Tag Archives: Brendan Brazier

Thrive pizza…

February is drawing to a close and with it, many of us are approaching or entering the next phase of our training for our spring races. My marathon is at the end of May and I’m finishing up week five of 18 of my training schedule. After next Wednesday, I’ll be moving from the base phase into the strength phase, with the addition of hills training. I love me some hills! (This will likely kick off the Toronto Hills series I mentioned in this post)

As training progresses, I’m becoming more and more focused on one particular element of my training: nutrition. For me, this is one of the most important aspects of training, because if one’s nutrition sucks, their body will not be able to adequately recover, and as a result their running will suffer.

In addition, with my personal 22 minutes in 10lbs challenge, I’m trying to choose more wisely where my calories are coming from in order to maximize the nutritional content without too many empty or excess calories.

I’m a huge fan of Brendan Brazier’s books Thrive and Thrive Fitness, and have found a ton of useful nutrition ideas from reading these books. Brendan is a Canadian 50k ultramarathon champion, professional Ironman triathlete, bestselling author and creator of an award-winning line of whole food nutritional products called VEGA. Brendan also offers a free video and e-mail program at thrivein30.com that I highly recommend — and in case you missed the word before video, it’s FREE ;-). Here is a quick video about the program:

In keeping with the idea of “high net gain foods” I made a “pizza” tonight from Brendan’s book Thrive. I put “pizza” in quotes here because this dish resembles a pizza only in that it has a base or “crust” on which there is sauce and then toppings. The recipe for this pizza can be found at Canadian Running Magazine’s website, but there was a difference between the online version and the printed version, which added 1 1/2 cups of buckwheat groats. For my pizza, I added the groats, mostly out of curiosity (I hadn’t had them before), and found that they added a really nice crunch to the crust. So thumbs up to the groats.

This pizza is made completely from plant materials and cooked at a very low temperature. To start, I took all of the ingredients for the crust and put them in a food processor:

Then I formed the crust (mmm, groaty goodness!):

While this was happening, I roasted the red peppers in the oven, and then placed them and the rest of the ingredients for the sweet pepper hemp pesto (the “sauce”) into the food processor:

…and coated the “crust,” sliced up some veggies, toped the “pizza”, put it in the oven, and…. Voila!

I had quite a bit of the pesto left over, which will be perfect as a veggie dip for the next day or so.


Chocolate blueberry energy bars

I’m pretty particular about my diet and the foods that I eat pre-, during and post-run. If at all possible, I prefer to make my own workout foods, which allows me to control not only the content, but also the quality of the ingredients that I’m using. This sounds like it could be a lot of work, but it’s really quite easy.

On days that I’m strapped for time, this can be as simple as downing a handful of dried dates (with agave, if I think of it) and heading out the door. I also really like the work of Brendan Brazier (professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion) and the information he presents in  The Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness. One of my favourite recipes to make for running is Brendan’s chocolate blueberry energy bars.

These bars are very simple to make and can be wrapped and frozen in the freezer for quick grab-and-go energy sources for longer runs. Because there are a lot of essential fats in the bars, they don’t freeze solid. Here is how to make them:


  • 1 cup dried dates
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ blueberries
  • ¼ roasted carob powder (or cacao to make 100% raw)**
  • ¼ cup group flax seed**
  • ¼ cup help protein**
  • ¼ cup unhulled sesame seeds**
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries

** Ingredients marked with the double asterisks can all be substituted for 1 cup of chocolate flavour Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer.


  1. In a food processor, process all ingredients, except the frozen blueberries.
  2. Remove the mixture from the food processor and put on a clean surface.
  3. Lay frozen blueberries on the surface and knead mixture into blueberries.
  4. Flatten mixture on the clean surface with your hands, forming it into a brick.
  5. Cut brick horizontally into small bars, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread. Allow the bars to dry out in the open for one hour.
  6. Individually wrap bars in plastic wrap and place extras in freezer for future use.

For those who work better with visuals, here is a video of Brendan making the bars: