Book Review: Thrive Energy Cookbook

thrive-energy-cookbook Today I’m reviewing the Thrive Energy Cookbook by former pro Ironman and two-time Canadian Ultramarathon champion, Brendan Brazier. Brazier has compiled a beautiful cookbook with healthy recipes that should feel pretty darned approachable for anyone possessing the most basic of cooking skills. The excellent introductory section familiarizes the reader with his philosophy on food and nutrition and gives some of the best primers on plant-based eating, nutrient density and acid/pH balance I’ve read anywhere. He then tells the reader how to set up a well-stocked pantry before getting onto the recipes.

I found the format of the book easy to follow, with an alphabetical index at the end that makes finding recipes by name or primary ingredient quick and easy. Also near the end, Brazier includes three sample meal plans based on different nutritional strategies. The Transitional plan is geared toward those accustomed to eating a more typical standard American diet but who want to foray into healthier eating. The Standard plan is suitable for individuals with average activity levels, and the Athletic plan is for those who, like Brazier, spend hours exercising every week.

It’s at this point that I should tell you this is not a diet book. While Brazier’s recipes are all quite nutrient dense, only a small percentage of them are low in calories: though they be healthy ones, oils, nuts and sweeteners abound. In fact, the one big issue I have with the book is his classification of recipes such as the Cookies -N- Cream Recovery Smoothie and the Blueberry Cacao Pre-workout Performance Cereal as “Super Nutrient-Dense.” With each serving coming in at around 500 calories (by my quick calculation), these recipes are not “still…light in the calorie department” as he describes Super Nutrient-Dense (SND) foods in the introduction. In Brazier’s defense, these particular recipes are located in the “Thrive Sport Recipes” section of the cookbook, but I worry that a reader looking to lose weight could see the SND designation and inadvertently be misled into thinking those were good low-calorie options.

None of that is to say that one couldn’t lose weight using the Thrive Energy Cookbook. Compared to a typical diet of processed, sugary and high-fat foods, the whole food, plant-based recipes contained within are a huge leap forward for anyone who wants to improve their diet. Thrive Energy Cookbook is not quite as strict as some other whole food cookbooks – Brazier does include some high-quality processed foods, such as sprouted whole grain bread and rice noodles. But I feel that the inclusion of those items makes the book so much more approachable to those in a transitional phase than similar cookbooks by other authors.

Ultimately, the book is ideally suited for athletes – recreational and competitive alike – who are looking for a resource to take their nutrition and their performance to the next level. That he has also made it a very usable tool for non-athletes alike is a testament to Brazier’s commitment to making a difference in as many lives as possible. You can check out the great stuff he’s doing and even sign up for free training programs at BrendanBrazier.com.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this review. If you did, please share it with your friends on social media by clicking one of the the share buttons below. If you think the Thrive Energy Cookbook can help you take your nutrition to the next level, pick up a copy at your local bookstore or online at Amazon.com.

 

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