The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds
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"I've known Rip for more than 20 years. In that time, he's been a great motivator for so many people. This terrific book will inspire all who read it to change their lives and optimize their health."-Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, seven-time Tour de France champion
Lose weight, lower cholesterol, significantly reduce the risk of disease, and become physically fit--in just 4 weeks.
Professional athlete-turned-firefighter Rip Esselstyn is used to responding to emergencies. So, when he learned that some of his fellow Engine 2 firefighters in Austin, TX, were in dire physical condition-several had dangerously high cholesterol levels (the highest was 344!)-he sprang into action and created a life-saving plan for the firehouse. By following Rip's program, everyone lost weight (some more than 20 lbs.), lowered their cholesterol (Mr. 344's dropped to 196), and improved their overall health. Now, Rip outlines his proven plan in this book. With Rip as your expert coach and motivator, you'll transform your body and lifestyle in a month. His plant-powered eating plan is based on a diet of whole foods, including whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This invaluable guide features: **Dozens of easy, mouthwatering recipes-from pancakes to pizza, Tex-Mex favorites to knockout chocolate desserts-that will keep you looking forward to every bite **Pantry-stocking tips will take the panic out of inevitable cravings and on-the-fly meals **Guidelines on menu choices that will allow you to eat out, wherever and whenever you want **Rip's simple, firefighter-inspired exercise program that will boost your metabolism and melt your fat away.
Medically approved, easy-to-follow, and amazingly effective, this diet is designed for anyone who wants to make heroic strides in his or her health, weight, and well-being-all without heroic effort.
"Want to be as strong as a Texas firefighter? Or as healthy as a professional triathlete? Then follow the wonderful advice of Rip Esselstyn, who is both. His book can save your life--whether you're a man or a woman. Highly recommended!" -Dean Ornish, M.D., Founder and President, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Clinical Professor of Medicine, U of CaliforniaSF, author, Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease
It works! It is a fun read. The quick review: Rip's approached worked for me and keeps working for me two years later. ENGINE 2 DIET is fun to read, is impeccable in its scientific foundations and gives you a big bundle of fire fighter tested recipes to boot. Buy the book, take the challenge, and you'll be wondering why you had to wait so long in life to find the information and guidance.
The long review: I will be 77 years old in two weeks. I met Rip some time ago and I've now been plant strong for more than two years. My weight is 180 (down from 230), my waist is 40 (down from 46), all my medical health tests are in the healthy zone and I am on zero medications. And, I need to add, I feel fine. I attribute this to my change from the standard American diet to eating plant strong, just as Rip explains in the book. And to a modest increase in exercise.
I have been retired for many years so I have been able to try one system after another and research them in books and on the web in my quest to score well on medical tests and feel fine. Rip's book is a great find. It joins a few other recent highly scientifically based books on nutrient dense eating styles to point to a workable way to health via plant strong eating. Rip's book is different in that first it is fun to read (stories, quips, friendly words) and second that it offers a way that an individual can run a personal test in only a few weeks. He offers you a challenge. You take it. You see the results. You decide whether you'll change your eating. And you can change it because the "how to" (explanations) and "what" (recipes) are in ENGINE 2 DIET. He references those other scientific books in ENGINE 2 DIET if you want to probe scientific foundations.
As an older person, I took the exercise message he gives and incorporated daily physical training into my life, but I toned down the activities. In discussion with Rip I have a routine that takes into account my older ligaments, my slower recovery time from older muscle tissue, and my lingering slower cardiovascular recovery time ( from a lifetime of too much standard American diet). I won't enter a triathlon contest, but by modest daily training I am strong enough and I can move enough to do just about anything else I choose.
I hope Rip is successful in setting up an ongoing web support system. Support when you take the challenge really helps. And for those who see exercise in an anathema, a web site might give a workable "challenge" method to guide those of us 'slightly less than normal" into exercising in a way that is do-able and reasonably pleasant.
The Engine 2 Diet This diet really works! In three weeks I lost ten pounds and my cholesterol went from a dangerous 263 to a perfect 149. The plan is easy to follow and you are supported with a top notch web site. If you are tired of medications that don't work and have a long list of side effects that are worse than your ailment,give this a try for 28 days.
What do you have to lose? ...more info
Wow, this may be the best "diet" book ever I've read a lot of diet books and been on a lot of diets but what's so intriguing about Engine2 is that it's written by an unlikely character--a triathlete Texan firefighter who is not just a vegetarian, but a vegan, and not just a vegan but an oil-free vegan.
If you're not from Texas, you can't really appreciate what it means to be a vegetarian in a state that prizes its beef industry and barbecue. Why just last month at the Houston Rodeo one of the most popular foods sold was something called "chicken-fried bacon." It was deep-fried bacon!
Engine2 presents a pretty radical diet--no meat, no artificial foods, no white flour, no white pasta, no dairy, no oil. Yet there is something altogether compelling about the case Rip Esselstyn makes. It sound so logical, so simple ...
Anyway, I tried it. I have to admit I tried it imperfectly in that there were parts I didn't understand at first (but have since corrected--like eating white pasta). It's been about 3 weeks. I haven't been exercising up to his standards, either. But I lost 5 pounds and never spent a minute hungry or feeling deprived.
But I'm getting hardcore right now not because of the weight loss, but because I feel fabulous. I had no idea how bad I felt until now. I'm not kidding--my frequent headaches are all but gone, no more GI troubles, no more aches and pains. My energy level is increasing.
The recipes in the book are different but really great. Love the "Big Bowl," "Sloppy Joes," and "Fajitas" but be prepared--you have to be willing to start buying different foods (lots of produce) and cooking for yourself. But the recipes are quick and easy and very tasty.
I am totally sold on this. This is the first and only book review I have ever done here at Amazon and I did it because I'm just an ordinary woman living in Texas who tried this diet and discovered improved health instead of mere weight loss....more info
Engine 2 Diet I liked the information but the receipes were a bit complicated for me (I'm a non-cook). I did pull the information and now I make up my own receipes using the same principles....more info
Excellent read This book will definitely open your eyes as to some of the benefits of eating properly. I found it fun to read, believable, and not condescending. The author makes a great case for eating properly and exercising. The only problem that I have with the advice given is not that the advice is in error, it is simply that the advice is a little difficult to follow depending on your various lifestyles. For firemen, who apparently cook most of their own meals, I'm sure that the ease of following this advice makes it very worthwhile for others in a similiar situation. Unfortunately, I probably eat one third of my meals at various restaurants and diners which makes it a bit difficult to follow all of the recommendations, most of the time. I, apparently unlike most firemen, do not like to cook. Therefore the recipes, which appear quite sound, are not very helpful to me. That does not make the book useless to me. Far from it. If nothing else it gives me great "food for thought". Being older (66) and definitely overweight, I'm constantly playing with the idea of giving this lifestyle a shot. Hopefully, my mind will overpower my lazyness in the near future as I am convinced beyond a doubt that the ideas and advice contained in this excellent book would work. Here's hoping I get smarter before I get fatter.
R. LeBoeuf...more info
Lots of preparation, but recipes are great! My wife and I saw Rip's interview on the Today show about a month ago and were intriqued with the prospect of going vegan or following his recipes. While we both ate relatively healthy and really didn't have the big weight issues as we both exercise regularly, we felt we could lose a few more pounds and do it in a healthy way. My wife is an excellent cook, and preparation is the key with this diet as probably in most others as well. Additionally, many of the ingredients are not found in mainstream grocery stores, but more of the specialty chains which adds somewhat to the expense, not only the items itself, but time in driving to these other stores which are not close by in our case. If you live in a large metro area you can probably find all the ingredients you need, small town or rural folks will find locating the ingedients more challenging. Once you get all the ingredients and start cooking, the food is great! Also, giving up dairy, cheeses, yogurts, and other milk products was not that difficult as soy products were substituted. We have been on the program for the last 2.5 weeks and the results are promising. We both have lost about 3 to 5 lbs, I was on a business trip for one of these weeks and while I tried to stay in the diet, I did have some wine, and some salmon, but for the most part stayed with it. Again didn't have to loose large amounts of weight, which mean't I believe more modest weight loss. We feel that we can maintain this type of diet with a few modifications, a glass of wine occasionally, maybe some fish (love fish) but we do not miss the dairy, have not had any cravings for ice cream or other sweets, but would make vegan type choices when going out to eat. Rip has established an Engine 2 website, which is great, becasue after using the cookbook you have many questions, but the site is slow and frustrating to navigate so I made the best decisions I could. Maybe Rip is too busy being a firefighter to spend alot of time working with the site or has been overwhelmed by the success of this book. All in all it has been a good experience so far, would reccomend to others. I will be going for blood work in a few weeks and will see if the diet has changed some of the results of the tests. ...more info
Life Changing Book! I have followed the Engine 2 plan for nearly two months now and have never been happier or healthier! My husband and children have changed their eating habits as well, and we have all lost weight, gained strength, endurance and confidence. Rip really focuses on how to change your lifestyle with plant based eating and excercise....it's not just another fad diet. Although, you can make a huge improvement in your body and health in just 28 days! Again, my whole family saw major results. I will never go back to the mindless eating of processed food again! ...more info
Beware the Soy Beware - the author thinks he knows what causes breast cancer. He's sure it's not soy- but the American Cancer society and Journal of Clinical Oncology (and all reputable oncology specialists) are not so sure. Studies are being done. Cancer is all about risk, there is no cure- but you can avoid reasonable risk factors until there is conclusive evidence for or against. As a breast cancer patient, I say, beware. Get protein from nuts and beans- but not soybeans....more info
plant based lifestyle My son introduced me to this book and its message. What a blessing! Friends and family have already benefitted from the information contained in its pages. As an example, a friend who was a hypertensive senior citizen of long standing found that her B/P normalized by drinking a cup of celery and carrot juice morning and evening every other day (juiced fruit on in-between days) and eating lentil or barley soups made with the remaining veggie pulp,(so as not to waste the ruffage). Visitors at her home are sent home with a frozen package of veggie pulp for their 'soup beginnings.' Kind of like friendship bread, except these are friendly veggies....more info
vegan for real people This book is fun, friendly - and easy. Maybe I have an advantage, starting from being a long-term vegetarian, but I found the recipes to be easy & tasty. Had been eating veggike patties & other processed foods, it was great to learn I don't need that stuff for protein. I like getting info from a normal person with a busy life, I've read lots of books by doctors, and they have good info too, but can be somewhat unrealistic. If someone with the busy & active life of a firefighter can eat this way, surely a cubicle drone like me can....more info
Life-altering Diet My wife and I are at the core doing Engine 2. We are in our 8th week and so happy. Not only have we lost weight, but we feel great.
Rip is telling it like it is. Buy this book. Try it for 28 days. If you don't feel better I'll eat my copy. ...more info
A Definite Must-Read if You're Serious About a Healthy Lifestyle We have been reading and studying health related books for over a year now.
We first changed to a low-fat, plant-based diet after reading Dr. John McDougall's book "The McDougall Program". If there were any doubts that we had discovered the right path, they were totally dispelled after reading "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. We attended a seminar last year and heard Rip's father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. speak about his book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease", and then read that book and continued on our plant-based diet journey by using many of the delicious recipes developed by Rip's mother, Ann Esselstyn.
Together, we have lost over 80 pounds since beginning this new way of eating. We have both lowered our cholesterol to the mid-100 range, and eliminated all other medications and supplements, including those for blood pressure.
We have just finished reading Rip Esselstyn's book "The Engine 2 Diet". It`s a great read. Rip's message is presented in a simple, informative and enjoyable style. If you don't have the time or inclination to read the more-detailed books on this subject than this one's for you. We call it the "Cliffs Notes" version of the China Study.
We were so impressed with Rip's message that we have purchased 2 extra copies for our family, and have been encouraging all of our friends to buy this book.
And, to quote Rip, "...Just by reading this book, you're moving from second-class to first-class foods, from nutritional excess to nutritional excellence. You now know more than 99 percent of the world. You are on your way to a plant-blessed life."
Buy it, read it and change your life for the better! ...more info
Finally, plant-based eating may go mainstream I've been eating a whole foods, plant-based diet for a year, thanks to the book "Eat to Live" by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. While many people follow his diet, most have never even heard of him. This is a problem because America is in a serious health crisis. I believe that Rip Esselstyn is about to become a household name and for that I am incredibly grateful that he wrote The Engine 2 Diet. I think this way of eating is so vital to our health and I believe Rip has the ability to make a big impact. While he may not be a doctor, his father Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. did important work showing how to prevent and reverse heart disease with a plant-based diet, so Rip has a solid background in this stuff. Rip was a professional triathlete and is now a firefighter - he's a guy we can relate to. As such, he makes a great spokesperson for a whole foods diet. (I've met Rip and he's a muscular guy - no one can claim that he needs meat, dairy or eggs to be strong.)
From my own reading, I believe that vegetables need to be the main dish for truly optimal health, whereas Rip's book focuses more on grains (though he acknowledges on page 67 that veggies are the most nutrient-dense foods of all). That said, The Engine 2 Diet is sooooooooo vastly superior to the standard American diet that anyone who follows it will greatly improve their health. Thus, I can wholeheartedly support the book and recommend it to others. In fact, the diet and recipes are more user-friendly than some other books on plant-based eating offer, which will likely lead to greater success and adherence among those who follow it.
I had the opportunity to interview Rip on my radio show, Inner Views, in Austin. He was delightful to talk to, super nice and really down to earth. [...]
The Real Deal - Lower Cholesterol & Superior Health For the last six years I have followed a vegan diet and in that time I have not been sick one time. I had one minor episode of food poisoning after eating some bad lettuce and that made me have to go home sick one day, but no stomach flu and not one dime has been spent on over the counter medications. I owe this to my vegan diet and the distilled water I drink regularly.
Still...the honest truth is I was not always being a good vegan. I was eating plenty of high fat, and high salt foods that don't make us as healthy as we could be. I am more serious than ever about my health now and these recipes in this Engine 2 Diet Book are incredible. My girl friend lost 10 pounds in two weeks and she has more energy than I have ever seen her have. She loves the food with a passion...which is so strange because she is the pickiest person on the planet. We made the oatmeal cookies and they were truly incredible.
BUY this book. Save our planet. Lower your cholesterol and live a long happy life. Thanks Rip....more info
I'm ecstatic about this book Since becoming a vegan over a year ago, I've read several books by doctors promoting a plant-based diet. I took the advice to "heart" and lowered my cholesterol, got off medication, and at 62 years young, feel wonderful. I am so happy to see a triathlete/firefighter promoting this lifestyle to the mainstream. I do not miss meat or dairy. Do yourself, your family, the environment, and the animals a great favor and try this diet for 28 days. ...more info
GREAT book...Read it, Follow It, Live it! When I read this book, it was after a few weeks of educating myself on the value of a plant based diet, but this book helped put me over the edge. I finally realized that the little changes we make aren't enough. I thought by adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet, it would be enough. But I also needed to get rid of the foods that were undoing all the good I was trying to accomplish. If you really, truly want to be healthy, make the switch, and make it completely. It's the only way. The beauty of it is that you won't care what you are "giving up" because you will get so much more in return.
You'll be eating hearty, you'll be eating delicious, you'll be eating well. And your body will thank you with energy and vitality. Not sure where to start? Not to worry: The recipe section is almost half the book! You will have so many tools and so many ideas, to get you started and keep you going. It's a leap of faith. I spent the week before I began eating like I was going to the chair, afraid of all I would miss. But then I did it, and didn't look back. And you know what? I don't miss it at all.
Rip is a Firefighter and top athlete. What better role model? Ask yourself 2 questions: Have you ever seen anyone with degenerative diseases, and seen what they go through, what their quality of life is? Then ask yourself if that's what you want too, for your life. If instead you choose health, choose this book, and choose this life. It will be the best decision you've ever made....more info
Dynamite Book!!!! Kudos to Rip for writing this book!! My husband and I heard Rip's father, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. speak at an exercise conference on March 17, 2001 and after a consultation with him that afternoon, we went on the diet cold turkey on March 18, 2001. It CAN be done. We have never looked back. We are 67 and 65 years old and are as healthy as can be. We take no meds, we do intense strength training (Super slow) weekly in Austin, Texas and can run circles around most people 10 years younger than we are. I lost 40 pounds over a 2 year program. Rip has encapsulated this life style brilliantly. He has done a fabulous job of presenting the science behind the diet. It is a quick read, I read it in one afternoon, and the recipes are fantastic. I have quite a collection of recipes myself after 8 years following the plant and starch based diet, but I plan to incorporate many or all of Rip's delicious sounding mainstays into my collection. If Americans would follow this simple way of eating, we would no longer be the fattest and sickest nation in the world and our health care system would not be the out of control monster that it is. Rip has shown us all how to take charge of our own health and live healthy lives to a ripe old age!!!...more info
Engine 2 diet Lots of great diet ideas, a friend did the 28-day Engine 2 Diet and her cholesterol dropped 40 points. This is a diet that I will incorporate into our everyday eating but not one that I could follow daily without variance....more info
Great read; great recipes!
My husband Rob swam with Rip at the University of Texas, and I love cookbooks and health information (being an ACSM certified Health Fitness Specialist) so it kind of was a no-brainer to get this book. And we are both triathletes and open water swimmers ourselves, so we know it is important to eat well to have energy to do the workouts in our 40s and to stay healthy and save the planet. Even with all that knowledge, it is amazing how easy it is to slip into a rut. Rip's book was just the kick in the pants I needed to start shopping and cooking better and plant-strong. The recipes are my favorite - interesting and easy and delicious. Even if you are like us and don't need to lose weight or lower your cholesterol, you can benefit from this book. It's a fun read, written by a truly dedicated firefighter who can also call himself a health professional. ...more info
Really good.. I really liked this book. Rip give 2 options for following the diet but you really don't have to follow it completely to reap the benefits. Its just good stuff. I am already vegetarian, but eating way too much bread and cheese (as is that's the good alternative to meat---just lazy of me). Rip's recipes are so yummy that I actually look forward to making them. And most are super easy too. The book is worth it just for the recipes alone and the other info in it makes it all that much more valuable. One of the few "diet" books I've bought that I wasn't sorry I spent money on later. One I've actually used instead of just putting on a shelf somewhere.
Prelude to E2. Am still in the process of reading the book, E2, and as far as I can tell, early on, the material is impressive. The author's lineage on both sides come from a string of doctors (MD's)... this runs in the family. The author has apparently taken great pains to document all of his work and the results thus far, with a wide variety of health problems, are significant. It is interesting that the author's grandfather, Caldwell Esselstyn, Sr., was baseball star Lou Gehrig's personal physician, and was also the founder of the Rip Van Winkle Clinic in upstate New York, where people such as Eleanor Roosevelt sought medical help. This book may well be the answer to health problems, too numerous to mention in this brief review. Give it a try... I don't think you'll be at all disappointed. It could even be a lifesaver, literally!...more info
An American Dietary Revolution I had just completed Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's book when I heard that his firefighter son, Rip, was also authoring a book on the benefits of a plant based diet. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's book "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" was an amazing read. This well respected surgeon led a pioneering study that paved the way for many to change the course of their lives. This includes me. So it was with great enthusiasm that I ordered Rip's book "Engine 2 Diet". I read the entire book in 2 days and was amazed at its approach and enthusiasm regarding a plant based diet. As a firefighter I know that many in our profession succumb to the ill effects of the typical western diet. Rip's work infuses logic into a workable solution that is remarkably easy to follow. The dietary options are endless and the included recipes have me wondering if eating this way can really taste this good. The Engine 2 Diet is a convincing philosophy for every firefighter to consider. But make no mistake, the book is for everyone who wishes to improve their health. In the 5 weeks that I have subscribed to the Esselstyn dietary philosophy I have noticed dramatic increases in energy with obvious weight loss (15 pounds). Please do yourself a favor and read Rip's book. Buy it for a firefighter you might know and tell your friends. While many have tried to espouse the benefits of eating well, Rip has created a force to be reckoned with when it comes to an American dietary revolution....more info
A Diet for Real Men, and Everyone Else! Rip is living proof that a plant-based diet leads to a strong, healthy body. Based on his father Caldwell Esselstyn, MD's, research with people with severe heart disease who acheived reversal with a plant-based, no-oil diet, Rip has taken this approach into the real world of fire fighters and other members of the community in Austin, Texas and demonstrated equally impressive results. As a nation, we cannot afford the medications and procedures to put bandaids on the millions with diabetes, heart disease, and other diet-related chronic illnesses. Rip has shown us a way to eat to beat disease. This book is required reading for anyone who is wants to spend less of their lifetime in the doctor's office and less money on medications.
Caroline Trapp, MSN, APRN, BC-ADM, CDE
Director of Diabetes Education and Care
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
Washington, D.C....more info
Save your life lifestyle plan. More than just another diet So, if you found out that you could take control of your health, extend your life and have more energy every day of that life would you be adventurous enough to make the changes required or would you bitch and moan about not being able to enjoy buffalo wings and donuts? The stuff that Rip writes about is backed up by hard science and test groups. If you have a family to raise, things left to do with your life and a desire to live well you really can't ignore the advice in this book. No one will put a gun to your head and demand that you do everything in the book right away but if you started to implement this program and then eased into it week by week you will wake up one day healthier and happier than you have been in years.
It's never all or nothing. My family follows this diet most days of the week. Once in a while we go out for a burger. But the benefits accrue and they are real.
To anyone who believes you need animal protein in your diet you only have to watch the author swim with his Austin masters swim team. The guy has it all: Speed, endurance and boundless energy. He is a the poster man for living clean.
You'll probably spend more on your next dinner out than you will on this book. The interesting thing is that the dinner out may shorten your life while draining your wallet. The book will help extend your life while helping reshape the way we eat and the wasteful way we (as a nation) experience food....more info
great timing...good book Thanks for the book.
Its got great recipes.
Thanks for the quickness of the order!
Being vegan is really not for everyone On the plus side, this writer has a nice go-getter personality and can really get you fired up. I have always loved the idea of being vegetarian or vegan (no gory animal slaughter and butchering), but when you come right down to it, I'm just not convinced it's optimally healthy. Any diet (i.e., vegan) that requires vitamin supplements to prevent serious deficiency seems pretty deficient to me. And a vegetarian diet tends to skew toward excessive dairy consumption. I've seen extensive scientific data (supported by nutritionists I know, including two who were vegetarians before they got their MS degrees) that vegetarian, and especially vegan, diets are not optimal for health.
Any diet that eliminates virtually all fats and refined carbs (cakes, cookies, breads, etc.) will cause you to drop weight as long as you can stand it--which for most of us won't be very long.
Even if it were healthy (which I seriously doubt), this regimen requires an isolating, all-consuming dedication that doesn't fit most life-styles or personalities. Even in major cities, it's very difficult to eat out well as a vegetarian, let alone vegan. Try doing that on a week-long vacation to Orlando, especially if you spend all day every day in the theme parks! And I'm not really going to tote around a supply of vegetables and grains. So even if I believed in it enough to commit in theory, it's way too restrictive in practice.
I was also really shocked and turned off by all the recommended processed soy foods--fake sausage, bacon, lunch meat, cheese, ice cream. Many other respectable sources will tell you these foods are unhealthy, and your tastebuds will tell you they are undesirable.
The best thing I got out of this book is a renewed inspiration to keep eating "plant strong" with lots of vegetables and whole grains. I already knew that, but this guy really reinforces it....more info
just great book I was fascinated. Heart disease runs in my family so this book was meaningful to me. Although I am not sure if I can be totally vegan knowing what to look out for and understanding the importance of being savvy with my food is life changing. recommend!...more info
Outstanding Below is an e-mail I sent to the author regarding my experience.
very positive with this material.
I want to thank you ...and your father...for getting this information out there in a format that really clicked for me. Here's my story. The abbreviated version.
Two years ago, at age 46, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I'd always been athletic (not your level) but I became very sedentary as a result of the surgeries, radiation and drugs. The good news is that I'm tumor free and the overall prognosis is good. However, there was permanent collateral damage which has left me essentially disabled - all sorts of balance issues. Also, I had gained about 35 pounds which was a lot on my frame My blood pressure and cholesterol were getting to be of concern also. There's a family history of high blood pressure, stroke, Alzheimer's and cancer so the barrel I was looking down was getting a bit scary.
Around the beginning of 2009 I decided I was going to control what I could control with regard to my health. That meant exercise and diet changes. The exercise came easy. I always enjoyed it and a friend is a personal trainer. I enlisted his help and got going in January. I've never been one to count calories and diet. Frankly, I never really had to and the idea of dieting was not appetizing to me. Then, I saw your interview on the Today Show and I wanted to know more. I got your book and your Father's. I read them both fairly quick and decided this approach was for me. The science behind it, your father's research, patient care and the E2 presentation of it really clicked for me. The net for me was that a heart healthy diet was also a brain healthy diet and I wanted both a healthy heart and brain.
I started eating the E2 way at the beginning of March. I've lost a total of 30 pounds since the beginning of the year; 20 pounds and several inches around the waist since adopting a plant based diet. My cholesterol was 221 at the start and I'm sorry to say I can't get a good reading because the blood pressure meds screw it up. My goal is to get off the meds - I think exercise and diet will get me there. Other benefits I've noticed in combination with the exercise is that I just feel better and stronger. Another feeling I can't describe other than to say I just feel clean - probably from getting so many more vitamins from my diet as well as ridding toxins from my system.
So, here's the take away. You've really marketed the cholesterol lowering benefits of a plant based diet and I applaud you and all your subjects for your success and for creating a buzz around this. Diets come and go though. So if and when the "diet" buzz starts to quiet, know that you've all contributed much more. You've managed to package the science, the diet, the lifestyle change in a way that really clicked for me personally at a time when I really needed it. You guys (and gals) save lives. Well, I'm thinking you probably saved another one.
Makes sense... Okay, so I admit - I need to lose a (clears throat) few pounds! But what really caught my eye of Rip Esselstyn's new book was the subtitle - "The Texas Firefighter's 28 Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds."
Okay - cholesterol is a major concern for many North American adults and who couldn't stand to lose a (clears throat) few pounds?
The basis for The Engine 2 Diet is Esselstyn's belief that "...the most basic, profound and powerful way to take care of your health on a day-to-day basis is to eat a healthy, plant-based diet."
As a firefighter and dedicated athlete, Rip was concerned about the health of his fellow firefighters. He convinced them to join him in his plant based diet and all who participated saw profound results, both in weight and health improvement.
He has two plans - Fire Cadet - which slowly weans you off meat, eggs, dairy, oils and refined products. And the Firefighter - you're off all the above at once. There are numerous studies and facts presented to back up his belief that this is the way to live the rest of your life. Results can be seen in four weeks.
Of course, it needs to be combined with physical activity, muscular and cardiovascular. Rip uses a method called functional training - using your own body weight, no equipment needed. There is a full section on stretching and exercise, complete with descriptive pictures. He advocates having a number of medical tests (ie blood work, BP etc) done so that you have a baseline to measure your progress against. The book is peppered with testimonials and anecdotes, giving it a personal feel.
The second half of the book cover recipes and meal plans. I found the section on label reading and specific product recommendations to be extremely helpful and very clearly written. How to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need from sources other than meats and dairy were helpful as well. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I was pleasantly surprised with the recipes and meal plans. They were absolutely do-able, if that makes sense. Many of them were foods I already enjoy. Most of them appealed to me. (But I will take a pass on kale butter!)
I have to say that a lot of it really makes sense to me after reading this book. Even if you took some of his ideas and adapted them to your life, you would reap some benefit. Am I going to jump on the bandwagon? (or fire engine as the case may be) It's given me a lot to consider. ...more info
Wanna tell the American Health System to fudge off? BUY THIS BOOK! My wife and I have been on the Engine 2 diet for nearly five weeks. We've both lost weight and feel tons better. We have both observed more spring in our steps, and more energy. We started working out again and found that we didn't burn out as quickly at the gym now that we're eating a plant based diet.
If you have any doubt about the tastiness of the plant-based lifestyle, try the recipe for breakfast tacos and you will never worry about whether the food will be satisfying or exciting, or decadent again. All of the recipes taste great so far.
Switching to a plant-only diet is a hard sell. Rip does a great job convincing you with his own story and testimonies scattered throughout the book. If you need more convincing however, I recommend that you read his dad's book PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE by Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., and THE CHINA STUDY by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. We read both before discovering that Rip was coming out with a companion cookbook to his dad's work.
Expect a lot of flack from the world around you when you switch, but be dedicated. This is the only prescription for good health, everything else is incomplete. The whole of the American medical profession has failed us because of their obsession with treatments and procedures. They have ignored prevention and the benefit of true nutritional balance. Well, let's tell the Big Medical Machine to fudge off. We're not going to wait to get sick to have them try and fail to put us together again. We are going to prevent disease with a plant-based diet and live with a clean conscience, knowing that we are not contributing to the american health-care crisis.
Very smart book Rip knows what many vegetarians and vegans already know. Plant sources are the absolute best sources for our bodies. Great stories, easy to execute exercises, fantastic recipes, and no counting calories or fat grams makes this book a must read for everyone!!!...more info
Great book for a new lifestyle I saw the author promoting the book on the Today show in February 2009. I was not thinking about a diet, or ever giving up meat. Well, it sounded interesting so I bought the book.
I have been following the Engine 2 lifestyle for two months. It is not really a diet. It is an introduction to a new lifestyle that will lead to major weight loss and other positive health changes, and probably a longer life. You eat great food and are never hungry. Even if you do not follow the Engine 2 plan beyond the first four weeks (or even the complete four weeks), reading the book will teach you some important lessons about eating and nutrition.
Also, the companion web site offers great support from the author and his colleagues. They respond directly to your questions, give you real time advice and tips, and generally support you.
Austin Engine 2 Excellent book. I've been following the diet for about 6 weeks and feel great. I'm starting to lose weight. Thanks Rip. ...more info
Diet may be good, BUT Hate to disagree with others. I saw author on CBS Sunday and bought this book immediately. I think the diet is good, but a little strict for most people. What really turned me off was the first pages about all his athletic awards etc. Each person who writes a book should of course establish their credentials, but this just sounded like bragging to me....more info
Great book. Highly recommended. When I was buying that book I thought it's another useless book about "eat more and you will be healthy". But I was wrong it great book where Rip combined diet, work out and science to reach desired effect. In that book you will also find good recipes to make healthy meal. I like that book....more info
IMPRESSIVE PEOPLE I've met both of Rip's parents, and they are very impressive people. Ann Esselstyn's grandfather founded the Cleveland Clinic, an institution world renowned for it's interventionist heart procedures. I'm sure the Esselstyn's must find it more than little funny that they're essentially working to put the clinic Rip's great grandfather started, out of business.
I was first introduced to Caldwell Esselstyn through a Vegsource DVD.
I was so impressed with his presentation from 2005, that in 2006 I ended up traveling 3 days by bus, to meet him in person, in California.
I first met Ann Esselstyn last September, in Saratoga Springs New York. She is a ball of energy!
It's good to see Rip's book doing so well. Coming from a firefighter and a triathlete, it should go a long way towards dispelling the notion that we need meat for strength, and dairy for strong bones.
These are people you can trust!
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss
Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World's Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples
Unfermented soy (tofu and soy in processed food) can disrupt hormones This book eliminates a lot of harmful food in its diet plan, including all junk food and (in the author's opinion) all dairy and meat. However, the author recommends soy in the form of soy milk, tofu, and tempeh. Only tempeh and miso are fermented, the only non-harmful types of soy, according to the sources I've read.
I've e-mailed the author to get his response to the claims that soy can be harmful to health, but the response was just, "Engine 2 supports eating tofu, and as will processed foods, we generally recommend eating them in moderation."
Please check with your doctor about possible harmful effects from unfermented soy products.
Plant Strong! I applaud this book completely. What Rip has done is transform people's idea of what it means to be a "vegetarian" or a "vegan", casting aisde traditonally held notions that this program is a crackpot lifestyle reserved for hippies, yogis and other "fringe" subcultures.
The truth? A plant-based diet isn't just for the granola munching tye-dye set. Its for everyone -- even professional athletes and firemen. And I speak from personal experience.
His words make sense -- not only for athletes but for everybody. Whether you want to perform as a top athlete, increase your overall long-term optimal health or just lose weight, this book is for you.
And I'm not just blowing smoke. When I turned 40, I was a carniverous overweight sloth staring at likely genetic heart problems. I decided to change my life. I adopted an entirely plant-based diet. I began to work out. 1 year later I had lost 30 pounds and was fit. And 2 years later? I finished 10th at the Ultraman World Championships -- a 3 day double ironman distance uber endurance triathlon race. All on a plant based diet. And the lack of meat and dairy products in my diet was not a hindrance -- it was a competitive advantage.
This is a long way of saying that this is not just another "diet" book. It proposes a new way of life with advice that is sound, solid and scientifically supported. All I can say is that what he proposes changed my life completely, so I cannot say enough about the wisdom of this book.
Maybe if you are 100% and live in the big city I found the recipes complicated and involved. The taste was good but rarely am able to use 100% of the ingredients because I cannot find them in my small town. I was just looking for some healthy lifestyle changes that I could fit into my seriously busy life, this is not the book. I ordered Eat, Drink and Be Vegan at the same time and adore that book though!...more info
Highly Recommended This is a GREAT book! It's very well-written, interesting, and more importantly it teaches you how to change your eating lifestyle, lose weight, and regain healthy blood chemistry----all without being hungry! We are on our 4th week and loving it. We are both losing weight and feeling much better. We can hardly wait to have our cholesterol, HDL/LDL, and glucose tests next month! If you are serious about losing weight and getting healthy again, buy this book. ...more info
The Engine 2 Diet: A Major Gem for Changing your Lifestyle & Getting Healthy In this book review of "The Engine 2 Diet," I'll describe both my experience of the book itself and then my personal experience being on the diet for the past 3 weeks. Rather than call the Engine 2, a "diet," I'd prefer to call it a "lifestyle" with a major focus on dietary change. When you see the word "diet," you may immediately think of giving up quantity and giving up foods you are attached to. This is absolutely not the case with the Engine 2 diet. With this dietary plan, you can eat as much of the foods on the plan as you want to eat (with a few logical exceptions) and the foods you eat will taste wonderful. One thing for sure with this Engine 2 Diet, I always feel satisfied and don't have any cravings for foods---this was completely unexpected and surprising.
The book itself is very easy to read and follow. The book is divided into 3 major sections, (1) His philosophy of the Engine 2 Diet with the author's own story and background; brief citing and review of the medical and research studies documenting the health benefits with this diet; exploration of the myths about food and following a vegan diet; blood markers; and a brief review of exercise benefits and necessity with the diet. (2) How the Diet Works-the 28 day plan easily explained and described; how to seriously and deeply understand labels on all food products (this chapter is outstanding); and overall how to make this diet work to improve your life; (3) Recipes, meal plans, preparing your kitchen before starting the diet and how to shop for specific foods-brands to buy, foods to reject, ingredients to keep on hand, etc.
His reasoning and explanation for the diet are clearly explained. The health benefits are outlined and are numerous. The chapter on how to read labels is outstanding. You learn precisely what ingredients to avoid and how to properly shop for foods. You'll feel smarter than 99% of the population just after memorizing this one chapter. The recipes are easy to prepare, even for a novice cook such as myself. They taste great and are very satisfying. His website is excellent and adds an additional layer of organization to your menu-making and shopping lists.
I have been on this diet for the past 3 weeks and I have never felt better in my life (47 yrs). I started the diet for several personal reasons: (1) My cholesterol has gradually gone up above normal levels over the past 8 years and my physician wanted me to start Statin drugs. This was a major wake-up call because I don't want to be on a drug regimen for something I can control with diet. That's a HUGE POINT with this book---I am taking back control of my body and my health through the most basic empowering action--what foods I eat. The book stresses this aspect, how nutrition is at the root of health and disease. (2) I had gained about 10 lbs and wanted to get rid of excess weight. (3) (He does not discuss this point) I philosophically prefer not to eat animal products due to my love of the animal kingdom and wanting to reduce my energy demands on the environment. (4) I want to prevent the possibility of having cardiovascular disease, diabetes, memory loss, stroke, cancer, etc. as I get deeper into middle age. (5) I want more energy and want to feel better overall. (6) I suffer from some food allergies (including lactose and eggs).
MY EXPERIENCE TO DATE: I love this diet. The recipes are easy to make, and follow. I have not cooked much before this diet, so this statement is coming from a man with little cooking experience. The food tastes great and he has the right seasonings and flavors combined. I NEVER go hungry, I NEVER have cravings, I don't miss the meat, dairy or eggs or oils. I have more variety in my daily menu than I used to have. Even during the first few days, I felt great. My blood sugar feels much more balanced and I don't experience the high and low energy spikes that I used to. I don't crave sugar or more food at night like I used to. I have more mental and physical energy.
I was amazed that I did not need oil to make pancakes and I did not need eggs to make spectacular french toast! I still can't believe how much sodium (salt) is in so many foods and that I don't need it to make the food taste good. I used to add salt to everything...I stopped that cold turkey with the Engine 2 Diet and I don't miss the salt. The reason is that the recipes have many other herbs and spices to take up where the salt was before. The flavors are wonderful. Aside from eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables daily (adding a lot of fiber to the diet), his Lasagna, Pad Thai, Big Bowl breakfast, Black Bean Extravaganza, & Chili are my favorites so far. There are many recipes to choose from, so you won't get bored.
My colon feels a lot cleaner and I feel lighter. I lost 5 lbs. and my entire digestive system runs much better with no distress. In fact, I feel so much better mentally and physically that it is hard to imagine not eating this way. I never expected this to happen. It's phenomenal.
When in the grocery store, I feel really good and knowledgable. I stop and read the labels with much more intelligence. I now understand (due to reading the book) what to avoid and what is healthy. I feel smarter and stronger with my food choices and this affects my attitude about other areas of my life. I'm much more conscious. I feel like I was let out of jail when it comes to eating. This diet makes me feel smarter and freer, another unexpected result. Rather than feel deprived, I feel like I have license to eat whatever I want. I also know that I am eating consciously with awareness and pleasure. My body thanks me all day long.
I thought I'd miss "protein" from animal products----I was quite wrong. I get plenty of protein on this diet from plant sources and grains. Again, all of my preconceived ideas went out the door, once I started this plan. I will find out my cholesterol levels in another week and surely the numbers will improve, thus keeping me away from drug therapy. But, perhaps, more importantly, this diet has changed my life in significant ways, improving my health, well-being, sense of power, strength and probably saving me from having a heart attack, diabetes or stroke later on---as I was certainly heading in that direction. I can't wait to see the reaction from my physician when he sees my improved blood cholesterol levels and I can safely reject taking Statin drugs. Millions of people take Statins for high LDL and total cholesterol levels, when the majority of them could simply change their diet plan and get off the drugs. Knowledge is power.
I really believe that this author has saved my life! This book is a gem and perhaps it will awaken you the way it has for me! Don't hesitate one minute. Read this book and take control of your life where you can really make a difference!...more info
Vegan diet is GREAT for athletes! This is an excellent guide to optimizing health and athletic performance thru good nutrition. Author is a star swimmer and triathlete. He discusses practical ways to implement healthier eating and living into your life. If you are interested in optimizing your health, I also recommend, "Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease by Esselstyn (his father), any book by John McDougall MD and the DVD, "Rogers Diet" of which I am an author. The DVD is a convenient way to hear a Harvard trained MD's advice about diet, cholesterol and weight loss.The Rogers Diet...more info
Lots of vegetarian recipes I like the book because it showed that even people with big appetites can be happy with a vegetarian diet. The many recipes give lots of ideas for cooking meals that have been tested by these firefighters--then you can adjust them to your taste. ...more info
NOT JUST RECIPES I purchased the book thinking that it was strictly a recipe book. While only half of the book is recipes... there are enough to keep you going for at least a month of new and different meals and desserts. The first half of the book is filled with very interesting information. In the middle are exercises that Rip recommends with pictures of people performing the exercise.
My Dad and Husband (Triglycerides at 600+!) and I started this diet 2 weeks ago. I have already lost 3-4 pounds (female, 55yrs old)! My Dad, 85yrs, is having a little digestive difficulty so we are moderating his diet to balance that out. I hope we can stay on this diet indefinitely.
Besides the recipes (including chocolate brownies!), my favorite part of the book is "Crazy Myths About Food."
Some of the information in the book is available online but I'm glad I bought the book. It's already covered with ingredients from the recipes I've followed so far. We like Shepards Pie, Gnocchi and Red Sauce (never had a Gnocchi before!), Sweet Potato Fries, and of course... Dark Chocolate Brownies.
Love this Resource/Recipe Book The recipes for this vegetarian diet are delicious! Even my meat-eating husband enjoys the meatless, dairy-free meals. We have been enjoying the new diet for about 1 month now and we both feel strong and healthy, and have lost weight. It also provides a good work-out if you do not already have one established. The author is a firefighter and triathlete who was raised on this diet. One chapter is about the medical proof behind the diet. You'll have fun with this book if you're interested in health and nutrition. I've bought 2 more copies to give as gifts....more info