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Lose Weight: Brendan Braziers Thrive Diet

Book Notes Available

I recently finished Brendan Braziers book, Thrive Diet: The Vegan

Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life and thought it was fantastic. After
reading hundreds of business and self-improvement books over the years and not putting the advice
into practice, I now almost always take notes and underline key passages. See my notes below or
you can download the PDF version of the Thrive Diet notes, but whatever you do, be sure to get
a copy of this great book.

Chapter 1: Reduce Stress to Increase Vitality

Uncomplimentary Stress
Uncomplimentary stress is the term I use to describe anxiety that produces no benefit. (20)
Common sources are Nutritional (70%), Psychological (20%), and Environmental (10%). (21)

Estimated that as much as 60% of the average North Americans total stress can be categorized
as uncomplimentary. (22)

Nutritional stress, for the average North American is by far the greatest source of
uncomplimentary stress. It is simply defined as stress created by food because of its unhealthy
properties. (23)

Nutritional stress is much more than just unhealthy food. Not eating the right foods can cause
nutritional stress: Not eating enough natural, unprocessed foods rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes,
high-quality proteins, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, and good bacteria (probiotics) is a major
source of stress on our bodies. (23)

Common cause of nutritional stress is the over-consumption of refined foods. (24)

Uncomplimentary stress has been shown to have a significant adverse effect on the psyche and
motivation. Scientists now believe that a persons will power is finite. A persons desire to achieve is
closely ties to stress level. (25)

Complementary Stress
The right amount of stress to stimulate renewal and instigate growth within the body. (27)

Production Stress
The stress created when you strive to achieve a goal. (29)

An unavoidable by-product of a productive life and a necessary part of modern-day success. (29)

Chapter 2: Understanding the Thrive Diet

High Net-Gain Nutrition is the Key

The first and most general guideline of the Thrive Diet is to make high net-gain foods a
cornerstone of your diet. (34)

The net gain of food is the term I use to describe the energy and usable sustenance that our body
is left with once the food has been digested and assimilated. (34)

The more energy the body must expend to digest, assimilate, and utilize the nutrients in the food
we give it, the less energy we are left with. (35)

What high net-gain eating does is eliminate excess work for the body. (35)

Most foods in the average North Americans diet require almost as much energy to assimilate as
they contain. Therefore they have an extremely low net gain. (35)

People who eat a standard North American diet, one that includes many processed foods, burn a
significant amount of energy digesting it. (35)

Raw, alkalizing, enzyme-intact foods have become the foundation of my diet. (39)

The cornerstone of the Thrive Diet is high net-gain foods. (39)

What constitutes high net-gain foods?(40)

Raw or cooked at low temperature.

Naturally alkaline-forming foods to pH balance the body.

High in nutrients the body can use without having to convert them.

Nutrient-dense whole foods.

Vitamin- and mineral-rich, from whole-food sources.

Non-stimulating, to recalibrate the body and eliminate biological debt.

The diet consists roughly of 45% fibrous vegetables; 20% fruit; 20% legumes, seeds, and
pseudograins; 10% cold-pressed oils, nuts, and avocado; and 5% starchy vegetables and whole
grains. (41)

Raw and Low-Temperature Cooked Foods

Enzyme Enhancement

Food that has not been heated above about 118 degrees Fahrenheit is considered to be
raw. (44)

High-temperature cooking and processing of food destroys the enzymes and nutrients
that allow the food to be efficiently digested. (44)

Before the body can make use of cooked food, it must produce enzymes to aid in the
digestion process. That takes workan energy draw that creates a nominal amount of stress. (44)

Inflammation Reduction
Food cooked at a high temperature can also cause inflammation in the body. (46)
High-temperature cooking creates advanced glycation end products, or AGEs. The body
perceives AGEs as invaders and so its immune cells try to break down the AGEs by secreting large
amounts of inflammatory agents. (46)

Alkaline-Forming Foods to pH Balance the Body

The balance of acid and alkaline within the body is referred to as pH (meaning potential of
hydrogen). Measured on a scale from pH 1 (the most acidic) to pH 14 (the most alkaline). A neutral or
good pH balance is 7.35. (47)

An acidic environment within the body negatively affects health at cellular level; acidosis
(characterized be excessively high acid levels). (47)

The consumption of acid-forming foods is the number one cause of an overly acidic system. (47)

Not all foods you eat need to be highly alkaline-forming; however for optimal health, it is important
that most of them are alkalizing. (52)

Alkaline-forming foods are foods that are in their most natural statethey have not been
refined, chemically altered, or fortified. (53)
Many of the most acid-forming foods are manufactured and heavily processed. (53)

The most common processing of a protein involved isolating it. This is done by removing
the carbohydrate and fat, thereby creating protein isolates. (53)

Resulting protein will have a significantly lower pH than it did before processing and will
be acid-forming. (53)

Raw protein is best. (53)

Bone Health
Balanced pH plays a major role in bone health. (55)

PH Levels and Enjoyment of Life (56)

Other ways of encouraging alkalinity within the body are:

Deep-breathing exercises.


Light stretching.


One-Step Nutrition

One-step nutrition is the term I use to describe food containing nutrients already in a form usable
by the body, with no breaking down. (57)

By consuming one-step foods, the body is fueled and able to rebuild efficiently. (57)

Gaining the greatest amount of energy from the least amount of food is the goal of the Thrive
Diet. (57)

The most complete, balanced form of one-step nutrition is sprouted foods. (60)

Sprouted legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, and mung beans are excellent. (60)

Whole Foods for Complete Nourishment

Most people take too many supplements in an effort to speed regeneration. Often they just
interfere with that process, prolonging the time needed for complete recovery. (63)

Determining Common Food Sensitivities

Wheat and Gluten

Gluten, the protein found in wheat, is difficult for some people to digest. (67)

Active Yeast
Nutritional yeast is inactive. It is a nutrient-packed healthy food. (69)

Eliminating Biological Debt

I use the term biological debt to refer to a state that the body goes into after energy from
stimulation has dissipated. Often brought about by eating refined sugar or drinking coffee to gain
energy in the short term. (70)

Two types of energy: one obtained from stimulation, the other from nourishment. (70)

The more processed the food is, the more stimulating its effect will be on the nervous system.

The more natural and whole a food israw and sprouted being the bestthe less stimulating
and the more nourishing it will be. (71)
One of the first signs of stress is greater energy, closely followed by fatigue. (75)
The less stimulation a person has in everyday life, the greater impact stimuli will have on the
body. (76)

Fluid drunk during or immediately after eating will adversely affect the bodys digestive efficacy,
making the system work harder to do its job. (79)

Chapter 4: Exercise for Lifelong Health

Nutrition Before Exercise

Protein is not what you want to have your body burning as fueldont eat it before you exercise!

The Pre-Exercise Snack

Most important factor in a pre-exercise snack is digestibility. (109)

Level One: High intensity, shorter time; activity lasting one hour or less. (109)
Healthiest source is fruit. Dates are a good choice. (111)

Bananas, mangoes, and papayas are also fructose-rich. (111)

Level Two: Moderate intensity, moderate time; activity lasting between one and three hours.

Level Three: Lower intensity, longer time; activity lasting more than three hours. (110)
Its important to train your body to become efficient at burning fat. (113)

Exercising at a relatively low intensity will tap the fat stores and burn it for energy. (113)

Nutrition During Exercise

Athlete-Specific Recalibration

One of the healthiest and most effective stimulants before exercise is the South American
herb yerba mate. (117)

Nutrition Immediately After Exercise

Immediately following a workout, the best snack to eat is one consisting primarily of simple
carbohydrate. (118)
The 45 minutes immediately following a workout is referred to as the fuel window. (118)

To speed recovery, the body needs simple carbohydrate to enter the bloodstreamthe quicker
the better. (118)

The post-exercise snack should contain very little fat and no fiber. A small amount of protein is
good. (118)

One hour has passed since eating your post-exercise snack. Its time for a complete, nutrientrich meal. Ideally, this meal will consist of high-quality, easily digestible raw protein such as hemp.

Liquid meal is best option. (120)

Chapter 5: Staple Foods for the Thrive Diet

Legumes are plants that have pods containing small seeds. (133)


Of all the plants in the plant kingdom, flaxseed has the highest level of omega-3. (134)

Omega-6 is relatively easy to obtain in a healthy diet; it is prevalent in many nuts, seeds,
and vegetable oils. (134)

Omega-3 is relatively rare in the plant kingdom. (134)

Omega-3 plays an integral part in metabolism of fat. A daily dose of 10 grams (about 1
tablespoon) of ground whole flaxseeds will allow the body to more efficiently burn body fat as fuel.

Soluble fiber slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream, helping control
insulin levels and prolong energy. Gives the body a sense of fullness. (135)

Insoluble fiber plays a cleansing role by insuring toxins dont build up and spread to the
bloodstream. (135)

Flaxseed has anti-inflammatory properties. (136)

Choose whole flaxseed rather than flaxseed meal. (136)


More alkaline than most proteins. (136)

Hemps protein is complete, making it superior to other sources of protein. (136)

Digestibility of hemp protein is superior. (137)

Keep raw pumpkin seeds on hand. (138)



One of my favorite pseudograins. (139)


Easy on the digestive system and as such is considered a high net-gain food. (140)


Dates are sometimes referred to as Natures fuel. (142)

Use fresh Medjool dates. (142)


Its important to know which oils can be heated safely and which are best consumed raw. (143)

I never fry with hemp, flaxseed, or pumpkin seed oil. Exceeding the burning point can convert
healthy oils into trans-fatty acids. (143)

For stir-frying, when the temperature is likely to exceed 350 degrees Fahrenheit, I use only
coconut oil. (143)

Coconut oil and dates are the best ingredients for my Direct Fuel Bites. (144)

Extra-virgin olive oil means that the oil is from the first pressing of the olive. The subsequent
pressing is referred to as virgin, the one following that produces regular olive oil. (144)

Though olive oil is a healthy oil, it delivers only minimal amounts of omega-3. (144)


Have one of the highest nutrient levels of all nuts. (145)

Although they dont need to be soaked, soaking makes them more nutritious. (145)


Brown Rice
The processing of brown rice is far less extensive than that of white rice, making it
nutritionally superior to its white counterpart. (147)

Next-Level Foods


One of the finest superfoods in nature is chlorella. (150)

A chlorella growth factor (CGF) of 3% growth is considered high; however, most

packaging labels dont state the CGF. Look for high levels of protein and chlorophyll. For protein, 65
to 70%. For Chlorophyll, 6 to 7%. (152)

Daily dose of at least 2.5 grams (1 teaspoon). (152)

You cant take too much chlorella. (152)

Green Tea
Matcha is a potent green tea that is higher in nutritional value than other varieties. (153)
Matchas caffeine is a type that slowly and steadily releases energy over the course of
several hours. (153)

Including yerba mate in the exercise-specific recipes as part of a pre-exercise or race

snack will help you achieve a greater level of performance. (155)

Choose the gelatinized form. (155)

Yerba Mate
One of the healthiest forms of stimulation. (157)

Choose one that is either wild harvest or has been grown with the jungle. (158)

Agave Nectar

Excellent source of easily digestible, slow-release carbohydrate. (158)

Agave nectar is a good choice for a healthy sweetener; it can be used in place of honey.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Considered a healthy vinegar. (159)

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