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PYP 075: Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn on Healthy Cooking Made Really Easy

anne-and-jane-esselstynMother and daughter Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn are co-authors of the brand spanking new Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. The recipes are inspired by two things: the nutritional profile of heart-protective foods validated by their husband and father Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, and a knack for making healthy food prep as easy and familiar as the Standard Western Diet.

When Dr. Esselstyn began his study of severely ill heart patients, he knew he'd have to start eating the same diet he was mandating for them. And since, in the words of Ann, “he didn't know how to make toast,” he needed help. Enter Ann.


Ann's support for these patients was documented in the powerful and stunningly important film Forks Over Knives.

Jane, their daughter, proved her cooking chops by providing the recipes for her brother Rip's book, My Beef with Meat.

Mother and daughter travel the world sharing their insights, techniques, and comedic timing with audiences hungry for healthy food that's not weird or scary or intimidating.

In this rollicking conversation, we cover:

  •  how the Esselstyn family transitioned to a plant-strong diet
  • the advantages of not being a gourmet chef when it comes to educating the public
  • how to cook without oil
  • how strict to be with kids – in the home and out
  • why they don't worry about Halloween candy
  • how to achieve mouth-popping flavors without salt – some key ingredients that can fix almost any dish
  • the connections between teaching adults about healthy food and teaching middler schooler's about human sexuality (in the interview I said “teaching about sex” and was instantly corrected 😉
  • why it's more than OK to eat the same breakfast every day for years
  • about a dozen delicious recipes from the cookbook
  • and much more…

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook – by Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease – by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

My Beef with Meat – by Rip Esselstyn

Forks Over Knives – the film

Cowspiracy – the film

Engine 2 Retreats

Ann and Jane remind me of the I Love Lucy show at a cooking demo:

YouTube player



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You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

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Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.

It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂

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The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


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2 comments on “PYP 075: Ann Crile Esselstyn and Jane Esselstyn on Healthy Cooking Made Really Easy

  1. Rachel Ward says:

    Hi Howard!
    I thought it was about time I took a second to let you know that I am working my way back through all of your podcasts and I love them. You are a wonderful resource and I have already been recommending you to everyone I know. Found you through your interview with Rich Roll. Glad to have!
    Thanks <3
    Rachel Ward

    1. Howard says:

      Thanks, Rachel! I’m very grateful to Rich for mentoring and inspiring my own podcast journey. And glad to be of service to you!

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