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Beefcake and Broccoli: Texas Firefighters Go Veg!

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Source: B&W image from Wiki. (Color added.)

If you’ve ever had to call the fire department, you know that one look at those smokin' hot gentlemen can make a gal’s heart rate go up.


But according to the New England Journal of Medicine, heart disease kills more firemen than fires.

Firefighter, author & triathlete, Rip Esselstyn. Photo: Brian Fitzsimmons

In 2003, one of Rip Esselstyn’s firefighting buddies discovered that his cholesterol count was a dangerous 344. Others had high levels, as well. Rip, a former meat eater and champion triathlete came to the rescue and started them all on a four-week, vegetarian, path to health.

The firefighters began to downsize in a big way. His buddy’s cholesterol dropped from 344 to 196. The group averaged a loss of 14 lbs each in four weeks.

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Esselstyn’s book, The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds (Wellness Central, Feb. 2009) is a New York Times bestseller. In it, he shows how to, “melt away the pounds, look terrific and become bullet-proof to Western diseases. This is the Engine 2 Diet. For 28 days you’ll eat the most delicious food Mother Nature has to offer.”

Esselyn notes, “The Standard American Diet does nothing to enhance your health ... Calorie for calorie, the best source of protein on the planet comes from green leafys: spinach is 51% protein, kale is 40% protein.”

Much in his book is based on decades of research done by his heart surgeon father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure (Avery. January 2008.)

Dr. Esselstyn conducted a groundbreaking 20-year nutritional study on terminal heart disease patients—the longest study of its kind. Based on his findings, he proposes that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease, but also reverse its effects. Dr. Esselstyn believes that that “conventional cardiology has failed patients by developing treatments that focus only on the symptoms of heart disease, not the cause.”

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Esselstyn, the son, says, “I think in less than five years, there will be such a stigma attached to eating meat and dairy, that it will be similar to smoking cigarettes today."

Lance Armstrong. Photo courtesy Wiki.

Lance Armstrong, who has known Rip for more than 20 years, shares that Rip “ has 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."

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing for over 25 years. She studied art with Harold Ransom Stevenson in Sea Cliff NY for seven years before opening her own art school. Stevenson had (more...)

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Not eating meat in the US poses new problems for t... by Margaret Bassett on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 11:38:28 AM
Thanx Meryl.  I think it is great that the yo... by Suzana Megles on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 12:59:41 PM
Back when i was raising my kids and stepkids, (kee... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 1:19:08 PM
produce, then they would not last a season, due to... by Stanimal on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 1:15:28 PM
Personally, I think if someone prefers to go on a ... by Kimmo Salonen on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 3:14:49 PM
... and both of the Esselstyns' books make excelle... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 3:22:12 PM
With all due respect, Kimmo, I have to disagree wi... by Robin Rae on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 4:09:43 AM
We vegans aren't preaching anymore than those who ... by Suzana Megles on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:56:03 AM
I'm not angry at anyone. I'm just asking. ... by Kimmo Salonen on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 11:24:44 AM
about exactly what kind of diet the human body thr... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 11:45:45 AM
Then they should change it to eat local whenever p... by Dave Kisor on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 9:11:17 PM
I purchased "Engine #2" after seeing a segment ab... by Louise Nelson on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 3:25:52 PM
The Gabriel Method video was great (And what a hun... by Meryl Ann Butler on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 3:45:04 PM
there are some here on opednews who seem to feel s... by Stanimal on Monday, May 18, 2009 at 8:21:06 PM
... and profitable way to deliver a product to mar... by Robin Rae on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 4:15:08 AM
do you own a car? Do you have pets? What kind of h... by Stanimal on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 2:25:18 PM
"If we all just toned it down a bit, then the disc... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:55:40 AM
"I don't like the idea of using guilt to ... by Kimmo Salonen on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 12:03:48 PM
Thanks for posting such an informative article on ... by Robin Rae on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 3:39:54 AM
Yes, I believe that in these books they also say t... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 11:04:21 AM
This is an excellent & very timely articleI go... by liecatcher on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 7:42:12 AM
I was speaking at a conference in the beginning of... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:49:56 AM
But Kimmo's and Stanimal's comments warn o... by GL Rowsey on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 8:06:24 AM
Sex sells... and i think that's ok!! And it... by Meryl Ann Butler on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 10:45:52 AM