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Born in upstate New York, Rip Esselstyn grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and studied speech communciations at the University of Texas, Austin, where he was an All-American swimmer. After spending 10 years as a professional triathlete, Rip joined the Austin fire department in 1997. He now travels year-round lecturing and giving seminars on the Engine 2 lifestyle. He is the author of The New York Times bestseller The Engine 2 Diet. Visit his website at www.engine2diet.com.
I've read a lot of diet books and been on a lot of diets but what's so intriguing about Engine2 is that it's written by an unlikely character--a triathlete Texan firefighter who is not just a vegetarian, but a vegan, and not just a vegan but an oil-free vegan.
If you're not from Texas, you can't really appreciate what it means to be a vegetarian in a state that prizes its beef industry and barbecue. Why just last month at the Houston Rodeo one of the most popular foods sold was something called "chicken-fried bacon." It was deep-fried bacon!
Engine2 presents a pretty radical diet--no meat, no artificial foods, no white flour, no white pasta, no dairy, no oil. Yet there is something altogether compelling about the case Rip Esselstyn makes. It sound so logical, so simple ...
Anyway, I tried it. I have to admit I tried it imperfectly in that there were parts I didn't understand at first (but have since corrected--like eating white pasta). It's been about 3 weeks. I haven't been exercising up to his standards, either. But I lost 5 pounds and never spent a minute hungry or feeling deprived.
But I'm getting hardcore right now not because of the weight loss, but because I feel fabulous. I had no idea how bad I felt until now. I'm not kidding--my frequent headaches are all but gone, no more GI troubles, no more aches and pains. My energy level is increasing.
The recipes in the book are different but really great. Love the "Big Bowl," "Sloppy Joes," and "Fajitas" but be prepared--you have to be willing to start buying different foods (lots of produce) and cooking for yourself. But the recipes are quick and easy and very tasty.
I am totally sold on this. This is the first and only book review I have ever done here at Amazon and I did it because I'm just an ordinary woman living in Texas who tried this diet and discovered improved health instead of mere weight loss.
In this book review of "The Engine 2 Diet," I'll describe both my experience of the book itself and then my personal experience being on the diet for the past 3 weeks. Rather than call the Engine 2, a "diet," I'd prefer to call it a "lifestyle" with a major focus on dietary change. When you see the word "diet," you may immediately think of giving up quantity and giving up foods you are attached to. This is absolutely not the case with the Engine 2 diet. With this dietary plan, you can eat as much of the foods on the plan as you want to eat (with a few logical exceptions) and the foods you eat will taste wonderful. One thing for sure with this Engine 2 Diet, I always feel satisfied and don't have any cravings for foods---this was completely unexpected and surprising.
The book itself is very easy to read and follow. The book is divided into 3 major sections, (1) His philosophy of the Engine 2 Diet with the author's own story and background; brief citing and review of the medical and research studies documenting the health benefits with this diet; exploration of the myths about food and following a vegan diet; blood markers; and a brief review of exercise benefits and necessity with the diet. (2) How the Diet Works-the 28 day plan easily explained and described; how to seriously and deeply understand labels on all food products (this chapter is outstanding); and overall how to make this diet work to improve your life; (3) Recipes, meal plans, preparing your kitchen before starting the diet and how to shop for specific foods-brands to buy, foods to reject, ingredients to keep on hand, etc.
His reasoning and explanation for the diet are clearly explained. The health benefits are outlined and are numerous. The chapter on how to read labels is outstanding.Read more ›
The Engine 2 Diet has typical self-help elements--personal success story, user testimonials, good advice, and bold claims for positive life-changing results. The advice is simple; Esselstyn summarizes it in just eight points. Like the advice in most self-help books, it's been preached elsewhere. Esselstyn's contribution summarizes the evidence for significant health benefits from a "plant-strong" diet, adds a dash of exercise, and lays out how to identify healthful choices and fix a variety of dishes from breakfast through desert.
Esselstyn's "plant-strong" means vegan. Engine 2 adds strict limits on sodium, fat, and sugar. It may be smart to avoid the vegan label. Engine 2 is aiming for the mainstream. There's no mention of saving animals, just a healthy lifestyle saving people. Another thing you won't find, there's no advice to limit how much you eat. The diet focuses exclusively on what you eat, claiming you can eat as much as you want of the allowed foods, be healthier, and lose weight.
I love many things about Engine 2. It gives people excellent goals for better health and explains in detail how to achieve those goals. I found the chapter on reading labels extremely helpful, especially the specific criteria for the grocery store aisles. The large recipe section includes many simple everyday dishes and few elaborate dishes. It offers replacements for animal-sourced high-fat workhorses like mayonnaise, salad dressing, and sandwich fillings. The book's strength is showing how to live this lifestyle every working day.
The recipes are easy to follow, instructions are clear, and I usually end up with what I expect. I had trouble finding ingredients for some of the recipes, especially on the first trial, and had to substitute and omit.Read more ›
Rip Esselstyn was born in upper New York state and moved to Austin,Texas in 1982 to attend The University of Texas where he was an All-American swimmer. After spending 10 years as a professional triathlete Rip joined the fire department in 1997. For more information on Rip and THE ENGINE 2 DIET you can go to www.theengine2diet.com.