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Rip Esselstyn: In Plants We Trust

By January 20, 2022January 9th, 2023No Comments
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Episode #656



A cornerstone of this podcast is celebrating the power of a plant-based lifestyle. Today we do just that with one of the movement’s most influential founding fathers.

That father is none other than the great Plantstrong pioneer himself, Rip Esselstyn—returning for his second appearance on the podcast for a continuing dissertation on all things plants.

If you caught our first conversation in December of 2017 (RRP 336), you already know Rip and I go way back. As swimmers, we crossed paths as teens, later as college rivals, then decades thereafter as plant-based athletes and advocate allies. From the outset of my journey, he’s been a steady source of inspiration, encouragement and wisdom. An incredible mentor. A lighthouse. A loyal friend.

For those unfamiliar, Rip was a three-time NCAA All-American backstroker at the University of Texas. After graduation, he spent a decade as one of the premier triathletes in the world. He then joined the Austin Fire Department, where he introduced his passion for a whole-food, plant-based diet to Austin’s Engine 2 Firehouse in order to rescue a firefighting brother’s health. To document his success, he wrote the national bestselling book, The Engine 2 Diet, which shows the irrefutable connection between a plant-based diet and good health.

Thus began an illustrious career as a multiple New York Times bestselling author, in-demand public speaker, health advocate, and food entrepreneur—catapulting the fledgling plant-based movement into mainstream adoption.

Not enough? At age 56, Rip broke the master’s world record in the 200-meter backstroke.

Today we pick up where we left things in 2017. More Rip. More plants. More awesome.

“All protein originates in plants. If you want to be strong and defend against disease, one of the most powerful things you can do is eat plants.”


Given Rip’s OG status, it was only fitting that today’s exchange was conducted OG style. No fancy studio. No cameras. Just two guys and two mics seated at Rip’s breakfast table in Austin.

An old school, back-in-the-day podcast. 

Of course, we discuss the many benefits of a whole food plant-based diet—the Planstrong lifestyle as he calls it. In addition, we review the exploding popularity of this movement. How to rewrite your relationship with food in the new year. Plant fueling strategies to perform athletically. And how to leverage the nascent power within to positively and sustainably change our lifestyles for the better.

We also dissect his recent world record-setting swim. What the future of the plant-based movement looks like. And the story behind his brand new food company titled, of course, PLANTSTRONG.

As you will soon discover, Rip is a good dude. A loyal, solid friend. And sincerely passionate about helping people eat and live better.

You can check out this episode on YouTube. And as always, the podcast streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Be sure to stick around to the end, because things take a compelling turn towards the spiritual and esoteric—personally my favorite part of this conversation.

P.S. — Rip is graciously offering listeners of the show a $10 gift voucher towards any food products on PLANTSTRONG Foods. Click here to redeem yours!

Peace + Plants,

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Introducing Free Association Run—my collection of sustainable, vegan men's running gear crafted from recycled materials in collaboration with Ten Thousand.

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Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional audio engineering by Cale Curtis and additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg & Grayson Wilder; the copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.

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