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Real Men Thrive: Plant-Powered Wellness Beyond Food | Inspiring Transformations

Updated: Feb 6

In a world where health and wellness often take center stage, the Real Men Eat Plants Podcast brings together a powerhouse of individuals who have not only embraced a plant-based lifestyle but have redefined what it means to thrive. Hosted by Bryan, the founder of Real Men Eat Plants, this episode delves into the incredible journeys of Tom Kramer, Editor and Producer of Nutmeg Notebook, Geoff Palmer, Founder and CEO of Clean Machine, Paul Chatlin of Plant Based Nutrition Support Group, and Glen Merzer, Author and host of The Glen Merzer Show.

Transformative Tales of Plant-Powered Living

Geoff Palmer, a natural bodybuilding champion, shares how adopting a plant-based diet became his lifeline after battling severe depression. A pioneer in creating the first vegan bodybuilding championship, he emphasizes the profound connection between a plant-based diet and mental health. "I've not had a single day of depression in 39 years, and I credit the plant-based diet for it," Geoff affirms, underscoring the intricate link between food choices and mental well-being.

Paul Chatlin's story takes us on a journey from the brink of bypass surgery to a vibrant life. Whole food, plant-based living became his medicine, resulting in significant weight loss and unparalleled physical endurance. "I go six days a week for an hour and a half to two hours...never feel that body soreness that most people my age do feel," Paul shares, highlighting the remarkable impact on his physical fitness.

Ageless Wisdom: Glen Merzer and Tom Kramer

Glen Merzer, with decades of plant-based living, debunks the myth that age is a barrier to vitality. Having embraced vegetarianism at 17, Glen's journey involves overcoming chest pains by eliminating cheese from his diet. Now at 67, he stands as a testament to the longevity and health benefits of plant-based choices.

Tom Kramer adds a dynamic perspective, sharing his experiences of adopting a plant-based lifestyle at the age of 60. His commitment to balance exercises and DIY activities at almost 70 challenges stereotypes associated with aging, proving that feeling younger inside is achievable through plant-powered living.

Real Men Thrive: Inspiring Beyond Boundaries

This podcast episode is a testament to the transformative power of a plant-based lifestyle, demonstrating that it goes beyond the plate to impact physical and mental well-being. Whether you're a plant-based enthusiast or just starting your journey, these stories will inspire you to explore the possibilities of thriving on a plant-powered path. Real Men Eat Plants invites you to join the conversation, explore the science-backed reasons behind these transformations, and embark on your own journey toward a healthier, more vibrant life.

Discover the keys to unlocking your true potential with Real Men Thrive - Plant-Powered Wellness Beyond Food! Watch the episode here.

Listen to our other podcasts:

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Podcast Transcript:

DISCLAIMER: Please understand that the transcript below was provided by a transcription service. It is undoubtedly full of the errors that invariably take place in voice transcriptions. To understand the interview more completely and accurately, please watch it here: Real Men Thrive: Plant-Powered Wellness Beyond Food | Inspiring Transformations

Bryan (00:01.317)

Hello everybody and welcome to real men eat plants, the podcast where we are trying to help you rev up your man machine. And I'm excited to have such a cool collection of guys with me here hanging out. And we're going to talk about some amazing things today. Who knows where the conversation will go, but a couple of housekeeping things. Shane Martin has moved on from real money plants a little bit, but we're wishing him the best of luck with the Shane and simple thing. And I hope we'll be

having him back on as a guest on a few of these shows. So we are looking for some other people to help us host and drive forward the real many plants podcast. If you know somebody out there, reach out to us, get in touch. This is a great community. We're trying to build here with not only Paul Glen, Geoff and Tom here today, but just whoever else is out there that wants to help support more men coming to a plant based a world with us here. So

I'd love to just take a few seconds and let each of the guys here introduce themselves and say hi, and we'll dive into our topic today, which is how the plant-based lifestyle is affected beyond just food. So we'll unpack that a little bit more. So Glen, you wanna kick us off?

Glen Merzer (01:14.3)

Sure, I'm Glen Merzer. My first career was as a playwright and screenwriter. Now I write books advocating the whole food vegan diet. And oh, Brian has one of them right there on your health. Another one, America Goes Vegan. Who's got more? There's America Goes Vegan. Paul, what do you got? Paul, Tom, anything? Do these guys have to be on the show?

Bryan (01:35.121)


Geoff Palmer (01:37.072)

Thank you.

paul chatlin (01:37.514)

I got you. I've got you. I've got you.

Bryan (01:42.933)

I know, I know, next time it'll just be me and you, Glen.

Geoff Palmer (01:42.96)

I'm out.

Glen Merzer (01:45.976)

Yeah, okay. So I write books advocating the whole food, low fat vegan diet, and I'm trying to turn the world vegan. And my friend Silas Rao gives me two more years and a few months.

Bryan (02:00.769)

Nice. Hope you can get it done, Glen. We are supporting you and on your side. So, Geoff, I see you in the next box over.

Geoff Palmer (02:09.891)

Yeah, my name is Geoff Palmer. I have been vegan for 39 years and I'm currently writing a book.

on all the nutritional aspects, because there's so much nutritional information, it's just not getting out to people, on why humans are actually herbivores. And I go through the deep science showing over and over and over again how human physiology helps, is helped by plants and harmed by consuming animal products and that we are physiological herbivores. So that's my path, that's my passion. I'm a vegan brand owner too and love being here with other plant-based folks.

Bryan (02:47.965)

Cool. Thank you, Geoff. Welcome to the show. Hello, Paul. I love the shirt.

paul chatlin (02:53.822)

Well, thank you. I treasure it. It's one of my favorites. Every podcast it's that's where it is right here. Um, yeah, my name is Paul Chatlin. Uh, I am the founder of the plant-based nutrition support group, the only national support group with whole food plant-based, uh, touches to both speakers, culinary and strategic support groups.

Bryan (03:01.358)

I love it.

paul chatlin (03:18.142)

I'm also the co-founder of the Sage Circle Alliance. We are soon, about two months from now, going to introduce it to the world, and it's an opportunity for us to work together as one to create more of a single voice, shared resources, et cetera. So hold on, it's gonna be exciting times, and we're gonna pivot from what we've been used to for the last, for me, 12 years of being whole food plant-based, no oil.

Bryan (03:46.385)

That's awesome. Thank you, Paul. Yeah, we do have the Real Many Plants Support Group on Paul's network there, and we're excited to be part of that with you. And last but not least is Tom. Great to see you again, Tom. Thanks for hanging out with us. I know you're out West and it's a little earlier, but we appreciate you being here. Say hello.

paul chatlin (03:46.399)

So welcome everybody. Thank you.

Tom Kramer (04:03.331)

Yeah, no. Great way to start my day, eight o'clock out here in California. So yeah, my name is Tom Kramer. I am the, I call myself producer editor of the Nutmeg Notebook.

media channels which includes my wife's blog, the namesake of our company. And we specialize in living a whole food plant based also on the salt oil sugar free bandwagon on kind of an instructional basis. So we're a lifestyle channel.

you know, the blog, of course, with recipes. It's kind of really around the food, but not just, you know, my wife is a recipe developer for Whole Food Plant-Based Lifestyle, but also about behaviors and so forth. So really just everything it takes to, that we know to successfully live a plant-based lifestyle and thrive, thrive in the process.

Bryan (05:07.877)

That's awesome. Thank you, Tom. We appreciate your contributions to the movement and to help bring Glen's vision reality here. You only have two years left too, I think, on that front. So what, I guess, you know, kicking it off, really, you know, the topic we're trying to just unpack a little bit today is, you know, how the plant-based lifestyle affects aspects of life beyond the food that we're all eating on that front. So.

Tom Kramer (05:19.531)


Bryan (05:33.797)

I would start with just the physical and mental side of it. You know, maybe we unpack that one for a second. So who wants to take a crack at, at giving us some anecdotes that like around that topic in the sense of how has adopting a plant-based diet affected your physical health and fitness? I'll throw that one to Geoff cause it's easy for him.

Geoff Palmer (05:56.329)

Yeah, I'm a natural bodybuilding champion, natural physique champion, and I created the first completely vegan, all natural, drug-free bodybuilding championship in the world.

We've had a couple of shows already and turn out and the support's been tremendous. But for me, I having lost my parents and family members in early life, I fell into very severe depression. And it was.

uh, switching to a plant-based diet that really changed everything for me. I have not had, uh, after suffering for years with suicidal depression, I've not had a single day of depression in 39 years, and I credit the plant-based diet for it now because my background was in science, I understand why and the mechanisms, um, the increase in serotonin production, um, when you eat animal

increases in cortisol and arachidonic acid, so many different mechanisms that when we change our diet we change our mood. So it's been a tremendous lifesaver for me and that's why I dedicated the rest of my life to trying to help people understand the differences and why.

Bryan (07:18.381)

Yeah, I think you touched on both those aspects. So Paul, I know you just got done working out a little bit too. Tell us about some of your thoughts on the physical and mental sides of it.

paul chatlin (07:27.794)

And well, on the physical side, the thing I, and I've been whole food, plant-based, no oil for 12 years due to heart disease. And 12 years ago, I was literally being wheeled in for bypass surgery. And right at the surgeon's door, my doctor said, if you're willing to make a lifestyle change, maybe you don't need the surgery.

I had no idea what a lifestyle change was, but I said yes, because every male in my family died in their 50s and I was in my 50s. So it was a pretty easy decision not knowing where I was going to go with it. But what I think the biggest thing physically I have noticed is two things. One is lost about 60, 65 pounds and kept it off easily. And it's amazing how much better you feel when you're not carrying 60 extra pounds.

I was a power lifter, so it wasn't like I felt it as much, but I feel a lot better that the 60 pounds are off. Probably the best thing about Whole Food Plant-Based is the recovery. I go six days a week for an hour and a half to two hours, be it walking, running, biking, or weightlifting. I choose two, I do two of those every single day. And the next day, I go at it again,

level, you know, never feel that body soreness that most people my age do feel. On the mental side, it's, you know, it's, I'm just alert, you know, like I could go hard for a very long time as we're creating the Sage Circle Alliance. It's demanding more time than I could have imagined and I'm fresh from morning till nighttime so I think that is also a big benefit of being a whole food plant-based.

Bryan (09:25.736)

Glen or Tom, any thoughts?

Glen Merzer (09:28.556)

Well, I went vegetarian when I was 17 for health reasons, but there was nothing wrong with my health. It's just that my relatives were dying like flies all around me. So I didn't want to be middle-aged at 25, so I cut out meat. Foolishly, I listened to an obese aunt and uncle. They were probably each about 100 pounds overweight, but I took their nutritional advice.

which was that they were very worried I wouldn't get enough protein. So they said, where are you gonna get your protein? And I said, I guess from cheese. And so I kept eating cheese. And I did that for the next 19 years. And then in my mid thirties, I started to get chest pains. And I thought, oh, I'm so unlucky. I'm a vegetarian, but my genes are so terrible that I'm gonna get a heart attack now in my thirties.

And I didn't go to a doctor. I just thought about it. I thought, well, wait a minute, I'm not eating meat because of the saturated fat and cholesterol and what is cheese but saturated fat and cholesterol. Cheese is liquid meat. So I gave up the cheese that was 30 something years ago. Haven't had any pains in my heart since I'm 67 years old. I've never taken a pharmaceutical drug in my life other than an occasional antibiotic.

And, you know, so, you know, there are no guarantees in life, but my health has been pretty good because of these choices I made.

Bryan (11:09.617)

For sure. Tom, any thoughts on your side?

Tom Kramer (11:16.334)

A couple, an interesting psychology these days is dealing with

We've been plant-based for 10 years now. I have, my wife, a little bit longer. I can't take, I did not have a personal pivot point. I have to say that I followed my wife. She had a medical concern, a conversation with her doctor. She did some research and technically it was about a year ahead of me. I was slower to catch on than she was in terms of adopting a whole food plant-based lifestyle.

The psychology I'm dealing with is chronologically, you know, I keep getting older, you know, I'm gonna be 70 this year, but I keep feeling younger inside. And so I'll be doing, you know, I'm a DIYer. I do, you know, I have a two story house. I do all the chores around the house. I do have a home service, but all of the maintenance I do. And I'll be up on some 20 foot ladder and I'm going, should I really be up here? I feel fine.

Geoff Palmer (12:20.827)


Tom Kramer (12:23.789)

When I brush my teeth every morning, I only stand on one foot and I take my other leg and I circle it around with wherever my toothbrush is going. So every morning I'm doing this balance exercise because I read somewhere as you get older that you should really pay attention to your belt. Well, my doctor at my first Medicare visit said his biggest concern about my health was did I have rugs? Were there rugs on the floor? Well, what's the deal with the rugs? He said, I said they all have rubber mats under them. They're not going to slide. He says, no, you're going to trip on them.

Thank you.

So mentally, I guess I'm having fun with sorting out how to be a young older person is the psychology of it. And Geoff, I do some resistance training and stuff. I have my weights and I do those two or three times a week. I'm on that. On the medical side though, I am a lucky boy.

I had the whole business career thing, but I had chronic migraines. By the time I retired from that, we loved to hike, but I was having to wear knee braces to go on a hike. I had severe chronic lower back pain and some other things, but the migraines, the joint pain and the back pain,

that just all melted away. It just went away. I'm like, what happened? And why didn't they know about this 20 years ago? I mean, I suffered for most of my lifetime. Now I understand unnecessarily because too much of the world doesn't want people to know our secrets about living a whole food, plant-based lifestyle, because it might cost them some money to tell the truth.

Bryan (14:00.218)


Geoff Palmer (14:08.276)


Geoff Palmer (14:16.735)

I'm sorry.

Tom Kramer (14:23.827)

So anyway, yeah, I did not, you know, my wife's motivation in doing the research was one thing and then my family is, I have, I had five siblings besides myself and the family's riddled with cancer and kidney and liver and, you know, all kinds of issues except for Tom. So.

You know, so we're like a lab study and I'm the control group or something, I don't know.

Geoff Palmer (14:57.615)


Bryan (15:00.294)


Tom Kramer (15:02.552)

But yeah, that's my short story.

Bryan (15:05.127)

But it's so powerful.

Glen Merzer (15:06.69)

Have I been brushing my teeth wrong? I've got both feet on the ground.

Bryan (15:09.422)


Geoff Palmer (15:10.023)

I'm going to go.

Tom Kramer (15:11.995)

You've got two minutes, 30 seconds per arch. I used to be in the dental industry, providing everything to dentists, designing and building dental offices. So for 30 years I lived in dentistry. But you're 30 seconds on each arch, Glen, with your electric toothbrush, hopefully, because they're efficient. And as you circle that toothbrush around, you take your leg.

Bryan (15:14.909)


Tom Kramer (15:32.051)

and you follow the tooth. So when you're brushing the back tooth, your legs should be behind you. When you come to the front, your legs should be in front of you. And then when you switch the other side, you switch legs. So you're getting...

Glen Merzer (15:42.576)

So will that leg maneuver help reduce cavities?

Geoff Palmer (15:47.047)

Thanks for watching.

Bryan (15:47.089)


Tom Kramer (15:47.283)

Yeah, because it enforces the brushing of the teeth because it's a whole body experience. So, smart aleck. Anyway, try it. And you know what? It's not easy at first. It is hard. You tip over a lot. If you're not doing your balance exercises, you tip over a lot. If you wanna get advanced, Geoff knows this, there's this little square foam pad that gives you some wiggle. If you wanna be like a real man, you stand on the foam pad.

Glen Merzer (15:52.848)


Geoff Palmer (15:53.04)


Tom Kramer (16:16.423)

on one leg and brush your teeth.

Glen Merzer (16:16.484)

while brushing the teeth? While using a power tool? I don't know if that's safe.

Geoff Palmer (16:18.494)

I'm sorry.

Bryan (16:22.653)


Geoff Palmer (16:23.079)


Bryan (16:26.033)

Thank you, Glen, for bringing that up. But I think it's such an important thing. Like, how many people do we know that are in their 70s that are on no medicine whatsoever? Like, almost every other person I know in their 70s is taking something on that front. So I commend you on your efforts and I hope all the younger people listening to this are learning from your wisdom here. And I think that's an awesome idea. I know I have a horror. I'm a runner, so I know I have the horrible problem of not. I need to stretch more. I know I can be more flexible.

Tom Kramer (16:35.403)

None. Zero.

Bryan (16:54.973)

And I think that's a great idea to practice the balance while you're brushing your teeth. So, uh, yeah, I'm not as concerned as Glen is, but if we, if we pivot the topic just a little bit, cause like, as you know, the we're all on the, the plant based diets and, and in this vegan world, like navigating the social situations, in my opinion is the, is the tricky thing. Like I just,

Geoff Palmer (16:58.947)

Thank you.

Tom Kramer (17:02.528)

Thank you.

Bryan (17:19.097)

Got back from a big breakfast gathering this morning with a hundred people that I know probably there's one other vegan in the whole room. You know, how do you guys handle the social gatherings with friends, family who aren't plant based? And let's just talk about the social dynamics and relationship side of it a little bit.

paul chatlin (17:37.542)

Alright, I'll jump in. So for me, all I ask my friends and family when we get together is give me a heads up. You know, that's all. Just where are we going and what time?

The more time the better, but what I generally will do is I will call the restaurant ahead of time, talk to the manager or the head chef, most times the manager, letting them know what time and what day I'll be there. Asking the question of, you know, I look at their menu. So I already know ahead of time, I don't want them to go, you know, go out and get something special for me. But most restaurants will have enough whole food, plant-based foods that I could do something with it.

Geoff Palmer (18:08.154)


Bryan (18:10.246)


paul chatlin (18:19.184)

potatoes, broccoli, everyone has a salad. And I make my own salad dressing and I bring my own salad dressing. But if I get lucky occasionally, maybe they'll have some whole wheat noodles that we could create something with tomatoes. But all I really just ask my friends and family if you wanna hang out with me, just give me a heads up. Some restaurants, very few, but some will allow you to bring your own food and they'll plate it for you. That's beautiful. But that's how I combat

um you know and allows me really to go out and be with friends and family outside the house.

Bryan (18:55.333)

Yeah, yeah. Excellent point. Like I was just thinking about that the other day. I was making some tofu egg salad with a bunch of nutritional yeast. And I was like, I really just need to start taking nutritional yeast with me. And I go places like I like it and people think I'm crazy. But like, I like to sprinkle that on stuff. So anyway, other thoughts?

Geoff Palmer (19:18.423)

Yeah, I mean, the workplaces can be a challenging place for a lot of people because the vast majority of workplaces are not a vegan environment. Since we're only about two, 3%, maybe 5% of the population, that means the workplace is filled with people who...

Bryan (19:28.715)


Geoff Palmer (19:40.927)

In some cases, it can be friendly and some places it can be hostile. I've had situations where coworkers would put fish in the microwave and fill the whole place with it and intentionally walk past my desk with bacon and stuff like that and just, you know, just mean-spirited stuff.

Bryan (19:54.299)


Geoff Palmer (20:05.039)

just because they're so defensive about me. And I don't say it, I wouldn't even say anything unless asked. But, and then that's the other thing. You know, you sit down to eat and the questions bombarding and it's like, God, I wish I could just eat in peace occasionally without what is that? What are you eating? Why is that good for you? Is this wrong? Am I doing this wrong? It's all this guilt stuff just starts hurling at you

Bryan (20:12.603)


Bryan (20:24.584)


Geoff Palmer (20:35.535)

It's, you know, it goes from pure on harassment, workplace harassment to just subtle barbs and jabs that it just wears on you. So I'm so glad I own my own vegan business now. So I don't have to deal with that. Hopefully never again, but it's a challenge for vegans to be in a non-vegan world and in a workplace where they have to earn money.

Bryan (20:52.177)

That's right.

Bryan (21:01.305)

Yeah. And I think, I think it's interesting because I think a lot of people that are in this world would love to work in this field. So we have to figure out how do we create almost our whole industry inside the vegan space, uh, to let people feel more comfortable. But I do feel like, you know, I'm in the corporate world too, quite a bit. I do feel like definitely a minority. I'm my own minority now, and inside the workplace and I have to advocate for it, um, on that front.

Glen Merzer (21:02.576)

The word.

Glen Merzer (21:28.828)

The workplace was always a particular challenge for me because I was never able to get a job. So I would ask, like, could I keep my oil-free hummus in the office fridge? And they would say, no, you don't work here. So it was a problem.

Bryan (21:44.273)


Tom Kramer (21:44.963)


Bryan (21:48.637)

But did you find yourself, Glen, throughout your show career back then, working with a bunch of other writers and hanging out, even though it wasn't a job, it wasn't a workplace? Like.

Glen Merzer (21:59.6)

Well, when I wrote for television, they would call out for lunch. And usually I was able to order something. It wasn't oil free and I wasn't oil free then. So I didn't know. But for me, the main thing was that when I was 17 and I decided to stop eating meat. I never looked back. You know, I know there are some people who become lapsed.

Bryan (22:11.229)

Mm-hmm. Yep.

Glen Merzer (22:28.416)

vegans or lapped vegetarians. There was never a moment of doubt in my mind. The day I woke up in the morning and had an English muffin for breakfast and began to think of myself as a vegetarian, I knew there was a zero percent chance that I would ever eat meat again. I had just made up my mind. And what that did to me is that

Bryan (22:53.053)


Glen Merzer (22:58.644)

It gave me a frame of mind in which I just never cared what people thought and never minded standing apart. It just it just makes no difference to me. Now, I just didn't get the gene for caring what people think. So I think it reinforced in me that I'm going down my own path in life. And if other people.

Bryan (23:17.65)


Glen Merzer (23:26.704)

come along great and if they don't I don't worry about it.

paul chatlin (23:31.134)

Hey, Brian, you know, it's interesting that I spent 10 years and in that 10 years, we were trying to educate the automotive companies. So I probably went to 40 or 50 plants to talk about whole food plant-based. Um, and you could well imagine what the questions that I had to answer, the comments that I heard, but the good news is, is

us real men here to be whole food plant-based, there's a strength. There's a unique strength and I don't mean to be chauvinistic but men over women on this one because we're such a minority of men that eat whole food plant-based.

And I also, in all the people that I've met through you, Brian, they're all pretty darn smart people who've done their research at homework. And I know enough to have a conversation and refute anybody's, you know, a question that they may have. To me, I always looked at it like just an opportunity, you know, to have a discussion. You know, I wasn't going to change millions of lives, but if I could change a few, it was a great day. But it's really interesting how programs we all were growing up.

how we are now and it takes like I said strength, fortitude and a little bit of knowledge to recognize that eating this way will allow you to live a much happier healthy life and influence the handful of people in your life that really matter the most.

Bryan (25:00.581)

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Tom, you brought it up earlier. I mean, your wife headed down this path and, you know, I assumed the loving husband's like, I'm here for you. I'm going to do this and I guess I'll do it with you. Like what was the talk to us about that dynamic a little bit.

Tom Kramer (25:17.08)

Yeah, she actually called a family meeting like, Tom, we need to talk. And I'm like, that's never good to hear. So when your wife says we need to have a talk, it was about food. And she had been doing some research. And so she

Bryan (25:20.389)


Bryan (25:27.289)


Tom Kramer (25:37.943)

very professionally and kindly laid out that she was gonna do a 180 and adapt that right away. Because the cooking blog had been around since 2009 and this occurred like in 2013, 2014. So she was already an established food blogger. So she had to do like pivot publicly. In fact, we went from 100,000 page views a month

2013 to 5,000 women with plant-based, which kind of follows because they say that vegan is about, vegetarian vegan is about 5% of the population. So that proved the math for me. But yeah, so there was a formal meeting when she announced that to me and I did exactly what you said. She was a lifetime yo-yo dieter. She talks about that on our shows.

Bryan (26:11.366)


Geoff Palmer (26:34.683)


Tom Kramer (26:37.479)

And I had always supported her in whatever program she was going to follow, like her, always hopeful that she would find one that would solve the problem. But you know, as we all know, you go on a diet, you lose the weight, and then you're done with the diet. And you go back to eating the way you were. And of course the only, and so we're not on a diet, we're on a lifestyle, and like Glen, we're not going back.

None of us would be likely to go back and I get to eat all this amazing food as much as I want, you know, because we follow the whole calorie density, SOS. I mean I eat massive amounts of food. We did a live show yesterday where I chopped this monster salad and people are like, you eat all that? And yes, I get to eat all of it every day. So but back to your original question on being out in the world.

Bryan (27:16.605)


Bryan (27:24.497)

That's right.

Tom Kramer (27:34.097)

years into it into a little bit of a whole food plant based vegan bubble out here in the Sacramento region. We have a very lively vegan plant based community here. In terms of going to the restaurants, when we're just out by ourselves we typically only go to vegan restaurants and at this point they all have the Tammy special. Because my wife, well like Paul mentioned, we talk to the owners. We talk to them about SOS free.

Bryan (28:01.415)


Tom Kramer (28:04.017)

and we just have something without oil. We'll tolerate a little bit of low sodium something. That's hard to get away from when you're out in public, but we really restrict about no oil. Because as you guys all know, that goes straight into your vascular system and screws up a bunch of stuff all over the body. So...

Bryan (28:12.443)


Bryan (28:21.277)

Mm-hmm. Yep.

Tom Kramer (28:26.251)

So now we can go to those you know handful of restaurants and it's fine. The only time we run into issues is when we're traveling and we're in some airport somewhere and we'll be out just looking for a potato. Worst case scenario we have learned if you miss a meal it's not an emergency. A little bit of hunger is not an emergency.

Bryan (28:49.725)

That's right.

Tom Kramer (28:53.707)

You just wait until you get to the next place where you can have the food that you want. We do have some mixed in the family situation. We do have some mixed menus. We are being plant based. We don't pull the ethical vegan card on our relatives. They're going to eat their stuff. That's fine. We don't preach to them. We let them ask us questions. I've had this conversation with Glen in the past. You can't.

Bryan (29:20.177)


Tom Kramer (29:22.003)

You cannot beat somebody in the submission to become plan-based. They have to turn that corner on their own and then you can support their curiosity. That's the approach we take with them. But they bring their animal-based products and I kind of look the other way and eat my not animal-based products because some of that stuff really grosses me out at this point. Seeing certain things kind of grosses you out. So.

Bryan (29:51.229)

I agree, but I mean, you're touching on an important thing. I think like, and I think a few of you mentioned that like, I, you know, I don't, I went, you know, the whole food plant based for my health reasons. And then I, I had to defend myself. I have to say where this is, where I get my protein from. This is why I'm going to eat this way. But then I just, I kept unpacking it and watching the videos to be able to defend what I'm doing. And then I stumbled into the ethical thing of it, you know, and I've always cared about the environment even before I went whole food, plant based.

So it's just like, it's just a no brainer, like the environment and everything else. But let's like, what is your thoughts on environmental and ethical side of this? I think you were touching on it. Like how is adopting the plant-based lifestyle shaped your views on environmental conservation, animal rights, those things?

Tom Kramer (30:41.391)

Surprisingly a lot, when we first started getting involved in the information resources, you know, there was a lady here, the president of the Sacramento Vegan Society with a membership in the thousands, would bring, you know, we would have McDougal here, we would have Neil Barnard here, we have Dr. Greger here.

We have the Esseltons here. I mean, we get all of the Pontiffs of the plant-based world come to our town. We get to spend time live with them. And, but, but Linda is, is an ethical vegan and animals rights activist. And because of her behaviors, when we first showed up, she would ask us, are you here for your health or are you here for the animals? Because some folks, if some of those meetings would show up in a.

a Regerzi cow outfit, you know, with the tail and the ears and stuff, because they were eating crap, vegan crap, but they were purely animal rights activists. And bless them. I mean, they're on a just fight. So we cohabitate with ethical vegans, and we do then wind up adopting and understanding, you know, what a nasty...

Bryan (31:36.234)


Tom Kramer (31:58.163)

A nasty thing is animal food production. My wife and I just went down to Southern California, down to five, and drove back. We had to go past a famous in California called Harris Ranch. Miles of black mud with hundreds of thousands of cattle eating at their troughs in this filth, and then they're going to get slaughtered. That is sick. It is absolutely sick.


these animals are standing in their own crap, eating crap, so that people can eat the crap. You know, and we know that there's all the science, the hormones and the oils and the fats and the cholesterol, you know, aside, but you look at that stuff and like I said, it grosses you out. We tried to go to an animal rights activist program for Linda in San Francisco, but we couldn't get to the protest because the protest that we were trying to get to

was blocking all the streets. So I have one failed attempt of trying to be an animal rights activist but we support them and we are friends with them and we like what they do. Our focus is on healthy food and healthy lifestyle and healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Bryan (33:01.317)


Bryan (33:15.429)


Yep, absolutely. Well, thanks for sharing that. I hope you can get to another event soon and give it a second go there. Geoff, what's your angle on some of that stuff?

Geoff Palmer (33:25.161)


Yeah, when I had someone help me break through my depression, the intensity of the level, I attempted to take my life twice, because I just couldn't deal with the severity of the emotional and psychological pain anymore. And when I had that breakthrough, it was

the entire world weight of the universe lifted off me it felt like and I felt so grateful and so thankful But it helped me gain empathy and perspective and I said how much suffering I felt that I wanted to end my own Life that I did not want to experience all the gifts of this life because of the pain and suffering

And so I sat in meditation, I said, how can I give this feeling that I now have this freedom from suffering? How can I give this back? And my higher voice and meditation said, just stop harming the animals. And I'm like, wow, how did I not see that before?

I was always out in nature. I love nature. I spent 90% of my free time not in school, in nature, either out on the lake or in the woods. Nature was fascinating to me.

Geoff Palmer (34:46.403)

When I felt that connection, I'm like, oh my God, they're suffering and they don't need to because of my dietary choices. When I realized that, it was like, not only would I never ever eat any animal product again that day, March 15th, 1985, but I wanted to help other people. Now, I realized my kind of emotional breakthrough and emotional connection was not really.

existent back in 1985 and amongst males, which just wasn't there by and large. I actually didn't even know another vegan. I didn't even know the word vegan until a year after I had become vegan. So that's how disconnected our society has come from this emotional connection to no animal, human or non-human, wants to suffer.

Bryan (35:18.362)


Bryan (35:29.447)


Glen Merzer (35:39.548)

Thank you.

Geoff Palmer (35:42.367)

I said, all right, well, how can I reach other males? And that's why I love your show so much and love what you're doing is because I've really made it a passion to try to reach males where they're at. Obviously males, uh, you know, first thing, where do you get your protein? Right. You can't build muscle without, without eating meat. And I wanted to prove that wrong. It's why I created the world vegan bodybuilding show to show them what you could accomplish without drugs and without eating animal products. Um, but also to show.

evidence of what a compassionate male looks like, successful in being a business owner, successful in the relationships, showing success in physical fitness and in health. I'm 61 years old. I turned 61 last week and I've never felt better and I'm 100% drug-free and not a single other person in my family has hit 60 before dying. Not one.

Bryan (36:17.031)


Bryan (36:29.701)

Happy birthday.

Bryan (36:42.005)


Geoff Palmer (36:43.151)

And here I am at 61 thriving in the gym for an hour every day, loving life successful and looking forward to hitting 100. Drug free, medical free. It's such an empowering message and it's we need to reconnect and guys for whatever reason have a severe disconnection with this compassion and empathy towards other life on this planet. It's been a problem throughout.

Bryan (36:50.493)

That's right.

That's awesome.

Geoff Palmer (37:10.603)

Human history, the disconnection to compassion to other races, other religions, other genders, and other species. To me, speciesism, racism, sexism is all the same base fundamental issue. I am disconnected from those other than myself. And to me, it's the same issue, and it's really strongly prevalent in males.

Maybe because of the testosterone, maybe because of social programming. But that's what I've spent the last 40 years trying to really address and tackle is to try to get men reconnected to their own natural, innate, empathetic, compassionate, connected selves. I have spoken.

Bryan (37:56.413)

Woohoo! Well, we, I can feel, we can feel your passion and you know, you've, you've definitely proven that with all the stuff that you have going on. Paul or Glen, anything you'd, you'd throw out on the environment or the animal side of things?

Glen Merzer (38:14.068)

Well, you know, I remember as a kid wondering, looking at the car exhaust, is this going to become a problem one day? And then, of course, in the 1980s, 1990s, we started hearing about climate change. And at that point, respectable people could debate it, you know, whether

Bryan (38:26.333)


Glen Merzer (38:43.152)

whether we were heading towards a climate crisis. Now, I don't think there's really a debate. We're in a climate crisis in the present. But what I have learned in the last 10 years is that it isn't so much the car exhaust, though that's a problem. It's animal agriculture. And so in a sense, we're being lied to when we're being told

Tom Kramer (38:54.275)

Thank you.

Glen Merzer (39:12.272)

that the climate crisis is caused by the fight.

Bryan (39:17.661)

It's the airplanes. It's definitely the airplanes. Right.

Geoff Palmer (39:20.38)

I'm sorry.

Glen Merzer (39:20.56)

just by the burning of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels is a small part of it. It's the use of the land across the planet. Forty percent of the Earth's land surface is being used for animal agriculture. And the only solution to the crisis, mathematically, is the only thing that could possibly work, is to give that land back to nature.

Tom Kramer (39:26.173)


Glen Merzer (39:50.092)

And the only way to give that land back to nature is if we human beings start eating human food instead of eating dead animals. So we're in like a race now. Can our message get out to enough people? Will enough people change before there's too much carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere and we're all screwed?

Bryan (39:59.773)

That's right.

Bryan (40:16.985)

More watermelons, less water buffalo. Got it.

paul chatlin (40:19.63)

Yeah. What's interesting about what you said, Glen is, you know, I have three sons and I have four grandkids. And that is one of the main motivators of why I created this Sage Circle Alliance. Because individually, for the last 10, 15 years, all the people that we know, all the greats that we've spent time talking to, while they've done

Glen Merzer (40:26.3)

Thank you.

paul chatlin (40:47.378)

amazing things individually, they haven't formed a way to work together as one. And the way I see it is for my grandchildren's sake, for my son's sake, that is why I'm putting the time in to create more of an alliance so everyone could join in. You know, there's no president, everyone's equal, everyone's got to equal say so.

Tom Kramer (40:53.775)

Thanks for watching!

paul chatlin (41:15.67)

Because we need to have a common voice if we're going to go up against the dairy association, the livestock, you know, people, the people for, you know, garden, the planet, the animal rights people, we need to have a bigger voice. So that's the motivation for me every single day of why I'm involved.

Bryan (41:35.681)

I love it. Thank you, Paul. I mean, you set the stage beautifully. Like as we wrap up this episode really, and we're looking towards the future like tomorrow or a year or 10 years or a hundred years, what, what is the one piece of advice that you would give to somebody who is considering the plant-based lifestyle or for those of you that are watching and already are, you know, in this plant-based world, the vegan world with us on that front, what's the one tip you'd give us? You have, have wondered.

One or two tips for us.

Bryan (42:10.717)

Throw that to you, Paul, you got one? I'm putting you on the spot. Hehehehe.

paul chatlin (42:13.119)

Well, I'm sorry to know that you are, I was waiting for Glen or Geoff or Tom, but my tips, my tips are just simply, I use the word, we're making the world plant-based aware.

So to me, you're right, we're not going to convince people. We can't beat them on the head to make a change. But every single time there's something in the environment that throws, you know, where you said, there's no debate. We have a real planet problem with health. Um, I think it just, it's plant-based nutrition allows us to make an awareness to everyone we know that there's three pillars that we have to talk about human health, animal health, planetary health.

the humans right first because humans are so selfish and if we get the humans right then the planet will improve and the animal situation will improve. My biggest concern is that maybe the planet's degeneration is occurring faster so that's why us humans have to band together to make a bigger voice. So I just say make people aware without judgment.

Bryan (43:21.701)

I love it. And Tom, we already got your tip. I'm totally going to do the toothbrush. Hold your foot up in the air as a plant based man. That's a great exercise for balance, but would you, do you have a piece of advice for somebody that's thinking about coming and joining the other real men here?

Tom Kramer (43:26.615)

Thank you.

Tom Kramer (43:39.619)

Um, I, you know, I think give yourself a chance, whether it's a 21 day program or whatever, give yourself, do a personal experiment. If you have an issue with committing to like making a, oh my God, lifestyle change, just try it out for three weeks.

you know, many of the, you know, plant-based medical people, you know, talk about this window. Because in three weeks, I guarantee you will feel, if you're being true to yourself, you will feel a result. And you can assess, you know, is feeling this way well worth the lifestyle change?

So, I guess give yourself a chance, give yourself 21 days, do a personal experiment, engage with yourself and be real with yourself. You know, I, 10 years ago, never would have thought that I covet my plant-based meals. I love my food. And the psychology used to be...

I'm going to eat this animal-based crap because I can get away with it now because I'm young enough and I'll have time to deal with that later. But you would never feel good about eating this other being. Really truly, you would never feel good about it. And I feel good about eating plants. It's just psychologically, it's a completely different experience.

Bryan (45:12.177)

I love it. You've been eating meat your whole life people, so give it a try for 21 days. I agree completely. Glen, throw it over to you. What's the tip for us?

Tom Kramer (45:17.429)


Glen Merzer (45:21.944)

Well, first of all, maybe I'm a little influenced by Tom here, but while flossing, do what I do, do the sun salutation while flossing. And it's an excellent exercise. And as far as diet is concerned, I mean, one approach, absolutely agree with Tom.

Bryan (45:28.913)


Bryan (45:38.129)


Glen Merzer (45:50.204)

Try it for three weeks. What's hard about that? But also, do your blood work before you try it. And then see your blood work afterwards. 100% of the time, it will improve. If you put it on the standard American diet and you eat correctly for three weeks, your blood work improves, always.

paul chatlin (45:57.847)


paul chatlin (46:12.042)

Hey guys, hey Glen, if you could real men it up, I say 60 days because in 60 days your taste buds will change. So the foods that you didn't think you could eat, you'll start liking. And I totally agree with you on the, get a lipid panel done before and after. The results in 60 days will blow you away. That's just my opinion on that.

Geoff Palmer (46:20.967)


Glen Merzer (46:32.764)

Right. And the other thing is that I have discovered with my scientific prowess, the sixth macronutrient, we all know about fiber, water, fat, carbohydrate and protein, the sixth macronutrient is optimism. You need optimism to live. And there is nothing optimistic about a slab of meat, about a fried

Geoff Palmer (46:53.127)


Glen Merzer (46:59.504)

chicken wing or something, it leads to depression. And, you know, we know that animal foods cause inflammation in the body, and that means everywhere in the body, including the brain. So if you've been feeling low, feeling depressed, stop eating the food you've been eating, the processed food and the animal foods and eat food that when you look at a fruit salad, it makes you feel optimistic.

You know, when you see the colors in the food. So I just believe that, you know, I'm not saying it's the absolute cure-all to depression. There are many causes of it. But if I were struggling with depression, the first thing I would do is eat a plant-based diet and see if it goes away.

Bryan (47:50.957)

I love it. That's great advice. I like the optimism. I thought you were going to say nutritional yeast, but I like optimism better. So Geoff and Geoff, I am excited to hear what your tip might be.

Glen Merzer (47:55.516)


Geoff Palmer (47:57.105)

I'm sorry.

Geoff Palmer (48:02.771)

Okay, so let's just start with the facts. There is not one single nutrient that is required for human survival or optimal health that exclusively comes from animals. Not one. If there's everything, all the essential amino acids.

all of the essential fatty acids are only made by plants. Animals do not and cannot make them. So if all of the essential nutrients, all the vitamins, all the minerals made by available by the plants, all the antioxidants, all the fiber, all the polyphenols, only made by plants, and then we feed these plants to an animal, then kill the animal to take the plant nutrients, why do that? It makes no sense economically.

It makes no sense for our health as it negatively impacts our health, and it makes no sense for the environment. So ask yourself, why am I choosing to feed all these plant nutrients to an animal, make them suffer and die just so I could get the plant nutrients from an animal instead of directly from the plant? It's cheaper for you. It's better for your health and it's better for the environment. It makes no sense on any level, not even economically.

The meat and dairy industry is only able to be cheap as it is because of financial support from our government. If you remove those government subsidies, meat and dairy would be so expensive, no one would buy it. So, we're asking ourselves, why have we gotten to this point? That we're killing ourselves. Atherosclerosis is the number one cause of death of human beings globally. It's only caused by saturated fat and cholesterol.

Bryan (49:32.253)

That's right.

Bryan (49:38.845)

That's right.

Geoff Palmer (49:54.397)

only comes from animal products. The number one cause 50% of all Americans will die from atherosclerosis caused by eating animal products. 50%. The other 50% are hit by cars or suicides or accidental deaths or gun deaths. Okay, those things you can't control for, but you can control for your diet.

Bryan (50:15.505)

That's right.

Geoff Palmer (50:15.967)

It's so simple, so obvious. Just ask yourself the question, why, why am I choosing to do something that I don't need to that causes my suffering, the animal suffering and degradation of the plant when I don't need to, when you can get all those positives in the, instead better for me, better for the animals, better for the planet.

Bryan (50:33.085)

That's right.

Bryan (50:37.113)

Well, well said, Geoff. Thank you so much. I mean, and I have to say, like, for those of you that are plant-based watching or listening to this episode, thank you for supporting us on our journey here. And I hope all these experts sort of gave you a few pieces of advice to go back to some of the family and friends in your life that are not plant-based and hit them with some facts and say, Glen or Geoff or Paul or Tom told me this. I listened to it on the podcast. You should watch this podcast.

So as we wrap up, thank you guys. We couldn't have done this show without you coming in and just having this chat with us. We really appreciate your commitment to the plant-based life. And I look at all of you and say, I'm proud to call you my friends and hang out with you and say you are real men who eat plants. Give a quick shout out one more time on how they can get in touch. Because I have to say, all of these men here are very approachable. They would be glad to answer a quick question or point you towards a resource.

So how do they get in touch? How do they support you and your journeys as well? Glen, you want to go first?

Glen Merzer (51:39.24)

I have a website, Could contact me. Yeah.

Bryan (51:43.409)

Plain and simple. You can get all of, you can check out Glen's podcast and you can check out his couple books and reach out to Glen. Thank you, Glen. That's right, please subscribe. Geoff.

Glen Merzer (51:49.368)

Yeah. And please subscribe!

Geoff Palmer (51:56.815)

Yes, you can learn more about my company, clea You can check out all my educational videos on the latest research on YouTube, or you can catch them live on social media platforms, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, et cetera, at

Bryan (52:16.765)

Thank you, Geoff, for being here. Tom, where can we check out some of these awesome recipes?

Tom Kramer (52:24.82) and if you are on other social medias whether it's Instagram or Facebook or whatever it's just at nutmegnotebook so lots of material

Bryan (52:34.513)

That's awesome.

Yeah, he's got some great recipes out there and he's got some other podcasts with a few of us as well. So check those out. Last but not least, Paul.

paul chatlin (52:46.538)

Yes, if you are willing and able and they're real men, you want to make a change, a lifestyle change, but you need support, we look at all you support, please reach out to us at or you could connect with me personally paul at and if you're listening and you want to be part of a revolution change a pivot in the whole food plant-based world you could also reach me at those email addresses for the sage circle alliance thank you.

Bryan (53:20.401)

Thank you guys, it's been a pleasure having you here. And that's a wrap for this episode of the Real Men Eat Plants podcast. We will be back at you very soon with some more episodes and some other real men who eat plants. Have a great day, guys.

paul chatlin (53:35.106)

Thank you. Nice seeing you, Glen and Geoff. Tom, nice meeting you.

Glen Merzer (53:38.036)



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