with Rip Esselstyn and Joe Inga


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When you're going plant-strong, it seems the world is working against you.  We can't turn on the TV or drive down the street without being tempted.  We live in a cultural mindset of "everything in moderation" - giving us the green light to indulge at every turn as long as we put in extra time at the gym.  And we know marketing campaigns are scientifically designed to trigger us - making us crave sugary, salty, fat-laden, food-like substances.

For many, including Joe, the drive-thru is a powerful siren song.  

In this check-in episode, Joe gives Rip an update on how he's doing.  Hear which recipes he's made for the firehouse plus his updated biometric results.  Joe will share his progress in building stamina and strength with exercise, and a setback where he found himself ordering Burger King (after 60 days of going 100%!).  Plus, we'll meet Joe's wife, Jennifer!

Transcript of Episode 6: CHECK IN WITH JOE

Rip Esselstyn: Hey, it's Rip. Welcome back to Plant-Strong. Now we're just about a month into season one and so I wanted to do a little progress report so to speak with Joe and just see how he's doing, check in on his nutrition and answer any questions that he's having. They're likely the same ones that you may be facing as well. And we're going to talk about his training and exercise. If you've been following along, then you know that I am coaching Joe to become plant-strong and reap the health benefits that come with this lifestyle. But I'm also taking Joe from a couch potato to a variatable sweet potato triathlete in under six months.

Rip Esselstyn: This September we're going to do a full fledged triathlon at the Esselstyn Family Farm and we're all going to be there in full force: my father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., my mom, Ann Esselstyn, my sister, Jane, and a bunch of other dynamic plant based personalities will be there. And of course, we couldn't have the triathlon without the star of the show. Joe Inga will be there with his new, svelte body, with his new sparkling endothelial cells that are radiating nitric oxide. And I bet if we look deep into Joe's eyes we'll see the eye of the tiger. But I hope you'll be cheering for Joe over the finish line.

Rip Esselstyn: Each month I'm going to do a progress report check in like this one with Joe via Zoom, and I invite you to listen in. Here's number one.

Rip Esselstyn: So, how you doing?

Joe Inga: I'm doing good. I made the... you know I'm going to say the sweet potato lasagna. I made that in the firehouse and the guys were like, "Yeah, it's not bad, but I wish it had cheese on it, or I wish it had salt in it." I made stuffed jalapenos. So I make that with sweet potatoes, oats, and either spinach or kale all mixed in, like a mashed potato. And I stuff the jalapenos and make them. I made those. So I'm starting to work in some of the stuff there. So the guys have been really supportive.

Rip Esselstyn: That sweet potato lasagna recipe, it is our signature dish. It is near and dear to my heart, and it has won the hearts and mouths and stomachs of firefighters everywhere. For those who haven't made it, we'll share that and a stuffed jalapeno recipe in our upcoming email newsletter this week. I encourage you to try them both with your families. Joe, what exactly has been going on with your workouts?

Joe Inga: I went to the gym this morning. I got home from dropping off my son, and I walked in the door and my wife goes, "You wouldn't want to go to the gym, right? You probably want to go to bed because you got to work tonight." I was like, "No, let's go."

Rip Esselstyn: Good.

Joe Inga: So I went and ended up with a runner's high and I did 40 minutes on the treadmill, did almost three miles. So, which is-

Rip Esselstyn: You did three miles. Is that running straight? Did you do walking and running or what?

Joe Inga: I was doing walking and running. I was doing, like I did two minutes walking, and then two minutes, like a jog, like four and a half miles an hour. And then I did two minutes walking, and then it just took off from there. I just ended up with a runner's high and I just kept going, and then just once in awhile I would take a two minute walking break. I was doing between four and a half and six miles an hour on the job.

Rip Esselstyn: Well listen, I don't want you worried about anything regarding how fast you're going. I just right now want you getting your feet, your ankles, your knees, your hips, your tendons, your ligaments right in shape. The last thing you want to do is start in too hard, too fast. So pace yourself, okay?

Joe Inga: You know what's crazy with the workout part, is I've tried working out in the past. That's usually when I throw out my back because I'm always overweight. Maybe I tend to overdo it. But maybe it's because I was out of shape. I still am out of shape. I'm not going to stay that I'm in the greatest shape. But I feel like I'm worrying a little bit less, but when I used to work out and do cardio, I would get that out of breath, almost like a little bit of a chest pressure, not from really overdoing it, but I would get that a lot quicker than I am now. And I'm not getting it at all actually now. So I feel like by being plant based and knowing that my health is good, it elevates me in my workouts.

Rip Esselstyn: Well it's also probably very reassuring. Let's face it, since I met you... let's see. I think I met you in early February, right?

Joe Inga: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: In Brooklyn. Now you've, you're down what? You're down close to, am I correct in saying 30 pounds?

Joe Inga: Close to that, yeah. I'm about 184. My weight is starting to fluctuate since I've been hitting the gym a little bit now because I've been doing some upper body strength and stuff so my weight is starting to fluctuate.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah.

Joe Inga: But my size is going down still.

Rip Esselstyn: So when I met you were you about 210 when I met you?

Joe Inga: 211, yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: So you're 211. You're now 184. So close to 30 pounds. So that's 30 pounds that you're not carrying on your frame when you're trying to workout, when you're trying to walk and you're trying to job, run, do whatever. I mean hold in your hand, each hand, a 15 pound dumbbell and then try and do that workout and imagine how that would feel, right?

Joe Inga: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: I mean it's substantial. And then the other thing is now that you're fueling yourself with all these amazing plant-strong foods from the green leafys to the steel cut oatmeal to all the fruit and veggies, you're slamming home all these vitamin and nutrients and antioxidants and obviously fiber and water and all these healing substances. And one of the great things that's happening is your endothelial cells that are the inner lining of your 65,000 miles of the vessels that course through Joe Inga, they are starting to produce a lot more nitric oxide, and the nitric oxide is allowing your vessels to become more elasticized to dilate, and now you're getting more blood flow when you are starting to do your jogging on the treadmill. You're getting more blood flow to all your working muscles, to your heart, to everything that needs it. And so yeah, you're not going to feel as much maybe chest pressure. You're going to feel more relaxed. Everything's that much more easily being oxygenated. So you're just a better, more efficient version of Joe, right?

Joe Inga: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: And it's amazing how quickly this happens. And for you now it's been, what, maybe two months?

Joe Inga: A little bit more than two months.

Rip Esselstyn: So at 5 foot 6, Joe's weight is now about 184 pounds, which means Joe has dropped almost 30 pounds, and it's only been about two months. So Joe's making great progress with his weight loss. We still have a good 15 to 20 pounds to get him to where he's not considered obese at his current height and weight. But Joe's experience, it's right in line with what most people realize when they go whole food plant-strong. And what you'll notice is you'll have a lot more energy. You'll begin feeling your waistline start to tighten up as you begin consuming these highly nutrient dense whole foods that your body loves burning for energy while feeding your vascular system with foods that help prevent and reverse heart disease, as well as the slew of other diseases that are plaguing the United States.

Rip Esselstyn: And like Joe, I want to remind you too that as you're beginning your exercise program, let's take it nice and slow. We don't want to get too excited here. This way of eating is not a diet. Like JD Roth said in episode four, "People, typically they view diets as having a definitive start and stop point, and eating plant based, this is a way of life. It's a lifestyle." And I want your exercise program to be reflective of that as well. So let's ease in, slow and steady, make incremental, sustainable additions.

Rip Esselstyn: Just so you know, I heard from a little bee that Joe had a little, unfortunately took a little-

Joe Inga: I did an experiment.

Rip Esselstyn: You did a little experiment. When was that experiment?

Joe Inga: It was last Monday. I was actually, I got out of Trader Joe's. I did my food shopping. And they actually had some tofu spring rolls that I was eating, so I brought them and I'm in the car. I was like, you know what? I'm feeling really good. And I'm just curious of how, because of how good I'm doing, I'm just curious as to how my body would react to fast food or something I would have eaten all the time. And so I did go to Burger King. I was in the drive thru eating my tofu spring roll when I ordered. And honestly, it was not good.

Rip Esselstyn: I would love for us to dive into this experience. So, did you go through the drive thru or did you go in to the restaurant?

Joe Inga: No, I went through the drive thru.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay.

Joe Inga: I went through the drive thru. Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: What exactly did you order?

Joe Inga: I ordered the original chicken sandwich combo, which is a friend chicken sandwich with iceberg lettuce and mayonnaise. Then it comes with a fries, a soda, and a whopper junior, which is a burger, with a lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay, so did you polish off everything?

Joe Inga: No, I didn't. I couldn't. Honestly-

Rip Esselstyn: What was the first bite like?

Joe Inga: It was greasy and salty and it tasted disgusting.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay. Okay, because I would have thought just the opposite. I would have thought you would have been like, oh my God, that is really, really-

Joe Inga: It had a good taste to it, but I bit into it and it just oozed into my mouth. I ended up eating half of the chicken sandwich. I ate some of the fries, and then I moved on to the whopper, and I ate a little bit of the whopper. I couldn't eat everything. My stomach... I don't know if my capacity had changed or whatever, but I just couldn't eat it all. But I was like, it was crazy because I felt gross eating it, because it was just all grease. It was all grease. But the salt and everything that was in it kicked in within 20 minutes. Within 20 minutes, a half hour afterwards I immediately became extremely tired and drained. I felt like I hadn't slept in a week. I felt so drained. The biggest thing was, I couldn't finish it so I was very surprised with that. It felt disgusting eating it. I felt tired and drained for the rest of the day.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay, here's the deal. We're all human, and Joe is just transitioning into this lifestyle. We don't have to be perfect. We do not want perfection to be the enemy of the good. And this isn't an all or nothing proposition. But if you fall back like Joe did, if you have a slip up, I want you to notice how you feel, right? Take inventory. See how your body reacts when you introduce the animal fats, the heavily salted and sugary foods. The standard American diet is loaded with foods from companies that have perfected things like mouth feel, bliss point, and the amount of fat versus crunch, all things that are going to stimulate your appetite and cause you to overeat these highly caloric, nutrient vacant, waterless, fiber less foods that are going to work against your health instead of for your health.

Rip Esselstyn: Mistakes are going to happen, right? No doubt about it, especially as you are transitioning into this lifestyle. But don't worry. Do not beat yourself up. I want you to dust yourself off, remember how it made you feel, and then you get right back on the horse, or in our case, the plant-strong engine.

Joe Inga: Honestly, it just reinforced, and that's what I wanted it to do. I wanted it to reinforce what I was doing. I wanted it... and the support that you guys gave me, I felt comfortable doing this experiment, as upset as it probably made you.

Rip Esselstyn: No, no, no. Listen, no, it doesn't make me upset at all actually. It's part of the path. It's part of learning, and you did it for, it sounds like a really reasonable reason, right?

Joe Inga: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: I'm a little bit surprised, but not really that you didn't reach out to me and text me or call me and say, "Hey, Rip, I've got this urge to go to BK."

Joe Inga: But I didn't have the urge. That was the thing. I had hit 60 days and I had felt so good. I lost all this weight. And I was like, I honestly was curious about how my body would react to this food since I've been eating so clean.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah.

Joe Inga: And I started... my stomach started hurting. I almost felt like my body was rejecting it. And it was just like, the whole experience from it was like yeah, no thanks, not again.

Rip Esselstyn: Well, and I think what a lot of people don't realize you were perfect for two months, right?

Joe Inga: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: You were on the straight and narrow, seven day rescue path. So your taste buds became much more sophisticated. You've ratcheted down the salt, the sugar, and the fat that's going into your body. And then all of a sudden, you have this experiment and literally within minutes, you're putting in more salt, sugar, and fat...

Joe Inga: Than I've put in...

Rip Esselstyn: ... in probably in 10 minutes than you've put in in three days worth of all the food.

Joe Inga: Probably in the 60 days that I've been doing it. I've been doing almost no salt.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. Yeah.

Joe Inga: I've been doing practically no salt. I haven't done any oil in the 60 days that I was doing it. Afterwards I was like, I can't believe I was eating this three or four days a week. Now I know why I was so tired. Now I know why I was always so dehydrated, why I was gaining weight.

Rip Esselstyn: Well nicely done on that. And it sounds like that was a worthwhile experiment for you. Now I would tell a lot of people out there, depending upon your, kind of your personal makeup and your constitution and if you have addictive personality, you might want to be careful with doing experiments like this. And I think one of the things that'll be fun is to talk to other experts that we have on the podcast and talk to them about Joe's BK experiment, right, and what they think of it. We'll see what they think.

Rip Esselstyn: So triathlon. We're getting ready for a triathlon. You've told me you've never done a triathlon, correct?

Joe Inga: Correct.

Rip Esselstyn: And I think you also told me that you've kind of envisioned that triathlons were kind of for superheroes, right?

Joe Inga: Yeah, when I thought triathlon, I was like people train their whole lives for this. How... it's not possible for me to do it in six months or even a year. People train for years for something like this. Up until this whole thing, I had only done two fitness type events, and one was a spartan race with my wife, which was... I was not in the best shape of my life for. That was while I was also under... during my alcoholism and then the other one was a stair climb I did three or four years ago. I did 74 floors with a full bunker gear and the SCBA and it's...

Rip Esselstyn: And for people that don't know, what's an SCBA?

Joe Inga: That's our Self Contained Breathing Apparatus. That's our air pack that we wear when we go into fires.

Rip Esselstyn: So typically when you're wearing all of your gear with your SCBA, how much weight is that would you say?

Joe Inga: Depending on what else you have in your pockets and everything like that, because I have my flashlight and my tools, it's anywhere between 70 and could be 90 pounds. And that's without carrying actual tools, like the fire hose or the standpipe kit or any of that. And we just, we went up with just that stuff.

Rip Esselstyn: So I mean imagine if you're 30 pounds heavier than you are now, and you're also 70 to 90 pounds of between your gear and your SCBA and all your tools and whatnot, you're asking your body to do a lot.

Joe Inga: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: I can't... and didn't you say the other day you were in your gear and you just felt really light and wonderful?

Joe Inga: Yeah, I had extra kick in my step and everything just felt lighter. I kept looking around because I felt like I was forgetting something. Is my flashlight on my gear? No, it's here. Did somebody take tools out of my pocket? No, it's here. Do I have a face piece on my mask? I was looking around constantly, because everything just felt lighter.

Rip Esselstyn: Join Joe and 75 other participants for our annual five day immersion in Black Mountain, North Carolina. This event is right around the corner from June 10 to June 14 and we still have a handful of spots available if you'd like to attend. At each immersion, we do the deep dive into the science. We enjoy bountiful plant-strong meals. We exercise, and groove and dance, and take full advantage of all the amenities of this incredible mountainside retreat. And we conduct before and after biometric screenings to showcase the real power of plants and what they can do for you in just five days. The full itinerary is available at enginetwo.com/events.

Rip Esselstyn: When was the last time you ran just to run? How many years ago?

Joe Inga: I can't even tell you.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay. Okay. And so more than 12 years ago.

Joe Inga: Probably. Yeah, not since the fire academy.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay, and when was the last time you swam for any intensive purpose?

Joe Inga: Maybe just go out to the beach or to a pool over the summer once or twice, but that's, I'm not really swimming. I'm just frolicking.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay. So swimming, and then what about biking? And when was the last time you were on a bike or did anything with a bike?

Joe Inga: Believe it or not, when I actually do fitness related stuff, usually it's biking. So when I have gone to the gym in the past, which was usually not very often, maybe a handful of times a month, if that, two, three times a month. If I was doing anything physical, it was always a bike. I have a good mountain bike. I've gone out mountain biking local. I've gone for bike rides around here. So usually if I am doing something, it's usually biking if anything.

Rip Esselstyn: Remember the triathlon we're training for is September 14th at the Esselstyn Family Farm.

Joe Inga: I'm excited.

Rip Esselstyn: We're going to have probably 50 other people that are going to be right alongside you, including myself, Ann Esselstyn, Essy Esselstyn, the whole Esselstyn clan and a whole bunch of other people that are going to be inspired and motivated to see you out there in the water, on the bike, and on the run.

Rip Esselstyn: All right, let's review. When I started working with Joe, he was about 30 pounds heavier and his lipid panel was not ideal. And as you're hearing, he's not very active. He has never really run or jogged as a form of exercise. He doesn't swim for exercise, and when he does go to the gym, he likes to be on the bike. Maybe you're in a similar situation or maybe you an elite level athlete looking to shave time or reach optimal fitness and health with a whole food plant-strong diet. No matter where you are on the spectrum, I want you to know there is no better way of eating on earth to be the best version of you from both a health and an athletic perspective.

Rip Esselstyn: And with that being said, I've got about four months to get Joe ready to do this first triathlon.

Joe Inga: Today I did 40 minutes, and that was a combination of walk, jog. About 2.75 miles...

Rip Esselstyn: Perfect.

Joe Inga: ... for me, which is unbelievable to do 40 minutes running. And then I did seven and a half minutes on the stair master, which was about 27 floors. So, and that's all I did today. Tomorrow I'm probably going to do the bike at the firehouse.

Rip Esselstyn: Good. Good. And then also let's not neglect the legs. And I don't want you to do a lot starting out, but I wouldn't mind if you started doing some air squats where you just, not using any weight. Let's just start by doing three sets of 15. So do 15, take a break for a minute or two, do 15, take a break, and then do another 15. And if you haven't been doing them, you won't believe how sore you are the next day. And then even worse, the next day.

Joe Inga: Okay.

Rip Esselstyn: And then it starts getting better. But you start doing those three days a week, you won't believe how strong your legs will get just from doing air squats. Then we can start adding dumbbells into your hands, okay?

Joe Inga: Okay.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah.

Joe Inga: I got a question for you.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah.

Joe Inga: It's a fitness tip. I've never been good at pull-ups. Any recommendations on how to get better? When I was in the academy, I started, I did three. We only needed to do three.

Rip Esselstyn: Wow.

Joe Inga: Then at the end, I couldn't do a fourth one. Then at the end of the academy after 18 weeks, I lost a ton of weight and I was in shape and everything, I was only able to do four.

Rip Esselstyn: Right.

Joe Inga: And that's always been my thing is I've never really been good at pull-ups, so what's your recommendation on that?

Rip Esselstyn: So I would start out by, let's just call them for now, start doing negative pull-ups.

Joe Inga: Okay.

Rip Esselstyn: Okay, where you're pushing yourself up and then you got to let yourself down from the pull-up position. You let yourself down just using your 184 pounds of body weight. Then after you do that, let's do that for a week or week and a half, and then see how many you can get. And then once you flame out, now you do 5 to 10 more negative pull-ups.

Joe Inga: Okay.

Rip Esselstyn: And I have found the key with getting good at pull-ups is just consistency. Especially now that you're losing weight, and it's just going to get easier as we get you down to your goal weight of whatever it was, 155, 160 pounds.

Joe Inga: Yeah.

Rip Esselstyn: Right? You lose another 20 pounds, that's a lot of weight.

Joe Inga: Yeah. Yeah, it's going to be huge.

Rip Esselstyn: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. And so let's have your goal, by September 14th when you're doing that triathlon, you're going to be doing sets of 15 pull-ups.

Joe Inga: Okay. I'll work at it.

Rip Esselstyn: I just gave Joe a lot of information. If you're trying to get stronger, too, traditional body weight exercises, I love them. There's nothing I like more, push ups, jump squats, lunges, air squats, core work like crunches and planks, they are the bomb. Pull-ups are fantastic, but they are hard, especially if you're just getting started. I just posted a video on my Instagram, which is at Rip Esselstyn where I show you how to do negative pull-ups and provide some tips. Check it out.

Rip Esselstyn: Tell me about, if you have it, your blood work from 2018 and then your most recent blood work from 2019.

Joe Inga: So my total cholesterol went down from 219 to 178. My triglycerides went down from 261 to 203. My HDL went from 26 to 30. My cholesterol HDL ratio went from 8.4 to 5.9. my LDL cholesterol went from 150 to 116, and my non HDL cholesterol went from 193 to 148. That was pretty much exactly in two months. It was just over two months.

Rip Esselstyn: Two months eating...

Joe Inga: Plant based.

Rip Esselstyn: Plant based. Yup. All right, so I wrote that down. So let's go over each one of those for a second, okay? So the total cholesterol, you drop from 219 to 178. You drop 41 points, and that's almost exactly 20%. So you dropped your total cholesterol 20% in two months. And my bet is that if you would have checked your total cholesterol two weeks or even three weeks, it would have been pretty close to probably where it is. But we'll continue to play with that. Your triglycerides, and your triglycerides are a function of how much fat you have in your blood. And so 261 you said is where you started last time, and now you're 203. So you dropped 58 points on your triglycerides, which is, that's about-

Joe Inga: Roughly 20%.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah, a little over 20%, again. So total cholesterol 20%, triglycerides 20%. Your HDL, that's the good cholesterol, it helps sweep out the bad cholesterol. That HDL, you went up actually four points. And typically what we see with the HDL is most people go down because as your total cholesterol comes down, all fractions come down. The fact that you went up about 5% is terrific, especially starting out at 26, which is low, especially with a total cholesterol of 219. So the fact that you're able to bring down your total cholesterol, bring up your HDL, that's great. And that's indicative too in your cholesterol to HDL ratio.

Rip Esselstyn: Just so people that don't know what that is, you just divide your HDL into your total cholesterol and that gives you that number. So 2018 you were at 8.4. then you got flagged for being high. Then just a couple weeks ago you were 5.9. so you came down 2.5 points on that cholesterol to HDL ration, which is great.

Rip Esselstyn: And then your LDL, and that's the lethal cholesterol, that's really the bad boy right there. You went from 150 to 116. So you dropped 34 points and again, that's a little over 20%, about 21, 22%. So listen, couldn't be more happy with where you are. And the thing that I want people to know is that these are just typical results. It's not like you are, the results that you're getting are extraordinary, right?

Joe Inga: Right.

Rip Esselstyn: This is completely in alignment with what we see all the time everyday. And it's indicative of you being compliant and you eating the prescribed foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. What about your gastrointestinal distress or constipation? Did you ever have any of that, and-

Joe Inga: Yeah, I used to have that pretty bad. I used to take psyllium husk a lot. I don't know. Just the way the food just made me feel is just all groggy, but I was constipated and I would have the occasional stomach problems, taking the Tums and stuff. I haven't had that issue since I've been on this. I feel relief when I actually go now. But the only drawback is, and this is more of a drawback when I'm at work, is when I got to go, I got to go. I know it sounds scary because people who listen to this will probably be like, "Oh my God, it's diarrhea." It's not. It's great. It's just the fiber that you're taking, when it comes it comes.

Rip Esselstyn: You start eating this way and you consume 50 grams of fiber a day and you become as regular as a Swiss commuter train.

Rip Esselstyn: Joe's numbers are improving in every way and we're super excited about that. And it's what you can expect too if you've been eating this way. But the changes, they're not just for you. They're for everyone around you as well. Let's meet Joe's wife, Jennifer.

Jennifer Inga: Prior to reaching out to you, very tired, very grumpy. He would come home from work and he was just tired, just doing his own thing and I would just do my own thing and be like ah, he's grouchy. I don't want to do anything with you. Noticed a big mood change, energetic, more playful with the boys, our kids, our two sons. This morning he dropped the kids off at school and I was like, "Hey, you want to go to the gym today?" Because I ask him a lot, all the time. And he's always like, "No, I'm tired." He's like, "I was actually going to ask you if you wanted to go to the gym." I'm like, "Okay." I wasn't expecting him to say yes. That's really cool.

Rip Esselstyn: Very, very cool. What are your thoughts of Joe doing a triathlon September 14th?

Jennifer Inga: I love it. I'm loving it. I've been trying to get him to do, like I said, I do the Spartans, like the half marathons and stuff. I'm always trying to get him... even the smaller ones. I'm like, "Hey, you want to do this race with me?" He's like, "No, no." So I'm really excited that he's going to be getting into that. It's really cool.

Rip Esselstyn: Yeah. Well Jenn, it was a pleasure to meet you.

Jennifer Inga: Yeah, you too. Thank you.

Rip Esselstyn: Thank you. Thank you.

Joe Inga: Do you want to tell him what we were talking about in the car? Because he was asking me about that.

Rip Esselstyn: What's that?

Joe Inga: The episode five podcast. I was playing it for her in the car.

Rip Esselstyn: Oh, episode five, yeah, yeah. So that was with Aaron Spitz and was all about really the plant powered penis, yes.

Jennifer Inga: Well, A+, thumbs up for the plant powered penis.

Rip Esselstyn: Well, and as he likes to say, as Aaron likes to say, this is exciting. This way of eating is exciting for anybody that has a penis and anybody that likes somebody that has a penis, so yes.

Joe Inga: So, bravo. Thank you again.

Rip Esselstyn: I want to thank my co-creator of the podcast, Scott Battishill and 10-Percent Media. Laurie Kortowich, producer extraordinaire, and the engine two director of events, Bumble Media for podcast production, and Brandon Curtis for everything in between. Thanks to Whole Food Market for giving me a platform for the last decade and for believing in me. Special thanks to Joe Inga for your courage to take control and change your life, and for allowing us to share your story along the way. And lastly, I want to thank my father and mother, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. and Ann Crile Esselstyn, and all the plant-strong pioneers who have been pushing this boulder uphill for more than three decades. As they say, we are standing on the shoulders of giants. And remember, if you're digging the show, please rate us on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcast. And with that, let me say peace, engine two, keep it plant-strong.

Ami Mackey