Brendan Brazier, who currently resides in Vancouver, Canada, is a magical name in the fitness industry. He is a professional Ironman triathlete, and also the creator of VEGA, which is an award-winning whole food, vegan or plant-based, nutritional product line. All his products are widely available in health stores across the world. IT just does not end here, he is also a two-time Canadian 50-kilometer Ultramarathon runner, a powerful speaker, and a highly regarded presenter throughout North America.
In 2006, he also conducted a congress where he addressed the United States Congress explaining to them the profound social and economic benefits that can be achieved through a complete or partial means of a plant-based diet and the focus on improving health. He made some really strong points saying,
“People don’t eat as much plant-based, healthful food as junk food because it’s not as convenient. So we have to make it easier to eat healthy. Meat and dairy are highly subsidized. A hamburger could cost $35 to produce, but costs only $1.50 at a fast-food restaurant because of farm subsidies. I’ve been advocating for a system where meat would cost more and local organic fruit and vegetable growers could get subsidies to bring their prices down.”
More recently, he was on a speaking tour with the Canadian campus group Students for Sustainability and discussed diet and the environment. Here too, he came up front with some really strong message:
“Simply put, raising cows takes more energy, depletes more fossil fuels, and produces more carbon dioxide. Consider that 70 percent of [grain] grown in North America is consumed by animals, not by humans, and it takes 16 pounds of grain to net 1 pound of meat. That’s a huge energy loss and inefficient use of land. Also, because fields are overfarmed, the soil in which we grow our food is nutrient-poor. Organic farmers know this, of course. The bottom line is that if we eliminated eating meat, we could use more land to grow nutrient-rich food for people.”
It is a no-brainer that he was also named one of The 25 Most Fascinating Vegetarians by the VegNews magazine. Brendan is also a guest lecturer at e-Cornell in New York and has appeared on ABC, NBC, and Fox News.
What is so unique about himself is that being competing and leading a super athletic lifestyle, he himself follows a plant-based diet. He also instigates the same and is recognized as the world’s foremost authority. He has dedicated himself towards spreading the word about how people can achieve better health by living an ethical, environmentally friendly, and healthier lifestyle by basing their food choices entirely on plant-based foods.
Brenden, who is in his mid 30’s as of 2020, started his career in running in 1990 and has become a pro since 1998. He is known as the training machine that can push his body to the limits. And this is straight away from his teammates about the kind of energy he can produce during his training sessions. As a nutrition consultant to the Cannonade-Garmin Cycling Team, he is considered one of the most sought after performance nutrition. On his social media too, he presents his own views on how to achieve total health and fitness by including a few pictures and his step-by-step guide to exercises to achieve maximum results in minimum time.
“Maybe what I eat has something to do with it? Could this be?” he comments with a trace of cynicism.
Here is what Brenden Brazier does to keep himself fit and strong despite a plant-based diet.
Brendan Brazier Workout Routine
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Brendan makes sure he has achieved a certain amount of fitness in all his exercises, but he makes sure he is not too perfect in all of them. He remarks,
“The goal here, however, is never to become too good at any of them. Once the brain has learned the new skill to a level of comfort, these cerebral benefits diminish. These activities are still of benefit, however, since information changes throughout the activity, and the brain must think, make decisions, and tell the body to do it.”
Duration of his workouts:
Brenden likes to keep his workout hours from 20-30 hours per week, but during his peak season, it can increase drastically. He comments, “During peak training, I’ll train about 35 hours a week. I have gone as high as 43, but find 30 to 35 to be about right.”
A peak training week would look similar to this:
- Morning Workout 1: Swim 4000 meters.
- Morning Workout 2: Gym workout.
- Evening Workout: Bike 90 minutes easy – flat.
- Morning Workout: Bike 6 hours – mostly flat.
- Run 45 minutes immediately after the bike ride.
- Evening Workout: Run 90 minutes with pick-ups.
- Morning Workout 1: Swim 4000 meters.
- Morning Workout 2: Bike 5 hours hilly with some big ring climbing.
- Run 75 minutes immediately after the bike ride.
- Evening Workout 1: Swim 4500 meters.
- Evening Workout 2: Gym workout.
- Morning Workout 1: Bike 5 hours easy – flat.
- Run 75 minutes immediately after the bike ride.
- Morning Workout 1: Hard fartlek (hard then rest) run on rolling terrain.
- Morning Workout 2: Gym workout.
- Evening Workout: 4400 Open water swim.
- Morning Workout: 3-hour run.
- Evening Workout: Bike 4 hours hilly.
- Run 60 minutes immediately after the bike ride.
His tip for people who want to begin a workout schedule like his or at least have a try at it:
“Don’t do too much too soon. That’s the No. 1 problem, and it’s what I did when I started. You shouldn’t increase your mileage any more than 10 percent each week. And stay true to your personality type: You might run because you need alone time. Or you may need to make it a social activity and join a triathlon training group, which can be terrific.”
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That’s quite a hectic work out schedule and while many ask how does Brenden do it all with having a plant-based diet, he has the perfect answer:
- “I feel that lots of easily digestible fruit supply me the energy while enzyme intact natural alkalizing protein sources such as hemp and chlorella are what my body thrives on. If you can’t digest it or digestion is a big draw on your system, energy will be wasted, the energy that could be spent on recovery. Efficient foods are the key.”
Brendan Brazier Fitness Tips
Here are some fitness tips that Brendan gives in his book ‘Thrive Fitness’:
Being sensitive to personal faults is necessary in order to identify and eliminate them. • Positive thinking can do more harm than good and can hinder ongoing progress. • Building “justified confidence” will significantly help in any pursuit and is only possible once the weakness has been determined. • Persistence is necessary but not the answer to every problem.
Best results are achieved when breathing is steady, deep, and in accordance with the pace of movement that the exercise requires. For all the weight training exercises, breathe in when performing the relaxing segment of the exercise, and breathe out when lifting the weight.
Five minutes of brisk walking, stair-climbing, doing jumping jacks, or even just running on the spot will do [for a warm up]. While a warm-up is vital, there are no advantages to a long one. In fact, getting your body accustomed to physical activity in a shorter amount of time can prove beneficial.
Since your body can effectively absorb only about a cup of fluid at once, sipping water or an electrolyte drink throughout the day helps maintain hydration better than gulping large amounts of water only a couple of times a day.
The stronger our muscles, the more efficiently they work: Strength equals efficacy. But strength also equals slower consumption of carbohydrates (our muscles’ prime source of fuel). For endurance athletes, both elements are crucial. As explained earlier, greater muscular strength directly translates into greater efficiency. Additionally, as the ability to burn carbohydrates more efficiently improves, the longer it will last, thereby further improving endurance.
That’s all about Brendan Brazier’s workout routine. Let’s move on to the diet plan that provides him energy all day long:
Brendan Brazier Diet Plan
Brendan follows a particular kind of diet that is based on plant-based meals. He says, “I’m a vegan who eats about 80% raw.” That means he does not eat any animal products includes meat, poultry, and dairy. Although getting into veganism was not something spontaneous. It was a gradual process. All he wanted to do was be a better athlete. He was ready to go to any extremes to achieve that too. He recalls,
“It started off when I was 15 and I just wanted to be a good athlete. I didn’t care what I ate, if it would make me a better athlete. I learned that it’s not just about the training. It has to do with the rate of recovery. I started learning about nutrition for my lifestyle.”
He first became a vegetarian and then switched on to veganism. His next transition was going raw. He explains,
“I became a vegetarian in 1990, and then in 1998, I became a very strict vegan. Over the past years, I have further evolved my diet to mostly raw foods. All unrefined, unprocessed, natural whole foods are what my diet now comprises of.”
He says that following this kind of diet helps him with his physical activities. It has helped him improve his performance drastically. He says, “Athletic performance enhancement was my first motivation and is still the strongest. Once I learned how to be a healthy vegan by eating the right foods my performance improved dramatically.” But being a vegetarian/vegan was not all that easy; he had to face many challenges in his life. He explains all his challenges by saying,
- “My first challenge was to curb the constant hunger and lack of energy that I experienced. I have since learned that I went about transitioning to veganism incorrectly, the way most people do. In 1990 I’d fill up on refined starchy foods such as pasta and bread. That put an end to the constant hunger, but sufficient energy to train at a high level was not there.”
He says that he experimented a lot with his food choices to strive at the best. The main focus was on the quality of the food he is intaking. He switched from everything processed to unprocessed. He explains, “Once I began paying close attention to the quality of food that I was consuming and not just the caloric intake, I made large gains. One thing that I realized about two years ago is probably the most valuable to date; it’s the pH factor of food. I used to consume a large amount of highly processed, isolated protein powder.”
One of his experiences with the plant-based diet is that he has not really changed a lot except that he is eating more raw foods than ever. And when he is on the roads, he eats a lot-but only from health stores. In his words,
“Once I switched to a plant-based whole food diet it hasn’t changed a lot. I’ve included more raw than I started off doing initially. I’d say I eat 80 or 85 percent raw. When I’m on the road I don’t have the time or facility to prepare the food that’s in the meal plan, so I graze even more. I’m fortunate that I’m at a lot of health food stores a lot of the time, so I can get good food. Pretty much a big salad every night when I’m on the road, out of ease and simplicity.”
At first, recovering from the workouts was not easy although he had sufficient protein in his diet. “I was having no trouble maintaining my daily protein requirement, but I was not recovering as fast as I would have liked, plus I was experiencing muscle stiffness and mild joint pain. As I discovered it was because I had been consuming too many acid-forming foods, such as denatured protein powders,” he explains.
Many people face the same trouble of not being full even when adding a lot of carbs to their diet. The satisfying feeling which one gets from milk products or meat is missing. But Branden disagrees. It is something he has faced too but and he assures everyone that it is just a bent of mind. He explains, “When I first switched to a plant-based diet I was constantly hungry and didn’t have good energy levels. I was eating too many refined carbs, pasta, rice, potatoes, that initially feel filling but don’t stay with you. I switched from that to more nutrient-dense foods. Things like leafy greens, salads, a lot of the superfoods that I mention in the book, are much more nutrient-dense and therefore will nourish your body, which will trigger the hunger to be turned off.”
He credits his improvement to going raw and vegan, saying, “Once I began eating more raw, natural, alkalizing, foods, my recovery time dramatically improved, as did the muscle and joint concerns. Raw, natural hemp protein is now my number one choice.”
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He also tells that there are many benefits to going raw vegan. He has seen a significant improvement in his recovery. In his own words,
“Recovery time is number one. I am able to train more, therefore improve quicker. Since my cortisol levels have dropped due to the removal of nutritional stress. I’m able to sleep better.
The deep phase of sleep known as Delta is when restoration and fabrication takes place. A stressed body will be prevented from slipping into this phase due to elevated cortisol, usually caused by training or nutritional stress. Ironically this is the time the body needs a good sleep the most, but is unable to get it.
Once I began sleeping “more efficiently”, I found that I woke up feeling fresh, no need for caffeine or sugary foods. It can be a vicious circle because sugary foods and caffeine further raise cortisol making sleep harder, keeping the body tired, which leads to cravings.”
He said that people usually think that athletes can’t perform well with a plant-based diet like one. “Most think it’s a diet for people who aren’t very active, a low energy diet, he comments. All the aims for is to expel the misinformation that athletes on a plant-based diet can not excel. He aims to do this by being an example to the world.
So, this is what his daily meal plan looks like:
- Breakfast– Homemade, nutritionally balanced ginger pear granola with home-made raw almond milk and fruit.*
Or what he recommends, a fruit smoothie-which he began having himself when he started on a raw vegan approach. He says, “You need to start slow and ease into it, like training. A good way to begin is to have a smoothie in the morning because it tastes good. You can mix in hemp, flaxseed, and a green component, like chlorella. If you have an intestinal reaction, which a lot of people do, go with smaller amounts and increase gradually. You’ll eventually build these small changes into a healthful, whole-food, plant-based diet.”
- Pre Workout Snack – VEGA energy pudding.*
- Post Workout Snack – One serving of VEGA (my meal replacement formula) and fresh fruit.
- Lunch – Raw soaked lentil salad and vegetables.
- Snack – Fruit.
- Dinner – Raw spinach hemp soup* or large salad with various sprouted beans and seeds.
*recipes can be found in Brendan’s book, Thrive Nutrition.
He says that raw foods are important because they provide sustainable energy that can be used in performance. He explains the theory in simpler terms, saying:
“You want to gain energy through [calorie] conservation as opposed to consumption. Refined foods take a lot of energy to digest; raw, plant-based, whole foods give you a higher net gain. That’s an important way to look at food: it’s not just about the calories on the label, but also about the energy you get once the food is assimilated. Choose foods that are high in nutrients—hemp seeds, flax, algae, seaweed, fruit, spinach, kale, and leafy greens are all excellent. Try to buy local if possible, and from a farmers’ market if you can.”
Although it does not change much during his competition period there are still some changes in his meal prep routine. He says he cuts back on carbs when preparing for some competition.
“During my base training I tend to cut back on the carbs a bit, especially the starchy ones. Most of the base training is done in the “fat-burning zone”. I find I need to keep the high quality, alkalizing protein coming during this phase or some muscle will be used as fuel, resulting in a strength reduction,” he says.
He also adds a little extra fatty-acids. He says, “High quality essential fatty acids are also important at this time. I get most of mine from flax seeds (omega 3), hemp oil, and avocados. During high-intensity training I’ll eat lots of fresh fruit.”
Being such big on vegetables, strangely, he doesn’t have a favorite vegetable. He says, “Don’t have one. People think it’s strange but I really don’t.” Also, strangely enough, he does not have a role model either. He works by experimenting with himself. He says, “I really don’t have any. I just do what makes sense and works for me.”
But all his experiments have come to pay him well. He has developed to become a better person overall.
“I’ve learned to be open-minded and think critically. Just because everyone else does something, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best way. Also, the simplest solution is usually the best, in this case, whole natural foods grown without pesticides or herbicides – simple,” he said.
When it comes to choosing his food options, he does not believe in going all the way for the trendier foods and likes to stick to whatever is in the season; even if that means going for the non-trendier options. He says, “I think açai is great, but personally I only buy it when blueberries are out of season. I like to buy what’s in the season for where I am. I wouldn’t buy açai when blueberries are growing 20 km away, for example. When they’re not in season I’ll try things like açai. I think it’s just another good whole food that can be added to a broad range of whole foods.”
However, eating raw comes with its own limitations, especially when it comes to seasons. And with Branden living in a place like Vancouver, it is hard to survive on raw foods during peak winters. But how does he do it? Here what he says, “When I first started eating largely raw I found it a bit hard in the winter in Vancouver, it was raining for months on end. But after going through a couple more springs and summers of eating raw, when winter came I developed the desire to eat less cooked foods. I wasn’t forcing myself to eat raw, I just ate whatever I felt like if it was whole, plant-based foods.”
He continues, “I think one of the best ways is thinking of it as including new foods as opposed to removing old ones. One thing I’ve found to be effective is breakfast-it’s not such an emotional meal for people. Often people just grab something quick on their way out. A lot of people have had no intention of completely changing their diet, but they feel so good and their energy is even after changing their breakfast. If you can have that good breakfast that tastes good, like blended fruit because people like smoothies, then they’re interested to see what else can improve in their life. Their sleep quality gets a bit better, it interests and encourages them to do a bit more. They often take charge at that point just because they feel it.”
All this progress with his diet led him to start his own company called ‘Vega’ which is huge in today’s date. This is the story of how he came across Vega:
“It started off in 2004. I had been making a blended drink for myself since I was about 15, then I partnered with Charles [Chang, of Sequel Naturals] in 2004 and brought out a replica of that, which became Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer. From there we created energy bars and we just launched Vega Sport, a sport line that came out last month. It’s a pre-workout drink. Sprouted brown rice is the main ingredient, along with organic palm nectar. For immediate and sustained energy, yerba mate and green tea. Rhodiolo helps dilate blood vessels. Devil’s claw helps numb the pain a little bit. Turmeric and ginger help reduce inflamation. Kombucha culture. All these different ingredients that help boost athletic performance. It’s a powder you mix with water.”
In fact, the vision for Vega came with his own concoctions that he used to make during his initial moments in competition. He recalls, “My dream was to race professionally in an Ironman triathlon. I learned that recovery is a huge factor in performance and that 80 percent of recovery has to do with nutrition. I started a plant-based diet with that in mind. Based on my research, I concocted my own mix for blender drinks, with ingredients like hemp protein, rice protein, flaxseeds, chlorella, and maca.”
His plans are all about increasing his brand and its product range. He also wants to publicize his content so that it can spread across the world and more people can have access to it. He says,
“I’d like to continue the sport line. I’d like to do healthy whole food energy gels, because there’s nothing out there now, using recipes for similar gels to what’s in Thrive Fitness. Also, I’d like to get Vega out to more people. I’d like to develop smoothies that are in mass market. Only 4 percent of Canadian shop in health food stores. It’s not just athletic performance or for active people but for anyone who wants to achieve more.
I also recently created Thrivein30.com. It’s a free program that I set up, you can go there, sign up with your email address and you’ll get three emails a week for four weeks, comprised of the main topics in Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness. It includes both video and text segments. I created that in an effort to help get this out to more people. I know not everyone’s going to read the book. I’ve got some feedback from people that they can’t get others to read the book. It’s another way of spreading the message to another group of people. It’s saying you can get all the information you need to apply it and spread the message. It’s trying to help people apply the information from what they probably already know. It’s simple but I think it can be effective if people are open to the information and trying it.”
Talking about his meals and eating habits is not complete without mentioning his book. Here’s a look at the essentials of his book, Thrive Diet.
The Thrive Diet
Here are a few excerpts from his book that tells about his approach to health and nutrition:
The thrive diet is a raw, vegan lifestyle plan designed by former professional athlete Brendan Brazier. It’s outlined in his book of the same name, which provides readers with breakfast, lunch, dinner, smoothie, and snack recipes in addition to a 12-week meal plan to follow as they get started on the diet.
People who follow the thrive diet don’t count calories or limit portions. Instead, they’re encouraged to eat several small meals daily to keep their blood sugar and energy levels consistent throughout the day.
The plan claims to aid in weight loss, energy levels, stress reduction, blood sugar stabilization, and cardiovascular health. It also claims to offer overall health benefits.
People on the thrive diet need to consume plant-based, whole foods that are raw or minimally cooked at low temperatures—in other words, foods that are as close to their natural state as possible.
On this plan, you’ll stick to nutrient-rich foods like:
- leafy greens
- cold-pressed oils
- apple cider vinegar
- sea vegetables
- brown rice
Each meal should contain high protein, plenty of fiber, and healthy fats without any animal products.
The goal of this diet is to consume raw, vegan superfoods that deliver all the nutrients your body needs without the need for additional supplementation of vitamins, minerals, or nutrients.
If you’re planning to follow the thrive diet, you’ll find that there’s a long list of plant-based foods to keep you satisfied over the course of the day.
If you choose to follow the thrive diet, you’ll need to eliminate all animal products, including:
- meats (beef, pork, lamb, bison, etc.)
- fish (white fish, salmon, tuna, etc.)
- seafood and shellfish (shrimp, oysters, calamari, scallops, crab, etc.)
- eggs, poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.)
- dairy products (cheese, yogurt, milk, cream, kefir, etc.)
Besides, you’ll avoid refined carbohydrates and foods high in starch and sugar. You’ll also need to limit the foods that are cooked at low temperatures. While they’re allowed in small amounts on the thrive diet, frequent consumption is discouraged.
Finally, you’ll be encouraged to cut out or reduce processed foods as much as possible since many contain additives and are high in sugar, salts, and fats.
People who eat plant-based diets are typically able to maintain healthier weights and have lower blood pressure and cholesterol than those who don’t. Vegan diets have been shown in some studies to reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and death by cardiovascular disease, though larger trials need to be conducted to study the potential long-term health benefits in more depth.
A recent, small trial showed the vegan lifestyle to be effective at regulating blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, but more research is needed in that specific area.
Those who adopt plant-based diets may also reap the added benefits of reducing the number of prescription medications they have to take, alleviating chronic health conditions, and lowering their risk of cancer.
Eliminating processed foods from your diet can reduce your intake of salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats plus strip away the artificial, processed ingredients that aren’t present in naturally occurring whole foods.
Brendan Brazier, the creator of the thrive diet, asserts that following the plan helps reduce stress and anxiety levels. However, these are anecdotal benefits that haven’t been supported by research.
People who switch to a vegan diet may find themselves at risk for nutrient deficiencies. This is particularly true for nutrients found in animal products, like iron, vitamin D, calcium, DHA, and vitamin B-12.
Although they thrive diet discourages supplementation, you may find that you need to supplement some of these nutrients to meet the recommended daily requirements.
As with any dietary change, integrate the thrive diet gradually into your lifestyle rather than make an extreme change all at once. Start by adding one or two thrive-approved snacks or meals at a time and then slowly work your way up to the full diet.
You may experience gastrointestinal distress (bloating, changes in bowel habits, etc.), irritability, and headaches as you make the changes, especially if you change too much in too short a period of time.
Individuals with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic conditions, or who are obese may benefit from the thrive diet.
Otherwise healthy people who want to clean up their diets and derive more nutrients from the foods they consume may also benefit from adopting a vegan lifestyle like the thrive diet.
People with thyroid disease should be cautious when adopting a vegan lifestyle, as certain plants like corn, sweet potatoes, soy, and raw cruciferous vegetables are goitrogens and may exacerbate your symptoms.
Cooking these vegetables makes them safe for people with thyroid disease to eat, but since cooked vegetables are restricted on the thrive diet, those foods may need to be eliminated.
Additionally, people with kidney disease who follow the thrive diet should restrict foods with high amounts of phosphorus and potassium.
“Thrive is an authoritative guide to outstanding performance, not just in top level athletics, but in day-to-day life. Written by one of the world’s leading authorities on nutrition for professional athletes, it brings sports enthusiasts to their peak and helps everyone—athlete or not—to recover from stress and feel their best. This book sets aside the myths that have held many people back, and provides a state-of-the-art program for top health.”
—Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president, Physicians Committee
As with any lifestyle change, the thrive diet should be integrated gradually, approached with caution, and tailored to your individual nutritional needs.
“There is only one way to be happy in later life and that is to avoid the degenerative illnesses that inevitably come from eating a standard diet. Brendan Brazier’s Thrive will increase the micronutrient density of your eating style and enable you to live longer, live healthier, and thrive.”
—Joel Fuhrman, M.D., bestselling author of Eat to Live and Eat for Health
Here are a few of his Secret recipes that he keeps sharing on social media with his fans:
Long-Lasting Lemon-Lime Drink (from Thrive Fitness)
- 1 yerba mate tea bag
- 1 green tea bag
- 2 cups water (for steeping)
- 3 large Medjool dates
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tbsp hemp protein
- 1 tbsp ground salba [also called white chia]
- 1 tbsp sprouted buckwheat (or substitute cooked)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon
- Juice from 1/4 lime
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
The night before your event or a particularly hard workout, brew 1 cup of yerba mate and 1 cup of green tea. Let steep for 10 minutes, remove the tea bags, and put the cups with tea in the fridge. When you’re ready for your drink, blend the remaining ingredients.
Chocolate Blueberry Energy Bars
High in antioxidants and flavonoids, these bars help reduce free radical
damage in the body and improve cellular recovery.
- 1 cup fresh or soaked dried dates
- 1/4 cup almonds
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup roasted carob powder (or cacao to make 100% raw)
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup hemp protein
- 1/4 cup unhulled sesame seeds
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- Sea salt to taste
- 1/2 cup sprouted or cooked buckwheat (optional)
- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
In a food processor, process all ingredients except the buckwheat and blueberries. Knead buckwheat and berries into a mixture by hand.
Branden says that he eats this recipe quite often so he makes it in batches and stores it in the freezer. He says,
“I eat a bar or two a day, so I make a big batch at one time, usually about once a month. I individually wrap each bar and store them in the freezer, easy to grab as I head out the door. Also, these bars will not freeze solid, so you can eat them straight from the freezer—no thawing required. This is an added bonus when taking them along for winter sports, like skiing: These bars stay supple and chewy, whereas many commercial bars freeze solid. On a hot day, a cold bar is as refreshing as ice cream.”
Blood Builder Smoothie (iron-rich)
The vitamin C–rich orange in this smoothie will help the body absorb the iron of the pumpkin seeds.
- 1 banana
- 1 orange
- 2 cups cold water (or 1 1/2 cups water plus 1 cup ice)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp hemp protein
- 1 tbsp agave nectar
- 1 tbsp hemp oil or EFA Oil Blend
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- Makes about 3 1/2 cups, or 2 large servings
Toasted Apple Cinnamon Cereal
This is an excellent cereal in terms of nutritional balance. Unlike many commercial kinds of cereal, this one has lots of fiber, complete protein, essential fatty acids, and calcium.
- 1/2 apple, diced
- 1 cup oats (or cooked or sprouted quinoa to make cereal gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup diced almonds
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/2 cup hemp protein
- 1/2 cup unhulled sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground stevia leaf
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup hemp oil or EFA Oil Blend (p. 210)
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 2 tbsp apple juice
Preheat oven to 250°F. Combine apple, oats, almonds, ground flaxseed, hemp protein, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, stevia, and sea salt. Blend hemp oil, molasses, and apple juice. Combine liquid and dry ingredients, mixing well. Spread on a baking tray lightly oiled with coconut oil. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool, then break into pieces. Keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Makes 4 cups or about 5 servings.
That’s all about Branden Brazier’s diet and workout routine to keep himself fit and ‘thriving’ in his busy schedules.