Thrive Foods: 200 Plant Based Recipes Book Review

After returning from an amazing week of wining and dining on vacation, this healthy livingGet $5 bucks off Sport Tubs blogger was in serious need of some dietary re calibration.

[caption id=”” align=”alignright” width=”160” caption=”Brendan Brazier author of Thrive Foods”]Brendan Brazier[/caption]

Fortunately for me, I had the promise of some help in that department waiting for me: Thrive Foods: 200 Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health. This is the 3rd book in the Thrive series by Brendan Brazier, The Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness were the first offerings.

At first, I really thought Thrive Foods was just a cookbook. What had been missing from the first 2 books was a large quantity of accessible recipes that an average person (like me) could make in the kitchen without tons of special ingredients. But being fair, the first books were more about information, in my opinion, without an emphasis on the recipes.

That’s where Thrive Foods differs: the book contains 200 plant based, often raw, recipes, everything from drinks to breakfast cereals, salads to salsa and even throws in some deserts to top off your meal. The recipes are a combination of Brendan’s own as well as chef created delights from renowned restaurants like Blossoming Lotus, Candle 79 and Gorilla Food.

Since being thorough is so important, I may have hacked through made nearly 100 gorgeous dishes from the Thrive Foods. And let’s be clear, I’m not an aspiring master chef, I can cook, my family doesn’t starve and I do like 95% of the stuff I make, but I’m no gifted culinary genius.

I say that because I found the recipes from Brendan’s other books a bit beyond my capabilities or at least beyond my knowledge of

ingredients. There were so many items that I couldn’t find, did know what they were or didn’t have access too. That’s not so much the case in Thrive Foods although you will still find ingredients like sacha inchi or yacon syrup that may not be stocked at your local Piggly Wiggly but for the most part, you can find the ingredients and the cooking methods aren’t beyond the scope of this domestic goddess who would rather be outside than over a hot stove.

The standouts for me were definitely the vanilla protein “ice cream” with caramel swirl, buckwheat banana pancakes, chia jam (pictured right), toasted chia ginger pear cereal and 2 of my new fav “burger” recipes: black bean sliders and fajita patties (made with shredded bell peppers, genius!)

So what good is all this health food without understanding why we should eat it?

That’s what helps this “cookbook” standout from others in the plant based arena is that Brendan feels very strongly about why eating a certain way can improve your health. So much so, that the first 100+ pages of Thrive Foods is actually a nutritional education based on 5 guiding principles:

  1. Eliminate biological debt: acquire energy through nourishment not stimulation (i.e. coffee, refined sugar, etc.)
  2. Go for high net fain foods: make a smaller investment for a big return (less food, more energy!)
  3. Aim for a high percentage of raw and low-temperature cooked foods.
  4. Chose alkaline forming foods
  5. Avoid common allergens (wheat, dairy, soy, etc.)

I know that sounds all very nice and noble but how does that translate to the real world? The husband/wife, 2.5 kids and needing to make dinner?

These are not the recipes I would suggest trying out if your family is used to fast food or frozen dinners. That’s not setting yourself up for success. But if you’re eating fairly healthy, low processed already then there are a lot of recipes that can be made family friendly or already are.

As for how my diet recalibration went? Within a week of eating largely these recipes, my sugar cravings were gone, I was back to sleeping 6 hours a night and popping out of bed in the morning and spending those other 18 hours with bountiful energy and a spring in my step.

That’s one powerful cookbook!

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