I’ve decided to add a new challenge to the 2014 goals list; I’ll be participating in the Engine 2 Diet 28 Day Challenge and blogging about the journey along the way. A Whole Foods Plant Based diet is a diet based on whole or minimally processed plants, primarily fruits, vegetables, whole grains, tubers, and legumes. It excludes or minimizes animal-based foods such as meat (including poultry and fish), dairy, and eggs, as well as refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.
The 28-day Challenge has two participation levels, Fire Cadet for those completely new to the WFPB world and Firefighter for those further along. The Fire Cadet challenge eases participants into the challenge – Week 1: no dairy, refined sugars or processed foods; Week 2: add-on no meat, fish, or eggs; Week 3: add-on no oils; Week 4: continue on for a strong finish. The Firefighter challenge starts off full-in. On the Challenge website you can download the free e-books, which contain meal plans, recipes and other info.
As I approach my two year anniversary of living vegetarian, mostly vegan, mostly plant-based I’ll go straight for the Firefighter challenge. My meals have been nearly complete WFPB, but I tend to stray when it comes to snacks (particularly finding oil free snacks). The challenge for me will be to get to 100% WFPB meals, develop healthier WFPB snacking options, and (at least for the challenge) give up my dinner glass of wine. I won’t be giving up my morning coffee though! I have one 16 oz cup of black coffee a day and it stays, non-negotiable; I’ll give up my occasional diet Coke and my glass of wine, and limit to my one cup of coffee.
If you’re starting to sway from your resolutions, want to dip a toe in the vegetarian world, are inspired by Beyonce, or just generally up for a diet re-start give the E2 Challenge a try! The community atmosphere will probably make it easier to start out and you’ll be surprised how much your cravings and palate changes once you get past the first week. When I started on this diet two years ago it was meant to be a vegetarian experiment timed to Lent, but I realized that I had more energy, felt generally better and was enjoying trying new things and turned the diet into a lifestyle.
The Engine 2 Challenge is 3 February through 3 March with many local Whole Foods Markets participating as well.