In the final installment of her 4-part series, ASM Wellness Contributing Writer Mycah Kirkland explores the impact that following the Engine 2 Diet has had on the lives of two members of the ASM community.
Before covering this story at the request of ASM Founder, Leticia Allen, I knew nothing about the Engine 2 Diet. I had never heard of the documentary Forks Over Knives, and like many women, I was absolutely convinced that a diet rich in grains and fruit would be detrimental to my overall health due to the high intake of “carbs” when following that particular way of eating. I must say, however, that after speaking with Carol Venclik (an Engine 2 success story) at length and seeing the documented positive effects that this approach to eating has had on her overall health and vitality, my skepticism has begun to wane. In November 2012, Carol was told by her physician that her cholesterol numbers were alarming and she needed medication. After making a follow up appointment on the spot, Carol challenged herself to improve these numbers without medication. At the time of her appointment Carol’s cholesterol numbers read this way:
Cholesterol 270 HDL 64/ LDL 188
In February 2013, after four months of total immersion in the Engine 2 Diet, Carol’s cholesterol levels were again checked and the difference was staggering:
Cholesterol 186 HDL 78/LDL 119
Carol also lost 35 pounds…
Still not totally convinced, and feeling the need for a “second opinion”, I also spoke with Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics’ graduate Rebekah Warlick. When I asked Rebekah her reasons for trying the Engine 2 Diet, she told me that, like Carol, she too had struggled with weight issues throughout her life. After trying a pescatarian diet and seeing positive results, she became curious as to what additional results she could achieve if she took things a step further and has grown her success, further. Says Rebekah: “About a month after [switching to a pescatarian diet], I switched to an entirely vegan diet…I could not believe the way animals were being treated just so humans could fulfill their pleasures. That was another huge reason for the best switch of my life!” That switch: a complete embrace of the Engine 2 Diet. To date, Rebekah has lost a total of 30 pounds on Engine 2 and plans to document her complete journey in an online blog.
So what about you? What strategies do you have in place to maintain a healthy lifestyle? At ASM Wellness, we are not advocating any particular diet or a “one size fits all” approach to wellness; rather, the embracing of wellness as an overall way of life. For balance, I would love the opportunity to cover the paleo or “caveman” diet for the ASM Wellness blog at some point in the firstname.lastname@example.org and allow those (such as ASM Wellness contributor Eric Lichtfuss) who are strong proponents of that lifestyle weigh in on the success that they’ve seen with that very different approach to wellness. If there is anything that I’ve learned from this experience, it’s this: each one of us must advocate for our own health and find and follow a lifestyle and diet that allows our bodies to work optimally everyday.
If you are reading this and personally wondering where to begin, I strongly encourage you to make an appointment with a student trainer. Contact SensAbility, the ASM Wellness teaching clinc, to find out more or schedule a personal trainer series . Each day, students are learning cutting edge fitness and nutrition practices and are ready to help you navigate a path to regaining greater health and vitality.