Brendan Brazier's 'Thrive Foods' with 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health- BOOK REVIEW!

Homestyle Lentil Patties on a Sprouted Wheat Bun (Picture by The Health Seeker's Kitchen)

Chocolate Chip-Maple Maca Ice Cream (Picture by The Health Seeker's Kitchen

I was recently asked to review Brendan Brazier's new book 'Thrive Foods' that is being released this weekend and was very excited for this opportunity.  I have read the book cover to cover and made many of the 200 plant-based recipes.  I can tell you that these recipes are easy, inexpensive, nutritious, super delicious and I highly recommend it!!!  Brendan utilizes the power of superfoods such as maca, chia, hemp, and chlorella, and avoids common allergens, such as wheat, yeast, gluten, soy, dairy, and corn.  He has some recipes from celebrated chefs (Tal Ronnen, Chad Sarno, and others) and award-winning restaurants (such as Millennium and Candle 79). I have included 3 of the recipes that I made and the ingredients for the Homestyle Lentil Burgers at the bottom of my post.  I have read a lot of books in the past on health and nutrition and created hundreds of recipes, but I actually learned a lot of new things from Brendan's book-which kept me reading word for word.

Brendan Brazier is a former professional Ironman triathlete and the creator of VEGA, an award-winning whole food line.  He is recognized as one of the world's foremost authorities on plant-based nutrition.   

In Chapter 1 you will learn about health's dependence on nutrition, reducing nutritional stress, nutrition's influence on sleep and about nutrient density in foods. In this chapter,he shows the implications of nutritional stress that results from a diet comprised of nutrient-absent foods and how it can have a profound effect on us as individuals.

Chapter 2 talks about the environmental toll of food production.  Heavy demands on the North American food system, genetic modification and widespread pesticide use have become the rule, not the exception.    There is a finite amount of each mineral in a given plot of land, the plants grown are limited by what is present in the soil.  More plants doesn't mean more nutrition because of this depletion.  If our body is not satisfied with the minerals we need-it will urge us to eat more by making us hungry, which in turn makes us gain weight.  The Standard American Diet (SAD) is a diet of lots of calories but very few micronutrients, such as minerals.  Animal agriculture is an inefficient use of land and therefore depletes the soil of minerals.  If nutrient-dense food crops were planted in place of animal feed, a population over twice the size of North America's could be fed on the highest quality of food.

Chapter 3 talks about environmental and health solutions through food. On page 74 Brendan has a section on 'The Nutrient-To-Resource Ratio: What it is and Why it Matters'.  This section will really open your eyes and is extremely interesting.  It takes into consideration both micronutrient gain and natural resource expenditure in the food production process.  It reveals how misguided our resource expenditure is in our failed attempt to nourish the country.  For example:  Almond's Nutrient-to-CO2e emissions is 1266, while Lentils are 238. Quite a difference!

Chapter 4 talks about eight key components of good nutrition. 
1.)  Alkaline-Forming Foods
2.) Antioxidants
3.) Calcium
4.) Electrolytes
5.) Essential Fats
6.) Iron
7.) Phytonutrients
8.) Raw Food

In chapter 5 it talks about the Whole Foods to Thrive Pantry Essentials. 

Chapter 6 contains the 200 plant-based recipes and concludes with a GUIDE TO NUTRIENTS. 

A few of the 200 recipes are:
Shanghai Rice Bowl ] Italian Garden Stir Fry ] Spicy Black Bean Chili ] Black Bean Chili Pizza ] Chocolate Goodness Smoothie ] Cool Coconut Orange Squares ] Banana Nut Bread ] Brendan's signature energy bars] Watermelon Lemon Granita ] Bodacious Berry Cookie Crumble ] Apple-Pear Energy Tartlets ] No-Bake Double Chocolate Chip Maca Cookies ] Nori Chips ] Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips ] Butternut Squash Soup ] Millet Bowl with Greens and Toasted Sunflower Seeds ] Thai Vibe ] Regular, Thick, and Whipped Cashew Cream ] Live Cashew Cheese Base ] Cheesy Broccoli Bowl ] Fresh Pasta Puttanesca ] Spirulina Green Millet ] Garlic Thyme Sweet Potato Oven Fries ] Arame Sesame Brown Rice

Nori Crisps (Picture by The Health Seeker's Kitchen)

You can order 'Thrive Foods' on Amazon. I know you won't be disappointed and you will love creating the recipes like I have. This book is a must have!!!
You can also enter a contest: Thrive with Vega during Emmy Week through Facebook to win a trip for two to Los Angeles to meet Brendan at the Alive! Green Expo Lounge surrounding the 63rd Annual Emmy’s [I know I am entering!]

Brendan has a Facebook fan page that has a wealth of information-including a free download of 3 more of his recipes from Thrive Foods.

You can also follow VEGA [his product] on Facebook as well.
His Vega web-site is full of information, recipes and videos.

Find him on Twitter.

Homestyle Lentil Patties
Time: 30 minutes active: 50 minutes total * Makes 4-6 servings

2-3 tbsp coconut oil, for frying
1 cup chopped onions (about 1 medium)
1 carrot, shredded
1 celery stalk, minced
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup cooked red lentils (you need one cup that has already been cooked)
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sprouted flax powder (or finely ground flaxseeds)
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • In a medium frying pan, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, carrot, and celery, and saute' until the onions are translucent and the vegetables are soft.  Mix in the vinegar, remove from heat, and transfer to a large bowl.
  • To the vegetable mixture, add the remaining ingredients and mix well, mashing the lentils slightly with a fork.  Adjust salt as needed.  Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to allow the flaxseed to help firm the mixture.  Hand-shape into 4-6 patties.
  • Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a large frying pan over low heat.  The lower the heat the better, as it will allow the patties to cook longer and get a better crust.  Place the patties on the pan carefully, and cook until brown underneath, about 10 minutes.  Flip the patties over and repeat on the other side.  Serve warm.
I used sprouted wheat buns, sprouts, tomato, onion and pickle for my delicious lentil burger. Click here for cooking lentils.
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  1. Yum! Can't wait to try these...even have lentils left over from last nights lentil tacos. Thanks for posting the recipe. Already ordered my copy of Thrive Foods.

  2. We got this book in at work and I am so excited to flip through it. It's exciting stuff!

  3. I was able to test out all three of these delicious foods! All of which I loved, and Gracie even downed the "chips" aka Nori Crisps.

  4. I am so excited to try out those patties! I have some lentils just waiting! Mmmm...and the seaweed!!!!!! Thanks for the great post love!

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