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My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet--Plus 140 New Engine 2 Recipes Hardcover – 14 May 2013

4.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (14 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455509361
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455509362
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 358,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""My Beef with Meat" is one of the most enlightening and practical books you'll ever read. Rip Esselstyn tackles every key health issue and provides exactly the information readers need to achieve the best of health and peak performance. As one of the most respected leaders in the movement for better health, Rip Esselstyn tells it exactly as it is." --Neal D. Barnard, MD, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The 21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart "and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at George Washington University School of Medicine

"Rip Esselstyn is a living, breathing example of what a plant-based diet can do for you. In his new book, he lays out exactly why you get so strong and healthy by avoiding meat and opting for food that's grown in the ground or on trees. Eat like he does and be transformed!"--Kathy Freston, bestselling author of The Lean

"Once again Rip cuts the bull and serves up the straight facts, along with delicious recipes, for health and performance. I wish I had this book when I decided to go plant strong!" --Scott Jurek, world renown ultramarathon champion and bestselling author of "Eat and Run"

"This book is revolutionary! It dispels all the nutrition myths that cause sickness and confusion in our society. Rip is straight-forward, succinct and caring with his delivery of information that will save your life. Arm yourself with knowledge and delicious plant-strong recipes!" --Lindsay S. Nixon, author of "The Happy Herbivore Cookbook "series

"Debunking the myths about animal products and distilling the facts about healthful eating, this book should be required reading for everyone who eats. In other words, EVERYONE!" --Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, bestselling author and creator of "The 30-Day Vegan Challenge"

"My Beef with Meat" makes it clear why a plant-based diet is the best diet on earth, and why an animal-based diet is so unhealthy. This fascinating and fun book is a must for anyone interested in health and nutrition!" --Brian Wendel, Executive Producer of "Forks Over Knives"

"In his new book, Rip Esselstyn continues his trailblazing efforts to create a healthy plant-strong nation by extinguishing many of the myths and concerns about a whole foods plant-based diet." --Jeff Novick, MS, RD --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Rip Esselstyn is the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Engine 2 Diet" and "My Beef with Meat." He has been featured on and in "Today, Dr. Oz, Time, "and "Newsweek, " among other media. A former world-class professional triathlete, Esselstyn joined the Austin fire department in 1997. In 2009, Esselstyn became a healthy eating partner with Whole Foods Market and currently travels around the world promoting the Engine 2 lifestyle. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The essential messages this book carries can vastly improve and even save lives. By changing to a plant based diet, one immediately lowers the risk of life-shortening conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Rip Esselstyn explains the plant-strong diet and its wonderful advantages in a very readable and enjoyable style with over 100 recipes. A must for health conscious individuals!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great book full of gems of truth on how eating a plant based diet can transform your health and reverse chronic disease. I know it works as I use this approach in my own Naturopathic practice. Lots of tasty recipes to help you explore a plant strong diet with enjoyment. Good work Rip!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The main benefits of this book for me is the information chapters which precede the recipe chapters. It is easy to understand and to read . The recipes are a good base to start although they need to be adapted for me because I live on my own and I am gluten-intolerant. There are quite Lot of extra ingredients to buy , all of which are available on-line but once you have them they last for some time so don't work out expensive in the long term .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Brilliant, insightful and to the point with lots of great recipes. Delivered in a matter of fact way with lots of facts. The recipes are practical and tasty
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x921fc708) out of 5 stars 497 reviews
136 of 143 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91b5cb0c) out of 5 stars A Kitchen Keeper for Your Nutrition & Cookbook Plant-Based Library 16 May 2013
By K. Loss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This new offering from Rip Esselstyn and Engine 2 is a winner. It is a Kitchen Keeper! My Beef With Meat packs a mega-load of extremely well researched recent nutritional information into 36 very short chapters that dispel many myths and misconceptions about nutrition and health. Rip has no political axe to grind, rather his entire focus is on presenting the latest scientific validated research and facts in an accessible manner to help the reader take charge of his/her own health. Despite its cheeky attitude, My Beef With Meat is definitely not another fad diet book, but an important book that will contribute much to health and palate. This is a book appropriate both for newbies and veterans of whole food plant-based diets. It's written for the American public: for those who are young, old, sick, healthy or just average meat-eating joes and janes. It is a terrific and informative introduction for those considering making a change to their diet to lose weight and improve their health as well as a valuable way for those who have embraced this diet-style to know what to say when friends and family inevitably lob questions and criticism in their direction. Even after nearly 2 years eating a whole food, plant-based "plant-strong" diet, and delving into the many excellent offerings in this field, I learned new information. Rip writes in a fun, engaging, non-threatening style with chapters covering such topics as "Animal Protein is Dead Wrong", "The Mediterranean Myth", "Plants Are Bone-Strong", "Plants Perk Up Your Pecker", "Oil is the New Snake Oil", "Carbs Are King!", "Eat Plants. Lose Weight. Feel Great", and "Be Done with Dumb Diets." I particularly appreciated the chapter on why eating plant-based is beneficial for high level athletes, "Plant-Strong: The Athlete's X-Factor".

Rip brings his own stellar credentials and first hand experiences as as a long-time plant eating firefighter and top professional athlete to the task as well as drawing on the research and expertise of many of the leaders in this field. Rip is a former fire-fighter who in his work detailed in 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 spent more time responding to health-related medical emergencies brought on by obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc. than to fires. He is also a former top tier professional triathlete and experienced personally positive changes in his athletic performance when he shifted to a plant-based diet. Son to Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure] [[ASIN:B005K23S20 Forks Over Knives] Rip also saw first hand the profoundly positive effect of plant-based diets in his father's heart patients. Among the experts in this field that Rip has drawn upon and worked closely with in getting the message out that there is a solution to the American health care crisis are T. Colin Campbell (The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, Dr. John McDougall The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!, nutritionist Jeff Novick, and psychologist Dr. Doug Lisle.

Now for the recipe section in My Beef With Meat: The 140 new plant-strong recipes in My Beef With Meat are easy and delicious without needing to track down exotic ingredients. They use whole plant foods with no added oils, or salt, a bare minimum of sweeteners. I can personally vouch for the quality and deliciousness of these recipes because I recently attended a Farms2Forks 3-day immersion weekend put on by Rip and the folks at Engine 2 and Forks Over Knives. The hosting Hyatt hotel served our group of over 300 guests abundant buffets that followed the criteria of this lifestyle and served quite a number of the recipes from My Beef With Meat--definitely a first for the chef and kitchen staff used to cooking up eggs, steaks, and pastries for business conferences. Instead we ate such things as Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas, Dr. Seuss Stacked Polenta, Kale Ceviche Salad served with OMG Walnut Sauce, and Damn Good Cookies for dessert. As you can tell, this book puts the fun back into eating. Rip's sister, Jane Esselstyn, who was in charge of this section of the book also demonstrated a number of the recipes during the weekend.

My Beef With Meat makes a great gift book for your friends, family, and work colleagues who want to take charge of their own health, or express genuine interest or skepticism in why you turn down hamburgers at the BBQ, eschew olive oil and ice cream in favor of a plain baked potato topped with veggies, fresh fruit and the Date Nut Chocolate Pie you made from this book and brought for dessert. After having spent a decade counting calories, points, and portion sizes with little permanent effect on my weight nor change in my underlying health, eating a whole food plant based diet for the last two years has opened up an entire world of delicious, nutritious, health-giving abundance. I've been able to throw those former constricting metrics out the window, lose 40 lbs. and stop numerous medications. Thanks to the very simple change of giving up all animal products and oil in favor of the style of eating advocated by Rip in My Beef With Meat and increasing numbers of scientists medical and nutritional experts (Yes! You can do it! I don't miss steak, cheese, ice cream, or doughnuts--my palate changed in about 28 days to prefer the taste of vegetables, fruits, whole starches and grains, and legumes), I now maintain a newly slim weight and vibrant health. My Beef With Meat is a five-star winner, a Kitchen Keeper, a great addition to anyone's nutrition and cookbook library.
156 of 165 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91b646c0) out of 5 stars You'll be surprised at how many scientist friends you have 19 May 2013
By Greater Means - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a plant strong believer. Having lost 26 pounds in six weeks and off blood pressure medication. I've read quick read and I'll be trying the new recipes.
Here are some high lights from the book.

"[P]eople are waking up to the fact that our current paradigm is broken. [D]espite our attempts to medicate away our misery, Americans are sicker than ever. The answer is not another pill, procedure, or doctor, or more legislation. Unbelievably, the answer is right in front of our faces. But we've been blind because we had no idea the answer could be so simple. Plants can heal. Plants can nourish. Plants can give you everything you need to be the healthiest person you can be and live the life you deserve to live. The unfortunate reality is that the powerful meat and dairy lobbies have been successfully spreading their propaganda for many decades.

[The] widespread misconception about protein is that plant proteins are somehow not 'complete'. This is a fallacy, based on outdated research that was weak to begin with." The author that started this belief rescinded her position ten years later. "[It is known] plant proteins have a healthier composition and balance of essential amino acids, and elegantly balanced by nature in a way that inherently protects us from inflammation and tumor growth."

This is the best story from the book (because I've lived it too): Mike's Moderation. An email written to Rip after Mike achieved excellent results from a plant strong diet. Mike found out just how many "scientist" friends he had. "It's amazing, really. I never heard a word of concern when somebody saw me eat my fifth piece of pizza after polishing off a plate of wings and a few beers. However, one word that I'm holding off on the meat and lowering my fat intake, and they come out of the woodwork. They all seem to have kept their non-science office jobs, but suddenly they're evolutionary biologists talking about the shape of my teeth proving our omnivorous lineage, dietitians concerned about the exact percentage of my calories coming from protein, and biochemists who suddenly are worried about the details of my blood chemistry. My advice? Smile, thank them for the advice, and ignore them like they ignored you when you were eating crap that was killing you. The give them first dibs on your clothes before you take them to Goodwill because they are too big for you. If they get excited about how I'm harming myself now that I've engaged in that horror of horrors - eating fresh fruits and vegetables! I just tell them what they want to hear: It is very possible that this is just a fad diet that I'll stop doing sometime down the road, but if so, right now it is the most successful fad diet I've ever been on. So far, I've only seen positive effects from eating plant-strong. As soon as I see one single detrimental effect to my health, I'll reconsider my choice. I'll even give them the pleasure of buying me a steak."
205 of 221 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91b645c4) out of 5 stars Sensible book about eating a plant-based diet 16 May 2013
By Joanna Daneman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are deciding whether to eat a plant-based diet, there are plenty of choices for books to read. This book is a great choice. Several reasons--for one, this book avoids the preachiness of some books that advocate veganism for philosophical reasons. If you have that philosophy, I respect that. But I personally would rather read a factual book, with recipes, leaving the philosophy to my own personal journey of discovery. "My Beef with Meat" is really more about what works for health, according to the author's research into the subject. Rip Esselstyn opens the book with his argument that a plant-based diet has health benefits, and seeing more and more of my friends improve their health in this manner, and seeing that I only maintain my weight using mainly plant-based foods, there seems to be some truth in it.

So what's in this book? Chapters about the health benefits of plant-based diet, including why this diet may reverse arterial plaque, and of course, recipes for good-tasting food, new to this book and not in the previous "Firehouse" books. For example, there's quite a bit of pizza. Ok, so you don't eat wheat? What about polenta pizza? (corn based.) But there are also wheat doughs and toppings (no cheese, of course) using cashew cream, which I've had and can tell you tastes really good, or other creamy-feeling toppings such as guacamole, pesto, hummus or spinach artichoke dip. (Yes, not authentic Tomato Pie if you come from Philly but savory and good nonetheless.) There is also a variant on one of my top vegan faves of all times, Vegan Reuben, which uses tempeh (a bean cake that can be sliced and sauted and tastes savory) along with non-egg mayo/ketchup Russian dressing. The one thing missing is the sauteed onions I typically put on here, but who says you can't add those yourself.

There are hearty sandwiches and chili, solving the problem of eating a bag lunch or thermos lunch. The recipes are aimed for robust (masculine) tastes, per the Fireman theme of all Esselstyn's book. Big, strong, healthy and plant-based doesn't mean eating alfalfa sprouts daintily strewn on a kale chip.

A chapter in this book that won my heart was the important discussion of Vitamin B12, which is an essential element of diet and literally can prevent your brain from deteriorating. I'm harping on this subject, because not having enough vitamin B12 can affect memory, leading to memory loss. A severe deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to severe memory loss. The Linus Pauling Institute states that chronic vitamin B12 deficiency may result in dementia, and I know of one situation, an acquaintance who suffered "pernicious anemia" which is the inability to absorb and process B12. It was not diagnosed in time, and she got dementia after noting a loss of her short-term memory. How sad and how preventable.

Esselstyn doesn't make false claims that you can get B12 direct from plant sources, which is NOT true (plant B12 is an analog, not the form we need. If someone tells you otherwise, it's the wishful thinking.*) Esselstyn DOES tell how animals make B12 in their tissues, and how we can get it without animal sourced food--from a tablet! And even better, he suggests having B12 levels measured. By the way, if you don't absorb enough from the tablets, you can try an injection (doctor) and there is also an oral spray, as B12 needs to be absorbed by the mucous membranes and not swallowed. Which is why the tablets are sublingual (dissolve under your tongue.)

There are many reasons I give this book a huge thumbs-up. This author supports his claims with data and practical suggestions, not wishful thinking or misty philosophy. He provides tasty recipes with hearty food that replicates "comfort food" with vegetable alternatives that give up none of the flavor.

There are 140 recipes that aren't in the previous Engine 2 Diet book. One warning; if you can't eat nuts, this can be problematic, as much of vegan cooking replaces milk and meat with nuts. Some recipes replace milk with soy, another issue if you have thyroid problems, some other conditions, or want to avoid GMO foods, but you can use rice or almond milk. That's the ONLY problem I have with vegan recipes in general. Soy and nuts are a problem for some folks, including me, so I am rather limited sometimes. And then there's the issue of gluten--reliance on wheat gluten protein (seitan) as a meat substitute can be a problem. So there are some recipes with seitan but they aren't the majority of the main dishes, so gluten-free folks can adapt with plenty of other great recipes that work well.

Summary: a lot to like in this book if you are investigating a plant-based diet. Good information, solid arguments, no preaching, good recipes.

UPDATE: I've found so many recipes in this book that I enjoy, that I think this is one of my favorite new cookbooks. In particular, there is a recipe for red quinoa with black beans and roasted corn that is a dinner salad/main dish that I particularly enjoy. The salads are very hearty and the soup chapter has a mulligatawny with red lentils that I also love. The recipes are low-fat as well. This absolutely blows away the notion that eating vegetable-based foods that are low fat will be bland and flavorless. If you want a good plant-based cookbook, I'd recommend this one.
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*Note: Since some cultures are traditionally vegan, and didn't have access to vitamin tablets, the question is how did these people obtain B12 in the diet? Some writers on this subject proposed fermentation of foods, certain yeasts, algae and I suspect, were GUESSING rather than researching about B12 analogs--that is, molecules that look like B12 but are not active in the body like animal-sourced B12. It turns out the most likely source is insect infestation (small, tiny bugs like grain weevils) especially in less-developed parts of the world where food storage and processing would naturally lead to a certain level of insect protein in the food. Not so savory to consider, but recently the UN had been proposing insect consumption to boost protein in poor diets.
60 of 69 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91be9390) out of 5 stars Where's The Beef? WHO CARES??! :) 15 May 2013
By Christa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This man puts out some amazing books that are packed with easy to understand, informative and eye opening information. Rip Esselstyn is without a doubt one of the motivating voices in why I went vegan. The recipes are absolutely incredible, and when he says his goal is creating food that is not only good for you, but taste heavenly, he is not understating. Every single recipe in this, and his original book are ones I either have tried, or cannot wait to get to. If a bunch of formerly grillin' Texas manly meat groupies can reform their palates, ANY of us can!!
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x91be9dbc) out of 5 stars Straight Answers 30 May 2013
By hvacigar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have read several books on the topic including The China Study, Engine 2 Diet, How to Prevent Heart Disease, and I am currently reading Whole. Of all these authors (Campbell, Caldwell Essylsten, and Rip), Rip seems to be the best at getting down to the convincing facts without too much in-depth discussion. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the work of Campbell and Essy Sr as I crave the internal knowledge of what is going on and mounds of data, but when you need answers to the questions that inevitably come back to you when you tell people what you are doing to lose weight, go with Rip (but read all of them). Rip is that guy you wish were around to hang with while living plant-strong, or that little (maybe big) guy on your shoulder when you become meat curious. In essence, as it pertains to this diet, you could say "What Would Rip Do?" and you would arrive at the answer.
Need proof of how this lifestyle works? Well I have no problem publishing that, after 5 months eating plant strong, I just got my annual blood work numbers. My total cholestrol is down from 222 mg/dL to 177 mg/dL, my weight is down over 40 pounds, and I have lost 8 pant sizes. I feel healthier than ever, and this is still with minimal exercise. More people need to listed to Dr Cambell and the Essylstyns. If more Generation Xers like myself would adopt this lifestyle, we could collectively solve the conundrum with healthcare in the US...just by modifying our diet.
Also, one other note. For those that cook plant-strong, I have extensive use of several popular series of books. If I am cooking for "high-calss" guests, I generally use something from Lindsay Nixon or Veganomicon, but when I want to impress hearty meat eaters, I almost always refer to Rip's recipes (Engine 2 or My Beef With Meat). You can be guranteed a meal that is lower in fat, whole, plant-strong, and hearty enough to win over a Texas, BBQ-based firefighter.
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