engine 2 diet: healthy fats
Another week, another phenomenal class! Last night I attended week three of the Engine 2 Diet Challenge series hosted by Whole Foods Coral Gables. Due to an unpredictable and busy schedule, I unfortunately missed week two’s class focusing on plant proteins (but fear not, I did manage to get the recipes to try at home!). The series’ week three focused on eliminating oils from your diet and substituting with healthy fats.
As it is frequently mentioned in basically every health and fitness magazine known to man, healthy fats constitute as nuts, seeds, avocados, etc. The Engine 2 Diet highlights the fact that oils, even well-respected olive oil and recently trendy coconut oil, contain added oils that actually cause damage to the endothelial lining of the arteries.
Now wait a minute, what about that Mediterranean Diet that’s always applauded for it’s health benefits? That diet is based around an intake of olive oil, vegetables, fruits, legumes, moderate amounts of dairy (like yummy feta), wine, and a ton of fish. Meat consumption is much more reduced than the typical American diet. Sounds ideal, right? Well one thing that isn’t mentioned often is that the study of the Mediterranean Diet highlighted more of a lifestyle. Yes, these citizens were eating the foods mentioned above, but they also had very active lives, spending days farming and walking up to nine miles around the city! In contrast, the Cretan lifestyle today is similar to Americans, with supermarkets, large portions, and a sedentary activity level as the norm. Doesn’t sound like your average healthy Cretan.
To make a long story short, the Engine 2 Diet wants to show participants that healthy fats can be ingested from other sources, and olive oil isn’t really the nectar of the Gods like we all thought. With these few recipes from last night, I am definitely willing to work on switching my proportion of healthy fats from mostly oils over to nuts, seeds, and avocados.
See two of the three dishes below (once again, I’m saving the most delicious recipe for later, the scrumptious mud pie!):
Engine 2 Peanut Dressing
When refrigerated, this dressing will last for a long while. Jordan paired this dressing with mixed greens, but we also brainstormed that this could go well as a Pad Thai dressing. You can play around with it by adding garlic or red pepper flakes.
- 4 Tbsp no-oil-added chunky peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or brown rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp water (or more, depending on desired consistency)
- fresh ground ginger to taste
Whisk all ingredients in a bowl. Toss with whatever food you desire.
Pesto a la ANDI
ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index”. It is a score based on nutrient content of a food related to calories and other metrics. The scale is from 1 to 1000, with 1000 being the most nutritious.
- 1 bunch of kale (ANDI 1000!)
- 3/4 cup of no-oil sundried tomatoes (ANDI 113)
- 1 cup of cashews (ANDI 27)
- 2 handfuls of basil (ANDI 475)
- 2 cloves of garlic (ANDI 58)
- 3/4 of lemon cut away from peel (ANDI 141)
In a medium pot, steam the the kale and sundried tomatoes with one cup of water. In a Vitamix/food processor/blender combine kale, tomatoes, steam water, and all other ingredients. Blend until consistent. Toss with pasta or whatever else tickles your fancy.
Stay tuned for part II, the most delicious mud pie with espresso cream you’ll ever taste!