Plant-Strong the Engine 2 Way

Do you want to take the guessing game out of identifying what is healthy and not so much when grocery shopping? One simple way is to buy any Engine 2 product via Whole Foods Market. That being said, if you are not at a Whole Foods Market and even if you are you should know what to look for when identifying what is healthy or not. You can reference my previous blogs titled, How to Read Labels for Healthy Eating & A Healthy Kitchen = A Healthy You for help there.

Why are Engine 2 products so good? The guidelines in place are healthy from all dimensions. Before we take a look what is Engine 2 is, why is it called Engine 2? The man behind Engine 2 is Rip Esselstyn.

Rip was a three-time All-American swimmer at the University of Texas and then one of the top professional triathletes in the world. From the Engine 2 website, it also goes on to state how he “then joined the Austin Fire Department where he introduced his passion for a whole-food, plant-based diet to Austin’s Engine 2 Firehouse in order to rescue a firefighting brother’s health. To document his success he wrote the national bestselling book, The Engine 2 Diet, which shows the irrefutable connection between a plant-based diet and good health.

Rip left his job as a firefighter in 2009 to team up with Whole Foods Market as one of their Healthy Eating Partners to raise awareness for Whole Foods employees, customers and communities about the benefits of eating a plant-strong diet. As the founder of Engine 2, Rip develops and implements a range of programs and events geared toward education, inspiring and nurturing plant-strong living for individuals, families and organizations across the globe.”

Rip attributes his knowledge and living healthy to his dad and if you didn’t recognize the last name, he is the son of THE Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, one of the premiere doctors in the world with a list of credentials that can’t fit in this blog. If you have seen Forks over Knives, he is the doctor along side T. Colin Campbell.

With Rip’s knowledge and experience in how being plant-based fueled him to elite performance and helped so many people going through his program, he demanded guidelines that were, “Plant-Strong.” The guidelines all Engine 2 products follow include:

  • ZERO Animal Products
  • ZERO Added Oil…Ever!
  • 100% Whole Grains
  • Minimal Added Sugars, If At All
  • Less Than 25% Total Calories From Fat
  • Less Than 1:1 Ratio of Milligrams Sodium to Calories (Exception: Condiments)

Rip’s provides a bit more detail in the Seven Day Rescue Diet where he is looking for transformation including:

  • Salt/Sodium – consuming 1,500 mg or less each day (wait till you check the labels of most other products for this… ouch)
    • The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.
    • The average person in the U.S. consumes 3,400 mg per day.
  • Sugar – added sugar (not in the food itself) should be less than 2 teaspoons per day
    • The American Heart Association recommends no more than 9 teaspoons for men and 6 for women per day
    • The average person in the U.S. consumes 19 teaspoons per day; consuming over 60 pounds of added sugar per year
    • For all sugars including in the food itself and added sugars:
      • Two hundred years ago, the average American ate only 2 pounds of sugar a year.
      • In 1970, we ate 123 pounds of sugar per year.
      • Today, the average American consumes almost 152 pounds of sugar in one year.
  • Fat – consume between 10-15% of total calories from fat

Rip explains the implications of the Standard American Diet (SAD) in this video. “Although we are one of the most prosperous countries on earth, we die sooner and experience higher rates of disease than other developed nations.”

71.6% of American Adults are either overweight or obese (39.8% obese) per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. I was in the obese category myself not to mention the other issues I was dealing with by living the way of the SAD. After making the change to a whole foods plant based life-style I am healthier than at any point of my adult life by far! I now fall in the “Normal Weight” category as defined by the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator and standards.

The best part is I FEEL great and the food I eat now tastes better than anything I was eating prior to the switch where I pretty much loaded or consumed salt, oil and sugar on anything in some concoction or another. I was the grill master so I know what I did to make that stuff taste appealing = salt, oil, and sugar in some form.

One reason I chose to focus on this topic today is Rip Esselstyn will be on Tour in the Tampa Bay area Tuesday, January 8. I will be attending the 6:30pm event at the Whole Foods location in Clearwater. When I held the clinic on Reading Food Labels at Whole Foods earlier in the month for the RunVie Racing Winter Season Kickoff Event I mentioned how you could throw any Engine 2 product in your cart and know you would in really good shape.

Check out Rip’s resources via the Resource menu selection on Engine 2 website. Also, of course he was a guest on The Rich Roll Podcast, #336.

I hope to see you at Whole Foods on January 8. I have posted this on The Healthy Giraffe Facebook page as well.

– Add Health to Your Life


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