To say that Brendan Brazier, a former professional triathlete from Vancouver, Canada, has energy to spare is an understatement. Brazier has turned his vegan Ironman success into a triptych of bestselling books: Thrive, Thrive Fitness and his new cookbook, Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health. He has created the Vega line of whole food products and become an activist for improving the health of people and the planet through food choices.
“I discovered that with the perfect combination of the right foods, it was possible to achieve incredible levels of fitness that went far beyond what I could have achieved on a regular diet,” he explains. “The perfect combination for me is a whole food, Earth-friendly plant-based diet. But even small changes—like adding these seven clean, quality super foods to a person’s daily diet—can help decrease body fat, diminish visible signs of aging, boost energy without caffeine or sugar, enhance mood and improve sleep quality.”
Brazier’s Seven Super FoodsMaca. This root vegetable from South America increases energy by nutrition, not stimulation, advises Brazier, who recommends the gelatinized form for best results and often adds it to a drink after a workout.
Hemp protein. Rich in omega-3 and omega-4 essential fatty acids, hemp protein powder makes a great base for a smoothie.
Fresh ginger and ground, dried turmeric. These spices help the blood circulate more efficiently, and thus boost energy. Brazier adds them to drinks or smoothies.
Chia. Small, white chia seeds help sustain energy and maintain a feeling of fullness. He enjoys them in a blueberry chia breakfast pudding.
Fresh leafy greens. Brazier believes the consumption of chlorophyll-rich, leafy green vegetables, combined with moderate exercise, is the best way to create a biologically younger body.
Chlorella. This freshwater green algae, taken as a dietary supplement, is best known as a powerful energy enhancer and brain booster.
Green tea. Rich in chlorophyll and antioxidants, green tea causes a slow, steady release of energy over the course of several hours.
“Each new year brings fresh resolve to launch healthier habits that lead to fitter bodies, better sleep, increased performance and happier lives,” says Brazier. “Diet is one of the things we have the power to change right now in order to begin to thrive.”
Judith Fertig celebrates healthy cooking at AlfrescoFoodAndLifestyle.blogspot.com.