Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 8 - Yoga with author Brendan Brazier

Thank god, my friend Brendan popped into town and is staying with us for a few days. I need some guidance on how to space my practices and what to eat when, because, although I still weigh the same 125 pounds, my body is shrinking and several people have noted that I'm looking a bit skeletal these. It is certainly not my intention to waste away over the next few months.

Brendan Brazier is in Montreal on his book tour. He is the author of two best selling books, The Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness, and the formulator of a vegan line of whole food products called Vega. Brendan is also a former professional Ironman Triathlete, so he is well versed in training and over training. We met a few years ago when Vega was first becoming established and the company sponsored my first yoga video. We became friends and in 2008, we toured Canada together with David Suzuki and Stephen Lewis as part of the Students for Sustainability environmental speaking tour. (Want to see a link about this?)

Brendan's advice to me is to continue having my Vega smoothies in the morning and to have another after I practice to re-nourish and re-build the body. This second smoothie should contain half a serving of Vega Health Optimizer (vegan protein + omega fats + probiotics + greens) and a full serving of the new Vega Sport Performance Protein, which means I would be getting 33 g of easily digestible, alkaline protein in one shake. He says the Sport Protein is designed for endurance athletes, because it contains glutamine, an amino acid that helps reduce healing time between workouts and prevents muscle atrophy due to over exercising. Wikipedia says that glutamine is found beef, chicken, fish, eggs, dairy products, wheat, cabbage, beets, beans, spinach, and parsley, but I don't eat meat or dairy and running around town with spinach and beets in my pocket isn't convenient. So, despite the lurid taste of this Sport Protein, I drink mixed with water or almond milk, or blend it with fruit. In fact, I should really have a smoothie now instead of the fresh St Viateur bagel sitting in front of me offering me nothing but two minutes of tasty, glutenous, white flour goodness.

It's now 7 pm. I have to close, because we are having people over for vegan feast, and I still have 36 sun salutations left. (I did 72 in the park this afternoon and Brendan joined me for 27 of them.) Today's Surya Namaskar Recipe is designed specially for Brendan, runners, cyclists and other endurance athletes. It's also good for people who sitting a lot, because the lunges target the hip flexors (groin) and psoas muscle. This is actually a variation of the sivananda sun salutation, but I'll this The Brendan Brazier Salute.

(Note: the photo above, taken by Craig, shows me stretching Brendan's heels to the ground in downward dog. If you are a runner, find a friend who is willing to do this adjustment on you, because it's amazing for stretching the calves and ankles.)

Here's a photo of Brendan (left) and Craig, the love of my life and my personal photographer. :) They were hanging out talking about cameras and software as I continued my second set of 36.

My casual interview with Brendan about his commitment to yoga:

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