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Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life Paperback – December 23, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 318 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life
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  • Thrive Energy Cookbook: 150 Plant-Based Whole Food Recipes
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  • Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I am forever grateful to Brendan...I have noticed increased energy and more restful sleep. My desire for sugar and salt is waning, and what's more, I am following these recipes and loving them."
-- Hugh Jackman (from the foreword)

"The Thrive Diet is an authoritative guide to outstanding performance, not just in top-level athletics but in day-to-day life." 
--Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

"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

"Thrive is a must read." 
--T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., bestselling author of the The China Study

"Quite simply, Thrive is the most comprehensive nutrition and lifestyle program we've ever seen." 
--The G Living Network

Dave Zabriskie, professional cyclist, Tour De France stage winner, and record holder of the fastest time trial in Tour De France history
Thrive is an eye-opening and a life-changing book. It should replace bibles in hotels.”

About the Author

Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author on performance nutrition, and the creator of the award-winning line of Vega nutritional products. He is from Vancouver, British Columbia.

brendanbrazier.com
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 edition (December 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738212547
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738212548
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (318 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Brendan is the formulator and cofounder of Vega, bestselling author of the Thrive book series, creator and host of the Thrive Forward web series, and editor in chief of Thrive magazine. He's also a former professional Ironman triathlete and a two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. Brendan is regarded as one of the world's leading authorities on plant-based performance nutrition, and therefore works with several NHL, NFL, MLB, UFC, and Olympic athletes. Brendan now invests in and works with socially responsible food & tech companies whose mandate is to fix our food system and reduce the environmental strain of food production.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Thrive Diet is a relatively easy to follow program for athletes that have food allergies, are vegan, or just want to get their nutrition from whole foods. The hardest thing of going plants only is accepting you can get solid protein and nutrition. Thankfully, the author knows how to research and presents his findings dispassionately and with reason. The page on protein powders is worth the book itself. No where else have I found this information, and I've been looking through all vegan, vegetarian, and bodybuilding books. Keep in mind that this book is soy and tofu free, due to the author's concerns with allergies. That's a good thing. Tofu/Soy products are used MORE in N. America. I'm not anti-soy. Just pro-variety (and frankly soy hasn't gotten me to where I want to be anyhow.)

An important part of this book are the early chapters on different types of stress and how nutrition can assist recuperation. The author is not a big supplement taker, and focuses on nourishment rather than calories/protein/carbs counting. The recipes are simple to prepare. It's actually, dare I say it, kind of lazy food prep, minimal tools (food processor & blender), and maximum return. These are positives. Other vegan cookbooks have 20 steps, consume an hour of time and the end result is just a side dish. Of potatoes....

Now, the book is affordable, but there's a sticker shock that comes from going whole foods whole cloth. Thankfully I have a Whole Foods within 8 miles. They had most everything on the list, except yellow pea protein powder. The clerk said the co. that made that went bankrupt, so it's put a lot of folks in a lurch. My total bill? $227.00 The protein powders are about $15 each, the oils are around that price point, and maca and chlorella cost $15 a bottle.
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Format: Hardcover
Sounds a bit over the top, but I'm an actress in Hollywood with an athletic build. I've always found it hard to stay really lean, even though I'm a hard-core athlete, and that makes it hard to compete with the waifs. I bought Brendan's book two months ago and for the first time I am shredded without starving myself. I feel better than I ever have in my entire life and I honestly can't believe it.

I love the diet, love the food, love the philosophy. (I'm also an environmentalist)

I read the book cover-to-cover, excited by the philosophy but dismayed by the foreign foods that I needed to learn to locate, sprout and soak in order to start. This was just initial panic. I got over it.

I started with the smoothies and energy bars. I bought the Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer he recommends and I found that making the smoothies was super-fast (throw my fruit, water, optimizer in a blender and go) and that while the energy bars took a little time, I could make a 2-month supply at a time, and then have a quick, easy snack always ready. I like them best frozen, so I'm not worried about spoilage. That was week one.

Week two I did my big shop (it was a bit pricey to start, but it's been very cheap ever since) which took a little to psych up for, washed and sanitized my fruits and veggies, and started sprouting. As soon as my sprouts were ready (a few days later) I took a full day and made pizza, burgers, crackers, sauces, salad dressings, etc. I basically made a little of everything. The joy was that I then could eat all week without doing anything but opening up the fridge. Since then, I've run out of things one by one, but since I've done it before, I had all of the ingredients on hand and it was no big deal to replenish; getting started was the hard part.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The good: A focus on vegan athlete nutrition with pretty good recipes and nutritional recommendations.
The bad: The science and explanations behind the foods are inaccurate and lacking.

The good, in a bit more detail: If you're looking for good recipes for post-workout shakes, etc., "Thrive" is a good source. As others have noted, most of the recipes are from basic foods, if some that we may not all have in our pantries yet. Brazier's later books tend to have a lot of recipes that say "buy my Vega stuff and mix...", but this one doesn't. The recipes are athlete-tested (less likely to make you feel sick when eating them during a workout!). The mix of nutritional and "when to eat what" advice is good, and matches well with what other sources recommend, but translated into a framework that works well for the vegan athlete. The recipes have variety, and in many cases, incorporate a set of protein sources that other books don't. I haven't seen another source of recipes for vegan energy bars or energy gels.

The bad: If you're looking for an accurate and clear explanation of the science behind it, don't buy this one -- buy "Eat to Live" (Fuhrman), "The Spectrum" (Ornish), "The China Study" (Campbell), or "The Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook" (Barnard), or perhaps "The Food Revolution" (Robbins). Brazier's explanations of the rationale behind his recommendations are scientifically bogus, falling back on claims about live enzymes aiding nutrition and broad categories of "alkaline" foods, and a fairly wacko theory about refined foods taking more energy to digest than you get out of them.
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