The Man

World-class triathlete 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.

The Bet

While on shift at the firehouse one day, Rip and a few of his fellow firefighters made a few bets in friendly competition. The topic of who had the lowest cholesterol came up, and after a bit of blood work, it was discovered that one of the fireman had a dangerously high score of 344! Rip then made it a goal to introduce his friend to a healthier, longer life.

The Plan

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 overal health. Now, Rip outlines his proven plan in his 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 vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, seeds and nuts.

More About Rip

For many years Rip, a University of Texas All American swimmer, was one of the world’s top professional triathletes. He took first place in many major events, including the 2001 Police and Fire World Games, the world’s largest athletic competition. He also won the Capital of Texas triathlon eight times and was the leader and top-three finisher at many televised events, including the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, where he was first out of the frigid, shark-infested waters six years in a row.

Rip still competes in various events, recently winning the master national championships and setting the national record in the process. In 1997 Rip joined the Austin fire department and today is a firefighter at Austin’s Station 2 Firehouse. Throughout all this time Rip has eaten a plant-based diet. In 2003, he convinced the entire team of Engine 2 firefighters to eat a plant-strong diet along with him, and today Austin’s Station 2 is known throughout the city as the plant-based station, where every meal served is a plant-healthy one.

Trained as an EMT, Rip comes from a family steeped in medical knowledge. His great-grandfather, George Crile, co-founded the world renowned Cleveland Clinic, where his father, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, was chief of surgery and completed one of the most extensive studies on the relationship between the heart and diet–proving that a plant-based diet can reduce and even eliminate heart disease. The Engine 2 Diet is Rip’s first book.