Episode 244 Transcript (Danny Vega)
Podcast Intro [00:00:01] Being a great father takes a massive amount of courage. Instead of being an amazing leader and a decent dad, I want to be an amazing dad and a decent leader. The oldest dad in the world gave you this assignment, which means you must be ready for it. As a dad, I get on my knees and I fight for my kids. Let us be those dads who stop the generational pass down of trauma. I want encounters with God where he teaches me what to do with my kids. I know I’m going to be an awesome dad because I’m going to give it my all.
Jeff Zaugg [00:00:38] What’s up, guys? Welcome back to dadAWESOME. This is episode 244 and my guest today, Danny Vega, from the Fat Fueled Family. I’ll introduce him in just a minute here, but want to remind you guys, we are on the road. So as I’m recording this intro, it’s day 12 of our RV tour. And in the first ten days, we actually hosted two meet ups. And tonight we’re hosting the third. So three meetups Lincoln, Nebraska, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado. Looking at next week, likely being in Fort Collins, hosting a meet up and then look ahead to Salt Lake City. Look ahead to San Diego, California. And then the Phoenix, Scottsdale. So that’s coming over the next couple of months here. But we’ve had such great conversations. The, I’ve realized, the sweet spot on these conversations is like 6 to 8 guys. And man, this is not me exporting the dadAWESOME tour. These meet ups are me importing me being like, Man, tell me, man, tell me what you’re learning. Tell me what’s been a struggle. Tell me, how are you doing? How’s the dad life? And the conversations have been rich. Testimonies have been rich. Also, stories of these are specific ways that this ministry, dadAWESOME, has impacted the trajectory of families. Man, thinking about a couple specific guys, I’m like, this is this is such a gift to be in smaller rooms and having rich conversations. So check out dadAWESOME.org/tour to find out where are we going to be and to RSVP to join one of these conversations. Also interested in continuing to find guys who want to help be the host of these gatherings. So let me know, reach out, we’d love to hear from you. So Danny Vega, we were introduced by our mutual friend Terry, and he’s like, Man, you guys both have podcasts. You both care deeply about family. Here’s the mission of the Fat Fueled Family, this is Danny Vega’s. One of his kind of emphasis areas, his mission is, man, it’s leading of movement that will empower families to eat better, move more and grow closer. I want that for my family. Eat better, move more and grow closer. That’s the movement they’re all about. Let’s jump right in. This is my conversation, episode 244 with Danny Vega. This conversation is one that I’m like, I kind of would shy away from in a lot of ways because I’m like, I just have not given enough intentionality to the area of fuel. Like, what am I putting into my body? Nutrition, just a strategic approach to saying, I want to, I want to I want to thrive in this area of my intake. So, Danny, thanks for coming on to dadAWESOME today. We’re going to talk about nutrition. We’re gonna talk about fitness, talk about parenting, education. We’re going to talk about a gamification, adventure, children’s books. We got a lot of topics to cover today.
Danny Vega [00:03:23] Yeah, we do. I love it, dude. I’m happy to be here, man. All topics I absolutely love.
Jeff Zaugg [00:03:27] Game on, game on. Tell me again, where in Florida is your family?
Danny Vega [00:03:31] So we’re in Brandon, which is about 20 minutes East of Tampa. Downtown Tampa. Yep.
Jeff Zaugg [00:03:36] Cool. And for those watching on YouTube, which is just a small percentage of our audience, they’re like, did you guys sync up your T-shirt color?
Danny Vega [00:03:43] Yeah, that was the.
Jeff Zaugg [00:03:45] Did I send you a memo on what to wear? Did I or did not?
Danny Vega [00:03:48] You did not, dude. That is like I mean, I got I got an open house that I’m going to like with with the kids because we have this amazing thing called Urban Cottage. I don’t even know what to call it, but it’s like a homeschool tutoring place. And and I was like, I got to get dressed for that. And then I come on here and we’re wearing the same thing. The only difference is mine is a V-neck and yours isn’t. They’re noth purple shirts like, what are the odds?
Jeff Zaugg [00:04:12] Purple Shirt Club. Now you’re you’re from the purple shirt dad, boy dad clubs. You got two sons?
Danny Vega [00:04:18] Yes sir.
Jeff Zaugg [00:04:18] And I’ve got four daughters. So we’re coming out from different angles. The Purple Shirt Club. But talk about your boys. How old are they?
Danny Vega [00:04:25] Man, my boys are fantastic. It’s Desmond and Dean. Desmond is 11 and Dean just turned eight in June. They’re both just amazing. They’re both amazing in their own different way. Desmond is kind of my everything whisperer. Everything from animals to babies to, you know, every being that comes in contact with him just is comfortable. And he’s, he’s very nurturing. He’s amazing. He’s very artistic. He’s very smart. He’s, you know, 2020, for example, he he learned so much. He taught himself how to solve all types of Rubik’s Cubes, beatbox. He he just showed me an amazing origami thing that he just made right now that I thought it was like another one, but it had like five different directions that it goes. And then Dean is and, you know, one of our mutual friends, Terry, actually gave Dean his his nickname, and he’s the warrior spirit. Dean is just like he is that warrior spirit, man. He’s he’s a real special kid. He got run over, hit and run over when he was four years old. And he is just perfect. I mean, you would never even be able to tell his ear was torn off. I mean, he’s a miracle. He’s they’re both actually miracles because Desmond had, you know, a congenital heart defect that was supposed to, they probably were going to operate on him when he was four. And then all of a sudden and this comes back to diet, I truly believe that diet has a big part to do with this. The cardiologist told us about four years ago, she’s like, I can’t believe I’m going to say this because this was always a given that he was going to get operated at some point or another. She’s like, I don’t think we’re going to have to operate, you know? And so, yeah, so those are my two kids. I mean, I could go on and on about them forever, but they’re, they’re amazing. They’re very different. And, and they’re put in each other’s lives and put in our lives for very specific reasons, which, you know, we’re always learning that, you know.
Jeff Zaugg [00:06:23] Wow, what a gift. And you and your wife, how long have you guys been married?
Danny Vega [00:06:28] It’ll be ten years in November, on November 3rd, this year. So obviously we we did it the wrong order. Yeah, it was it was the wrong order. But it was it was all it was all meant to be, man. My wife, I can’t even put into words how much I love that woman. I mean, borderline unhealthy. I got to be like, God, you know, I’m keeping you first, you know, because she is I really do love my wife, you know, she’s amazing and very loyal and just very talented and just everything she picks up, she just runs with it, you know, like, I’ll show her something and then she’ll end up being better at it than me, you know?
Jeff Zaugg [00:07:08] Yeah. I love that. And, you know, you mentioned in the wrong order, like we we have never found dadAWESOME this person who’s got it all right, dad perfect, whose just like I’ve got it all. In fact, I think so often God tells us later, Oh, that was the wrong order, I had a better way, but I’ve got you, I’ve got you and I love you. So that’s that’s the best. Let’s go to that moment, though, of the unimaginable happening with your son, in this accidents and just how you as a dad in the moment, like what got you through that those those moments?
Danny Vega [00:07:42] Wow, man. You know, it was a really good test for us for our biggest and first test, probably our biggest test yet, still. So I, my wife was at home with the boys. She had just let them walk off with the with the nanny because the nanny was going to take them to the pool. And I had a mutual friend of ours who I had just taken to the gym, and we were driving back home just to record a podcast with my wife. And and I literally was like less than 5 minutes away when my wife calls me frantically crying, like, where are you? Like, and I was literally like, I was around the corner and Dean had gotten hit and run over by a truck. And she ran out of the house, left the door wide open, left everything open, garage. And by the time I got there, everybody was gone. My my wife, the guy who ran him over, was taking my wife and my son to the hospital. And you know, then I go to the hospital and as soon as I get there, man, and I walk into that room, his eyes are rolling back in his head like there’s blood everywhere. I honestly, like I completely lost it and just broke down, just crying like frantically. And I walked out of the room for a second, I composed myself and I went and I grabbed my wife and we immediately started praying. And, you know, that was the, it’s time, it’s time to pray. We know this is exactly what we need to do. And every step along the way, God, you know, showed us that there was a purpose for this child. You know, like, first they checked on, you know, the organs, nothing, no damage to the organs beyond, you know, liver values being high. But that’s what happens when there’s a lot of pain. You know, nothing wrong with his with his brain that we could tell. The only thing he had was like lots of road rash. His ear was torn off, like I said, they had to reattach his ear. His, he had some cervical, he tore some ligaments in his cervical spine, he had to wear a neck brace for for 4 to 6 weeks. And, you know, but it was really hard. You know, it was really hard. They had to, thank God they didn’t airlift him because if they airlifted him, I wouldn’t have been able to ride with him to the hospital. So they ambulanced him to All Children’s Hospital, which is amazing hospital in St. Pete. And I rode with him. And there must have been a hundred hands that touched my son. You know, like there was so many people. And, you know, the second day that we were there, a pastor came and actually, you know, checked in with me and the older son, with Desmond. And, you know, we were home on Saturday, it happened on a Tuesday, we were home on Saturday. He was taking his first steps, you know, on on Friday. Oh, you know, out of the bed, very cautiously and everything. But yeah, man, it was it just like I was at Bible study at church recently and we were in Matthew and they were talking about, you know, miracles. And, and we just started to think of all the miracles that God has done in our life. In our lives, it’s just it’s absurd how many miracles he’s done. And, you know, shame on us because it’s like we’ve never sat down to, like, really think about like, oh, my gosh, this one, this one, this one. I got hit in the head with the club in high school, 15 staples in my head. You know, like, God and I have nothing, you know, like there’s so many different things that that, like, have happened that God has saved us. But it must have been for something. Something more, something bigger, you know?
Jeff Zaugg [00:11:35] Wow. We were just talking about the double rainbow before we hit record. Yeah. And, you know, that being I didn’t even think about it earlier, but the sign of God’s faithfulness, a sign of a promise that He made, and how often we’re unaware of miracles, were unaware that we’ve been protected or that our four year old’s been protected. And yeah, so thank you for going there. I’m sure it’s even painful to like rethink, but it’s also a reminder to all of us we should pause and we should remember all the ways and tell stories to our kids about all the ways that God has been faithful and done miracles.
Danny Vega [00:12:09] Absolutely. There were thousands of people around the world praying for us, and that was just so amazing to know, like and I and I truly believe that, you know, just like, you know, I just think of King Hezekiah, you know, like, like, give me a give me some more time, you know, like and there were people interceding, you know, we see when when people intercede, things change. God shows His mercy. He could have been that obviously that He had that plan, obviously. But people intercede and He and He He takes He has compassion and He and He changes things. So, yeah, amazing.
Jeff Zaugg [00:12:47] Slightly different direction. But looking at your kind of back story from from college all the way up through when you kind of launched into this, this current chapter of just training, a lot of training and helping teams, individuals, thrive in the area of fitness, fuel so their diets in other areas. What parallels are there, do you think, between or similarities between training high performing athletes and training up our kids, our boys, in your case? Can you share a few of the parallels that they’re equally effective in both spheres?
Danny Vega [00:13:20] Absolutely, I guess, so the first one would have to be taking responsibility not only for taking responsibility for what what you need to do to reach that next goal. You know, like whether it’s you’re never going to I’m not going to be the father is not going to be able to do lift the heavy things for you. And I’m where I mean, lift the heavy things. I mean, you know, do those hard things for you just like, you know, your coach is not going to be able to run that play for you or, you know, so, so that’s one thing. But then the other side of responsibility is, you know, the whole integrity thing, you know, taking responsibility for your actions. This is something that it’s like you have to drill it so much into children, you know, with with the guys on the team, like it’s a little bit easier, they’re a little bit older. But my boys, it’s like it’s like boys. I don’t care if you did something wrong, just don’t lie to me and don’t pass it, don’t pass the buck, you know? So I do see those parallels. Just I, obviously, this is more not just coaching versus parenting. It’s also. It’s also, you know, the example that, you know, that that I show as as someone who’s all they’ve ever seen is someone who’s who takes care of himself, you know, nutritionally and fitness wise. And and like we always tell people when it comes to their health and and the way they eat, we’re not trying to force them to eat perfectly. We’re trying to educate them. We also we put them in an environment where they’re going to win. You know, we don’t keep any crap in the house. But our ultimate goal is not to produce perfect eaters. Like if we were to look at it that way, we would we would produce disordered eaters, you know. What our goal is, is and it’s just just that proverbs, you know, like train them up in the way they should go. And when they when they go on their own, they’re going to do it. It’s this idea that, yeah, you know, maybe you don’t eat perfect, but when you when you grow up, not only do you have the foundation of knowledge to know that what what you can do to fix it. But you’re going to also, absolutely, know that the action that you’re going to take is not automatically go to the health care system. You’re going to say, how can I change something in my lifestyle, something in my diet? And that is so worth it. And that is like, you know, any good coach where whether it’s like personal training, you know, just a typical soccer mom, you know, weekend warrior high school kid or it’s a parent, you know, you have to educate them, you know, and educating them and basically making them dangerous and providing opportunities where more and more responsibility is given to them as a way to kind of continually stress test them and continue to build that skill, build that knowledge base, because eventually those training wheels come off and either it’s game day or it’s the game of life, you know, like, yeah. So yeah.
Jeff Zaugg [00:16:32] That’s helpful. I was just looking more into the Fat Fueled Family, this move you’ve created, and you had three kind of leading areas of movement that will empower families to eat better, move more, and grow closer. And I and there’s a lot of other facets, but those three big buckets, I thought we’d actually work our way backwards. So growing closer, what, what would be your kind of top of mind ways that you and your wife have helped your own family grow closer with your boys?
Danny Vega [00:17:03] I love I love the I love these questions. These are awesome questions because this is like totally like what we what we value. Number one, why is growing closer there? Here’s the thing, like a lot of people look at things like tactics. They’re just looking at the tactics, but they’re not looking at the overall strategy, right. So they’re looking at like, I got to get my child to eat better, I got to get my child to move more. And it’s like, wait a second, you know, you’re putting the cart before the horse because you have to connect with your child. Your child has to trust you. You know, you have to create this safe environment. And there’s all these things like, shoot, I get things wrong all the time as a parent, man, it’s so hard. It’s like you’re juggling like 50 plates, you know? But growing closer is the most important thing because family is the most important thing. You know, God puts a man and a woman together and this man and woman obey Him and they follow His will. And then they create children and raise children, who will then, duplicate that and follow God. So God smiles on that, right? So certain things that that we do, we love we have traditions. We love traditions. We do like shut things down on Friday night, you know, Old Testament style, Sabbath, you know, like we just some Fridays, prep day, you know, we call it clean up palooza. The house is getting cleaned up. I just started a new part of it that’s I’m taking I’m letting my wife take a break every other Friday, so I’m taking it on. I’m really excited to do that, really excited to serve my wife more. And then on Saturdays, like we go to church, we we spend time with the family there, you know, we spend a lot of time on social media and on our phones and our computers, so there is none of that on Saturday. You know, traveling used to be a much bigger part of it. But then this whole new world, like we, we’ve had to change that up. But yeah, like growing closer and really just having trust, you know. When we, when we first started doing this, we were like a little bit too hippie, you know, like we, we knew what we didn’t want to do, we’re like, I’m not going to send my kid to the normal school. I’m not, you know, I’m going to be a total, you know, hippie, unschooler, and I’m going to do peaceful parenting. And there was a real looking back on it. I should have known, but obviously when the rubber hit the road, we noticed it took us a while because we were rebellious, you know. And and so now we’ve aligned a lot of those same concepts and principles, but we brought them under a biblical framework where it’s it’s a lot more there is more structure, there has to be more discipline. And so that’s been a learning process for us. We used to be like so idealistic, like, Oh, our child’s going to trust us, and we work and we work in harmony together and we’re a team and they do it because they love us. It’s like, well, sometimes you got to you got to lay down the law, you know? So because they don’t and they don’t value things like, you know, you kind of have to like you kind of have to drill it into them a little bit. So, but the bottom line is, you know, we just finished up contributing for a book for a guy named Ben Greenfield. He’s like kind of like a big biohacker. And they asked, one of the questions I thought were really good was, how would you like your child or your children to remember you? You know? And so that was something that I was like, wow, I really want them to to say that, you know, we were the perfect example of of what, you know, God envisions for a parent, you know. That that that we did the best we could with with these gifts that were given to us to manage, you know. So, you know, family is everything. And there really just is it. And you can see the opposite. You know, the opposite in society, families completely being destroyed. And, you know, I see definitely like that pendulum swinging back. People are like, wait a second, wait a second. We went we signed up for this and we got all of this and it’s like now, but I’m grateful for it, right? Because it’s like now you can question all of that stuff that you that you thought that you were cool with when in reality you were probably just trying to go along just to get along. Now you can actually say, you know what? What does the Bible say? And I’m going to stand on that principle instead of, you know, being wishy washy. I see a lot of people drawing the line in the sand, not in a not in a violent way, but really in a way that’s like, you know what, it’s time to stand for our principles. It’s time to love people, absolutely love them, but let them know that this is we are not participating in anything that that that is going to destroy the family or confuse the family or I mean, you take your pick, there’s a million different agendas right now. So.
Jeff Zaugg [00:22:12] That’s real. That’s real. Yeah, man before we before we jump into move more, the second area, just to stay on closeness for a moment and together, discipleship. Just helping your boys at their current ages and any practical areas of like helping guide them towards Jesus that you’ve found that are working, in this phase?
Danny Vega [00:22:34] Man, let me tell you, I just I’ve shared thi, you probably I know you said you were listening to some of the podcasts, I’ve been on. You know, it’s like it’s one of those that it’s like if you’re Christian, you know it, you probably bred it or heard it a few times, but it’s just so powerful and so useful. And that’s Wild at Heart. Yeah, Wild at Heart. And obviously, you being a father for girls, Captivating, would be, you know, the counterpart to that. John Aldridge and Stacy Aldridge, Ransom Heart Ministries. You guys, if you haven’t listened or read those, I highly recommend them, because they really do give you like, the real framework and like, you know in my, dad of a boy dad experience. It’s, you know, the question that my children don’t know that they have yet, but they will. And at some point I’ll let them know that question so they can really hone in on it. And this is do I have what it takes to be a man? You know, and and like so how do we disciple them? Well, first of all, our, the company that we keep has to be amazing. You know, I, my, my son’s only know, man of integrity, around me. You know, there’s no there’s there’s there’s just no room for, it’s just such a weird message to send your son. It’s like, well, oh, that’s so and so he’s that’s how just how he is, you know? And we can’t do that because they’re so impressionable, like their brains are like these sponges, you know, they’re so moldable and pliable. And so the but the other thing is we always we find hard things to do. Like we used to copy this, there’s this family called Bucket List family. Ever heard of them?
Jeff Zaugg [00:24:15] Oh, yeah, for sure.
Danny Vega [00:24:16] Yeah. So, you know, their, their whole thing is like when we would go on our vacations, it was like, find a way to serve, find a way to get involved with the local culture and then find something like an adventure, which is something that’s either going to scare you or challenge you. And so we we’ve incorporated that and we’ve had a lot of things like sometimes it’s not gone, right, you know? The first time my son went mountain biking, my oldest, he hated it. He got so hurt. And then, like, it’s funny, we later years later, he was asking for it. But, you know, building skills, you know, my my oldest knows how to shoot several guns, you know, hiking, all those things that connect us and really just take us out of this fake world, it’s such a fake world. Like we’re going from box to box and we buy our box of food as we walk into the box gym, and, you know, it’s like it’s wild. It’s it’s it’s completely tamed us. We’re just these, these, what’s the word? What’s that word?
Jeff Zaugg [00:25:20] Clones, like we’re like the same? Is that what you’re going after?
Danny Vega [00:25:24] We’re domesticated. You know, and that’s not how we’re supposed to be.
Jeff Zaugg [00:25:28] So you’re affirming to your boys that you do have what it takes through experiences together.
Danny Vega [00:25:32] You have to give the experience. You know, you can’t just say it because if you do like there, there will be that point, and I’m sure you’ve read it. You know, it’s like if you have to pass that torch and you can’t just pass the torch without him having earned it, that’s why, you know, there’s these like incrementally harder events, you know, leading up to possibly which which I would love some sort of, well, what do you call that? What the Native Americans would call like these?
Jeff Zaugg [00:26:03] Like a rite of passage.
Danny Vega [00:26:04] Rite of passage. Like a rite of passage. And then when you say, you know, you’re a man now, you are a man, they will believe it. And that’s how you keep them from turning into like what what John Eldridge called the false self, you know, the ladies man, the tough guy, the wimp, the workaholic. Like there’s all these versions of us that that God doesn’t want that for us, you know? And, you know, obviously, that those wounds can be healed. But I want to I want my kids to survive with as little damage as possible. I’m going to do some. I want I want as little permanent damage, as little, you know, things that they need to heal as possible.
Jeff Zaugg [00:26:43] Well, every time I talk to a dad with boys, that are taking me steps seriously, like you’re describing, not perfectly, but seriously, like you’re pressing in. I’m just like, yes, because I’m praying for these four little boys that are someday going to be men who have been initiated that will marry my four girls. I’m like, Yeah, I have I have an agenda here. I agenda with all these questions. And yeah, so thank you for sharing on that side. Let’s move in to move more so getting families moving. We we did the dadAWESOME Murph Challenge this last winter where we used the weight of our kids. So, you know, I had my three year old on my shoulders for the run. I was not able to strap on my baby for all the pull ups, but I did that, I did a set of pullups with her on. But we had, part of the reason I bring that up, though, is we had sixty guys sign up for the dadAWESOME Murph but only about 20 actually did the challenge after the 60 days. So there was a, I’m curious on and moving more what do you find, how would you challenge and encourage men to be men who follow through? These dads listening to hey, I follow through, I do the thing I signed up for versus have intent.
Danny Vega [00:27:53] Yeah, that’s a really good one. So I actually I highlighted two cases in my talk that I did at a KetoCon. It was a big ketogenic conference and one of them was 75 heart challenge that I did with my group coaching clients. And that was I think it was 30 people out of 100 clients signed up for that. Then the other one was a free carnivore challenge, that was three months and 100 people signed up for that, right, but it was free. So the first thing I’ll say is that you, when you are signing up for something and, you know, writing these goals down, it’s clear that, at first, people used to say, well, tell people your goals, they’ll keep you accountable. Then you learn that, don’t tell people because then our brain thinks that you’re done, and then and then you don’t do it. But actually the final, apparently, from the more recent research is you should tell people that you, what this goal is that you’re trying to chase down, but it has to be the right person. So it has to be, it turns out that if you share your goals with people who you perceive to have at least done some of that goal or have accomplished that goal, now you are you’re more likely to do it. So have someone to keep you accountable, that is not going to just be like, Oh, well, what are you going to do when when you tell them that you didn’t do it? You know, someone who’s like, Come on, man, I did this, you know, you could do it. The second thing is, you know, depending on if it’s if it’s a fitness thing and you feel overwhelmed and you’ve never done any of that in your life, then I would say pay someone. Absolutely pay someone. If you if you’re just like, you know, you know what you’re doing, then you don’t need to pay anybody. You don’t you know what you need to do. But the most important thing is, is you have to fix your mind. And and the best way to do that is you have to immediately get inside your mind and find out who this person is who’s telling you these things and what are they telling you? So the best way to do that is with, I think, a really easy challenge that people could do. It’s a 21 day challenge, right? Really simple. First week in the morning, first thing when you wake up. Five pushups, five squats, five sit ups. And then right before you go to bed, it has to be right when you wake up and right when you go to bed. It’s not like after dinner. It’s literally that time frame. Do the same thing. Second week it goes up to ten, ten, ten in the morning, ten, ten, ten in the evening. Third week it goes up to 15, 15, 15, 15, 15, 15. If you look at that, you’re literally at the third week for seven days doing 30 total pushups, which is not a lot. 30 total squats and 30 total sit ups. What happens? Nobody does it. Nobody can finish. You think it’s so simple and it’s for, many reasons, it’s you start to an activity like that, a challenge like that immediately helps you understand, okay, what is my inner voice saying? It’s either going to say one of many things. We’ve heard them all. I’m too busy. I forgot, that’s the biggest one. Oh, I forgot to do it, you know, oh wow, you’re off the hook. Because you forgot, like, what if you had to pick up your kid from school because your wife was out of town and you forgot, you know.
Jeff Zaugg [00:31:28] Elevate it.
Danny Vega [00:31:29] So and then the next one that that this is probably like after like day eight when you’re like initial like, yeah, gung ho, you know, motivation goes away is like, this is stupid, just stupid, you know. So that’s like a short term way for people to really start to tap in and figure out like, how can I keep my word to myself? Because if you do not keep your word to yourself, it creates a vicious cycle and it makes it easier and easier. And then you have self-loathing. You think you’re a terrible person because you ate the wrong thing or you didn’t do something. And that’s just in my mind, that’s the enemy whispering in people’s ear. But like the long term, it has to be lock yourself in a room, sit somewhere or somewhere outside, away from people, away from your phone, and sit down and really ask yourself, why is it that I have to do this right now? What’s so important that I have to do this now? Why now? And it can’t be, I need to lose some weight. My wife is, you know, it literally has to be, I feel like my wife won’t tolerate me much longer, feel like I’m going to get a divorce. I feel like I’m not going to be able to make it, I’m going to have to create a trust fund for my kids because I’ve spent so much time working. You know, it has to be all those things. And you really have to know because your why really helps you when it’s let’s say you want to run a marathon and you know, you’re you’re living in the Northeast and it’s November and it’s sleet, you know, and it’s like 15 degrees. And you’re like, you know, it’s this like wet, snowy, rainy stuff. And that’s that’s when you have to remember, well, this is a lot this is about a lot more than just me wanting to, you know, lose some pounds. You know.
Jeff Zaugg [00:33:25] I. I really appreciate your perspective here, Danny. And just a week and a half ago, I had signed up for the Olympic triathlon, and I was under trained and not many people knew I was going to do it if it wasn’t for one text message to one friend who I told him, I’m doing this like I’d like, it was my word there. So I did take it into community, into brotherhood, to witnesses. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But the depth, the resistance was so real and I was all talking myself into these are all the reasons why it’s actually better for my family if I skip that morning. I’m home with my family, like the inner voice, I want to raise four daughters who regularly push through the inner voice discouragement, the resistance to say, no, I can do hard things. And I actually the fulfillment because I dipped in almost quit. But then I didn’t and I went and did it. Like, it’s like I was so, like, just proud of myself. It didn’t matter if other people cheered for me, but like, finish the reward. I’m a finisher. I’m a finisher. So I love what you shared there. How about getting our families to move more and he just fun ideas to be able to spend like one minute on this any any ideas on how to get our families moving?
Danny Vega [00:34:32] Yeah, this will be like tactics type of stuff. So I love the playing cards. That’s one that I absolutely love.
Jeff Zaugg [00:34:39] Like for push ups where you flip them and do push ups?
Danny Vega [00:34:41] Push ups, sit up, squats. You could do whatever you want. You can have the kids pick them. You know, the the whatever suit it is is the exercise. And whatever number it is is the number, is the reps. You could also do that with dice, I love that. The same thing with dice, you know, honestly, like for us here in our neighborhood, a lot of the time, it was night walks in the winter. And night swims in the summer. Like we go to the pool. We have a community pool, but just, you know, especially if we want our children, we can’t tell our children to do anything that we don’t do.
Jeff Zaugg [00:35:20] It’s good.
Danny Vega [00:35:21] And so we have to absolutely, you know, lead by example, always show them. I’m really excited because I’m adding another gym membership because my wife found this gym and I was supposed to not, my son’s not supposed to train until he’s 14, but this new gym says that he can train like now.
Jeff Zaugg [00:35:41] Cool.
Danny Vega [00:35:41] And so my son has been you know, we put them into jujitsu. They started gymnastics, both, when they were like a year and a half. So they’ve they’ve been, always active. And and now I just I want to help my oldest. Like, lifting weights is something that that is my that’s my forte, you know, that’s where I can really add the most value for him. And it really is one of those things like if it was if it was jujitsu, I’d be doing jujitsu with him all day. But the the the lifting is something that it gives you confidence, you know what I mean? It’s it’s awesome. So, like, I can’t wait to to have him do that. But it can’t be forced. It cannot be forced. Some things can be if they’re not like a drill thing, like if it’s like we’re going for a hike today, we’re not going to take our phones, you know, like things like that. And real quick additions with the nutrition, that one’s even trickier, especially depending on the age. Like if you’re a person who is blessed enough to have learned about nutrition before you conceived or before your child could eat solid foods, it’s going to be a lot easier than your six year old. It’s going to be a lot easier than your 12 year old or 15 year old. Now it becomes more psychological and it’s like, look, you have that conversation with them and you tell them you it has nothing to do with them. You just say, look, I just I realize I’ve been doing this all wrong. You admit your faults. You know, you be you be a human. And you say, look, I learned that the stuff that I was eating is actually not food. I thought it was food, but it’s really a food like substance. So I’m just going to be eating this way. If you ever have any questions about it, let me know. But I’m not going to be able to eat some of the things that I ate before. And and that’s that, you know, like you can’t because everything is based on consent. And, you know, now there are things for us that we don’t keep things in the house. Like when I when I like learned about certain things. Those things are no longer in the house. Now you can find other things or you could buy that food with your own food. That’s how we do it with our kids. It’s like, you know, you can you like they’ll they’ll set up a lemonade stand like a pop up lemonade stand and make 24 bucks and they’ll just go split it between four people and they’re each come back with, like, boxes of candy, you know. It’s like, okay, you earned that. Go ahead and eat it. You’re going to feel bad. And but I’m not paying for it, you know.
Jeff Zaugg [00:38:09] This was like five years ago. You guys, like, completely pivot in the direction of your eating with with keto and the ketogenic lifestyle. Would you give us a give us just a flyover of what happened? How has it changed your family?
Danny Vega [00:38:22] Well, I’ll have to say, we’ve been, we’ve been pretty lucky because I’ve been obsessed with nutrition. So we started we were paleo before that term was even born. But we did so he was born in 2011, and then in 2013 I started powerlifting. And so there was like a good two year break there where we let some fast food sneak in and some crappy food. And so we did have to transition back, now for Desmond because of his, he had such a strong base. It was easier then for Dean, my youngest, because we started to feed him things at a younger age that Desmond had not even touched. But you know what is a ketogenic diet? The kids don’t necessarily eat a ketogenic diet, but the ketogenic diet is a very low carb, high fat, moderate to high protein diet. We don’t usually eat, you know, anything starchy, but the kids eat more of a low carb paleo. So mostly real food. But they’ll have their rice. They’ll they’ll have, you know, their starches. We had some sweet potato yesterday, fruit. And but like I said, we don’t keep the junk in the house. We don’t snack a lot. Snacking destroys meals. Snacking is just marketing, you know. That’s not how we’re supposed eat, we’re supposed to sit down, eat. That’s done. You know, and for people who aren’t active, I would say that two meals is a perfect amount for people like me who are active. Three or four meals is probably, you know, because I got 225 pounds of mass to hold on to. And it’s not like I want to, but I’m like, my body is hungry, so my body’s like, give me more food.
Jeff Zaugg [00:40:02] So, and I think I, I read that one of your sons said that as far as diet, his hope is to be health, a healthy kid, that does not eat that many carbs or sugar. That eats more fat. Like, just simply that’s the direction. Is that, is that sound right?
Danny Vega [00:40:19] Yeah, man. Like, it’s crazy. Like, everything that we’ve been told. And, like, if you’re Christian, it makes it so much easier because you’re like, Yeah, that sounds right. God did create us with abilities to heal ourselves. God didn’t create us with the static deficiency, you know, like, God didn’t say, Well, I’m going to make you this way, but you’re going to have to someone’s going to have to discover drugs to keep you healthy. When they don’t, they don’t keep you healthy, don’t they don’t improve health, they manage symptoms. And so it’s so much easier for people to, like, accept the idea that, oh my gosh, I can’t believe it. Actually, saturated fat is good for me. And yeah, it’s, it’s good for me. It’s definitely not good for me if I pair it with the wheat and the, you know, the starches, you know, fried in vegetable oil. Like we we expect people to believe that they’re having this this, you know, burger that’s yes, saturated fat, but it’s cooked on a whole wheat bun with fries that are fried in canola oil that you can even, if next time you see any of these plants, try to see how the heck you’re going to extract oil from them. You cannot you have to literally become, you know, Heisenberg from Breaking Bad. And you got to you got to have like this lab set. And so and then we blame the meat, you know, and we blame the fat. And so it’s really not, it’s not the fat, you know. And in fact, like the fats that they pushed to replace the saturated fats are actually the worst ones because they actually lead to oxidation and inflammation and all the issues that we see with heart disease. So especially if anyone’s listening, I don’t know how old your audience is, but if there’s anybody here that is like 50 plus really start to let go of the shackles of the last like 35, 40 years, more now, I can’t believe it’s way more now, 45, 50 years, because, yes, you know, lard, I don’t I don’t have lard anymore, but I do have tallow, butter. All of that is way better than I can’t believe it’s not butter or, you know, all of these fake things. You know, coconut oil is good and olive oils are good, but those come from fruits. Those don’t come from vegetable oils. So when you when you hear vegetable oil, there is no, there’s no vegetable oil, it’s not. So I can go on that one forever.
Jeff Zaugg [00:42:49] Fascinating. Now, as a first step, I’m going to link your podcast, your website. There’s so many more questions I have, but do you have do you have it like a first step resource, whether it’s a book or an episode of your podcast that you’re like, Hey, start here if you want to take a deeper dive?
Danny Vega [00:43:04] Absolutely. The first four or five episodes are all about that, so it’s like, perfect. What is our nutrition philosophy? What is our fitness philosophy? How to stay keto on the road, how to stay fat fueled down the road. Because we don’t say Keto because not not everybody needs to do a ketogenic diet. Not everybody has metabolic damage, but the like, at least a plurality. Getting close to a really strong majority of people in this country have actually 88% of people in this country have some form of metabolic derangement. There’s only 12% of us who can say that we are actually metabolically healthy, 12%. So that all is stemming from, you know, massive overconsumption of sugars and and and these vegetable oils that I talked about, the seed oils. But yeah, so fat fueled, you know, you can have a little bit more carbs, especially for children. You know, you don’t want to restrict children, but most, most of all, eat real food. Definitely check out those intro episodes. And and they’ll they’ll kind of wet your appetite. And then there’s just so much more information now than there was even in 2016 when we started.
Jeff Zaugg [00:44:16] Well, Danny, thank you for taking this time. And we’re we’re bringing the RV, the dadAWESOME Tou, we’re coming back through Florida. We’ll try to go around to that will go real specific deeper into nutrition for round two here. I think we’ll be in your area in March or April, so a little ways off, but thank you for taking this time. Would you say a short prayer for all of the dad listening?
Danny Vega [00:44:36] Absolutely. Father, I thank you so much for Jeff and what he’s doing. Father, I ask you that you guide him and and that you bless everything that he’s doing. Father, I’d come against anything that would try to derail him, Father, or come against you in your kingdom. I just pray for his family. I pray for his wife and his and his daughters, Father. I pray that you bless them and surround them with good counsel and keep them safe. Father, in these times. And I just I pray that you are glorified in everything that’s done on this podcast and may nothing that that is done on this podcast today or in the future, be for our benefit, Father, but for Your glory. And we just thank you. We ask that you, you bless this servant of yours in the name of Yeshua. Amen.
Jeff Zaugg [00:45:29] Guys, thank you so much for joining us this week for episode 244 with Danny Vega. All the show notes, the links to his podcast, the links to his resources, his online courses, community are going to be at dadAWESOME.org/244. Also reminder you guys dadAWESOME.org/tour is how you find out about or even offer to help host one of these dadAWESOME meetups that we’re having across the country. Guys, thank you for listening today. Let’s be dads of action. Let’s not just listen and nod along and say that’s that feels good, I’m glad I’m thinking this way. But let’s be dads who act this way and take action. And I’m committed to moving the needle to turn the dial in this area of nutrition and being active with my with my four little girls. So let’s all do the same. Guys, thanks for being dadAWESOME. Have a great week.