The Engine 2 Blog

Tony Gonzalez. Plant-strong NFL All-Star.

Tony Gonzalez, the all-star tight end for the Atlanta Falcones, attributes his superior performance at the ripe old NFL age of 33 to his plant-strong diet.

Plant-powered NFL tight end, Tony Gonzalez

Plant-powered NFL tight end, Tony Gonzalez

Check out this article that was in USA today:

Run, Greg, Run!!!!

Here is a big E2 shout out to plant-strong athlete, Greg, from Stow, Ohio. Greg decided to transition to a plant-based diet to give him the edge with his ultra-endurance 100 MILE runs with wonderful success. Way to go, Greg!!!

Taking it to the next stratosphere!!!!

Taking it to the next stratosphere!!!!


I just wanted to pass along how effective the Engine 2 Diet has been for me. I am an endurance athlete who after coming off what I felt was a poor performance at the Boston Marathon this past April. I began training for an ultramarathon in North East Ohio called the Burning River 100. The race is a 100 mile trail race which takes you from Cleveland to Akron. The diet became an very important part of my training. I am happy to say I was able to get in the best shape and feeling the best I have in a long time. Along the way, I set some new records for myself and won my age group in several trail races and marathons along the way. When BR100 came, I was not only able to complete it, I was able to break 24 hours on my very first attempt.

I really feel my diet has been a huge factor in holding back my potential as an athlete. I am hooked and very happy to be “plant strong.”

Thanks again,
Greg D
Stow, Ohio

A Firefighter Success Story from Detroit!!

My firefighting helmet goes off to Gene Butcher of Detroit, Michigan for taking control of his health and saving his own life without a pick-head ax or the jaws of life but with a spoon and a fork. These were the only tools necessary to reverse his high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity. More effective than a pill or a procedure eating a plant strong diet is the holy grail when it comes to true health and wellness. Thank you, Gene for sharing your inspirational story with the Engine 2 community.




My name is Gene Butcher and I am a professional Firefighter in Michigan and I started the E-2 Diet on April 19, 2009. Below is a small story I wrote for a online cycling website and it outlines my success and continuing work on getting back in shape and getting healthy. I was told in January of 2009 that if I wanted to live to see 40 I needed to change the way I ate and I needed to start taking care of myself. Petrified at the possibility of only living 5 more years and leaving a wife and two small kids behind I switched to the E-2 diet after much research. It has been the best experience I have ever had with a diet or as I like to call it “A Lifestyle Change” I also have started a blog telling the story of my weight loss and struggles. I call it “100 Pounds Ago”.

And There the Bikes Hung  By Gene Butcher

There they hung, on the wall of the garage like some form of carbon fiber and aluminum art. Two bikes covered in the dust and grime as a result of years of neglect. I would look in the mirror at myself and see that I too was a victim of neglect, and it was all my own doing.

I was 34 when the doctor let escape from his mouth that on top of my laundry list of physical ailments I can now add Type 2 Diabetes. I took two different medications for high blood pressure, one for high cholesterol, two for a heart rhythm abnormality and now two more for diabetes. I was a train wreck of a person. One-hundred pounds overweight, a growing list of medical conditions, and a two pack a day smoker…..all at the young age of 34.

I set a goal in April shortly after my 35th birthday-a goal that my doctors scoffed at and one even laughed at. The goal was simple: lose 100 pounds and get off all medication by July of 2009. The two pieces of art came off of the garage wall and were attacked with tools to get them in riding order. I started-slow at first and short distances-and even riding 2 miles my lungs burned and my legs throbbed. I quit smoking cold turkey after day one of riding and have not touched a cigarette since. I pushed on and kept increasing the distance. I would only ride at night because I was sure people would laugh and point if they saw a man as large as I riding a bike. The distances increased daily and my endurance rose by leaps and bounds. Ten pounds, then 20, then 30… I completely changed my diet to strict vegetarian… 40 pounds, then 50. I rode daily like it was a religious obligation through blinding rain and cold I had to ride.

The first medications to go were those taken for high blood pressure. Then went the medications I took for diabetes. The thinner me no longer suffered from the disease of diabetes and it was like someone had unshackled me from a weight. After an EKG and some testing they found that my heart no longer required the medication to stabilize its rhythm, so I was able to cast aside the heart meds. The last to go was the medication for cholesterol- that disappeared from my medicine cabinet once I lost 65 pounds.

My goal was to lose 100 pounds and be off all of the medication by July. Part one of the goal is complete. I am off all of the medication I once took. Part two is coming along like I could only dream it would. Pound after pound lost somewhere on the roads and trails of where I ride, on bikes that may not be as fancy as those ridden by others. Only 35 more pounds to go!

The reaction from family, friends, and my cohorts at the fire department have been supportive if not curious. I was until April a self proclaimed “Meatatarian” which meant I took great pride in eating only meat and would loudly proclaim that the cow or pig I was eating ate plenty of veggies, so I was eating veggies by proxy. Strange how a trip to the doctor the threat of certain death and a handful of pills to combat medical issues can change your outlook on your diet and life in general.

My wife has been incredibly supportive, like she is in all aspects of my life she read the book as well and was quite shocked when I initially announced I was switching to a Vegan diet. The initial shock wore off quickly as she stepped in helping me plan menues and making shopping lists. You want to talk about an award winnning Fire Fighters wife….she takes the prize in that competition. The guys at work gave me a lot of really odd looks and followed with a lot of questions about it and when the results started to show I believe all doubts were put to bed. The rest of my family has been very accepting though which is a huge help especially when you show up to a family function and have concerns about what, if anything, you will be able to eat when your there only to find out they have gone out of their way to prepare a veggie tray or some nice veggie burgers.


More bad news about processed meats

This was on ABC’s Good Morning America today.


Click here to see the piece and read the article:

High fat meals burden the brain and muscles

More evidence that high fat foods impair cognitive function as well as physical performance. Everyone who wants to be the best you can be, take notice!!

It’s already known that long-term consumption of a high-fat diet is associated with weight gain, heart disease and declines in cognitive function. But the new research shows how indulging in fatty foods over the course of a few days can affect the brain and body long before the extra pounds show up.

To determine the effect of a fatty diet on memory and muscle performance, researchers studied 32 rats that were fed low-fat rat chow and trained for two months to complete a challenging maze. The maze included eight different paths that ended with a treat of sweetened condensed milk. The goal was for the rat to find each treat without doubling back into a corridor where it had already been. The maze was wiped down with alcohol, so the rat had to rely on memory rather than sense of smell.

All of the rats studied had mastered the maze, finding at least six or seven of the eight treats before making a mistake. Some rats even found all eight on the first try.

Then half the rats were switched to high-fat rat chow (comprised of 55 percent fat), while the remaining rats stayed on their regular chow (which had 7.5 percent fat). After four days, the rats eating the fatty chow began to falter on the maze test — all of them did worse than when they were on their regular chow. On average, the rats on the fatty diet found only five treats before making a mistake. The rats who stayed with their regular food continued the same high level of performance on the maze, finding six or more treats before making a mistake.

Click here for the whole article: Well: Fatty Foods Affect Memory and Exercise

Engine 2 Success Story from Virginia (Part I)

Here's a big E2 shout out to Jena from Virginia. She is an Engine 2 all-star
and decided she deserved to be healthy and went for E2 gold.
Way to go, Jena!!!

Don't ever lose faith, Jena!!!

Don't ever lose faith, Jena!!!


I hope you never get tired of people telling you how much this book
and way of eating has helped them. I'm almost 51 years old and
struggling with weight and other health issues. I'd lose a few pounds
and then binge eat like a banshee and put back more then I lost. When
my doctor checked my cholesterol on 5/15/09 it had skyrocketed and
she insisted I take a statin drug. I have been resisting taking
statins for years but this last test scared me a little. These
numbers along with my heart palpitations, heartburn, and pain I knew
I had to finally do something.

I found out about your book. On memorial day I decided to give the 28
days a chance. The first week I was so tired I just wanted to sleep.
I chalked this up to my body rebooting itself or something. After the
first week my energy came back and my heartburn went away. It hasn't
returned. The pain in my chest and the heart palpitations have also
gone over the course of the 28 days. On the morning of my 29th day I
stepped on the scale and weighed 184.0. This was an 11.4 pound loss
from my starting weight of 195.4. Then I went to get my fasting lab
work done. When I got the results back it showed my cholesterol down
from 280 to 194, TRIG down from 143 to 108, HDL down from 45.2 to
33.0, LDL down from 206.2 to 139.4. All this was with hardly any
exercise. I now plan to step up the exercise to bring that HDL up and
help get the weight off. I still have 45 to 50 pounds to lose and
want to bring my cholesterol even lower. My doctor thinks I did this
with statins. I will see her in person in August and show her what I
really took, my food!!! With continued help from your book and your
father's book I look forward to my numbers being lower still by
August. I'm even planning on giving her a copy of each book at that time.

I'm so pleased with these results and never felt deprived at all. I
ate what I wanted when I wanted (E2 approved only of course). I
enjoyed eating muffins and pancakes and even cookies. The New York
Times Veggie Burger became a common lunch item. I would make them up
on the weekends and during the week heat them up on the grill. With
some salsa and lettuce on an Ezekiel bun it was a fast and delicious
meal. The pasta primavera sauce was another favorite meal with
different whole grain pastas. I personally stayed away from all nuts
and tried to get greens in every day. I also only used original oat
milk. Breakfast was always quick cooking oats mixed with oat bran.
Instead of ending a "diet" with wanting to binge on all the forbidden
foods, this time I feel so satisfied I have no plans to stop eating
this way. I no longer have the terrible cravings for sweets like I
used to. I can't thank you enough for showing me this wonderful way to be.

Jena Helfrick
Afton, VA



The smoking gun!

Guilty as charged!!

Don't shoot yourself in the heart. Stop eating meat!!

Don't shoot yourself in the heart. Stop eating meat!!

Engine 2 All-Star Success Story

I receive many wonderful emails everyday from people who are doing the Engine 2 Diet and winning and succeeding in a big, big way!! Here is an email I recently received from a fellow firefighting brother in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Rip. . .
Greetings, brother, from a fellow IAFF member and Local 644 Vice-President!! I started the Engine2Diet after my wife sent me a link to The Huffington Post in regards to a story about you and what you were accomplishing with the program. The first thing I did was order the book and read it from cover to cover. Then I jumped in 100% committed and went “all in” and full bore on the program. I started the E2Diet on March 21, and I gave up EVERYTHING - I swore off caffeine, sugar, processed flour, oils, soda, alcohol, etc…and promised myself I would not cheat or cave for at least 28 days. It was hard and the first three days of caffeine withdrawal headaches were brutal, but as I said, I didn’t cave in! 31 days later I was able to get in to my doctor for blood work and cholesterol check on April 22, ‘09. My amazing results are as follows:
Cholesterol before E2Diet 191  After 31 days on E2Diet 121
Triglycerides before E2     105 After, 99
LDL before E2                  124 After, 63
HDL before E2                  46 After, 38
Total weight lost, 13lbs Age 42
My doctor was amazed and I told him all about your book and the program, as well as the website. I happened to be the person who won the first ever Engine2Diet trivia contest on Twitter (screen name FyrCapt) and I now carry my food to the station in my two bright red E2Diet grocery bags!! My department has 280 members in Lincoln, NE and most of them know my results and what I’ve been doing on the program. When I got my cholesterol results back I posted them to my Facebook status and turned even more heads!
Keep up the good work; you’ve changed the lives of many people, including mine. Thanks for taking the time to read my results and shout out some encouragement to me - I appreciate it! I’ve been a practicing martial artist for 25yrs and this has given me a renewed sense of energy while training and continuing on the path. Take care and stay safe - see you at the big one!!
Brian Giles