Rip Esselstyn developed his "Engine 2 Diet" plan for a team of overweight Texas firefighters, but anyone battling their cholesterol, weight, or overall health can appreciate its benefits.
Even heroes need to be rescued sometimes. Dr. Oz aids a team of 3 Chicago firefighters who have been ignoring the alarms and have fallen victim to the likes of hypertension, heart disease and obesity. Below is the Drill Plan that Dr. Oz and Rip are recommending to save their lives:
Drill 1: Extinguish Dairy and Processed Foods
No dairy of any kind. This includes all dairy--milk, cheese, creams, yogurt, butter, ice cream, and sour cream. Also, no processed or refined foods--and that means white rice, white flour, white pasta, white bread, and anything else that is processed: cakes, cookies, unhealthy chips, sodas, etc.
Below is a lasagna recipe that replaces cheese full of artery clogging fat and beef loaded with dietary cholesterol with antioxidant-rich vegetables the fiber of whole grain noodles. It's less than half the calories of traditional lasagna!
Sweet Potato & Vegetable Lasagna
1 onion, chopped
1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1 head broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 package firm tofu
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
2 jars pasta sauce
2 boxes whole grain lasagna noodles
16 oz frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
1 cup raw cashews, ground
Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Saute the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid. Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan. Saute the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl. Saute the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to them to the vegetable bowl. Drain the tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.
Cover the bottom of a 9x13 inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Cover the noodles with sauce. This way the noodles cook in the oven, saving time and energy. Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add another layer of sauce, the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the over for 15 minutes. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Drill 2: Extinguish Meats and Eggs
Now you stop eating meat, chicken, eggs, and fish, and continue to avoid dairy and refined foods. In other words, no pork, no turkey, no buffalo, no venison. Nothing that paws a hoof or flaps a wing. Nothing with a face and nothing with a mother, on land or in water.
The recipe below offers a healthy substitute for your favorite burger and fries.
Portobello Mushroom Burger with Sweet Potato Fries
Makes 4 burgers
4 Portobello mushrooms, rinsed
Vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Splash of beer (optional)
Cracked pepper to taste
1 large red onion, sliced into thin rounds
4 whole grain buns
Tomato slices, lettuce, spinach or other favorites
Preheat oven to 450 ° F. Snap the stems off the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms face-up on a baking sheet. Splash a few drops of tamari (variation:use BBQ Sauce instead!) and Worcestershire (beer splash is optional) into each cap. Season with pepper. Place the stems into the caps. Cook in a casserole dish for 10-15 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft and filled with liquid. Enjoy the stems as starters!
Cook the onion rounds on high heat in sprayed skillet for 5 minutes, stirring often, until wilted and brown. Spread the buns with Dijon mustard. Place each mushroom on a toasted bun with cooked onion, tomato, lettuce or spinach, and your favorite fixings.
Sweet Potato Fries
2 sweet potatoes with skins on, scrubbed and sliced into strips
Preheat the oven to 450 ° F. Place the potato slices on a sprayed baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil. Cook for 30-40 minutes, turning once. Remove the foil after 20 minutes to allow the slices to brown.
Drill 3: Extinguish Bad Oils
Keep the lid on all oils. Yes, you stop eating all added or extracted oils, whether they're olive, canola, coconut, or any other. No baked goods with added oils. No salad dressings with added oils. And we don't cook with added oils. This is not because all oil is bad for you - it's because they each add extra calories to your food. Now you're doing the whole shebang: no dairy, no refined foods, no meat, and no added oils.
Below is a recipe for brownies containing applesauce instead of oils and ground flax seed meal instead of eggs.
Dark Chocolate Brownies
Makes about 20 brownies
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp egg substitute mixed with 1/4 cup water
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp soy milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups (dairy-free) 60% chocolate chips or chunks
Preheat oven to 375 ° F. Combine the sugars and applesauce with an electric or handheld mixer. Beat in the Ener-G mixture, soy milk, vanilla, and vinegar. Combine the dry ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a separate bowl. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients, then stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a sprayed 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Drill 4: Add Cardio & Strength Training
Exercise is a crucial step essential to any weight loss plan. There are simple routines that you can be done in the firehouse, your office, or your living room.
For those of you who never started the diet, started and quit, or started and did it modestly, the Engine 2 Diet door will always be ajar so don't bother knocking. Just let yourself in whenever the time is right and you've decided to make health a priority. The Engine 2 support website, is a great support community for those looking for extra guidance, a community forum, downloadable recipes, and the science that supports this lifestyle.
Click here for an update from the 3 Chicago firefighters who followed the 4-week plan.