The Daily Beet

13 May My recent travel to Central Station

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A few Fridays ago I traveled to Station 1 (traveling being the term for a firefighter being sent to another station that is short on personnel for a day). Station 1, also known as Central Station, is located in the heart of downtown Austin; I was posted here for more than five years before moving to Station 2, where I still work.

Station 1 is consider the Animal House of the Austin fire department, because the firefighters there are rowdier than anywhere else in the city. Since there are usually twelve to fourteen firefighters on duty at all times–which is a lot– shifts there are fun and entertaining, and often crazy!

Dinners, however, are nothing more than a heart attack on a plate.

This particular Friday the menu called for one pound burgers topped with bacon and half-inch slabs of Philadelphia cream cheese with a side of deep-fried French fries.

The guys at Station 1 know I’m a plant-eater, so they always give me a tough time. The first comment that was thrown at me was, “Man, my brother has gout real bad, and his doctor told him he couldn’t eat red meat or drink beer. My brother has essentially been neutered.”

When I asked if they would consider baking some of the potato fries instead of deep frying them, the response was, “Hell, no! Maybe if it was another day of the week but not on a Friday. On Fridays, everything is fried!”

At 2:30 a.m. we got called to a three-alarm apartment fire, and we were up all night fighting the flames and cleaning up afterwards. So there we were, all tired and worn out, walking back to the station, when one of the guys says, “The grease in the food is what gave us the get-up-and-go energy to fight fire all night long.”

The take home message: Most guys don’t get it. They don’t understand the manliest way to prevent disease so you can be around for your family and loved ones is to embrace a plant-strong diet. Not only that, but a plant-strong diet helps prevent erectile dysfunction! Don’t believe me? Read page 39 of my book.

So spread the word. Real men eat plants!!!!!

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Rip Esselstyn

As a firefighter for the Austin Fire Department, he helped people and saved lives. As a friend to other firefighters, he transformed the way Austin ’s Engine 2 firehouse ate in order to save a firefighting brother’s health. Now, as the author of The Engine 2 Diet, Rip is teaching people the irrefutable connection between what they put in their mouths and their ability to reach their ideal weight and their ideal health.

  • Jen Kidd

    Des feels your pain. But then again he has always liked being “different”. The new plant-strong diet gets people at the hospital and on our island talking and ( thinking ) if not committing just yet. Each of us must find our internal motivation to change our habits. Mine… good skin and bigger muscles!! thanks Rip. You guys are the real men in my book!

  • Dana

    I made dinner for the guys at my firehouse last night, I talked them into eating VEGAN! (actually i think they just didnt want to cook). Several of them took the recipe home.

    Lentil stew, salad and whole grain bread, hold the butter.

    Lentil soup:
    1 diced red onion sautéed in Pam
    add 14.5oz diced tomatoes, 4 cups H20 and 1 C lentils
    boil covered for 30 min.
    add 1 1/2 TBSP balsamic vinegar plus 2 C chopped fresh spinach, 1 tsp pepper, cook 1 more minute

    Enjoy my favorite soup!
    Dana