The Daily Beet

11 Aug Jeff Walter’s Engine 2une-up

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Meet Jeff Walter of Sonoma, California. Jeff’s inspiring Engine 2 success story is one that exemplifies the common surprise that so many otherwise trim and fit individuals discover when they stop to take a look at what’s going on inside their bodies. As Rip often likes to say in his presentations, “You can look like a Ferrari on the outside, but when you lift up the hood, you find that your engine is rotting.”

Jeff has always been physically active — working out in some manner generally 5 times per week. You can see from his water skiing picture here that from all outward appearances he portrays a fit, healthy 48 year old.

Jeff in July 2008

In August of 2008, at age 48, Jeff had blood tests taken as part of a routine annual physical examination.  His results were:

  • Total Cholesterol – 264
  • LDL – 146
  • HDL – 106
  • Weight: 173
  • (Height:  5′ 10″)

According the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, total cholesterol levels should be below 150 mg/dl to prevent heart disease.

Total cholesterol combines all forms of cholesterol in the blood including high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). One is good; one is bad.

The easy way to remember it is that HDL is your Healthy cholesterol and LDL is your Lethal cholesterol.

Total Cholesterol Risk Categories:

  • High Risk:  Above 240 mg/dl
  • Above Average Risk:  205-240 mg/dl
  • Average for U.S. Adults:  205 mg/dl
  • Very Low Risk:  150 mg/dl or less

The two most important numbers to concentrate on are getting your total cholesterol level to 150 or below and your LDL at or below 80 mg/dl.

So what produced Jeff Walter’s high-risk cholesterol score?  His Diet.

Processed foods, along with animal protein, low fat and whole dairy, “good” oils and fruits and vegetables.  Alcohol consumption:  2-3 servings daily.

Jeff wrote to us:

“My doctor wanted to prescribe Lipitor. I am against prescribed medicines whenever possible and asked him what steps I could take on my own. He basically stated get rid of “white” food as in flour, pasta, etc.”

Throughout 2009 and early 2010, Jeff followed his doctor’s advice and minimized the items he had suggested. During the summer of 2009, he began eating much more plant foods through participation in a Community Garden and his own garden.  As such, animal protein inclusion was reduced but not eliminated.  He still included whole dairy (cheese) and low-fat dairy (cow’s and goat’s milk yogurt) in his diet, along with olive oil for cooking.  He virtually eliminated processed foods and cut down his alcohol consumption to about 1-2 servings per week.

In March of 2010, he was retested. This time the results showed:

  • Total Cholesterol – 211 (53 point drop, approximately 20% reduction)
  • LDL – 109 (37 point drop, approximately 25% reduction)
  • HDL – 93
  • Weight – 171 (no major change from first test)

Jeff was quite happy with the results and felt like he was on the right path.  In May of 2010, a co-worker suggested he join a group of people that were trying out the Engine 2 Diet together.  He did.

He stepped up the game and eliminated all processed foods, oil, animal protein, and dairy and focused on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. He maintained his average 1-2 alcoholic drinks per week and his regular exercise.

In July 2010, he tested his cholesterol again with the following results:

  • Total Cholesterol – 161 (50 point drop (20%) since March 2010 and 103 point drop since August 2008 (39%))
  • LDL – 75 (34 point drop (31%) since March 2010 and 71 point drop since August 2008 (48%))
  • HDL – 78
  • Weight – 165

Way to Go Jeff!  You’re an inspiration!!

“It is clear to me now that, to fully gain the benefits of a significant health change within the body, a diet focused on the principles of Engine 2 are necessary,” Jeff writes.

“I thought I was making progress on my own but as the second dramatic improvement in my results show from March 2010 to July 2010, it was not until I fully grasped and incorporated E2 principles that I got to a state within my body of ‘true hunger’, superior energy and outlook and healthy cholesterol levels.  If I had followed my doctors advice, I would have bandaged my problems with drugs and become a slave to them while continuing on a pattern that would likely lead to negative health consequences.  I have tried to incorporate these ideals in my home and I am happy to report my children and I have not missed any days of school or work in the past year due to illness.  The true flavors of food never tasted so good.”

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Ami Mackey for Engine 2
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is the Curator of Creative Content at Engine 2. She is also a food coach at Engine 2 and has been plant-strong since 2011. When she isn't attending to all things Engine 2, she is the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She has earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

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