Whole Foods Plant Based is much more than vegan. We've discussed this. No processed foods. Nothing out of a box. Nothing in a wrapper. Real food. Greens at every meal and ..... NO OIL!
This is how you clean your arteries. This is how you regain your health from the economic system that stole it away with slogans like: "Milk does a body good", "Beef, its whats for dinner", "Pork, The other white meat", "Have it your way", and my all time favorite "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce".... let's get those tomatoes and onions out of there while we're at it... who needs vegetables.
For the FaceBook people here there is a very active facebook group calling themselves The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Challenge Group. These folks are regaining their health through a whole foods plant based diet. The Seven-Day Rescue Challenge asks you to eat a strict whole foods plant based diet for seven days. The theory is you will feel so much better after the seven day challenge you might just stick with it and save your life. There are many recipes, many stories, many successes and many failures.
Watch this group and learn. They are helpful, informative, and extremely supportive of each other. Seven days on this diet isn't going to hurt anyone. How can eating real food, food without a brand name attached to it, hurt anyone.
It doesn't take more than a few minutes to peek into this world. A world where human beings are eating what they are supposed to be eating instead of eating what the television tells us to eat.
These before and after Seven-Day Rescue Challenge photos are of a man named Joseph Alexander
This is Joseph's story:
I want to talk to you guys for a minute.
Yeah, you. Especially you.
The newer folks, and the longer-term folks who have found themselves struggling to stay on-plan. The ones who might not always be quite sure where you are going with all of this.
When I started this, and for a long time after, I wasn't all that sure where I was going. I had always had some ideas about what I was trying to do, and how great everything would be if I ever managed to get those pounds off. But as success started to happen, I found that where I was going wasn't where I thought.
In January of 2015 I was laying in a hospital bed with a massive septic infection, on IV antibiotics. This was the first of many infections. A surgical resident came in to talk to me while I was lying there.
"Your A1c," he said, "is 9.7."
"Uh-oh!" I replied.
"Yeah, you're diabetic. Do you know how much you weigh?"
"Mmm, around 394, last time I checked." The last time I had checked was some time before that, but I had abandoned the scale because I wasn't seeing good things on it.
"I don't know when that was," said the resident. "But you weigh a LOT more than 394 pounds now." He never told me the actual number.
I fought with myself and my behaviors about food for the next two years. I struggled to maintain a whole-food, plant-based diet. I would lose 20 or 30 pounds, my doctor would be impressed, and let me stay off meds for awhile. But after a few months, there really weren't any options. So I started antidiabetic medications. My infections were frequent enough so that I kept antibiotics in the refrigerator all of the time, and carried them with me when we traveled.
Despite all of this, I couldn't seem to find my way. By the beginning of 2017 my glucose readings were always out of control. My mobility was limited. Almost anything that required any sort of exertion, I said no to. I was waiting to slowly--or maybe quickly--die. I came to believe that I was doing what people my age did: added more and more medications, and acquired more and more chronic conditions.
I don't know what made me keep going. I really don't. But at New Years of 2017 I decided to try going back to basics, to do something--anything--that was better than what I was doing. I watched Forks Over Knives for the umpteenth time. I started poking around on the Forks Over Knives and Engine 2 websites. Rip had just published The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet. There was an online challenge that I joined, and a brand-new Facebook group with only a few hundred people in it.
I made the decision to try the Seven-Day Rescue, even though the things it suggested went against my way of thinking. Carbs? Corn? POTATOES?! GRAINS?! I thought that I would gain weight, my glucose levels would go even higher, and I would end up on insulin.
But it was only seven days.
And it was a heck of a lot better than what I was doing.
So I bit.
I made some important decisions based on 40 years of trying all sorts of different ways to get rid of fat. One of the most important: not one bite of off-plan food. From hundreds of experiments I knew that was all that it would take to send me spiraling right back to where I started, or worse.
That was over 18 months ago.
Long-story made short... In two days, my glucose levels were normal. In six weeks, I discontinued my medications. My hemoglobin A1c is now 4.3 (or was, the last time it was checked a couple of months ago). Most importantly, as my body changed, I stopped saying no to the things I wanted to do. Now, I never say no!
Several months ago, I started running, a sport I have always dreaded. I simply was never built to be a runner. But I persist, and I continue to make progress.
The biggest step: I got up, and I crossed the threshold of my house.
I started by running 10 seconds and walking 2 minutes. That was SO hard! I used a 5k training program, making sure to run 3 days per week. I made sure not to push myself beyond where I was at the moment. I found a running club (some of you are here), a group of guys who have done more for me than I can ever repay.
And the results, so far: In less than 12 hours I will cross the starting gate for the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon, on what is known as one of the toughest courses on the planet. 15.5 miles starting at 10,200 feet above sea level, and going up to over 13,000. I can't believe that I am here. I can't believe I think I can do this thing. But here I am.
I don't know what is going to happen tomorrow. Will I finish? I sure hope so. I may come in last. I may not make it back to the finish gate before the time cutoff. I may not be able to get to the top of the mountain. But here is what it says on the toes of the socks I bought here, yesterday: "The Race Across the Sky - I commit - I will not quit."
So here is what I wanted to talk to you about: This thing I am doing tomorrow (along with several other members of this group) is a race, but the only race is against myself. My only competition is me and my brain. I do not need to hurry. I do not need to get to the finish line first (as if). In fact, I do not even need to finish the race (though I really, really want that medal).
BUT I DO NEED TO START. I need to pry myself out of bed. I need to dress up, and lace up. And I need to go through that gate. And then... and then... and then I COMMIT. I WILL NOT QUIT. And then I win. By starting, I am doing so much more than the old me would ever have considered.
And that is exactly what we do here. We commit. JUST START. Even if you have started a thousand times before.
And once you have started, recognize that you have made progress. DO NOT QUIT. With just one meal, starting with just one bite, you are doing incredible things for yourself! It may not show on the scale for awhile. It may not show in the mirror. If you are diabetic, it may take some time for your numbers to come down. But if you commit to follow the plan 100%, you cannot fail.
With just the first steps, just crossing the threshold, you have made progress. And having gained some ground, why would you EVER want to give any of it back?
Listen, I have done nothing that you cannot do. I am not a success story; I have a long way to go! But I want you to know that if I can do this, you can do this, because lemme tell you, I'm nothing special. And there are so many genuine success stories here in this group, people who are living lighthouses for you to follow. Look for them, and pay attention. READ THE BOOK. Read the book. Read the book. These results are typical. And they can be yours. You have found the right place, with the right people, and this is the right time. Reach out and take it.
The Engine 2 meal planner is $30 off through Cyber Monday. So $69 for a year of recipes, food coaches, meal prep help and shopping lists rather than the usual $99. I don't use this planner because I've been in the game long enough to find it unnecessary but I see real value here for beginners who will be lost without all the help they can get. I don't know if the link provided below will work here but it came with my email notification so I included it here. There will likely be another sale after the next national rescue challenge which will likely begin Jan 1st but I don't know that since a large challenge ended in October I believe. There is no need to wait for such a national challenge though. Anytime will do. Today fer instance.
A full year of plant-strong support!
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I read Whole Food Plant Based no added salt, sugar or oil testimonials like this one, from Lisa Westerman, a member of the from the Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Challenge FB group, regularly. As much as I dislike Face Book (detest would be a better adjective) the 7DR FB group has helped so many people I can only commend the existence of such a group that has made such good use of social media to inspire and motivate people to jump onboard. Keeping them there is a different problem but once somebody does the challenge, they always return. Return and return again if need be until the diet and lifestyle become ingrained.
I have no plan to fill this thread with testimonials but every now and again I may post one or two as a reminder
Lisa Westerman - Finsert code hererom the Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Challenge FB Group:
"After watching the Forks Over Knives documentary eight months ago, I decided to do a seven day plant based eating trial. I chose this fabulous Engine Two Seven Day Rescue Facebook group for my trial. Within seven days, I went from being mostly bed bound, in constant pain, to feeling dramatically better. As the days turned into months, my insomnia, neuropathy, bladder and bowel issues, breast pain, inflammatory spinal pain, long standing rheumatoid arthritis, rosacia… went away. Because just one bite of meat, dairy, or oil brings my symptoms back. it’s been easy to remail faithful to this way of eating.
Friends, family, and aquantances have been amazed at the difference in me. For the first time in many years, I’m able to sit in a regular chair instead of needing a recliner or bed. I’m walking easily, I’m on my feet all day. I can drive for hours a day, whereas before a five minute drive brought on horribe pain.
Ten days ago I talked my husband and two teen aged sons into a seven day trial of the Engine Two program. They did so in an attempt to help relieve one of my son’s anxiety, ADHD, and hyper-reactivity. I had no idea if just seven days would be enough to notice any difference in his issues, but seven days was all I could get them to agree to. During those seven days they talked on and on about the pizza and junk food they were going to eat when their seven days were up.
Well, today is day ten and it’s obvious to myself, my husband, my other son, friends, and my ADHD son that he is dramatically improved. His anxiety is gone. He’s not hyper-reactive. He has impulse control. He’s calm. He’s happy.
Who knew that a seven day trial of plant based, no oil, no processed food would bring such relief to my 14 year old? I’ve cried countless happy tears while watching this transformation occur.
Our home will forever be plant based, no oil, no processed food."
If your health issues are caused by the SAD (Standard American Diet) and some of them just might be, the only thing you have to lose is excess weight, high blood pressure, vascular disease and potentially any and all dietary related diseases. The only things you may gain is increased energy, clear skin, and a general sense of well being. No, it won't happen overnight but seven days will probably be enough for you to see a positive change.
Here we are again. January 1st. Resolution day. Well, what are we going to do about it this time? Perhaps it's best not to have any unrealistic expectations for a change. Perhaps, if we begin to flail around a bit, we can hop back up on the wagon we either fell off or jumped off with extreme prejudice.
Some people like the idea of a starting date when truthfully there is never a better time than right now. Weight loss and health in general begins at the dinner table. This year's New Year National Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Challenge begins January 7th and lasts for one short week. One week is enough time to disrupt all of your bad dietary habits. It is enough time for you to see what all of the hub bub is all about. Most importantly, it is enough time for you to see some real results. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. But you've got to start.
This is a lifestyle change. It's not about the finish line. There is no finish line. It's about the journey. You will lose some weight and gain enough energy so a bit of exercise might begin to seem like something you might want to do.