I thought that having a Whole Foods open just down the block from my business was exciting enough. When I saw the announcement that Rip Esselstyn was going to be making an appearance in the store, I could hardly believe our good fortune! My husband left work as soon as possible, and we were on our way to the appearance within half an hour. I couldn’t help feeling like groupies. We even wore appropriate shirts for the event… Veggie nerd alert!
Rip Esselstyn has become well-known as ‘the firefighter in Forks Over Knives‘. It’s how so many of us came to know him, but his contribution to the public at large is so much greater than that. He’s a role model, an advocate for health, and an example of how easy it can be to reach your personal best. As a world-class triathlete and a firefighter in Austin, Texas, Rip is as relatable as an average Joe but as knowledgeable and admirable as any expert in health and fitness I can think of. Visiting our new Whole Foods to promote his book and teach people about a plant strong lifestyle was something that may have changed lives for those he chatted with! As Rory Freedman (co-author of Skinny Bitch) says on the cover of the book, “Firefighter Rip Esselstyn is a lifesaver in more ways than one. This is an effective, easy-to-follow, satisfying eating plan for even the manliest of men.” I couldn’t agree more.
Despite the title, The Engine 2 Diet is not a diet at all. It’s a way life that allows you to take back control of your own health and to avoid the track that your current lifestyle is leading you toward. It’s a well-written easy read that anyone can relate to. You’ll learn about the innocent macho contest among Rip’s firehouse that lead to a shocking discovery about the dangerous cholesterol level some of his men had. You’ll learn exactly what he did to rally the whole crew to work together, and how they all significantly improved their health! We’re talking about an average cholesterol drop of over 62 points during the first 4 weeks on the Engine 2 plan!
The Engine 2 Diet will walk you through grocery shopping, reading labels, debunking myths about food, and of course the science that backs it all up. All of that in less than 120 pages. Following the easy reading, you’ll find recipes, meal plans, and exercise plans to help you reach your goals. In some ways, it’s a Cliffs Notes version of Forks Over Knives, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (written by Rip’s father), and The China Study. It’s everything you need to know about the science and practicality of thriving on a whole foods plant-based diet.
Whether you want to jump in with both feet like the firemen did and jumpstart your transformation, or whether you want to take a few weeks to ease in to the new way of eating, there’s a plan to help you do just that.
When I had the chance to visit with Rip last night, he was also talking with a man who was really attached to his meat and cheese. Given only a limited amount of time to talk with this person, Rip was able to get down to the nitty-gritty in record time. I was all ears when Rip said, ‘If there’s just ONE food that you could cut out of your diet to make the biggest difference…. It would be cheese.” As he reminds us in the book, cheese is the number one source of saturated fat. It’s higher than butter, ice cream, and even steak (for starters). It has almost 20 grams of saturated fat per pound. Drop the cheese, and you’ll drop weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, and so much more.