City of Pittsburgh Turns to Plants to Help First Responders

rip firefighter

Rip Esselstyn

The City of Pittsburgh, American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM), insurance leader Highmark, and plant-based nutrition company Engine 2 are partnering to launch a month-long cardiovascular health challenge for City of Pittsburgh employees called Heart of a Hero Campaign, the first initiative of its kind in the country.

Working in collaboration with the City of Pittsburgh’s CityFit Wellness & Benefits Team and Humane Action Pittsburgh, this event kicks off September 4 with an informational talk and cooking demonstration by Rip Esselstyn, a former Austin, Texas firefighter turned health ambassador and best-selling author. City employees and their families will then be invited to take the Seven-Day Rescue Challenge and eat a heart-healthy plant-based diet for one solid week, with a full menu of resources, recipes and online coaching.

Participants will receive before-and-after biometric screenings to measure weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting blood sugar. The challenge aims to demonstrate measurable improvement in as little as one week, with typical results including weight loss and cholesterol level and blood pressure improvements.

As part of the challenge, participants can attend the world premiere screening of “The Game Changers”. Executive-produced by James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jackie Chan, the film documents the explosive rise of plant-based eating in professional sports, mixing real-time, groundbreaking science with cinematic stories of struggle and triumph. The film features some of the strongest, fastest and toughest athletes on the planet, with additional EPs including Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, top-ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic, and nine-time NBA All-Star Chris Paul.

After the seven-day challenge, participants will be coached by the Engine 2 team for 10 weeks to help each person adapt the lifestyle to his or her needs, monitor results and track improvement.  Three-month screenings also will be conducted to study the long-term effects of the campaign.

For more information about the Challenge visit www.HeartofaHeroPgh.com. City of Pittsburgh employees can register to participate by calling 412-255-2183. For more information about and tickets to “The Game Changers,” visit www.gamechangersmovie.com.

For more information about ACLM, visit www.LifestyleMedicine.org

For more about Engine 2, visit engine2.com.

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