On January 2nd I started the Engine 2 – 7 Day Rescue Challenge . No animal products (yes, I’m still following that eating plan), no oil, no added sugar, no added salt, no processed foods (except for completely compliant stuff), no alcohol. Yes, it is a strict plan, and that’s why it’s called a challenge! After the holidays I was looking for a good kick start for a healthier year of eating. I had gotten sloppy; eating more treats, convenience foods, chips, etc., and was feeling it.
The E27DRC was created by Rip Esselstyn, son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn made his mark on the plant-based universe with How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Forks over Knives, etc.
Rip in his own right is pretty impressive. A former competitive triathlete he ‘s credited with turning a meat eating group of Texas firefighters (Engine 2) into a plant-eating crew with amazing health improvements. Even with his short 7 day plan, there has been great success for many people. They’ve lowered their cholesterol, blood sugar, weight, etc. There’s also a lot of support online through a FB group so if you had questions or need advice there is a huge group you can connect with. And let’s face it, Rip Esselstyn and his family’s enthusiasm for a WFPB diet is infectious!
You can check out the website http://engine2diet.com/ if you’re interested in the whole magilla but here are 3 tips that even an omnivore can implement.
- Eat your greens – Spinach, bok choy, arugula, broccoli, cauliflower, dandelion greens, beet tops, kale, cilantro, etc. These leafy gems provide a ton of benefits; one of them being they help repair the endothelial cells which can lead to better heart health. Aim to eat a handful or two at every meal. Yes, even breakfast. Spinach in your oatmeal with your blueberries? Don’t knock it until you try it. Note – increased greens consumption will help with, um, elimination.
- Eat a wide variety of foods – It’s easy to get stuck in a food rut but it really helps to expand your culinary horizon. If you stick with the same things day in and day out you are missing out on nutritional benefits.
- Don’t drink your calories – Smoothies are popular because they are easy, tasty and provide a quick fill-up. The downside of smoothies is that drinking your calories doesn’t provide the same satiety as eating. Your stomach, in bypassing all of the lovely digestion that is required with whole foods, misses a very important signal that you’re full. Chew on that!
So while you may not feel up to something super strict, it can’t hurt to try and get more quality foods in your belly. #plantstrong
Now go run!