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Rip Esselstyn Is PLANTSTRONG! (And Why You Should Be Too)

By December 21, 2017January 24th, 2024No Comments

“The cleanest burning fuel you can get for the human body is from plants.”

 Rip Esselstyn 

Friend, mentor and original Plantstrong pioneer Rip Esselstyn and I go way back.

Both swimmers, we crossed paths at many a meet — as young teens and later as collegiate rivals (Rip was always far more accomplished than I). During the early stages of my transition to a plant-based diet, I vividly recall perusing Facebook when I stumbled upon Rip, who just happened to be on the precipice of publishing his first book on the very subject I was attempting to master. From that moment forward, Rip became a lighthouse — illuminating my path as a generous friend and cheerleader always available to share his knowledge, experience and inspiration.

Today, Rip (finally) joins the podcast to share that knowledge, experience and inspiration with you — a hotly anticipated master course on the incredible power of a whole-food, plant-based diet to prevent and reverse disease, promote optimal health, and fuel your athletic dreams.

Educated at the University of Texas at Austin, Rip was a three-time All-American swimmer before spending a decade as one of the premier professional 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 New York Times’ bestselling book, The Engine 2 Diet*, which demonstrates the irrefutable connection between a plant-based diet and good health.

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Rip left his job as a firefighter in 2009 to team up with Whole Foods Market as one of their Healthy Eating Partners to raise awareness for Whole Foods employees, customers and communities about the benefits of eating a plant-strong diet. As the founder of Engine 2, Rip develops and implements a range of programs and events geared toward education, inspiring and nurturing plant-strong living for individuals, families and organizations across the globe.

A New York Times bestselling author of four books, Rip has appeared on hundreds of radio and national television shows, including the Today Show, CBS Sunday Morning, Good Morning America and The Dr. Oz Show. Each year his family produces a series of all-inclusive, immersive events, culminating in Camp Plantstock — an extraordinary experience I highly recommend to anyone looking to reboot their lifestyle. Finally, Rip’s newest book, The Engine 2 Cookbook* hits bookstores everywhere on December 26, 2017.

This is a conversation I’ve been anticipating since the first episode of this podcast. Specific topics discussed include:

  • Rip’s ‘Origin Story’;
  • The pioneering work of his father Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn at the Clevelend Clinic beginning in the 1980’s;
  • Rip’s athletic career as a swimmer & triathlete;
  • A review of the Paleo, Atkins & Ketogenic diets;
  • Rip’s career as a fire fighter in Austin;
  • The origin of the ‘Engine 2’ program;
  • How Rip’s story caught the interest of Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey;
  • The development of the Engine 2 / Whole Foods Markets product line
  • Plantstock & Engine 2 Immersion programs
  • The impact of ‘Forks Over Knives’

Appointment listening, this is an amazing conversation about the extraordinary and indelible power of plants to heal and empower.

My last long-form conversation of 2017 (the next two episodes feature an excerpted anthology of the best conversations over the past year), my hope is that Rip’s message will leave you excited and empowered to embrace a healthier, plant-fueled you in 2018.

For those visually inclined, the video version of the podcast is also available on YouTube.

Peace + Plants,


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Thanks to this week’s sponsors

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Show Notes

Check out Rip’s latest book: The Engine 2 Cookbook: More than 130 Lip-Smacking, Rib-Sticking, Body-Slimming Recipes to Live Plant-Strong*

Background, Context & Reference

Notable People Discussed

Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy

Thanks to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering interstitial music and show notes; Shawn Patterson for graphics; and David Zammit for photography & videography. Theme music by Ana Leimma.

*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


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