I am Engine 2
I am Engine 2. This is where and how I live. I don’t live in a firehouse and I’m not a fireman. But I’m a firefighter of sorts. I have rescued my health and have regained my fitness. I’ll tell you my story because I am Engine 2.
Like most people, eating good food and food that tasted good was my way of life. My health has never been in jeopardy and my diet was never really poor. My annual physicals were generally filled with good news. I was diagnosed with borderline hypertension—only statistically relevant—and never had the side effects associated with high blood pressure. I’m active; I exercise and enjoy my food and eat a fair amount of it. I am a runner, enjoy the outdoors and consider myself pretty fit and in great shape.
My doctor always said that he’d like to see me a few pounds lighter. He also told me that because my cholesterol was a bit high that I’d be better off with a statin drug to help lower it. He also suggested that statin drugs were likely to be a part of my regimen for the rest of my life. So, an average guy, pretty fit and middle aged. Always ready for the next adventure.
I really never gave a lot of serious thought to the value of food from a nutritional sense. We get older, start a family and start to realize that food should be more than just sustenance. We care about our own health and that of our children, so I began to think a little differently about the foods we eat and feed our families. Most of the time, my wife does the shopping and she’s very conscientious about buying great quality food: organic and natural and lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. We read the labels and avoid preservatives and artificial ingredients whenever we can. That’s why we shop at Whole Foods Market—it makes it easier and we can trust that the products and brands we buy are free of the bad stuff and ingredients we can’t understand.
I had heard about the Engine 2 Diet, but diets really never appealed to me. Guys don’t diet. I didn’t need to diet. I didn’t need anything, really. Engine 2 Plant Strong—plant strong. It made me start to think—can food be strong or weak? If so, how do I know I’m eating strong food? How can I go beyond just satisfying my appetite by eating strong food?
So I tried Rip’s Big Bowl and a couple of other Engine 2 products. The packaging made it easy—the big red Engine 2 on the front. Rip Esselstyn, the guy that wrote the Engine 2 Diet, was a firefighter—great story about transforming macho firemen to eating plant strong foods and saving their own health. We always think of firemen as the “staff of life”, but those guys suffer more than their fair share of heart attacks because of their own health and stresses and strains on the job. I never stopped to think about it until I read The Engine 2 Diet that the very people we depend on to save our lives couldn’t save their own! That is until Rip taught them how to eat healthier and regain their fitness by eating plant strong.
Reading about a simpler way to improve my fitness, to lose weight and maybe increase my overall health was appealing and got me thinking. Then I became inspired. Could I go from being an omnivore to just eating plant-based foods? How could I give up my occasional “man food”—my steak or chops—to eating just vegetables, fruits and beans? I was already eating some stuff that was plant-based, like almond milks and whole wheat crackers and trail mix. But giving up those hearty proteins and what I thought was strong food?
Engine 2 products never have any animal products or added oils or fat, they’re made from whole grains and the calories are in line with sodium. This is strong stuff. And the more I learned about plant nutrition, the more engaged I became to the plant based lifestyle. No diet. . . . a lifestyle. . .for me and my family. Yeah, we’ve slowly given up the dairy, cheese, eggs and meats. . . .what turned out to be weak foods—and all the time I thought they were so strong. Man, did Engine 2 open my eyes. Eating strong food has made me Engine 2 Plant Proud!
My physical at the doctor a year later confirmed my beliefs. . . strong food lowered my cholesterol so much that I eliminated my statin prescription, I had lost over 50 pounds and my blood pressure was so low I dropped another prescription. I feel great, love the way I look and feel and my wife and family are excited about their husband and father’s health. My daughter and I are even running our first 10K race together to celebrate!
This is where and how I live now. Strong food helped rescue my health and improve the quality of my life and my family’s life too. Engine 2 Plant Strong helped align my personal, professional and nutritional values and bring me and my loved ones into a healthy strong food focus. It makes me Engine 2 Plant Proud. I am Engine 2.
By Mike Schall
Mike with T. Colin Campbell at Plant-Stock
Passionate about following a plant-strong diet and spreading the health benefits that he’s experienced, Mike Schall
is now part Engine 2 team and works closely with Rip on several projects.