Thursday THRIVE with Brendan Brazier.

Last night we headed over to the other side of town to meet Kath, Matt, and Amanda at Healthy Home Market for a special speaking engagement!


Before the talk, we grabbed dinner at HHM – so many delicious vegan/raw/gluten-free/exotic options!  Even though I don’t really feel that I follow specific diets or food labels, I am always intrigued by seeing things like raw lasagna in a deli case – very cool.  I tend to get overwhelmed when there are a lot of good options, so Casey was a good sport and offered to get a bunch of different things that we could share – my favorite way to eat!

We made a big salad from the salad bar with tons of greens, olives, seasoned tofu, and other yummy vegetables.  I am trying to eat a lot more salad these days.

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For our main meal we split these vegan dumplings – WOW!  These were awesome.  Filled with cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms – they had soooo much flavor and good texture.  I wanted about 500 more when they were gone. 

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Our other side item were these raw/vegan lettuce wraps.  I had one and Casey had two – also delicious.  I’d like to try to recreate these at home – seems easy enough.

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After dinner, we moved into the Community Room for the special guest speaker – Brendan BrazierFor those who many not know him, Brendan is a vegan Ironman National Champion (!), who has written two popular books on nutrition as an endurance athlete.  Casey and I have actually been reading (and following) his first book Thrive for about a month now. 

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Like I said, I hate to fall into certain “diet” categories and choose labels for the way that I eat, so I hadn’t really mentioned this on the blog.  But we’ve been reading his advice for how to eat a vegan diet and get the right nutrition (and recovery) for endurance sports, and it has been really eye opening.  Casey has been a scientist in the kitchen, making all sorts of awesome bars, drinks, etc. – more on that below!

My favorite part of what Brendan had to say was his overall philosophy towards food and nutrition.  As he explained it, “I never really cared about nutrition.  In fact, I still don’t.  All I really care about is that what I put into my body feels good and makes me perform better.”  I totally agree with him – it’s not about restrictions and percentages – it’s figuring out the right balance for your body, and trying different things for different results.  Very motivating stuff going into this weekend’s half marathon – eeeeek!

After the talk, we were able to meet Brendan and have him sign our book.  I asked him about using caffeine (specifically coffee) as a pre-workout boost.  He said he used to do it several years ago, but now that his body has adjusted to not drinking coffee anymore, it made him to jittery on race day mornings.  Makes sense!


Thanks to Diana for snapping these pictures!  I’m not a big autograph person, but I figured we might as well since he was there.  I have a feeling his books and products will become VERY successful down the road.

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Blogger group shot!  Diana surprised us and made it just in time!  :)


While we were there, we picked up some of his Vega Complete Whole Food Health Optimizer powder in the delicious CHAI flavor – yum! 

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This stuff runs a little bit on the pricey side, but is totally worth it.  Plus, as he explained, this formula covers 100% of your daily vitamins and minerals (even for a vegan diet), so if you use this daily, you no longer need to be expensive supplements and vitamins.  Right now we each take about 6-7 vitamins each morning, and while I haven’t added up the total monthly cost of that (which I probably should!), I am sure that it is less than the cost of one tub of powder.  Definitely something to consider…

While we were at HHM, we stocked up on more of our bulk goods.  Sooo many delicious seeds, grains, dried fruits, etc. – I love having a full pantry.

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We also picked up some coconut oil, which is a base for many of the Thrive recipes.  I have heard coconut oil is really good for you, even though it is a saturated fat.  We’re going to give it a try for a bit…

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Like I said, Casey has been reading the Thrive book and trying some new recipes and science experiments in our kitchen this week.  A few days ago he filled up a few cups and bottles with beans to try some SPROUTING!

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Mung beans on the left, pinto on the right.  Like perfect timing, we got home last night to see that our mung beans were sprouted and ready!

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We put these in the refrigerator for now, hopefully to make something fun out of them this weekend.  Casey also go to work on making some of Brendan’s homemade energy bars using a mixture of cooked quinoa, hemp protein, apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, dates, and almonds.

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These turned out AMAZING – so incredibly dense and moist.  They taste like homemade power bars, but much much better (and better for you!).  Can’t give you the exact recipe (because it isn’t mine), but I would definitely encourage anyone interested in athletic nutrition to check out the Thrive book – good stuff!

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Here’s hoping that all this talk of endurance sports and good nutrition rubs off a little at tomorrow’s half marathon.  Lungs feel good, legs feel good, nose is ridiculously stuffed up, and I’ve discovered a small race registration snafu – hoping to still be able to run tomorrow – crossing fingers!


Last but not least, we need an Envitote giveaway winner, don’t we?  Lucky winner of the Envitote is…

(lots of) enjoyable moments said…I never leave home without my bottled water! I have about a million of those 20oz Rubbermaid bottles and inevitably they leak in my purse! I am in the market for a new bag b/c at the end of April I am giving up my car and going for public transportation!

Way to go on the public transportation – I am totally jealous!  Our goal is to eventually live somewhere where we can do the same thing.  Email me your info, and I will send the tote your way!


Happy Friday to you ALL!  :)