Sunday, May 27, 2018

Engine 2 Food Journal: The End!

I've completed my 3-week Engine 2 meal plan! I started with the Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet a few weeks back, and then I moved into the regular Engine 2 plan. Both are oil-free, low-sugar, and low-salt, but the 7-Day Rescue is a little stricter on the healthy fats, like avocados and nuts. I wanted a healthy meal challenge to reboot my eating after a few weeks of not running (due to injury) led to me filling that running void with junk food.

After three weeks of eating this way, I feel really great. I didn't miss oil much at all, and I've learned to enjoy foods with less sugar and salt. But I am glad to be back to not following a plan. Reboots are such fun, but by the end, I'm always ready for more freedom. That said, I do plan to eat healthier meals at home going forward. I'm hoping I can save the processed plant meats, desserts, and salty, greasy foods for treats rather than everyday eats.

Here's a recap of my last couple days on the plan and my first day off the plan. Wednesday started out with one last bowl of Rip's Big Bowl Triple Berry Walnut Cereal with oat milk, bananas, and berries. This cereal with shredded wheat, oats, and grape nuts is so good, and I'll definitely be buying more soon.

My lunch that day was leftover Chick & Salad (chickpea salad with oil-free hummus instead of mayo, plus cabbage, carrots, onion, and celery) from The Engine 2 Cookbook on sprouted grain toast and steamed kale.

On Wednesday night, we had our monthly Crosstown Running Crew group run, and I managed to walk-run a couple miles! Afterward we met up for beers (I had two) at Next Door in Crosstown Concourse. They hooked us up with free kale chips and hummus, so I had some of both. The kale chips there are super oily and delicious, and I indulged and didn't stress it at all. Dinner that night was leftover Whole Wheat Beer Biscuits and True Grit Gravy and steamed asparagus. I didn't take a picture, but there's another later in this post!

Thursday morning started with Savory Oats with steel cut oats, spinach, mushrooms, nooch, and sriracha. No salt needed! This oat combo is my new fave, and I'll be eating this often.

Lunch on Thursday was more beer biscuits and gravy, and then I had an apple with some walnut butter before post-work outdoor yoga on the Crosstown Concourse plaza. I didn't have time to go home and eat dinner after yoga because I had to be at a friend's house for our bi-weekly girl's night. So I brought my dinner over there! The night before I'd packed a salad in a jar with leftover Chick & Salad, veggies, nuts and seeds, and Rip's Favorite Ranch from The Engine 2 Cookbook. Shara's dog Fran really wanted me to share.

On Friday morning, I had the last of my Beer Biscuits and Gravy, plus some Steamed Kale. Biscuits and gravy for breakfast on a work day is a real treat!

Lunch was leftover Snappy Black Bean Soup from The Engine 2 Cookbook. I didn't take a pic, but it's a super-tasty soup made with black beans and lentils. 

For dinner, I whipped up a random Mexican Burger Bowl using an Engine 2 Pinto Habanero patty, steamed kale, chopped potatoes, sauteed peppers and onions, nooch sauce, and salsa. You can never go wrong with a bowl!

On Saturday morning, I had my first race since I sustained a stress fracture back in early April. I'd signed up for the Great American River Run Half-Marathon months before, but after my injury, I emailed the race organizers to ask if they could switch me to a 5K. I didn't know if I'd be healed by then, but I figured there was a chance. And since my foot hasn't been hurting for a couple weeks, I decided to give it a go!

I woke up at 5 am on Saturday and made a bowl of Oatmeal with Banana, Blueberries, and Cashew Butter. Plus, coffee with oat milk.

Then I headed downtown for the race. I'd planned to walk-run the whole thing because I was still worried about my foot, even though I haven't had pain in awhile. But once I got going, I just couldn't stop. It felt so good to be running again! In a race! I ran the whole 3.1 miles with zero foot pain. And I got a snazzy medal. I've run the half in this race for the past two years, and while I was sad that I couldn't do that this year, I was still stoked to be running at all.

At the post-race party, I ran into my buddy Megan, who also ran the 5K. Neither of us knew the other had signed up, and we'd both run alone, so it was great having a friend to drink free beer with afterward. I had two beers before 10 am on Saturday! Ha!

After the party, I went home and showered. And by then, I was famished. I still technically had one day on Engine 2 left. But I figured I should celebrate by ending a little early! So I walked to Midtown Crossing Grill, my neighborhood pizza joint, and ordered a Vegan Pizza with potatoes, black olives, mushrooms, and caramelized onion. I got it to go, and I was planning to enjoy it over Netflix. But as soon as I got home, Midtown Crossing called me and told me they accidentally put butter on the crust and that I should bring it back so they could fix it. Isn't that some amazing customer service? I love them!

I walked back over with my non-vegan pizza, and owner Octavia hooked me up with a free beer while I waited on a new pie. Saturday was panning out to be a very good day! After the pie was ready, I walked back home and posed for a few pics with my new Into Fitness: Fitness Entire Pizza Into My Mouth shirt. 

And I did! I did fit that entire pizza into my mouth. I ate a few slices and waited to see if I felt full, but I was still hungry so I polished it off. 

After lunch, my friend Pam came over and we walked over to Crosstown Brewing Co. for beers and surf rock by The Turnstyles with some friends.

Then we headed to an art opening at Crosstown Arts (where I work). I snacked on some veggie sushi, sesame sticks, and wasabi peas there. Our friend Andy met us at the opening, and then I joined him to head downtown to 901 Fest, a music festival on the river featuring local acts. Memphis rappers 8Ball & MJG were the headliners, and I love them! After the bands finish, they have fireworks over the river. Here's me and Andy waiting for the firework show.

What a great day! After all that fun, I still managed to get to bed fairly early, and I slept in this morning until 8 am. Then I had my very favorite weekend breakfast of Rice Noodle Ramen with Tofu and Veggies while watching Netflix. 

The rest of the day was rather uneventful, and my meals weren't much to look at. Just a Boca chicken patty and some Annie Chun's Japanese yakisoba noodles. I spent the day cleaning and packing for Bonnaroo, so I just ate quick, easy meals between tasks.

I probably won't blog tomorrow night since I'll be grilling out with some friends for Memorial Day, but I'll catch back up on Tuesday! Have a great holiday!


Susan said...

So great that you were able to do the run! Yay foot!
That is great that they called you about the pizza. I bet a lot of places would just shrug it off and not bother. And also yay for pizza!

vegan peace said...

I'm so glad you got to run again! That must have felt so amazing!
I've always thought all the food you've been eating on this plan looked really amazing, definitely not like you're giving anything up.

Unknown said...

Congratulations on the 5k! That’s really awesome news!!
And i am SO impressed the pizza shop called you- that’s really above and beyond. And it looks like a great pizza too!
It must be a bit of a relief to be done with the program now, that was a long time with a lot of rules to follow.
I hope you had good weather for your bbq today, we certainly didn’t!

Sarah said...

Ahhhh so much awesomeness in one post! First, that Into Fitness shirt is amazing! Too funny. Congrats on the race, I'm sure it felt so good to get back into it after your injury. I'm also incredibly impressed that they called you about the butter on the crust. That's amazing. The biscuits and gravy look amazing along with the rest of your final Engine 2 meals. I really enjoyed following your reboot!