Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Update: The Four Week Engine 2 Diet Challenge at Fire Station #6

A firefighter's life can be hectic to say the least and all to often, their diets get little attention. In an effort to lose weight, improve their cholesterol, and gain energy, the A-shift at Station #6 embarked on a 4 week challenge that had them eating only food that grows from the ground up. This food plan was first adopted by a firefighter in Austin, Texas who wrote a book about his experience, The Engine 2 Diet. The Whole Foods Friendship Heights store partnered with the shift to help keep them on track.

Jill from PCRM showing 6-A a new recipe
The diet also caught the attention of local experts from the P.C.R.M. (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) who taught them a few recipes for the Superbowl, an event that is usually synonymous with junk food. However, this year's big game was accompanied by a vegan quesadilla with hummus; a guacamole dip, a fruit smoothie with soy milk, and other healthy but still delicious foods. By cutting out the meat that is usually inhaled on this Sunday night, they avoided the fat while eating ample amounts of vitamins and minerals.

As the 28 days came to a close, the results are promising. Everyone participating in the diet lost weight, with most of them losing close to 8 pounds. However, one firefighter is closing in on an astonishing 20 pounds. Many members will continue this regiment for at least a month or two more, especially because it was much easier than they initially thought it would be. They also hope to have inspired additional MCFRS personnel who have had exposure to their diet during the past month.

6-A Shift watching the cooking demo
On a separate note, I would like to share a few more benefits of this diet that I learned about in Environmental Science at Wootton High School. When the sun's energy hits the earth, plants get first dibs and receive 100% of it. With each level up in the energy pyramid, from herbivores to carnivores, 10% is lost during every step. For example, when a chicken eats corn, they only receive 10% of the original energy. When we eat the chicken, we are only provided with 1% of the energy that is provided by our sun. Now imagine some animals who are one step higher that end up on our plates and we only gain .1%. The large amount of energy lost along the way is used for growth and warmth in each organism along the way.

ABC7’s Julie Parker featured the shift as they started the diet and, in a segment that aired last week, as they were wrapping it up. Last week’s segment is below.

-Daniel the Intern

Updated at 9:20 AM on 2/23

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely adorable. Really. Congratulations to the person who wrote and posted this. It works on so many levels. First, it encourages healthly eating with the contrarian angle of firefighters on a diet.(While there are female firefighters, the public imagines most of them being big, buff guys.)It's also sweet and makes the public see fightfighters as human beings. Neat!