Today is the 28th day of our 28 day Engine 2 Diet. The Engine 2 is an all plant based, no oil, low sodium and low sugar lifestyle change that has been shown to unleash your inner god/goddess while arresting, reversing and removing heart disease, diabetes and high cholesterol. It has also been shown to amplify good cholesterol, help you get to and maintain a healthy weight and leave you energized like a famous bunny. Sounds great to me.
Since there were two of us in the same house on the E2, I thought it would be fun if both Sandy and I shared our thoughts about the 28 day experience on the E2.
Sandy’s E2 Experience:
I can’t believe it has already been 4 weeks of eating this lovely and abundant whole foods based diet. This is more rewarding than I would have imagined when we started. Admittedly, it has been a challenge to balance time in the kitchen, cooking and cleaning every day, but it is getting easier to do as we learn shortcuts for preparing extras and freezing them, what “quick” snacks to have on hand and the basics that we always want to have in arm’s length. This investment in cooking for health is a choice that I want to make for the rest of my life.
This seems hard to imagine, but I have never felt so good in my own body. Weight is coming off of me, without that being a focal point and I am eating more quantities of food than ever. The difference is that all the food we are consuming is being used by our bodies. I have more energy consistently throughout the day. The mid-afternoon munchies and subsequent naptime desire of old are gone. My energy is more sustained and after eating meals, I never have that “bloated” feeling, even after eating pasta. I think I’ve come to the conclusion that pasta isn’t what grows in your stomach as I’ve always thought, I think it really is the butter, cheese, salt and oil that creates that bloating feeling.
I’m finding that Rip’s recipes are sensational and am having fun toying with them a bit and making some of them our own. His book has opened new doors to preparing the most flavorful foods without using things that have always been staples in my own cooking…some sort of oil (preferably olive), salt (never a lot, but I was consuming more than a healthy amount every day without realizing it), processed foods and added sugars. In some capacity, I typically reached for processed foods each day for at least one meal or more without even being aware of it. Now, I am using them far more sparingly in my cooking, maybe once or twice a week.
The truth is that I want to share this new found passion for healthy, whole foods style cooking with everyone I know and love. I feel vibrant. My skin is softer and glowing, my clothes are fitting better, I have sustainable energy and I feel “cleaner” if that is a description that makes any sense at all for the inside of my body. I look forward to us having our weight and blood work tested again to share quantifiable results with you. For now, I’m speaking from my heart, I FEEL so much better eating this way. Thank you Rip for continuing to inspire us on this adventure in eating plant-strong.
My E2 Experience:
The evening we went grocery shopping to stock our pantry for the Engine 2 plan I almost burst into tears in Whole Foods. The entire experience felt overwhelming and limiting. How can I live without store bought hummus when I enjoy it everyday? I stood in the aisle and silently thought, “I can’t possibly add sodium and oil to the mounting list of must-not-haves on my food labels.” It is too much. No one we know will ever have us over for dinner again because we will be weirdos that don’t drink, eat meat, dairy, oil, sugar, sodium…..oh my god what will we eat and who will love us? We finally left Whole Foods and I was relieved to be safe in the KIA speeding down the expressway. I felt the excitement of having a car full of whole grain, no oil, super foods but I also felt a bit intimidated. I wanted to be successful at the Engine 2 Diet but I was not confident that I could release my desire for store bought things that make my life seem fun, delicious and easier.
We gave ourselves a hybrid period to eat the more processed vegan foods out of the house and I found myself buying more out of fear of going without. I was like, “Sandy, just one more hummus. Just one more box of Triscuits.” I was acting like an addict and I think that may have been partly true. Your body does become addicted to fats and sodium and craves more. If you had the opportunity to see Supersize Me you will remember that Morgan became addicted to the fats, sugars and sodium that he was consuming en masse and experienced painful symptoms of withdrawal without them.
So today marks the 28th day of the 28 Day Engine 2 Diet. I don’t know how to say this without the drama, but I am forever changed and will not ever look back. I felt the first changes in my body immediately. My insides felt clean and vibrant. My energy shifted in a way that it had not, even when we went vegan. I kept waiting for the sustained energy that all vegans had referred to and it didn’t come until the Engine 2. Over the past 28 days, I have enjoyed a level of energy that has lasted all day long without the ebb and flow, even in the afternoon. The foods that we have been eating have been loving us back. They have been easy to prepare and inexpensive because they aren’t processed. I have eaten more food in the past 28 days than I have ever consumed and I have not only lost weight, but have never again experienced that overly full, bloated, icky, Thanksgiving-esque feeling of eating foods that are high in fat or sodium.
I had no idea that even though I was already eating vegan that I could just change a few more things and feel exceptional. I have never felt like this before. I have never felt this close to complete balance with my body as I do now. It has been easier than I had expected and in an amazingly short amount of time, the additional label reading has become inherent. We were reading them anyway, now we are just looking for sodium and oil. The things I thought I would miss in the past 28 days were quickly replaced with fresher, livelier foods that I now couldn’t imagine living without.
The 28 days have come and gone and I feel like I have just begun living the life I was meant to live. I know…it sounds like a bit much, advocating so strongly for kale and quinoa but I am not kidding, I have never felt like this and I can not believe how easy it is to feel amazing and have abundant health if we would only give it a chance. The 28 days was such a small admission fee for looking and feeling amazing beyond what I could have ever imagined for myself. What do you have to lose but a few inches of your waistline and maybe 80 or so points of cholesterol? We are going to have our levels rechecked in about two weeks and I cannot wait to see the results. In the meantime, we will continue to share more E2 recipes and adventures and I implore you to consider trying the 28 days for yourself, for your health and for your family. You deserve abundant health and the opportunity to enjoy everyday single day of your life feeling energized and healthful. We have the opportunity to change our lives through our food choices alone and I think that we owe it to ourselves to try.
Have a delicious day.
Tags: compassionate eating, dairy free, E2 Diet, Engine 2 Diet, going veg, plant based diet, plant strong, Rip Esselstyn, trying vegan, trying vegetarian, vegan, vegan challenge, vegan experience, vegan wannabe, vegetarian transition