It is not about perfection but about progress. Since change can create stress, you need to ease into the Thrive Diet by adding nutrient dense foods and weaning yourself off of coffee and refined carbs.
If you are vegan, especially if you are into endurance sports (he has recipes for raw vegan sports gels!), and looking for some super healthy recipes, this is the book for you. It contains a lot of recipes for meals, snacks and sports drinks. If you are looking to thrive, buy the book at Amazon. I bet Brazier would prefer that you walk or bike to your local bookstore to pick up your copy.