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“The cleanest burning fuel you can get for the human body is from plants.”
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.
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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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
- Connect with Rip: Engine 2 Diet | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn
- Whole Foods Markets: Engine 2 Plant-Strong Products | Whole Foods Market
- Speakers and Events: Plant-Stock | Engine 2 Events
- The New York Times: Firefighters Gone Vegan? Even Austin Is Impressed by Deborah Blumenthal
- The New York Times: Plant-Strong Is The Way by Rip Esselstyn
- Forks Over Knives: Q & A With Plant-Strong Athletes and Advocates Rip Esselstyn and Rich Roll by Rip Esselstyn
- CNN Health: Obesity among all US adults reaches all-time high by Victoria Larned
- The Inquirer: Vegan science getting stronger, and so are vegan eaters by Vance Lehmkuhl
- Slowtwitch: Plant-strong Rip Esselstyn by Herbert Krabel
- Documentary: Forks Over Knives*
- Documentary: What The Health*
- Documentary: The Game Changers (2018)
Notable Books by Rip & Others
- The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds* by Rip Esselstyn
- The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet: Eat Plants, Lose Weight, Save Your Health* by Rip Esselstyn
- The Engine 2 Cookbook: More than 130 Lip-Smacking, Rib-Sticking, Body-Slimming Recipes to Live Plant-Strong* by Rip Esselstyn
- Plant-Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet–with 150 Engine 2 Recipes* by Rip Esselstyn
- My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet–Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes* by Rip Esselstyn
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure* by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn
- The China Study: Revised and Expanded Edition: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health* by T. Colin Campbell
- The Pleasure Trap* by Doug Lisle
Notable People Discussed
- Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn: American physician, author and former Olympic rowing champion
- Dave Scott: U.S. triathlete, first six-time Ironman Triathlon Hawaii Champion, first person ever inducted in the Ironman Hall of Fame
- T. Colin Campbell: biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health, author of The China Study* and podcast guest
- John Mackey: CEO of Whole Foods Market and podcast guest
- Tony Gonzalez: former American football tight end and actor, played 17 seasons in the NFL and current analyst for Fox NFL’s pregame show
- Griff Whalen: Plant powered professional athlete, football wide receiver, currently a free agent
- Eric Adams: Vegan, Borough President of Brooklyn, New York
- Dan Buettner: National Geographic Fellow, Blue Zones founder, NY Times bestselling author of The Blue Zones Solution* and (2x) podcast guest
- Doug Lisle: Author of The Pleasure Trap*
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy
- RRP #128: Is Butter Really Back? Cardiologist Joel Kahn, MD
- RRP #292: John Mackey On Conscious Capitalism, Building An Empire & The Power Of Plants To Heal And Thrive
- RRP #79: China Study Critics & How Plant-Based Nutrition Can Prevent & Reverse Disease
- RRP #238: Vegan NFL Player Griff Whalen: The Plantpower Underdog On The Advantage Of Self-Belief
- RRP# 278: “What The Health” – How Corporate Collusion Is Making Us Sick & Costing Us Trillions
- RRP #325: Cardiologist Kim Williams, M.D. Wants To Eradicate Heart Disease
- RRP #242: Neal Barnard, M.D. On The Power Of Nutrition To Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease, Diabetes & Alzheimer’s
- RRP #296: Dr. Neal Barnard, M.D. On Breaking The Dairy Addiction
- RRP #199: Michael Greger, MD On How Not To Die
- RRP #150: Garth Davis, MD On Our Misplaced Obsession With Protein
- RRP #330: Alzheimer’s Can Be Prevented & Reversed: Drs. Dean & Ayesha Sherzai On Optimizing Brain Health
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 Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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