Okay, so I admit - I need to lose a (clears throat) few pounds! But what really caught my eye of Rip Esselstyn's new book was the subtitle - "The Texas Firefighter's 28 Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds."
Okay - cholesterol is a major concern for many North American adults and who couldn't stand to lose a (clears throat) few pounds?
The basis for The Engine 2 Diet is Esselstyn's belief that "...the most basic, profound and powerful way to take care of your health on a day-to-day basis is to eat a healthy, plant-based diet."
As a firefighter and dedicated athlete, Rip was concerned about the health of his fellow firefighters. He convinced them to join him in his plant based diet and all who participated saw profound results, both in weight and health improvement.
He has two plans - Fire Cadet - which slowly weans you off meat, eggs, dairy, oils and refined products. And the Firefighter - you're off all the above at once. There are numerous studies and facts presented to back up his belief that this is the way to live the rest of your life. Results can be seen in four weeks.
Of course, it needs to be combined with physical activity, muscular and cardiovascular. Rip uses a method called functional training - using your own body weight, no equipment needed. There is a full section on stretching and exercise, complete with descriptive pictures. He advocates having a number of medical tests (ie blood work, BP etc) done so that you have a baseline to measure your progress against. The book is peppered with testimonials and anecdotes, giving it a personal feel.
The second half of the book cover recipes and meal plans. I found the section on label reading and specific product recommendations to be extremely helpful and very clearly written. How to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need from sources other than meats and dairy were helpful as well. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised with the recipes and meal plans. They were absolutely do-able, if that makes sense. Many of them were foods I already enjoy. Most of them appealed to me. (But I will take a pass on kale butter!)
I have to say that a lot of it really makes sense to me after reading this book. Even if you took some of his ideas and adapted them to your life, you would reap some benefit. Am I going to jump on the bandwagon? (or fire engine as the case may be) It's given me a lot to consider. I will be reviewing another diet book from Hachette Books in the next couple of weeks and deciding which plan would suit me best. Stay tuned!
You can check out a video of Rip discussing his program here. Or if you'd rather - you can read an excerpt here. Or head over the website - http://www.engine2.org/.
And in the meantime if you think you would like to have a copy of the Engine 2 Diet for yourself - enter my giveaway for three copies here!