Engine 2 Challenge Recap!

The challenge is over! I’m excited that I was able to stick with 28 days of the Engine 2 Diet and not stray too much.  Over the past month, I’ve changed my mind about food I thought I didn’t like, learned to scrutinize ingredient labels on the food I buy, and become healthier from my change in diet.

stock your pantry

Basics to stock your pantry for a plant strong life

Over the last month, I’ve learned that Whole Foods Market does a lot to help their customers become healthy. From cooking classes to bulk food sections to helpful Healthy Eating Specialists, they are truly interested in promoting a better diet. You might be as surprised to find they aren’t necessarily “Whole Paycheck”, either.  I know I was. I found this video comparing organic store brand ingredients from Safeway (aka: Dominick’s here in Chicago), Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods to find out which store really had the best prices. Watch the video and decide for yourself, or compare this breakdown in prices.

lentil soup

I made lentil soup for the first time - totally from scratch

Me? I’m going to stick with eating this way with the exception of when I go out to eat with friends. If I go out alone, I’ll aim for the vegetarian options. At our last meeting at Whole Foods the other bloggers all mentioned how they had more energy. I hadn’t actually noticed, but yeah, I do too. I’ve also lost 5 pounds and I’ve been flirting back and forth with another 3 for the past few weeks. It can only get better as I promise to commit fully to this way of eating and get more exercise.

I believe anyone can try this. 28 days really isn’t that long to give up on meat, cheese or junk food. I challenge all of you to give this a try. What? You’re worried about not getting enough protein? Well Rip Esselstyn does a much better job explaining the whole plant vs meat protein argument than I ever could. You’ll get all the protein your body needs, REALLY. You can’t give up cheese, cookies, Diet Coke or insert-favorite-food here? It’s much easier than you think. If this “crap-atarian/meat-atarian/sugar addict” can do it, so can you.

veg in a pan

super easy to whip up dinner!

If you want a consultation with a Whole Foods Healthy Eating Specialist, they will give you a tour of the store, help you find the best foods to eat right or help you with any special diet concerns, and it’s free! In Chicago the South Loop store and the Lincoln Park store have specialists. Check the website calendar for the Health Starts Here tour information.

Unfortunately, there are no healthy eating specialists in the suburbs yet. However, they do have some of the Health Starts Here information in the stores. Look for the signs. I did a search of some of the suburban store calendars and I see the Naperville store is hosting this 28 Day Challenge starting on June 15th. The Schaumburg and Willowbrook stores offer tours if you call or email to schedule one. All of the stores have an array of cooking classes and other activities on their calendars. Check the calendar for the store near you if you want to learn more.

If you’re interested in trying this sort of challenge, on the weekend of June 17-19 the South Loop location is hosting the Eating for Empowerment Weekend. They’ll give you all the tools, recipes, cooking demos, and more so that you can learn how to change the way you eat.