Fad or For Real? The Engine 2 Diet

This morning, a hot topic on The Today Show was the Engine 2 Diet, created by firefighter Rip Esselstyn. His name sounds like a Pixar character, but he looked pretty real to me. (And cute, too--you how firemen are).

He started his healthy diet to help his firefighter friends in the Engine 2 crew in Austin. He wanted to light a fire under their fat behinds.


Here is Rip's story:

The weather was bad in January of 2000 when the firemen went to bed in Austin. Freezing rain fell and temps were going record low. At 4:20 a.m., an alarm sounded from a large apartment complex. The fire looked simple at first, but then shot into the biggest flames Rip had ever seen. Several of his crew were very badly hurt, and one died. After that, he was determined to do what he could to keep himself and his friends healthy.

Everyone close to him who followed his plan lost weight and lowered their cholesterol levels.

Here are the basics of Rip's no-nonsense Engine 2 Diet.

  • Week 1: Eliminate dairy and processed foods
  • Week 2: Stop eating meat, chicken, eggs and fish
  • Week 3: Remove added oil from diet
  • Week 4: Maintain Weeks 1, 2, 3

Rip believes that his program will bring your total cholesterol under 150 and you LDL (bad) cholesterol under 80. He says that makes people so healthy they're nearly bulletproof. The risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers drops significantly.

Another benefit of Rip's Engine 2 Diet: "It's the cheapest way to eat on the planet," he stated in an Austin newspaper. You eat lots of veggies and tofu. He also adds that you don't have to stick to his diet 100 percent. He mostly wants to encourage everyone to eat mostly plants, and less fat and oil.

Would you try it? Do you think it's a fad or for real?

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