Get ready for a very unusual podcast with my old friend and former professional triathlon circuit cohort Rip Esselstyn. After our swim, bike, and run journeys ended in the 1990s, Rip and I both continued the world of diet, health, and peak performance, and have been working hard to help people get healthy and fit for decades since.
Here’s where the story gets interesting: Rip has gone on to become a bestselling author and advocate…for the plant-based lifestyle! This honors the legacy of his father, mother, and sister, who are all involved in the movement and do cookbooks and retreats together. Rip’s father is Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, and is famed for reversing heart disease with dietary intervention of the low fat, plant-based nature.
If you come from the ancestral health camp, this show is going to be an exercise in challenging your beliefs, being open-minded, and thinking critically. This could be a growth experience, even if you object strongly to a Rip’s passionate advocacy for radically different dietary strategy than the ancestral low-carb approach. Tune in as Rip and I bounce back and forth from exploring common ground (e.g., ditch processed food like nasty vegetable oils, avoid overconsuming protein and overstimulating growth factors, watch out for allergenic dairy products and excess calories from oils and juicing, get your butt moving more in daily life, pursuing athletic peak performance goals throughout life) and into the hot button, controversial items where ancestral health and plant-based are in direct conflict.
I strive to be open minded and receptive to feedback in all areas of life, and it was interesting to reflect upon how Rip and his movement have delivered great results, a passionate following, and honor the compelling goal of being good stewards to the planet. When you hear the infectious enthusiasm in Rip’s voice, you will realize that he is getting people to wake up and take charge of their health and fitness. That said, it’s often a difficult exercise to have your own belief foundation rocked, and this will happen when Rip launches into his plant strong boilerplate that all meat is bad, eggs are no bueno, saturated fat intake is a heart disease risk factor, sugar is a scapegoat instead of public enemy number one, and so forth. Wild times! I always enjoy engaging with Ripper and absorbing his positive energy. Who knows, maybe some of your own beliefs will be reaffirmed, and maybe you’ll come away with a renewed appreciation for being open-minded and seeing all sides of the coin. Backing up a few steps, it’s easy to conclude that any step away from the Standard American Diet, where an estimated 71% of calories come from highly processed edible food-like substances, you are going to be a big winner.
Enough about diet, hang in there until the end when Rip talks about “The Feel,” a magical and metaphysical concept he exposed me to when we were athletes, that can be relevant in all areas of life. Sometimes when you try too hard, things get more difficult. And sometimes when you relax, go with the flow, you can get into the flow-like state that Rip calls “The Feel,” you access a higher peak performance state. Get ready for the one and only Rip Esselstyn and check out his Plant Strong podcast and website some time. PS – a short while after recording this show, Rip broke the world record in the men’s 55-59 swimming 200-meter backstroke with a time of 2:21!
We all agree that the first step is to get rid of all the shit in your diet. [04:49]
Rip describes a study where patients with bad heart disease were using a plant-based diet to lower cholesterol. [14:25]
When he was an athlete at UT between 1982 and 1986, the athlete’s dining hall was an “abomination!” [20:03]
The packaged foods we buy are loaded with sugar, salt and fat repeatedly layered on each other that get us addicted. [21:51]
Can different approaches work? [28:21]
The danger is excessive protein which can overstimulate the growth factors. [39:06]
We’ve been misled about milk. Olives have more nutrients that milk! [44:30]
Can you consume carbohydrates without jacking up your blood sugar? [48:18]
According to the American Heart Association, you should get around 10 percent of calories from fat which is lower that the Keto people. [58:10]
What does it truly mean to eat healthy? [0:00:11]
Does Rip, while espousing the plant-based diet, allow for any animal products? [01:02:15]
Rip’s wife has made an amazing success story in the Texas school system. [01:10:24]
Rip talks about “the feel”. [01:12:48]
- Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
- Forks Over Knives
- Engine 2 Burgers
- Brad’s World Record
- Plant Strong Website
- Plant Strong podcast
- “After eating the salt, sugar, and fat provided in junk food, you need to reclaim your lost palette that has been hijacked by these food manufacturers.”
- “The triumph of marketing over science is why we are misinformed and confused.”
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:00:08 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit, and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balanced that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 00:03:47 Get ready for the Rip. Rip Esselstyn old friend of mine for 30 years, compadre on the professional triathlon circuit. We had such a great time traveling around together and I was just drawn to Rip every time I could. Every time we joined each other on the circuit and we’d, uh, visit and talk for hours and linger in the dining hall or the restaurant or the hotel room. And we were doing this incredibly intense competitive experience racing triathlons, but he had such a positive light about him. So enthusiastic all the time, always full of energy and never a a complaint or a harsh word. He just enjoyed life, enjoyed the experience and wouldn’t you know it he went on after he retired from racing, uh, to a very interesting, high-profile career as an advocate for whole food plant based eating and lifestyle. Can you believe I have a plant dude on my show?
Brad: 00:04:49 I am open-minded. I like to think critically and have my beliefs challenged sometimes and listen in to an alternative point of view is a wonderful growth experience. Maybe that’s true in politics too, as long as you keep it clean and civil and polite and Rip and I did a great job doing that of course, because we love each other man and he respects what I’m doing and what system’s doing. And the whole primal paleo keto scene, he has to because he lives in Austin, Texas. But we have some material differences of opinion that will come out in this show and you can listen and assess and absorb the message and see what you think. You know when it’s coming down to, for me anyway is that we have to find common ground on these things rather than argue and take the conversation sideways. We have to realize that we’re all after the same thing.
Brad: 00:05:35 We want to live a healthy long, happy life. And boy, there’s science on any side of the coin you wish to explore, to support your views and your beliefs. Uh, but if we can find this common ground and realize that your first step to health is to get rid of all the shit in your diet, uh, we all agree on that. We can agree that the, uh, feedlot animals and the way that animals are processed in conventional methods is extremely unhealthy. Not only for the human, uh, the end product but also to the environment. So if you’re listening to a plant based advocate, go on and on about the nasty feed lots and the dirty pig farms of course we can not our heads in agreement. And then we have that great diversions where Rip is going to tell you how nasty and terrible meat and eggs are for you and how they’ll clog your pipes and kill you.
Brad: 00:06:23 Uh, and then make his argument for the plant based side. Uh, but again, if we go back to square one and realize that if we get that junk food out of our diet, you’re probably going to being looking pretty good, especially if you move and get outdoors and exercise and get enough sleep. And ,Oh my gosh, Rip with his positive attitude and his championing the cause of living healthy and inspiring and motivating. So many people, even if we have a slightly different approach or a significantly different approach, if you want to call it that, it’s worth listening to and you will enjoy this show. So here we go. Wind up this man. Start him up and he will light it up for the length of the show. No brakes.
Brad: 00:07:05 Rip. Wait till you hear the part about the feel near the end. This amazing athletic insight that I never forgot. It’s crazy. It’s wacky, but it’s going to rock your world. Rip Esselstyn. Here we are in Austin, Texas. We’ve been talking about doing this for a while now. You’ve got your own podcast. We’re going to rock this thing man and listeners, you might not know this Rip, but I promise my listeners like we record the stuff that happens after the, after the button stopped and get real and get deep into it. And I, I broke my promise cause we were talking about some uh, intimate personal matters and uh, all kinds of fun stuff before we hit record. Now we’re going to fire this puppy up. Let’s do this, Brad. First plug your podcast man.
Rip: 00:07:54 Uh, well just launch, launched the plant strong podcast. God just, uh, just a couple of weeks ago and it’s, it is, it’s going to be different than most kind of start, stop podcast, a weird kind of telling a, uh, it’s an episodic narrative. And what we’ve done is in season one, I’ve taken this Bronx firefighter, his name is Joe [inaudible], and in January he sent me this really heartfelt email and he made himself very vulnerable and he basically said that he was, uh, like 34 years old, about 70 pounds overweight, um, high cholesterol, high LDL, and, um, two young kids, his partner fell off a burning roof, 35 feet, got paralyzed. And he was like, he just came to this epiphany that I need to start taking care of myself. And he watched Forks Over Knives about seven years ago, and every, every year he says, it is firefighter a annual physical.
Rip: 00:08:59 He gets flagged for high triglycerides, high cholesterol, high LDL, and then he does the whole food plant based thing and his numbers get great. Uh, and he says, but he just has a hard time making it stick every year. Right.
Brad: 00:09:13 So, so he’s before he’s physical, he goes, he goes into his, no, it’s after, after, after he,
Rip: 00:09:19 after he gets flagged for all these things. Right. So he said, Rip, I’ve been trying for like six years to make this thing stick. And I finally decided I needed to reach out for help. So that’s what this email is about.
Brad: 00:09:30 And so stranger, he just emailed you?
Rip: 00:09:32 Yes, I get it. I get it.
Brad: 00:09:33 You get 700 emails a day? I mean,
Rip: 00:09:35 I get a fair amount, but you know, when they, when they come from, from firefighters and they’re, they’re really heartfelt and personal like that, you know, uh, I read them and I respond. So I was going to New York anyway to, um, to basically have some other people on as guests on the podcast. And this is my, my first foray into this. And he was like the second or third person I had on and is immediately after I interviewed him for like an hour and 20 me and the other people I was in the room with were like, Oh my God, like this guy needs to be the through line throughout every episode. And so right now what we’re thinking is that the first season will be 26 episodes and every episode we are kind of tackling another hurdle that, that Joe is facing. And I’m bringing in my I’m marshaling together my superhero, uh, plant strong, you know, doctors, friends, leaders, you know, iconic heroes. to where a place where he can become the plant strong man he wants to be. But we’re also, you know, basically talking to every Joe and every Jane that’s out there that also is interested in.
Brad: 00:10:50 His name’s Joe. So firefighter Joe’s having Joe every man, Joe football, Joe the businessman.
Rip: 00:10:57 Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s really cool. And so the podcast is, is, you know, as, as you know, as, as all things in life, you, you kinda, you don’t know necessarily where you’re going to go with something, but by not having, but by not letting the fear overcome you and just taking that first step, it’s amazing how, you know, the universe unfolds and the dots start to connect. And so now all of a sudden the podcast is, I’m super excited about it, you know, going into it, I was like, Oh, there’s so many podcasts out there and what can I, what can I, you know, bring to the table that hasn’t already been done and is, you know, unique and different. And now I feel like we’ve, we’ve actually been able to put the cut, put together something that’s of great value in and uh, and I can get really excited about. So, you know, the first two episodes already out there, the first it was my father who was cobbled, the Esselstyn jr, right? Right.
Brad: 00:11:51 Cleveland clinic and the famous Cleveland clinic and a,
Rip: 00:11:55 and we’re talking about the number one killer of firefighters in the line of duty, which is heart disease, heart attacks.
Brad: 00:12:01 You know, that’s not in the line of duty. That’s back at the, that’s back at their ranch, eating that crappy food or something. Well, station houses where those fire of heart attacks come. And I’d like to say that the firefighters eat the standard American diet on steroids.
Rip: 00:12:14 So everything is like, you know, triple fried and you know, et cetera, et cetera.
Brad: 00:12:19 Or is it so that the firefighting, uh, population as a, as a lower life expectancy because of their hazards at work, like breathing the chemicals.
Rip: 00:12:28 I don’t know if that’s, you know what a, I’m sure that that’s probably the case. I don’t know the exact number. Like I’ve heard that the year average NFL football player has a life expectancy of 56. Yeah. And then, you know, I’ve actually, I’ve heard that doctors, believe it or not, doctors have a very, very low life expectancy of like 59. Wow. Most doctors aren’t taking care of themselves. Um, but as far as firefighters, I don’t know the exact age, but I’m sure it’s pretty low. I know, I know. I know way too many guys that, you know, I’ve, I’ve either worked with or I’ve known about with Austin fire department and they retire and the next thing you know, you hear that they died of a heart attack, you know, six months into retirement. They didn’t even get to enjoy it. Yeah. So I’m in the second episode is, is okay, you know, you, you, you’ve, you’ve bought into this, you, you believe in the science.
Rip: 00:13:22 Now what, right. I’m all in now what do I do? And it’s like, all right, how do you outfit your kitchen? What are some, you know, starter meals, you know, some starter dishes. So for that I bring in my mother who, you know, who’s been the, the kind of the creative genius behind, um, you know, initiating a, the Esselstyn families, whole food plant based, um, kind of journey back in 1984.
Brad: 00:13:46 1984 is when, what you turned the corner was this cause your dad doing some work at Cleveland clinic. And finding that diet intervention is reversing heart disease?
Rip: 00:13:55 No, it’s exactly right. So in 1984 is when he decided that, so his specialty was breast cancer, thyroid and the parathyroid. And, um, you know, at one point he had done more thyroid and parathyroid parathyroid operations than any doctor in the United States. Um, but with breast cancer, he was like determined to figure out how, um, how women could try and put an end to it.
Rip: 00:14:25 And he, when he kind of scoured the, uh, cultures around the planet that didn’t have breast cancer or very low incidences, incidences of breast cancer, like one 50th of what we had in the United States, he discovered that the one common denominator was they were eating a predominantly plant based diet. And so he figured in his lifetime he’d have a hard time proving that you could stop, reverse, you know, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and some of these, you know, uh, these major cancers. But he was kinda convinced because of his, uh, his studies and all these, the epidemiological studies that he, that he looked at that he could do it with heart disease. Right. And by, by having people eat to save their hearts, they could also save their breasts and their prostates, and you know, their pancreas and all these other, uh, organs. So he asked the cardiology department at the Cleveland clinic to send him there.
Rip: 00:15:23 There are patients that were so bad off, they were considered the walking dead. They, most of them were men and they were, they had what’s, uh, considered end stage heart disease, which means they were given less than a year to live. They’d been turned down for another bypass, another stent, angioplasty, you know, and it basically, you again go away. We already gave you three get outta here. Well, well, no, you say that, but it’s funny. I mean, my dad has actually counseled patients that have had 47 stents. It’s, it’s surgical whack-a-mole, right? And, and they’re, they’re never addressing the root causation of what’s going on, you know? And so he was, over the course of a year and a half, in 1984, the cardiology department sent him 21 of these walking dead patients. And he took these, these people took him under his arm and he was damned if these guys were not gonna be compliant.
Rip: 00:16:23 And he said, listen, this is, this is the story. Have no idea if it’s gonna work or not, but to ensure that you’re compliant, I want you to come in, you’re gonna see me, not a nurse practitioner, not you know, anybody else. You can see me every other Monday, we’re going to go over every morsel you’re eating once you keep a food diary. And then we’re also going to test your blood. We’re going to do your blood pressure, we’re going to weigh in. And he did that for five years with every one of these patients, right? Do you know how motivated you’re going to be when you’ve got a coach like that, that you gotta be responsible and be accountable for every two weeks he’s going to look at every morsel you eat and then to make sure that you’re compliant, right? We’re going to also check your blood levels.
Rip: 00:17:05 I mean, total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, triglycerides, you know, the whole bit, right? A fasting glucose and after five years he was, he felt so good about the direction they were heading in that he moved it back to once a month for the next five years.
Brad: 00:17:21 These are the same guys, same people. Okay. The same.
Rip: 00:17:23 They’re still alive, still alive. They’re still alive. And so that’s like, yeah. And you know, their total cholesterol levels are, you know, through the moon 300, 280s, and now almost every one of them comes down to where their average total cholesterol was under 150. Their average LDL was under 80. You know, their triglycerides were well under 150, just like pristine, beautiful numbers. Um, and a few of these patients also were on low doses of Statens. Um, but there were several also that they were not on any statens.
Rip: 00:18:00 And when my father started this in 1984, there were no statins that were out there. Right. But at some point when they introduced them, uh, I think his analogy was, um, you know, eating whole food plant based is your belt. And then just, you know, just to ensure, I’m going to give them a little low dose of statuses, like the suspenders. Um, but yeah, and so 15 years, 20 years, and now the, they’re starting to die and they’re in, the cool thing is they’re not dying of heart disease. They’re not dying of major cancer. They’re dying of other things related to old age and they’re in their nineties plus. Right. So, and one of his, his, uh, you’ll appreciate this, one of his first initial round of patients was Merlin Murphy of Murphy’s oil soaps. Right. One of my first main sponsors of me as a track athlete back, you know, in 1988, 89, 1990. And of course, you know, I got that in because of my father and his relationship with Merlin Murphy. And they ended up selling, uh, Murphy oil soap to Colgate Palmolive. I think it was in like 1993 or 1994 for like 120 million. Right. And, uh, and then Colgate Palmolive is part of the, the transition. They kept up their sponsorship of me for like another two years.
Brad: 00:19:26 Nice. Yeah. Yeah. So that time frame corn side coincides with you, uh, emerging from all American swimming career at UT right here in town in Austin, uh, going onto the pro circuit and, and making it go out of it. So I guess was that, were you instant buy in to this, uh, dietary stuff that probably wasn’t happening at UT mess hall. Right. And then now you’re, you’re checking back in hometown Cleveland. Now you gotta be a peak performing athlete. That’s your job every day for the next decade plus. So did you go right into this, uh, nutritious, colorful plant based diet?
Rip: 00:20:03 So I was at UT on a swimming scholarship from 1982 to 1986. While I was there, I was also eating at the athletic dining room. Uh, you know, the, yeah, the athlete, the athlete, the, the athletes dining hall. And it wasn’t just swimmers. It was the football players. It was the basketball players. It was the baseball team. It was the tennis team, the golf team, a lot of these scholarship athletes. And it was, it was truly an abomination. I mean, it was steak, chicken, fried steak, chicken breasts. Uh, I should say it’s an abomination for a right. Somebody that now is hopefully plant based and it was full fat. You know, it was bacon, it was eggs, it was full fat dairy products. You mean the only salads they have are a little romaine salads. Uh,
Rip: 00:20:48 you know, if there was any vegetables, they were swimming in butter and oil, you know, and lard. So, you know, looking back, it was not the optimal diet to fuel these athletes, but it’s amazing what you can get away with when you’re 18, 19, 20, 21.
Brad: 00:21:05 Usain Bolt and chicken McNuggets and world records or chicken nuggets. Yeah.
Rip: 00:21:09 Is that, is that Michael Phelps?
Brad: 00:21:11 Usain Bolt.
Rip: 00:21:11 Oh, Usain Bolt.
Brad: 00:21:12 and then Phelps, his famous story in USA today over this 12,000 calorie breakfast of all that refined carbohydrates. But yeah, I think burning it off gives you some leeway.
Rip: 00:21:23 Well I always heard that Usain Bolt what fueled his, uh, you know, his speed according to his father was the, uh, the Jamaican sweet potato. He was that he was a big fan of,
Brad: 00:21:34 that’s probably his life lifetime of reared on that Island natural food.
Rip: 00:21:39 Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly.
Brad: 00:21:41 Then he goes and sees the chicken McNuggets he goes crazy and it’s like this stuff’s great. [inaudible].
Rip: 00:21:46 the hyper amounts of salt, sugar, fat. Yeah. He couldn’t help himself.
Brad: 00:21:51 Um, sugar and fat together is the thing that hijacks the pleasure center in the brain, right? Where you know everything that’s pairing and like the Twinkie and the Ding-Dong and the junk food ice cream is, is that assault to the senses of sugar and fat. Cause we’re not, we’re not genetically adapted to that. We didn’t have that in nature.
Rip: 00:22:09 Right, right. Well I think, I think that’s a really good point. And um, David Kessler, who was the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, wrote a book called The End of Overeating. And then he, he talks about how these food manufacturers, they especially, you know, the package, the box and the canned foods, they put salt on top of sugar on top of fat and then they put more salt on top of sugar on top of fat. And then they have the unmitigated audacity to put more [inaudible], more salt on top of sugar and top of fat. So you have this complete unnatural amount of salt, sugar and fat that we were never supposed to be ingesting. And you’re right, I mean you get these hyper concentrated amounts of, of the substances and they go off like a pinball machine in your brain cause we have receptors for them just like we do for heroin and nicotine and all these other things. And before you know it, you’re, you’ve got this low level addiction, right? These cravings for salt, sugar and fat. I had a guy that, uh, that I had on the podcast hasn’t come out yet, um, who got to 420 pounds. And I said, how, how do you get up to 420 pounds?
Brad: 00:23:21 A lot of work, discipline, devotion, fluffy practice.
Rip: 00:23:25 And he was telling me about his nightly run to the Bell, right? The Taco bell. And he said, even though at the time he was working at border run, even though he was working at a Mexican restaurant, it just didn’t do it. And so he had to go to taco bell, he would spend 20 bucks and he gets some insane, like, you know, 4,000 calories worth of, you know, heavenly burritos and Chimichangas and whatever you get there. And, uh, he said he did that for like, you know, 10, 15 years and gradually he, you know, he’s also doing pizzas. He’s doing, you know, burger King, all the whole thing. But what is it that’s driving people there? It’s the unnatural amounts of salt, sugar and fat. And as David Kessler says, you know, um, I mean, you’ve got to pull yourself away from that stuff and then you’ve got to come back to a reality that’s not so hyper inflated and then kind of reclaim your lost palette that’s been hijacked by these food manufacturers. And you know, if you’re eating out at restaurants, you got to reclaim it. And, uh, and in my books I talk about, you know, different levels of salt, sugar and fat that we want to hit on a daily basis.
Rip: 00:24:35 We don’t want to go over 1500 milligrams of sodium a day. And that’s really hard to do if you don’t know how to read a food label. We don’t want to go over two to four added teaspoons of sugar. And again, if you don’t know how to read a label, sugar is the third, the fifth, the seventh, the ninth and the 15th ingredient in that product. Um, and if you don’t know how to read a label, you’re eating foods that are 50 to 70% fat. Right? And I can, I can point to, you know, in the plant base world, the hottest burger going right now and as the Beyond Meat burger, right? It’s, it’s selling better than almost, you know, then, then, then red meat burgers and it’s 70% fat. It’s got three oils in the first six ingredients. That’s what it’s called. The beyond meat burger [inaudible].
Brad: 00:25:24 The packaged product that’s mass mass produced?
Rip: 00:25:26 Yes, yes, yes, yes. It’s, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s insane.
Brad: 00:25:30 And it’s the main ingredient.
Rip: 00:25:31 that, well, so, you know, um, the main ingredient, it’s, I, and I don’t, listen, I, I’m friends with the CEO, Ethan Brown. I mean, they’ve done an amazing job at it. Kind of recreating a meat tasting product. The look, the feel, the smell, the way it cooks on the grill. It is like insane how it, how it mimics it. But um, the first ingredient is protein isolates. Then you got safflower oil, then you have a sunflower oil,
Brad: 00:26:02 then eat burger,
Rip: 00:26:04 then you got, then you have maltodextrin, big fancy word for sugar, right. And uh, and then we got coconut oil, which, you know, um, people, some people, some people adore, you know, my father and myself and a bunch of other people. We’re not a fan of, you know, the coconut and then, uh, there’s, there’s a lot of salt, a lot of salt.
Rip: 00:26:24 So I mean, yeah, it’s, it’s, but who’s to say if I rather people have that than a meat burger, but I don’t know how healthy it is. I mean, I do know it’s not very healthy. Yeah. Yes. Whereas the Engine 2 Burgers on the other hand, my man, the Engine 2 plant-based burgers, we’re talking, first ingredient is brown rice, then we’ve got black beans, then we’ve got rolled oats. Then we’ve got, you know, caramelized onions, roasted red bell peppers and herbs and spices. And we have four different skews, varieties. And each one of them is basically as a different bean. The, the, the, the kind of the common denominator is the Brown rice and the oats and then different herbs, spices and beans. But we have a Pinto Habenjero. We have an Italian fennel. We have a, um, a black bean poblano and a white bean and Tuscan kale. Right. Love it.
Brad: 00:27:15 Go into town.
Rip: 00:27:16 Yeah. Yeah. And, and, and we have an, instead of having 670 milligrams of sodium, uh, per burger, we’ve got anywhere on the low, low end. We’ve got our, a white bean and Tuscan Kale it’s got 15 milligrams and the high end we have our black bean and poblano that’s got a hundred milligrams. So,
Brad: 00:27:37 So here we are, Ripper and 2019 we’ve been, we’ve been hanging since the early days of our triathlon careers in the late eighties. So what’s that, 25 years or something? We’ve known each other and
Rip: 00:27:49 I used to love rooming with you. It, it triathlons you, you are my you, between you and Jimmy Brancatelli I was like, you know, I loved either one of you.
Brad: 00:27:57 I remember when we went to, uh, Embrun in the Alps in France and we did some river rafting and I remember like stacking three of the rafts on top of each other and then everyone climbing and the top one and hitting tree branches and [inaudible]
Rip: 00:28:10 wild time. It was you, me McNaughton with maybe, maybe a West, a West Hobson, maybe Glen Mangum. I can’t remember. Everybody.
Brad: 00:28:21 So, and you and I, we kind of, uh, you know, pursued this health quest from that point forward, right? Athletes is, you know, you’re focused on performing in a race and beating your time and improving your swim or improving your run. And we’re talking about the pedaling circles and all that stuff. And then we had to go get a real life and real jobs. So I guess it’d be good to talk about, I like talking to you about our common ground and our unique, uh, you know, we have this personality in this quest to help other people and natural coaching instincts and wanting to draw them into, you know, life changed from a positive energy perspective rather than something that’s silly and unsustainable. Um, but we have these kind of disparate routes, I guess you would say. Cause I’d been in this primal paleo scene and I don’t know what my listenership is. It’s not a, it’s not the paleo podcast. So maybe some of them have come to the, uh, come to interest from this ancestral living perspective. The paleo effects is on down the street. I noticed you’re not on the agenda.
Rip: 00:29:26 I am not, but I guess Dr Joel Kahn is, he’s a, he’s a cardiologist from Detroit. He was on the Joe Rogan experience. And uh, yeah.
Brad: 00:29:35 So what’s funny, like big picture, especially for both of us trying to work our way through this and make, make a career, uh, effort is we have passionate voices on either side. There seems to be some difference of opinion on material matters and then there seems to be a lot of common ground, but I get the complaint from people in my world like who am I supposed to believe? You know, you’re looking at me in the eye saying, uh, don’t eat a high fat diet. And then we’d go and listen to it sold out presentation down the street where the guy is saying the opposite essentially. Um, personal experimentation. I’m always big on that rather than just getting into intellectual debate on, on a, on a podcast show. Uh, but beyond that, what do you, what do you think about in, in this journey that you’ve had and your father, especially to like, uh, what’s, we know it’s worked. We know the Dr Esselstyn, his work is just like Pritikin and Dean Ornish and all this great success. And then we’d go on Mark’s Daily Apple and there’s 2000 success stories of dudes that were 405 down to 179. I got an email the other day. Guy sent me the picture. He’s smiling. He’s a real human and Larrry Diamond here in town, same thing. He was double his weight. I talked to a dude last night, he showed me his picture. We took a selfie of him standing there, Joseph, then his picture when he was double his weight a year ago. And then back to reality. So can a different can different approaches work? What do you, what do you got man?
Rip: 00:31:03 I think absolutely different approaches can work. Right? And it sounds like people are losing weight very successfully doing Paleo Keto. Um, as far as you know, everything that I’ve read, I’ve yet to see a kind of meat centric, meat focused eating plan that’s been able to actually reverse heart disease.
Brad: 00:31:27 You hear about this carnivores movement now, this underground carnivore thing, it all?
Rip: 00:31:32 all they eat is meat, right? Yeah.
Brad: 00:31:34 It’s, it’s animal. All they eat is eggs, fish, meat. Uh, that’s it. No plants. Yeah. Yeah. I’m going to do a carnivore podcast and we’ll have the, the, the mind filled with everything, but it’s very interesting stuff to see. How much more disparate can you get? And then there’s people walking around healthy on both, both camps.
Rip: 00:31:58 Well, yeah, but I, I, I, I think I would say, you know, what’s, what’s our definition of healthy? Is, is, is, is healthy somebody that you know, has gone from 420 to 175 or is healthy someone that’s going from 420 to 175. And you know, their internal biochemistry shows that all their numbers are great. They’re not insulin resistant, they are insulin sensitive. Uh, um, you know, they don’t have the, you know, biomarkers for, uh, you know, whatever cancer, et cetera. Yeah. CRP, all that stuff.
Brad: 00:32:38 Same story down street. These guys are saying cut out, uh, carbs, refined carbs. I mean, we agree on that shit. It’s like if you go away from Taco ‘ and mass produce shit food with a bunch of stuff on the label, we’re going to be big winners. And then do we have to worry further? If my blood work looks good and I’m sitting here with you and you’re looking over my numbers and I’m looking over years and we’re fist bumping, we still get erections every morning. even though we’re 50. We’re, we’re tracking all our important data, uh, is at the end of the story. Are you worried about 30 years down the line? Are you worried about my health? Cause I’m eating a shit ton of meat and, and also plant based. My plates got a lot of plants on it, but I’m throwing down the other stuff man. Cause it’s primal paleo time.
Rip: 00:33:23 Yeah. Well I am not a fan of meat, you know, and you, you know that I’m not a fan of, of meat for, for a myriad of reasons. Right? I mean you, you take a hard look at, um, a piece of meat versus whole like let’s just say whole grains or beans or you know, fruits and vegetables. And, uh, I think that it’s pretty clear that what is meat have, meat has, it’s got a, w I’m going to call it a weak type of protein that is, is too high in the sulfuric containing amino acids. And it does a real number on our body. We talked about inflammation. It actually promotes inflammation specifically in our arteries. It actually, it raises cholesterol levels, uh, animal protein. It’s, it’s, it’s harsh on our kidneys and our liver. I mean, you, anybody that’s got some, any kind of kidney issues going on, typically the doctor will tell you, cut back on your protein, like go on a low protein diet.
Rip: 00:34:22 And most Americans are just so Gaga GooGoo for protein. And I tell people, listen, the last thing you worry about is, is protein and getting enough protein. It’s, it’s there and every plant and you’re eating. And then you know, it also, I’m Walter Willett, the head of public health at Harvard university has gone on record to say that, you know, really the problem with animal proteins is it revs up tumor and cancer cells because it is so almost, it’s almost to complete with this sulfuric containing amino acids. And, and I, I tell people the beautiful thing about plants is that all, all proteins originate from plants. It’s the mother source of protein. So, you know, there’s basically 20 amino acids of those 29 are called essential, meaning that we have to get them from our food. We can’t synthesize, synthesize them on our own. And those nine essential amino acids originate from plants. And you’ll hear, you’ll, you will hear people from kingdom come say that. The problem with plants is, Hey, you can’t get enough protein from plants and B, plant based proteins aren’t complete. And that’s complete and utter bunk. They, whether it’s a strawberry, black bean, whether it is a, you know, a farro Brown rice, baked potatoes, they contain nine of the essential amino acids. And they are not, they’re not pernicious. They’re not going to be insidiously destructive like your animal based proteins. And I, and you know, to me, I don’t care if it’s red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, you know, all those protein sources are a, are insidiously destructive. The problem with that.
Brad: 00:35:58 Yeah. So we’re, we’re going to come back and say Rip. Yeah. What about a grass fed steak naturally raised on the open range or the the Buffalo that sponsors the show that you’re on. Right. And the argument is this is such a healthy, nutritious animal. I think we all agree these, these KFO animals, the feedlot animals are disgustingly raised and there’s a lot of chemicals, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics. And, yeah, we want to stay away from that. That’s Taco Bell and McDonald’s and all that. But are you going to make any kind of, um, concession to someone who’s picking the most cleanly? You know,
Rip: 00:36:33 I’m not, I’m not, I’m not, I’m not, I’m going to, I’m going to say, I’m going to say [inaudible] say no. I’m going to say it’s like, it would be like saying that, Hey, you know, come on man, these cigarettes that I’m smoking here, these are organic, these are organic, all natural cigarettes. And so with that, with that animal protein, what else are you getting with that? Grass fed, pasteurized, you know, meat. You’re all, you’re also getting cholesterol. Uh, and there’s a lot of debate about that, but there is no reason for us as human beings to take in an extemporaneous source of cholesterol. Our livers produce all we need naturally. We don’t need to be getting and bright red meat and chicken and fish roughly of all the same amount. It’s, it’s 70 milligrams for three ounces. And so you can’t get, you can’t get away from cholesterol.
Rip: 00:37:24 You can’t get away from the, I’m just going to call it the destructive animal protein and you can’t get away from the saturated fat. Now, right now, the grass fed may have less saturated fat than another one. Um, but your, your average piece of red meat fat wise is 40% saturated fat. Your average, your leanest piece of white skinless chicken breast is 30% saturated fat. Uh, and uh, and then when it comes to fish, you know, your average wild caught piece of salmon is about 20% saturated fat. And there’s a lot of debate about, especially now about saturated fat. Is saturated fat good? Is it bad? But from my camp, from where I see, my view is that the predominant, the, the predominance, uh, of the scientific literature actually shows that saturated fat clogs arteries, saturated fat promotes tumor and cancer cells. Saturated fat promotes insulin resistance and type two diabetes and saturated fat.
Rip: 00:38:28 It’s not an essential fat. We do not need saturated fat. The only, the only fats that we need are the polyunsaturated threes and six is the end. They’re called essential because again, uh, like the, the nine essential amino acids that I was talking about earlier with protein, these are the only ones that our bodies can’t synthesize on their own. We have to get them from food. And really one of the greatest sources for Omega threes and sixes are plants. Your, your green leafies your, your, your walnuts, your chia seeds, your hemp seeds, your um, uh, yeah, fruits and vegetables.
Brad: 00:39:06 Well, so yeah. Yeah. So going back to your point about the protein, which I believe most people are in complete agreement on, no matter where they come from. And in the other details, it’s not hard to get enough protein and the main dangerous excessive protein which can overstimulate the growth factors. So we’re kind of conveying the same message. And then with the fat intake, um, could this saturated fat be doing bad things and cholesterol be doing bad things because you get too much nasty ass sugar in your diet? That’s kind of the comeback, like saturated fat, as Gary Taubes says, not not Brad or Rip, but Gary Taubes says, no study has ever shown saturated fat to be harmful in and of itself to consume by the human. The cell membrane is made of saturated fat, et cetera. That’s his stance. He’s done a lot of research, right? We can respect that. Now how come people are saying donate it? Could it be from nasty ass shit?
Rip: 00:40:03 Yeah, but now, now I, I’m, I’m not buying that.
Brad: 00:40:06 Well, you’re not buying Gary’s con. You’re not buying the starting point of the,
Rip: 00:40:10 no, I’m not buying. So here’s the thing about a saturated fat. Saturated fat predominantly only exists only lives in animal products and animal byproducts.
Brad: 00:40:21 Coconut oil, let’s say.
Rip: 00:40:23 there’s, there’s a, there’s, yes, there’s some in nuts and seeds and coconuts, but by and large, there’s no saturated fat and fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Yeah. So if the keto paleo movement was to agree that, Oh yeah, you know what saturated fat is, it’s not necessarily, we don’t need it. Uh, you know, especially the, the, the MCTs, the medium chain triglycerides that are more readily absorbed by our bodies that you know, are, which represent 50% of the saturated fat in coconut oil. The other 50% is the exact same amount of, or is the same type of saturated fat you’re gonna find in bacon. Yeah. But, um, their, their, their whole argument would be dead in the water because I mean, you can’t get away from saturated fat when you’re eating animal products and animal byproducts.
Rip: 00:41:13 You know, the number one source of saturated fat in the American diet is cheese, right? I mean, we’re putting cheese in and on and through and over everything these days, a hundred years ago we were eating about five pounds of cheese per person per year. Today it’s right around 135 pounds of cheese per person, right. Per year. And I’m not eating it. So that means somebody out there eating 270. Right?
Brad: 00:41:36 That’s like the gender stat too. We eat about, we eat around our body weight and sugar every year, right?
Rip: 00:41:42 It’s about 30 added teaspoons of sugar a day that most people are consuming. And you know, one Coke is about 10. Um, but I, you know, I, I think, I don’t think, listen, sugar is empty calories. It’s, it’s just bullshit, right? I mean it’s like we don’t need to be consuming it, but I don’t, I don’t know if I’m gonna say that sugar is like the culprit. I think they’re trying to say that it’s a distraction. It’s kind of a red herring of sorts.
Brad: 00:42:10 I think if you were to look at, um,
Rip: 00:42:15 well I think if you look at the latest figures, some of the USTA, about 55% of America’s caloric consumption is coming from processed and refined foods. [inaudible] so you, and I think both would agree that those are, you know, not, not healthy oils.
Brad: 00:42:35 I mean, the polyunsaturated vegetable oils are known to be direct association with cancer and damaged at the DNA level immediately upon ingestion.
Rip: 00:42:44 Well, as well. And you and I, well,
Brad: 00:42:45 you don’t like any?
Rip: 00:42:46 We don’t, we’re not. So we’re not, not, not, I’m not gonna say, cause it’s fat. We’re just, we’re just, we’re not a fan of any oil because it is, it’s 100% fat and it is there, it goes the truck right by the Engine 2 headquarters. But because it is deprived of any kind of nutritional integrity, it’s, it’s a you, and I’ve had this conversation when I was at your house, but it’s a black hole of nothingness. I mean, so for an example, let me use olive oil that is so insanely popular and people are like, they feel like they have to do, you know, their tablespoon or two of olive oil to do the Mediterranean thing to be heart healthy and the Mediterranean diet actually it was based on the Island of Crete in the 1950s. It was very, very ravaged by war. It was very poor and it was mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. It was a very peasant style diet, limited amounts of, of fish. Um, but our takeaway from the Mediterranean diet is, you know, Greek yogurt, red wine, olive oil, Yeah. And it’s, it was really none of the health promoting substances that are in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. So, um, I’m trying to think where I was. Where was I going with this? We were talking about, uh,
Brad: 00:44:09 the saturated fat. Yeah. Oh no. And I said what about no, no oil. No, it was the oil. It was the oil, oil salt. Let’s make the title of this podcast. Sugar, fat salt, you know, the cookbook salt heat something and the four elements of cooking. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Cooking up with Ripper.
Rip: 00:44:28 I know exactly why it was barbecue with Ripper. So we were talking about oil and the reason why so olive oil, uh, it is, it is, it is the triumph Brad of marketing over science. Just like I will tell you all milk products, right? Triumph of marketing over science, the milk mustache for calcium, for strong bones, for, you know, all these vital nutrients. I’m going to come back to the oil, but we’re the only mammals on the planet that drink another mammal. Secretions that is so wrong. And we’ve become so habitualized over the, you know, however many 50, 75 years that we don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. And yet it is a cocktail of growth hormones of estrogens, of cholesterol, of saturated fat, of problematic animal protein. It is vacant of fiber, of phytonutrients, of you know, antioxidants for the most part, uh, you know, healthy, healthy carbohydrates. What is it 70% of the planet is, is lactose intolerant, right?
Rip: 00:45:25 And we’re trying to force feed these kids at school. Yeah. You know, this, this milk, but so oil olive oil, it takes 32 olives that you have to squeeze to get one tablespoon of olive oil. That’s the yield, right? So I would much rather you eat, you eat six or seven olives, right? And now you’re getting all the protein, the carbs, you’re getting the um, the fat. You’re also getting all the micronutrients are you getting, you’re getting the fiber, the water, the phytonutrients, the antioxidants, the vitamins and the minerals.
Brad: 00:45:57 So same with juices.
Rip: 00:46:00 We’re not a fan of juice in either, my man.
Brad: 00:46:02 Are you, are you digging this guy listeners? I mean so far it doesn’t sound like he’s going to be at the conference. None.
Rip: 00:46:10 The Paleo FX is not on my list.
Brad: 00:46:12 This with him I love Ripper. I mean there’s so much common ground. I remember when we went shopping at the Sacramento natural foods co-op, we had our little basket did like we, there was only a couple separations to happen at the end of the shopping journey. I’m not going to go with that a though that that giant thing of peaches for the in the middle of winter cause paleo people not supposed to do that, but these are the things that we need to bring out is like, ah, I like that quote. Maybe that’s another highlight. Quotes a triumph triumph of marketing over science. We’ve got to look deeply at some of this stuff. How it got in front of our face.
Brad: 00:46:48 How about dark chocolate? Is that a triumph of tastes.
Rip: 00:46:50 so so, so dark. Dark chocolate. It’s over 70% I will. I will. I will have a nibble every now and then. Absolutely.
Brad: 00:46:57 You have that much self control, is that what you’re saying? I just usually don’t have it around the house. Right. So that way, that way if it’s in the house, it’s in the mouth. But uh, yeah. So I use a little self control there.
Brad: 00:47:07 Right on. You’re not kidding either. I mean, that’s like, like before we turned the recording on. Yeah. We said, look, neither of us are PhD level researching food, nutrition people, but we’re motivators and we like to inspire and educate and, and figure out how to live a healthy life.
Rip: 00:47:23 And I think so, you know, we, we walk the talk.
Brad: 00:47:28 That right too.
Rip: 00:47:29 And, and we walked that talk and we live the life and.
Brad: 00:47:32 We kicked those Ausie asses tomorrow in the triathlon. Watch out. Yeah. Oh my gosh.
Rip: 00:47:38 And uh, but I, I wanna I, Brad, I want to come back to the kind of eating plant strong and this, and this is the thing, um,
Brad: 00:47:48 I’m also putting that motivational element in there so people can listen to your voice and your passion. Yeah. And that’s, that’s the part that special. Yeah.
Rip: 00:47:56 Okay. But, and I, I try and frame it up now when I’m talking like to T to kids. And people we were, we were raised thinking that, you know, red meat was a strong food and a great source of protein. We were raised thinking that dairy products were as a strong food and great sources of calcium and you know, vital, vital nutrients.
Rip: 00:48:18 We were raised thinking that, you know, uh, the egg was the perfect food and the perfect source of protein. We were raised thinking that some of these oils were heart-healthy and brain-healthy and stuff. And I think what we’ve discovered now is that is that the true, the true strong foods are not the red meat, the oils, the full fat dairy and all these things. These are more, they’re, they’re, they’re weak, problematic foods on several levels. And um, we can get into that or we are, we don’t have to get into it. But what I love about the plant based foods is that they are the true strong superheroes. So you’ve got, and if you don’t mind, if you will indulge me, Brad, I’d like to talk about what, what you get with whole plant based foods when it comes to macro and micronutrients. And this’ll take like five minutes.
Brad: 00:49:07 Okay, here we go.
Rip: 00:49:08 All right, so you’re getting, we’ve been talking about protein. You’re getting a very, very smart, intelligent, strong source of protein where proteins are created, right? And so it’s not coming with any riffraff. It’s not inflammatory in nature. It’s not going to rev up tumor and cancer cells. It’s not going to raise cholesterol levels. It’s not going to be harsh on the kidneys and the liver. So you have this Goldilocks type of protein in your barley, in your brown rice, in your sweet potatoes, in your black beans, your lentils, your strawberries, and there’s protein in every whole plant based foods. You right? I mean on the low end you’ve got your average fruit that’s six and a half percent protein by calories and the high end you’ve got white mushrooms that are 57% protein, right? And then you’ve got everything in between. Oatmeal, my oatmeal in the morning. Oh, it’s are 16% protein. Beautiful.
Rip: 00:50:05 Okay, next carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are not a four letter word. Put carbs are, are, are, are good. Now, I think you and I agree, refined carbohydrates are our crappy in 95% of America’s carbohydrate consumption comes from crappy carbs.
Brad: 00:50:22 Serious, 95%, 95%.
Rip: 00:50:24 The white, the white, the white sugar, the white rice, the white pasta, the white bread, right? Potatoes. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Brad: 00:50:31 95%.
Rip: 00:50:32 But most Americans, so I was talking earlier about that USDA thing. Yeah. 50. About 55% is coming from processed refined foods. Another 35% is coming from meat and dairy. Only about 6% is coming from whole plant based foods. Most Americans aren’t eating whole plant based foods. Okay? Um, but carbohydrates, so whole unprocessed carbs are fantastic. We have roughly Brad, 10 trillion cells that make up Brad Kearns and Rip Esselstyn and, and Joe, right? Joe, the firefighter. I’m working with 10 trillion.
Rip: 00:51:08 The fuel, the fuel for those cells, right? Is it sugars? Carbohydrates, right? It’s glycogen as glucose. And um, and so it’s important that we consume carbohydrates in their own process form. Um, now we talked a little bit earlier about insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity. So you go on a keto paleo program, your numbers are gonna look beautiful. You’re going to say, Oh my God, look what’s happened to my, my insulin. Uh, my insulin resistance, my, my fast or my glute, my, my blood sugar numbers in the morning are like rock solid. Of course they are. You’re not taking your, I mean you’re, you’re consuming like maybe 10, 20% of your calories are coming from carbohydrates. So the true test, the true test of somebody that is insulin sensitive is can you consume carbohydrates without it jacking up your blood sugar numbers? Cause if you’re not taking in carbs, of course everything’s going to look pretty.
Rip: 00:52:09 But all of a sudden we do that glucose a test and you’re like, you’re a mess. And the reason is because most Americans and most medical doctors don’t know the true definition of what is diabetes. And the problem with type two diabetes, it’s not a sugar problem, it’s a fat problem. We have too much fat inside every one of those 10 trillion cells that represent Brad and Rip. And because you have too much fat in those cells, it doesn’t allow the insulin to do its job, which is to escort sugar into the cells. You basically have gummed up with all that fat you have gummed up the insulin, the the receptors on that cell so it can no longer, uh, allow the insulin to do its job. And so you get this back, this backlog of sugar in your system. This is why with you look at people like the.
Brad: 00:53:00 people that are full of triglyceride, they’ve already over maxed.
Rip: 00:53:05 Yep.
Brad: 00:53:05 That’s what you’re saying by backlog. No. Well no, trying to,
Rip: 00:53:09 when I say backlog I’m talking about the sugar. So the sugar has no, has no has no real recourse but to basically build up and now you’re basically got these elevated fall cells are full.
Brad: 00:53:17 And that’s, I think excess body fat is the indicator or the or the accumulation of excess body fats showing that you’re overwhelming your system. [inaudible] it’s,
Rip: 00:53:27 I mean you listen, if you have somebody that’s 300, 400 pounds right there, you’re looking at somebody that is suffering from severe, severe inflammation. You know, too many, too many calories incident, typically insulin resistance, all that stuff. Um, but so you put somebody on a low fat whole food plant based diet and now they’re consuming 10% or less of their calories from fat and the predominant amount of their fat consumption is coming from like the polyunsaturated healthy fats that we, that we need in a matter of two to three weeks, four weeks.
Rip: 00:54:04 They will go from being insulin resistant, insulin sensitive, meaning they can now tolerate carbohydrates in it won’t jack with their blood sugar numbers. Uh, Eric Adams was running for mayor of New York city and has become a friend of mine. He’s recurrently the, the, the head of the Brooklyn borough, uh, which has over 3 million people, uh, was suffering from like bad, bad, uh, signs of type two diabetes. Went to three different, um, nephrologists in New York city. Highly recommended. They all said the best thing he could do was manage his diabetes. He a watched Forks Over Knives, made an appointment with my father, flew to Cleveland and met with my father, started following the whole food plant based low fat. Three months later, his A1C is down from 17 to five and T 17 insanely high, right to 5.3, lost 35 pounds. And, um, he was losing his eyesight and his left eye.
Rip: 00:55:05 He had neuropathy in all of his, his limbs, his, you know, his feet.
Brad: 00:55:09 No morning erection.
Rip: 00:55:11 Uh, I didn’t ask him about that. Uh, but so I mean, he and he was on the front of the New York times, right. Because of this amazing transformation that he did. But he, I interviewed him for the podcast and this is a man that has a refrigerator in his office. He’s got an exercise bicycle machine in his office. He preps all of his food for the week on Sunday. He does soup, he does salads. He does, you know, lean, uh, lean, not lean, but he does a whole intact grains, you know, I mean, the guy is like living the lifestyle. It’s amazing what he’s doing. But, so to me, uh, and I’m sorry that was so long winded, but you can do Keto, you can do paleo, you can lose the weight, you can look great. Right. But my bet is you are just managing your blood sugar levels in a, in a kind of a, a way that smoke and mirrors and artificial. If you were to actually have a couple bananas, oranges, blah, blah, blah, your blood sugar numbers would like probably spike dramatically because again, you still, you haven’t addressed the root causation, which is that excessive fat that’s in those, those cells, even though you’ve lost weight, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve lost a lot. All that intracellular Milo, my Mio lipids that are there.
Brad: 00:56:37 Um, same with someone who’s not overweight but can have signs of type two diabetes, skinny fat. Yep. They’re just uh, insulin resistant. Even without the, they, the genetics don’t have them store fat. Yeah. So the story we’ve known for a long time is straight up legit, started with Pritikin and Dean Ornish at your dad’s work, your work with the engine to the firefighters in Austin. We didn’t even talk about like you came into the station, saw these guys having Texas barbecue and overweight and health struggling and turned him into a plant base station. That’s kind of how you got your, your launch here. So I think that’s uh, it’s very valid and it’s a restrictive diet that we want you to adhere to.
Rip: 00:57:20 Now wait, hold on. When you say restrictive, meaning who, who me, you?
Brad: 00:57:23 Coming from whatever, our starting points. Diet and Rips telling me don’t eat any more fat and I’m going to go 30 days later and my blood work’s going to get a lot better. That’s absolutely undisputed.
Rip: 00:57:35 But I’m not saying don’t eat fat or what I am saying is don’t, let’s not, let’s not do the saturated fats you’re going to get from meat. The trans fats that are, you know, that are lurking there and meet as well. Even though it’s low levels. Do you have trans fats? And we’re just going to get all of our fats from whole plant based sources, right?
Brad: 00:57:51 So low fat, very low fat diet, I guess you would call it American diet, right?
Rip: 00:57:56 Yeah. I mean, but that’s a good point because you look at like the American Heart Association and their idea of a low fat diet is 30 percent
Brad: 00:58:08 What about dairy? Can we keep it in? Okay, sure. Yeah.
Rip: 00:58:10 No, you’re right. I mean it’s, it’s ridiculous. And you look at my father, Dean Ornish, uh, Dr Gregor McDougal, uh, Joel Ferman, and they’re going to tell you if you really want to reverse chronic Western disease, um, you got to get down below, you know, ideally right around 10% of your calories from fat, which is a, which is a, uh, uh, a tad bit lower than what the Keto people recommend.
Brad: 00:58:40 I mean, if you’re limiting protein and limiting fat, your satiety factor in your diet is going down. And are you seeing any difficulty with long longterm adherence because of that? Uh, also also just the restriction of, Hey, I grew up on all these delicious Texas barbecue things. I’m from Texas. My fellow firefighters tell me I can’t have ribs anymore.
Rip: 00:59:04 Yeah. But here’s the thing. So, you know, I’ve been doing this for 32 years now, right? I started in 87 when I graduated from UT, um, and.
Brad: 00:59:14 started winning the swim triathlons around the world.
Rip: 00:59:17 But it’s all a matter of your attitude, right? I don’t think, look at this as restrictive. I look at this as a, as a, as a eating style, that abundance of fulfillment. And I never like push away from the, the, the breakfast table or the lunch or the dinner table going, Oh my God, I’m starving. Or I don’t feel satisfied. I’m eating the most amazing array of colorful fruits and vegetables and whole grains and beans and nuts and seeds that are on this planet and my diet. I never get tired of it. I’m always excited come meal time. Um, so truly to me it, the diet that is restrictive is the one is the standard American diet. That is, yeah. What do we have, man? We’re having steak, we’re having chicken, we’re having bacon and eggs. We’re having pasta. You know, it is the most boring ridiculously, uh, you know, diet. I can think of an to boot you also, it’s given you all these chronic Western disease.
Rip: 01:00:11 It’s making you obese insulin resistance. You know, you’re setting the groundwork for cancers, heart disease. It’s like, no thank you. So I think we just, I think America needs a, a huge wake up call is if are, what does it truly mean to eat healthy and eat in abundance to fulfillment where you don’t have to count calories, worry about portion control, weigh and measure your food and do any of that nonsense. And it’s not a scientific experiment. So I mean, you know what lens you’re looking through. And so these firefighters that I work with, you know, going back to 19…, Well 2003, um,
Rip: 01:00:48 they embraced it too. I mean we were doing, you know, burrito’s as big as your face. We were doing, you know, jalapeno black bean, brown rice burgers with, you know, caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms. We would do pizza, we’d roll our own whole grain crust and we’d put, either we do a barbecue sauce or we do a nice red, a red sauce, or we do a spinach hummus. And we’d lay out, you know, all the toppings, spinach, broccoli, uh, black beans, pineapples, sun dried tomatoes, you know, the list goes on and on and on. And now we don’t have the cheese on top. And so instead of eating two or three pieces, we’re eating four or five or six pieces and getting the same amount of calories. So it’s, it’s, it’s a beautiful, it’s a beautiful lifestyle. And I tell anybody that’s, you know, you know, willing to think outside the proverbial box and not get sucked down, you know, uh, another distracting path, look at the whole food plant based lifestyle. It’s, it’s got a lot to offer.
Brad: 01:01:46 What do you say to the ancestral rationale that we evolved for two and a half million years getting these concentrated sources of dense nutritional food, like animal products?
Rip: 01:01:59 Well, I would say that we were gather hunters, not hunter gatherers and that majority of people subsisted on roots and tubers and, and other things. And yet I’m sure we introduced, you know, some animal products along the way, but um, fish,
Brad: 01:02:15 especially marine life. And now there’s a, there’s also a large population of, what do you call them? Like the, the, the pescatarians or a vegetarian who’s allowing in the eggs and the fish and things, right. They’re making their own guidelines. But that’s jumping a little bit from when you say plant based, I mean base means you’re eating a lot of plants, but are you drawing the line at any animal product or do you have some allowances in there?
Rip: 01:02:40 Well, when I say whole food plant based, uh, no, we’re, we’re, um, I mean, listen, my, my prescription and then I write about in my books as 100% plant based, it’s not 95. It’s not 90. It’s not 80. It’s 100%. I don’t know what 95% looks like. I don’t know what that means. And to me, the decision is black and white. And it’s always easy when you’re 100% all in, all of a sudden, man, it’s like, uh, you know, do I feel like having that, uh, you know, that chicken breast tonight, you know, I’ve been good for six days, now all of a sudden it’s like, you know, exactly. You know, what’s your, what’s your, what’s your eating, what’s your not eating and you’re not going there. And you know, I, I tell people, Brad, the beautiful thing about eating this way is that you check, you check every box.
Rip: 01:03:25 So you’re checking the box as far as being the healthiest version of yourself. You’re checking the box as far as, you know what, I, I want to be a good steward to this environment, to Mother Earth that is crying out right now for help. And I don’t want to, uh, be eating animal products because, uh, they contribute anywhere between 18 to 51% of global greenhouse gas emissions between the life cycle and the supply chain of all these animals that we’re growing and killing and then putting into the grocery stores. And then lastly, I don’t want to be complicit in the killing of 70 billion animals worldwide. Uh, it’s not in alignment with my values as being a kind and compassionate person. So, and, and, and the fact that we, we don’t live, you know, in, in 2019, none of us is worried about getting enough calories.
Rip: 01:04:24 None of us, this is not like, you know, like you said, listening, right? I mean, all we gotta do is go to the newest, the nearest superstore, I mean supermarket and we’re getting all we need. So, uh,
Brad: 01:04:37 it was on a whole foods, Amazon, Amazon prime, two hours, get some whole foods shopping right there, right. You can get, get anything you want, including the Engine 2 products.
Rip: 01:04:46 But so it checks every box. And I love that with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner that I eat plant strong, I’m putting that stake in the ground and I’m standing for something. Uh, the a.
Brad: 01:05:01 S T, A, K, E very good. And the other steak in the garbage can yup. Stake in the ground. Y.
Rip: 01:05:07 ep. And, uh, and that feels really good. And the Ripple effect, the Ripple effect is profound and far reaching. Uh, so, so yeah. Yeah.
Brad: 01:05:16 Well I mean away from the, uh, the either or for a moment when you write a book and you say, come 100% all in with me to this plant based lifestyle, I think that itself is a really powerful angle to take. And I’ve talked about on recent podcasts where my commitment was slipping. You know, I went into experimental mode and went full Keto for four months and tested my blood every day and didn’t eat any carbs. And then I transitioned to something else or I’m going to try to add back more of this and more that. And then I was fasting until 1:00 PM and then I was eating a big green smoothie in the morning to get a bunch of calories so I could feel my workouts. And after a while, if you start experimenting too much or letting too many concessions happen, you start to go down that slippery slope into habit where my evening popcorn binges to celebrate and have some fun and relaxed. I mean that’s not big in the Keto scene. Okay. I dunno about plant base, but it might be borderline. You might be gay with that a little bit, but it’s sort of like you can, you can go away from things that make you the best version of yourself, like you said. So I’m totally in with that. Go 100% all in commitment. Whatever you decide is up to you. And if you want to throw in eggs, even though Rip suggests no eggs, but you’re going to be a OVO vegetarian, that’s well you know, just do it. Do what you say you’re going to do, which is where your real strength comes.
Rip: 01:06:34 And one of the, and what.
Brad: 01:06:34 you can’t get out of the room with Ripper.
Rip: 01:06:36 And you mentioned until you agreed to modify your swim stroke according to his guidelines. That’s, well we, and we have to talk about the field, but the, the thing about eggs, the thing I like to say, there’s only two things wrong with the egg, the yolk and the white. And, and I was looking at your Instagram posts lately and I saw a lot of, a lot of like, what are they called, open faced eggs. I can’t even remember what they’re called.
Brad: 01:06:56 But sunny side, sunny side up, sunny side up.
Rip: 01:06:59 And you know, the only two things that are wrong with the egg or the yolk and the white, the yolk has over 200 milligrams of cholesterol, which is more than two burger King Whoppers with cheese. And the uh, the egg white as I talked about earlier, is a source of pernicious animal protein that uh, that, that we, we really don’t need.
Brad: 01:07:18 Which means yeah, scrambled eggs are okay with Rip cause those are neither white. They’re kind of in between now maybe they are, maybe not so much.
Rip: 01:07:30 Um, so, but you know what you um, you were talking when you emailed me to ask me to do this, you said we talk about the field we have to write and we would definitely have talked about the field. But I think along with talking about the field, we also should talk a little bit about, so you wrote a book, you’ve written several books, but you, I mean one of the things I loved about you is that you wrote that book where you were like in that, that engine of that airplane, and it’s about, you can make a living doing that, right?
Brad: 01:08:03 Triathlon, triathlon careers.
Rip: 01:08:05 But you know, that was before I knew anybody that had written a book and you like, you’re one of the first people. That was awesome. And then you wrote a, like a litany of books and you wrote, you know, how does Lance do it? You wrote, how does Tiger do it
Brad: 01:08:19 for Lance? Go way back people. I mean, their land Rip was basically Lance’s inspiration for a long time to eat healthy and just turn, turn those things straight.
Rip: 01:08:30 I wouldn’t go that far, but, but Lance and I, I’ve, I’ve known Lance since he was 15 and we met at, you know, the Bermuda International Triathlon when he was kicking everybody’s butts at the age of like 15 right? And I tell people, you know, Lance Lance was, was, had such a big engine and he was so amazing, you know, and you know, w when he was one of the top triathletes in the world, he wasn’t, he wasn’t open, right? He was just, he was doing it naturally because that was, that was Lance Armstrong and he, and you and I both know Lance, I mean you wrote a whole book on Lance. Yeah. But, but, but Lance has got that mentality and he does what he does. Whatever it takes
Brad: 01:09:05 a quick summary of that whole controversy with Lance and his doping. If there were no doping in the tour de France in those years, Lance would, we know this to be true. So we’re going to say it to the audience now. He would’ve won by 20 minutes instead of two minutes or 17 minutes instead of seven minutes because he had all the athletic attributes.
Rip: 01:09:24 Yep.
Brad: 01:09:25 Oh, all of a sudden everybody’s doping, including him. He still wins. I argue that those guys got closer to him cause he was a genetic freak and an absolute master of psychological preparation. Everything in his life was calibrated to be a champion. So it’s kinda too bad that the sport wasn’t clean for Lance because he would have, it would’ve been a half an hour ahead. Maybe. That’s my contention.
Rip: 01:09:46 Oh wait, Lance was, was, he was spectacular. I mean, at the age of 17 and 18 he was beaten up on Dave Scott, Mark Allen, you know, you, me, West Hobson, I mean,
Brad: 01:09:55 and thinking nothing of it. Speaking of peak performance mindset, it’d be like,
Rip: 01:10:01 so those guys are, it was this, I’ll kick their bow teenager. But that’s, but you’re right. I mean, that’s the thing. It’s like most people, they wouldn’t have, they wouldn’t have the kahunas to beat somebody like Dave Scott or Mark Allen. Right. Or Mark or Scott Molina or Scott Tinley. But Lance thought nothing of it. He’s like, well, why not? I should be able to do that. Yeah. Yeah. Crazy stuff. Something
Brad: 01:10:24 you said at the start of the show about overcoming your fears has been sort of your story because you were a, a jock guy, needed to go get a job going into the fire department, but you were always looking and expanding your consciousness and what was possible and then jumping to the next thing, becoming a bestselling author, jumping to the next thing. And you can’t do that if you’re locked in a little framework of, you know, minimal possibilities or you’ve got someone ragging on you in the background and your wife did this transformation school experience down here. I called it the fake school for many years because I didn’t believe something so incredible. It was called the KIP. She’s still doing that.?
Rip: 01:11:00 The Kip school. Yeah. So she was the director.
Brad: 01:11:04 She’s still getting a shout out now. You have to do, she has to listen for an hour. Hey honey, you’re at the end of the podcast. Listen to the whole thing. Yeah, I know. Well, it’s just amazing. Uh,
Rip: 01:11:14 so it’s a charter school called KIPP. It’s a and M and KIP stands for knowledge is power program. And she started it in 2002 by 2000 and probably 10, 11, 12 ish. She had gone from just 22 fifth graders to now there’s nine different schools, over 5,000 different kids, you know, K through 12. There’s probably three different K through five, five different, five through eight and three different high schools. It’s one of the greatest success stories in the state of Texas when it comes to education. And these kids, they’re typically underprivileged kids, but they work, they’re in school 60% more than their, their public school, you know, uh, counterparts. And um, their whole motto is, you know, we work harder than anyone else and we’re climbing the mountain to college. And in most of these kids, they, they’re being raised either by a single mother or a single father or grandparents.
Rip: 01:12:19 And yeah, it’s a, it’s a really cool story. And, but Jill’s now on the board of directors, she’s stepped, stepped away about three years ago.
Brad: 01:12:26 Look it up, we’ll, we’ll find a link. It’s incredible. Yeah. And then what’s also incredible is going back into our triathlon days. And we believe that the way to get good at and compete against these top guys from all over the world was a train your ass off to exhaustion every single day and try to get good at three sports. And then we’re sitting around talking and the life changing insight came from Ripper about the feel.
Rip: 01:12:48 Oh my gosh.
Brad: 01:12:49 Yes. Well, so the, yeah, the, the feel, I actually, and I.
Brad: 01:12:55 don’t know if you’re specifically referring to the bike or, or the swim or the run top of the bare feet on top of the bike shoes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But well, in general, especially the swim, cause you’re a swimmer guy.
Rip: 01:13:06 Yeah. But, but w yeah. So the field to me, what Brad’s referring to is I went through a period of time there. What I would actually take my bare feet. I jumped from the swim onto my bike and I would just bike with my feet on top of my bike shoes on, on, you know, I wouldn’t put my feet inside or anything like that. And it’s because for whatever reason, I just had this better feel. I felt like I was feeling the whole stroke around the hole, you know, pedal access. Um, it was this easy speed and yeah, I, you know, sometimes I couldn’t climb quite as well because you know, when your feet were not into, but feet were in the shoes. But I can remember I came off the bike at st Croix international triathlon in second place with my feet on top of the shoes, right behind pig.
Rip: 01:13:57 And, uh, I think that year I got fifth place or something like that. Uh, so it worked for me. Right. But the larger picture is, and we all, we’ve probably all know of, um, Gladwell, ma, Malcolm Gladwell’s book you about 10,000 hours to kind of really perfect something, become a master of it. I think you and I both probably trained for more than 10,000 hours. Right? Big time swimming, biking and running. But I look now at the swim, the bike, the run, uh, and how some days I feel like I could conquer the world. I could get the, you know, masters world record, right? And then other days I’m like, Oh my God, I just don’t have it today. And it’s just peculiar to me on any given day why I have the feel and then why I don’t. And I try and like capture it and write notes and what was I exactly doing?
Rip: 01:14:49 And it, it can be very elusive. And I’ll point to tiger woods, right? I mean, you wrote all about tiger, but here’s tiger. He, he’s doing amazingly well and yes, he had a string of injuries and other things, but you, Oh, you talk about a golfer. Oh, they just don’t have it with the putting today or Oh, their drives off. Or you know, one of these tennis players like, uh, Novik Djokovich who’s now like number one in the world, but he had a bad two or three years there. It’s like the feel to me, the feel, it’s this nebulous feel, but it’s not just, it’s not just cycling, it’s not just swimming. It’s an every sport that’s out there. It’s in writing. It’s in when we’re doing this podcast right now. Right. Some. There’s some times I’m doing the podcast and I’m like, man, I am like nailing it. I’m 100% present. I’m there. My questions, man, I feel great about it. And there’s other times when it’s like, I don’t have to feel, I just, I don’t have the feel today. You know what I mean?
Brad: 01:15:43 You’ve got to draw it out of you host job man. Like this guy. Yeah,
Rip: 01:15:47 it is. But, but so the feel, you know, you, when you get, when you did your world record right on the speed, the speed golf course, was it two minutes and 20 seconds,
Brad: 01:15:56 1 minute 38 seconds
Rip: 01:15:58 Right. But you did, it was the first or second try first try first. First try. What are the chances of you nailing it on the first try, but you had to feel.
Brad: 01:16:06 with a birdie with one club. , sprinting. Full speed. 500 yard meter.
Rip: 01:16:11 Yeah.
Brad: 01:16:13 Wait, it was, I’m glad you brought that up. Seriously show about it if you want to go look it up. But that was one of the greatest athletic performances I’ve ever done in my life because I came through under pressure and it was magical in that sense that it wasn’t just done from more hard work. Like we trained harder on the bike and we peddled faster in the next race and you brought up the writing and all that, and I strongly believe, like I have these reference points where I’m waiting for my fiance in the car in a parking lot so there’s no internet and I whip out the laptop and in an hour or whatever, knowing like I’m motivated, she’s still working late into the night. It might have been later than we agreed to meet.
Brad: 01:16:50 And you just go to town. You get into this zone where it’s effortless and things flow out of you because you’re not trying as hard as usual. And it’s so graphic on the swimming through water or pedaling a bike. But we, I mean, we would laugh. I laughed at you when you told me the first story. Like, what are you effing talking Rip? Put your shoes in the pedals. I saw you at the turnaround. You’re ahead of me. So maybe I should’ve thought more, but like, why didn’t you put your shoes in? He’s like, you don’t understand if I have the feel, but the awakening that that occurred, and that was many, many years ago. But I’m thinking about that when I go into writing mode or if you’re struggling and frustrated that something’s not working gives you’re trying so hard. Back a couple steps up. Let it flow like the Ripper for that feel
Rip: 01:17:35 Nebulous flow, man. The feel I I and I again, yeah. I mean I’ll apply it to everything in life, all things in life. And um,
Brad: 01:17:44 parenting. I mean, there’s no rules for parenting, right? There’s some, but you can get clogged up and sometimes you gotta feel your way through it and you have different kids that respond differently. And that’s my insight. Looking back. Like, man, there’s no owner’s manual where everyday, what do you do here? You just got to feel it, man. Well that’s a, that’s a whole nother topic. We’ll do another podcast raising kids.
Rip: 01:18:04 Yeah. And I’ve got three. I’ve got a five year old. I’ve got a, wow. She just turned 10 a couple of days ago and then I’ve got an 11 year old and it is, I mean we’re right now in the throws the throws of life. It is, it is so rich. It is so intense. It is. Every day is we got these amazing highs and lows and tantrums and laughing fits and you know, arguments and screaming and shouting and the house is an absolute disaster zone but, but man, we are living large.
Brad: 01:18:37 It’s full of love. Yes. Rippers all about dude. Thanks a lot. Fist bump off camera here last to think about and good luck with your, your show. It’s what’s the URL to go look at that podcast and find it on [inaudible]
Rip: 01:18:52 it’s, it’s, you know, it’s, it’s iTunes, it’s Stitcher, Google play, all platforms where you can find podcasts and it’s, it’s a plant strong podcast.
Rip: 01:19:02 .Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars and it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves because they need to. Thanks for doing it.