ASM Wellness contributing writer Mycah Kirkland sits down with Carol Venclik as she shares how she regained her health and vitality following the Engine 2 Diet.
In November 2012, AIA Instructor, Carol Venclik, was told by her physician that her alarming cholesterol numbers warranted the immediate commencement of regulatory medication. However, as Carol puts it, “I told her she needed to give me an opportunity to show her who I was”, and that she did. In Part One of our three-part interview series, Carol gives us insights into what started her on this life-changing journey, where she found her initial motivation, and the one thing she needed every week to keep her going.
MK: Carol, tell us about your experience. How did you get started with the Forks Over Knives/Engine 2 way of life?
CV: My daughter watched this documentary called Forks Over Knives. Since she had never been a big meat eater, she decided that she was going to stop eating meat. Of course, the first thing I said to her was “where are you going to get your protein?” This is what people say… it’s really the fallacy of all of this.
In November, I went to see my doctor and when she saw my cholesterol numbers she told me we needed to talk about getting on meds.
MK: This was last year, 2012?
Yes. She was a new doctor and told me that “since we’re brand new together” and she “really didn’t know me”, in her right mind she couldn’t let me leave without putting me on cholesterol meds. Because I’m not really a “pill person”; I told her she needed to give me an opportunity to show her who I am. And she agreed.
MK: So, how did you show her?
CV: That day we booked an appointment for four months out – February 4th. After I left I called my daughter and she said: “Mom, you know what to do. Read that book you won and watch Forks Over Knives and Engine 2 in the Kitchen!”
MK: Your daughter also mentioned a book that you won?
CV: Yes. Last year, my family did a vigil for my brother-in-law when he passed away from cancer… one of those 24-hour walks. My daughter, who had started the Engine 2 diet, decided to have a booth there. She wrote Rip (Esselstyn creator of the Engine 2 Diet) and told him what we were doing. He sent the book as a door prize, and that night I won the book. Of course, I didn’t get motivated to read it until I was told that I needed to get on meds.
MK: Amazing. You had it the whole time.
CV: Do you know the expression: “When the students are ready, the teacher appears”? Well, it was like that. I felt I needed to wait until after the Holidays to get started. In January, Whole Foods had an “Engine 2 Challenge” that I signed up for. Not long after that, I was speaking with a woman who told me that I should go to the Seventh Day Adventist Church because they were doing the “Daniel Challenge”. All of a sudden, everywhere I went people were telling me how to cook. I also got DVDs by Jack Novak, Dr. Freeman, and Neil Bernard.
I started watching Engine 2 in the Kitchen every single week to show me that I had options and that I could do this. Then, before I noticed it, my clothes started fitting in a different way.
Learn the physical and emotional impact that Engine 2 has had on Carol’s life, and the dramatic reduction she experienced in her cholesterol levels in part 3 of our series.
Read more about the origins of Forks Over Knives and Engine 2 diet in part 1 of this series.
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup brown rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers, seeded, deveined, and diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
8 whole-grain buns
In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce the heat, and cook until beans are softened, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in another medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil, add the rice, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a sauté pan, sauté the garlic, onion, and peppers until lightly browned.
In a large bowl, combine the lentils, rice, and vegetables. Add the salt and chili powder and mix well. Add a bit of flour to hold the mixture together, if needed. Form into burger-sized patties and place on a parchment lined baking sheet or press into a loaf pan.
Bake burgers until slightly firm, about 15 minutes, or bake the loaf for about 25 minutes.