Engine 2 Plant-Strong Products
There is beauty in simplicity.
School has started, life is busy, and the big question of the day is how to make healthy meals or snacks when time is limited. Rip Esselstyn, author of The Engine 2 Diet and My Beef With Meat combined forces with Whole Foods to create a healthy line of plant-based food products – cereals, milks, burgers, grain medley, tortillas, crackers, and hummus – which means they are made from whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. In other words, there are no animals products, no added oils, minimal added sugar, if at all, less than 25% total calories from fat per serving, and a 1:1 ration of milligrams of sodium to calories per serving. Best of all, the products taste delicious, which is just what you would expect of foods made with wholesome, natural ingredients.
Many people think a plant-based diet is extreme because we have been conditioned since birth to think animals are needed for protein and calcium. Animal meat and milk sourced from cows are indeed a source of these nutrients but so are beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruits – and according to Esselstyn and many advocates of plant-based diets, a more nutritious source of nourishment. One look at Rip Esselstyn – an All American swimmer, former firefighter and triathlete who is completely ripped – and you won’t need to ask “but where do you get your protein from?” “Plant-strong” since 1987, Esselstyn trademarked the term and prefers “plant-strong” to vegan to encourage more people to move towards a plant-based diet.
Most grocery stores are filled with packaged and frozen foods and Esselstyn realized the world isn’t going to adopt a plant-based diet based on medical evidence alone. Easy, convenient, and tasty foods have to be available outside of the produce department to show people there are alternatives to the processed, meat, and dairy based meals we grew up on and are used to. So, Esselstyn and Whole Foods got together to offer delicious and nutritious prepared foods for those who want to start taking steps toward a plant-based diet. “Progress, not perfection” is what my vegan daughter tells me which is a gentle form of encouragement.
There are three Engine 2 Cereals, referred to as Rip’s Big Bowl: Original, Banana Walnut, and Triple Berry Walnut. Each cereal is high in protein and fiber and low in sodium and sugar. The Original is a wholesome blend of grains (rolled oats, Shredded Wheat, Uncle Sam Cereal, Ezekiel 4:9 Cereal), raisins, ground flaxseed and walnuts.
The Banana Walnut version replaces the raisins with freeze-dried bananas. And, the Triple Berry Walnut contains freeze-dried strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, instead of raisins, bananas or walnuts. The cereals are sold in 13 ounce boxes and can be found in the cereal aisle of Whole Foods. The cost – about $5.
Pour a cup of Engine 2 Almondmilk on top of a Rip’s Big Bowl for a great tasting combination. The Almondmilk comes in two versions: unsweetened original and unsweetened vanilla. Creamy and delicious, this shelf-stable nut milk tastes decadent but isn’t. A cup contains 40 calories and is delicious poured over cereal, oatmeal, or as a replacement in recipes that call for milk. Sold in 32-ounce containers in the shelf-stable milk aisle, Engine 2 Almondmilk has no added sugars or sweeteners.
What I really love about Engine 2 products is that I can trust them. I don’t have to read the label to make sure there are no undesirable additives, flavorings, or preservatives and for me, that is a huge timesaver. So, look for the red, gold, and white box in the aisles and freezer section at your local Whole Foods and make your life a bit more “plant-strong.”
For more information on Engine 2 Plant-Strong Products, go to the company website: www.engine2diet.com.
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