Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Brendan Brazier's Presentation at Whole Foods

I had the pleasure of attending a presentation by Brendan Brazier, pro ironman vegan triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion.  He was invited to talk about his plant-based nutrition program at Whole Foods in Washington, DC. I was skeptical as to whether I'd enjoy this talk and was pleasantly surprised to find that he is extremely knowledgeable about vegan nutrition as it relates to athletic performance.  I even learned a thing or two.

Despite his accomplishments, I found Brendan to be a pretty humble guy as I spoke to him before he began his presentation. He was a bit stressed because there was some confusion about the starting time of his talk, but handled it well and once he began speaking, he completely relaxed. He talked about his journey to discover the optimal diet for himself, which eventually led him to a fully vegan and mostly raw diet. He said he found that focusing on five key dietary components allowed him to extend his career as an endurance athlete while on a vegan diet. Those five components were complete protein, calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.

He found that he could gain energy through calorie conservation instead of consumption. He also discovered the relationship between stress and hormones in that stress drives cortisol up lessening your ability to achieve a deep satisfying sleep cycle.  In fact, he said that 40% of stress is attributable to poor nutrition.  While most people combat fatigue with refined carbohydrates, sugar, and caffeine, he believes that by eating a well-balanced plant-based diet, you will achieve a strong nutritional balance and will naturally sleep better.

He also focuses on maintaining a neutral ph by consuming raw, alkaline-forming foods instead of acid-forming foods.  The main cause of all illness and disease stems from the disruption of pH balance in the body. Raw, alkaline foods help neutralize acid in our diet to promote healthy pH balance. The Vega food products that he developed are slightly alkaline (pH of 7.2), which is similar to human blood (pH 7.4).

After his presentation, Brendan went downstairs to do a book signing. He has authored several books including his newest, Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life. There were also samples of his Vega bars and shakes.

I must say that I was really inspired by his talk and am now planning to buy his book. I feel that I can always learn more about nutrition and am excited to see what he recommends to achieve an optimal performance level. 


  1. aw darn I missed this and I really wanted to go! Thanks for posting about it ;-)

  2. You are welcome! I really enjoyed it! Have you read his other books?

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