Monday, June 16, 2014

Thrive Energy Cookbook

Brendan Brazier, the ultramarathon champion, has come out with yet another cookbook!  Thrive Energy Cookbook begins with the Thrive philosophy and finishes with over 150 plant-based whole food recipes. What's unique about this book is that the recipes are not all raw, but rather the book incorporates both raw and cooked foods as well as foods marked as transition foods that help individuals transition to a healthier way of life. It is filled with some of the most beautiful food photography I have ever seen with tons of full-color photographs of the dishes in the recipes.

The information provided in the front of the book is very useful. Brendan describes the Thrive philosophy as plant-based, whole food, high-net-gain, and alkaline-forming without creating biological debt.  High-net-gain foods, such as leafy greens and colorful vegetables, deliver energy by way of conservation rather than consumption. The less digestive energy spent, the more substantial the level of micronutrients gained. He goes on to explain that highly processed, refined, denatured food requires that significantly more digestive energy be spent to break it down in the process of transferring its caloric energy to us.

He emphasizes the importance of consuming alkaline forming foods and maintaining a balanced pH in the body.  People with low pH are prone to many ailments and fatigue. Most prescription drugs, artificial sweeteners, and synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements are acid-forming.  He also emphasizes the importance of chlorphyll in the diet.

Another important point he makes is differentiating between energy from stimulation (coffee and eating refined sugar) vs. energy from nourishment (eliminates need for stimulation). I prefer energy from nourishment myself. I also love that he talks about antiinflammatory foods such as flaxseed adn hemp.

As far as the recipes go, I made three of them. The first one I made was the Thai Red Curry Rice Bowl. This one did not turn out well. It is a curry dish filled with healthy vegetables and coconut milk, but the recipe called for far too much coconut milk turning my amazing curry into a sea of coconut milk. In the end, I spent so much time cooking everything and making it perfect only to have the curry sauce ruin it by turning it into soup. Had I used less coconut milk that called for, it probably would have been wonderful. But, four cans was probably two cans too many.

Next, I tried making the Blueberry Buckwheat Energy Bars. Now these turned out great. Loaded with dates, blueberries, wlanuts, flaxseed, hemp seed, and buckwheat, these bars were super satisfying and healthy. Brendan says these are ideal for sustaining physical activity. I will post this recipe soon.

Lastly, I tried the Roasted Red Pepper and Sweet Potato soup. This soup turned out to be one of the best sweet potato soups I've ever made. Thickened with coconut milk, this sweet soup incorporated roasted red peppers and roasted sweet potatoes as well as celery, carrots, and lots of basil. This one's a winner.

So, all in all, other than one recipe calling for far too much coconut milk, I'd say this book is pretty good. There is so much great information in the beginning and lots of great recipes in the back. Other recipes include the hot apple pie waffle, black bean veggie burger patties, lemon-ginger zinger smoothie, and chocolate cacao cupcakes. For just $14 on Amazon, you really can't go wrong with the Thrive Energy Cookbook. And you'll probably learn a thing or two. Recommended.

Full Disclosure: Although the cookbook was provided to me for free to review, that in no way influenced my veracious opinion.

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