I am happy to share this interview with you all, Brendan is such a good good man doing great things in this world. He is a former professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion. On top of being a stellar athlete himself, he works as a performance nutrition consultant (for athletes from NFL to MLB!), is a best-selling author of the Thrive book series, and is the formulator of the award-winning plant-based Vega products. If you haven’t checked out the magazine he co-founded called Thrive, please do! It’s so wonderful. Thank you Brendan for all that you do and sharing your time with us.
What is your food philosophy?
Eat socially. And I don’t mean eat with other people necessarily, but rather eat with other people in mind. When we make decision as to what to eat, it impacts a lot of people. And of course the environment, which impacts us all. If we choose to eat food that has taken less land, water, and fossil fuel to create, and produces less C02e, it will be better for us all. So plants. Eat plants.
How long have you been vegan?
Since I was 15…since 1990. 25 years.
Why did you make the change? Following the shift, did you notice impacts it immediately had on you?
I was trying to speed my recovery between workouts, so I could train more and improve faster. I began eating plant-based whole foods – ones with lots of chlorophyll – that helped reduce inflammation and therefore speed recovery.
When you work with other athletes, what is it like getting them to eat more plant-based? How receptive to it are they? Any fun stories to share on athletes you have changed?
Most I work with have already decided that they want to make a change, so it’s easier for me. Sometimes I just need to convince them to try it for two days. That’s manageable for most. Then after two days, they feel a difference and want to keep it up. better sleep quality, more energy, greater mental clarity, less dependance on coffee and sugar, etc…
Do you have a go-to fact or statistic about eating plant-based and it’s influence on health or athletic performance that greatly inspires the non-veg athletes your work with? If so, what is it?
I never try to convince people of anything. I just do what works well for me, and if they ask what I’m doing, I tell them. And I wrote Thrive as a step-by-step guide. And I started Thrive Magazine to help build community and inspire by example.
What is your go-to snack or meal before a race or athletic event?
Digestion is very important, since it takes a lot of energy. Energy that could be better spent helping you go faster. So I always have an easily digestible pre-workout drink and a recovery smoothie that has a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio and has ginger and turmeric for inflammation reduction, maca to help restore the adrenals, and lots of chlorophyll to further reduce inflammation and supply minerals lost in sweat.
What are some of your favorite spots to dine at (in whichever city you spend the most time)?
I like MAKE in Santa Monica, and I’m excited about Plant Food and Wine that will open in Venice soon.
Thank you Brendan. For more info on Brendan check out his social media and new projects mentioned below
A new sports nutrition course that Matthew Kenny and Brendan created, available online
The Kind diet
A simple guide to feeling great, losing weight, and saving the planet
By following The Kind Diet, you will lose weight more easily, your skin will absolutely glow, you will have tons of energy, and you will become more sensitive to all the important things in life – like love, nature, and your deepest, truest self.