Welcome to the Sweet Life!

Welcome to the Sweet Life!

• Adventures in a Vegan Kitchen
• Eating out in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal
• Organic, Natural & Vegan products

Sunday, 5 June 2011

A Day to Thrive

Yesterday I had the pleasure of meeting Ironman triathlete, best selling-author on performance nutrition  and founder of Vega products - Brendan Brazier.

He was in Waterloo, ON for his new book launch "Whole Foods to Thrive" for a 5km run in support of cancer research) and spoke about boosting athletic performance, Vega products and answered guest questions for anyone attending the seminar held at Thrive Juice Bar.

Brendan was sweet enough to pose for a photo with me!

As I sipped on smoothie samples (a chocolate avocado and a kale mojito- both yum in their own way) and listened to Brendan talk, I came to realize how my lifestyle has changed in the last few years and he summed it up perfectly when saying that as you progress with a vegan diet your palate changes, and becomes more delicate and the things you used  to crave, are no longer desirable to you. He used potato chips as an example and I couldn't agree more, I would rather opt for kale chips any day and even take the time to wash, tear, massage and heat as opposed to tearing open a bag of what now seem like oil laden and over salted potato chips and devouring without enjoying.

Someone asked him the difference between Agave and Stevia and although I have and use both regularly I found out I didn't know just how different they were and what each should be used for.

Brendan schooled us.
Agave nectar is extracted from the plant and consists primarily of fructose, (hello sugar)! This sweetener is best used before physical activity because the carbohydrates can be burned instead of stored. This makes agave a better ingredient for a power bar or smoothie in advance of needing the energy boost.

On the opposite side is stevia, which is a herbal sweetener in which you get a sweet taste but contains 0 calories (no fructose or carbs in here!) This will not give you a boost of energy so it is not suggested to be used prior to activity. Stevia can be added to drinks (coffee, tea, juice) and any baked goods (cakes, cookies and brownies) but measurements for substituting stevia for sugar are not equal. Approx 1 tsp of raw stevia = 2 tsp of sugar.

I really enjoyed the seminar and will be using my new (and signed) book for recipes in the near future.

If you find yourself in the city of Waterloo, visit Thrive Juice Bar they have a great selection of smoothies, juice blends, and teas, in addition to salads, sandwiches, pizzas and desserts!

On Sunday I celebrated my Grandpa's 95th Birthday with him and the family.
I took vegan gluten free cupcakes from Organic Oven (received many compliments on them).

Sweets From the Earth Cashew Cookies

For lunch I ate: Vegan Mac & Cheese, a lentil cake, sweet potato salad and "hail to the kale" salad (I totally would have given it that name if it hadn't already been named when I bought it, it rocked).

Also going back to Saturday, a pretty crazy storm hit the Southern Ontario region and made driving conditions quite difficult. This was 10:30AM. Within a matter of minutes...

Have a sweet night!


  1. I'm glad you had fun! We're going to see him tomorrow in Newmarket! Figured Toronto would be too busy and our chances were better for a smaller town.

  2. @Mathieu
    That's a good idea, you will definitely get some time to chat with him there! Enjoy it :)