‘Thrive’ by Brendan Brazier.

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The full name of the book is ‘Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life’ and it is awesome! (Random thought: shouldn’t awful be better than awesome?) Brazier is a professional Ironman triathlete and creator of Vega, an award-winning whole food, plant-based, nutritional product line. In 2006, Brazier addressed the United States Congress concerning the significant social and economic benefits that can be achieved by improving personal health by means of a plant-based diet.

SO basically, Brendan Brazier is just about the coolest guy ever. His book is fantastic in that it is not simply a cookbook; Brazier explains so much about nutrition and fitness in terms of stress and the acidity of our bodies. He stresses stress so much! It seems that everything comes down to creating an alkaline environment for our bodies by minimizing stress. It isn’t just emotional or physical stress that we need to consider. Brazier claims that 40% of the stress we put on our bodies is nutritional stress! So how do we reduce nutritional stress? We need to eat the most alkaline forming foods possible then to achieve this. Now, just because you think a food is acidic, say citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, does not mean it creates an acidic environment when processed through digestion. Perfect example: cow’s milk is very basic, yes? Yet it creates an acidic environment in our bodies, leading to diseases like cancer. Here are some tips right from the Vega website:

Tip #1: The actual pH of food outside your body doesn’t matter (lemons are acidic outside your body, but alkaline-forming once consumed). Magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and protein content determines whether a food is acid or alkaline-forming once digested.

Tip #2: Alkaline-forming foods are usually plant-based. Chlorophyll content is a good indicator that a food is alkaline-forming — the greener, the better! Acid-forming foods are usually animal-based. The more heavily processed a food is, the more acid-forming it is (synthetic ingredients and prescription drugs included)

Tip #3: Alkaline-forming nutrition may be supportive of bone health. Your body’s natural pH is 7.34 — slightly alkaline. To stay in this range, your body will draw alkaline-forming minerals (especially calcium) from your bones to neutralize acids that disturb this balance. Long term, this calcium-leaching, neutralizing process can compromise bone mineral density.

Brazier goes into much more detail on how all this happens exactly. I suggest getting the book to understand more about it. If you want a quick synopsis however, watch this video!:


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