what we learned.

We made it! So without any hesitation here is what I learned from the Engine 2 challenge.

  • 28 days go by really fast.
  • Eating plants = lots energy.
  • 28 days of plant strong meals did more for me than 60 days of intense work-outs could do. I lost almost 5lbs, several inches and a pant size.
  • Clarity. It’s a feeling you can’t describe until you’ve experienced it.
  • Ethnic food is your best friend. Mexican, Italian, Thai and Indian food is very adaptable to a plant strong diet. If you have a can of beans, whole grain tortillas, salsa, avocado and cilantro you can make 50 different meals.
  • Treat nutrition like religion or politics – don’t talk about it unless someone asks.
  • I can live without cheese on my burgers, burritos and pizza.
  • I cannot live without coke slurpees
  • Never focus on what you don’t get to have but instead keep your eyes on what you do have – a healthy, energetic, and vibrant body
  • Cooking without oil is easier than I thought, dressing a salad is not

28 Days of Learning (in no particular order) by Steve Bell

  • It’s amazing how much I treat myself with food.  I have to wake up early = Starbucks.  I have to travel = room service with dessert.  I just got home from a business trip = dinner date with Chass.  And so the story goes.  Except when they happen all the time they no longer become treats.  Interesting…
  • I was surprised at how quickly I noticed more energy and mental clarity on this diet.  At times the feeling bordered on some sort of drug-induced euphoria.
  • Also, as promised by the diet, I slept better which is a miracle in itself.
  • Cravings do go away.  Well mostly.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a several near death cravings for a coke, mostly brought on by food patterns (pizza and coke, chips and salsa and coke, coke and coke – that one’s my favorite).  But for 28 days I was able to overcome them.
  • A strict diet can make you a bit of a social outcast.  It’s not super exciting for anyone when you have to bring “special food” for you to make at a dinner party.
  • Overall I am very grateful for the challenge.  I feel better and will implement a lot of what I learned through this challenge in the decisions I make for the rest of my life.

We have definitely created some life long habits in the last 28 days and with as good as we both feel we will absolutely continue to eat a Plant Strong diet!

Now let’s celebrate with pizza!

Engine 2 Barbeque Pizza

• 4 ounces tomato paste

• 1 cup barbecue sauce

• 2 teaspoons dried oregano

• 2 multi grain pizza crusts from Whole Foods

• 1 small red onion, sliced

• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced

• 2 handfuls fresh spinach

• 1 jar pineapple chunks, drained

• 1/4 cup finely ground cashews

Preheat oven to 425º

Mix the tomato paste, barbecue sauce, and oregano together in a bowl.

Generously spread the sauce on the crusts, and layer with the vegetables and pineapple.

Top with the cashews.

Bake on a sprayed cooking sheet or pizza stone for 15 minutes.



  1. Linda Bell says:

    Congratulations!! I hope you’ll be celebrating this weekend with Coke slurpees.
    Chas, you probably have a similar recipe, but my favorite salad dressing of all time is equal parts of low sodium soy sauce and fresh lemon juice with a glob of chopped garlic.

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