It is Friday, which means we’re ending the week with some good news! We loved Ben’s story, and we think you will as well. ”
“I wanted to share my story of how E2 started my health revolution – enjoy!
In Feb 2009 I returned to Fort Hood, TX from a 15 month deployment in Iraq and immediately proceeded to gorge myself on standard American fare and lots of alcohol. The result was a 20lb addition to my weight. I thought that getting back into physical activity would curb my weight gain, but to no avail. I tried meal replacement bars/shakes and other caloric restriction diets to no avail. For the first time in my career as an Army officer, I started to worry that I might fail my height/weight/bodyfat test. I was extremely frustrated and felt helpless – condemned to the “inevitable” weight gain caused by an aging and declining metabolism.
One April day while driving home from work, I heard Rip being interviewed on my favorite Austin radio station. I was intrigued to the point that I sat in the driveway until the interview was over. I immediately got on the E2 website and decided to order the book. I read it cover to cover in less than 2 days and although much of the information went against most of what I had learned in school and as a high school and college athlete (especially the protein issue), I had nothing to lose. I decided that I didn’t have to “buy into the whole vegan thing” but I could commit to 28 days. And I did.
April 27, 2009 I started the E2 diet with an all-or-nothing attitude. Every morning started with a weigh-in and recording of my weight by date on my bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker – there for me to see daily. Within 2-3 days I noticed differences. I felt better, better elimination, more energy, less afternoon slump, better sleep, and of course, the pounds started coming off.
My biggest “ah-hah” moment was the following Saturday when I went grocery shopping without having prepared my morning coffee. At 10:30a.m. coming home, I was shocked to realize that I was not suffering from the intense brain-fog and pounding headaches I had experienced my whole adult life when deprived of caffeine.
At the end of 4 weeks, I had lost 13.2lbs and felt great. With no cravings for “old” food habits and a new-found passion, I continued on. My weight plateaued after about 2.5 months, with a loss of 27lbs from my starting point, just over 30lbs from my heaviest. I maintained that weight within 1-3lbs for months on end with no difficulty, eating as much as I wanted, when I wanted. I cut my caffeine intake from 8-10 cups (or equivalent energy drinks) before lunch to just 1 cup. My decade long bout with insomnia trigged (I believe) by over-caffeination and a resulting overworked adrenal gland, disappeared. My skin improved. My workouts improved. My recovery times shortened. My self-image rocketed. Mid summer, after about 3 months on the E2 diet, I had blood work done. My total cholesterol was 127!!
In February 2010 I deployed to Iraq for a second time, and although my options were limited to mostly potatoes and white rice for complex carbs, I was able to maintain a plant-strong diet with only minimal negative physical effects.Two-and-a-half years later I’m still plant strong. In the journey I met a beautiful vegan woman – truly “my person,” now my wife. We are incredibly passionate about our food lifestyle, passionate about our health, and that of our families and communities.
The Engine 2 Diet changed my life in so many ways that I can’t list them all, but after 2.5 years, here’s the proof that this is a sustainable lifestyle change with lasting results:
- still 20lbs lighter than when I started- cholesterol under 150
- next door neighbor borrowed my E2 book after seeing my weight loss
- she’s plant strong and loving it (2 years +)
- my younger sister adopted a plant strong diet (2 years)
- our families, while not completely free of animal/processed products, have incorporated more and more plant based meals into their diets
- I haven’t had a caffeinated drink in 8 months
- I have more stamina; mentally, physically, sexually than I’ve EVER had
-It took me a while of being plant-strong to make the decision to quit smoking, but when I did, I quit a 10-year cigarette habit with ZERO cravings!
I know this was long, but my life, health, and future have truly been revolutionized by the Engine 2 diet. Thank you so much for being trailblazers in this field and bringing the truth, empowerment, and freedom to so many of us!”
We wanted to know if Ben had any resistance when he decided to go plant-strong, this is what he had to say:
“To answer your question – I got responses all over the spectrum, probably similar to many people.
I would say most responses were in one of three “groups.”
▪ The male ego group: Being in a male dominated environment (Army), I did get a LOT of “real men eat meat” or “I can’t believe you call yourself a man and don’t eat meat” type of comments.
▪ The concerned/skeptical (protein/nutrition) group: How do you get your protein? You’re not going to be able to stay healthy or keep your energy. I knew a vegan and he/she was pale and sickly. You’re going to lose all of your strength/muscle mass.
▪ The hippie group: I can’t believe you’re such a hippie you’re a vegan now. (Similar to the male ego group – people try to marginalize and discredit a lifestyle by placing it in a group that allows them to refrain from looking at their own food choices.)I’m a mesomorph body type and at this point, the results speak for themselves. Most new people I meet as the generic protein question, and usually express surprise that I’m not skinny and frail.”
We want to congratulate Ben on his decision to become plant-strong! And we want to thank Ben for his service to our country.
Leave some plant-strong love in the comments for Ben! And if you have a story you would like to share, please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org