The Thrive Diet was created by professional ironman, Brendan Brazier, and is based on following a vegan diet to achieve optimal performance and health.
He designed his vegan program for anyone, no matter if you are an athlete or not.
Can this restrictive plant based diet improve performance and allow for balanced nutrition?
The Thrive Diet allows no dairy, gluten, wheat, soy, corn, refined sugar, or animal products. Specific energy gels and sports drinks are allowed, however. Foods that are highly recommended are legumes, vegetables, seeds, some grains, fruits, oils, and nuts.
The Thrive Diet Claims To:
- Lower body fat and increase muscle tone
- Decrease signs of aging
- Increase energy and mental clarity
- Increase sleep
- Improve mood
- Strengthen the immune system
- Lower cholesterol
- Decrease junk food cravings
The main struggle when going vegan and soy-free is figuring out how to get high quality protein into your diet. Brendan recommends specific legume powders to add to smoothies and homemade energy bars to sneak in additional complete proteins. It can be done, but it is hard to consume more than 80 grams of legume/nut/grain protein in one day.
The only other concern is adequate vitamin and mineral intake. If following this diet, you might need supplementation of B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc, and possibly iron.
This diet will likely reduce your cholesterol since it is practically a cholesterol-free diet, and will likely lower your body fat percentage since you will be eating fewer calories. I am doubtful the diet could improve your immune system or sleep habits much, but all the other claims seem reasonable.
Since this diet is pretty restrictive, it would be hard for the average athlete to follow. It takes more time, energy, and money to prepare for a diet like this. It can be done, but you need to focus on getting enough calories, protein, and fuel for your lifestyle.
The book can be found on amazon here.
If you’ve been wanting to eat more plant based meals, then the 200 recipes provided by The Thrive Foods recipe book may get you off to a great start.
The book begins with a forward from Hugh Jackman who has been following Brazier’s diet for the last couple years as well as relying on it to prepare for his movie roles.
Thrive Foods focuses heavily on the environmental impact our food choices make. Brazier developed what he calls the “nutrient to resource ratio”. This takes into account the amount of resources it takes to produce the food, compared with the amount of nutrients that can be obtained from the food source.
Brandon Brazier says that if a person would just eat a plant based breakfast everyday for one year, it would reduce the carbon emissions by the amount that would be produced from a person driving a mid-sized car from Vancover, BC to Tijuana, Mexico.
All 200 recipes take this into account by being 100% plant based, high in nutrient density, and alkaline forming. He teamed up with some award winning chefs to create what he thinks are delicious recipes that align with the Thrive Diet principles.
Brendan Brazier’s recipes use ingredients such as legumes, maca, chia, hemp, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, wild rice, and chlorella, while eliminating ingredients like wheat, yeast, gluten, soy, dairy, and corn.
The recipes provided include breakfast, lunch, and dinner suggestions as well as recipes for snacks, appetizers and desserts.
Thrive Foods Recipes is available for on Amazon.