Book Review: Whole Foods to Thrive

By Jen McLaughlin.
I remember taking a course in University that focused on systems where we learned how everything in the ecosystem is connected in one way or the other. At the time I remember being bored to death and thinking that I will never need to know this information. But now I find myself looking closely at the food we eat. Where does it come from, how is it grown, is it sprayed with chemicals, what is it fed, how is it transported, how is it prepared. But how does the food I eat make me feel? This is a question I started to ask myself after reading Brendan Brazier’s book Whole Foods to Thrive (it is titled Thrive Foods in the US). I found myself nodding in agreement as I read the book. Cravings for starches and sweets – Check. Fatigue at 2PM – Check. Difficulty sleeping – Check. But is this a daily occurrence for me or is it only certain days? Truthfully it isn’t all the time (which is good it is only when I get into a horrible pattern with food. Where I am too tired from the day to cook or if I do cook it is something quick and easy and probably not all that great for me. And that right there is the problem I am sure many are faced with. We feel this way because of the food we are eating and in order to break the cycle we need to start eating healthier. Not just fruits and vegetables but the right fruits and vegetables.


The 2nd big eye opener for me what when I read ‘Each time we take a bite of food, part of the environment literally becomes part of our biological fabric, our bodies….the Earth is part of us’. To me this just stresses the point that how our food is ‘treated’ impacts how our body reacts to it. Whole Foods to Thrive explains the environmental impact of the food we eat and how eating healthier whole foods can not only make our bodies feel better but can reduce our foods impact on the environment.
  • The Standard American Diet is heavy on red meat, processed based foods and dairy. For 1 day this diet on average would produce 9604g of CO2e (Carbon dioxide equivalent emissions).
  • The Healthy American Diet is made up of less processed foods and for 1 day this diet on average would produce 5374g of CO2e.
  • The Whole Foods to Thrive Suggestion is composed of plant based whole foods and for 1 day on average would produce 1199g of CO2e.
That is a massive difference in emissions isn’t it? So if eating the foods that are outlined in this book are better for the environment and for your healthy why aren’t more people eating this way? I believe it is because we think it is complicated and complicated means more time which most people do not have. I made some of the recipes in the book and you know what….they were easy and fast.  The book also outlines the properties that are important in the key nutrient dense foods which for me helped to identify why it is important to throw those pumpkin seeds on a salad rather than just leave them off because it is easier to not have to try and find them in the grocery store.

I received Whole Foods to Thrive to read and review but all the views expressed above are completely my own.

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