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Originally published May 26 2008

Living Foods Author and Athlete Brendan Brazier on Foods and Stress

by Kevin Gianni

(NaturalNews) This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni's Raw Food Summit which can be found at ( . In this excerpt, Brendan Brazier shares more specifics on the way foods can either provide or deplete energy and the effects of stress.

Raw Food Summit Excerpt with Brendan Brazier, triathlete thriving on living foods, author, speaker and the creator of a meal replacement formula.

Kevin: So, you talked about what you do before a race, I mean I remember in high school we used to have posh parties the night before. What is the better option than loading your self down with processed wheat?

Brendan: There are now a lot of better options but, yes, it's funny and people still do that. I don't change my diet before a race at all. I just continue to eat really good, clean foods. I'll just have a big salad and then, one of the really important things is to make sure you eat the right stuff right after exercise to rebuild. So, before, I just make my own energy bars that's why I have the Vega bars that developed out of what I used to make and really simply you just throw everything in the food processor, dates and some proteins, some flax and... it's really simple. And I actually even have the recipes for the bars in the new book.

I would spend maybe 60 to 90 minutes once every 4 months to make a huge batch, cut them up individually, wrapped them, put them in a freezer and just grab one on the way out each day. It was really simple ingredients, aren't that expensive and that was a total of like four hours a year of food preps, so it's not exactly a big commitment.

They digest well, they're really easy on the stomach and you're not having all that processed foods that actually rob you of energy but give you that false impression that it's giving you energy. Some of the energy bars, ironically enough, are the most energy robbing foods there are out there.

Kevin: Yes. And why is that?

Brendan: Because of the processed ingredients. High fructose corn syrup is one of them that you're body has an incredibly hard time turning into usable fuel. it's trying to digest that and it's so artificial that the body doesn't even recognize it as a nutrient type of food. It's just pure stimulation.

Kevin: And is it just the high fructose corn syrup? I mean, even some of the other ones, you know sugar and soy too.

Brendan: Yes, absolutely. Soy is in so many things and I know a few vegetarians who use to eat soy every meal and have actually developed sensitivities to it.

I did actually find in research that more people are becoming vegan in North America than ever before, but fewer people are sticking with it. The theory is that because there's so many options now for meat
alternatives like there's soy hotdogs, soy hamburgers, tofu ice cream but then at the end of the day, they're still not that healthy. Sure, they're better than the meat version but they're not great food. They're good for transition. I think they do have their place. But then, I would caution people against staying on those, really, once you have transitioned. The reason people aren't sticking with the vegan diet is because they are not feeling good on them, because they are not healthy diet food. It can very easily be said now that there are vegan junk food options out.

Kevin: I used to know a vegetarian who had a bagel and lettuce and onion and tomato and that was her lunch. She was always sick and it was sad. You talked about these soy products and you talked about all the foods that are coming out, even the fruit bars and the energy bars, what are
you looking for and what do you know is good and what do you know is bad?

Brendan: Well, I'll try and keep things pretty simple. I'm, when it comes to eating, I'm really simple to feed. I just eat lots of fruit and vegetables and try and avoid packaging as much as possible...

Kevin: Okay.

Brendan: But it's difficult because we're all starting in a different situation and there are some people who use standard American diet for 30 or 40 years but are genuinely interested in a healthier way now because they realized they have to do something about their diet. But the chances of them going raw or even vegan or even partially raw or vegan overnight is very, very slim for them to experience success on that.

When I talk with people about this, I usually try and just let them know that transitioning is fine and it may take a year and that's fine because if it sticks, then it's great, when you actually start wanting to eat the foods that are healthy for you and you lose the taste for the ones that aren't, that's the greatest place to be. And I think that some of the soy products are okay for transition, but just the caution is to know that they are for transition and get off them once you're beyond that.

Kevin: I don't imagine there are many people in this call who train as much as you do or did, but I imagine there are people on the call who would find value in what you do on a regular basis, how you train and what you eat on a regular basis throughout the day, so can you take us through a day and just kind of tell us, you know, what you are doing and what kind of food you eat?

Brendan: Yes, sure. On a typical day, when I was training lows, I would swim in the morning about four and a half kilometers pretty early in a day. Before that I would have usually half an energy bar, the ones that I just make for myself and a food processor for really basic stuff. Get home from that, I would have usually a smoothie with quite a bit of fruit and oat mixed vega in there to have all the protein, essential fats, fiber, greens, all of that, and that would pretty much do it after the swim workout. Then I would go for a bike ride or, depending on the day, I might have a nap after that if it's going to be a really long day, but usually I'd just get on my bike ride anywhere from four to five hours. As I ride, I would drink a sport drink that I would make for myself. Really basic, the recipe is in the trive diet as well but I really want to avoid of course Gatorade and things that are full of high-fructose, corn syrup, artificial flavor and color and seems funny that there are so many sport drinks out there and all the ones I've seen are really not very healthy. So making my own seemed like a good option and it's really easy.

People often ask about that but it's really just easy. I use coconut water as a base from young coconut and you can either just buy the coconut pack, or you can buy a tetra pack that has young coconut water and it is pasteurized if it's in a tetra pack so it's not raw but you can find
one that have just 100% coconut water and that's the only ingredient, so it's still a pretty good option if you don't happen to have your machete on you to open the coconut. And that would become the base of my sport drink and I'd blend in a date and a bit of lemon and lime zest just like with
the jellies I talked about before, but these just have more liquid.

Kevin: Just zest, no juice?

Brendan: Sometimes I squeeze a little juice in there too and a bit of sea salt or even a bit of dulse seaweeds. Some people have a hard time getting their head around drinking that, but they actually didn't even taste it. I would just have it in a very small amount or just taste a little bit salty, and it was really good and it has lots of electrolytes in it which is what you sweat out. Of course you don't just sweat water, you sweat magnesium, potassium and other electrolytes so replacing that with dulse is a really good way do it as well. So I drink that as I ride and often at the end of that I would then have usually another smoothie with quite a bit of protein, essential fats, all of that.

Kevin: Also have some seeds in it.

Brendan: Yes, yes. Some seeds are good and then later on that night I would have a big salad, have avocado, lots of super additives, lots of seaweed, all kinds of different lettuce, sometimes some kale ripped up in there and really load that in. That has quite a lot of protein. I think
sometimes people don't realize how much protein you get from greens. Spinach, for example, has almost 50% protein, around 45% and it's such high quality that you're getting a significant amount of protein to rebuild muscle tissue.

Kevin: Wow! And now you are burning about how many calories you think a day?

Brendan: I was probably burning around 5000 but the thing is as you're body gets used to this training and adapts, it burns fewer calories. The more fit you get, the fewer calories you burn. That's important for an endurance test, like they don't want to burn more than you have to. It's all about conservation and economy, really.

Kevin: That's one of the biggest challenges I think, a lot of people think that it's about powering through and powering through an exercise work out too.

Brendan: Right. A lot of people think 'okay, this is the week that I'm really going to get fit and healthy. I'm going to go and start this big workout routine...' and they do way too much too soon. Any kind of change is stress and this is true for exercise or even changing the way you eat. Even though it's a positive change, too much too soon is going to be a stress. You got to start slow and just ease into it. Let your body adapt. There has to be physiological changes that take place and don't try and do it overnight. The odds of sticking with it throughout the rest of your life is far greater than if you just jump into it and create all kinds of muscle soreness and you can actually
really injure yourself as well.

Kevin: Let's go over some of the symptoms of too much stress again. Lack of sleep is one of them, what are some of the other ones?

Brendan: Yes. The first symptoms of stress are ones that most of us experience -- trouble sleeping, sugar craving, starch craving, a bit of weight gain, trouble losing body fats, irritability, mental fog, just general fatigue, even headache, even bloating, mouth-flu like symptoms, all
those things. It's different for everyone but even in some cases, rashes, people will have skin irritation. I like to actually be sensitive to those things. I'm not trying to suppress them because I know that they'll just manifest themselves and quite possibly crop up as a serious disease later. If you pay attention to the warning signs of stress then you're much better off and instead of drinking coffee if you're tired, clean up your diet and maybe get a little better quality sleep which will just happen when your diet is better.

To read the rest of this transcript as well as access more information on healthy eating habits, living healthy and raw foods, just like Brendan Brazier, please visit ( .

About the author

Kevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.

His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit

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