Rip’s Big Bowl

By Rip Esselstyn

This has been my mainstay breakfast for more than 20 years. I never get sick of it, and no two bowls are ever quite the same, depending on which fruits are in season and the milk substitute I have on hand.

This was also a favorite recipe for most of the Engine 2 Pilot Study participants. As a seven-year-old daughter of one of the Engine 2 participants said, “I look forward to waking up in the morning just so I can have my Rip’s Bowl.” 

Let your appetite be your guide as to the size of your bowl.


 1/4 cup raw old-fashioned oats
 1/4 cup Grape Nuts or Ezekiel brand equivalent
 1/4 cup bite-size shredded wheat                                   
 1/4 cup Uncle Sam cereal
 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal
 2 tablespoons raisins
 2 tablespoons walnuts
 1 banana, sliced
 1 kiwi, sliced
 Segments of one grapefruit and juice
 ¾ cup milk substitute of choice

1. Toss all ingredients except the grapefruit and milk substitute into a bowl.
2. After cutting grapefruit in half, use a small, sharp knife to remove the segments. Add segments to the top of the bowl and squeeze in the juice.
3. Top the bowl with milk substitute.

1. In a pinch, simply add water (the fruits blend with the water and give it a sweet taste).
2. Add any fresh or frozen fruit, such as peaches, cherries, blueberries, or red grapes.

Rip’s Tip:
If you want to lower your cholesterol levels even more, use a half cup of oats, and omit one of the quarter cups of other cereals.


Rip Esselstyn is a mission-driven man. As a swimmer at the University of Texas at Austin, he was a three time All-American. As a professional athlete, he was one of the premier triathletes in the world for more than a decade. As a firefighter for the Austin (TX) Fire Department, he helped people and saved lives. As a friend to other firefighters, he transformed the way Austin’s Engine 2 ate to save firefighters’ health. Now, as the author of The Engine 2 Diet, he is teaching people the irrefutable connection between what they put in their mouths and their ability to reach their ideal weight and their ideal health. Recently, he has teamed up with Whole Foods Market as a Healthy Eating Partner to raise awareness for Whole Foods Market team members, customers, and all of America about the benefits of eating a PlantStrongÔ diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Rip comes from a family steeped in medicine. His great-grandfather, George Crile, co-founded the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where his father, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., was chief of the breast cancer task force and completed one of the most extensive studies ever conducted on the relationship between the heart and diet–proving that a plant-based diet can stop, prevent, and even reverse heart disease.  

Rip serves on the Board of Directors for The Wellness Foundation, EarthSave’s Meals For Health Program, and the AllergyKids Foundation.

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