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Rip Esselstyn is Plant-Strong. He is the creator of Engine2Diet. Engine2 is an impressive resource and community that gives you everything you could possibly need if you’re considering trying a plant-based diet including meal planning. Rip Esselstyn is also the author of  3 books.

What if you found out that Heart Disease, type 2 Diabetes, most cancers, high blood pressure, and even Parkinson’s Disease was preventable and even reversible by changing what you ate?  I found out about 4 years ago and changed my diet.

Getting control back over what you thought was simply your genetics is a very powerful feeling.  The answer is eating a plant-based diet. 

Rip’s story is pretty cool.  He is a former world-class Professional Triathlete turned firefighter turned health activist.  Engine 2 was the name of the fire station he worked at in Texas and one of his firefighter brothers was a heart attack waiting to happen.  After 28 days of eating a plant-based diet, everyone at the fire station was healthier and his firefighter brother greatly reduced his cholesterol and risk of dying of a heart attack.  Rip’s father, Caldwell Esselstyn is one of the most influential figures in the plant-based movement.  Dr. Esselstyn is a cardiovascular surgeon who started using diet to heal his patients over invasive surgeries.  You can check it out in ForksOverKnives or in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.  Dr. Esselstyn’s work really influenced me to change my diet! Rip got to see his father healing and helping his patients reverse their heart disease with diet, and the impact it had on Rip’s life is profound.


You are in much more control than you think, and it all starts with what’s at the end of your fork.  And we now know that by starting to consume a whole food, plant-based diet you can put all the odds in your favor that you don’t have to come down with heart disease or diabetes or a major cancer.  It’s not in your genetic destiny; you can bypass any genetic destiny that you have with these things truly by embracing this lifestyle.”

-Rip Esselstyn, Engine2Diet

I loved talking with Rip in this podcast.  He was extremely gracious, easy to talk to, and his energy was contagious.  He says emphatically, “Real Mean Eat Plants!”

We talked about

  • the story behind Engine2Diet
  • Blue Steel (you’ll have to listen to see what I mean!)
  • the environmental impacts of eating a plant-based diet
  • the difference between veganism and whole foods, plant based
  • how much oil, fat, protein you need to thrive on a plant-based diet
  • How do you manage your protein as an athlete on a plant-based diet?
  • weight loss
  • solutions to challenges people have when they change their diet
  • 7 day rescue diet: the 7 pillars of eating a plant-based diet
  • understanding calorie density

With his 7 day rescue diet, Rip encourages people to try a whole food, plant-based diet for just 7 days by following his 7 pillars which he covers in detail in our conversation.  In 100% of cases, people walk away with a healthier biomarkers. He says that there are zero anomalies if you eat this way and that has also been my personal experience as well.

Athletes are notorious for thinking they can eat whatever they want and burn it   off.  Rip says “Inside, your arteries don’t know the difference.”  That’s why you hear about people that look healthy getting sick. He urges, “Don’t think that if you look like a Ferrari and your fitness is good that you’re healthy… because if you’ve been eating  the standard american diet, you’re probably not (healthy) inside.”

I loved connecting with Rip and I hope you enjoy this awesome and vibrant exchange with Rip Esselstyn.

Show Notes

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