Well, he’s training for his second Ironman competition, and partnering to launch a new line of fitness equipment, but in our opinion there’s even bigger news- he’s on the Engine 2 Diet after swimming and talking diet with triathlete Rip Esselstyn! You might remember, if you’ve seen Forks Over Knives, that Rip is the son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn, who is Bill Clinton’s doctor, is also one of the researchers behind The China Study, a landmark book I devoured non-stop last year over the course of a three-day-long ferry ride to Juneau. As I explained the basics of the study to my husband, he became more and more convinced to try going “plant-strong” for the six months we’d be working in Alaska. Six months later and 50 lbs. lighter, he decided to keep going on the greens and lost another 40 lbs. once he started working out. Watching my husband get healthier by the day and knowing we’ll enjoy a long and healthy life together brings a peace like no other. Needless to say, Dr. Esselstyn’s work has changed countless lives including our own, and I’ll be forever grateful for his efforts and supportive of his message.
Why Is This A Big Deal?
As a long-time, oft-persecuted plant-lover, it thrills me when celebrities (and even more so, athletes) embrace this dietary change, partly because it makes us all look a little less crazy for being vegan, but mostly because the reach that celebs have, the influence and power they bring to the movement is transformative! The big names out there tweeting about Forks Over Knives, Hungry for Change and Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead are changing the game forever. Thousands of dedicated vegans are already trying to get the word out about the benefits of a plant-based diet, but with Oprah and Dr. Oz talking about it, it gets a little easier for the mainstream to grab hold of! And when elite professional athletes like Thrive author Brendan Brazier, and now seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong try a plant-based diet and boast higher energy, quicker recovery time, and better performance, it’s hard to ignore. As Kathy Freston explains in her book The Veganist, this change is one that’s best “leaned into” and Lance is definitely making slow, sustainable and meaningful changes. I just can’t wait to see what comes next. Once you start learning about the magic of this simple concept of food as medicine, it’s hard to stop. I hope he keeps going, because even above all the other benefits for him and the others he inspires to eat more kale, it could revolutionize the way he approaches fighting cancer through LiveStrong.
So I did it for one day, then two days. Then I branched out and started doing it at breakfast and lunch. I still insist that I get to do whatever I want for dinner. But it’s made a significant difference in just in a month [in my] energy level. Even when you’re training really hard, it’s normal that you would have certain things for lunch or certain things for breakfast, and then have this dip, or almost like a food coma … I don’t experience that anymore. My energy level has never been this consistent, and not just consistent, but high. I’m a big napper — I couldn’t even take a nap these days if I wanted to.