Episode highlights

00:01:18 Thoughts on current global issue
00:05:32 Cory’s backstory
00:09:54 Lifestyle change
00:17:18 Three phases of plant based diet
00:22:29 Benefits of plant based diet on kids
00:29:44 Thoughts on meat nutritions versus plant based diet
00:40:41 Five key actions


Fitness Guide





Welcome to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast, where you can learn how to improve your diet, lose fast and get fitter in a sustainable and fun way without spending hours in the gym. Here is your host Darren Kirby.

Darren:  Welcome back to the podcast. Guys, this is the number one podcast for dads in their 40s who want to improve their health and fitness. This is Episode 45. And joining me on today’s show is Cory Warren from Lean Green DAD. Lean Green DAD’s mission is to help passionate people, mostly parents who have over scheduled busy lives to maintain a healthy balance of plant based nutrition, fitness and overall wellness. Hi, Cory. Thanks very much for joining me on the show today. How are you?

Cory: Oh, my gosh, Darren. I am so happy to be here. You know, when you reached out and asked me to come on and join and I learned about fitter, healthier dad, I’m like this. This is perfect. Like, this is an awesome, awesome dude with an awesome mission. And it’s right in line with what I do. So I’m honored to be here. Thank you.

Darren: Absolutely. Thank you. I thank you very much for coming on. So obviously, we’re in very strange, uncertain times right now. So how are you? How is your family? How are you dealing with all the strangeness?

Cory: Holy cow. You know, I think that I want to be sensitive to everybody out there and know that there is so much uncertain uncertainty and so much potential stress and things that are completely and totally, completely unknown. But, you know, for us, there’s things that we can’t control and there’s things that we can. And for me, I can absolutely control kind of my, my approach to every single day. 

And I think each day, you know, we talk about being fitter and healthier, of course. Right. In our body. But I think, you know, just like any, any race. Right. Like, I know you’re probably gonna ask me about, like, the triathlons and stuff back in the day that I used to do and like triathlons have three main sports in them. 

But the one that’s often overlooked is the mind. And yeah, I think that every day when I wake up, I do wake up probably three hours before anyone in my family. I’m usually up around four thirty or five in the morning. And it’s just so I can have my own time, know, maybe check a couple emails. But that’s not really what that time is for. That time is for centering and focusing and thinking about what I have ahead of me. And, you know, kind of setting a schedule for our kids. 

That’s one of the first things we did when a stay at home orders happened was, OK, what’s what’s the new normal? Right. How do we establish the daily schedule? And so I think to get, you know, answer your question on, like, how are we adjusting? Like we’re doing OK? We yeah. My wife has an autoimmune disease which will get into an, in a minute. But, you know, it’s one of those things that we have to stay quarantined. We have to stay home right now. And it’s what’s best. So that that’s how we’re doing.

Darren: Yeah. No, that sounds perfect. I think the funny thing is, you know, when we are in the midst of normal everyday life and we are all strict with routines and we have to follow things out to be places at a certain time, there’s almost a real sense of uncertainty when that routine is taken away. And I think, like you said, you know, you have to have routine in your life. You have to have a schedule. Otherwise, you know, time just disappears and you don’t actually really achieve much. And it really, you know, as humans, I don’t think we want to just be doing nothing or just kind of milling around. So, yeah, I think it’s very important.

Cory: Right. Me too. Me too. I think, you know, one of the first things we do every single morning is, well, when they wake up any breakfast and they brush their teeth, that’s a given. Right. Yeah. But after that, we have moved time. And this move Time is literally anything that we can do to get our bodies moving. And yeah, sometimes it’s a workout. Some I have like a couple of different apps and homework out things that I do. They’re really fun, but I gotta keep it fresh and fun and applicable to all age ranges because my kids are, you know, 11 at the oldest and then four at the youngest. 

And so, you know, it’s a challenge. But, man, we look forward to it every day. And, you know, we’re doing push ups and squats and all these kinds of things together as a family. And it’s honestly, it’s my wife’s time to go and read a book or chill for an hour. And, you know, it’s it’s my turn to kind of just help them out before I start my workday, because my wife, my wife is a performer. 

So she’s a professional singer, actress over at Walt Disney World. And so she’s kind of, you know, just like all Disney employees furloughed for right now and. Luckily, you know, they say she’ll get her job back when the parks open up again. But who knows when that’s going to be. So she takes the bulk of the day and helps out with the kids. And then I kind of stay in and keep the ship afloat here. So, yeah, but yeah, man, we’re making it. We’re staying positive.

Darren: Yeah, that sounds good. That sounds good. That sounds perfect. for the listeners that haven’t come across you before. And I know a little bit about your backstory. Can you give us some background on Cory, the lean green dad?

Cory: Yeah, you know, guys, I’m a husband and a father in that order. Right. I’m a husband first. I’m a father second.And then I also happen to do this lean green dad thing. And we started this kind of plant based journey and this plant based lifestyle when my wife was diagnosed with all sorts of colitis. And this is like back in 2006, like before my wife and I were even getting married and we were like, OK.

You know, the stress of the wedding by planning the wedding. I think we had six months to plan our wedding. And the stress of two two completely different personalities being me and my wife, you know, my wife being a little more easygoing. Me being like super type A and organized and things need to be a certain way when I really should’ve just stepped out of the equation and, you know, made a very stressful situation. 

And so she had had signs her entire life leading up to this most stressful moment in her life. And that’s when this all sort of colitis, you know, diseases that show its ugly head. So, you know, 2006, we got this diagnosis. We have no idea what the heck, you know, all sort of colitis is. How do we get it? The doctors don’t know all this other kind of stuff. And so the first thing we did was we started a local support group here. I live in the Orlando, Florida area. And, you know, we started one of the first support groups here in Orlando and kind of made that as a resource for us.

And through education and time that passed by, you know, we learned more and started taking baby steps towards what would eventually be a full transition to a plant based diet. And so. Right, you know, we started, oh, we’re going to eat grass fed beef. Right. And we’re gonna we’re gonna eat more fruits and veggies and things like that. But just dipping our toe in but not going all the way. And then, you know, shortly after the few years after my daughter was born and my wife had flared again and been hospitalized after the birth of my my daughter, we said, OK, something’s something’s got to change here.

So we made a big time shift to two plant based. And at the time I had just gotten ready to do my Ironman triathlon and I was like, hey, you know, I’ll give this a shot, whatever. And it just worked out for the best. And so what started off as kind of a you know, there’s three reasons I feel, Darren, that people transition to a plant based diet and either get any of them are good. Right. Like, yet whether it’s for the animals, the planet, or, you know, selfish for yourself, you know, for medical reasons, whatever. And that was ours. Ours was the medical side.

And I said, OK. So, you know, it made us feel better. It was easier for Jan to digest. She was feeling really good. And then, you know, the animal thing, like we’re like, yeah, I actually I love animals. What? I’m saving animals. That’s cool. And then A, it lowers our carbon footprint and helps the planet. Yeah, that’s cool too. Whatever, you know. Yeah. And so here we are, you know, label us. However we need to be labeled, you know, to help people out. 

But vegan plant based, whole food plant based, whatever you want to call it. We just are trying to do the best we can on a daily basis. And again, controlling the decisions that we have, which are, you know, what’s at the end of your fork every single day. And for us, that that’s kind of the most important decision that our family can make on a daily basis. And I think we’re doing it pretty, pretty well.

Darren:  Yeah. I mean, it sounds like. And obviously, you know, you’ve done it for a very specific and very serious reason. The fact that, you know, your wife’s got these autoimmune diseases and, you know, we know the effects of a normal Western, you know, meat based carnival diet and what that has the effect that has on the body in terms of inflammation and the rest of it. But all too often, what you find is that people jump onto a phase, a craze, whatever you want to call it, without any real reason as to why they’re doing it is just because they saw some media article or whatever, now said that this is a new thing. This is the thing that’s going to make you healthy and aggressive. And it doesn’t you know, it doesn’t work for everyone. It is clearly working for you guys.

Cory: It is. Yeah. Yeah. I think, you know, as you are influenced. There’s a difference between kind of like fad diets and a short term weight loss thing and a lifestyle change. And, you know, for us, it was a lifestyle change. And I think that when we first did it, our families, our immediate families, we were so lucky. We have a family that’s very, very close in the state of Florida. We’re just, you know, an hour away from some of them. And that’s my mom and my wife’s mom and all that kind of stuff. 

So, you know, I think at first our families thought, oh, this is just a cute little fad thing. We’ll get back to our barbecued chicken family dinners like someday. But here we are. You know, 10 years later, you’re like, no, this is sticking for sure. And so I think, as you see. For me, it was the movie Forks Over Knives. Have you seen that one? No, I haven’t. OK, so forks over knives is a it’s now what I would call, like the O.G. Documentary for Back in the Day for plant based diet. Right. And I mean, it’s this guy and it’s like trying to cure, you know, his high blood pressure and heart disease. All he does is just incorporate more fruits and veggies and switches to a plant based diet and boom. Like works really well for him and then it’s backed up by all this doctors and stuff like that. So that’s cool. 

But today there’s movies like what The Health and Game Changers, which my good buddy Rip Esselstyn produced. And it’s like Game Changers was one of the first movies where you see pro athletes that like the Kyrie Irving’s of the World, the joke vich of the world, you know, like these are champions in their sports, Olympic weightlifters that are thriving and winning the top at the top highest level on a plant based diet. And, you know, for me, that was the one. I was like, holy cow. Awesome, right? I mean, people don’t know this, but the winning-est Iron Man of all time was on a plant based diet before it was even popular, you know. And so it’s just one of those things. You’re like, wow, this is becoming a lot easier and a lot more accessible, too, in the grocery store, you know, online. But I still think of words like vegan. Right. Versus plant based are very different. And we have to be careful how we use those.

Darren: Yeah, definitely, I think, you know, Vegan is a more vegan, vegans have been around for a long, long time and it was almost I don’t know what it’s like in the US, but it was very much, you know, in the UK, if you were vegan, you a strange, right. You would, you know, the food, the food ticket. And why don’t you want to eat meat? Why don’t you want to eat dairy and the rest of it? And I think I’m just in general now, you know, there’s more acceptance around it. 

And, you know, why shouldn’t people be able to choose what they want? You know, if it works for them, then absolutely. I’m in complete support of it. You know, for me is not necessarily one size fits all. And I think that’s the key. That might sound a little bit cliche, but, you know, we all have a different gut microbiome. Right. And Siteman, you know, all of that got microbiomes, a different. And so what might be good for you might not be good for me. But you mentioned that when you switch yourself, you notice some real benefits. What specifically do you notice?

Cory: I think for me, you know, when I was training, I was kind of the tail end of I wasn’t 100 percent plant based when I did Iron Man, I was like in 2012. But, you know, I noticed the recovery immediately. Like, I just recovered so much faster.

And I was waking up at four a.m. and training from like four to seven a.m. every single day for like a year and a half just to get ready for this race. And I mean, for anybody that doesn’t know, Iron Man is like, what, one hundred and forty point two miles? Absolutely ridiculous. Like, yeah, it was just crazy. And so I had to prep my body for that. And so any edge I could get, whether it be mentally or physically, I wanted to take it and get that edge that just came along the lines of a plant based diet. And man, it just really helped out a lot.

And then as I continued to kind of I did some triathlons for a couple years after like but they were just like sprint triathlons. And now then I went back to the gym for a while and I was, you know, trying to get my weight back up because I raised it like a hundred and thirty pounds. I’m like I’m like five foot nine. Five foot nine. One hundred thirty pounds is a skinny Minnie. And I’m like, man, I don’t want to be the skinny vegan dude saying so like, okay, I’m going to go try to put on some muscle again. 

So I’m back up to where I usually am about one fifty five now and I feel really strong. And for me, you know, just like you said, like everybody different diets work for different people, like for me I feel the same with workouts and while lifting weights in the gym made me feel manly. Right. And made me feel like you’re buff or whatever, just I would find myself getting weird injuries as I got older, like I’m thirty nine right now. And I raised Iron Man. I was thirty one I think. Right. And you know, a thirty one year old working out in the gym pumping iron and a thirty nine year old. I think you just have to be much more conscious.

I’m not saying like yeah. As you get older you can’t lift weights in the gym. It’s like one of the best things you can do for bone density and everything else. So go do it. But for me, calisthenics and body weight workouts and those kinds of things like, oh man, I feel amazing doing that. And, you know, the tendons and the ligaments and the muscles are all getting worked at the same time. And you almost can’t progress too fast.

And that’s the thing I love is like I’d really get confident and, you know, like, oh man, I did twenty five pound dumbbells this week up to do forty fives, like they’re right there. I’m going to go grab a minute. Sure. Everybody sees me curl in these right. Yeah. All that is just so dumb and not about me at all. Are not, not about, you know, actual fitness. It’s about how good I am. Right. Yes. So that was ridiculous. But I’m really, I’m really feeling at home right now as I’m, you know, quote unquote getting older. You know, I’m thirty, thirty nine feeling good. Getting into forty. And so I’m happy those Iron Man days are over because I don’t want to do it now.

Darren: Yeah I know. I mean it’s, it’s hard. I mean I’m training to qualify for Koenen right now and it’s. Yeah it’s really. Then listen I know I love the sport and I’ve done it for about eight years now but the the toll that it takes when your body is profound really and you know, the inflammation, just that alone that you’re doing every day in, day out when you were training, you will have a long term negative impact. You know, I want it to be said, you know, your body can’t sustain that amount of punishment and it needs to recover. And, you know, the fact that you found that and it was amazing. But what so when you say in terms of like your day to day diet, then what kind of things are you? Can’t you solve all your problems? Putting in, your diet , keeping out of your diet?

Cory: Yeah, I think so. I think of this plant based diet and kind of like three phases. I talk about these three phases all the time. And so, like, if you’re just transitioning, you know, fate phase one for me is like getting rid of meat and dairy at a very basic level. And so you’re subbing that out with some of the fake meats out there. And I call them fake meats. And that’s like such a negative connotation. 

But that’s what they are. I mean, they’re yes, they’re fake meats. And so when you think of things like the beyond burger. Right. If you’re eating a regular burger and you’re just eating it because you think that you need to have like a hundred percent Angus beef and all this other stuff, whatever. Yeah, the beyond burger tastes amazing. Like it doesn’t taste all chemically, you know. You know, I don’t know, chemically laden. You know, it’s really really nice. Like now if we’re talking about the impossible burger, in my opinion, the impossible burger kind of tastes a little chemically, but beyond burgers, really, really tasty. 

So I would just say give that a shot. So we incorporate that into our lives every now and then. The gardens of the world that produce kind of like chicken know alternatives and things like that. Those are good. And then, you know, phase two, we kind of get rid of the fake meats and we look at, you know, incorporating the cheeses, the fake cheeses and, you know, we still consume a little bit of oil, but we’re saying goodbye to the meats. And when I say oil, you know, we’re talking about olive oil, canola oil, those kinds of things.

I don’t think those are part of a healthy diet, but I do think that as you’re transitioning, those are important to just monitor how. How much are you consuming? Because those are just tons of calories like wasted calories. And the source of it. How long has it been on the shelf? Most people don’t know, but it’s like, expired. Like, a lot of it has basically expired. If you look at the date that it was harvested, these are things that are important to know. Right. 

And then, you know, as we move into phase three, that’s a Whole Foods plant based diet full of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, keen like corn, potatoes like these are the things that we should be eating a lot of the time. Whole grains. And so me personally, I would say I live my life like 90 percent of the time is in phase three. And, you know, I’m going to be 100 percent real. Because that’s all I am. And my kids, they live in phase one. And every now and then they come into phase three with me. But it takes a little bit of dad motivation and, you know, talking, not forcing my kids, but just kind of talking with them about why they should maybe instead of potato chips, like grab an apple, you know.

And I think that mixture. I talk about the mixture of education and parental marketing. Like, at the same time, parental marketing is kind of like, hey, man, you know, if you eat that green broccoli and there’s my four year old, you eat that green broccoli, you’re going to have muscles like Hulk. I’m telling you right now. Take a bite. See, right then he doesn’t he’s like, rah, look at me, dad. Right. But then the education side of it is like, you know, hey, buddy, the broccoli you’re eating there, it’s full of two really important things. It’s vitamins and minerals. You know what those do for your body, right? Yeah.

And so the education piece is very important. We don’t want to trick our kids into making healthy choices. We want to educate them and also let them know we’ve got their back and maybe boost their confidence a little bit. Like show me that muscle. Look at that thing. Holy cow, man. Good for you. Yeah. So. So that’s kind of what we do. And that’s kind of where we live our lives and our daily basis.

Darren: Yeah. I mean, that’s so important with the children. You know, I’ve got two boys, one is nine and one is twelve and the first thing is, is very much dependent on their age because the younger one is like a little sponge. So he will lock-up anything. I would tell him. And the important thing about kids is that if you tell them the reasons behind it and explain it to them, like you just said, a little bit marketing. 

They get it when they get it. You know, they will consciously themselves, make the right decisions. The older one is interesting because he’s at the age of 12. Now he’s starting to form his own opinions starting to kind of fluff his chest up a little bit because you get into his teenage years. Yeah, it is very it is a lot more hard to try and convince. But again, if you explain some of the nutrition behind some of the science behind it, you know, they get it. 

So, yeah, I think the education piece is really important because as they grew up throughout their lives, you know, you might tell them something they feel they want to implement, not till they’re known, but that’s already in them. And that’s already kind of ingrained in them, isn’t it?

Cory: Yeah, it is. It is. It’s incredible. I mean, these kids are incredible. And, you know, if you just talk to them and you tell them why, they’ll get it. Yeah. They’re really smart. Yeah. So in terms of have you noticed any benefits to the children when they come down, you’re right to kind of stage three. You know, in terms of light, they sleep in terms of their moods. Have you noticed anything like that?

So my middle son, Roger, he’s my nine year old. So I have three kids. Izie is 11, Rogers nine and Parker’s four. And you know, Roger, he has ADHD, (ODD) opposition defiance disorder. I mean, his kid is a challenge. I love him so much. But he’s a challenge. And, you know, we find that if we’re making, you know, bad choices, lax, lax choices in the sense of like, hey, mom, dad, can I have an oreo or whatever. You know, he’ll go eat like a whole sleeve. oreos will be like, no, no, no, no, no. You know, it’s like, O.M.G.. So there’s no restraint. 

But I think that when we are able to help educate him, help him, you know, be monitored and understand what’s going on. like. Yeah, he operates better. And he almost has this great effect on him where if you give him a list, he will follow the list like to a tee. And he’s such a perfectionist that he’ll be like. Right. That’s not on the list, Dad. I’m not doing that. Right. Yeah. And my son, like my nine year old son, is so passionately vegan that he will look at labels and he will ask people to straight up, like, completely unapologetic, like, is this vegan? And then we’ll be like, no, I’m sorry.

There’s milk in this whole me that I’m not eating that sorry. You know, and it’s like, bro, you need to chill out a little bit, you know, calm down. But he knows who he is and he’s very passionate about it. And that’s not me. Like, I’m not trying to make him this vegan activist, but he just kind of is. And so I know, I support him and I help him with whatever we need to. But I think that when we take away these sugary treats and we are a little bit more mindful about exactly what type of food he’s eating. Yeah, we see it. We see some better behavior. 

But if you don’t have a kid with sensory issues like mine, you know, at a very basic level, they’re going to be you know, I’m just going to go ahead and come out here. They’re going to be pooping a lot better. OK. I can’t tell you how many parents show up to the doctor with constipation issues, stomach issues. They have trouble going to the bathroom. Like guys pump your kids full of fiber instead of giving them juice boxes all the time to give them some. You know, it’s funny, like there’s this brand we have here in the US called simply simply whatever, simply OJ, simply lemonade, whatever you wanna call it.

Right. And so, I cut it. I cut it with water, like I’ll give him some lemonade, but I’ll, I’ll do it four parts water, one part lemonade. But then when it goes down like half the bottle I will literally squeeze two lemons into it and make real lemonade with all the vitamins and beautiful benefits of actual lemon. And then I’ll drop some vitamin D drops in there, like I have these vitamin D drops and it’s like two thousand UI, which is really great per drop. So I’ll put like six, seven drops in there and we’ve got a vitellin D infused lemonade. They literally don’t know the difference, like they don’t care. 

And that’s the way that I can slip some good stuff into them and make them feel good about what they’re eating. And make me feel good. Like, yeah, dude, I just got vitamin D in my kids. Are you kidding me? Come on. Awesome. You know. Yeah. So. So I do notice. I do notice a difference. I mean, the fiber is one thing. The behavior, the focus is another thing. Their skin is really, really great. 

They’re their teeth. You know that that’s gonna be great when they go to the dentist. The dentist is always like, hey, you’re doing a great job. You know, we make sure, of course, they brush and floss every night. But more than that. Like, they’re not eating so much sugar and like, you know, it’s a good thing. So I think, yeah, there’s lots of good benefits.

Darren: Yeah, definitely. I think, you know, that the sugar thing is we could have a whole podcast on that alone is really profound. And, you know, sugar and fats is to me the the unspoken about epidemic that is going on right now. You know, society is heading for a car crash if we continue the way we go, because, you know, it’s not just the sugar you see it’s the sugars you don’t see. It’s the manufactured stuff that they put in. And, you know, I notice, you know, it’s like the kids don’t follow a perfect diet all the time. And we have a drink in the UK called fanta. I don’t know if you have it in the US.

Cory: Oh, yeah, we do.

Darren: And, you know, it is literally like drugging the kids when they drink this stuff. The orange stuff, I don’t know what chemical was in it, but, oh, my God, it’s like you’ve just read them up. Filled them up with an idea. Chemicals in the way they go, say. You know, I think it’s very challenging for parents, particularly, you know, when we are in. Whatever was no more a few months ago. 

And you are trying to, you know, bring your kids up in the best way possible. But you start trying to run the household together, trying to run a business or have a career. It’s very difficult for parents to actually take the time out to look at labels and stuff like that. But, you know, and what happens is they rely on the marketing of the food producers to tell them what’s good and what’s bad. And unfortunately, that’s fraught with danger because they put stuff in that we don’t really need. And that says, oh, yeah.

Cory: Yeah. And I mean, you feel like when you go to the grocery store in the cereal section, like you like, right at eye level for the kids is like all the Fruity Pebbles in this stupid cartoon stuff. They’re like trying to get the kids to tell mom and dad to buy. And I’m like, come on, guys, you’re smarter than that. Look at that. You know, like, turn and turn it around. I’ll teach my kid. I turn it around and look at the label. How much fiber compared to sugar is there? Is it more than double the sugar content? Because if it’s not, I ain’t touching that, you know.

Darren: Yeah. Have you ever heard the story about, do you have corn flakes in the US?

Cory: We do have cornflakes. Yeah.

Darren: Have you heard the story about why they were created?

Cory: Ok. I think it was Seventh Day Adventists that created Corn Flakes. Right.

Darren: Well, it was the story that I’ve heard about fairly recently. They were created in the 1940s. And they were manufactured in such a way on purpose to lower men’s testosterone.

Cory: Oh, my gosh. I did not know that. No.

Darren: Which is just crazy. Yeah. I would imagine the recipe is not the same as what it was then now but. Oh, how funny. Yeah, that is. I was blown away when I heard that. 

Cory: I did not know that. That’s crazy.

Darren: Really crazy. Say so. In terms of nutrients though, Corey, are you concerned? Because, you know, I’ve read conflicting studies about, you know, a plant based diet has all the nutrients in you one. And then some aside, what if you don’t eat meat? You’re missing out on some key amino acids and stuff like that. You can’t get in plant based diets. What’s your view on that?

Cory: Well, full disclaimer. I’m not a dietitian. I’m just a dad. But there’s nothing you can not get on a plant based diet, whether you’re talking about iron protein, carbs. You know, there’s macronutrients and micronutrients, folks. The only thing that you couldn’t get up until recently was V12 B. But here’s the thing. We get second hand B twelve by eating animals, right? B, twelve is A is found in the dirt. So the only reason that animals have it is because they eat grass. So we’re eating second sloppy seconds of the 12th. You know, so, you know, you would take a B twelve, you know, supplement. It’s like this thing you just chew on. It tastes like cherry. It’s great. Whatever.

But there’s actually a plant called lenten. It’s basically a water soaked lentil. It’s completely sustainable, Eco friendly. And there’s this brand that manufactures this plant based protein called clean green protein. And I, I freaking love it like it’s by this company called Clean Machine. And I that is the only plant based protein that actually contains bio available B 12. So now no, there’s no there’s nothing  you can’t get from a plant based diet. And you know, I know that I just dropped the brand’s name, but like look like this protein is available, like around the world and it’s a big deal. And so now I love, you know, talking about amazing companies that are doing great things.

But no guys there, there’s nothing that you can not. You know, get I mean. Yes. It’s all there. And quite honestly, you know, in the history of the world, there’s never been an isolated protein deficiency. I mean, there’s just never been an isolated protein deficiency without some other kind of major medical issue like kidney failure or, you know, cancer or things like that. Obviously, your body’s shutting down. You’re going to have a protein problem. 

But I don’t I don’t think people really know or understand how much protein they need on a daily basis. So how can you worry about one macro nutrient in protein? That’s the thing that everybody always worries about when a plant based diet. But there’s so many things to worry about. And I think, guys, as long as you’re eating a balanced plate and you look at that plate like, you know, look at look at whatever food plate you want, but you need to have some portion of protein, some portion of fruits, some portion of veggies and some portion of whole grains. 

So if I were to look at a plate and I have that plate protein, OK, for me, instead of seventy five of my seventy five percent of my plate being like a 16 ounce ribeye steak or whatever. Yeah. I’m going to have it be beans or tofu or you know like that Beyond burger we talked about a soy protein or something like that. For fruits, Who knows. Did you know an avocado is a fruit. Right. I mean, hey, you can have an avocado. You can have strawberries. You can have blueberries, a banana. Whatever you want. Right. Yeah. For the veg. You got tons of things you could do. Potatoes. You could do corn. You could do broccoli. You could do carrots. 

There’s so many different things you could do. And then finally for grains. That’s what we’re talking about. The Brown Rices of the world. You can have white rice if you want. It’s not going to be as nutritionally dense as the other. But that’s OK. Kanwar, couch, couch. I mean, my goodness, there’s tons of different things out there, guys. So I think we just have to rethink what food is and rethink what our plate looks like, because I think out of the plates that we’re used to, we’re seeing seventy five percent protein in the form of animal based meat. And then twenty five percent is, you know, vegetables in the form of French fries. Right. And French fries are not a vegetable. They are potatoes that are fried in oil. Like, come on, guys, let’s let’s think about this. Use an air fryer, for God’s sake. At the very basic. Make them out of actual potatoes. I don’t know, but. Yeah. So I think it’s just thinking about that kind of stuff.

Darren: Yeah. I think you’re right. I think, I think for me, you know, there’s two things really there’s about making conscious decisions, being aware and then there’s education because it quite rightly, as you said, you know, not many people know what breakdown of of micro nutrients they have in their diet or what they need or what they’re missing out on. So it’s got to take it down to the micro nutrient level is taking it a bit far and. Sure. 

You know, some kind of pro athlete or the rest of it. But you know that that’s the biggest thing for me, core. And what I’m trying to do to fit a healthy diet is just kind of make people a bit more aware. Right. And just say, come on, guys, don’t just pick up the packet because it says it’s good for you and because it’s green and the rest of it takes some time out to actually look at what’s in food and, you know, no specific food, but just want some food and just kind of educate yourself. And then and then you can make far better conscious choices and informed decisions.

Cory: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Darren: So just to touch on another point, I want to ask you about what’s your view on lecterns? Because this is a talk around being, you know, having these kinds of lecterns on them and this is sprouted and this is soaked. Is that kind of more misinformation out there or what’s your view on that?

Yeah, I’d kind of put that next to what that thing in milk is like in some milks. Carrageenan. Right. Like, I don’t know. The truth is, Daryn, I don’t know. I’m not going to pretend to know. Like, I. I am not a scientist. I am not a dietician or nutritional. Whatever you want to call me, I’m just a dad. And the truth is, like everything that I eat makes me feel great. And I say, you know, I check in with my doctor every year like I’m supposed to. And that doctor tells me that things are just fine. 

Blood work. BMI, physicality, all this kind of stuff. And so I think we can get super granular on this stuff. And if I went to medical school and. Well, first of all, if I went to medical school, I would go there and learn anything about nutrition because it’s not taught. But that’s another subject. But, you know, I think that if I had the credentials to speak on that, I totally would. I just don’t. And I don’t want to give misinformation, and. 

Darren: That’s cool. That does absolutely fine and I appreciate and respect you being. Oh, yeah. So that’s cool. So in terms of cooking, obviously you’ve got the Lean Green Dad cookbook. So in terms of cooking and planning meals and stuff in your house, how does it work? Who gets involved? Who does the menu ,do you do a menu?

Cory: So we have a meal planning app that we use this part of my lean green dad services and stuff like that. And and that book you mentioned, guys, is like, if you’re listening, it’s totally free and there’s no no weird hook here, no weird kind of like squeezy marketing stuff. It’s literally a 60 page e-book that I sell on Amazon that I, I give away for free. So if, if you want it, it’s it’s just on the home page of Lean Green dot dot com. Literally there there’s two versions. 

There’s the the completely like no email required version. Like you just click on it and you’ll get it. And it’s like three recipes that you can use right now. But on page two of that book, it says like, hey, listen, if you’re serious about this, I’ll give you my five chapter. Forty five recipe, you know, full e-book. Just tell me where to send it and then I send it to your email. So. So there’s that. But yeah, I think there’s some weeks where we’re super good and we plan things out with our app. And then there’s some weeks where we’re like we’re gonna have waffles for dinner tonight, you know, and and we just kind of wing it. So right now, with the stay at home orders and everything that we’re doing, we have to get really creative because I’m only going to the store once a week.

I will be honest. I usually go to the store once a day when, you know, in the normal way of things. And I do that because first and foremost, I really enjoy going to the grocery store. I like it. Yes, it’s relaxing for me. It’s a time when no one is screaming and yelling at me or asking me for something, I get to push my cart and just feel super happy. But, you know, I also go because most of the food we buy is super fresh. And so I need to go and get it constantly. I don’t need to, you know, have avocados and tomatoes, like sitting around for a week and a half before I use them, you know. Yeah. 

So. So, yeah, we do a medium amount and then we also go out like when we’re allowed to go out, we go out and we enjoy that. We try to limit it to once or twice a week. We have some great plant based vegan restaurants here in Orlando. And Cash, there’s a celebrity vegan chef, Matthew Kenny. He’s got this place called Humble. It’s real close to us that we go to. There’s just like amazing spots that we’re able to go to and we try to be a little more cost conscious. So we try not to go out that much. But, yeah, there’s good stuff around here.

Darren: Yeah. I think, you know, going to the store and getting your produce daily, you know, the kids complain we’re not going to the supermarket because I think twice as long as I have to go around, because I’m always looking at the produce, looking at where it’s come from, what’s in the package. If I buy any packet size. Yeah. But yeah, I think he’s I think, you know, when he is such a big part of your life and you realize how much of an impact food can just have on other areas of your life, then, you know, you take that seriously. Right. 

And now you do the time and effort into selecting the right foods. So I don’t think the other thing as well is and this is taking it up away from any kind of veganism or whatever other things, protocols you want to call them. And that’s the source of your food as well. Right. So it is very important to know the source of your food and make sure that, you know, it’s not coming from places where they’re over farming and all the nutrients have gone out of the soil because ultimately that affects the nutrients in your food that I. Yeah, absolutely. So in terms of five key actions and Corey, what would you suggest that listeners can take on board to bring some plant based power into their lives?

Cory: Heck, yeah. Well, I got to tell you, Darren, just for you. Just for you. I wrote these down. All right. I got five and I got five. OK. Number one, no more sugary soft drinks. OK. There is no excuse to have Cokes in your house. People, I don’t care if you love it and all, you just have one every now and then. Get that crap out of your house if you want to have it have it when you go out to a restaurant. OK. Yeah, but you can replace it with tons of different carbonated flavored waters. OK. There’s Lacroix’s out there. There’s stuff called Bubley. 

There’s Paria, there’s all different flavored waters and they’re flavored with essential oils and lemon and lime like go. Come on. You got it. Just that small switch is going to be massive for you. OK. The second one would sub out your milk. OK? Just get rid of dairy milk. You don’t need to drink cow milk. We are the only mammals that drink other mammals’ secretions. And that’s what they are folks like. That’s so nasty, right? Yeah. Dairy milk is made for baby calves because we want to fatten them up as soon as possible. We don’t need that. All right. So listen, there’s rice milk. There’s coconut milk. There’s almond milk, there’s soy milk, there’s hemp milk. There’s Pea milk. Guys, get out there and try any of these milks. And if your kids. Well, my kids love chocolate milk, I feel you my kids love chocolate milk, too. They’ve never had dairy chocolate milk. They have almond chocolate milk. 

And I guarantee you they can’t tell the difference. OK, so it’s still a sugary treat that I would only have like once every now and then. But you’re making a big switch by seven out your milk. OK. Number three, we already touched on. But try a beyond burger. All right. If you’re a guy that says I just love my burgers or I just love my steak and potatoes, I’m a steak and potatoes kind of guy. All right, listen to me. Steak and potatoes kind of guy in the movie Game Changers.

They did an analysis on, you know, like the manly side of this, OK? And you want to talk about testosterone levels and all this other kind of stuff. They looked at like, I’m going to just get go go with this here, Darren. But they look at the length of erections, OK, and how long they lasted on a meat based diet vs., you know, a plant based diet. And the plant based guys, they transition them. And I’m telling you, it was night and day difference. OK. So if you want to if you want to be worried about being a real man and all this other kind of stuff, like throw that out the window. All right. Go go. Try it out. And you know what?

If you don’t want to try to go beyond burger, if you’re not a meat person, you’re maybe more in phase three. Hey, start with breakfast. Just just eat a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. Throw a bunch of fruit on top of it. Pour some maple sirup in there, maybe some crushed cashews, whatever you want. But just make your breakfast awesome and you can sort. Number four, try to move every day, you know, let go of what an actual workout needs to be. You don’t have to go to the gym. You could walk around your neighborhood. You could sit and meditate for ten minutes. You could talk to your kids. I don’t care what you do, but just do something to move every day. You know, I love Fitbits. I don’t have a Fitbit, but I have an imitation Fitbit because it was cheaper on Amazon and it still works great.

But I mean, I track my sleep. I do track my steps. I’m not obsessive about it, but I do like to know, hey, you don’t feel a little off today. How much did I sleep? Oh, crap. Four and a half hours. That’s unacceptable. Right. So these things are important. And then the last one is never give up. Like, literally never. Like, if you eat a sleeve of Oreos, like my nine year old son, that doesn’t mean you have to stop everything that you’ve built.

It doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It doesn’t mean that you need to stop everything. What’s the point? You know, you know, just start again. Tomorrow is a new day. Just start again. And if you never give up and you stay motivated, stay passionate and you are a shining example for your kids, then you can not go wrong. Because I promise you, they’re watching you. They’re recording everything that you do. And the example that you set for them. Well, set them up for the future. So, yeah, those are my five friends.

Darren: Those are my amazing. Yeah. Thank you very much. That is amazing. I think the last two for me. The key you know, movement is so key just to move. You know, like you say, enough to kill yourself in a hit work. We’ll go to the gym. Just move. And you know that that kind of mantra of never give up. That is such an amazing thing to instill into children.

You know, life gets tough sometimes, but that doesn’t mean to say Throw in the towel. You know, if you have something bad to eat, you don’t give up and just go back to how you used to be. Right. So you never give up. I think this is amazing, Corey. So before we wrap up then, is there anything. No, I didn’t ask you that. You feel which would benefit the listeners?

Cory: I think we had an awesome interview, man. I really enjoy talking to you. And, you know, for me now the only thing is if I can help anyone. Like, if someone’s listening to this and they’re like, great man. I don’t know where to start. I am very accessible. OK. Like, just send me a note anywhere. I’m Lean Green dad on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest. You know, my email is just my name @LeanGreenDad.com. Like I reply to every single email, every single email. And so it’s me. It’s not like I don’t have someone to check my email for me. It’s me. Yeah. 

So every night I just sit and reply to emails because I truly love this. I love what I do. And I want to help as many people as possible. So whether it’s the free e-book or, you know, if you want to learn more about this app that I’ve been talking about, I’m going to be launching that in a couple of days. And it’s going to have a phase one and two and three meal plan, you know, every single week. So all that stuff is there for people. But, you know, I appreciate you even having me on to discuss. And I think us as Fitter 

Healthier Dads as we unite together, we can only make the world a better place. And that’s that’s the biggest goal.

Darren: Yeah, absolutely. I completely agree with you. It’s been amazing. I sincerely appreciate you coming on, Cory. Guys, check out, Cory’s socials. Definitely. Check out the e-book LeanGreenDad.com where you can download it. And yeah. Cory, thanks very much for coming on again. And I look forward to speaking to you again soon.

Cory: Same here, Darren. You too. Take care.

Darren: Thanks for listening to the Fitter Healthier Dad Podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please subscribe and I would really appreciate it if you could leave a review on iTunes or the things mentioned in the upside will be in the show notes and a full transcription. is over at FitterHealthierDad.com.