Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Take the Engine 2 Challenge

Engine 2 is a plan of action for following — and sticking to — a heart-healthy, mind-healthy, body-healthy, taste-bud-tempting plant-strong® lifestyle, created by former firefighter, Rip Esselstyn. 

Meet Rip, the Engine Behind the Diet

When former tri-athlete turned firefighter Rip Esselstyn discovered that several of his colleagues were in danger due to poor health, he came to the rescue and changed their diets. The results were so dramatic that Rip wrote a best-selling book, The Engine 2 Diet®, to spread the word. If Rip can save an entire Texas fire brigade, imagine what he can do for you and your family!

The Engine 2 Diet Philosophy

The guiding principle is simple: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds give your body the fuel it needs to function at its best. When you fill your belly with these whole, minimally processed plant-based foods, you take charge of your health and become plant-strong®.

The benefits? Healthy blood sugar levels, healthy cholesterol, healthy weight, energy and wellbeing.

Get Fired Up for a Challenge 

Every individual is unique, and there’s no single path to a plant-strong lifestyle. If you want to challenge yourself to try a new way of eating, check out the options below and choose the Engine 2 Challenge that’s right for you.

Volunteer Firefighter

Just getting started? It’s easy to explore a plant-strong lifestyle. Simply refocus your meals to eat more plants.

Fire Cadet

Week 1: Eliminate dairy, refined sugar and processed foods.

Week 2: Build on the successes of the previous week! Eliminate meat, poultry, eggs and fish.

Week 3: Keep up the good work! Now it’s time to eliminate extracted oils too.

Week 4: Congratulations! You’ve advanced to Firefighter! Focus on enjoying your plant-strong diet.

Firefighter

Jump right into the 100% plant-strong way of life. Eliminate animal products, processed foods and extracted oils from your diet, and enjoy healthy whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.

Whichever path you choose, Whole Foods Market stores are ready to support you. Throughout February many of our stores will participate in a national Engine 2 Challenge by holding events such as classes, demos and dinners. Contact your local store to learn more about the Engine 2 events they have planned for February.

If you’re not near a Whole Foods Market store, you can still take the challenge. Get meal plans, shopping lists and inspiration from Rip on the Engine 2 Challenge website.

Engine 2 Plant-Strong Products

One of the ways Whole Foods Market can help is with the Engine 2 plant-strong products, which are exclusive to our stores. They’ll help you eat plant strong, all day long – even when you're short on time – and they strive to meet these healthy guidelines:

  • Zero animal products
  • No added oils
  • 100% whole grains
  • Minimal added sugar, if at all
  • Less than 25% total calories from fat
  • 1:1 ratio of milligrams of sodium to calories, with the exception of condiments

Some of our favorites are:

Rip’s Big Bowl

Original, Banana Walnut or Triple Berry

A medley of whole grains mixed with flaxseeds and walnuts.

Tortillas

Sprouted Ancient Grain or Brown Rice

Moist and flavorful for tacos, pizzas and enchiladas.

Plant Burgers

Curried Lentil, Poblano Black Bean, Thai Basil Edamame or Tuscan Kale White Bean

Easy heat-and-eat patties made with familiar whole food ingredients.

Eat Plant-Strong, All Day Long

Discover how delicious healthy eating can be with these Engine 2 recipes.

Fiesta Blend Stuffed Bell Peppers

These extra-quick stuffed peppers are great as a side or lighter main course. Add a seeded diced jalapeño pepper along with the chopped onion for extra heat. Thanks to Healthy Eating Specialist Traci Barr in our Greenville, South Carolina store for this recipe.

Hearty Arugula Pizzas

Whole grain tortillas make a nutritious base for these easy, plant-based pizzas. We use crumbled plant burgers (also known as veggie burgers) for a tasty topping.

Nottingham Wrap

A delicious spread of garbanzo beans, mustard and celery forms the base of this wrap. The secret ingredient (applesauce!) adds a touch of sweetness. Wondering where the moniker "Nottingham" originates? Repeat the words "not eating ham" a few times, and you’ll understand!

Kale-Almond Bruschetta

Almonds and white beans make a rich and creamy spread for these satisfying kale-topped bruschetta with tomatoes and a balsamic glaze. Serve them as a starter or with soup or salad for a light meal.

Cocoa-Peanut Cookies

Made from healthy ingredients, enjoy these cookies for a special-occasion treat!

There are lots more healthy eating recipes on our website and Engine 2 has plant-strong recipes on their site, too!

Are you fired up to take the challenge? Tell us why in the comments below.