Posts Tagged ‘engine 2 diet’

Sam I am. Sam I am. Do I like greens and beans? Yes I do!!!

Monday, June 29th, 2009

Here is a huge Engine 2 shout out to Sam who went on a cruise and lost 13 pounds!!! He is an inspiration and is living proof that you can take a cruise and get healthier and lose weight while living the life of luxury. Thanks, Sam for sharing your E2 story!!!!

Sam went on a cruise and lost 12 pounds!!!!

Sam went on a cruise and lost 13 pounds!!!!


Thanks for the awesome book. While I’ve always heard you shouldn’t eat this or that, and totally understood why, no one ever gave a GREAT “do this and eat this” option. It was always “just don’t eat the bad stuff!” So besides the great science and suggestions you shared, your menu options and grocery list IS THE STUFF! Seeing that, had me sold and I jumped on board “cold turkey” (or cold asparagus if you rather)!

So the real kicker is this…I downloaded your book to my eBook before jumping a flight to Europe for a 10 day cruise. You know, one of those “I don’t know how I put on 20lbs in 2 weeks?” cruises! So instead I ordered and ate as directed, had a fantastic cruise and in 10 days dropped 13 pounds and feel like a million bucks. A funny note there, when I landed in Barcelona I went for my, what’s become my normal laboring 3 mile run…after the cruise and 10 days and losing 13 pounds, I did the same run and felt like a whole new person! (Duh I’m not carrying what’s equal too a backpack filled with 13 steaks on my back!)

I’ve got 1 more week to go, and then will definitely keep up most of the practices…with the exception of an ice cream splurge when necessary! :)

Interesting note….besides the cholesterol drop, I wouldn’t consider it a weight loss diet, but rather a weight normalization diet. After my 13 lbs. which took me to my normal weight I had been for years, there has been no more loss. It is the correct weight for my height and age. Obviously I didn’t have that much to lose weight-wise but for some this diet could be shocking! (in a good way)

All the best….GO GREEN!
Sam Stanton

What is the REAL skinny on cholesterol lowering drugs?

Monday, June 22nd, 2009

This article is from the Whitaker Wellness Institute newsletter. I like the whole article but especially  how Dr. Julian Whitaker explains the ACTUAL statistics on the benefits of statins. It’s called “number needed to treat,” or NNT, and it explains the number of patients who would need to be treated with a medical therapy in order to prevent one bad outcome. This is must reading for all those taking statins or thinking about taking statins. 

Our Cholesterol Obsession
Our obsession with cholesterol began in the 1950s when studies linked high consumption of animal fat with high rates of heart disease. This opened the door for clinical trials that laid the foundation of a new paradigm: the cholesterol theory of 
cardiovascular disease.

This theory has had profound ramifications. It changed the way we eat (fats bad, carbohydrates good) and contributed to our problems with obesity and diabetes. It wormed its way into clinical practice guidelines–cholesterol management has become a “standard of care” that doctors are expected to follow. It spawned the invasive heart surgery industry, based on the presumption that cholesterol-laden blockages must be bypassed or propped open. And it led to the creation of the best-selling class of medications in history: cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which generate more than $15 billion in worldwide sales every year.

But it’s all a house of cards. No matter what you’ve been led to believe, a high cholesterol level is not a reliable sign of an impending heart attack. In fact, growing numbers of experts question whether cholesterol matters at all. As for statin drugs, for most of the 40 million Americans recommended to take them for the rest of their lives, they’re an ineffective, expensive, side effect–riddled fraud.

Statin-Free Zone
When a patient taking Lipitor, Zocor, or another statin drug comes to
Whitaker Wellness, we discontinue it at once. “But my cholesterol level is 240.” “My doctor told me I’ll have a heart attack if I don’t take this drug.” “My father died of heart disease, so I have to take it.” I’ve heard all these justifications and more, and I still recommend that my patients get off statins. Here’s why.

First, they’re not very effective. These drugs do lower cholesterol, but so what? We’re not treating lab numbers. We’re treating patients, and the ultimate goal in cholesterol management is to reduce risk of cardiovascular disease. Except for a very limited number of people, there is absolutely no evidence that statins protect against heart attack or premature death.

Are you over age 65? Not a single study suggests you’ll receive any benefits, even if your cholesterol goes down substantially. A woman of any age? Same story. A man younger than 65 who has never had a heart attack? Ditto, no help at all. For middle-aged men who have had a heart attack, statins may lower risk of a repeat heart attack, but that’s the extent of it.

I know this is hard to buy in light of the multiple drug advertisements and glowing endorsements from doctors. But keep in mind that pharmaceutical companies do a superb job of pulling the wool over the eyes of consumers and physicians alike by withholding unfavorable study results and making false, misleading, and often deceptive claims.

A Statistic We Can Understand
That’s why I want to step around confusing statistics and tell you about an easy-to-understand measure that you’ll never hear about in drug ads. It’s called “number needed to treat,” or NNT, and it describes the number of patients who would need to be treated with a medical therapy in order to prevent one bad outcome.

Lipitor ads claim that it reduces risk of heart attack by 36 percent. Sounds pretty good until you look at the fine print, do the math, and figure out that the drug’s NNT is 100. This means that 100 people must be treated with Lipitor in order for just one heart attack to be prevented. The other 99 people taking the drug receive no benefit.

To put this into perspective, the NNT of antibiotics for treating H. pylori, the underlying cause of stomach ulcers, is 1.1. These drugs knock out the bacteria in 10 out of 11 people who take it, making them a reliable, cost-effective therapy. At the other end of the spectrum are statins, which as a class have an NNT of 100, 250, 500, or higher depending on the study you look at. What a deal for drugs that can cost more than a thousand bucks a year and are almost guaranteed to cause problems.

Goodbye Drugs, So Long Symptoms
Statins lower cholesterol by suppressing the activity of an enzyme in the liver involved in the production of cholesterol. But this enzyme has multiple functions, including the synthesis of coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a key player in the metabolic processes that energize our cells. No wonder statin users often suffer from fatigue, muscle pain and weakness, and even heart failure–the cells are simply running out of juice.

The second most frequent adverse effects of statins are problems with memory, mood, suicidal behavior, and neurological issues. Other common complaints include sexual dysfunction, and liver and digestive problems. Symptoms range from minor (achiness, forgetfulness) to serious (complete but temporary amnesia, permanent memory loss) to lethal (congestive heart failure, rhabdomyolysis or complete muscle breakdown). One statin drug, Baycol, was taken off the market a few years ago after it caused dozens of deaths from rhabdomyolysis. Several studies have also linked statin drugs with an increased risk of cancer.

Because physicians rarely warn of these side effects, few patients suspect their drugs may be the reason they begin feeling bad–and it’s often a revelation when they put two and two together. Simply discontinuing these medications can result in tremendous improvements in health and well-being. Texas cardiologist Peter Langsjoen, MD, published a study showing that when symptomatic patients got off their statins and started taking 240 mg of CoQ10 per day, they had significant decreases in fatigue, myalgias (muscle aches), dyspnea (shortness of breath), memory loss, and/or peripheral neuropathy.

E2 Success Story from State College, Pennsylvania

Friday, June 19th, 2009

A big E2 shout out to Svend Pedersen from PA! Svend decided to buck the meat, dairy, cheese, and eggs and now has the vitality of men half his age. Go Svend, go!!!!

My journey to a plant strong lifestyle likely mirrors others who’ve started their path before me … my epiphany came when going through initial station training as a volunteer firefighter where I learned that the majority of firefighter line of duty deaths were due to cardiac disease. While an interesting tidbit in and of itself, coupled with turning 50, retiring after a 24+ year career as a Naval Flight Officer, and establishing myself in a second career, and beginning to enter the fire service, I took a good look at myself and noted with some dismay that I needed to make changes in my lifestyle choices if I wanted to enjoy the quality of life I was used to. No longer representing my country every time I put on my uniform and the requirements of finding and establishing myself in a new career, I found less and less time to exercise, eat properly, and started putting everything else, big or small, before my family and myself. It was time to change.

As a former college athlete, I am used to eating for performance, or, more accurately, thought I was. The standard paradigm of ‘more protein, more better,’ and a workout regime required to compete at the Division I level appeared to work well and ingrained what I know now to be unsustainable eating habits - especially when combined with the demands of a family and a career. Every year, the squadon’s flight surgeon would caution me about my cholesterol levels and borderline hypertension, and every year I would make the changes required to remain cleared to fly but, not unlike my eating habits, those changes were unsustainable and designed for the short term. My current family doctor gave me the same warnings and fortunately no longer looking at my physician as the person who could ground me, but a partner in my health, and along with the other milestones mentioned earlier, I finally listened. After a few fits and starts, and seeing the necessity of change while going through the state’s Fire fighter I certification training program, I happened upon the E2 Diet. Frankly, the ‘firefighter’ and ‘world class athlete’ thing caught my initial attention, and the menu examples in the article held it long enough to order the book. After my initial read I was convinced a plant centric diet made sense - and with much to gain and little to lose I committed to the 28 day challenge.

The start of the 28 day challenge occurred at a ‘perfect storm’ of increasing job requirements, ramping up training for the FF I test, and several major family events that took a great deal of my time and precluded me expending much effort and thought to preplanning my diet, weekly meal schedule and grocery shopping. By following the general rules outlined in the book, I was able to ‘ala carte’ my way through 28 days with tasty meals and snacks that were satiating, easy to prepare and only required a little thought and care to prepare.

I’m pleased with the results of my first step on this journey. Objectively, I Iost a total of 17 pounds over the 28 days - without ever measuring portions, feeling hungry, or dramatically changing my workouts. My cholesterol levels went from a total of 265 (HDL 49/LDL 164/Triglycerides 262) to a total of 199 ( HDL 46/LDL 131/Triglycerides 111). Subjectively, I feel better with noticeably increased energy levels while exercising or performing the duties of a firefighter. During my FF1 certification test (ironically on the 28th day of the challenge) I performed equal to, or better, than firemen half my age while spending 8+ hours on the training round, routinely in full turnout gear and SCBA, while performing physically and mentally challenging tasks/scenarios. A sobering reminder occurred that day when a fellow firefighter, a man in his 30’s, experienced chest pains while performing a ventilation station/roof cut test. It’s not always the ‘other guy’ and this one hit home in a way aviation mishaps or tales of former athletes with health issues did not.

Bottom Line: By eating tasty, satisfying, easily prepared foods, I took control of my health, improved the quality of my life, and embarked on a plant strong lifestyle and journey … one I look forward to continuing.
Thanks Rip!

The Heart Attack Grill. You won’t believe your eyes or your arteries!!!

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

“A meal to die for” aired this morning on The CBS Early Morning Show.  This is both humorous and very sad.

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An Engine 2 Success Story from Marion, Iowa!!!!

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Kathy Hogan, an E2, plant-strong Queen!!!

Below are two emails I received from our featured Engine 2 success story, Kathy Hogan from Marion, Iowa. Here is a big, rocking, e2licious shout out to you for taking control of your health. GOOOOOOOOOOO Kathy!!!!!  I am so proud of you for making the decision to drop the contaminated and disease promoting animal based foods and gravitating towards delicious and nutritious health promoting plant-based foods. It’s all about GAINING health, LOSING weight, and doing it in a way that is sustainable, permanent, and fun.

Hi, I just wanted to say, I saw this featured on CBS Sunday morning a couple months ago, ordered the book and started April 28 of this year. I’ve been on this eating plan for 5 weeks, and am now down 11 pounds. I love it! It’s not like a diet - it’s fun and enjoyable and so easy. I’ve tried and tried to lose weight (I’m 51, female and going through menopause).

It’s delicious and I don’t miss my steaks, hamburger, chicken or oils/dairy, etc. I used to eat fish and chicken, but am very satisfied with this eating arrangement!

My cholesterol was 134 a couple weeks ago…..never was high, but I’m overweight and I don’t want to get Type 2 like my brother did last fall (he’s 54). I’ve noticed I have no more heartburn and have more energy. I’m walking and swimming too, but feel more like doing those things. Thank you sooo much for this!

I haven’t stopped my one to two cups of coffee in the morning, and occasionally have a bit of olive oil mixed with mustard and balsamic for salads, but other than that - I’m doing the vegan thing.

I still have high blood pressure 140/98….but I imagine that will get better as I stick with this and drop more weight. 

Again…..thanks!! It’s so wonderful to eat all the farmers’ market veggies now too.

Kathy Hogan, age 51

Marion, Iowa


Rip! Oh my gosh, to my great surprise I received your email this morning (while eating my vegan bacon strips and whole grain toast).

I’ve been on every commercial diet in the world and lost some, gained some, mostly gained….but this is the best. It’s so hard to lose weight as you age (especially for a woman, I think).

The photo I’m attaching is my “before” photo….I don’t have one from today, but I can try and take a digital and send at some point.

Bless you and I am so glad I “found you.” Being featured would be awesome. Thank you.

Best to you,

Kathy Hogan

Watermelon Salsa, perfect for summer!!!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

A hearty thank you to Judy from Independence, Ohio for sharing this E-2-licious Watermelon Salsa. Down here in Austin, Texas the temperatures are already in the mid-90’s and it’s gonna get close to 100 by the weekend. This cool and light salsa will be a real winner as a complement to healthy chips, breakfast tacos, migas especiales, enchiladas, or portobello mushroom fajitas. A big E2 shout out and thank you to Judy!!!

Rip, the vegetarian lasagna is great. I’ve experienced GI problems for months now (partly lactose-intolerant), so decided to fix the lasagna and freeze it in sections for a series of meals. It was so good I ate nothing but that for a week. My stomach felt so good after eating it, it was satisfying and delicious.

But, I’m here to give you a recipe I came across that your buddies are sure to like. I took it down to Independence Fire Station 2 and they enjoyed it.


2 cups fiinely chopped:
canned pineapple chunks

2 (or more) seeded jalapenos
1 bunch green onions
1 small yellow pepper
1 small red pepper
3 peeled kiwi

Mix together and chill at least 4 hours. DRAIN before serving.
I served it with chips and the salt was a perfect complement to the sweet. Make sure you chop all this stuff FINELY.

Hope you enjoy.


Judy Sturgess
Independence MO


A watermelon and cherry tomato salad with cilantro. I can't wait to try the watermelon salsa!!!

A Soup Recipe from New York

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Thank you, Rich Tarpinian for sharing this very special veggie soup with the Engine 2 community. We hope you are doing extremely well in Long Island and staying especially plant-strong!!!! Go Rich !!!!!


½ cup chopped onion
½ cup water & ½ cup white wine
3 Tablespoons of Liquid Aminos
*** Sautee’ the above til onion is soft
¼ cup Fennel & Carrots chopped
1 cup Beet tops chopped
½ cup Cauliflower
1 teaspoon or more Hot Cajun sauce
Salt & Pepper to taste
***Blend all together

½ CUP Brown Rice
14 cups Water and 1 Tablespoon Gravy Master
*** Bring all to boil and then simmer for ½ hour

E2 Quote of the Week

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

The American author Upton Sinclair, “It’s hard to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding.”

This quote is particularly applicable when you consider that close to 95% of heart procedures are not only unnecessary but actually do more harm than good. Employ a plant-strong diet and get stellar results without any associated morbidity, mental compromise, or cost. The answer lies at the end of your fork, not with a pill or a procedure!!!!


An actual cross section of a healthy artery on the left and a disease riddled one on the right. Which would you prefer? The choice is yours!!!

Seabrook’s 3 Alarm Blackened Portobello Mushrooms!!!

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Seabrook Jones(an Engine 2 warrior for almost one year) introduced everyone at the recent Engine 2 potluck dinner to his patented Seabrook’s 3-Alarm blackened Portobellos. They were absolutely incredible. I am NOT a big fan of mushrooms and these were the best fungi I’ve had in my life. No joshing. Try this recipe out and then post your comments. I think you’ll be amazed. Thank you Seabrook!!!

Seabrook’s 3-Alarm blackened Portobellos

Take whole portobello Caps - remove stem( save it for a salad stir fry or soup or something!) - wipe clean with damp cloth or wet paper towel wet enough to make the blackening spice stick.

Dust/sprinkle liberally both sides with blackened spice aka blackening powder, Optional - I like to add a hefty sprinkle of hot curry powder to gill side

Cook in hot dry skillet 2-3 minutes per side should start to brown and maybe burn a tiny bit - cut in Quarters.

OR Cook on Hot Grill 2-3 min per side until toasty & grill marks are evident

The mushrooms will be fairly al dente and can be served like this - DONE!


If you like em more tender and well done - place the quarters in a baking pan and sprinkle lightly with mirin ( sweet rice wine) and tamari OR flavored or balsamic vinegar - or just a few tablespoons of water.

Cover pan and place in preheated 300º oven for 30min.

Garnish with chopped green onions, chopped basil leaves, crasins, parsley, mint or whatever floats your boat !!


Can’t find blackening powder at your local store?

Make your own - doesn’t have to be perfect just something like this:

All fine ground -

1-2 tb Paprika
1-2 tb Cayenne
1-2 tb Chili powder
1 tb White pepper
1 tb Black pepper
1 tb Sea salt
1 tb Garlic powder
1 tb Onion powder

mix well store in a dry sealed container!

My son Kole, at the entrance to the Austin,Tx Whole Foods with The Engine 2 DIet looming in the background.

My son Kole, at the entrance to the Austin,Tx Whole Foods with The Engine 2 Diet looming in the background.

E2 Success Story from Seattle, Washington

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

It’s time for an E2 shout out to Laurel Disbrow who has taken control of her health one bite, one meal, one day, one week, and one month at a time.  You go get em, Laurel!!!!!

Laurel Disbrow, plant-strong teacher

Laurel Disbrow, plant-strong teacher-librarian!!

I bought the book and started the eating plan on Mother’s Day. I’ve been plagued by sinus problems and asthma for years. My body was producing so much mucus that I was always coughing and my chest was always congested. A friend once said I sounded like I had a 3-pack-a-day habit.

I noticed a marked change in my body’s mucus production by the 3rd day. It was so dramatic I thought it must be a fluke but after 17 days, I’m sold on this eating lifestyle! I’m still wondering about what I was eating
specifically that made me so sick. Whatever it was, I’m not going back. I cough very, very little and my chest is clear.

I really think that one of these days I’m not going to need my asthma meds at all. I’ve been able to cut down on the amount I take. I can work in the yard and I’m no longer huffing and puffing!! I have energy. I feel clear

I’m an obese, 58 year old female. I’ve dropped 5 lbs and feel like I’m
actually going to beat this weight problem without starving.

The food plan is easy. I still don’t like to exercise.

Thank you!!!
Laurel Disbrow