After 6-weeks of being on the Engine 2 eating plan, I finally went to get my blood drawn this morning for the “Final Results Show.” While I won’t know the results for a couple more days, I will say that I’m excited and a tad nervous to see what impact I have made, if any, on my elevated cholesterol levels.
I don’t know if the book was released at the right time for me or the fact that the author is an amazing super-stud triathlete firefighter in Austin, but something resonated with me when I started reading about the book. I went to the doctor in July 2008 and at that time he recommended I do a plant-heavy diet to bring my cholesterol down naturally. He shared his personal story of going plant-based and the dramatic results it had on his health. I remember thinking, “Yeah–ok…whatever…I’m an endurance athlete and this chick needs her meat!” Needless to say, I didn’t make any dramatic changes.
Fast forward to late February when I first started hearing about “The Engine 2 Diet.” My friends Richard and Stephanie were going to try it, lots of Austin friends and athletes were mentioned specifically in the book and it coincided with Lent (which is a time of suffering and giving something up anyways for us Catholic-folk). Like a drug addict who hits rock bottom, I literally had an internal mental and emotional shift that said, “You can do this.” Besides, 90% of the food items and recipes were regular parts of my diet already anyways. I was just going to have to live without dairy and animals.
Aside from a few awkward moments of bringing my own sprouted grain bread to Sullivan’s Steakhouse and packing hummus to the Salt Lick BBQ restaurant, this way of eating has been a piece of cake (pun intended). For whatever reason, it has been easy for me to adhere to where most restrictive eating plans have always been torture. Aside from getting a tad creative at some restaurants, I’m still eating natural nut butters (peanut, sunflowers), fruit, veggies, beans, brown rice, whole grain pastas, lasagnas, hummus, boca burgers, stir-fry, pizzas (no cheese), salads, veggie sushi, etc….There is no skimping on calories!!
My body has never felt “cleaner!” In fact, my friend Lindsey (sorry for calling you out girlfriend) and I joke that it should be called the “Engine Number 2” diet or the “Engine Poo” diet because it really does keep your metabolism going morning, noon and night. We send text messages throughout the day with our daily count! (we’re such ladies) Plus, I’m not experiencing the irrational sugar cravings I used to get after every freaking meal.
My weight and body composition have also changed noticeably, at least to those around me. I’ve dropped 6-8 pounds in 6 weeks (depending on day and time of the month). What I like about that number is the fact that it wasn’t a dramatic weight loss of 20 lbs of water weight. It was a very healthy and recommended 1-1.5 lbs per week of fat.
The rest of the results will speak for themselves when I get the results of the cholesterol test (they said 2-3 days so it will probably be early next week). In the meantime, a lot of people have asked whether or not this is a permanent life change. Who knows, but why not?! It’s not like a crave steaks on a daily basis anyways. While I don’t necessarily want it to inhibit my life or choices when I’m with family and friends, I do want to adopt this style of eating as much as possible for the rest of my life.
However, as I said before, if my cholesterol is still high, I’m hitting the nearest pizza joint and ordering up a stuffed crust, double sausage, meat lovers pie.
P.S. I also had to do a urine sample, but I spared you those photos.