402 of 416 people found the following review helpful
The Engine 2 Diet: A Major Gem for Changing your Lifestyle & Getting Healthy,
This review is from: The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds (Hardcover)
In this book review of "The Engine 2 Diet," I'll describe both my experience of the book itself and then my personal experience being on the diet for the past 3 weeks. Rather than call the Engine 2, a "diet," I'd prefer to call it a "lifestyle" with a major focus on dietary change. When you see the word "diet," you may immediately think of giving up quantity and giving up foods you are attached to. This is absolutely not the case with the Engine 2 diet. With this dietary plan, you can eat as much of the foods on the plan as you want to eat (with a few logical exceptions) and the foods you eat will taste wonderful. One thing for sure with this Engine 2 Diet, I always feel satisfied and don't have any cravings for foods---this was completely unexpected and surprising.
The book itself is very easy to read and follow. The book is divided into 3 major sections, (1) His philosophy of the Engine 2 Diet with the author's own story and background; brief citing and review of the medical and research studies documenting the health benefits with this diet; exploration of the myths about food and following a vegan diet; blood markers; and a brief review of exercise benefits and necessity with the diet. (2) How the Diet Works-the 28 day plan easily explained and described; how to seriously and deeply understand labels on all food products (this chapter is outstanding); and overall how to make this diet work to improve your life; (3) Recipes, meal plans, preparing your kitchen before starting the diet and how to shop for specific foods-brands to buy, foods to reject, ingredients to keep on hand, etc.
His reasoning and explanation for the diet are clearly explained. The health benefits are outlined and are numerous. The chapter on how to read labels is outstanding. You learn precisely what ingredients to avoid and how to properly shop for foods. You'll feel smarter than 99% of the population just after memorizing this one chapter. The recipes are easy to prepare, even for a novice cook such as myself. They taste great and are very satisfying. His website is excellent and adds an additional layer of organization to your menu-making and shopping lists.
I have been on this diet for the past 3 weeks and I have never felt better in my life (47 yrs). I started the diet for several personal reasons: (1) My cholesterol has gradually gone up above normal levels over the past 8 years and my physician wanted me to start Statin drugs. This was a major wake-up call because I don't want to be on a drug regimen for something I can control with diet. That's a HUGE POINT with this book---I am taking back control of my body and my health through the most basic empowering action--what foods I eat. The book stresses this aspect, how nutrition is at the root of health and disease. (2) I had gained about 10 lbs and wanted to get rid of excess weight. (3) (He does not discuss this point) I philosophically prefer not to eat animal products due to my love of the animal kingdom and wanting to reduce my energy demands on the environment. (4) I want to prevent the possibility of having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, memory loss, stroke, cancer, etc. as I get deeper into middle age. (5) I want more energy and want to feel better overall. (6) I suffer from some food allergies (including lactose and eggs).
MY EXPERIENCE TO DATE: I love this diet. The recipes are easy to make, and follow. I have not cooked much before this diet, so this statement is coming from a man with little cooking experience. The food tastes great and he has the right seasonings and flavors combined. I NEVER go hungry, I NEVER have cravings, I don't miss the meat, dairy or eggs or oils. I have more variety in my daily menu than I used to have. Even during the first few days, I felt great. My blood sugar feels much more balanced and I don't experience the high and low energy spikes that I used to. I don't crave sugar or more food at night like I used to. I have more mental and physical energy.
I was amazed that I did not need oil to make pancakes and I did not need eggs to make spectacular french toast! I still can't believe how much sodium (salt) is in so many foods and that I don't need it to make the food taste good. I used to add salt to everything...I stopped that cold turkey with the Engine 2 Diet and I don't miss the salt. The reason is that the recipes have many other herbs and spices to take up where the salt was before. The flavors are wonderful. Aside from eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables daily (adding a lot of fiber to the diet), his Lasagna, Pad Thai, Big Bowl breakfast, Black Bean Extravaganza, & Chili are my favorites so far. There are many recipes to choose from, so you won't get bored.
My colon feels a lot cleaner and I feel lighter. I lost 5 lbs. and my entire digestive system runs much better with no distress. In fact, I feel so much better mentally and physically that it is hard to imagine not eating this way. I never expected this to happen. It's phenomenal.
When in the grocery store, I feel really good and knowledgable. I stop and read the labels with much more intelligence. I now understand (due to reading the book) what to avoid and what is healthy. I feel smarter and stronger with my food choices and this affects my attitude about other areas of my life. I'm much more conscious. I feel like I was let out of jail when it comes to eating. This diet makes me feel smarter and freer, another unexpected result. Rather than feel deprived, I feel like I have license to eat whatever I want. I also know that I am eating consciously with awareness and pleasure. My body thanks me all day long.
I thought I'd miss "protein" from animal products----I was quite wrong. I get plenty of protein on this diet from plant sources and grains. Again, all of my preconceived ideas went out the door, once I started this plan. I will find out my cholesterol levels in another week and surely the numbers will improve, thus keeping me away from drug therapy. But, perhaps, more importantly, this diet has changed my life in significant ways, improving my health, well-being, sense of power, strength and probably saving me from having a heart attack, diabetes or stroke later on---as I was certainly heading in that direction. I can't wait to see the reaction from my physician when he sees my improved blood cholesterol levels and I can safely reject taking Statin drugs. Millions of people take Statins for high LDL and total cholesterol levels, when the majority of them could simply change their diet plan and get off the drugs. Knowledge is power.
I really believe that this author has saved my life! This book is a gem and perhaps it will awaken you the way it has for me! Don't hesitate one minute. Read this book and take control of your life where you can really make a difference!
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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2009 6:53:59 AM PDT
V. Sirois says:
Are there other books that you would recommend to follow after this one, that would give more recipes??
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2009 6:53:50 AM PDT
David Goldstein says:
This Engine 2 diet is the first recent book I've studied for being vegan. I agree with you, that it would be nice to have more new recipes and I'm searching for some additional vegan cookbooks with easy recipes that follow this exact philosophy. Since I'm quite a cooking novice, just making the recipes in Engine 2 seems to be enough for me to handle at this point. I need the recipes to be easy and not too complicated. If you find some additional cook books, let me know. Thanks.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2009 5:33:04 PM PDT
P. Katopol says:
There are a lot of vegan cookbooks out there, as well as websites. You might try The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Low-Fat Recipes You Can Prepare in Fifteen Minutes or Less as well as fatfreevegan.com Dr McDougall has been preaching this way of eating for years and is a supporter of the work of Rip Esselstyn's father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn. McDougall has another cookbook, but this is an easy one and good for people who don't feel comfortable yet in the kitchen. Almost all of the ingredients are 'regular' food, unlike many other vegan cookbooks. Be healthy!
Posted on Nov 29, 2011 4:23:12 PM PST
Rachel Himes says:
Dr Neal Barnard and Dr. Furman both endorse a low-fat, whole food, vegan diet. You would find that any of their books will have recipes that are in line with the Fire Engine 2 Diet recommendations. Personally, I love Dr. McDougall just because he is a good presenter and seems like a genuinely caring person. As a cook, I enjoy the wider variety of flavors and textures in Dr. Barnard and Furman's books. There are other great vegan chefs, as well, but not all do whole foods and low fat. The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudeau has the most culiarinary diversity and visual appeal of any that I've seen and she is endorsed on Dr. McDougall's website. You would find her recipes to be uncomplicated, but on the more gourmet end of the food spectrum. Finally, The 20 minute vegan by Mark Reinfeld is also on the gourmet end of the spectrum, but uses a slightly higher amount of fats that could easily be reduced. Hope that helps! I have been researching the benefits of vegetarian/vegan diets for many years now and am currently transitioning my family to a vegetarian diet, moving towards vegan. It's been a challenge, but I'm sure it will pay off in good health.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 8:54:37 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2013 8:58:32 PM PST
Anne T. Gilman says:
If you're looking for recipes more on the simple side, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure has great ones... Mother (Ann Crile Ess.) and son (Rip, Mr. Engine 2) both feature a lot of recipes with a Tex-Mex or Southwestern flavor, as well as other hearty standbys. Several recipes assume you have good access to decent mangoes and such. All the recipes I've tried from them are very do-able.
For lots more, search for the blog by Susan at Fat Free Vegan. Glow or Christina Pirello's other cookbooks also have lots of yummy, approachable vegan recipes, though for a few you'll need to omit the oil.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2013 8:55:08 PM PST
Anne T. Gilman says:
PS to DG, thanks for such a thorough and informative review!
In reply to an earlier post on Apr 22, 2013 8:12:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 22, 2013 8:12:59 AM PDT
Yes. His father is a cardiologist and has a book entitled Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, also see Eat to Live by Dr. Fuhrman and The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook
In reply to an earlier post on Jun 28, 2013 1:00:43 PM PDT
The China Study Cookbook is a good one.
Posted on Dec 4, 2013 7:25:39 PM PST
C. Nelson says:
another good one is "Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast & Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes,
by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. She has a new cookbook out called "Isa Does It," I'm looking forward to reading/getting that one as well.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 9, 2014 11:07:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 9, 2014 11:07:37 AM PST
You do have to be aware that Vegan or Vegetarian in the title does mot mean they are low fat...many were not in the early years...also the amount of soy product in your diet is something to be cautious about. Something the writers of the other books mentioned in the comments section of this review are well aware of, I also would recommend them.