Interview + Giveaway with Brendan Brazier, author of THRIVE
February 14, 2010

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you’re having nice celebrations.

So I think it’s pretty clear by now that the majority of Choosing Raw readers are ladies. This is no surprise, given the food blog world demographics. And it’s nice for me, because I can often address some of the women’s issues—birth control, for instance—that are near and dear to my heart, along with others—such as eating disorders, body image, and peer pressure—that impact both genders, but affect women more prevalently.

That said, I have a solid and awesome male readership (wassup, Ian!) and I love to open up the conversations on the blog so that they’re of interest to men and women alike. In addition, I have a bunch of wonderful male clients, and I like to keep them reading, too!

I notice one big difference between my male and female clients. Women are mostly concerned with how proper nutrition will make them feel: how will their digestion improve? How will their energy levels increase? How will their relationship with eating and body image shift? How can they foster feelings of pride and enthusiasm for the foods they eat? My male clients, on the other hand, are interested in what proper nutrition will enable them to do. How will it boost their athletic performance? How will it help to transform their bodies? Will increased energy help them to function better at work, and accomplish more? Can it get them dates?

The answer is, of course, that proper nutrition can and will do all of these things. It’s not unusual for my male clients to ask me for evidence of that promise over the course of our first few sessions. They want guarantees that, if they’re willing to clean up some of their nasty little habits (fast food, drinking too much, too much red meat, or—for the gym rats—junky soy protein powders and brick-like meal replacement bars), they’ll see results. So what guarantee can I give them?

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I give them Brendan Brazier. Which is to say that I nearly always give my male clients—especially the very athletic male clients—Xeroxes from Brendan’s first book, The Thrive Diet. I consider it one of the definitive books on vegan athletic performance, and it answers (better than I can or do!) some of my clients’ most burning questions about the vegan diet for athletes. Calcium, protein, iron, stress, recovery? The answers are all in there, in simple, well researched, and authoritative language. Brendan has a knack for making such complex concepts as acidity/alkalinity, athletic recovery, and adrenal fatigue feel comprehensible and clear. Best of all, he speaks from experience, from the vantage point of a professional ironman triathlete who has been fueling with a 100% plant based diet for over a decade now. Just as my own experience with raw and vegan foods can often help to inspire my female clients directly, Brendan’s lifestyle and achievement is an inspiration to my male clients. And he is, of course, an inspiration to athletes everywhere—male, female, vegan, or omni.

The cornerstone of Brendan’s advice is this: reduce bodily stress by optimizing diet. Reducing stress will, in turn, shorten and maximize recovery time. Brendan noted early in his career that recovery was an oft-ignored, but significant component of athletic performance–more, even, than the training process. Shorter recovery times mean more prolific and higher quality athletic output. Brendan began research the benefits of a plant based diet in depth, and what he found was that eating a diet that maximized alkalinity and minimized stress (stress to the adrenal system, the liver, and the kidneys) was likely to minimize recovery time. This diet, he concluded, was 100% plant based, with a focus on raw foods, along with ancient grains and legumes.

Sound familiar? 🙂

Adopting this diet has allowed Brendan to maximize his own athletic performance, and it has inspired him to help others. Since The Thrive Diet was published, Brendan launched his now famous Vega brand: drink infusions and bars that are 100% whole foods and plant based. Many bloggers have blogged about them already. I had my first introduction to them this month, when I was offered the chance to sample some of Brendan’s new Vega whole foods Vibrancy Bars. These—to quote from the Vega site–are:

“…a unique and utterly delicious blend of all-natural, raw, organic, and enzymatically-active plant-based superfoods including sprouted buckwheat, sprouted almonds, acai, Salba and hemp seeds.

Unlike any other bar on the market, Vibrance bars maintain a taste of guilty pleasure while also being vegan, gluten-free, sprouted, alkaline-forming, and rich in Omega 3, antioxidants and phytonutrients…Clean and green, Vibrancy bars contain no refined sugars, oils, gluten or soy and are GMO and pesticide-free. Decadent and delicious, Vibrance bars are available in Chocolate Decadence, Green Synergy, and Wholesome Original!”

More on these below!

Since Brendan has been such a personal inspiration to me, I asked whether or not he might be willing to answer a few questions about his experience and his nutritional philosophy with my readers. And, much to my delight, he graciously said yes! So it’s with great excitement that I present a short Q & A with bestselling author, ironman triathlete, and environmentalist Brendan Brazier.

1) Welcome, Brendan! Let’s start at the beginning. How did your fascination with vegan and raw nutrition begin?

Well, I guess it began in 1990, when I was in 10th grade. I liked running and swimming and biking and wanted to do it as a career. I was constantly looking for ways to improve. What I noticed was that the top training programs didn’t differ much from most regular programs. And those programs didn’t really differ much from one to the next. This led me to suspect—though it would become clearer later on—that recovery was more decisive than training in boosting athletic performance. And I quickly realized that recovery was all about nutrition. So I understood the value of recovery at the beginning of my career, and that has made a huge difference for me.

Of course, this didn’t all come together for me right away. Like most athletes, I tried a bunch of popular regimes at the beginning: high carb, low carb, high protein. I even tried a plant based approach, but it didn’t work at first. I was always tired. My coach (this was in 1990) was a great coach, but he didn’t understand the connection between nutrition and performance, and he was dubious about vegetarianism. So I became proactive, and I took a good look at my diet, determined to clean it up and also see what I was lacking.

Well, it turned out I was lacking a lot of basic things: protein, B-12, calcium, and iron. I decided to put them in a blended drink after my workouts; it seemed like an easy and efficient way to do it. I added pumpkin seeds, for example, and my iron levels immediately shot up. The whole experience—adding whole foods to a blended drink—planted the seed and the habit that later that became Vega.

2) It’s definitely not an unusual experience for a new vegan to find that he or she hasn’t quite mastered the art of getting enough dietary variety, balance, and nourishment. Tell us more about what you were low on, and how you remedied it.

Well, iron was the main thing. But again, when I started adding ¼ cup soaked pumpkin seeds to my smoothies, my iron issues disappeared. Today, I’m also sure to frequently eat greens with citrus, because Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron. This means big salads with citrus dressing!

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3) Talk to me about calcium.

Well as you know, the problem is that we’re losing calcium, not that we need to ingest more and more of it. High acid foods force our bodies to leach calcium from our bones. So what we really need to do is increase our alkalinity. But what I did to boost calcium through food was to add unhulled sesame seeds to my blended drinks, and it worked really well.

4)   I find it interesting that all our national conversation about athletics is all about training or performance—with almost no attention paid to recovery. Can you talk about how you discovered the importance of recovery?

Well, as I said, noting the similarity of various training programs and had a lot to do with the “aha” moment. It must have been recovery, rather than training, that helped to distinguish who excelled.

Really, exercise is nothing more than muscle tissues and cells being broken down. And when you rest, the body grows back stronger — it overcompensates. Good food provides the building blocks for this process. The body pools the resources you take in through food and helps you to grow muscle back. If you eat poor nutrition, cells don’t grow back after athletic strain—they don’t have the resources—or they grow back abnormally (which can proceed to cancer). So although lots of athletes load up on junk food after grueling performance—they figure they can afford to, or that they’ve earned it, now that a competition is over—it’s actually the worst time to eat junk food, because that’s when the body will assimilate most quickly and seriously. If you want to eat junk, fine, but eat it later—not right after a workout, when the body will assimilate it directly, and be less likely to filter it out.

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5)   How has your athletic performance changed since you went vegan?

Once it started working, I was able to train significantly faster, which meant that I could become professional more quickly. I think my having been able to go professional so fast was a testament to my attention to detail and to good nutrition. I feel like a lot of athletes are overfed and undernourished. They’re getting the total calories they need, but not the enzymes and vitamins and nutrients. They suffer overconsumption and weight gain later on—and all the problems that accompany them.

6) Amazing point, and part of the reason I think calorie counting is such a flawed practice. Many of my athletic clients do, though, get very hyper-concerned about caloric intake. How many calories do athletes really need?

People put so much faith in calories out, calories in. I was doing that for a long time, eating a ton of peanut butter and bread, but they were the highly processed variety, which means that that I was expending so much energy trying to digest them [of course, my readers know that hard-to-digest foods sap us of energy and make us exhausted!]. The net-gain, in other words, was low.

That’s what I wrote about in Thrive—high net gain foods—foods that allow you to expend very little and gain a lot of energy.

After I changed my diet, I was getting far fewer calories than I had before—at least 20-30% less. And I was performing so much better. You would think that more calories would mean more energy, but if that were the case, people eating a ton of McDonalds would have a ton of energy! Today, I eat far fewer calories than the conventional athletic book would dictate. People would never see my age and calorie intake and believe that I maintain the kind of training and athletic regime I do, but again, it’s about net gain, not a calorie in, calorie out abstraction.

vega7) So this clearly factors into the idea of smoothies and recovery shakes. They’re a ton of nutritional gain with very little expenditure, since they’re all whole foods and they’re blended, to ease digestion…

Right. Here’s what the drinks have going for them:

1) Convenience—they’re quick to make
2) Digestive ease
3) After a workout, blood needs to be in extremities, delivering oxygen and cleaning up lactic acid, so you can’t have it rushing all to your digestive tract to digest heavy food
4) They can add a lot of high quality, plant based protein really easily, as well as variety of foods in one single source
5) You don’t crave things as much, because you’ve gotten all the nourishment you need
7) They provide energy through nourishment, as opposed to stimulation in the form of short term chemicals

8  )   Let’s move on to your incredible understanding of high-raw, vegan foods. You offer, I think, the best, most condensed account of the acid/alkaline balance of any author I’ve read. In fact, I Xerox your chapter on it for new clients! Say a few words about acidity and alkalinity, and how/why they matter.

Well, it sounds complex, but when people hear it, it makes such sense. If your body is acidic from too much caffeine, processed food, toxins, and tough to digest animal proteins, everything suffers, and your body, again, has to leach minerals from your blood to neutralize the acidity. The more alkaline you become, the better. It’s that simple!

9)   So here’s a confession: compared to most people in the raw community, I have a fairly skeptical attitude towards “superfoods.” I know that you’re a fan of some of these, but not to the kind of fanatical degree I’ve seen elsewhere. Could you share a bit more about your feelings on superfoods? Which ones do you really support, and why?

Thrive Diet mentions a few of these. Maca, chlorella, spirulina, and rooibos tea—these are the kinds of foods that can really give you a boost. But without the basics—proper diet and lots of greens, etc.—they’re not going to guarantee health.

10) I usually tell my clients and readers that, if you’re eating well, dietary supplements aren’t necessary—with the qualification that many vegans do need B-12 or D3. I know you’ve mentioned before that multivitamins shouldn’t be necessary if you’re eating a varied and plant based diet. But of course, the Vega infusions are supplements of a sort. Can you tell me more about them? What purpose do they serve, and how did you formulate them?

Vega is a fairly faithful replica of what I was making myself when I was fifteen. The vibrancy and energy bars are the same as what I used to prepare at home. I really liked them and they worked for me. The bar recipes are in the book, so people can make them themselves, without too much cost. None of the Vega products are proprietary, and there are no special secrets. My recipes aren’t hard to make. It’s all just food. The same idea goes for the Vega line, and it’s important for people to get that.

The Vega smoothie infusion is really popular. A lot of parents like giving it to their kids because it tastes so good, and it has fiber, so it won’t create a sugar spike. Stable, nice. Several parents have actually said that they thought their kids had behavioral problems, and in fact it was just dietary—usually too much sugar.

The Vega smoothie infusions and whole foods optimizers also have EFA oils. As athletes, you breath more and oxidize quickly, so you need more antioxidants.

Vega sport is a pre-workout drink. It has brown rice protein, herba mate, green tea, trace minerals, naturally occurring caffeine, which preserves muscle glycogen, kombucha, and coconut oil.

As for vitamins, well, I thought I needed them, but I got over that when I stopped taking them, and nothing bad happened. My bloodwork stayed the same, and my health stayed the same. If people want to take supplements, fine, but for people who are looking for alternatives, they can get everything they need through good, conscious food choices.

11) A lot of my male clients who are vegans or vegetarians get skepticism, even teasing, from other men about their diets. Of course, they look and perform better than their doubting friends! Is it hard to be a male vegan athlete, socially? Is it hard within the industry?

I used to get teased, but I don’t anymore. People just see the results. They see the steady improvement, and the ability to train harder. There are a lot of athletes I know who aren’t vegan yet, but they’re close. The culture is really changing. Many used to think they needed to go plant based to perform, but now they also like the taste and the lifestyle, which is an important distinction. They eat the food cause they like it. Every athlete I know now eats no meat, and no dairy.

And by the way, I think really people are really catching on about dairy [I hope so!!]. Frequently when they become vegetarian, dairy consumption goes up, and people immediately don’t feel well.

12)  So you think that professional athletic culture is shifting with regards to food, and how people think about food? That makes me really happy to hear! Is this lifestyle gaining traction?

I’m sure I’m a bit skewed, but from what I see, there has been a lot of progress in the last few years. People are open minded and willing to try. And when things work, people stick to it.

And you don’t have to make it complicated! I don’t spend a lot of time preparing food. I think people get the impression that I spend more time doing recipes than I do. When I’m on the road, I spend most of my time eating from the salad bar at Whole Foods, and I make a lot of big salads at home. Not complicated.

13) Final question: what’s the future of Vega, Bredan? Tell us how you plan to see it grow and expand!

More of the same, but keep expanding. Get more good products and messages out there that are going to help people make good choices. I’d like to do a whole sports line: recovery drink, electrolyte drink, gels. I also just started another book, one that will go beyond sports or diet. It’s going to be a food issues book—so it’ll have a lot to say about nutrition, but also the environment, health care, animal rights, and more.

Wow! I can’t wait to read that book. I have to say that what distinguishes Brendan in my mind from other athletes or fitness/lifestyle writers is this: he’s tremendously thoughtful in ways that extend far beyond food and fitness. Brendan isn’t just interested in recipes or meal plans—though he offers readers both—or in workout tips. He envisions being active and eating well as only two parts of a much bigger vision of how we ought to nourish ourselves in this world: consciously, with thought given to the environment and to each other.

I know this, because I had the tremendous pleasure of sitting down with Brendan to lunch two days ago! A phone interview simply didn’t give me enough of a chance to hear about his vision, and luckily for me, Brendan came into NYC for a few days to promote Vega at GNC (um, vegan, whole foods supplements competing with the usual sea of soy, whey, and processed junk? Yes please!!!).

Upon realizing that we are both devotees of Bonobos coconut soup, Brendan and I decided to grab lunch there, where we proceeded to enjoy the soup and giant salads (OK, his salad was slightly more giant than mine).

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We chatted about healthcare, the planet, school lunches, the raw community, and the writing/editing life. And what became increasingly clear to me was that Brendan is as much an advocate as he is an athlete. He has a positive vision for changing the planet and the national dialogue about wellness, and he’ll continue to explore and expand this vision in his work. I expect that Brendan’s writing career will—to make a terrible pun—thrive for a long time to come, moving into topics that go far beyond nutrition.

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But while we’re thinking about nutrition, let me mention that the Vega bars are really good. Here’s the chocolate and the green vibrancy, both of which I’ve tried:

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I love that these are sweet but not too sweet. And I can taste the green, which may be a turnoff to some, but guess what? I’m all over it!! Hardly a surprise. My only issue is that the bars are a little miscombined (buckwheat + nuts/dried fruit), but the amount of buckwheat is minimal enough to be too problematic. I’ve also tried the Vega smoothie infusions, which are delicious! I like them with just a big of almond milk or hemp milk and ice.

OK. I hope you’ve made it this far in a very looooooong post, because a) Brendan is awesome and b) I’m giving away a copy of his new book, Thrive Fitness: The Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness, along with samples of the new Vega Vibrancy Bars. In order to win, simply comment on this post. Period. And tweet it for a second entry. Winner will be announced next Sunday, Feb. 21st.

And naturally, if you haven’t yet entered to win a Tribest Blender, you really should.

Thanks again, Brendan, for your throughtful interview. You are an inspiration to all of us!!!

xo

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    382 Comments
  1. Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve visited this web site before but after browsing through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyways, I’m certainly happy I discovered it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back regularly!

  2. Thank you so much Gena, you are both very inspiring. I’m only just getting the hang of the raw vegan lifestyle and I am loving its benefits. I was about to throw in the hammer because I was bored of my recipes and was worried about not getting enough protein especially with my workouts but after reading your blog and this interview I am all over it again 🙂 Thank you

    xx

  3. […] my good friend Brendan, who’s work you’re all pretty familiar with by now. I’ve blogged enthusiastically about Brendan’s work before, as well as his incredible Vega line of foods. To this day, he’s the writer whose work I […]

  4. This is awesome! I teach elementary school and can’t even begin to tell you how many kids with ‘learning difficulties’ come to school with sugary snacks and lunches. I am totally going to recommend the Vega meal replacement to parents who want to help their kids but don’t know what to give them. Thanks!

  5. Book looks fascinating.

    I am in the process of moving from Veg to Vegan, but am struggling to maintain my energy levels when working out. (In the gym, and in more fun ways- surfing, rock-climbing etc.) initially i thought i was mentally tired- so kept adding coffee to my routine- obviously not ideal!

    Keep up the good work.

    B

  6. I’ve read his Thrive book and it has changed the way I think about being vegan. I’ve been vegan for 5 years and only because of his words and ideas did I slowly realize the importance of shifting away from soy and towards strongly alkaline foods. 🙂

  7. i’m a wannabe vegan/raw.
    i hope to read this book so i can finally make the transition
    from vegetarian to a vegan!

  8. Wow, I love Brendan! He has been such an inspiration to me. I have read The Thrive Diet cover to cover and it now lives in my kitchen. I have Maca, Chlorella and a few other goodies in my daily arsenal now, thanks to his recommendations. The Thrive Diet is a wonderful book, and just so sensible! I am about to embark on a year long training program for a very challenging two-day multisport event, and I think Brendan’s advice will become my mantra! I would so much love a copy of his training book, as I think this will be the perfect supplement to kick-start the plan! And how wonderful to have such an accomplished Vegan-Raw athlete to show us that it IS possible! Thanks Brendan and thanks Gena for the interview! Perfect timing!

  9. This post was really interesting to read and very informative. I agree many athletes are undernourished and also that eating highly processed foods expend more energy to digest. I am going to have to go out and try vega products now.

  10. Very interesting! Thank you for explaining everything. I need to try eating more pumpkin seeds like he mentioned. I am currently training for my first Boston marathon/second marathon. This post was so helpful. I am always looking to increase my athletic performance and now would love to read his book and try some of his products. I just wish some of his bars didn’t contain almonds so I could try them. I love hearing about products from the actual source. Thanks for the post.

  11. Well, he is a cutie and I really hope I win his book. It sounds so informative! BTW, what about your female clients who are athletes? Do you give them xeroxes of his book too?

  12. Awesome interview!

    I didn’t know he was the creator of the Vega brand! I haven’t read his book (but would LOVE to!), but from what I’ve read about him and from this interview, now I finally feel like I’ve found a smoothie supplement brand I can trust!

  13. amazing! what an inspiring individual, thank you so much for the post 🙂 makes me want to try those bars!

    i do have the vega powder in berry flavour, i put in a bit into smoothies on occasion – still haven’t had it with only water yet but that’s next!

  14. I am so behind on your blog lately. I’m trying to catch up today. Love the Brendan Brazier interview. I’ve always found him inspiring and very real. When I was active on the GLiving community, I was impressed with how much he participated and was willing to answer most questions.

  15. This is a great interview! Thanks for taking the time to do this and write it up, it was very informative. It’s great to see very successful people who can talk so well about healthy eating and performance.

  16. I would love to win a copy of this book. I’ve been seeing it on alot of different blogs. I may go out and get it myself if I don’t win it. Thanks for this terrific interview with Brendan.

  17. Awesome interview! It was so informative and i’m off to buy this book, and hoping to win a copy to give to a friend!

  18. This was a great post! This lifestyle sounds so perfect, but being in college, it’s nearly impossible so hopefully when upon graduation, I will be able to make the switch!

  19. Speaking of alkaline diets…here’s my most favorite simple alkaline soup recipe (credit goes to Ross at http://www.energiseforlife.com/wordpress/).

    Ingredients:

    1 shallot or small brown onion
    1/2 cucumber
    1 tablespoon of olive, flax or Udo’s Choice
    250ml vegetable stock (yeast free)
    2 sprigs of mint
    1lb or 450g of frozen peas
    1/2 avocado
    Salt & pepper to taste

    Run some warm water over the peas (in a sieve) to soften and slightly defrost, chop the onion into small pieces (or mince in a pestle & mortar) and then place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy gently heated (not cooked) or cool!

    Hope you find this soup as delicious as I do!

  20. Wow! I loved Thrive and can’t wait to read Thrive Fitness! The recipes were so good! It also helped me convince my fiance, a big-time weightlifter, that he doesn’t need to be pounding down whey protein and cow’s milk to be an athelete!

  21. Thanks for the interview! I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while so count me in for an entry!

  22. It’s nice to hear a male voice in the raw world every now and then – my guy friends’ skepticism should be assuaged by Brendan’s story!

  23. I’m all over this post! This my fave subject matter as an aspiring raw vegan distance runner. This page is going into my favorites for future reference as I write this.

    I’ve been interested in his book for some time, and this blog post just confirms why I’ve been meaning to get it. If I don’t win, Amazon, here I come…

  24. I had no idea he was behind Vega- so cool!! i’ve been wanting to read his book for a while- i hope i win it so i can do just that:)

  25. I ran a couple 1/2 marathons in college but it wasn’t until 3 years later when I had cleaned up my diet (high raw) and reading Thrive I decided to have another go at it. I was able to train so much better and more efficiently… I took 9 minutes off my 1/2 marathon! (I was totally surprised because I thought I was in better shape THEN!) I’d love to get his new book!

  26. I am looking forward to reading his first book-its on my (long) list! I would love to add his new book as well.

  27. Wow! I love hearing about such wonderfully well-rounded individuals! I have heard plenty about him, but I have never actually looked at his books or products (I figured that a ballet dancer had no use looking at super runner type plans/products) now I’m interested! I think I might pass this along to my younger brother who seems to have gotten into exercising (along with the whey protein and crap) as of late.
    Thanks again Gena for such a fabulous and informative site!
    -K

  28. I love it – I have a step son who is a football player but is still hitting up the junk and fast food. I would first read his book and then pass it on – maybe the knowledge and proof coming from such an incredible athlete will get him on the healthy band wagon 🙂

  29. I love Brendan! And equally would love to read his book. It has been on my “must have list” for awhile now.
    Warmly, Jenn

  30. Wow this was an awesome interview. I would love to win this book or else I’ll probably end up having to buy it. It looks SO interesting…..

  31. Great post. I have always been interested in Vega products, and now that I am weight training, I should give them a shot!

  32. So motivating. I’m a marathonner, and running is one of the few things I can usually count on for feelings of strength, freedom, and power. It’s totally liberating! I injured my back a few months ago and haven’t been able to run since then, so it’s been sorta tough keeping up morale — and a healthy diet — in the meantime. I’m a longtime vegan, but I often struggle with making good choices like incorporating more raw, whole foods (it’s easy to slip into the junk food vegan arena, especially when I’m not running).

    But reading your blog — and Brendan’s interview here — is totally inspiring. Makes me want to take better care of my body and the planet so I can return to running soon … and run stronger than ever. Thanks, Gena and Brendan! 🙂

    Katie

  33. Thanks for this Gena. I make friends and family sign up for Brendan’s Thrive in 30 videos/e-mails and I always send all of my male friends to his website. He provides great, accessible information about the myths of protein and all that gym junk food they try to pass off as healthy at so many fitness clubs. Wish I still lived in my hometown of NYC to have some of that Bonobos soup. (BTW, we have a friend in common, Jennifer Gonzalez.) Love your blog!! Love, love, LOVE it!!

  34. Can’t wait for my turn to have this book from the library (or to win it)! I want to share it with my brother, who still stands unconvinced. Next time he sees me I’m sure he’ll change his mind 🙂

  35. I used to be the average unhealthy vegetarian who eats tons of dairy and soy, which dragged my energy and got me fatter.

    I’m not the ultra athletic kind – I bike and walk a lot everyday, that’s all – but I did notice an amazing improvement in my disposition since I became vegan and started focusing on unprocessed and raw foods a few months ago.

    It’s sad that there’s no alternative to Vega in France! I love having a high-protein shake in the morning – it’s so filling and practical.

    (And oh, Brendan is so pretty!)

  36. Brendan makes perfect sense and has proven that his lifestyle works. I would love to read more about it in his book and the samples would be great too. I have been to his website and he has a great series of emails you can subscribe to. Great information!

  37. What a great post! I love hearing about nutrition for athletes. I’d love to give a copy of this book to my boyfriend!

  38. That was a very inspiring interview! I’ve always heard that it wasn’t possible to get enough protein, etc, if you’re egan, so I never adopted that type of eating, but this article really makes me think it can be done and can make you feel great. I’d love to read Brendan’s book for more info on how he does it. Thanks for the great post 🙂

  39. It’s funny… I was just pondering about Brazier and his Thrive Diet. I hopped to your blog and *poof* – an interview with Brazier! 😉

    As always, thank you for such an insightful and interesting post.

  40. I am not vegan or an athlete but I absolutely LOVED Thrive! It is a great book for everyone to read – informative and thought provoking! Thank you for the great interview!

  41. I’m intriqued! I’m transitioning towards a vegan diet and as an athlete, I’m interested in learning more. Thanks for the great post!

  42. What a great post! As a young athlete (currently training for my first Boston marathon–second marathon ever!) and only a year in my no meat no dairy lifestyle (and using your blog to help properly add more raw into my diet!), I found this post to be SSOOO educational and inspirational! I train hard and do recover fast than all of my omni friends, I loved that point!!! As a fitness and community health education major, I LOVE finding books like this to help fuel my debates in classes as to what athletes really SHOULD be eating!! I’m going to have to get my hands on this book (and those bars) asap! Thanks so much for the post!!! 🙂

  43. I love Brendan! On mornings that are especially stress filled, I whip up a big Vega shake and instantly feel calmer and more centered. As a rather active, vegan-curious person, I would love to read his book!

  44. this was really interesting interview, I for myself am convinced that vegan and especially raw foods are more than enough for each individual, but I am really having problems explaining and proving this to my friends, they so much don’t want to give up what they’ve used to eat .. I hope the interview, or better the book can be more convincing 😉

  45. I am on the wait list for The Thrive Diet at our local library. I’m fifth in line, but that’s still about 15 weeks if everyone keeps it for the max amt. of time. Thank you so much for this interview and giveaway. I’m sending the link to my husband to share the information with him. Thank you again! ~Cee~

  46. This is great! I just ordered his first book and I would absolutely be way excited to win this one! I have a 16 year old nephew sport fanatic, that told his momma last night “if eating the way Aunt Debbie does would make my shoulder better I would do it!” Let the challenge begin! I think he would totally get into this book!

  47. Yay healthy athletes! Even if he wasn’t such an amazing advocate, the fact of his existence as a triathlete on a plant-based diet would already do a lot of advocacy for the health benefits of eating raw.
    Thanks for keeping us informed and entertained. Can’t wait for the new book.

  48. Great interview! I love reading as much as I can about Brendan Brazier. I’ve always been a little afraid of trying his products-glad you think the bars are tasty

  49. Fantastic interview! I really love the vega products and have been looking forward to the new book. 🙂

  50. I loved reading this! He’s so straightforward and factual that he doesn’t have to overcompensate with preachiness. If I don’t win I might check that book out!

  51. Thrive would be an exhilarating and inspiring book to read as I am training for my first 1/2 marathon since going raw (6 months ago). I am feeling great but would love to know more the science behind the food and how to optimize performance. Thank you for posting your interview!

  52. Wow, I loved the interview! I noticed that I was actually leaning in to learn more as I read it! I would love to read the whole book and have a very good friend who is big into competitive sports/running who I’d love to share it with as well. Thank you both so much for doing this!

  53. I’d love to have that book! I rarely buy books because I get them from the library, but my library doesn’t have this one. I’ve looked through it at the book store, but haven’t purchaced it.

  54. would love to try out vega samples!!! and the book sounds great. great interview! so informative

  55. Wow- that’s awesome! I would love to sit down and chat with Brendan! I have his first book. and have read the majority of it. He offers some great recipes in there and since I compete in triathlons as well, I was very inspired by his story. Thanks for all these awesome giveaways! 🙂

  56. This ain’t too long at all! What a great interview, Gena, and I loved a male’s point of view on nutrition….you don’t see that often in blogs! 🙂

  57. Great interview (and pictures! =) ). It’s great to hear more about recovery, since everyone is always so focused on exercise alone. I would love to try these bars out, they sound delicious.

    ~Kate

  58. Oh thank you for this interview Gena! I do really love him, and ive been dying to read this book for ages 🙂 He is the living proof that a hig hraw macrobiotic vegan diet is good for building strength and muscle.

  59. I have definitely made reference to Brendan as proof that vegans can be spectacular athletes! So awesome that you got to have lunch and speak with him, he’s pretty inspirational!

  60. OMG I am a THRIVE DIET freak! I loved that book and was so excited to read your interview with Brendan! I use the Vega Whole Food Health Optimizer. I’m in training for my first full marathon and am incorporating so much of what I learned in his first book into my training/nutrition plan now.

    I haven’t been able to find his new bars at our local health food stores – would LOVE to win some to try!

    Thank you for the great interview, Gena! So envious that you guys got to have lunch! How cool is that??? Congrats!

  61. my name is alex and am actually the boyf of the infamous Soap and Chocolate bloggette. I enjoy reading about this stuff because I am very active in fitness and especially weight-lifting. I would actually love to see what he says about weight-lifting and the number of supplements (many of which I don’t take because I am an amateur) like creatine, Nitric Oxide, and BCAA’s that the body-builders like to use. Thanks for the good post, even if it was long! Peace!

    Alex

  62. I recently started training for my first half marathon and would love to read Brendan’s book for advice!!!

  63. Great interview! I’ve been toying around with a low-acid, semi-vegan lifestyle for a long time now and I’d love to read more about the subject.

    Thanks!

  64. What a great interview! I really should pick up his book. Even though I’m not one who will go all raw or even become a vegan, I’m still very interested in the topic. I really don’t eat a lot of meat anymore, anyway … and even when I do make it, I’ll have just a little or make myself something with beans or tofu.

    Just a question (maybe I just overlooked it), but what’s so wrong with dairy?

    K

  65. This guy seems too good to be true. I’m hoping to win your contest. If not, I’ll have to order his book. Great post!!

  66. Curious about plant based diet. I tried Brendan’s Thrive in Thirty, and I am now in my seventh week eating plant based and completely shocked by how well I am feeling and looking! I still have a lot to learn and this book would help tremendously. Great interview.

  67. Wonderful blog, very informative.
    I think it is very important to always move forward towards good health. If we consistently and intentionally care about what we put in our bodies we will make sure to always be willing to break barriers and find new and exciting ways to nourish not only body but also our souls.

  68. I have just been getting into this lifestyle over the last 6 months and I can’t say I am fully there yet, I can say I have noticed major changes (for the good). And it hasn’t been as difficult as I originally thought it would be.

    Thanks for the interview.

  69. Thanks you so much for yet another wonderful post. I am most interested in the wisdom Brendan Brazier offers in his books and plan to look into his guidance for adequate nutrition while training.

    Thanks again!

  70. Awesome post Gena.
    It came at a very good time.. as I have mentioned I am training for a 180 mile bike ride and my goal for the ride and the training rides is to NOT consume any of the snacks and drinks they provide.. because they are all high processed foods… I really would LOVE to read his book as I think it would definately help me with fueling and training. 🙂

  71. I’m always looking for that extra motivation to help improve my eating habits/fitness routine. I recently found your website and I’m on it daily absorbing all your wonderful information. Brendan seems amazing and I would love to read his book and share it with my very active brothers who indulge in too many protein shakes. I am heading to my local health store to buy some Vega bars today.

  72. I really enjoyed your interview with Brendan. I am also new to the raw lifestyle and love learning new foods to incorporate in and how…. especially adding the pumpkin seeds to a smoothie for iron! I am anxious to try Vega Smoothies and bars and cant wait to see what he comes up with next. I would love to read his book as well 🙂

  73. What a great interview. It sounds like the Smoothie Infusion might be good to try with my children who resist all that is healthy.

  74. Thanks, Gena – it’s always great to have more knowledge to counter the “you’re not getting enough calories!” comments from friends and family!

  75. I even read this interview while I’m in Arizona! It was really interesting and informative. Thanks Gena!

    Gena- Do you have to have vega while doing a sport? I don’t do any sports other than going to the gym or going to yoga… and I’ve had vega and I like it but if it’s too much for my body without a lot of excersie then I’ll have to have something else.

  76. I have had a request in at the library for Brendan’s first book for a couple of months now . . . still waiting. I’ve been wanting to try the bars, too, and I’m not even vegan!

  77. Highly informative interview, Gena! I’d love to read the book. Heck, I’ll just buy it if I don’t win it here!!

  78. I loved the interview, and it gives me a lot to think about in terms of the type of diet I should be eating with all the different activities I partake in. I think I definitely need to check out that book.

  79. What an inspiring interview! And I really enjoyed your lead up to the Q & A. I’m new to the raw foodist lifestyle so I’ve been working towards adding things to my diet (like you suggest) and I had never thought to add seeds to my smoothies for iron and alkalinity. I can’t wait to try it!

    I would love to win a copy of Thrive Fitness but if I don’t I’ll probably go out and buy this one along with his first book.

  80. Loved the post! I’m a new raw vegan (3 months). Your blog is incredibly helpful and inspiring to me. Every time you post a new recipe or talk about current nutritional issues I feel more and more assured of the decision I’ve made to change the way I eat and change my life. Thank you!

  81. I’d love a copy of that book! I have one of his other books, Thrive Diet. It’s excellent.

  82. What an inspiration! My brother is a gym rat with an addiction to supplements and chemical-based powders, I’m going to send him this post to further reinforce that he needs to get his nutrients from his food!

  83. Great interview, never tried his products, but now I want to. And if I don’t win the book, I think I’ll buy it. This interview got me that interested !

  84. I found this post very interesting and useful; I initially started raw eating as a way to spend less time in the kitchen, but I’ve found myself spending more time there because I’ve gotten wrapped up in all the hype and craziness that makes raw eating more time consuming than it needs to be.

  85. Great post and what an inspiring interview! Brendan and his books are new to me and they sound fantastic. It’s great to hear about people really exploring what works for them and then sharing that drive with us.

  86. Great interview. Your incredible blog and Brendan’s book Thrive Diet helped get me started on my raw vegan lifestyle. I would love to try any of his Vega products!
    Thanks.

  87. Great giveaway! I came across his book a few weeks ago (I’m still learning this whole vegan lifestyle–I’m coming up on my first month!) and it’s been on my wishlist! I want to be more active and adventurous in life and I think his book will be a great help in those endeavors.

    Thank you both for your inspiration!

  88. Thank you so much for the interview with Brendan. It totally rocked! I was told this weekend not to follow a raw/vegan diet because it will hurt you!!! So glad to get confirmation that I’m doing the right thing. I feel great and would love to lose a little weight but I am not going to fall back on the craziness of counting calories. You are very inspirational. Thanks.

  89. Oh, I would love to win this. I’m interested in reading the book and getting it for free would be great!

  90. oh my goodness i would LOVE to win this – mostly because i really want to read this book… but i’m a poor grad student 🙂

    great giveaway!!

  91. I have really wanted to read his book–I’ve tried the local library but they don’t carry it. Fortunately they carry the Food Matters but I am 10th on the waiting list for that too! I have been back in the gym and I love the feeling after lifting and running but I would like to have a plan laid out that I can follow without feeling deprived–I never seem to get it right:(

  92. Such an interesting interview. I liked the points he made about calorie counting and about the growing acceptability of a vegan diet.

  93. Oh, I have picked up that book at Whole Foods and put it down too many times to count. I would LOVE a copy. I could use help running faster.

  94. Thanks for the great interview! I have coveted this book for a while and would love to check it out!

  95. I’m a big fan of Brendan’s Vega so I would love to read his book! Thanks for the great interview,

    Jess

  96. So happy you did this feature today. As a guy I’m always looking for more info related to being raw, vegan and physically fit! I didn’t know much about Brendan’s work until I found your post and I’m so happy for the discovery!

    Thank you!
    Matthew

  97. I love, love, love vega. I have used smoothie infusion everyday for a couple of months now. YUM!!

  98. I’ve been wanting this book for a while. If I don’t win it (unlikely based on how many comments you have already), I’ll probably just buy this. Great post!

    • What a pleasant and inspiring surprise to find brendan on your blog. He is truly awesome.

  99. What a fabulous interview! I really loved the way he breaks it down into chemistry of food and discusses the importance of DIET in being an athlete. Thank you 🙂

  100. I would be interested in reading his book! I’m always curious of other people’s experiences and feel I can learn through their experiences.

  101. i would LOVEEE to read this book, i’m very intrigued by your interview and Brendan’s ideas/research.

  102. Great post! Loved reading about the interview. I’ve been meaning to pick up this book for a while now, but why not try to win it here! I’ve also tried the Vibrance bars, and they are delish! (Just ate a Green Synergy reading this, just back from a run!)
    Keep up the awesome posts!

  103. There are so many helpful amazing books out there, i would love to add the thrive diet to my collection!

  104. SUCH a cool interview. I have really been wanting to read Thrive. He is an inspiration for sure. Loved this thoughts on calcium, recovery and high net gain foods.

    Hope you had a great Valentine’s day!

  105. So I’m one of those long time reader, first time commenter types. I have a personal trainer who tries to force the idea of protein protein protein on me and I know it’s not for me so I would love to read this book and get results my own way! Love your work Gena and hi from sunny Melbourne!

  106. I am a raw foodist and triathlete from central canada. Love Brendans work and his nutritional studies. Ive experienced recovery times half of what they were in the past so I know exactly what he means. Also I’ve found a lot of people in the athletic community are noticing this “alternative lifestyle” as a viable and optimal choice. Keep it simple and have fun, thats all I do, and that seems to be all i need. 🙂

  107. I don’t know what to say, except that this is a dream give-a-way! I would love to win a copy of Brendan’s book.

  108. I’ve been really curious about the book – if I don’t win this I’m probably going to do the whole sit in Barnes & Noble and read for a half hour at the time thing 🙂

  109. Oooh!
    I’d love to get a copy of that book! It sounds amazing, as well as the bars. Brendan sounds like a really cool personQ

  110. Ooo, I so want this! I do a lot of training and endurance racing and have been waiting patiently for his first book from the library (I’m number 14 out of 25 or something so clearly it’s a good book!).

  111. I can’t say enough positive things about Vega products. I always recommend it to my nutrition clients and now we offer it at the gym I work at. Brendan rocks!!!

  112. I can’t wait to try the Vega bars! I’m always looking for a better options for the last minute snack. Thanks, Gena!

  113. This was really awesome to read, and makes me want to check out his book, whether or not I win the giveaway 🙂

  114. Awesome post and cool give away.
    I loved the interview! I’ve heard of the Thrive diet, but really don’t know too much. I would love to read his book.

    Thanks for sharing! How lucky you got to do lunch too!! 😉

  115. great giveaway! i really enjoyed reading this interview, and i would love to read his book (and try some of those bars!!)

  116. What a wonderful post! I’m going to read it again with my boyfriend! He feels like the vegan lifestyle is for girls and that protein shakes are the only way he will get ‘big!’ So refreshing to read another point of view. Thanks again for a very informative post!

  117. Great post! My husband might actually take a whole foods, plant based diet more seriously hearing it from someone like Brendan.

  118. brandan is one of my heros. i just got “thrive fitness” and am loving it! I love seeing what he has accomplished using sound nutrition principles and it’s definitely an inspiration. Whenever anyone doubts being a vegan athlete i always recommend his books.
    great interview and i’m so jealous of your “lunch date”! and vega at GNC??? WOW!

  119. Oh yay! I love Thrive! I borrowed it from the library, read it, lent it to my brother-in-law, who bought a copy and then I bought a copy for myself. I’ve been eyeing his new book, but haven’t picked it up yet – we just bought a house – so I’d love to snag this one! I’d pester my hubby doubly to read both then. 🙂

  120. We love Brendan. We read his first book while training for our 2nd marathon. And loved it. We trained less than most people and ate less then most people and completed our marathon with no injuries, nor fatigue or no soreness!!! He is a great writer. We have shared his book with our family and they love it too. We are currently reading his 2nd book and again blow away my Brendan’s passion for fitness, good food, and the environment. Great post Gena!! We are jealous you got to have lunch with Brendan ; ) We love Vega products, our favorite is the Health Optimizer!

  121. I’m pretty interested in the Vega stuff but my college-student status won’t let me afford it :(. So i’m totally in on this giveaway! Hahah

    And just to be creepy, Brendan’s pretty cute!! Of course you’re super pretty too, Gena! 😉

    • Rachel, that isn’t creepy. That’s observant! 🙂

      And thanks! I’d disagree, but I hate when women offer up self-deprecating qualifiers. Esp in public 🙂

  122. I’m halfway through training for the Boston Marathon and have been surprised that (somewhat hesitantly) going raw four weeks ago hasn’t hindered my training at all. It’s great to hear that perhaps I actually did my training a favor, and I’m excited to see how I do in April! Thanks so much for this interview!

  123. What an awesome interview! Brendan is so inspiring and I really loved reading more about his philosophy 😀

    I posted a tweet about this too!

  124. wow, what great giveaway, I would love to read that book and have been wanting to try the Vega products for awhile now!

  125. Brendan is a real inspiration for me and all his products are so good. But I never had the chance to read his books, they’re on my list!

  126. I have tried a bunch of Brendan’s Vega products and have loved them all! It is so nice knowing that I am putting whole foods into my body that will fuel and nourish it! It is just as nice to see that the man behind the products is so compassionate about a nourishing, vegan lifestyle.

    Thanks for this great post, and for the chance to win!

  127. What an informative and inspiring post! I have lost 40 pounds over the last year by making dietary changes. I have about 30 more to go before I reach my goal. I would love to read the book or try a few of the goodies you are offering. Thanks for such great information – on all your posts!

  128. I love Brendan’s book and his total philosophy. His books actually inspired my husband and I to look deeper into raw foods. I would love to read his fitness book and to try out some of his food items. Thanks for the interview. Brendan is always an inspiration! 🙂

  129. I have Brenden’s Thrive Diet book and I love how it explains the concepts so thoroughly but simply. Now that I have started running and being more active, I have put his new Thrive Fitness book on my wishlist!

  130. Thanks for the great interview and your consistently informative and enjoyable posts. I love your blog!

  131. I have heard so much about Brendan in the vegan blogs, but never really got a good sense about what his philosphy was. Thanks for the great interview, I am putting his book on my list for the library this week!

  132. I love Brendan’s food philosophies. I definitely need to reread Thrive, as I’ve fallen into some lax eating habits when it comes to nutrition (nothing major, just a need to check myself) and am wanting to pump up my raw eats a bit. Since I still want to maintain my workouts, I really appreciate his athlete’s perspective. Your interview was great, too. Maybe a new career is in order for you?

  133. I love Vegan Sport — and the Smoothie Infusion you mentioned. I tried the bars recently and though they were all, well, gross. It happens — can’t win every time… but really, I LOVE Vega Sport. I can’t imagine running or snowboarding for hours on end without it.

    I have his new book (AND the last one) and have shamefully been sitting on it all winter… paranoid about trying a new program in the middle of snowboarding season.. but come April? It’s ON!

  134. i can’t believe what my body has been able to accomplish in just 4 weeks on brendan’s diet. and this from someone who’s already lost 80 pounds (and kept it off for five years!) and has since run a full marathon, a half marathon, and a 25k race in the last year and a half.

    i have to say, though, that i am spending a lot of time buying and preparing food. i think it’ll be a lot more intuitive after several months, but after only a few weeks, it’s difficult to do much more in the evening that prepare dinner and then breakfast and lunch for tomorrow!

  135. Great, great interview, Gena! I love this discussion. I just have to say – holy crap, Brendan looks so young for 35! Not that 35 is “old” by ANY means whatsoever, of course, but he is positively youthful looking. He’s such an inspiration from an athletic perspective, too!

  136. This a GREAT article! So informative, and very inspirational, especially for those who love to exercise. I would love to read Brendan’s book, so I hope I win! Even if not I’ll definitely buy it and help pass along this amazing message to friends and family. Way to go, Brendan!
    Will be tweeting also! 🙂

  137. Hi Gena,
    This is amazing! So, I was reading some of the other interviews Brendan has done and I found a few where he says he eats 10-15 pieces of fruit per DAY! Do you have any insight on this? On grains vs. fruit as a source of carbs for high raw athletes?
    Thanks!

    • Hey lady!

      Well, I can speak from two perspectives: objectively and subjectively. Subjectively speaking, if someone told me I had to eat 5-10 pieces of fruit each day, I’d cry! I don’t like fruit, and I’ve always hated the idea that athletes *need* it to perform.

      Objectively speaking, I do think that, since it offers carbs in a super digestible form, fruit is a great option for pre-workout fueling. Can you get simple carbs in other forms — say, juice or coconut water or dates (dried fruit) or even baked yams? Yes. So there are alternatives. I would also add that men tend to do better with fructose than women, so I’d guess that 5-10 pieces of fruit are a few too many for most ladies — I’d switch that number to 2-4. But every woman is different.

      Gena

      • Hey Gena! Thanks for the reply :). Could you explain what you mean by “men tend to do better” on fructose than women? Also, it seems brendan eats fruit as the major source of his carbs. Would you say cooked grains are a better source of carbs for very athletic women or that fruit is OK?

  138. Although I’m not an athlete, I’m interested in Brendan’s plan for clean eating and I have heard great things about his books. However, the real reason this post caught my interest is because I have several brothers who are preoccupied with “getting ripped.” They seem to think that in order to get the desired muscle build and thus increase their athletic performance they need to eat TONS of calories and protein–in any way, shape, or form. Obviously, most of this comes from processed foods, meat, dairy, and whey protein powder, which they are obsessed with. I find this really frustrating, especially because athletes like Brendan have proved that whole, vegan foods are really the best for anyone seeking to improve their athletic performance. Of course I can’t expect to change their minds, but passing them one of Brendan’s books wouldn’t hurt. 😉

  139. How awesome!! I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time.. Thanks for the great interview!

  140. Would love a copy of this for my hubby! Got it at the library once and it’s so full of useful information. Great interview too 🙂

  141. I just tried the Chocolate Vibrancy bar last weekend and was very impressed. It was an awesome flavor and loved the little crunchy bits in it.

  142. What a great surprise to see Brendan on your site! Thrive became my bible when I first started transitioning to a plant-based diet. It is still my go-to reference book for all things plant-based. Vega bars and whole food optimizer mix are a great option when I’m away from home and in need of some plant-based goodness! Thanks for the great post and interview.

  143. This is so cool Gena! I would love a copy of this book (first, for me to read) and then to pass along to my dad who is battling a lot of food demons. His whole life he has relied on exercise to feel and look good… but substitutes a better diet for extra time at the gym (lets just say… it ain’t working as well as he would like, and personally, I would love to see him happy). As much as I am have tried to influence his habits, it does not seem to make a dent… as he wants to “build muscle,” etc. and “not look like me.” (Thin). Either way, I am going to read this book, but it would be awesome to win and pass along some of the products for him to try…

    Once again, you always impress me Gena.

    xo

  144. Great interview! I’ve been a fan of Brendan’s philosophy for about a year now. He also offers a great, free webinar series on getting started from his Sequel Naturals website. He explains things very well!

  145. I’ve gotta try those Vega bars. I always pick them up and put them back because the cost is prohibitive. But I’m sure they’re worth it. Brenden is such an inspiration! And I love the tip about adding pumpkin seeds to smoothies. I’m sure I could use an iron boost.

  146. Absolutely loved this post! extremely informative and inspirational. i’d also love to try the vega vibrancy bars, especially because of the philosophy and love that’s behind it.

  147. Thank you for the work you put into this very informative post! I’ve been wanting to read his book for a while, and this Q&A only increases my curiosity about it. 🙂

  148. Seriously, my dad needs to read his book! And well, me too 😀 Thanks for the great interview!

  149. I enjoyed the perspective of a male vegan athlete on nutrition. Gena, it’s great that you’re diversifying your material for your readers.

  150. Thanks for the thought provoking interview (and eye candy….) on Valentine’s Day! 🙂

    I would love to read the entire book to hear more of Brendan’s food philosophy.

  151. I love Vega and recommend it to clients/friends/family!! Great interview….learned a lot and now I want to read his book 🙂

  152. Thanks for the interview with Brendan! I’ve read his book and really like his way of thinking… and the opportunity to win fun stuff is always great 😉

  153. I love Brendan’s books and philosophy, and just started reading thefullhelping.com and am loving it too! Thanks for your awesome inspiration!

    Sara

  154. Thank you for this interview! I just signed up for my first triathalons and then bought his book. Now I cannot wait to check out Vega! A whole new world!

  155. This is why this is my absolute favorite new blog I’ve begun to read lately. You read my mind! I’ve only recently begun to make the transition to a vegan, raw lifestyle and the only slight obstacle in my path is my fiance, whom I live with, who is a cyclist training for the pros. He rides upwards of 30 miles a day, 7 days a week and is convinced there is no way for my food ideas to support his caloric and nutrient intakes at that level. BRILLIANT info and just what I was looking for.

    Hoping to win the copy of Thrive but otherwise definitely buying my own copy to bestow upon my fiance!

    P.S. I tweeted about the giveaway too!

  156. this looks like a great book for both the athlete and non-athlete. it was also interesting to hear that the fitness world may be becoming more aware of the benefits of a vegetarian diet.

  157. thanks so much for this post. I have a friend who is very athletic and has dabbled in vegetarian and vegan diets, but has been able to get the nutrition she needs to keep up with running. i’ll definitely be passing this along to her!

  158. finally got around to reading his book and i really enjoyed it! can’t wait to incorporate some of the info into my own training 😉

  159. Gena,

    What an amazing interview! I have such admiration for Brendan. I read his first book and applied his teachings to my running and dancing. I have been dying to read his fitness version and would love a chance to win!

    P.S. You’re blog is so addictive — thanks for keeping us continually raw-inspired!

  160. This is a great post! When I’m doing mostly shakes, mostly raw, mostly vegan, I’m sometimes scared to exercise hard. This gives me some motivation to put my gym shoes on. As long as I’m fueling my body: I can do it.

    Tweeting also!

  161. Great interview! I’m really enticed by the sound of Brendan’s book, I’d love a copy- I feel like I could relate as I am an athlete. And those bars sound great!

  162. Thanks for the great interview! Those bars look so yummy and I look forward to trying them when I can find them at my local markets.

  163. Thanks for sharing this interview. I am a huge admirer of Brendan’s work and I would really appreciate a copy of his new book!

  164. Thanks for the shoutout!!! I would absolutely LOVE to have this book. I have his book saved in my cart on amazon right now actually. I am a runner, and I feel like his book would really be an enlightening read. I have yet to try the vega products, since I’m not such a huge fan of bars/on the go eating, but I think I will have to after your awesome review.

  165. fabulous interview! i bought Thrive back in September, as I was training for a marathon and as my mileage increased, I wanted to make sure I could maintain my raw vegan diet while still getting all the nutrients essential for training and recovery. It was a fabulous read, and very helpful! I would love to read his newest book!

  166. Hey Gena,

    Thanks so much for posting this interview. I’ve been reading your blog for some time now, and though I’m not a vegan (I’m a vegetarian), this interview has given me a really great perspective on the links between diet, recovery, and exercise. I’m currently training for my first 10k race and this post has given me some really useful tips to help me take my performance to the next level. Thanks again!

  167. The guys just don’t comment Gena! I have a good 5 guy friends (6 including me) who regularly read your blog but don’t post anything on it.

  168. I’d love to enter because to the best of my knowledge we don’t have Vega products here in Ireland and I would love to try them! I keep reading about Brendan on blogs but this is the first recent interview I’ve read with him and it was super interesting. Great questions!

  169. Fantastic post Gena, as per normal. I love Brendan’s approach also and so appreciate this interview! I also share his teachings with my male and athlete clients and friends. Thanks for sharing!

    Love,
    Casey

  170. Great interview. Being a runner, I really enjoyed reading Brendan’s “Thrive Diet”. Thanks!!!!

  171. Absolutely wonderful interview! Brendan is such an inspiration! I am a fan of the Vega powder – great product. Oh how I would LOVE to win this book! Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

  172. It is really exciting to see someone performing so well on a plant-based diet. I was an avid athlete until a shoulder injury set me back for a few years. I was never a runner but was limited to doing only that. Since transitioning to mostly raw I CAN RUN! It is amazing!

    I have more energy and stamina in an injured state than I ever did when I was at the peak of my performance uninjured! I’m getting all healed up now and can’t wait to get back into the game. Would love to have Brendan’s book to help me out in doing so!

  173. Fabulous interview! I’d love to win a copy of his book. I admire Brendan and love the products (esp Vega hemp protein powder, which I use all the time), but I’m concerned that he’d say vegans can get ALL their nutrients by eating a balanced diet. As far as I know, people can only really acquire Vitamin B12 (well, at least one that’s bioavailable) through animal products or supplements–unless he’s assuming we’re eating enriched foods like soymilk with added B12?

  174. I have found that his book Thrive is one of the most useful raw-transition books out there. It’s simple in concept and the recipes, for the most part, are easy and tasty. I plan to try his pre-workout drink as I train for a 1/2 marathon. If anyone out there is using it already – I’d love to hear about it. Thanks.

  175. I have been re-reading Thrive on/off for the past few weeks and every time I read it I find something new to highlight– I just love it so much. Oh, and I made Brendan’s popped amaranth which is so delicious! Would it be inappropriate to say that you guys would make a cute couple? Haha, because it’s kind of true.

    • Heather. Please. Have you met me? Nothing is inappropriate on my site — except for nastiness or vegan-bashing. And thanks for the compliment 🙂

  176. OMG! That is so awesome that you had a lunch interview with Brendan Brazier! I have his Thrive Diet book and would love to read his new book. I really enjoyed the interview. Thank you for it!

  177. i’m fascinated by the different reactions and questions of your male and female readers/ clients that you mentioned at the beginning of this post – it says so much about the two genders.

    but anyway, thank you for this wonderful interview! obviously athletic performance plays little of a role in my life, but it’s nonetheless wonderful to hear the perspective of someone other than the typical female looking to solve weight or digestive troubles. just further proof of the importance of good nutrition! i also love what he said about calories vs nutrients – i would like to bold that and plaster it on every magazine and restaurant menu. it’s always about quality over quantity, no matter what the topic in life.

  178. Well, you know I am not raw or vegan. But I am trying hard to incorporate more vegan meals into my life. It is hard – particularly because I need to gain weight, etc…and I do not NOT want restrictions, deprivations…or worse – obsessions. So those paths are not for me. However, it is always interesting to see the stuff and INCORPORATE it into my life versus let it BE my life.
    I read the book a long time ago and it was interesting of course.
    Would love to win some bars Gena honey 🙂
    And you guys look cute! Is he single 🙂
    I am playing match-maker….

  179. It’s nice to know that the vegan stereotypes are gradually dissipating. I’m also slowly learning to incorporate variety of food items instead of just a plant-based diet.

  180. I just got the first Thrive book and love it. Brendan does a great job of breaking down the information and explaining how nutrition & stress effects our bodies. I’m an RN and I’ve found myself reading certain chapters twice and three times because it’s so good! I would love to read the second book.

  181. The book is great. I read it a few months ago – and it was my inspiration to start moving towards a vegan diet – and becoming more interested in raw.

  182. amazing interview. so inspiring to read the perspective and success of a raw athlete. of course I would love a copy of the book. thanks G and B for this great interview.

  183. I have and love Brendan’s book but it would be great to give a copy to my athletic father! Wonderful interview. I had my suspicions that Brendan was an incredible guy, even more far reaching than just his athletic feats. Thanks for all the great info!

  184. Cassie was JUST telling me last week how I need to read this book! I was concerned now that I am getting into higher mileage on my long runs that I will need to start fueling mid-run and I didn’t know what to do since I can’t eat anything solid while running, and before runs all I have is green juice. She told me I don’t need to — and shouldn’t — worry about eating solid food and I need to read this book for help! So, I hope I win. Just tweeted!

  185. I would absolutely love this book!

    That aside, Gena, would you ever think of doing a post on alkalinity/acidity stuff? It’s all really confusing to me! it different from food combining?

    Thanks and great interview too!

  186. This was such a good interview! Brendan obviously is very knowledgeable so I’m going to pick up his new book whether or not I win a copy from you.

  187. Great interview. I’ve read Brendan’s first book and would love to read the second one!

  188. Awesome interview. I am very interested in the information presented. I would love to learn more through his book! Thank you for giving your readers such compelling information.

  189. I’ve been interested in his books for a while, but just too cheap to buy something I’m not sure of! Would love to try it for free.

  190. I went right over and ordered some after reading this interview–I’ve been looking for a product like this for a long time and finally found one to get excited about. thank you!!!

  191. Forgot to mention that I’m a runner and Vega products are the best recovery I’ve found.

  192. As a college senior and half-marathon trainer, I’ve been trying to take the small steps toward a vegan lifestyle in order to better fuel and treat my body. Thanks for the insight and interview! I look forward to posts in the future.

  193. I found Brendan’s books & products late last year. In my out-of-the-way corner of the world it can be hard to get products like Brendan’s. Fortunately, I can get them online and, even better, at my local GNC (who knew)!

    Thanks for interviewing him for us.

  194. I’m interested to learn more about athletic performance and the vegan diet. This book would be a great read for my husband. Thanks.

  195. My husband has had off this week and he is finally reading THRIVE. I’m going to make him read this too, haha. I definitely agree with your comparison to females and males and their priorities. Awesome interview!

  196. I’m training for my first marathon this year so am all over what raw vegan athletes have to say. Although I’ve not consumed spirulina in my diet, I have downed hemp and spinach smoothies and green juices after long runs and I find that I do recover much better than I did when I was on a SAD diet. Would love a copy of his book!

  197. The next time someone asks me, “But WHERE do you get your protein!?” i am going to direct him/her to this interview.

  198. What an amazing interview and experience! I love vega products because it does fill in the gaps for those times I can’t make things from scratch. Have not tired the new bars but they would be great options for those travel times.
    B

  199. What a great post and giveaway! My beau is slowly coming around from tons of McDs to tons of salads (and just a little McDs). I would love to share this book with him to give him that last push. 😉

  200. Thank you so much for this, Gena! I loved Thrive and think Brazier is such an inspiration. What a fantastic interview, I love showing people that a vegan diet is wonderful for building muscles, strength, and endurance.

  201. Thanks so much for this great interview. I am not raw or completely vegan, but I am moving in that direction. This was so helpful to me, because I have a thirteen year old boy and I am trying to help him strengthen his muscles and build endurance. He is awfully skinny and not very coordinated, so I thought running and biking might just be the ticket. Very inspirational, Thanks!

  202. Wow. i really enjoyed this post. I have done a lot of research on him but it was nice to get that more one on one feeling of an interview. It was helpful hearing about a lot of the myths people have with calories and protein consumption and what the truth is. Especially the mcdonalds part. that was a great analogy.

  203. So many treats – you’re spoiling us. 🙂 I’d love to read the book. Fingers crossed…

  204. Oh My God!!!!!!!!!! I love this guy I have his other book and absolutely love all the recipes, I know I’m way to far away to ever win but I’m leaving a comment anyway you never know : )

    x Tam x

  205. Hi Gena. I found your Q&A with Brendan most interesting as I am eager to know more about raw nutrition. I am very interested in Brendan’s new book as I am someone who has lost a lot of weight (136.5 lbs) and have introduced a fair bit of athletics into my life. I shop at Raw Vegan Source in Redmond and Tom was mentioning Brendan’s new book to a number of us who were shopping at the time. Unfortunately he did not have any copies on hand. I would to read this book; net I am hoping to win this give-away.

    Thanks!

    Howard

  206. This is an amazing interview. As a dancer of 20 years, I’ve always worried about my health and endurance. I do not get as many calories as suggested by my doc, but I feel great. I would love to win this book and here more of what he has to say!

  207. Gena, thanks so much for the great interview! This is of special interest to me as I just signed up to run the Brussels half marathon in May and I do find it hard when training for longer distances to work out the best way to fuel myself. So the book would be very helpful as well!

  208. I was very luck to recently attend a speaking demo with Brendan at the Whole Foods near my house last month. Seriously, Brendan was awesome, just the talk was too short and I still had so many questions to ask. The were sampling on of his smoothie drinks (the chocolate one) and I was very impressed by the taste too. I haven’t tried the bars or any of the other smoothies, but I would love love love to test them out. I really need to learn more about this whole acidity/alkalinity business, being a very active vegan myself. I would love to win Thrive, for myself, but also to be able to share with all the other athletes I’m surrounded by (none of them veg by any means). Thanks for doing this interview Gena! It was definitely fun and informative (as all your interviews are).

  209. I would love to read this book! I am a new vegan and training for my first half-marathon and I think it would be really helpful!

  210. Wow, so many things I love about this interview! I love how he found whole foods to fill initial gaps in his nutrition, his comment about kids’ behavior problems, his optimism, and his promotion of Vega at GNC- what an awesome vision! I would love to read this book, and then pass it on to my vegetarian male gym-rat soy-protein loving friend!

  211. If I had this book I’m pretty sure I’d lend it out all the time…thanks for an awesome interview!

  212. Hi, this is my first time commenting on your post.

    A couple days ago, I was searching on the web for a blog/website that would help me with my eating “problems”. Though I am vegan, because I don’t work out and I eat more than I need to, I really needed help. Then, I found your blog, which talked about the balance of being vegan, being raw, and the importance of exercising. This was EXACTLY what I needed.

    So I read through today’s post, and it REALLY hit me. This interview banged me really hard, and I really understand the importance of working out + eating healthy.

    Once again, I am back on my trail of trying to incorporate some sort of exercise in my life. I am able to start again because of this post. I really enjoyed reading it, and thank you, for doing this amazing post.

  213. OMG! This is the most exciting giveaway to me to date! I’ve tried vega sport and vega infusion and they are amazing products. I’m a dancer and have an intense schedule. I agree that recovery is the most important thing for an athlete. I would absolutely love to win a copy of Brendan’s book! I really want to learn how to maximize my recovery time so I can be the best dancer I can possibly be 🙂