Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet

Rip Esselstyn has a new book and program out called The Engine 2 Seven Day Rescue Diet. You can see the details of it in this PDF file. Note that although it's on a Dropbox site you DO NOT need a Dropbox account to download it, nor to you even have to sign in with the suggested Google or FaceBook account. The last option is to just continue without signing in. That will open the PDF file in your browser and you can then just click the Download button on that page to save it.

For those of you already quite familiar with the whole foods plant based, Plant Strong way of eating, there is no new material here. For those who own any of the other Engine 2 or any of the Esselstyn Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease books, neither the info nor the majority of the recipes are new. Also, like what happened in The Healthiest Diet on the Planet, some of the recipes are old ones just released under a new name.

The purpose of the book and and Rip's in-person 7 Day Rescue programs are to convert SAD eaters to the WFPB way of eating. But many of us are completists and want to read, probably own, not only every McDougall book ever published but anything the Esselstyn family puts out, too. Well, with the exception of the book Plant Strong, which is just the paperback & Kindle version of My Beef With Meat released with a new title.

Rip and his sister Jane put together this nice introductory program, and in the book Rip explains all the whys and how-to's of the program. Jane contributes all the recipes and cooking preparation advice. If you like the recipes in the other Engine 2 books and web site, you'll like these. Older recipes have been slightly updated to recommend the Engine 2 food products sold exclusively through Whole Foods, but they do also suggest what can be used in place of them.

Bowls and Flats are the main categories of recipes, and they each come with their own handy dandy chart, which you can see in glorious color in that PDF I link to above. Breakfast Bowls, Salad Bowls, Flats (a.k.a. open faced sandwiches), Dinner Bowls. There are also soups in with the flats, but no Soup Bowl chart for those. With these charts and once a week batch cooking you can have a plethora of meals on hand without having to even think - just open the 'fridge, grab a few ingredients, nuke what needs to be reheated, put it all together, and grab a fork. I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not very inventive in the kitchen - I like to have someone tell me what combinations go well together. The most improvisation I've done lately is substitute romaine lettuce instead of bread when making sandwiches because I can no longer have gluten and winter squash or turnips for the potatoes I continue to react to.

I think I'll even print out those full color charts from the PDF file and hang them on my kitchen cabinets. It'll make grocery shopping and meal times so much easier.

My only complaint about the book (Come on now, you all know me. You know I have to gripe about *something*!! LOL) is the small serving sizes suggested in some of the recipes. In the intro to the breakfast section, they write: "Wow yourself with the size of your cereal bowl. Pile it so high that you are still eating it in the carpool lane at the pre-school drop-off, on the train to work, in the midmorning meeting at the office, or on the way to your 10am yoga class!" All the oatmeal breakfasts come out to a cup to a cup and a half, cooked, per serving. That wouldn't hold me for long, much less still be eating it at 10am! What do they plan, we eat a bite an hour? While watching this video where Rip talks about the program in Sedona, notice the size of the food served on the plates. Most are pretty small servings on smallish paper plates. Desserts are served in paper cups. Now, that might be a sample from a cooking demo, but then again, maybe not. Coming from the McDougall and Ultimate Weight Loss programs, where you're told to pile up your plate high with veggies and starches, going for these smaller portions will take a bit to get used to. Then again, there are still a lot of people out there who aren't losing as much weight as they want eating those large UWL and McD portions, so this may be exactly what's needed.

When people on the Facebook community show their batch-cooked meals and how they're portioned out, they're usually shown in pint-sized (2 cups, 500 ml) jars.

So, if you were on the fence about getting this book and like all the Engine 2 recipes you already have, like to put together meals on the fly from what you already have in your fridge, like to cook just once a week, and don't mind "bowl" and "flat" meals, this is the book for you.


  1. Silly me. I usually just eyeball my oatmeal water, then add the measured amount of oats and fruit. On a whim this morning, I decided to pour everything into measuring cups, just to see exactly how much I'm actually eating.
    The completed breakfast was around 2 cups, with all the fruit. BUT, I realize now it's that much volume not because of the oats or fruit, but because I've been using 1 1/2 cups of water.
    No wonder 1 1/2 cup servings of oatmeal and fruit look stingy to me.

    My lunch for today will be leftover pea soup, and I would usually finish off the 3-cups that are in container. Today I'll measure out 1 1/2 cups and put the rest away for tomorrow's lunch. I'll have a small salad of butter lettuce, red onions, and beets to go with it for bulk.

    Tonight's dinner is a bowl meal - rice and veggies. We usually have 2 cups of rice each, and split 2-3 pounds of veggies. Original plans were to make a dal to go with this, but I may just cook up some Good Mother Stallard beans from Rancho Gordo and have a half cup of them in mine. Since the 7 Day Rescue book says to get greens in every meal, even though I'm cooking cauliflower I'll also chop up a head of romaine to lay down as the base of the bowl. If I'm still hungry after eating this bowl, I'll grab some natural sugar-free applesauce, although I usually have my fruit only at breakfast.

  2. Also, it was pointed out on FB that the PDF file I mentioned in the post above only has the chart for breakfast bowls and flats. In the text of the brochure nobody mentions the other meals, and some people, those who don't own the 7 Day Rescue book, thought it meant we're to only eat 2 meals a day, since the moderators are telling people that everything you need to know about the program is in the brochure.
    It's not.
    Three meals, no snacks. Follow the program as written for 7 days. After that, either add a few more foods, like that second slice of bread on your sandwich or even some tofu, or just repeat the 7 Day Rescue week as many times as you want. At that point, it's no different than the regular McDougall program.

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