Plant-Based, Practical, and Not Pretentious


Plant-Based, Practical, and Not Pretentious

Plant-Based, Practical, and Not Pretentious


I heard a lyric from a song the other day… that said, “There’s no one more thankful to sit at a table than the one who best remembers hunger’s pain.” And so when these hard times come and these moments, it really is like a gut punch. But then you look back and it just makes you appreciate things going forward. – Shane Martin

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Shane Martine: 0:00
I don’t know why it was on my brain. I guess it was because there are these two beautiful women in the car that I’m just like. Uh, I just I don’t know, if it’d been just a bunch of dudes I wouldn’t have been worried. But I try to be coo, but I guess going. Do I smell y’all?

Ella Magers: 0:15
I mean, hey there and welcome to rise and thrive with me, ella majors. I created this high vibe podcast from a place of profound curiosity, fierce compassion and the deep desire to connect you with the wisdom of inspirational wellness, health, fitness and conscious leaders and change makers. Here’s to discovering our blind spots and embracing life as the adventure it is. The time is now. Let’s do this. Hey, hey everyone, ella here and you’re in for a treat today. I knew in the first few minutes meeting Shane Martin in person that I had to get him on the show because he is quite the character, and I mean that in the best way possible, even though he calls himself an average, ordinary guy. I’m not sure if he’s a good guy or not, I’m not sure, even though he calls himself an average ordinary guy. I’m going to kind of call some BS on that, on his own description of himself, because he has an extraordinary story and, well, you’ll see, he has a huge heart, is as authentic as they come, and he’s making waves with his Shane and simple brand, his recipe blog and newsletter and by hosting the real men eat plants podcast, which I was lucky enough to be a guest on not long ago. So I’ll put the link to that in the show notes as well. Shane was born in Mississippi and grew up eating southern deep fried gravy covered food. His dietary lifestyle and adulthood led him to reach 300 pounds. After finding forks over knives, shane switched to a plant based diet and transformed his life and those of his family, and now he’s helping transform the lives of people all over the country and across the globe. I am super excited for you to hear this one, so let’s do this. Shane, it’s so great to have you on the show.

Shane Martine: 2:32
Yes, you make me smile every time I see you.

Ella Magers: 2:35
Well, I feel the same about you and it was not that long ago that we met in person. It was so great to meet you in Omaha for the Healthy for. Lifetime conference. Yes, and I was so impressed. I remember you were off running before we went to dinner and then I know that because it was so funny, you had me cracking up like our first conversation, because I don’t know if you remember, but we were all riding together in the car to go to the vegan restaurant, right, and we get in the car. and you said something like do I smell y’all? And there was like a little bit of silence in the car and it’s all good. And you said, no, I took a shower, it was just that I keep sweating after I run, or something like that.

Shane Martine: 3:23
Yes, because here’s the thing I don’t know what it’s like for you when you work out, but it’s like if I go for a run, it feels like I guess, if I do like something like high intensity, like CrossFit, or when I was in Charlotte I worked at a place called Iron Tribe and they had showers there or if I run, I find I have to have this at least half an hour of cool downtime, because if I don’t and I just go jump in the shower, it doesn’t matter how lukewarm I make it, I get out, I dry off, I feel good and I’m sweating and I’m like so you need that buffer, you need that buffer period. I do, and so.

Ella Magers: 3:59
I didn’t have it.

Shane Martine: 4:00
I didn’t have it and I thought, hopefully by the time I get down to the lobby and we get in the car and I’m one of those, fortunately that I don’t have to wear anti perspirant or deodorant, but I don’t have a problem with underarm sweat, that’s a little TMI but anyway, I don’t normally, but I was sitting there. I don’t know why it was on my brain. I guess it was because there are these two beautiful women in the car that I’m just like. I just I don’t know. If it’d been just a bunch of dudes I wouldn’t have been worried, but I try to be coos when I came, but I guess going, do I smell y’all?

Ella Magers: 4:34
I mean anyway, it was so great. And then we learned our mutual love of North Carolina and that you lived in Charlotte. And then, for those of you don’t know, I grew up in Chapel Hill, north Carolina. I went to school in Wilmington and yeah, and then you had me cracking up again. You had the hundreds of people cracking up during your food demo. Oh with Melissa. It was almost like a sitcom.

Shane Martine: 4:59
Well, and you know, here’s the funny story about that I guess she had told me how she planned on doing it. I didn’t know that. It’s funny because that’s the first time I’d met Melissa, like personally, and you know she’s very straightforward, got it planned out. She reminds me of my wife, because my wife is like that and I’m not like that. I can be a loose cannon sometimes. And so when I saw that she was planning on doing all this stuff and laying it out, I was like yeah, this is not going how I thought it was going. So I could tell it was like she was struggling because I’d be right beside her trying to kind of push her buttons. She was like I called her laser beam after that. But it was so funny because after we kind of got to the green room you could tell she was a little rattle. But when we came out, it’s like everybody thought it was planned Right, exactly. Oh, so great that y’all decided that. And I was like, yeah, that was totally not part of the. It was fun because I feel like you have to have that yin and yang with people, you know, and so. But it was so fun and I was totally like she’s never going to ask me to do anything like this again, and so fortunately she still texts me and we talk and good, Good, yeah, for a little context for our listeners.

Ella Magers: 6:09
This was a conference and Shane and Melissa were doing a food demonstration of Shane’s recipes. But the dynamic there yes, Melissa is very type A. She had everything planned out and you were up there like scooping dip out of the blender with your finger and yeah, it was.

Shane Martine: 6:26
Yeah, and I tell you I felt bad because I didn’t realize. She said she had had everything planned out and laid out the way we were going to do it and as we made the recipes, she wanted them set up a certain way because she was going to go back and take pictures of each one and post nice pictures. Well, here I am tossing food out to everybody. Milt Riddles is coming up and he’s getting it and taking it around and I totally destroy her layout. But anyway, so it worked out and it was fun.

Ella Magers: 6:55
But it really did work out because, yeah, the whole room was so engaged and, yeah, milt is passing the dip around that you had licked it and nobody cared. It’s a big family. It felt like a big family in that room.

Shane Martine: 7:08
You know what? I think we talked a little bit about this when I interviewed you on the Real Minute Plants podcast, but there was something special about that conference. There was, I mean it, just the camaraderie, even with the speakers, but I mean just the people that were there. I hated to leave. I mean I really, really did. There was this sadness to leave and then, when they came to take me to the airport, Esther and her husband were with me and I don’t know that there are two sweeter people on the planet. So I mean that’s the weekend and just you know it was just good. And then you know getting to meet you and then forge, you know, a friendship from there. It has just been galley. It just reminds us the world is not that big a place. You know, when the stars align and you just kind of have these. I feel like, do you know, gigi Carter?

Ella Magers: 8:01
I do yeah.

Shane Martine: 8:02
OK, gigi is one of my dearest friends and I feel like her relationship reminds me of kind of how you and I have met and started our friendship. We met like at a plant based immersion weekend and we were speakers and you know it was one of those things that just forged and you know it’s just she and Cersei are two of my favorite people and so this kind of reminds me of that. You know, you just meet and you feel like, did we meet when we were teenagers? You know, and hang out, that’s kind of has that vibe, so totally.

Ella Magers: 8:32
Totally All right. Well, I wanted to start before we dive into your story, and then I’m really excited about what you put as the topic that’s inspiring you these days, so I really want to get to that. Ok first I have a little lightning round Just the first thing that comes to your mind.

Shane Martine: 8:49
A few questions.

Ella Magers: 8:50
Ok, I know this is a surprise, so and I hope it’s relevant. Do you listen to music while you’re in the kitchen? All the time and if so, what’s a song that gets you fired up to create?

Shane Martine: 9:01
You know what I’m a musician was a musician by trade. Right, I’m a little abstract, to be honest with you.

Ella Magers: 9:08
Honest is good.

Shane Martine: 9:08
I’m very nostalgic so I listen to music in seasons, so I have a photography playlist when I’m shooting pictures of recipes and it’s called mountain music. And we used to vacation in Boone, north Carolina I mean our happy place, and there is a little grocery store there called Earth Fair. It’s kind of like are you familiar with Earth Fair? So it’s a regional local, it’s like a Whole Foods but it was started in Asheville but it’s all over the Eastern Seaboard. Anyway, they had a little one in Boone and every time we would get to Boone with our family we would take the kids to the cabin where we were staying and the older ones would stay with the younger ones and Andre and I would go down and buy our groceries for the week and we’d go to Earth Fair and it has that medicinal smell like a Whole Foods over by this. I love that, you know, and it’s kind of hippie-ish and they always had like 70s music playing, like James Taylor and you know, dancing in the moonlight, and so every time I go in with my iPhone I’d hold Shazam up and I’d take and create a playlist and just Boone is my happy place. So when I first started blogging to kind of put me in the mood. I think about the mountain, so I’d play that playlist. And then I have a playlist for the fall which is just jazz music, and now I have a December, christmas, instrumental fifties, forties and fifties. So for me it’s funny because I can’t nail down like one song OK, it’s seasonal for me.

Ella Magers: 10:32

Shane Martine: 10:33
But, like, my summer and spring playlist is, you know, like a moon taxi and hippo, campus and some of the music show the holiday. I mean, it’s just all over the board. So I have so many playlists, it’s like what mood am I in today? So love it. Doesn’t really answer the question, but it’s like there’s not one song that depends on the time of year, depends on when I’m working and no, it paints a great picture.

Ella Magers: 10:57
I love that, yeah.

Shane Martine: 10:58
Some days I watch the office when I’m cooking.

Ella Magers: 11:02
I can see you watching the office. Ok, a quirk or fun fact that most people don’t know about you.

Shane Martine: 11:08
Work or a fun fact? Um, Holly, I have a lot of quirks.

Ella Magers: 11:16
You perspire long after you stop running.

Shane Martine: 11:18
Yes, I would say from a kitchen standpoint I’m very organizationally challenged, but I cannot stand a full sink of dishes. My wife is the type A everything’s organized. You would think that this would grind her. But even if we wake up to a clean sink, she likes through the day, when she has lunch or whatever, to just set a dish in there, even if there’s nothing in the sink. And when I come in to cook and start creating, I want clean sinks. And so sometimes we argue it’s like there was nothing in the sink, you had one glass, rinse it out, but it was like I don’t operate that way and I’m like you should, and so for some reason that is just a. I don’t know why that gets to me. It’s like if I see a sink, a glass and a spoon in the sink, I have to wash them and put them away before I start cooking. I have to start with a clean sink. Then I mess everything up, but I have to start with a clean slate. But I will tell you a fun fact I don’t know if you listen to country music at all.

Ella Magers: 12:19
I just started to actually since starting the sanctuary in Virginia. Yes, I just started.

Shane Martine: 12:26
Okay, so Not too long. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Kenny Chesney, country artist.

Ella Magers: 12:30

Shane Martine: 12:31
If you go back and listen to his song from about 15, 20 years ago, there was a song he did called the Good Stuff. Okay. The story of that song is about my mother and my mom and dad’s relationship. They were the inspiration for that song.

Ella Magers: 12:45

Shane Martine: 12:46
Yeah, after my mom died with cancer in 2000, my dad worked at his record label as security and when my mom was going through chemo my dad shaved his head and my dad was real good friends with all these artists and Kenny had come in and he saw that and he actually on his album has a comment to that and the songwriters were talking to my dad and my dad was just telling them all these stories and they changed the name and some of the stuff. But my dad brought me the demo from the songwriters and I just bawled because I knew exactly what it was about. But that’s a fun fact, wow. So that song, the Good Stuff by Kenny Chesney, was about my mom and dad.

Ella Magers: 13:24
Incredible. Yeah, wow, that is fascinating. Thank you for sharing that.

Shane Martine: 13:31
So you got a quirk and a fun fact.

Ella Magers: 13:33
Well, perfect, because one of my questions I couldn’t decide on all the questions One was a pet peeve, but I already got that, so we got two more. As a young adult, what did you think about vegans?

Shane Martine: 13:46
Weirdos. They ate grass and bark and usually didn’t take showers and were loony lefties that wanted to live in the woods. I mean literally that was you know or wanted to protest zoos all the time. That was my take.

Ella Magers: 14:03
Yep, and we’ll get back to that.

Shane Martine: 14:05

Ella Magers: 14:06
All right, favorite recipe for Super Bowl Sundays, the one that you make year after year that you can’t live without, just one.

Shane Martine: 14:13
Just one. It would have to be my queso. I knew it. It’s the queso, yes.

Ella Magers: 14:20
And this recipe is on because this is going to come out before Super Bowl Sunday, so I know you’ve got probably many recipes.

Shane Martine: 14:26

Ella Magers: 14:27
Yes, but the queso is the most it’s on there.

Shane Martine: 14:29
Yeah, I tell people that is one of the best transition. You take that to any Super Bowl party. And my brother’s not vegan at all, but he likes his favorite cheese dip, so Amazing.

Ella Magers: 14:41
Ok, cool, all right, so I do want to spend a few minutes kind of talking about your journey to plant-based living. I know you grew up in rural Mississippi on baloney sandwiches. You were an athlete and then you went to college football and a scholarship and you were also a musician as a starting point.

Shane Martine: 14:57

Ella Magers: 14:58
Let’s talk about you know anything else you wanted to mention from the beginning, but then about your health journey after that.

Shane Martine: 15:05
Where you want me to start.

Ella Magers: 15:06
Yeah, I mean, did I get like the very quick summary of growing up?

Shane Martine: 15:10
Yeah, I mean I grew up in rural Mississippi, was very athletic, played baseball early on. That was my main sport and was never overweight as a kid. Then, as I got into junior high I played football and fell more in love with football. But I was a kicker and played other positions but I loved kicking and so got into that and ended up started drawing a lot of attention from colleges. And right after my football season in my junior year my dad was a highway patrolman, a state trooper in Mississippi, and we found out right before I started my junior year he was going to get transferred from Booneville is up in North Mississippi around Tupelo, so it’s close to the Tennessee and Alabama lines, and he was getting transferred to Jackson, the capital, to go to work for the governor staff. Like the highway patrol kind of has a secret service branch, they provide protection for the governor and so he was getting transferred there. So we moved Christmas of my junior year and I ended up graduating there, played football down there, got a lot of attention and so originally went to college on a football scholarship and I’d been a musician since I could walk and I ended up leaving college after my sophomore year and moving to Nashville to pursue music and when I got to Nashville I think I’m 6’1″, 6’2″ I think I weighed 185 pounds still very spelt. But when I didn’t have a football coach or a strength and conditioning coach making me do something, I got very lazy very quickly. And I think I was 20 when I moved to Nashville and I got married at 26. I had met my wife, got married and by the time I got married, over six years, I went from 185 pounds to 240 pounds on my wedding day and I left Nashville 2005. That’s when I moved to Charlotte and I was a music director at a church in Charlotte and did that for the next 15 years, but from 05 until 2013,. Then I got to 300 pounds.

Ella Magers: 17:27
And I’m curious, before we get into the health in terms of your music, was your goal to be a professional musician for the rest of your life? And I’m just very curious, yeah.

Shane Martine: 17:38
Yeah, I loved it. I still do so. I was a guitar player and a singer and wanted to be a songwriter, so I ended up. My goal was to. I wanted to get a record deal, I wanted to write songs, I wanted to tour. I wanted to be a big artist. I originally had moved to Nashville to do contemporary Christian music and I ended up getting a publishing deal with Sony Music and so I started writing for them as a songwriter and I ended up getting asked to play guitar on People’s Demos and a couple of independent projects and then getting hired as a guitar player to go out on the road with some different country artists and Christian artists. So I started to make a living as a side musician and so I had a couple of publishing deals and so my goal was to just kind of in some way support myself playing music and did for a while. So that was the goal originally. And then when iTunes came along, basically we saw what happened to the music industry, what happened to the housing market back in 07, when all that crashed, and that’s what happened to the music industry, and so everything went completely soft. Artists stopped touring because they were like everybody was buying CDs, and now they go to buying one song on iTunes and the artists stopped touring. They weren’t cutting records, they were trying to regather themselves and figure out how to navigate this, and so guys like me who were starting to come up make a name for ourselves. Well, if you can have this AAA session player that everybody knows, play on your records that played for Shania Twain and Alan Jackson and all of this. Or do you want Shane Martin? Well, they can get this guy for the same thing they were paying me. So that’s kind of what happened. So, anyway, we got hit really hard financially, and so I went from flying on planes and driving on tour buses and playing in the studio to delivering pizza at night and radiators during the day. So it’s true what they say With music it’s feast or famine. Nobody makes a median living.

Ella Magers: 19:38
So how did you deal with that emotionally?

Shane Martine: 19:40
It was hard because for me, as a musician, it’s not just what you do. You’re creative, you don’t just create, I mean, it’s who you are. And when you’re not able to do it, and then when you’ve done it at a certain level, it’s very humbling when it all gets knocked out from under you. And what made it even tougher is I had a wife and two new children at home and it was hard. We went through some struggles even in our marriage early on, because my mom had died in 2000. And so I was dealing with depression from my mom dying. I was very close with my mom and when the music thing happened it got to a point where I was making $8.50 an hour delivering radiators during the day, and then I would go deliver pizza four or five nights a week and it was exhausting. And my wife was a graphic designer, but her goal when we started having kids, she said I want to be home with our children. That’s where my heart is. And so we had some friends that let us move into a garage apartment that they had finished out to house aging parents eventually, and they offered that to us and we were able to move in and live rent free for a year to kind of me get on supporting them on my income. And then we found a little house out in Ashland City, tennessee, and we were paying $500 a month. It was a little bitty two bedroom house and it was sweet and I had a three-year-old and a one and a half-year-old and they shared a room and somehow we made it on, we got on Dave Ramsey, so that was kind of how we survived. Everything was cash and it was a sweet time. But it was tough. And then I think I got to the point where one night I remember I didn’t even tell my wife. I said I can’t do this anymore. They need me to provide for them. So I got online one night, got on monstercom and Dell Computer had moved to Nashville about a year or two earlier and they were hiring salesmen. No-transcript. I applied, did a phone interview, got another interview, went in and got hired through a corporate temp agency and basically had six months to hit certain metrics and then they would bring you on full time. And then I ended up getting hired full time by dale and went to work for them and was one of their top salesman and home sales for a little while and we were starting to breathe. So I gave up music and told my wife I’m gonna go and do this and then I think probably that was like November, december of four and then in March of five, this church in Charlotte called and Wanted to interview me and we went out and Andrea was elated because if we got the job it would still be a decent salary. But we never anticipated leaving Nashville and moving that far away from our families. But she didn’t want me to give music up to that, and so this was a way to stay into. Anyway, long story short, that’s how we ended up in Charlotte in a five and it was great for our family. But that’s the long way of answering your question. Like it really took the wind out of my cells. There were a lot of struggles, but I do tell people this is hard as it was. There were some sweet times in there with my wife and my kids at the time, who were my two oldest, were that little and you know you always think you could do things differently or navigate things differently, but I’m a big believer that things work out the way they are supposed to work out. You know we have to rest in that and not resist it, and that doesn’t mean you don’t fight it. It doesn’t mean that you don’t break down and that you’re not honest and that you’re not open. But it’s pointless to resist it, you know, because I’m not a fatalist by any stretch of the imagination, but I just think that when these things come there’s a purpose. Otherwise you just have random happenstance which has no purpose, and I can’t accept that, you know. So I look back and I see how it just made us better, it strengthened us. And somebody told me I heard a lyric from a song the other day I was talking about this last week that said there’s no one more thankful to sit at a table Then the one who best remembers hunger’s pain. And so when these hard times come and these moments, it really is like a gut punch. But then you look back and it just makes you appreciate things going forward.

Ella Magers: 23:57
Absolutely Always, always. So meanwhile you, at this point in time, you were gaining weight, so getting back to the health, yes, yeah.

Shane Martine: 24:07
Okay, so, yeah, so my eating habits didn’t change at all, so I just continue to gain weight. And when we got to Charlotte you know Charlotte’s pretty health conscious, I mean it’s kind of like a mini Europe, so to speak, you know. I mean everybody rides bikes and everybody runs and swims. You know swimming’s huge there, even in the high schools, and the past where I worked for was like Mr Biker and you know that kind of thing, and he was 1215 years older than me and maybe older than that yeah, 1520 years older than me. And so you know he’s riding bikes and he’s out, you know, doing all this and you know here I am coming in and you can tell that I’m the one that’s not from Charlotte, kind of thing. And he said I want you to go see my doctor, you need to have a physical, you need to have a physical. And his name was Neil spate. I never will forget him and he was an MD, but he definitely tried to, definitely tried to operate on a more holistic like, trying to get people to change their lifestyle and things like that. So I went, had a physical and about two, three weeks later I got a letter from his office and it had all my numbers in it and besides probably 3536, and I was about 280 pounds and my glucose was way up. I was a pre diabetic, my cholesterol was like over 400 fatty liver, extremely high blood pressure, the whole thing and he said I need to see you, I want to see you. So I guess that was like 2007, 2008, and I did what every concerned patient did. I didn’t go back, I didn’t respond because I was like, if I don’t go, he won’t find anything.

Ella Magers: 25:47
I mean, but you saw the numbers yes, yeah, the numbers and somehow you talked yourself into thinking that if you didn’t address it, then what?

Shane Martine: 25:57
I think, you know, for me it just was. I guess, after I saw my mom die, you know, there was always this fear of findings. There was this thing and I can’t explain. It was like finding something and there’s this idea that if I don’t go, they won’t find it. And so I just didn’t go back. You know, it’s funny because I think everybody thinks you know you’ve got cancers and things like that, but the thing that kills most Americans is heart disease, overwhelmingly, overwhelmingly. And a lot of people don’t even realize that one of the leading causes of death from smoking is not lung cancer, it’s heart disease. And so, you know, I just kind of hid the paper and my wife found it and she goes what are you doing? You know, because my wife, even before we were plant based, she was a very healthy, conscious eater, like lots of salad, lots of vegetables, and if she had meat it was more like a side or just a part of it, you know. And so so I put that in the drawer and just ignored it, and that was, like I said, around 2007, 2008, and went on for another few years.

Ella Magers: 27:03
Wow, another few years without going back to the doctor, without addressing it. And then what was the turnaround?

Shane Martine: 27:11
So we had moved from Charlotte to Atlanta, I had taken a job there and it was just absolutely terrible. It was horrible. We had no business moving there and and that job lasted maybe about 18 months and then you know, we have four kids by this time and Super, stressed, super, you know. Just dealing with the situation and I started to get staff infections that would heal, like I would get them get on some penicillin antibiotics, get rid of them and they would come back. And I mean I was getting them on my lower back, like right above my butt, right there, and they were just painful and I started to develop like the dark patches under the arms and stuff, like you know, diabetic. And we left. I got a job in Opalica, alabama, right outside of Auburn, where the university is, and we were starting to kind of see things turn around for us a little bit. You know, get our feet back under us after the catastrophe in Atlanta. And my son was playing baseball and at this time he was like six or seven, yeah, seven or eight anyway. I was out one night helping the team you know play. I was a former baseball player of course I’m still big as a house and one of the kids hit a ball and it wasn’t rolling that hard, but it hit a rock and it bounced up and hit me in the shin. I went out that hurt and about two days it’s holed up and I got a staff infection again and it was so painful I didn’t want to go to the doctor. I kept, you know, putting Heat on it and everything, and it was terrible. So finally I went to the doctor and they had to do the whole lancing it and all of that kind of stuff and I went over to Target to get my medication. I had to get on an antibiotic and it was hurting so bad that I had to get on one of those little motorized carts and I was riding through Target and I drove by a mirror and I had to back up to try to get my medication and I think that’s the first time that it hit me Like something has to change, because this is not just a precursor to the future. This is the present. This is my reality right now and it doesn’t get better if I keep doing what I’m doing. It doesn’t get better and I just remember getting back to my car and going home and just go. I don’t even know where to go. But I have to do something and I had done diets in the past. I’ve done, you know, counting fat grounds. I had done keto or not keto, yeah, keto, or you know the Atkins diet and stuff like that, and I would lose weight quickly but I’d gain it back quicker. So the staff infection it got healed. I still remember it. I was in Winn Dixie with my wife and two of my kids and my daughter, maddie, is the oldest, was with me and I just kind of check my blood pressure just for the heck of it, and it came back like even on that little machine it was like 160 over 110. I mean it was just stupid. And my daughter goes daddy, like you know, and I was like don’t tell your mom, don’t tell your mom. But then that’s when it’s like when your kids are like 11 years old and she looks and they get that that’s not good. That hit me in the heart and I realized Andrea had not been wanting me to change and get healthy, because she was ashamed of the way I looked. She literally was concerned for me, and so I would say that was probably the turning point. And I woke up one morning on a Sunday morning and I looked in the mirror my face is red and I’m puffy and tight. And I got on the scale and I was like right there at 300, like 298 or whatever it was. And I went to church that day and I got home and I called a buddy of mine and I’d seen a mutual friend of ours from Nashville who was on the Iron man Facebook page. He was being interviewed and he was talking about how he lost a friend to a disease and he decided to get healthy and he ended up going plant based. And I said, hey, man, I saw this thing with that. He’s locked like 80 pounds. Man, he looks incredible. And my buddy, jason, because I couldn’t get a hold of that he said, yeah, man, that went vegan. And I just went well, I’m not doing that.

Ella Magers: 31:14
And he said look stinky people.

Shane Martine: 31:16
Yes, I still remember it was a Sunday, january 19th. He said just watch forks overnight. So Sunday night my wife and I sit down and watch that documentary. And I went cold turkey the next day because I thought, wait a minute, because it was the first time that I didn’t feel attacked by. I always felt attacked by vegan, you know, like it always had to be about the environment or the animals first and those things. It’s not that those things aren’t important, but if I’m 300 pounds and can’t get off the couch, I can’t do anything for anybody if I don’t take care of me first. And so my wife and I watched it and I think the thing that blew me away about forks over knives was it was all about the health, it was all about disease, it was all about your family, it was all about cooking and eating. And I remember looking at my wife going. They were eating things. You know that you’re told don’t, don’t eat potatoes, don’t eat pasta, don’t eat breads, and they’re saying eat it, you know. And so we didn’t know where to start cooking, we didn’t know how. But the next day we kind of just started on our journey together and for the first two weeks we said this is daddy’s food, this is everybody else’s. And then we’re like that’s not going to work and so we just said in the house everybody’s doing it. And two or three of my kids already had dairy allergies from birth. So they saw a milk anyway and no dairy. So amazing. That was kind of it. And then in two weeks I lost 20 pounds, but I was never hungry, I mean I was eating. And then in three months I lost 55 pounds and had a physical for life insurance because I don’t think we could have got insured. And that’s when I remember I said this is going to be the telltale sign. It’s either going to be if I don’t see results. I’m done. You know, they did our blood work and my blood pressure went from. The last time I had it checked with a doctor was like 153 over 106. After three months of going plant based, my blood pressure was 126 over 79 which in the south was great, but that’s a huge turnaround and my cholesterol went from over 400 to 199. So I was below 200. There was no trace of diabetes anywhere in my system, just everything reversed. And that’s when I went. This is legit and that’s it. I’m not going back. So been there ever since.

Ella Magers: 33:33
Yeah, wow, it was like you committed, your family got on board and that was it. No turning around.

Shane Martine: 33:41
Yeah, and it was hard. The first two weeks we were eating tofu and salads and didn’t know how to fix anything. But, then, like we found this whole underground. You know, I found Rip Eselston. I saw it Talk and it blew me away what plant based was like. He was showing these peanut butter chocolate chip Cookies for a dessert and we were making meatloafs with lentils and oats and I was like, wait a minute, I can still have mashed potatoes, I just need to add almond milk and some seasoning and you know, there doesn’t have to be all the butter and corn. So after two weeks finding recipe and I found his book in the library there the engine to diet. So I got all the recipes and it was, yeah, that’s been it ever since. And then I got passionate about it and the rest is history, as they say.

Ella Magers: 34:24
Yeah, yeah. And when? At what point did you start to realize that you were so passionate that you wanted to create a blog, a business?

Shane Martine: 34:34

Ella Magers: 34:35

Shane Martine: 34:35
It was weird because we started having people reach out, even family going what are you doing? Because you know a lot of people when they lose weight, they don’t look healthy. You know they may look sunken, or you know because and that’s what people need to realize losing weight does not mean you’re healthy. Right, it’s healthier than carrying a lot of weight, but diets are deprivation. They’re not feeding yourself. And so I didn’t look deprived, I was vibrant, I was like I’m not tired in the day, you know. And so people were calling and asking and I was sharing recipes with them and talking with them. And I’m an extrovert by nature, but I do love talking with people, I love sharing stories, I love hearing stories, and I remember my wife telling me she said you ought to start a blog because I knew she followed bloggers and things like that and she goes. You know a lot of them get paid and sponsors if they have a big enough following, and so she said you ought to consider that and I was like, yeah, that’d be fun. I knew when I got passionate about the food and I was watching and I followed Rip like all the time, like Rip was still is one of my heroes and I would watch him do Ted talks and I thought, man, if I could go around talking to people, and I was like I’d love to figure out a way. I mean, I thought about quitting my job at the church and going down to Earth Fair and getting a job in the grocery store because I love being around it. We moved from Auburn to Madison, mississippi, for a brief stint. I got involved with some plant based groups there. I started hosting potlucks in the house and I just thought I want to figure out a way to do this. And Andre was still talking about the blog and so I went to WordPress, got the software, kind of started looking at it and it was originally titled from famine to feast is what it was called, and I put a couple of things out there. But you know, I’m such a perfectionist when it comes to my art and my presentation. It’s like I just couldn’t pull the trigger to get things out and my wife said just put something out there. I had no clue how to blog, I didn’t know about recipe plugins or anything, and so I kind of drug it out a little bit. And in 2015, we moved back to Charlotte, got back to Charlotte and we were in a rental house trying to find a house to buy and we went from famine to feast. I showed a buddy of mine and he was like a designer and he goes. I didn’t really like that. And he goes sounds like a really bad youth group name from a church and I was like point taken. And then we had one called the plant based menu or whatever, and some friends of how I actually met Gigi Carter. I was talking to them about it and they said look, man, they said the thing that draws people to what you do is you when you talk, so it just needs to be your story and the recipes that came out of your story. And my wife was actually a Nashville visiting her family and so I just was trying to think of a name for the blog and somebody said hey, shane, thanks for sending this. They say I love the way you just keep it plain and simple. And I call my wife and I said what about Shane and simple? And that may go back to one of the quirks, because it’s like if I ask somebody a question, I don’t want them to write a book, just yes or no. You know, like I don’t have time for the blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, and she goes that is totally you, you know, you were to the point, just yeah. So we registered the name and I learned how to set a blog up, learned about recipe plugins and just kind of started. But still it was about over a year before I made it live and I’d had this name and we bought our house and settled in. It was August of 2017. And Andre goes just do something. And so the first recipe was a grilled peanut butter and jelly and banana sandwich.

Ella Magers: 38:16

Shane Martine: 38:17
And I took pictures with my iPad and I still have original pictures and they’re terrible. But I did it and just started trying to do it once a week, once a month, whenever I could, and fortunately it gained traction and got to a point where that was August of 2017. And then by October of 2019, it was about half of my salary at the church I was working at. But my wife and I said, if you’re ever going to make this happen, we’ve got to be all in. So she picked up more work. She’s a graphic designer and so the company that she gets contractors like we got as much work as you want. So she picked up and we looked at all the numbers and, like I said, she’s very tight. And so I thought she’s going to be like no, we got to have the security. But we met at a little coffee shop called Nova’s Bakery, like a mile and a half up the road from us, and it was where when I first started blogging, I’d get up and go at five in the morning before I’d go to the office, and we sat there that afternoon in the window and then we were the only two in there. Npr was playing classical. I mean, I still remember it. Like we had our little coffees and she brought all the numbers and said this is what we need to have just to survive and that was counting if we buy our own health insurance and everything and we made the decision to do it in October 2019. So December 31st was my last day at work and fortunately, we look at it now and we go oh, we made it one more month, we can do this. So, it’s been over three and a half four years now Amazing.

Ella Magers: 39:44
Amazing. I love Shane, and simple Like that is just spot on. It’s such a great name, such a great blog. I love the pop up on the website that says practical, non-pretentious, plant-based recipes. I love the non-pretentious because it’s like it’s so divided. Now it seems you’ve got still, you know, the vegan hippie-dippy kind of scene and then you’ve got a very luxurious high end very inaccessible and intimidating plant-based spayor. So the non-pretentious part. Did that just come at you like I got to put that in there. Where did that come from?

Shane Martine: 40:24
You know it was funny because they said every blog needs a tagline and I’ve always said there’s a lot of pretentious people in Charlotte, there’s a lot of pretentious people in the music business, and I think it was just kind of what you said it was. I love alliterations if they can flow, but I just thought, like somebody called me like the Tim Allen. You remember Tool Time?

Ella Magers: 40:45
Oh, of course.

Shane Martine: 40:46
Somebody said you’re like the Tim Allen of vegan cooking or someone, and I thought I guess you know it’s like you can be friends with everybody, because my friends range from the most Uber conservative to off the rail liberal and progressive and we just have a good time and you know just everybody. But I just thought what I don’t like is pretentiousness and I always felt like you know, a lot of people think that eating plant-based and there are, like you said, there’s this hippie-dippy and then on the other side you’ve got the well-heeled elite. You know and it’s like you can’t be in our vegan circle. And so I just thought I’m just a very practical person and so I just typed it out one night practical, not pretentious, plant-based recipes. And I thought, if anything, that’s a good alliteration. And you said that’s your tagline and I went, oh, you’re right, yes, and so that’s kind of been it, and I’ve had more people comment about that tagline than the name, because they’re like they said, I tried your blog just because I saw that tagline and I thought that’s cool. So I love it Very cool. I think it touches the button, but they seem to remember it.

Ella Magers: 41:52
Yes, yes. Well, I want to touch on you know, when I asked you, what has you inspired these days, one of the things that you mentioned was vulnerability and transparency, and you’ve been very vulnerable and transparent telling your story here. Was there something in particular that made you write that?

Shane Martine: 42:13
You know I’m a very defensive person by nature and I feel like that’s one of the things I think. Growing up in the deep south we’re very prideful people and we have a very pull yourself up by your own bootstrips, blue collar, work ethic and that’s good. To a point, you know, it’s like I can’t afford to go buy this, but I got, I’m going to figure out how to build it and if I’m struggling I ain’t going to tell anybody. And 2005, when I first went into ministry, the pastor that I worked for is just, he was like a wise old sage and creatives musicians. I mean, there’s a part of us, there’s an arrogance in there because it’s like what makes us want to be in front of people. You know it’s like, yeah, we want to help, but there’s a certain confidence that has to come with that to be able to do that. You know, or want to do that. And I love a microphone, I love being the center of attention, but I have to realize it’s not always about me, you know. So he and I would meet once a week to just kind of discuss, you know, the layout of a service or something. And he said, hey, I want to talk to you about something and I’d bring it up and I go, but wait, but let me tell you about what really happened. He said do you realize, every time I just want to talk to you about something, you always try to defend yourself? You never just sit and listen. And he motioned his arms. He said quit doing this like pushing away. And he said just sit and listen, don’t affirm, don’t deny, just listen and receive. And that stuck with me. And so I went from being a guy that people didn’t want to confront or talk to, because it was like they knew I was going to push back right off the bat, to being a guy that people said hey, if Shane has hurt you or is bothering you, you can go confront him. Like he will hear you. And that is something that just always stuck with me. And what I saw was vulnerability and transparency, one. I think it does more to break down the walls and make people feel safe with you, and it just really is an area for growth. And I feel like life is too short to kind of image, manage and you know, just for lack of a better term, the bullshit. You know, we touch people better when they feel like we’re accessible. We’re able to meet them where they are. And so for me, when I talk about transparency and vulnerability, especially as a man, I don’t feel like men. I think that’s the biggest thing that prohibit. I feel like men don’t feel safe and feel like to be vulnerable and transparent because it’s we’ve got to put on this thing. We got to go out and you know, for lack of a better word kill something, drag it home, and we’ve got to be this and we’ve got to be that and we don’t want to ask for help. And I think, you know, when we go back to what I was talking about when the music business got hit, like, how did I handle that? I think, over those years, when you look back and just some things my wife and I have gone through, we have gotten to the point where pride was just stripped away and we had no alternative but to ask for help. And that’s what I say. I think that was some of the best lessons that came from that and I’ve just seen how it has impacted my life, improved my life, and it’s not just for people, I mean it’s with your kids. I mean it’s like when you do something with your kids that has hurt them or you’ve responded a certain way, you know you expect your kids to come apologize to you, but when you, as a parent, have to go to them and said you know what I was wrong in this situation and I need you. And that’s one of the things we try to instill in our kids. We want them to be leaders, but learn to lead with repentance and vulnerability. That doesn’t mean you’re weak, it doesn’t mean you get walked on, but learn to own your mistakes, learn to own your sin, and in any conflict, very rarely is it one person at fault. Now it can be 80, 20, it can be 90, 10, it can be 50, 50. But when you recognize what you brought to the table in that conflict, be the first to step out and go hey, I am really sorry and I did this. And so I think just that idea of vulnerability and transparency it strengthens us and it’s something that you just don’t see. It’s not very popular in our culture right now.

Ella Magers: 46:21

Shane Martine: 46:21
And so I don’t know. It’s life giving, almost, you know.

Ella Magers: 46:25
It’s empowering too. It is you can own your stuff too, and not be defensive, you get to take back your power in that.

Shane Martine: 46:35
Yeah, yeah, you’re not giving people power over you and it’s not that you don’t care what people think in the sense, because you want to have a good reputation, but who you are is not dependent on what they think. You’re able to sleep a little bit better at night, but it’s a great area for growth and it’s just. Image managing is depressing and it is exhausting. It’s absolutely exhausting, and people are smart. They can sniff out phonies in a heartbeat, you know, and I think that, yeah, I mean, it’s funny that you bring that up because Rich McCarty, who’s a doctor here, he’d been prescribing my website. He’s kind of like he loves healing his patients with diet, if they’ll do it, and he had been prescribing my recipes for two or three years and one of his patients said hey, I follow this guy. I think he lives in Mississippi now and the guy goes. No, no, no, he lives in North Carolina. He goes, no, dude, he moved back and it was one of the guys that followed me religiously and he goes. He emailed me and he said yeah, I live 20 minutes up the road, so we had connected and he told me. He said you know, he goes. I follow a lot of bloggers and he’s on my Shane and Simple page on Facebook. He said you know what he said? I have never seen people respond the way your people respond, like if you put something out there that you’re struggling or that, hey guys, this is going on, sorry. He said it’s like a little community. And I went back and I looked and I said it really is. I mean, it really is. And I think it comes from that idea of trying to be transparent, like hey, we’re all in this together. It’s not just about the food, you know encompasses everything we do, you know.

Ella Magers: 48:06
So oh, shane, I wish we had another hour, which means I might have to ask you back, because we didn’t even get to talk about the recipes, and I want to talk about your take on oil and all this, and we are out of time, so will you come back?

Shane Martine: 48:21
I’ll tell you what. All you have to do is give me the date and the time, and I am sorry that I talked a lot.

Ella Magers: 48:27
No, this is perfect. This was perfect. This is the stuff that fascinates me. I mean, the food part is great, but it’s the story, it’s the human behind the recipes that I’m most interested in, and I think that our audience is. And all of this is so important for the idea of holistic health. Right, that vulnerability, the transparency, the story, the resilience that you demonstrated in your life and all that you’ve been through and for you to come out and now be inspiring and helping people all over the world to get healthy and enjoy and find joy in the kitchen and with plants and the impact you’re making is huge. So I’m so grateful and grateful to you and your story.

Shane Martine: 49:10
Well, yes, all that to say is all you have to do is give me a date and a time, because it’d be an honor, I mean anytime we get to hang out, yes, so agree, I’ll let you say awesome.

Ella Magers: 49:21
We’ll tell people your blog where to find you. Anything else that you want to share?

Shane Martine: 49:25
Last year, so Shane and simplecom is the best place to find the recipes. Everything is free. Sign up, get the newsletter so that you never miss a new recipe. I tell people, community is huge and success. So there are two Shane and simple groups on Facebook. There’s the fan page, which is just what I post, and that’s facebookcom slash Shane and simple cooking. But there’s also a community like just a group page and you can find that it’s linked to that. But that’s where I basically let everybody comment, share things there. Instagram is Shane and simple cooking. Those are the best places to find me. I try to answer every message that comes to me. It may take two weeks, but I try to get back to it. I love the trying to be intentional to get all that done. So that’s, and then I will tell people Christmas morning I’m doing a special live with Chef AJ.

Ella Magers: 50:15
Oh, no way.

Shane Martine: 50:16
Yes, so we’re going to do. She just reached out and she said hey, I was on her show one time. She said could we do something on Christmas morning? I know that’s family time, but I think people would love to see what you eat, and we make a French toast casserole every Christmas that I make. So we’re going to do it at like 9 am Central time, which is like 7 am Her time. She’s out in California, but if you follow Chef AJ, we’re going to a special Christmas morning breakfast thing together.

Ella Magers: 50:41
So amazing and amazing and this is probably going to come out after Christmas, but that will stay up on her YouTube channel.

Shane Martine: 50:49
Yes, and I think it’ll actually be live. We’re doing it live.

Ella Magers: 50:52
Right, but I’m saying this is recorded. When this is published, it’ll be January, so people will win this.

Shane Martine: 50:59
Oh, this, this.

Ella Magers: 51:00
Oh, okay.

Shane Martine: 51:03
Let’s read back. Hey, new Year. What’s going on Everyone? I was on Chef AJ, that was awesome.

Ella Magers: 51:10
But I’m saying that people will want that recipe and it’ll be available on Chef AJ YouTube, so chain. Thank you so much, and we will schedule our part two.

Shane Martine: 51:19
That sounds great. Looking forward to it, thank you. Thank you, you’re so welcome.

Ella Magers: 51:26
Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of Rise and Thrive with me, Ella Majors. I truly hope you found it inspiring and, if you did, please help me spread the word by leaving a rating and review on your favorite podcast player and by sharing the show with your friends. As you probably know by now, my life’s purpose is to use my voice to make this world a more conscious and compassionate place, and your reviews and shares make a huge impact. And last, I’m getting a ton of insanely positive feedback about my short and sweet monthly newsletter called the Way Short for the Way Out Is Through. I give my top five latest badass discoveries, insights and explorations, like vegan products and recipes. I’m obsessed with books and shows I’m loving and workouts that have me fired up. Head on over to my website, EllaMajorscom, to sign up and check out all the other awesome resources I have for you and projects I’m involved with, including Hogs and Kisses Farm Sanctuary, where our mission is to create the best life for farm animals while inspiring compassion for all living beings. Thanks a lot, and I’ll see you on the next one.


I heard a lyric from a song the other day… that said, “There’s no one more thankful to sit at a table than the one who best remembers hunger’s pain.” And so when these hard times come and these moments, it really is like a gut punch. But then you look back and it just makes you appreciate things going forward.     – Shane Martin


When Shane Martin decided to swap his Southern comfort food for kale and quinoa, he didn’t just change his diet to plant-based —he transformed his life.

In our heartwarming conversation, Shane takes us through his journey of self-discovery, from his days as a high school athlete to becoming a beacon for plant-based living with his Shane and Simple brand and the Real Men Eat Plants podcast. His tales are filled with authenticity and humor, particularly when he reminisces about our zany first encounter during a food demo that perfectly captured the beautiful chaos of transition.

This episode isn’t just about food or plant-based diets and weight loss; it’s about finding harmony in the unexpected symphony of life. Shane, an ex-musician, strings together his experience with weight gain, personal loss, and career shifts, showing us that it’s possible to compose a new life score, no matter the setbacks.

His stories offer a candid glimpse into the emotional challenges he faced and the resilience it took to embrace a healthier, plant-based lifestyle for himself and his family. Our chat is sure to strike a chord with anyone who’s ever had to pick up a different tune and learn to play along.

We wrap up with a generous helping of inspiration as Shane shares the evolution of his blog, from a simple spark of encouragement to a full-blown career that feeds not just the stomach but the soul. He reminds us that sometimes, the most delectable recipes come from the simple ingredients of vulnerability and transparency.

As Shane stirs the pot of his plant-based wisdom, listeners are bound to feel a dash of motivation to cook up their own changes, whether in the kitchen or in life.

So grab a snack, and join us for an episode that’s as nourishing for the mind as it is for the body.


Official Bio: 

Shane Martin calls himself an “average, ordinary guy” who was born in Mississippi, growing up eating Southern deep-fried, gravy-covered food. His dietary lifestyle in adulthood led him to reach 300 pounds. After finding Forks Over Knives, Shane switched to a plant-based diet and transformed his life and those of his family. He went all in, figuring out how to make dishes that improved his health and still tasted delicious. He reversed extremely high blood pressure and high cholesterol, ​obesity, type 2 diabetes. After stints as a musician and minister, he now shares his passion through a very popular recipe blog and social media accounts, public speaking events and food demonstrations. He likes to say that he doesn’t make vegan food, he makes food vegan. The dishes must also be easy, healthy and accessible for all of us! Find him on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram or explore his website, shaneandsimple.com.



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