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The Daily Beet: Tips, Advice and Stories

Our Weekend


It’s a chilly Monday morning at the Esselstyn Family Farm. I’m looking out the big window in the dining room out to a field with tables, chairs, and a big tent. All weekend the field was filled with hundreds of people, all at the farm sharing in plant-strong food, learning from the brightest minds in the world of health.

My favorite part of our retreat weekends is the stories. Not the stories of our speakers, or our staff, the stories of the people who come to the event. People come up to us and tell us their plant-strong success stories. Each one is remarkable. A woman came up to me who was so sick, she attempted to take her life, she found answers in plant-strong health, and today has reversed her very serious illnesses. A woman with stage 4 breast cancer who had been 100 pounds overweight, who is now in remission and 100 pounds lighter. A man told by his doctors that his heart disease was so advanced that he should go home and enjoy the rest of his life, which might be a couple of months, 2 years later he is loving life and has a healthy heart. A man who was battling debilitating joint pain, so much he had to quit hi job, he was given Engine 2, gave it a try and is now running 1/2 marathons. A woman was a 3 pack a day smoker, 75 pounds overweight with T2 diabetes who is now cigarette free, 70 pounds lighter and no signs of T2 anymore.

The people who show up are the most important parts of our events.

We want to thank every single person who helped make the weekend a success. From the volunteers who were up at 4am to set up, to the caterers, the lawn-care team, the sound and tech team, Bema and Pa’s Vinegars, all of the speakers, the town of Claverack, NY and the wonderful police officers who helped with trafic control, the Esselstyn family and most importantly all of the incredible participants!

We will be announcing the dates of our 2014 Engine 2 Retreats soon! It’s been an amazing season.

About the author

Natala is the director of communications for Engine 2 Diet, she is also one of our coaches on our support site, Engine 2 Extra. A few years ago, Natala was at the end of her rope. She was on almost 15 medications daily, had out of control Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, issues with nerve damage, and was morbidly obese. She was just over 30 years old. She decided to take her life back by becoming plant-strong. She has lost over 200 pounds, got off of all of her medications and now has great health numbers. Natala plays the violin and studied music therapy. She became passionate about plant-strong nutrition, received her Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition through Cornell University, a certificate in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and is currently pursuing a degree in nutritional sciences. Natala is also a featured speaker at our Engine 2 Retreats she talks about the reality of our nations obesity epidemic as well as providing practical steps to becoming a healthier person.

12 Responses to “Our Weekend”

  1. Leah says:

    Awesome! I absolutely love to hear people’s individual stories, there is nothing more powerful! :) Thank you for the window into how the weekend was for those of us who were not there to share. :)

  2. KEVIN HOBBS says:

    I love it! My wife and I are starting the whole foods life style and so far we are loving it. After watching forks over knifes and watching a video about Dr Gerson therapy we said to each other we are ALL IN… Thanks for all that you do.

  3. Denise says:

    I love the success stories! I hope you do this again next year because my goal is to be well enough to attend!

    • Leah says:

      You’ll get there! Good health is a process. :)

      • Denise says:

        Thanks, Leah! For a long time I didn’t believe that, but now I definitely do! :)

        • Leah says:

          And there’s so many of us supporting you along the way wherever you are and celebrating every milestone together! :) You’re doing awesomely!

          • Denise says:

            Leah, I just had to tell you how much your comments mean to me. I kept thinking that I had to do this alone and when I was healthy again, I could go to these events and join in on the group discussions. I’m finally seeing that I’m not alone. Thank you!!

          • Leah says:

            Hi Denise, you are totally welcome. :) I’m really glad that I could help you feel encouraged to join in! There is so much to gain in the E2 Community and the Happy Herbivore community too if you check that out as well. So many really nice, supportive, helpful, kind people. :) Wishing you a beautiful journey and glad to be a part of it!

  4. Tracy says:

    Wow, beautiful stories, just wonderful to hear!! Made me cry but in a good way :-)

  5. Danielle Cornelius Strand says:

    Hi. I was wondering about foods that can be taken on the plane in a carry on. I remember a while back seeing salads in a cup or plastic container from whole foods. I don’t know where to find that info. Maybe a board on pinterest for travel food :) Anyway, any suggestions will be appreciated. I was thinking the mighty muffins and fruit and vegies and maybe greens.

  • About Engine

    The Engine 2 blog will feature tips, plant-strong success stories, how to make plant-strong work, answer your questions and feature special guest experts. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to help you become and stay plant-strong. Please be sure to jump in the conversation by leaving comments on each post!
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