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Bryan’s Journey to Plant-Based Living: A Real Man's Transformation Story

Updated: Mar 21

Meet Bryan Dennstedt, the founder of Real Men Eat Plants and the voice behind the Plant Based on Fire podcast and the Plant vs. Meat podcast. Bryan is a testament to the power of personal transformation through plant-based eating. Once a typical corporate America traveler with a soft spot for movies and buffalo chicken sandwiches, his journey to health and wellness is nothing short of inspirational.



Bryan's story began more than a decade ago, in the throes of a lifestyle that many of us can relate to --eating out frequently, slowly gaining weight, and not realizing the impact until it was impossible to ignore. It was the documentary “Forks Over Knives" that opened Bryan's eyes to the profound effects of the Western diet on our health, environment, and animal welfare. The message was clear: real change begins with what we put on our plates.


Inspired and motivated, Bryan walked out of the theater and embarked on a vegan journey, cold turkey. The initial 30 days were challenging but revealing, leading to significant health improvements, including weight loss and lowered cholesterol levels. This experience fueled his curiosity and commitment to a plant-based lifestyle, proving that food is indeed medicine.


Over time, Bryan lost 50 pounds and saw a dramatic decrease in his cholesterol. But it wasn't just about the numbers; his entire palate changed. Mushrooms and hot sauces became new favorites, showcasing the diversity and richness of plant-based foods. More importantly, Bryan found himself with more energy, a zest for life, and a mission to share his story and encourage others to try a plant-based diet.


Bryan's journey is a powerful reminder of the impact of dietary choices on our health, environment, and the well-being of animals. Through Real Men Eat Plants, Bryan invites men to challenge stereotypes, explore plant-based eating, and join a community that's redefining strength and health. His message is simple yet profound: give plant-based living a try and discover the transformative power of food.


Whether it's through our 30-day challenge (come on, join us! It will be worth it, we promise) or small, incremental changes, Bryan's story is an invitation to explore the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet. With Real Men Eat Plants, you're not just changing your diet; you're joining a community committed to a healthier, more sustainable, and compassionate world. Join us, share your story, and become a real man who eats plants!


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>Podcast Episode’s Transcript


Please understand that a transcription service provided the transcript below. It undoubtedly contains errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions.


Bryan (00:00.238)

Hi, my name's Bryan Dennstedt. I am a real man who eats plants. And I'm the founder of Real Men Eat Plants and host of the Plant Based on Fire podcast, a fractional executive in the CTO space, an entrepreneur, and many other things. Come along with me and hear my plant -based story. 


Where do we start? I guess my story starts probably 12 or 13 years ago. I was traveling in corporate America, living on an expense account, eating out all the time.


And so I guess throughout those years, I just slowly gained weight and I don't know, you get to be in your 30s and you just sort of pack it on as your metabolism changes. I just loved going to the movies. I guess I don't think of myself as overweight at the time, but I definitely was getting bigger and bigger. I didn't realize it until I look back now at those pictures, but I… loved the movies, went to the movies all the time, especially for opening nights, and there was opening night for Forks Over Knives 


(“With the Western diet, there are going to be half a million people in this country this year who will have to have the front half of their body divided. Their heart exposed. Some people would call that extreme. I know of nothing else in medicine that can come close to what a plant -based diet could do. If you go through life thinking that what happens to you from a health perspective is based on your genes, you're a helpless victim. I've reversed the diabetes. The diabetes is not coming back. I just can't understand what it's done to change my life. Diet is so much more important than anybody ever thought. To me, the answer is so simple, it's criminal. And it's just people starting to take responsibility for their health and starting to eat more plant -based foods. It's that simple.”)


So I went to Forks Over Knives and it was just so eye -opening. The movie hits you with the health impacts, it hits you with the environmental impacts, it hits you with the story and evolution of people as they move from farming society into an urban area. The China Study was mentioned throughout the movie and then just not to mention the animals as well. So it just hit me on three big, huge fronts and then… Rip Esselstyn sort of sealed the deal for me when he's climbing up the fireman's pole one at a time saying, Real Men Eat Plants. Real Men Eat Plants. Real Men Eat Plants. So I walked out of the movie theater. I went vegan cold turkey for 30 days.


That was a huge struggle for not knowing anything other than buffalo chicken sandwiches. I saw the changes. I think I lost eight or nine pounds that first month. I give blood on a regular basis and I saw my cholesterol before and I saw my cholesterol after and it had significantly dropped. And so at that point, I was just so curious to see where I could plateau. I went vegetarian, I took a little bit easier because that ice cream and cheese is so addictive and continued to still lose weight and slowly came back around to the vegan whole food plant based lifestyle. So cut out the cholesterol people, cut out the salt, cut out all of those things where you can, the processed foods and give it an honest try, either 10 days, 30 days, we have a 30 day challenge, whatever you need to do to experiment and figure out the right diet for you. And it was just so impactful. I probably lost 50 pounds and I probably lost 27, 28 cholesterol points. So it was a big shift, a big change for me. And now I would never go back. I don't miss the meat at all. I don't miss the cheese and you just find different flavor palates. I've totally fallen in love with mushrooms. I've totally fallen in love with hot sauce in many, many ways. And so your taste buds just change and you grow used to your new diet. And it is 10 times more healthy for me. I have more energy. I'm excited to wake up in the morning and embrace life and go out there and chase the world. 


And I encourage you to give it a try for 30 days and try out a whole food plant -based diet. 


We've got some great resources with Real Men Eat Plants and we're looking for more men to come in and tell their plant-based stories and showcase that we can be the change we want to see in the world. And it starts with voting with our wallets and figuring out what we put in our mouths. Those two things can change the world on every level. Thanks, again, I'm BrYan with Real Men Eat Plants and I am a real man who eats plants!


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