Friday, April 20, 2012

Lance Armstrong and the Engine 2 Diet

Want another reason to go vegan, at least part-time? Huffington Post Canada recently interviewed Lance Armstrong, including, among other things, his experience with the Engine 2 Diet, and becoming a part-time vegan (he still eats what he wants for dinner). Coincidentally, Jason recently wrote about Engine 2 over at Cook, Train, Eat, Race.

HUFFINGTON POST CANADA (HPC): Do you have a certain way you approach food?

LANCE ARMSTRONG (LA): I didn’t for a long time until about a month ago until I started messing around with this new diet.

HPC: What changed? 

LA: I started swimming again, and I swim with a guy [ed's note: former triathlete Rip Esselstyn] who started basically a food program called the Engine 2 Diet, which is a plant-based, 100% natural, organic diet. His dad was a famous cardiologist who did Forks Over Knives, and was President Clinton’s doctor. Clinton has gone to a completely vegan diet and he’s essentially erased his heart disease. 

It’s basically whole grains, different types of beans, kale salad with creative alternatives for dressing. They’ll bring out something that looks like a brownie, but it’s not a brownie … though it tastes a bit like a brownie. So I did it for one day, then two days. Then I branched out and started doing it at breakfast and lunch. I still insist that I get to do whatever I want for dinner. But it’s made a significant difference in just in a month. 

HPC: What kind of difference? 

LA: Energy level. Even when you’re training really hard, it’s normal that you would have certain things for lunch or certain things for breakfast, and then have this dip, or almost like a food coma … I don’t experience that anymore. My energy level has never been this consistent, and not just consistent, but high. I’m a big napper -- I couldn’t even take a nap these days if I wanted to. 

The other thing -- I expected to get rid of that dip, but I didn’t expect the mental side of it, and the sharpness and the focus that I’ve noticed. And I was the biggest non-believer, I was like ‘whatever man’, and I’m in. I’m not doing dinners yet, but breakfast and lunch, I’m in. 

HPC: Do you think it’s pretty sustainable? 

LA: If I were to stay in Austin, it’s very sustainable. It’s harder when you get on the road, of course -- I mean, you walk out that door and breakfast is sitting there. None of that [muffins, croissants, etc.] is on the Engine 2 diet. So it gets harder and harder. But you can even travel with stuff. Breakfast is not hard, you bring your cereal and then you go to the store and buy almond milk, you buy bananas to put on top of it. If you plan, then it’s possible.

Pretty good endorsement, don't you think?

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  1. Yep,
    That's my new training partner (although he doesn't know it yet)..
    I will check this diet out... old men need all the help they can get... so I'll tell Arnie too

  2. We should try the 28 day challenge...

  3. sounds interesting!

    with my own recent food experiments - i am much more tired in the morning after i eat dairy (harder than normal to wake up). i also feel more sluggish during my runs if i've eaten wheat or dairy.

    now, i know these just pertain to me, so i am by no means saying this is the "right" way to eat, but i do think it could be worthwhile for people to try!

  4. I saw a shepherds pie recipe somewhere (maybe on their website) that looked pretty good actually.

  5. It works. I have gotten rid of oil in my diet from a cooking perspective and I have lost a good 5-10 pounds and my body fat is down about 3% as well.

    I love having Rip's Big Bowl on Saturday morning before my long workout. Saturday's are the only day I take a nap and that is usually because it is due to a 4-5 hour workout. Otherwise there is no need to nap either.

    1. I did a modified version for a weeek, lost 6 pounds! Then went back to a less strict version, lots of processed carbs like tortillas, used vegan cheese, etc -- 6 pounds came back. You know I'm back on it now!


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