Optimal Fitness on a “Vegan Diet”



By Jordan Miller;

For those of you who don’t know who Brendan Brazier is, let me take this opportunity to introduce him. Brendan is a professional Ironman triathlete. Ever since the age of 15, he has had a unique fascination for the sport. Growing up most of his life in Vancouver B.C. he is certainly no stranger to outdoor fitness. The only thing that sets him apart from the rest of the field is that he is a 100% vegan. Veganism, as defined by Wikipedia : “is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose. Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind.” Essentially, Brendan fuels his body with high quality fruits, vegetables, greens, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, pseudo grains, super foods, and legumes; he does not consume any animals or animal by-products.

Many athletes often feel that a strict vegan diet is not enough to carry them through their training and subsequently help their performance and recovery. There may be certain truth to this, however, the problem may reside with its application rather than the type of food being eaten; it’s much more important when, how, and how much to eat, as it is what to eat. You see, there is a particular stigma that exists among groups of people who adhere to a diet that is apart form the norm (i.e. commercial meats and refined carbohydrates). As a whole, it is hard for a lot of people to alter their current diet (even though they know that these options - commercial meats and refined carbohydrates - may not be the best), because many have a hard time embracing change or they are scared that they may be missing certain nutrients. Some of this may be true, however, in most cases, it usually comes down to social pressure and/or “fitting in”.

When it comes down to it, we shall not allow social “pressures” dictate the way we live! In order for us to succeed or progress in life, we must be willing to try new things. I fear that many of us often avoid challenges because too much work is required or we are simply afraid of failure. How do you think some of the greatest public figures made it? Well, they broke away from conventional rhetoric and challenged mainstream notions. Einstein once said: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

In his quest for optimal fitness, Brendan brazier decided to challenge conventional wisdom. He decided to try a new approach.  His hard work and investment certainly paid off. He is the author of two books (The Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness) and he is the creator of a whole line of award winning whole food nutritional products called Vega. Through his journey he found a diet that ultimately worked for him. Granted, this diet may not be suitable for some, since everyone requires different nutritional needs, nevertheless, most people today would likely thrive on this particular diet because it is so nutrient dense. Regardless if your an athlete or not, whole, organic, unadulterated food is by far the best choice if your intention is to live a happy, pain-free, symptom-free, sick-free, and disease free life. It can’t get any simpler or better than that. It’s a win-win situation! Eat whole, organic food and reap the health benefits by doing so.

In discussing veganism, I am not suggesting that this is the ultimate way of life. I am simply stating that many have found (including Brendan Brazier) that a whole food, organic, vegan diet works for them. There is certainly much truth to this since much of the commercial food consumed today is laced with food additives (chemicals) and herbicides/pesticides. Simply avoiding these harmful substances is definitely a good starting point in your quest for optimal health/fitness. In any event, eat according to your needs (metabolic type). When you do find a suitable diet, make sure the food is local, organic, and fresh. Try to avoid anything that is either pre-packaged or has traveled long distances to get to your grocery store shelves. Essentially, use your judgment and follow your instincts.

Your questions: Have you ever tried to adhere to a vegan diet? If so, how was your experience? (post your comments below)

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About the Author : Jordan Miller is the co-founder of guidinginstincts.com. He has overcome illness through dietary/lifestyle changes, and practicing a positive mindset daily. Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist.

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