Customer Reviews


375 Reviews
5 star:
 (313)
4 star:
 (33)
3 star:
 (17)
2 star:
 (7)
1 star:
 (5)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Kitchen Keeper for Your Nutrition & Cookbook Plant-Based Library
This new offering from Rip Esselstyn and Engine 2 is a winner. It is a Kitchen Keeper! My Beef With Meat packs a mega-load of extremely well researched recent nutritional information into 36 very short chapters that dispel many myths and misconceptions about nutrition and health. Rip has no political axe to grind, rather his entire focus is on presenting the latest...
Published 15 months ago by K. Loss

versus
69 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My Beef With This Book
My main beef with this book is that Rip Esselstyn has sold out. He has partnered with Whole Foods and advertises on his web sites for many different products. He even has his own food product line now sold in Whole Foods. That is fine for him and I have no problem with him making money. However, profit driven advice is not necessarily the healthiest thing for you. I got...
Published 14 months ago by David's Wife


‹ Previous | 1 238 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Kitchen Keeper for Your Nutrition & Cookbook Plant-Based Library, May 16, 2013
By 
K. Loss (Laguna Beach, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This new offering from Rip Esselstyn and Engine 2 is a winner. It is a Kitchen Keeper! My Beef With Meat packs a mega-load of extremely well researched recent nutritional information into 36 very short chapters that dispel many myths and misconceptions about nutrition and health. Rip has no political axe to grind, rather his entire focus is on presenting the latest scientific validated research and facts in an accessible manner to help the reader take charge of his/her own health. Despite its cheeky attitude, My Beef With Meat is definitely not another fad diet book, but an important book that will contribute much to health and palate. This is a book appropriate both for newbies and veterans of whole food plant-based diets. It's written for the American public: for those who are young, old, sick, healthy or just average meat-eating joes and janes. It is a terrific and informative introduction for those considering making a change to their diet to lose weight and improve their health as well as a valuable way for those who have embraced this diet-style to know what to say when friends and family inevitably lob questions and criticism in their direction. Even after nearly 2 years eating a whole food, plant-based "plant-strong" diet, and delving into the many excellent offerings in this field, I learned new information. Rip writes in a fun, engaging, non-threatening style with chapters covering such topics as "Animal Protein is Dead Wrong", "The Mediterranean Myth", "Plants Are Bone-Strong", "Plants Perk Up Your Pecker", "Oil is the New Snake Oil", "Carbs Are King!", "Eat Plants. Lose Weight. Feel Great", and "Be Done with Dumb Diets." I particularly appreciated the chapter on why eating plant-based is beneficial for high level athletes, "Plant-Strong: The Athlete's X-Factor".

Rip brings his own stellar credentials and first hand experiences as as a long-time plant eating firefighter and top professional athlete to the task as well as drawing on the research and expertise of many of the leaders in this field. Rip is a former fire-fighter who in his work detailed in his first book The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds spent more time responding to health-related medical emergencies brought on by obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc. than to fires. He is also a former top tier professional triathlete and experienced personally positive changes in his athletic performance when he shifted to a plant-based diet. Son to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure] [[ASIN:B005K23S20 Forks Over Knives] Rip also saw first hand the profoundly positive effect of plant-based diets in his father's heart patients. Among the experts in this field that Rip has drawn upon and worked closely with in getting the message out that there is a solution to the American health care crisis are T. Colin Campbell (The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Dr. John McDougall The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!, nutritionist Jeff Novick, and psychologist Dr. Doug Lisle.

Now for the recipe section in My Beef With Meat: The 140 new plant-strong recipes in My Beef With Meat are easy and delicious without needing to track down exotic ingredients. They use whole plant foods with no added oils, or salt, a bare minimum of sweeteners. I can personally vouch for the quality and deliciousness of these recipes because I recently attended a Farms2Forks 3-day immersion weekend put on by Rip and the folks at Engine 2 and Forks Over Knives. The hosting Hyatt hotel served our group of over 300 guests abundant buffets that followed the criteria of this lifestyle and served quite a number of the recipes from My Beef With Meat--definitely a first for the chef and kitchen staff used to cooking up eggs, steaks, and pastries for business conferences. Instead we ate such things as Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas, Dr. Seuss Stacked Polenta, Kale Ceviche Salad served with OMG Walnut Sauce, and Damn Good Cookies for dessert. As you can tell, this book puts the fun back into eating. Rip's sister, Jane Esselstyn, who was in charge of this section of the book also demonstrated a number of the recipes during the weekend.

My Beef With Meat makes a great gift book for your friends, family, and work colleagues who want to take charge of their own health, or express genuine interest or skepticism in why you turn down hamburgers at the BBQ, eschew olive oil and ice cream in favor of a plain baked potato topped with veggies, fresh fruit and the Date Nut Chocolate Pie you made from this book and brought for dessert. After having spent a decade counting calories, points, and portion sizes with little permanent effect on my weight nor change in my underlying health, eating a whole food plant based diet for the last two years has opened up an entire world of delicious, nutritious, health-giving abundance. I've been able to throw those former constricting metrics out the window, lose 40 lbs. and stop numerous medications. Thanks to the very simple change of giving up all animal products and oil in favor of the style of eating advocated by Rip in My Beef With Meat and increasing numbers of scientists medical and nutritional experts (Yes! You can do it! I don't miss steak, cheese, ice cream, or doughnuts--my palate changed in about 28 days to prefer the taste of vegetables, fruits, whole starches and grains, and legumes), I now maintain a newly slim weight and vibrant health. My Beef With Meat is a five-star winner, a Kitchen Keeper, a great addition to anyone's nutrition and cookbook library.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


170 of 183 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sensible book about eating a plant-based diet, May 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
If you are deciding whether to eat a plant-based diet, there are plenty of choices for books to read. This book is a great choice. Several reasons--for one, this book avoids the preachiness of some books that advocate veganism for philosophical reasons. If you have that philosophy, I respect that. But I personally would rather read a factual book, with recipes, leaving the philosophy to my own personal journey of discovery. "My Beef with Meat" is really more about what works for health, according to the author's research into the subject. Rip Esselstyn opens the book with his argument that a plant-based diet has health benefits, and seeing more and more of my friends improve their health in this manner, and seeing that I only maintain my weight using mainly plant-based foods, there seems to be some truth in it.

So what's in this book? Chapters about the health benefits of plant-based diet, including why this diet may reverse arterial plaque, and of course, recipes for good-tasting food, new to this book and not in the previous "Firehouse" books. For example, there's quite a bit of pizza. Ok, so you don't eat wheat? What about polenta pizza? (corn based.) But there are also wheat doughs and toppings (no cheese, of course) using cashew cream, which I've had and can tell you tastes really good, or other creamy-feeling toppings such as guacamole, pesto, hummus or spinach artichoke dip. (Yes, not authentic Tomato Pie if you come from Philly but savory and good nonetheless.) There is also a variant on one of my top vegan faves of all times, Vegan Reuben, which uses tempeh (a bean cake that can be sliced and sauted and tastes savory) along with non-egg mayo/ketchup Russian dressing. The one thing missing is the sauteed onions I typically put on here, but who says you can't add those yourself.

There are hearty sandwiches and chili, solving the problem of eating a bag lunch or thermos lunch. The recipes are aimed for robust (masculine) tastes, per the Fireman theme of all Esselstyn's book. Big, strong, healthy and plant-based doesn't mean eating alfalfa sprouts daintily strewn on a kale chip.

A chapter in this book that won my heart was the important discussion of Vitamin B12, which is an essential element of diet and literally can prevent your brain from deteriorating. I'm harping on this subject, because not having enough vitamin B12 can affect memory, leading to memory loss. A severe deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to severe memory loss. The Linus Pauling Institute states that chronic vitamin B12 deficiency may result in dementia, and I know of one situation, an acquaintance who suffered "pernicious anemia" which is the inability to absorb and process B12. It was not diagnosed in time, and she got dementia after noting a loss of her short-term memory. How sad and how preventable.

Esselstyn doesn't make false claims that you can get B12 direct from plant sources, which is NOT true (plant B12 is an analog, not the form we need. If someone tells you otherwise, it's the wishful thinking.*) Esselstyn DOES tell how animals make B12 in their tissues, and how we can get it without animal sourced food--from a tablet! And even better, he suggests having B12 levels measured. By the way, if you don't absorb enough from the tablets, you can try an injection (doctor) and there is also an oral spray, as B12 needs to be absorbed by the mucous membranes and not swallowed. Which is why the tablets are sublingual (dissolve under your tongue.)

There are many reasons I give this book a huge thumbs-up. This author supports his claims with data and practical suggestions, not wishful thinking or misty philosophy. He provides tasty recipes with hearty food that replicates "comfort food" with vegetable alternatives that give up none of the flavor.

There are 140 recipes that aren't in the previous Engine 2 Diet book. One warning; if you can't eat nuts, this can be problematic, as much of vegan cooking replaces milk and meat with nuts. Some recipes replace milk with soy, another issue if you have thyroid problems, some other conditions, or want to avoid GMO foods, but you can use rice or almond milk. That's the ONLY problem I have with vegan recipes in general. Soy and nuts are a problem for some folks, including me, so I am rather limited sometimes. And then there's the issue of gluten--reliance on wheat gluten protein (seitan) as a meat substitute can be a problem. So there are some recipes with seitan but they aren't the majority of the main dishes, so gluten-free folks can adapt with plenty of other great recipes that work well.

Summary: a lot to like in this book if you are investigating a plant-based diet. Good information, solid arguments, no preaching, good recipes.

UPDATE: I've found so many recipes in this book that I enjoy, that I think this is one of my favorite new cookbooks. In particular, there is a recipe for red quinoa with black beans and roasted corn that is a dinner salad/main dish that I particularly enjoy. The salads are very hearty and the soup chapter has a mulligatawny with red lentils that I also love. The recipes are low-fat as well. This absolutely blows away the notion that eating vegetable-based foods that are low fat will be bland and flavorless. If you want a good plant-based cookbook, I'd recommend this one.
------------------
_________
*Note: Since some cultures are traditionally vegan, and didn't have access to vitamin tablets, the question is how did these people obtain B12 in the diet? Some writers on this subject proposed fermentation of foods, certain yeasts, algae and I suspect, were GUESSING rather than researching about B12 analogs--that is, molecules that look like B12 but are not active in the body like animal-sourced B12. It turns out the most likely source is insect infestation (small, tiny bugs like grain weevils) especially in less-developed parts of the world where food storage and processing would naturally lead to a certain level of insect protein in the food. Not so savory to consider, but recently the UN had been proposing insect consumption to boost protein in poor diets.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll be surprised at how many scientist friends you have, May 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (Hardcover)
I'm a plant strong believer. Having lost 26 pounds in six weeks and off blood pressure medication. I've read quick read and I'll be trying the new recipes.
Here are some high lights from the book.

"[P]eople are waking up to the fact that our current paradigm is broken. [D]espite our attempts to medicate away our misery, Americans are sicker than ever. The answer is not another pill, procedure, or doctor, or more legislation. Unbelievably, the answer is right in front of our faces. But we've been blind because we had no idea the answer could be so simple. Plants can heal. Plants can nourish. Plants can give you everything you need to be the healthiest person you can be and live the life you deserve to live. The unfortunate reality is that the powerful meat and dairy lobbies have been successfully spreading their propaganda for many decades.

[The] widespread misconception about protein is that plant proteins are somehow not 'complete'. This is a fallacy, based on outdated research that was weak to begin with." The author that started this belief rescinded her position ten years later. "[It is known] plant proteins have a healthier composition and balance of essential amino acids, and elegantly balanced by nature in a way that inherently protects us from inflammation and tumor growth."

This is the best story from the book (because I've lived it too): Mike's Moderation. An email written to Rip after Mike achieved excellent results from a plant strong diet. Mike found out just how many "scientist" friends he had. "It's amazing, really. I never heard a word of concern when somebody saw me eat my fifth piece of pizza after polishing off a plate of wings and a few beers. However, one word that I'm holding off on the meat and lowering my fat intake, and they come out of the woodwork. They all seem to have kept their non-science office jobs, but suddenly they're evolutionary biologists talking about the shape of my teeth proving our omnivorous lineage, dietitians concerned about the exact percentage of my calories coming from protein, and biochemists who suddenly are worried about the details of my blood chemistry. My advice? Smile, thank them for the advice, and ignore them like they ignored you when you were eating crap that was killing you. The give them first dibs on your clothes before you take them to Goodwill because they are too big for you. If they get excited about how I'm harming myself now that I've engaged in that horror of horrors - eating fresh fruits and vegetables! I just tell them what they want to hear: It is very possible that this is just a fad diet that I'll stop doing sometime down the road, but if so, right now it is the most successful fad diet I've ever been on. So far, I've only seen positive effects from eating plant-strong. As soon as I see one single detrimental effect to my health, I'll reconsider my choice. I'll even give them the pleasure of buying me a steak."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


53 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's The Beef? WHO CARES??! :), May 15, 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (Hardcover)
This man puts out some amazing books that are packed with easy to understand, informative and eye opening information. Rip Esselstyn is without a doubt one of the motivating voices in why I went vegan. The recipes are absolutely incredible, and when he says his goal is creating food that is not only good for you, but taste heavenly, he is not understating. Every single recipe in this, and his original book are ones I either have tried, or cannot wait to get to. If a bunch of formerly grillin' Texas manly meat groupies can reform their palates, ANY of us can!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't be a chicken, beef up your life with plants!, May 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (Hardcover)
Read it cover to cover yesterday, starting on the recipes today. Had a great discussion with my 27 year old son about being plant-strong and easily won the verbal battle with Rip's matter-of-fact facts. I am locked and loaded to keep plants in the crosshairs of my culinary adventures. Thank you.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


69 of 84 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars My Beef With This Book, June 17, 2013
This review is from: My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (Hardcover)
My main beef with this book is that Rip Esselstyn has sold out. He has partnered with Whole Foods and advertises on his web sites for many different products. He even has his own food product line now sold in Whole Foods. That is fine for him and I have no problem with him making money. However, profit driven advice is not necessarily the healthiest thing for you. I got Rip's books because I am reading "Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition" by T. Colin Campbell and he advocates strongly for a plant based whole foods diet. I have also read books by Michael Pollen who shares the same viewpoint and since Rip's first book, "The Engine 2 Diet" has a forward by T. Colin Campbell, I thought that they shared the same views.
Rip, however includes lots of highly processed foods in his recipes and diet suggestions, things that have more than 5 ingredients, many of which are unpronounceable chemicals. Michael Pollen would not approve. Furthermore, Rip replaces fats with sugars. Many of his salad dressings include maple syrup. I personally don't like sweet salad dressings. I make my own salad dressings with EVOO and vinegar - usually balsamic, red wine and apple cider vinegars all mixed or perhaps with some fresh garlic, ginger, lime juice or lemon juice. I do not think that is any less healthy than a salad dressing made with maple syrup.
Rip does explain that large amounts of oils are unhealthy, but I think that in moderation, they should be fine.
Rip also includes tons of soy in his recipes. He tells us not to believe everything we believe about soy, but admits that "there is not yet conclusive evidence" about it, and it "may in fact both help and hurt us" but, "like most natural ingredients...don't do anything bad to you if you don't eat too much of them." I feel the same way about EVOO and coconut oil thank you.

I have made some of the recipes from this cookbook which, by the way, are not made up by Rip himself, but by his friends and family. I made the "Crispy Polenta Strips" which are coated with "corn flake crumbs (from a canister, not from your old cereal boxes!)" - definitely a highly processed food. They were ok.
I also tried to make the "Spicy Italian Eat Balls" which lists 1 cup wheat gluten as an ingredient. I looked up wheat gluten online and it was listed as seitan, so I bought that and used it in the recipe. That was the wrong ingredient. What is needed in that recipe apparently is vital wheat gluten, a dry wheat flour rather than wheat gluten aka seitan which is a lumpy moist wheat product. Rather than meat balls, I had mush, which I put in a loaf pan and baked like meatloaf. It still did not stick together and was just mush, but it tasted ok. I will try to make it again using vital wheat gluten and see how it turns out.
Lastly, I made the "Lime-Ginger Tofu Cubes", soy - and I used Braggs Liquid Aminos instead of low-sodium tamari sauce because the low sodium sauce still has 710 mg of sodium per serving as opposed to the over 900 mg in the regular sauce while the Braggs has 160 mg of sodium per serving. The Lime-Ginger Tofu Cubes were very good.

I do think that Rip brings up some good issues about healthy eating in his book and many of the recipes seem good as well. I continue to be skeptical about all of the soy ingredients and the egg replacer and many of the highly processed foods that he includes. I don't think that is truly a whole foods diet and I am not sure that replacing meat and dairy with processed soy and other processed items is the best diet. I think it would be better to leave the soy and processed foods out and stick to just whole foods.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you need a reason to not eat meat then read this book., May 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I recently read Rips Engine 2 diet and thought it was great. He made eating like a vegetarian not seem so boring. This book dives completely into everything you need to know if you choose to not eat meat, eggs , or dairy anymore. He makes a great statement as to why to switch to a Plant Strong diet. Chapters are very short, precise and right to the point without useless fillers that have no place in a book. I read it in one day minus the recipes but it was still an enjoyable read. The one thing I liked better about his first book was the recipe section. This book seems to have more in depth recipes that take too long for me. I'm just big on convience and making meals fast so I wouldn't really use to many of them because its a time factor. I should of said earlier that I do still eat meat but I'm going to slowly ween it out and will update in about a month of trying a plant strong diet. Adding more fruits and vegetables into my eating couldn't hurt either. Rips the real deal!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


42 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, May 14, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (Hardcover)
Once again Rip puts out a great book. I just started it this morning and I like it! I went through all the recipes and will use some of them. I especially liked his story of the firefighter that almost died that's in the beginning of the book. It's really inspiring. Rip is such a dynamic, helpful person and puts out some really persuasive arguments in favor of the Engine 2 diet. I met him at the Whole Foods in Santa Rosa, CA, and he is an authentic, good hearted guy who knows his plant based stuff. I got the kindle version. I have rheumatoid arthritis and have much more energy than I used to. I've been on Rip's food program since last May and my cholesterol dropped from 199 to 170 so far. All I can say is following Rip's food program will help you really take good care of yourself.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Parents with kids :), May 19, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (Hardcover)
Rip is one of the biggest inspirations to our family's new way of life. We have a 6 year old and a 3 year old. Hubby has had a lot of health problems and struggle with obesity and was pre diabetic. The Drs were ready to start putting him on meds. I was obese and gestational diabetes with each PG, etc. 2 years ago we started (slowly) down this path, but last year Rip and the E2 diet REALLY got us going (I was a firefighter before deciding to be a stay at home mom, hubby was a Marine so we USED to be a great shape). In the last 6 months Hubby has lost 50lbs and still going. I have lost 30 lbs and still going. Our kids used to be out of control and bad behavior. After starting our E2 journey we noticed out kids bad behavior came around when we let them have something NOT on the E2 diet. We pre ordered this book and it was NOT a disappointment in anyway. I wish I could cook all the new recipe's in one day ... but will have to spread it out. I Highly recommend reading this book. It has helped my family get on the path to a lifetime of good health. Good luck with your journey!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read for your health, May 16, 2013
By 
A Reader (Spokane, WA USA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (Hardcover)
This was an easy read. I finished it in a day. Rip has a very conversational style that keeps you reading. Down to earth, not preachy and not so technical that it's over your head like some nutrition books you might pick up.
Very interesting with lots of great information on why you should consider eating plant based and getting away from animal products in all forms. Addressed all the common questions people ask plant based eaters, like "where do you get your protein?" "what about calcium for your bones?" "make sure you get healthy fats like olive oil in your diet" "where do you get your vitamin D or your B-12?"
Also many good recipes in the back
Glad I bought it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 238 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes
$25.00
Usually ships in 1 to 3 weeks
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.