Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wrap Up - Engine 2 Diet 28 Day Challenge

Tuesday was the final day of the challenge so I had my blood test done again on Wednesday morning. The numbers pretty much speak for themselves actually. But I like to babble so you will have to wait. ;-)

So the 28 Day Challenge ended on Tuesday night but Wednesday was a busy day besides getting my blood work done and meeting with the Dietitian. So I treated it pretty much like any other day of the 28 day challenge. Thursday night though we went to Pacific East in Coventry in Cleveland Heights for our year end Board of Directors Meeting for the Japanese Association of Northeast Ohio (JANO). Reality is that I really like sushi and if I had not been mindful I would have eaten way more than I should have.

One of the take aways I have from the Hyland sponsored nutrition classes I took this summer, meeting with the Dietitian, but most of all through implementing it during the 28 Day Challenge is being aware of eating when I am eating. So Thursday night with literally a miniature boat of sushi placed in front of my I started to go into shark mode - a mindless feeding frenzy. Until I caught myself and realized that I was stuffing my face as fast as I could - so I slowed down and noticed that I was actually full. So I stopped eating. VICTORY!

I still ended up 2 pounds heavier the next morning and not nearly as hungry as I have been upon waking during the 28 Day Challenge. Which means dinner was still in my stomach, unprocessed. I am not overly stressed about that but it was informative.

Later in the day was my team's year-end "outing". The team selected Dave and Buster's so we went to eat and play some pool. The pool was a blast, I haven't played in a while. But more to the topic of this blog I struggled with what to order for our late lunch. After the Engine2 meals or meals from The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, or even my own concoctions, a plate of iceburg lettuce with a tablespoon of other stuff mixed in all topped with feta cheese and dressing just isn't appetizing. So considering I wasn't on the challenge anymore I went with what seemed to be the healthiest - Cabo Chicken.

There are *two* items on the Dave and Buster's menu labeled as under 600 calories. The Cabo Chicken and a Skewered Shrimp thingie. That's it. I ordered the chicken because it was grilled and I thought it was the entry that had the highest chance of not containing extracted oil - I even got the dressing for the chicken put on the side since that probably had oil. When it came out I looked at is and said okay two slabs of meat, a spoonful of rice and some broccoli. It's just so blah, presentation wise for one thing. What did stick out to me was that the overwhelming volume was the chicken. I realized that I no longer find the normal American presentation of food appetizing with its overwhelming focus on meat. Even so, I had to ask the waitress to take my plate because while I had left almost all of the second slab of chicken, I found myself continuing to eat it while waiting for the others to finish. Mindless eating once again.

If you have read this far, clearly you really want so see the numbers. So I'll get on with it.

To recap, I began making changes in late August, heck even had a black bean burger for the first time in my life when Arisa and I went out for our 24th Anniversary. That was motivated by the fact that I wanted to get the Healthcare Premium discount for having a BMI of under 29. I knew then that it was day late and a dollar short. But that is when I started tracking my weight in MyFitnessPal.

On September 10th, we had the biometrics done at Hyland's Wellness Center. At some point, after watching Forks over Knives I purchased Rip Esselstyn's Engine 2 Diet and then The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. Based on those I decided to try Rip's Engine 2 Diet 28 Day Challenge but I put the start date out a month so I could learn how to shop for and cook some of these new fangled things called veggies. And I began to eliminate those things from my diet that I was going to have to give up for the challenge since going cold turkey probably would have been too hard. On October 22nd, we did blood work and weigh ins to officially kickoff the 28 day challenge. And on November 19th we did the ending blood work and weigh in.

Take a gander.

Starting NumbersSept. 10, 2014October 22, 2014November 19, 2014
Height65 Inches65 Inches65 Inches
Body Fat %30.930.228.6
Total Cholesterol169141129

So for the challenge, I officially lost 7.4 pounds reducing my BMI to 27.6 enough to get the Healthcare Premium discount(Booya!). My Bodyfat % dropped by 2% as well. A 12 point drop in cholesterol, and 11 point drop in LDL, a point increase in HDL and a point drop in the ratio. My Triglycerides dropped 13 points. The only odd one was the increase by 8 points in my Glucose results, but even that number is under 100 and in the normal range.

The more telling picture is from the September biometrics to the end of the the Challenge: 17 pound weigh loss, BMI reduction of 3 points, 40 point drop in Total Cholesterol, a 24 point drop in LDL, and a 2.64 point drop in the cholesterol ratio, and a 11 point drop in my Glucose.

I previously mentioned that I started recording my weight in late August in MyfitnessPal. Well here's the graph of my weight loss.

I like the trend, it helps keep me motivated.

What's the Plan, Stan?

So I am really pleased with the results. Friends at work know that the challenge is over and have asked "Now what?" Am I going to continue on with this crazy diet? Great question. My answer really hasn't changed actually, I've known from the start what I was going to do. The results of the Challenge only solidified that for me by using my own achievements against the little devil on my left shoulder whispering temptations.

I still have not lost sight of the fact that my goal is 150 while I'm 50. In other words I still want to lose around 15 pounds before next April. That will get me into the normal BMI range and most likely get my bodyfat % into the normal range as well. I also have a new goal based on the challenge, and due to the results I think this new goal is achievable. The goal is to get my LDL to under 80 which according to Dr. Esselstyn will make my heart disease proof. I am convinced that the diet the Esselstyn Clan is promoting is the best way to achieve those goals. So I will continue to be plant strong. But plant-strong ish.

I will have meat but only occasionally. For example, it is simply un-American to not have Turkey, Stuffing and Gravy on Thanksgiving day. But that doesn't mean my plate needs to be 90% turkey and gravy - in fact I have taken PTO on Wednesday before thanksgiving so I can prepare plant strong, heart healthy food for Thanksgiving - the turkey is just a side dish.

So while I won't completely eliminate meat from my diet, I do intent to largely continue with plant strong only meals. I will also continue to avoid dairy and cheese in particular. I will also avoid extracted oil particularly when cooking myself. For somethings like buying unsalted peanuts that have added oil I am not going to be too finicky - it's a pain to shell peanuts to make my peanut butter. But I do intend to increase the consumption of blanched peanuts I can source from our local Indian stores. Blanched peanuts have no added oils.

I forget who said it but over the last month or so someone said something that has stuck with me about extracted oils. Neat little test you can easily do. Cover your hands in a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Wait, let's make sure we go healthy - use extra virgin olive oil. Now rub your hands together and make sure they are coated nicely. Go ahead, I'll wait.

Now just rinse you hands off. Did the oil come off? Did it come off easily? Or did you need to rub and rub or even add some soap to get it off? Now think of that on all your internal cells. Yuck.

So let's make it simple. The goal is 150 by April, LDL under eighty by:

  • Plant Strongish and it's corollary, No Meatish
  • No Dairy
  • Avoid extracted oil
  • Only whole grains
  • Continue exercising appropriately

I thought it important to stress plant strong corollary since it clearly states that the general rule is no meat.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, beginning Monday I will be participating in the Holiday Hold. The end weigh in will be January 5th so that may be a good time to provide an update. I will also probably put up another post with some random thoughts about my experience with the Challenge. So keep a look out for that.

Have a great weekend and Go Browns!

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