11 Jun 2012
We are doing something different on this Monday morning. Our friends at Whole Foods Market Northern California are inviting customers to participate in a 28-Day Challenge as part of the Engine 2 program. Since Uncle Sam and Erewhon Raisin Bran are recommended by Engine 2, we are sharing a blog post today to bring you in the loop! Neda from Whole Foods, Stevens Creek shares her story of participating in the 28-Day Challenge and insights gleaned from the challenge.
Last fall I watched my vibrant 92-year-old grandfather survive and spring back from a stroke. I was pleasantly shocked, but I quickly recalled how well he took care of his body over the years. That same week, I happened to see a documentary called Forks Over Knives. It was my “a-ha” moment about food. I knew if I didn’t make a drastic lifestyle change I would end up as a chronic Western Disease statistic.
I am privileged to work for a Fortune 500 company; Whole Foods Market is where I plan to retire. I breathe the core values and adore the transparent and loving culture. As a company, we now offer team members and customers a more informed approach to food as a source for better well-being and vitality. When we first launched our seventh Core Value, “Promoting the health of our stakeholders through healthy eating education,” I had no idea I would be offered a life-changing opportunity.
Early this year, I applied to attend a Total Health Immersion with Rip Esselstyn of the Engine 2 Diet, in order to learn how to give up junk food, processed products and anything with a mother or a face, all in one week. Rip calls this lifestyle “Plant Strong.” On April 16th, I met the Engine 2 Diet team in Pahoa, Hawaii, along with more than one hundred Whole Foods Market team members from around the country. The Engine 2 Diet is designed to challenge you for 28 days because it takes about that amount of time to see a change in your biometrics and to kick the abrupt fat, sugar and salt cravings.
52 days in (who’s counting?) and I have found some favorite foods that have helped me get through my challenge. Uncle Sam Toasted Whole Wheat Berry Flakes and Flax seeds with a splash of almond milk, raisins and sliced bananas is my favorite breakfast that gets me to my next meal and fuels me with the energy I need to get me through the day. Strawberries, apples or baked kale chips are often my go-to snacks. As for one of my favorite dinners, try Rip’s Plant-Strong Shepherd’s Pie- you can find this yummy recipe in the Engine 2 Diet book, which can be found at your nearest Whole Foods Market.
I have more energy than I did before the challenge and I never feel heavy or bloated after any of my meals. So far I have lost around 12 pounds, but most importantly I have lowered my cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides and glucose levels significantly enough to keep my challenge going after the initial 28 days.
As a foodie, I can’t believe how far I have come. Some days are harder than others. But when I realized that food didn’t love me the way I loved it, I started to become more interested in living Plant-Strong. I am not sure if it will work for me, or if it will work for you, but it’s only 28 days. And the exciting thing is that Whole Foods Market’s Northern California Region is coming together to have our very own, first-ever Engine 2 Diet 28-Day Challenge and we are inviting everyone to sign up. Register for FREE by June 17th and begin your challenge on June 19th. Oh, and don’t forget to check your store listings for kick-off parties, cooking demonstrations, tours and other supportive events.
I learned a really valuable lesson watching my grandfather slowly recover from his stroke; the most important thing to me is my family and my health. It’s only 28 days, but it’s my life.