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Plant-Powered People Podcast

Apr 22, 2022

Meat-loving Italian New Yorker, Danny Costanzo, saves his own life by going plant-based. And then... guess what he did? He went on to open a 100% Vegan Italian Restaurant — Plant-Based MafiaGrowing up in an Italian family in New York, Danny Costanzo grew up enjoying delicious comforting food and the way it brought his loved ones together. His dietary habits have shifted many times throughout his life — from eating everything, to becoming a raw foodist, to a diet which led him to 3 clogged arteries, and to where he is now with a vegan diet.

When you think of Italian food, you probably think of cheesy pizza, parmesan on everything, and deliciously creamy cannolis. Vegan may be the last word that comes to mind.

That's why we're so excited to have him on the show to talk about how he got started on a plant-based lifestyle and how it led to the creation of his wildly successful Italian restaurant.

Danny shares what led him to change his diet a number of times, and how food has had such a huge impact on his cardiovascular health. You'll definitely want to listen to this if you want to know how a vegan diet can help improve and even reverse heart disease!

He also shares his experience of growing up in an Italian family where food is central to bringing everyone together, and how he carried that welcoming philosophy into his restaurant.

By the end of the episode, you’ll want to find your way to Florida to eat at Plant-Based Mafia sometime soon!

Happy listening,

♡ Michelle & Toni


  • Growing up in a food-centric Italian family with rich & decadent recipes
  • Creating delicious vegan versions of popular Italian dishes and making vegan Italian food cool! 
  • How a long recovery from a leg injury led to adopting a vegan diet
  • Dealing with grief and stress & how it can affect the body
  • The importance of listening to your body’s symptoms and cues
  • How a plant-based diet can help reverse clogged arteries and help heart disease
  • Bringing people together and creating community around plant-based food
  • Real Italian culture vs. Italian portrayal in films
  • The history of the name “Plant-Based Mafia & reclaiming the true meaning of the word “mafia”
  • The importance of being your own health advocate
  • Getting through a tough time by dedicating yourself to a cause
  • The exciting next steps for the vegan Italian restaurant Plant-Based Mafia
  • Thank you to our sponsor, Caraway Home