|Born||Upstate New York|
|Occupation||Health Activist and Food Writer
Former Firefighter and Triathlete
|Alma mater||University of Texas, Austin|
|Notable work(s)||The Engine 2 Diet (2009)|
|Children||Kole and Sophie |
|Relative(s)||Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (father)|
Rip Esselstyn, a former Firefighter and Triathlete, is an American health activist and New York Times best seller's list food writer. He is the author of the 2009 whole foods plant-based (low-fat/salt/sugar) Engine 2 Diet, and the 2013 release, My Beef With Meat. He also appeared in the 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives.
Background and early career 
Rip Esselstyn was born in Upstate New York, named after Rip Van Winkle, and grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the great-grandson of George Washington Crile and the grandson of George Crile, Jr. His father, cardiologist Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, is one of the early promoters of a whole foods, plant-based diet in the prevention and reversal of heart disease. Esselstyn attended the University of Texas at Austin on a swimming scholarship from 1982-1986. During that time he was an All-American swimmer.
After college, he became a triathlete and competed for approximately ten years. In 1997, he retired from being a pro-triathlete and turned his attention towards becoming a Firefighter and Emergency medical technician, joining the Engine 2 of the Austin Fire Department. Esselstyn eventually retired from firefighting in order to focus on becoming an advocate for plant-based nutrition.
Health activism and food writer 
While he grew up eating the standard American diet, Esselstyn switched to a whole foods plant-based diet in 1987, inspired in part by his father Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn's research on the subject, as well as by the changes his parents made to their diet as a result of this research. He was also inspired by Dave Scott (triathlete) who was a vegetarian.
In 2003, when a co-worker at the Engine 2 fire department discovered that his cholesterol was very high, Esselstyn encouraged the Engine 2 team to switch to a whole foods, plant-based diet in order to help their colleague. This experience eventually led him to write the The Engine 2 Diet (with Gene Stone) which begins with a foreword by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D, author of The China Study. The Engine 2 Diet appeared on the The New York Times Best Seller List and was endorsed by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel (who made public appearances with Esselstyn in January 2013). In 2010, Esselstyn teamed up with Whole Foods Market to become a "Healthy Eating Partner."
Esselstyn also appeared (along with his father and Campbell) in the 2011 American documentary on whole foods, plant-based eating, Forks Over Knives. He later developed and starred in the follow-up documentary, Forks Over Knives Presents: The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn. In 2013, Esselstyn released another book (again with Gene Stone) entitled, My Beef With Meat.
- 2001 World Police and Fire Games: First Place
- Capital of Texas triathlon: Eight-time winner
- Escape from Alcatraz (triathlon): Six-time winner
- My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes (2013)
- The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds (2009)
- Forks Over Knives Presents The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue with Rip Esselstyn (2011)
See also 
- Rip Esselstyn Biography
- Lyman, Howard, Mad Cowboy Interview 07: Rip Esselstyn (Part 2), The Mad Cowboy.
- Spector, Kaye. "Great-grandson of Cleveland Clinic founder offers his own advice for healthy living, The Plain Dealer, May 5, 2009.
- Author/Firefighter Rip Esselstyn ’82 Promotes Health, Wellness
- Lyman, Howard, Mad Cowboy Interview 07: Rip Esselstyn (Part 1), The Mad Cowboy.
- Earle, Drex. "Rip Esselstyn Wants You to Eat Your Vegetables." Austin Fit Magazine, February 2009.
- Former fireman preaches 'plant-strong' gospel in doc. Winnipeg Free Press, June 2, 2011.
- *Black, Rosemary. Texas firefighter Rip Esselstyn aims to save lives - through his new diet book. Daily News (New York), February 25, 2009.
- Going Cold Turkey From Meat, CBS, April 26, 2009
- Firefighters Gone Vegan? Even Austin Is Impressed. New York Times, March 26, 2006.
- The New York Times Best Seller List, March 15, 2009
- The New York Times Best Seller List, May 17, 2009
- Engine 2 Diet gets Mayor Emanuel's endorsement
- Health Starts Here™ launches at Whole Foods Market
- Forks Over Knives Cast
- Forks Over Knives Presents: The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue: Official Site
- Words of encouragement: Better health through diet with "My Beef with Meat"
- Vegan firefighter on his "Beef With Meat"
- Esselstyn, Rip. My Beef With Meat. New York: Grand Central Life & Style/Hachette Book Group USA, 2013 :268.
- Esselstyn, Rip. The Engine 2 Diet. New York: Wellness Central/Hachette Book Group USA, 2009 :10.