Monday, May 5, 2014

Health: By Choice, Not by Chance

Quote du Jour
    In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments ~ there are consequences.
                     ~ Robert Ingersoll, American orator and political leader

Refreshed and Recharged
Engine 2 Retreat
With the great health benefits of plant-based eating, it's good every so often to take a refresher class. My husband and I attended the Portland, Oregon Engine 2 Retreat and it delivered!

Rip Esselstyn, author of

The Engine 2 Diet
Outstanding speakers, plant-based whole-foods cooking demonstrations, great food and interesting attendees, we feel recharged as we continue our plant-based whole-life journey.

Rip Esselstyn: Plant-Strong
After 10 years as a professional triathlete, Rip Esselstyn became a firefighter at the Austin Texas Engine 2 firehouse. His strength, vigor and stamina soon had fellow firefighters asking questions about his health strategies.

Firefighters are competitive, and via a challenge to eat plant-based for 28-days, firefighters in Austin's Engine 2 fire house experienced amazing health outcomes. 
 This book became a New York
 Times Best Seller. Rip recently
 published My Beef with Meat

Then came local, and then national recognition in the New York Times in March 2006:

Firefighters Gone Vegan? Even Austin is Impressed, New York Times, March 26, 2006

In early 2009, Rip published 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, Hachette Book Group USA.
My husband, Mark Jones, pictured
with Rip Esselstyn at the conclusion
of the April 2014 Engine 2 Retreat in
Portland, Oregon.
Visit his website:

The Portland Retreat
At the conclusion of the weekend, my husband was asked to participate in a panel of attendees to share their improved health with plant-based eating. 

   Breakfast included hot or cold cereal,
   fruit, greens with salsa and a really
   delicious whole grain muffin.

Data Driven

I value that the plant-based diet is a scientific evidence-based diet. Rip's dad, Caldwell Esselstyn MD, author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, has his patients start each meal with cooked greens.

Visit Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's website -  the URL says it all - at:

Meals Included
Rip had each meal begin with cooked greens and salsa and other sauces. At first it seemed a bit odd, then we began to love starting each meal with them. Crazy how our body does let us know what it needs.

As Dr. John McDougall says
It's the Food!
Somehow, you could tell that this was a guy's diet. Each meal - breakfast, lunch and dinner - included several salads and side dishes, and plenty of each. Folks piled their plates high with food! (Of course I did, too!!)

I piled my plate so high with food
that it's difficult to
 distinguish one
salad or casserole from the other.
It was all good!
Great Produce (choke)
As a Californian it's really difficult for me to admit this, but Oregon sure grows delicious strawberries. They are SO good!

Rip's mother, Ann Esselstyn managed the food service, and also spoke about strategies for daily cooking of whole-foods.

This little piggy ate roast beef veggies!


  1. When you say cooked greens, what do you mean? Veggies or actual greens like kale or spinach?

  2. Actual greens! Steamed swiss chard, kale, spinach, bok choy, etc. Mark adds a simple sauce of hummus, thinned with lemon juice and heated with Sriracha.