Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Luis Tsai Hsu
So, I’m wearing my shirt inside out,
and a lot of you pointed that out to me.
I do this from time to time.
And when somebody says it,
I say, “I know… I’m wearing
my shirt inside out.”
I’m doing it on purpose.
And I’m doing it to help people
turn their health around.
And they say, “Well, how do you do that?”
And here’s the story.
So, I became a firefighter
to help people, to save lives,
and to slay dragons.
we are not slaying real dragons,
but that’s our term for slaying fires.
And a fire is really a living,
It’s hellbent on creating
all the destruction and devastation
that it can.
So, as firefighters,
we have to use all of our wit,
and we have to outwit,
outsmart it and outlast it,
and whether it’s an offensive fire
or a defensive fire,
there’re certain tactics.
but the essence
of basically killing a fire is,
“You gotta put the wet stuff,
on the red stuff”
It doesn’t matter if it is a house fire,
an apartment fire or high-rise fire,
or it’s a wild land fire
We gotta put the wet stuff,
on the red stuff
Now, I retired from firefighting
a little over 3 years ago
So, I’m no longer fighting fires,
but I’m now still helping people,
I’m saving lives, and I’m slaying
a different type of dragon.
The dragon that I’m slaying today,
is what I call
And this, over the last 100 years,
has gained more strength
and power and momentum
and it is flying around, and it’s creating
more death and destruction
on different individuals, families,
cities and states in this country,
It’s just absolutely amazing.
And, let me introduce you
to this 5-headed dragon
So, right here we have the leader
of the pack, we have heart disease
100 years ago, heart disease
wasn’t even on the map
as 1 of the top 10 killers of Americans
Today, it’s first and foremost.
1 out of 2 of us will die
from heart disease
here we have breast cancer
and prostate cancer.
Cancer will overtake heart disease
as the number one killer of Americans
if the trends continue.
In the back row, we have diabetes,
and we have obesity
Close to 50% of Americans by 2030
will be either pre-diabetic or diabetic.
And over 70% of America
is now overweight or obese.
This dragon is playing [unclear] , ok?
It’s playing hardball.
And the current paradigm that
we are using to try and slay this dragon,
is having absolutely no effect whatsoever.
There is a saying, “You can’t break
a glass bottle from the inside.”
And what we are currently doing,
with pills and procedures
and more legislation and more doctors,
we’re not gonna break that glass bottle,
we have to think outside the box.
And the answer is “Plant-Based Nutrition”
Something so simple, yet so profound,
and so inexpensive, that we can
absolutely lay waste to this dragon
that now comprises 75% of this country’s
healthcare cost, right?
5 diseases, 75% of our healthcare cost
and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt,
every one of these diseases
is either preventable,
or reversible with Plant-Based Nutrition.
Now, let me tell you why I have
so many ripples of hope
about what we can do
as a country going forward.
We did something really remarkable
at a little fire house in Austin Texas.
We had an event that led
to the discovery that one of our own
was basically a dead man walking
And so I challenged these guys,
for 28 days, let’s eat All Plant Strong.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
and beans, some nuts and seeds.
And these guys, in 28 days,
morphed themselves from medical
time bombs, into healthy superheroes.
It was absolutely amazing
and it was the spark that we needed
and the confidence that these guys needed
to start a wellness revolution
at a firehouse in Austin Texas,
the land of beef.
And so we just fed on this.
And the reason we were
so successful is because
We made health a habit
at the fire station.
And some of the things
that made it easy is:
The guys at the fire station,
they’re my second family,
so we had tons of support.
We had an amazing amount
of love between us,
compassion, respect and admiration.
So we had the support that you need.
We developed routines.
Every day, we would come in,
and we’d have a plant-strong lunch
that we share together.
Then we’d have a crossfit
workout in the afternoon
then we’d have a dinner,
a plant-strong dinner
We would alternate who would buy
and shop for the food
and then together we would cook it
and eat it and then clean up afterwards.
And then the next morning,
we’d have a plant-strong breakfast,
and then before we left
at noon the next day,
we’d have a plant-strong lunch.
So these are routines that became
consistent for months and years.
And then, I had to educate these guys.
These guys had the same questions
that everybody has,
“Well, where am I going to get
my protein from plants?
What about calcium?”
And I said, “Listen, as far as protein’s
concerned, It’s a boogie man
Don’t worry about it.
The scientific term, the medical term
for protein deficiency is “kwashiorkor”
You don’t know it,
and you don’t even have to mess with it.
And then for calcium.
Calcium comes from the ground.
It’s a mineral.
If you want to get a first-class,
highly absorbable form,
you want to get it from plants,
not from “Cowcium”.
It’s not “cowcium”. Its calcium.
And then these guys,
They had a huge disconnect between
what they thought was healthy
and what in reality was healthy.
So let’s slay some of those dragons
So first, they thought red-meat
put hair on their chest
and made them more manly.
And I said, “Guys. No, it doesn’t.
What it does is it puts plaque
in your arteries
and it makes you less of a man.”
The canary in a coal mine
when it comes to heart disease,
the first sign
is an under-performing penis.
And I said you take a look
at the size of the arteries,
they go up to the brain,
to the heart, down in the legs.
They’re all about 5 milimeters
in diameter, about the size the straw here
You take a look at the size of the artery
that goes to the male penis.
It’s one millimeter. It’s about the size
of this coffee stirring straw right here.
And what happens after
you eat all that meat, right?
It gets clogged up with all the fat,
the cholesterol and the animal protein.
And that’s problematic.
So if you want to slay
that erectile dysfunction dragon
and allow your
Puff-the-Magic Dragon to roar,
then you want to ditch the meat,
and reach for the plants
These guys were absolutely convinced
that chicken was like the cat’s meow
when it came to health food
I said, “Listen guys. Never mind that cat.
This doesn’t even belong
in your dog’s breakfast bowl”
It’s got the exact same amount
of cholesterol as red meat
It’s got the same amount
of problematic animal protein
and the leanest piece a chicken
is still 20 percent saturated fat
You’re not gonna be slaying
any dragons with this guy here.
“Okay, Rip. Fine. But fish,
fish is the gold standard
when it comes to a healthy meat, right?”
And I said, No.
It’s the 10th standard, okay?
Most fish has more cholesterol
than red meat or chicken;
salmon, which is considered
the healthiest, is 50 mg of cholesterol,
You still have
the problematic animal protein
and varying amounts of the bad fats.
Don’t go there guys.
“Okay. Fine, Rip. But the egg!
The egg is the perfect food, right?
We know it’s the perfect food.”
Yes, the perfect food, if you want
to continue to feed the dragon.
If you want to slay the dragon,
you have to get rid of the egg.
One egg yolk, almost 200mg
of dietary cholesterol.
It’s the same amount
as 2 Burger King whoppers.
And the egg white is a concentrated source
of animal protein.
Now these guys knew the processed
and refined foods were not healthy.
They knew about the sugar, and the pop,
and the fried chips and the candy bars.
But they had no idea
that extracted plant oils
and weren’t beneficial.
So I said, “Listen, this epitomizes
the triumph of marketing over science.”
Let’s pick on olive oil for a second.
It takes 1,375 olives
that you have to squeeze to death
to get enough olive oil
for one 32-ounce bottle.
And you get rid of all the fiber,
and the phytonutrients
and the anti-oxidants in the water.
And you’re left with
a hundred percent fat,
the most concentrated
source of calories on the planet
and it’s 15 percent saturated fat.
and all it’s doing, is contributing
to America’s heart disease
and obesity epidemic.
“Okay. But MILK! Milk does
the body good, right?”
And I said, “Guys. Milk
does nobody any good.
You’ve been marketed to death.
Don’t buy the hype.”
As a matter fact,
this milk is just liquid meat
Is what it is. It’s got a very similar
and as a matter of fact,
one eight-ounce glass of whole milk
has the same amount of saturated fat
as four slices of bacon
“Okay. Fine! But cheese!!
Don’t take away our cheese,
whatever you do,
because we love our cheese!”
and I said, “I know you love your cheese,
and that’s exactly why
I need to take it from you”
Because when I think
of a loving relationship
I think is something that also
loves you right back,
and that cheese does not love you back.
Not one iota.
And so I hereby declare that you are
all in an abusive relationship
and you need to kick it out of your life.
“Okay, fine! But don’t take away
our yogurt! (Laughter)
I mean, this is
the Mediterranean super food
People can live to be
100 on this stuff, right?”
And I said, “Again guys,
it’s the magic of marketing, alright?
For example, this newfangled Greek yogurt
that’s zero fat and twice
the amount of protein,
It’s twice the amount
of problematic animal protein
that’s promoting tumors and cancers,
that’s leaching calcium from your bones,
that’s harsh on the kidneys and the liver,
You don’t need to go there, you can get
everything you need from plants
And to put the nail into the coffin
I said, “Guys, we’re the only mammals
that drink another mammal secretions,
You don’t need to go there, not one bit
There’s 51,000 mammals on the planet.
We’re the only ones that have
the unmitigated audacity to go there,
Alright? Don’t need to do it.
So, the other thing we did
at the fire station after I educated them,
we surrounded ourselves
with these fantastic
“Mantastic” foods. (Laughter)
So it filled them up,
without filling them out.
It tasted great
and it made them feel fantastic.
So we did these great breakfast bowls
with plant-based milks
as big as manhole covers. (Laughter)
Quinoa and fruit, the magic grain,
almost 20 percent protein.
with nice Apple Sauce on top
and then, for lunches and dinners
We would do
all time, all-american favorites
We do Plant-Strong Pizzas,
Portobello Mushroom Fajitas
with all the fixings.
It’s kinda glazed with barbecue sauce
on the bottom and the top.
Macaroni and NOT Cheese. (Laughter)
Red Lentil Sloppy Joe’s.
They were a lunchtime favorite.
Bean and Grain Burgers,
Red Curry Tofu Stir-fry,
Kale Ceviche Salad.
Kale, It’s angry lettuce. (Laughter)
It needs to be tamed.
So we would take
a little bit of lemon juice
avocado, some spices
and drive it in there.
Sweet Potato Lasagna,
an all-time dinner favorite.
Makes fantastic leftovers.
Black Beans and Rice Extravaganza.
This is the ultimate peasant food,
We could feed 5 hungry firefighters
for less than 15 dollars.
Oatmeal Cookies for dessert,
Date Nut Crust Fruit Pies,
and then a variety of fruits.
But what happened
is over the course of 28 days
and then beyond, these guys
developed a much more sophisticated
and mature palate that appreciated
all the little nuances and subtleties
that are in these plant-based foods.
and when you’re eating
the standard american diet,
all you’re really tasting
is the salt, the sugar and the fat
that it’s all laced with.
So I challenge you all.
If you really want to develop
a sophisticated palate,
And also what happened
with these guys over the 28 days
They started pooping
Perfectly, Regularly (Laughter)
Most Americans are consuming
5 to 15 grams of fiber a day.
You start eating plant-based, and suddenly
it goes up to 30 to 70 grams of fiber,
and now you’re regular
as a Swiss commuter train, ok?
and you’re light and unencumbered
and the quality your life
goes through the roof.
So you gotta kick the habit!
And I’m not talking about
smoking cigarettes right now,
but i wanna talk about cigarettes
for a second
50 years ago, close to 50% of America
was smoking cigarettes
Now, it’s less than 20 percent.
and what happened
is America basically got educated,
and understood that smoking cigarettes
was not good for your health.
We need to do the same thing
around the standard American diet.
And this is more insidious
and more destructive
than smoking cigarettes.
94 percent of our calories
are calories that don’t count
instead of constructive
only a mere 6 percent
are coming from fruits, vegetables,
whole grains and beans, that are
really constructive, healthy calories.
So we need a complete paradigm shift
that goes on in this country.
And so this is what I want you to do.
I want you to make health a habit.
take the 28 day challenge. Okay?
And change your health destiny,
change your relationship with food.
You will forever have
a different relationship
This culture, this society
does not support healthy living
or healthy eating right now.
So you need to find support
at family at work, online.
There’re all kinds of communities
where you can get support
that make this sustainable
Whether it’s breakfast, every morning,
the same thing. Monday through friday
Whether it’s finding a couple restaurants
that you can go to
but Find Routines!
Read the litany of fantastic books
that are out there on this subject,
Because once you have the knowledge,
it’s a different ballgame.
And then surround yourself
with healthy foods
We do not want this to be
about willpower, okay?
So have a nice,
sterile environment at home.
And then make food you enjoy.
You saw all the fantastic pictures
that we’re eating at the firehouse
This is not about deprivation,
this is about empowerment.
If you’re a true foodie, you want to go
towards eating plant-based.
99 percent of the food on the planet
comes from plants,
a mere 1 percent comes from animals
and animal byproducts
So, I have so many ripples
of hope going forward
that this country can turn it around.
I know that if a little fire house
in Austin Texas can do it,
any house in America can do this,
And I know that the trends are changing.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes
over the last six years.
I’ve seen “Forks Over Knives”
become the number 1 viewed
and selling documentary in America
for the last two years.
I’ve seen the fast-food president
I’ve seen media moguls
like Oprah and Ellen
that are now pushing plants.
I’ve seen CEO’s like John Mackey
and Biz Stone of Twitter,
and Bill Ford, of the Ford Motor Corp.,
that are going plant-based.
I’ve seen professional athletes
like Serena and Venus Williams
and the #1 running back in the NFL,
Arian Foster, are now plant-based.
The time is here! The time is now!
Go Plant Strong!
Slay the five headed dragon in your life.
And it all starts with
what’s at the end of your fork,
your spoon and your knife.
All credits go to TEDx Talks