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The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds Hardcover – February 25, 2009
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About the Author
Born in upstate New York, Rip Esselstyn grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and studied speech communciations at the University of Texas, Austin, where he was an All-American swimmer. After spending 10 years as a professional triathlete, Rip joined the Austin fire department in 1997. He now travels year-round lecturing and giving seminars on the Engine 2 lifestyle. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Engine 2 Diet. Visit his website at www.engine2diet.com.
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I found and read Rip's father's book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, and LOVED the information and the strait to the point "what" and "why" of a vegan, no-oil life style. Though I couldn't imagine life without cheese and milk products, I understood that if I was going to change my fate, something this "drastic" was required. So, I adopted the diet based on the information available in his father's book and began to see DRAMATIC results about 2 weeks into the diet. After 60 days, I lost 24 pounds. But it wasn't about the weight loss for me. While the compliments are wonderful on my new appearance and it's exciting to be 2 sizes smaller, the real changes (I hoped) were happening on the inside. Today, I got confirmation from my doctor that my total cholesterol has dropped from 188 to 119 and my LDL from 119 to 56. Nope, not a typo... 56!! Dr. Esselstyn's diet has turned out to be a godsend.
You're probably thinking: what does this have to do with The Engine 2 Diet?
Confession: If you're considering changing your health like I did, I will and must admit to being a little frustrated... Initially. Having lived my entire life eating a lighter version of the Western Diet: fruits or veggies at every meal, minimal red meats, heavy on the grilled chicken, turkey and fish, low sodium and low fat milk, cheeses and ice cream (remember, CV disease is a family way of life) I didn't have a large understanding of the variety available in a plant based diet and how the heck to prepare these items, let alone make them taste GOOD. Tho there are a few excellent resources full of recipes and how to cook and bake for vegans online, there were always the questions in my mind: "How do I do this without the oil?" and "Will this even turn out right without the oil?" So I found myself in a "safe rut" with few and limited players on my plate and in my bowl that tasted good and were diet allowed. Boring! The Engine 2 Diet has served to shed light on all my gray areas of understanding and has put variety back into my life. This book is a MUST for your new lifestyle. Rip explains a lot of the new foods and terminology you'll encounter and he tells you how to prepare them, too. I struggled in the early days (and still do sometimes) trying to figure out what's OK to include or skip. Rip put's it here in black and white. I keep this book on my phone as a resource when shopping or cooking and it's made things so much easier. So, so much easier. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK.
Words of Encouragement:
Reading Labels Sucks. But it is a necessary evil. And yes, even a single drop off oil is a drop too much. So many things contain oil... Especially the ones that are supposed to be "good" oils (olive, canola, soy...) Hang in there. It gets easier and subsequent trips to the grocery store gets easier as you learn your safe labels. Don't worry about not getting enough fats in your diet. Plants and grains contain plenty in their "natural" packaging.
Don't Skimp on High Protein Veggies, Grains and Beans. This is easy to do especially if you have a busy lifestyle. Grabbing a quick piece of fruit and coffee for breakfast for instance, IS diet friendly, but you just fasted for 6-8 hours while you slept. Sure you'll lose weight, sure you're cholesterol will drop... BUT you run the risk of increasing your triglycerides with your carb only intake. Increased triglycerides can lead to diabetes. Better to eat some cereal or oatmeal with that fruit. I use a disposable bowl for oatmeal to eat at red lights when I'm in a real hurry. Thankfully, this isn't too often.
This is a really great book. It could possibly even be life changing for some looking for better health. I was already eating a plant based diet when I read it, but it is filled with useful recipes, even for those already familiar with the lifestyle. He shares some very interesting stories and information throughout the book. He advocates for eating a whole foods, plant based lifestyle; in addition, without any added oils. It has many of his favorite recipes, and they really are quite tasty. I think it is a wonderful book and would recommend it to everyone.
I would like to share a little about what eating this way has done for my family. My husbands total cholesterol went from 289 to 168, with no medication! He went from 215 pounds to 165 pounds! A size 34 waist to 32 waist. His diverticulitis seems to be in remission, having no episodes, in years. His once high blood pressure is now normal. He is now training for his first Full Ironman, this August! Talk about amazing!
I have taken off 15 pounds and not gained it back, in the past 6 years! My blood pressure and cholesterol have never been high, so I can't say eating this way changed that. I have done a marathon, as a vegan, and taken 17 minutes off my previous time, when I ate the Standard American Diet, even though I was 3 years older! I feel great eating this way.
I would love to tell you changing your diet is easy, but it will take determination and perseverance. If you slip, don't give up, just do better the next day, or next meal. You will see results, with time. You're worth it and reading this book may be just the start, or inspiration, to continue, that you need.