Tag Archives: vegetables
So here’s the skinny on the Engine 2 Diet…
For the best results, GET THE BOOK!!
The diet offers two plant-strong, 28-Day Challenges, the “Fire Cadet” and the “Firefighter.”
The “Firefighter” challenge hits the ground running by eliminating meats, dairy, and processed oils from day one. You live a plant-strong diet from the get-go and start to substitute your old favorite ingredients with whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes which will become your new favorite ingredients.
The “Fire Cadet” challenge is a less rigorous program where you slowly eliminate the three food groups week by week.
WEEK ONE: Challengers remove dairy from their diets. That includes all forms of cow’s milk as well as cheese, which Rip describes as “the greatest source of saturated fat.” Best recommended substitutions are nut milks, (almond, rice, soy, and coconut) hemp milk, and rice milk. If you add nutritional yeast flakes to any dish, there can be a slight resemblance in taste to cheese.
WEEK TWO: It’s time to exclude meats, including fish and and all kinds of seafood. This by far was my hardest exclusion in the entire diet. Animal protein, however good you think it is for you, is the worst kind because of its highly acidic levels and it’s cancer causing traits.
WEEK THREE: The elimination of processed oils, even olive oil, are next. I make sure I talk about olive oil because up until now we have all been told that it’s the source of the least amount of monounsaturated fat. As least the amount is, we have to remember that it is still pure fat! One tablespoon contains 120 calories from fat. Can you imagine how much we actually use in recipes that we make? I know I used to use it as much as I could, why not? It’s olive oil right? Think again!
WEEK FOUR: This week is the time to reflect on everything you’ve given up and understand why it has changed you for the better. This is the transition period where you change from “dietary extravagance to dietary excellence!” This is also the time where you start to see how “plant-strong” you want to be for the rest of your life.
Both these 28-Day challenges are accompanied by plenty of support material online including a 28-Day Meal Plan that literally breaks down each day with a meal guide, recipes, and shopping lists. It’s practically fool proof. Along with all three food groups being eliminated from your diet, you are going to have to stray away from processed foods and products that are high in sodium and added sugar. When shopping you want to look at the ingredient lists for that key word “whole.” Whole wheat, whole oats, whole quinoa, and whole everything. The less processed the better!
Like I have been constantly stating, THIS IS NOT A WEIGHT LOSS diet, at least primarily. Will you lose weight? Of course you will but this diet doesn’t target weight loss initially. It targets lowering your cholesterol levels and reducing your chances for heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. So you have to exercise in order to see the best results. Just like my pediatrician always told me, “EXERCISE, EXERCISE, EXERCISE!” Whether its a daily walking regimen in the morning and a brisk walk in the afternoon or a yoga session and a Zumba workout at your local gym. Supplement this diet with physical activity.
Now I know that in order to really survive this challenge or live this lifestyle you are going to have to rely on cooking for yourself a lot more. Was it hard for me? Of course not but it was still challenging and time consuming for me. But in order to see the best results, we really need to try. The book includes 100+ plant-strong recipes that are all delicious and especially easy. There are plenty of other plant-based cookbooks out there but just be mindful of everything you are to eliminate and watch out for. I have plenty of recipes I developed myself that I’ll be posting so keep posted with my blog if you so dare.
Lastly, FIND A PARTNER OR SUPPORT GROUP! If you want to make it easier on yourself, try your best in finding a partner to take on this challenge. Trust me, it’s hard enough to do it with 20 other team members at my Whole Foods Market, I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do it alone. You need someone to help you destroy those cravings as well as give each other uplifting support. If you need one, I am here for you. I’m only a click away on FACEBOOK or a tweet away on TWITTER or comment me here on my blog. I can provide you with recipes, cooking tips, advice, and even motivational talks if you need. I know how much support from family and friends help so if I can be any of that, I wouldn’t mind a bit. This is how much I believe in this diet.
Recommended reading: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole by Drs. Matthew Lederman & Alona Pulde, and the movie Forks Over Knives (available on Netflix)
Tags: challenge, cholesterol, diet, eat, engine 2 diet, exercise, fat, firefighter, fruits, grains, HDL, Healthy eating, heart disease high blood pressure, LDL, legumes, plant based, skinny, vegetables, weight loss, whole, whole foods
So it’s been thirty days since the new year has come upon us again. We all decided to start that resolution to change our lives. How has it been? Did we even start? Have we jumped off already? Do we feel like it was too ridiculous of a resolution to keep on going? Well I’m hoping you all are on top of your resolutions or at least started them.
For two and a half weeks after Christmas, I was in NY/NJ enjoying a vacation with my daughter. Other than sightseeing and enjoying time with family, my most favorite thing to do on vacation is eat! Who doesn’t love to eat? Well, knowing that in a few weeks I’d be on a very rigorous and strict diet, I thought why not indulge? Well indulge did I do! Authentic pizzerias, traditional Filipino food, diners, fried foods, and White Castle were on my list to enjoy while on vacation. Hey, they were all foods I missed living out in Las Vegas and all food I’ll most likely miss once I start my diet. Mind you, two months prior were the holidays, so I definitely have had my share of calorie-filled foods and a diet was what was inevitable.
So on the 16th of this month, I began my Engine 2 Diet from author and firefighter, Rip Esselstyn. Rip is the son of the highly acclaimed, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, a pioneer in heart disease prevention as well as an advocate for a whole food, plant-based diet. Well, I jumped into the Firefighter 28-Day challenge where I eliminated meats (animal protein), dairy, cheese, and processed oils from day one. I thought, “If I’m going to be extreme, I might as well jump in head first!” Well, along with about twenty team members and a handful of customers at the Whole Foods Market in Henderson, NV, we started this challenge head-strong. Everything, burgers, pizza, sushi, traditional pasta, traditional salad dressings, and all I loved to eat and cook was out the door.
Now, up until now, I read the books, watched the documentaries, and understood the lifestyle. I knew what I was getting myself into. But do we really know what we get ourselves into until our lives were immersed in it? So needless to say, it’s been a hard two weeks. I have had major cravings, feelings of hunger, and just frustration with it all. But that’s what a “challenge” is, isn’t it? Hard, frustrating at times, maybe even…challenging? Haha! However hard it has been, I’ve been moving forward head-strong and living it up. Whole grain everything, oil-less vinaigrettes and “stir-frys,” large salads filled with green leafy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains, Rip’s Big Bowls in the morning and baked tofu and vegetable sandwiches for lunch, I do it all!
Diet is defined as the sum of food consumed by an organism.
Now like I’ve been telling everyone, this is NOT a weight-loss diet. This is a heart-healthy, disease-preventing, and cholesterol-lowering diet. It’s a whole foods, plant-strong diet that changes your lifestyle for the better. Will you see a dramatic weight-loss while on this diet? Well if you incorporate active daily workouts, of course you will. But it’s needs to be supplemental to what you eat. You need to add both activity and plant-based food in order to see the best results from the Engine 2 Diet. My next question going through my mind was “Is this really working FOR ME?”
On day ten of this challenge, I decided to take a simple cholesterol and triglyceride blood test because I haven’t done so yet. In order to see the best results from this diet, it’s all in the blood! After a 6-hour fast (and a Sonic dinner the night before), I took my test. I felt that let me try and produce a horrible test so at least I’ll definitely see how good this diet can be. Being that it has only been ten days on this challenge I didn’t expect much. Well was I wrong! I won’t share the exact results but let me put it this way, never, in my wildest imaginations would I ever think my total cholesterol would be that astonishingly healthy. In less than two weeks? No! Remember, I ate all that crap in NY/NJ before hand and I had all the turkey, prime rib, sides, and desserts during the holidays. Other than me having to work on my triglycerides and HDL, it was still at a “average” rating. It was minimal work that I had to do in order to get those two scores better. Now I won’t share the results with you, I just want you to believe me. This darn diet WORKS!
I am currently at 244 pounds (6 pounds lost since the 16th) I am clinically obese, have a BMI that would have doctors worried, and have a family history of Type 2 Diabetes. I am definitely unhealthy and need a change. I will have to advocate that THIS IS THE CHANGE I NEED! And if these results are what I am looking forward to at the end of this, maybe even for the rest of my life, why not? I can’t wait to share my final results with you all. I’m excited to know that you will all be shocked. If you’re interested in this diet and all the results that a whole food, plant-based diet has to offer, contact me. I can provide you will all the materials to better inform you and hopefully change your life. It has changed mine for sure!
Tags: caldwell Esselstyn, cancer, cholesterol, diabetes, diet, disease, engine 2 diet, exercise, food, fruits, HDL, healthy, Healthy eating, heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, LDL, oil-free, plant based, plant strong, resolution, rip Esselstyn, vegetables, weight loss, whole foods market
A friend is in a weight-loss challenge at work similar to the “Biggest Loser.” He asked me what is the best way to suppress those unwanted mini cravings between meals.
In reality, having cravings are our body’s way of notifying us that our body needs more energy[calories] to keep going. This is where hunger and appetite differ. Hunger is the NEED to eat and an appetite is the WANT to eat. We are the only one in control of our cravings and we need to figure out whether we are hungry or have an appetite. So realistically, we need to take our mini-in-between-meal-cravings as a sign of hunger and that our body needs a little more energy to move on.
We need food[calories] in order to properly function every single day. When I say function, I mean walking, thinking, tweeting, facebook-ing, exercising, digesting, metabolizing, shopping, sleeping, texting…basically everything that our body does while we are awake or asleep!
An apple, bananas with fresh peanut butter, ‘power’ bar, green veg & fruit smoothie, or yogurt and granola, whatever small snack you want to have, make it as fat-free as possible. Remember, it’s just to get you by until your next full meal! But, I HAVE A BETTER SOLUTION! If you up your fiber with green-leafy vegetables with all your three meals in the day, I promise you no mid-meal cravings.
It’s as simple as this: take your (preferably circular) plate, draw 3 imaginary slices of pizza. Make one slice about 60% of the circle, and divide the other half into 2 slices. (20%/20%.) Now take your 2-20% slices and fill it with a protein and a grain.Then, take your 60% slice and fill with a mixture of leafy-greens and other vegetables. Make a delicious, colorful salad with kale, chard, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli. The more raw it is, the better for your body[digestion]!
When you transform your meal to have at least 60%, raw andleafy vegetables, you will increase your body’s intake of fiber and nutrients, as well as decrease your mid-meal cravings. Likewise, increasing your fiber and nutrients will aid in your healthy metabolizing, digesting, and eventually, weight-loss!