Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Engine 2 - 28 Day Challenge - Summary

Now that I've had a few weeks to mull over the challenge, and recover from all the blog writing, I can look back and say that I really enjoyed the 28 Day Challenge, and learned quite a lot from it!

Before the challenge, the last major food-changing event that happened in our lives was when I happened to read "The Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. This book ultimately found its way into our eating habits by us eating and buying as much organic food as we could - for two reasons. One, because we didn't want to be eating pesticides and herbicides, or eating food that is being monkeyed around in a laboratory on... and Two, because I feel that it is important to "vote with your checkbook" - that is, buying organic tells the stores and companies that I, as a consumer, feel it is important to grow food in a sustainable way - not killing us and the earth with chemicals and chemical unknowns.

Over time, that very strong opinion has eased a bit, but it's still there in a very real way. We had been regularly buying organic food, eating out but I'd say less than the norm, and eating much less meat than the norm. But we were still very much into dairy, and Paul (and our 14yo) had very much just gotten into a love of carne asada burritos since we moved to San Diego :)

When Paul started getting into the ultrarunning scene here, he started hearing about the Engine 2 Diet as a way to lose weight. So we took a look at the website,, and found the plan for the 28 Day Challenge right there on the website! We did not buy the book - and this is mostly because I do NOT read cookbooks anymore. I look for recipes online, and read foodie blogs - I have not cooked anything from my cookbooks for years... so I apologize in advance Rip - but I really relate to and love the ideas behind the Engine 2 Diet that are online!

So, I have already written two other summaries of our experiences:
Engine 2 - 28 Day Challenge - what we learned
Engine 2 - 28 Day Challenge - By the Numbers

and Paul has written a summary of his experience:
Thoughts and lessons learned on the Engine 2 28 Day Challenge

And a quick update - we started the 28 Day Challenge on June 20th - got done on July 17th. Since we have been done with the challenge, we have basically stayed the course - I have been meal planning for the week, and we have been eating vegan - with a few rare exceptions. Paul ended the challenge at 220, and is now at 209! I ended the challenge at 120, and have been between 117-120 since!

Here is the 28 Day Challenge, in condensed form and I hope that our experiences help some of you along the path to plant-based health!

28 Day Challenge - Main Page
I should caveat this by saying that I used each week's Meal Planner from the website. However, I did not use the Grocery List from the site - I wanted to look at each recipe, and built my own grocery list so I was more in tune with what I was buying and why. I also did not stick 100% to the Meal Planner - if I knew we wouldn't like a certain dessert, or I didn't want to buy what was required, or if I knew of something else I wanted to experiment with, I went with it and substituted. I believe Rip would approve!

Week 1 - Plan
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Week 1 Highlights -

Week 2 - Plan
Day 8 Day 9 Day 10 Day 11 Day 12 Day 13 Day 14
Week 2 Highlights -

Week 3 - Plan
Day 15 Day 16 Day 17 Day 18 Day 19 Day 20 Day 21
Week 3 Highlights -

Week 4 - Plan
Day 22 Day 23 Day 24 Day 25 Day 26 Day 27 Day 28
Week 4 Highlights -

Recipes from others that I really enjoyed:
loveveggiesandyoga Raw Vegan Coconut Oil Chocolate with Almonds
loveveggiesandyoga Coconut Cashew Butter
exploitsofaveganwannabe Black Bean Spread

I'm really glad we did this challenge - it's a turning point for us! Also, I'm really glad I'm done with this blog post because it means my blogging responsibilities for the challenge are now officially 100% accounted for and done!!! YAY!

1 comment:

  1. Aww, I heart your blog! Bookmarking this entry just for the food ideas.

    We are HUGE believers in voting with our wallets! Don't want to support all the nasty politics of agriculture in this country? Find other sources of food. *thumbs up!*