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Life Arts    H4'ed 5/18/09

Beefcake and Broccoli: Texas Firefighters Go Veg!

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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.

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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.)

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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.”

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."

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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 since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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