It’s often rare to come across an athlete that bases their entire diet on plant-driven foods. This is what the narrative of Brendan Brazier’s amazing Book ‘The Thrive Guide’ talks about. Ever since I have read the book, I have seriously started questioning our food choices and how important it is to weigh our options.
With a little discussion with my dietitian in Karachi, I gave the recipes from this book a go. There were lots to explore from. My entire experience was surprisingly pleasant. Maybe the buzzing excitement and my enthusiasm for tasting new stuff made the experience more worthwhile.
So if you are weighing your options on what a thrive diet is and what it preaches about, sit back and relax because this is going to be a well-detailed pinch review.
The Central Theme is all about Maximizing your Energy
Perhaps what caught my attention the most was the subtitle ‘The Vegan Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life’. Now do not get me wrong, I have nothing against vegan recipes, but when you are a big meat lover, it becomes hard to imagine for anything to beat above that threshold set in your mind. So when I first picked up the book, I was quite skeptical regardless of being super excited.
The book was completely different from my expectations. I thought vegan to be strictly veggies and strip-free of any animal-dairy product. The book however focuses on not avoiding animal products, but rather making food choices that your metabolic system is more compatible with, meaning your body can easily break down the macro and micros in turning it to as much energy as possible. So keeping this theme in mind, the book suggests plant-based foods that have more energy for a healthy metabolic system.
It’s all About Preparation
One other thing that intrigued me about plant-based foods is the emphasis on taking time for meal preparation. Usually, you expect that less when you are preparing something out of vegetables. Please note here that I mentioned preparation NOT Cooking. This takes me to my second point. The book talks about how vegetables should be consumed in their most raw form possible.
Either to be cooked at real low temperatures or consumed completely raw. This is because in cooking most of the time, good digestive enzymes are destroyed, alternatively killing the maximum potential our metabolic rates can achieve for giving off more energy.
Now Comes the Most Mind-Blowing Part.
According to Brazier, almost 40% of our stresses come from what we eat. This is very important to understand as most of us use the calorie deficit method to maximize our energy. In counting calories, we do incline towards unhealthy stimulations such as caffeine, alcohol, refined sugar, and processed junk foods.
The book focuses more on the alkaline environment in your body that is healthy for the gut formulation, kills harmful bacteria, and as a bonus does not let cancer develop for survival.
The Actual Diet Plan
There is no calorie count with this diet, not even for high-performing athletes. The diet plan consists of 12 weeks, with 6 meals for each day. Now there are quite many energy boosters throughout the diet plan as well, which frankly speaking is not for everyone. I tested out the diet for 2 weeks only and here is what I added into my pantry; ‘hemp protein, organic coconut oil, raw almonds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, black-eyed peas red beans, dates, mangoes, agave nectar, quinoa, and ample fresh fruits and vegetables.’
With everything nicely placed in my pantry, I was now experimenting out of them. Here are my two favorite recipes from the book, which you should definitely try.
Recipe#1 Almond Flaxseed Burger
– Ground flaxseeds (1/2 cup)
– Raw soaked almonds (1 cup)
– Garlic cloves (2)
– Balsamic vinegar (2 Tbsp.)
– Coconut or Hemp Oil (2 Tbsp.)
– Salt to taste
Method: Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until all the ingredients are combined well. Once the mixture is well mixed, form two patties out of it.
I did not expect much in terms of flavor as I said I am big on meat, yet the patties tasted delicious. They were surprisingly very fulfilling and did not taste raw at all.
Recipe #2 the Ultimate Mango Lime Hot Pepper Smoothie
– 1 banana
– 1 mango
– 1.5 cups of water
– Lime juice (1-2)
– ½ cut jalapeno
– Hemp protein (1 tbsp.)
– Agave nectar (1 tbsp.)
– Hemp oil (1 tbsp.)
– Flaxseed (1 tbsp.)
Method: Put everything in a blender. Blend till a smooth consistency is achieved and sip it away. (I skipped on the jalapeno because I have zero tolerance against spices)
I have to say I was mind blown. I could never imagine mango with lime and pepper, but the recipe was very good.
Note: stay less on the jalapeno if you do not have strong tolerance towards it. I once ended up at Bhy Hospital for strong acidity. So be careful.
Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed exploring this rush drive of the thrive diet. If you are also looking to explore something different, make sure to give this thrive diet a try!