I remember when I first went vegetarian as a teenager in the 90s. There were no recipe or nutrition blogs. If I wanted information, or a sense of community, my main outlet was Vegetarian Times magazine. I poured over the pages, even buying my first ever cookbook, The Vegetarian Times cookbook, that I could not have fed myself properly without. 

So I cannot imagine what it must have been like for Ann Esselstyn when her husband, Dr Caldwell B Esselstyn Jr made the discovery that a whole food plant-based diet just might help reverse cardiovascular disease. The whole family, including their daughter Jane, went fully plant-based pretty much overnight and had to completely relearn how to cook and eat.

But we’re lucky they did…because the Esselstyn clan has become a huge force for positive change in so many people’s lives in their enthusiastic support for a health-focused plant-based diet. And what makes it possible? The thousands of recipes that Ann, and later Jane, have developed to take the guess work out of feeding yourself plants. 

So I jumped at the opportunity to chat with Ann and Jane Esselstyn ahead of the release of their latest book, Be a Plant-based Woman Warrior: Live Fierce, Stay Bold, Eat Delicious.

About Ann + Jane Esselstyn:

Ann Crile Esselstyn has been called “the Julia Child of plant-based-cooking.” She was an award-winning English teacher for twenty-seven years, all while juggling raising four children, coaching, and figuring out how to cook delicious and appealing plant-based, oil-free food (pre-internet!). Ann’s singular focus is on creating recipes to prevent and reverse heart disease, and she collaborates with her husband, Dr. Caldwell B Esselstyn Jr., in counseling patients. Ann and her daughter, Jane, also feature heart-healthy recipes on their YouTube channel. Ann graduated from Smith College and received a master’s in education from Wheelock College. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio, next door to Jane. 

Jane Esselstyn, R.N., is a fresh, charismatic voice in the plant-based movement. She brings her passion, energy, and can-do attitude to her presentations, cooking demonstrations, and cookbooks. As well as being a nurse, researcher, middle school sex ed teacher, and mother of three, Jane hosts a popular YouTube channel with her spitfire mother, Ann Crile Esselstyn. Jane created the recipes for the #1 New York Times bestseller Plant-Strong and The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet. She is the coauthor of The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet with her brother, Rip Esselstyn and of The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook with Ann, who is her next-door neighbor in Cleveland, Ohio.

On this episode we chat about:

  • What it was like for Ann to start learning to cook plant-based meals for her family pre-internet when no one around them was eating this way
  • The classic meal that remains a stable in the Esselstyn household to this day and is even served at weddings!
  • How a plant-based diet changed Jane’s relationship with her body
  • The surprising source of so many superstar recipes in their books
  • Why their approach to using diet to reverse disease looks different than nutrition for a healthy person
  • The plant foods Ann + Jane try to eat daily
  • How a plant-based diet powerfully supports women
  • Their tips for boosting flavour and satisfaction in your meals
  • How they stay energized as they age
  • We get schooled on the CUVA…you’ll have to listen!
  • Why soy isn’t an issue for hormones…but meat and dairy may be
  • The hilarious thing that surprises Ann about getting older (you’ll die!)

Support the Pod!

We couldn’t make this podcast happen without the support of our amazing listeners and of course, our sponsors.

We are thrilled to welcome back my friends at Botanica Health as episode sponsors because their Perfect Greens is maybe the most potent and best tasting greens you’ll ever try! Try my fave Berry flavour (I use it as a mid-afternoon pick me up) or explore the entire line at www.botanicahealth.com

I love hearing your feedback on these episodes to be sure to join the conversation on our instagram @theallsortspod @jane_esselstyn_rn as well as in our Nutrition with Desiree community.

If you love this episode, please share it with your friends and family, or take a minute to rate, review or subscribe on your favourite podcast app. We appreciate EVERY. SINGLE. LISTEN!

Connect with Jane and Ann Esselstyn:

Website: JaneEsselstyn.com

Instagram: @Jane_Esselstyn_RN

YouTube: Jane Esselstyn

Episode Links + Recommendations:

Buy Be A Plant-based Woman Warrior

Be a Plant Based Woman Warrior! One-day retreat

My Sleep Cocktail

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of The Allsorts Podcast, which is produced by myself and edited by Brian McCalman. We are grateful to live and work and learn on the unceded and ancestral territory of the Squamish, Musqueum, Sto-Lo and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Find out which traditional territory you live on by visiting https://www.whose.land/en/