This morning I shook hands with Rip Esselstyn. Whole Foods, led by John Mackey, has thrown its full support behind Rip. Whole Foods recognizes the subtle changes occurring throughout this nation and they want to be a part of it.
Two years ago, following my quadruple bypass surgery at the age of 40, I was introduced to his father. Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease, written by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, was eye-opening. In short fashion, Dr. Esselstyn debunked everything I thought I knew about nutrition.
Granted, he had a captive audience and my full attention as the 16 inch cut in my chest began to heal. Ironically, the scar would eventually heal. However, the actual surgery would do absolutely nothing to heal the process that brought me to the chopping board.
Dr. Esselstyn was a general surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. He is a visionary.
Rip Esselstyn is a firefighter. He wrote the Engine2 Diet. He is a visionary.
Ann Esselstyn is a wife and mother. She figured out what these guys should eat. She is a visionary.
The beauty of the Esselstyn approach lies in its simplicity.
Eat plants. Vegetables, Fruits & Legumes. Drink lots of water. Avoid oil. Leave the animal carcasses alone. Don’t drink fluid from an animal. You will not die from a protein deficiency. Your bones will not crack in half. You will find your true weight. You will appreciate your taste buds and your minimalistic approach to ingredients will transcend to the core of your being.
“This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so
steep he can’t get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, ‘Hey you.
Can you help me out?’ The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the
hole and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, ‘Father,
I’m down in this hole can you help me out?’ The priest writes out a prayer,
throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by, ‘Hey, Joe,
it’s me can you help me out?’ And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says,
‘Are you stupid? Now we’re both down here.’ The friend says, ‘Yeah, but I’ve
been down here before and I know the way out.” Aaron Sorkin
The Esselstyn’s are that guy that jumps in the hole with you. Their motives are pure and there is no hypocrisy in their actions. Unlike some diets, they have not died from their own advice. Total out-of-pocket expenses for the life saving advice I have received from the Esselstyn family = $14.95.
3 percent of the U.S. Population eats some type of plant-based diet. In the 1960′s, 50 percent of Americans smoked, now it is less than 20 percent. The Standard American Diet, provided by an industry that mixes sugar, salt and fat into 80 percent of our food has been put on notice. You cannot continue to prosper by killing off your customers. Not convinced? Read the extraordinary expose written in the NY Times this week by Michael Moss, The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food. (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/24/magazine/the-extraordinary-science-of-junk-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0)
We are not eating food anymore, we are eating science experiments. A pop tart has 150 primary ingredients.
In 2011, the meat industry used 29.9 million pounds of antibiotics. Humans used 8 million.
There is no alternative. You either move to a plant-based diet or you face the consequences. I faced my consequence and was lucky to have lived through it.
In the years to come, the charge to pull our society away from the abyss will be led by the Esselstyn’s. I have never gravitated towards adoration and generally steer clear of idols; but it is a privilege to know this family.