April 8, 2009
Well, we have finished up the 28 day Engine 2 Diet challenge. This was by far the most difficult ‘diet’ that I have ever tried. I probably would have dropped out within the first few days had it not been for the incentive of having a bunch of other firefighters giving me hell had I dropped.
This diet is more about a lifestyle change but it is also a quick fix solution for those who need to make drastic changes for the good of their health. It’s a pretty difficult diet to follow and is not for the faint of heart. Luckily, the author does have two approaches to the diet, the Fire Cadet which eases you into the program, or the Firefighter which is where you jump in feet first, all the way. I’m not a gradual type of person, so it was all or nothing (did I mention I was competing with a bunch of Type A personality firefighters). John also decided to join in on the diet adventure so he could make fun of me the whole time. Yes, us firefighters have a sick sense of humor and are willing to go to great lengths to torture our brothers and sisters in service and/or their spouses.
Within two weeks of being on the program, we were both exhausted. I was close to not being able to function fully and John was just barely hanging on. I thought for sure that I was trying to get over the bad respiratory infection that I had several weeks prior. Finally. I went to our local health food store and talked to the specialist there. This guy knows his stuff. I listed out my diet, my routine, my excercise routines, my job duties, etc. He immediately said that I was not getting enough protein or iron. He also said that I probably needed more B vitamins. He said that it is extremely difficult to become a vegan (which is pretty much what the Engine 2 Diet is about) without a lot of planning, research, preparation, and adjusting lifestyle. It was also extremely hard for me because I was not willing to eat as much soy or soy based products. Soy is where you get much of your protien from.
The gentleman at the store put me on some meal replacement bars to help me get through the 28 days and I also purchased some energy supplements. He suggested that I instead switch over to a lacto/ovo vegetarian lifestyle instead. Now that I am done with the 28 day trial, that is what I will be doing. While I agree with everything the author wrote in his book, I believe it is also extreme and might not be the diet of choice for everyone. If you are the type of person who likes a good challenge and you are wanting to change your eating habits, then I highly reccomend his book. I lost nearly 12 pounds which is good but not what I was expecting. I do feel better now that I am getting more protien and iron into my system. I have also found that when I eat heavier foods, I feel pretty darn sick afterward. Not a fun feeling to have.
While I was in Nebraska, I had some time to read and so I checked out two amazing books on vegetarianism and I highly recommend them to you, if you are looking for a lifestyle change and you are considering becoming a vegetarian.
The first book: offers some wonderful words of wisdom for those individuals who do not want to be full on vegan or vegetarian or they are wanting to switch to the next level. I loved this book and all of the recipes that they offer. They are doable. I have this one ordered because I almost have the library copy worn out.
The other book that I recommend is I have learned so much about the vegetarian lifestyle in the pages of this book. It also looks like it’s been put through the wringer. It really talked about the health reasons a person should try to incorporate as much of the vegetarianism into their lifestyle.
I plan on sticking to a mostly vegetarian lifestyle. Vegan is too hardcore for me and for the life that I am living. John will probably be adding some meat back to his diet. I will only add back fish and turkey on occasion. I have to say though, that since I started this challenge, whenever I eat something that is higher in fat, I feel sick immediately. Once you start eating a clean diet, when you put trash back into your body, your body doesn’t not take to kindly to it. That was a hard lesson to learn.
So vegetarianism…here I come. I will report on how I’m doing with this type of eating over the next few weeks. If you are a vegetarian, do you have any suggestions or tips?