In this episode, we talk about the awesome world of eating Plant Based. We dive into our own personal journey of how we were first introduced to this way of eating and life 14 years ago and how it's completely changed our lives for the better. Often people have preconceived ideas of what a plant-based diet is all about.
We are also going to answer some of the top questions that we get on a regular basis. Questions like how do you get protein if you don't eat meat? How do you get calcium if you don't drink milk? On a plant-based diet do you only eat twigs and berries? We also discuss the effects that the raising of factory farmed animals is having on the world.
Resources Mentioned In This Episode:
What The Health (On Netflix – See trailer below)
Forks Over Knives (on Netflix – See trailer below)
Happy Cow Website/App (find Plant-Based and Vegetarian Restaurants around you)
Grandma's Boy Movie: Scene where they order Plant-Based Food
What The Health Trailer
What The Health (On Netflix)
Forks Over Knives Trailer
Forks Over Knives (on Netflix)
Transcript: (Read Time: 37 minutes)
Siri Shakti: What's up, fellow RockStars In Life? This is Siri Shakti and I have my awesome co-host here with me today.
Dr. Dan: Dr. Dan's in the house.
Siri Shakti: Today is an awesome episode that we have planned. This is something that we're really passionate about because we've been living this for about 14 years now, which I can't believe it's been 14 years. And we have a lot that we want to share with you about our personal story, and dive into some awesome questions that people have. Today is called Hug a Cow, Eat a Salad.
Dr. Dan: Yup. I love it. Or Hug a Cow While You're Eating a Salad. Why not share, why not share with the cow?
Siri Shakti: I know, yeah. Yeah, share your salad with a cow. Exactly.
Dr. Dan: We might lose some people here. Some friends. They're like, “I was with you about all this motivation, all this inspiration and changing my life, and now you're talking about hugging a cow and eating a salad?” But that's okay, because we're not here to make friends. Friends are great. We do love friends and we like making friends, but we're really put on this earth to make a difference.
Siri Shakti: That's right.
Dr. Dan: Right?
Siri Shakti: Yes, and I'm assuming you understand what we're talking about when we're saying Hug a Cow, Eat a Salad. We're talking about our journey of becoming plant-based eaters. That sounds funny. Plant-based eaters.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. Put that on a t-shirt. TM.
Siri Shakti: We really wanted to open up to you and just share with you a little bit about our story of how this all happened, because-
Dr. Dan: ‘Cause we get this question all the time.
Siri Shakti: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Dan: Wherever we go, any event, or any time we go to somebody's house or anywhere, people always … I mean, heck, even when we go out to eat at a normal restaurant that's not 100% plant-based, 'cause we got a lot of restaurants here in Orange County that's 100% plant-based, but when we go to non-plant-based places, we always get the waiter or the waitress or whoever's taking our order, and they're like, “Whoa, so you guys are plant-based, right?” Or “You guys are vegan” or “You guys are vegetarian. How'd that start?” Or “Tell me more.” It's crazy.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, absolutely, and it's something that not only do we get a lot of questions about, but I think that there's a lot of unanswered questions out there, and people have a certain perception of what it is to be a plant-based eater. So what we want to do today is not only share a little bit about our own story, but we want to answer those top questions that we tend to get a lot that even I had on my mind when we first started this, because I didn't know anything about this world of veganism or plant-based, whichever you want to call it. And as we dove into it and began learning more, I was like, wow, there's just a world of information out there, and we just can't help but want to share it with all of you.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. And another thing as well is, over the years, and we've been doing this for a long time, I've heard stories of like, “Vegans are always trying to convert everybody” or “These plant-based eaters are trying to mind-control people and tell them … Take away my rights to eat meat and to eat an animal” or whatever. “Take away my eggs” or whatever it is, but the truth is, for us, we don't judge and we don't force our opinions on anybody. Yeah. We don't come from it forcefully. We don't even really talk about it unless we're asked, constantly asked, “Oh, so what made you decide to do that?” Or “Tell me more about it.” We start talking about it and they get interested and quite a few times, people are like, “You know what, I'm going to try this out” or “I'm just going to eat a little less meat.” Or “I'm going to just give up this one thing” or whatever. And again, it's not something we tell them to do. They just come to us and say, “Hey, I am interested” or whatever it might be.
So again, you have to make the decision for yourself and we're not judging. Our goal of this episode is not to convert everybody or get mad at them. It'd be great if everybody said, “You know what, I'm going to give this a try” or “I'm going to commit to doing this,” but again, we're not going to dislike or hate you if you don't.
Siri Shakti: No, not at all.
Dr. Dan: It's your journey. Your journey. Your choice.
Siri Shakti: Yes. Yes. This is just us sharing with you what we have … The knowledge that we've acquired and what we have experienced over the years. We have a lot of friends that are meat eaters that have commented. Either we've gone out to dinner, we went to a vegan restaurant, and they were amazed that the food was so good, and that sparked them wanting to know more about this world, of plant-based eating.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. It's always fun. What was that movie? Grandma's House, right? I think it was Grandma's Boy or Grandma's House. I think it was Grandma's Boy. Adam Sandler's crew, the people that are always in his movie. They were in it. Adam Sandler wasn't, but I think he helped produce it or something like that.
Anyways, there was an episode in there where they go out to this vegan restaurant, and what's his name, David Spader, I think it is, he was the waiter, and they go to him and they're like … And they were all meat eaters, and their boss, who was … I forgot his name, but he's in all those movies, too. And he had scheduled that dinner party for them to … For a promotion or to celebrate something, and so all of them were meat eaters and the guy comes over and he's offering them a bunch of plant-based, vegan type food, and they were like seaweed sponge type stuff, they were saying, or “Would you like the tofu patty?” They made it sound really bad, and they were like, “I'll take beef” or blood or whatever, and they're like, “Oh, we have none of that.” And blah blah blah is like, “Can we pay extra?”
So I mean, yeah, there's … And in the movies, they always make it where it's disgusting and it's a slab of tofu. But it's never like that in a vegan restaurant.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, I remember in one scene, I forgot what movie it was, but same thing, they went out to dinner and the waiter comes over and they're like, “I'll have the kelp cakes” and he's like “What does that taste like?” And the waiter's like, “It has a nice dirt taste. It's very earthy and dirt-like.” And he's like, “I'll have that.” It's just so funny how they perceive it.
Dr. Dan: Exactly. Yeah, that's great. Well let's get first into our story.
Siri Shakti: Okay.
Dr. Dan: Why we decided to do this and we'll try and keep it kind of short, and then we can go through some of the most common questions.
Siri Shakti: Okay, sounds good. Do you want to take the lead on our story?
Dr. Dan: Sure.
Siri Shakti: Go for it.
Dr. Dan: So it started when I was … It was a little after I had stopped working out as much. Our daughter, Kayleen, was in a really bad car accident. I don't remember if we've even talked about that, but-
Siri Shakti: No.
Dr. Dan: … she was in a really bad car accident. And we were always at home. I started a new business, and I remember I was meeting clients and potential clients and customers and stuff like that at the coffee shops, at Starbucks. And I would constantly get hungry every two hours. If I didn't eat every two to two and a half hours, I would start to feel a little dizzy, I'd feel acid-y, I'd feel I'd have acid, indigestion. I'd just be like, ugh. And I had to eat constantly because I was so used to eating every two to three hours from when I was working out and I was eating so much meat and eggs. And I was always hungry. And I was always tired as well.
And I remember feeling that way, and I remember at the time, they just released … I don't know how long it was, but we went through Tony Robbins' Personal Power 2 series, tape series, 'cause it was on tape. And then they had released the audio CDs for the next one, which was … What was that called again? That was … Do you remember what it was called?
Siri Shakti: It wasn't Unleash the Power Within?
Dr. Dan: No, that's the seminar.
Siri Shakti: Oh, okay.
Dr. Dan: Well, whatever it was, I'll remember it in a little bit, but yeah, so we got that CD series. It had been out for just a little while, and it was a 14-day, 15-day thing. And went through it, and I remember, in that series, he had where they talked about plant-based eating, and how great it was for you and how it gave you so much more energy and feel good and all this other stuff. And I started thinking in my head. I was like, this actually does sound pretty interesting. This might be something that I'd be willing to do, but I wasn't committed yet. I hadn't made the decision, and I might even have forgotten about it for a minute, but he had recommended a book from somebody that taught him a lot about it, and it was … In that series that he recommended it, I don't remember if I bought it yet or not, but I was like, oh okay. I might have written it down or at least committed it to memory.
And then maybe a day or two later, I was personal training one of our good friends, Paul Burton, who I had trained him and his sons as well over the years, and we became really good friends. And he was talking about plant-based eating as well. And he had been talking about it for probably a week or two, maybe even longer, before I even went through that series, that CD series, and heard about it. And then I talked to him. I was like, “I remember you were talking about being plant-based, and you guys have been doing it, you're feeling great. I just went through this CD series, and Tony recommended this book. Have you heard of it?” And he's like, “Dude, that's the book we bought. That's the book we're going through.”
I was like, whoa. It was kind of like the universe was like, hey, pay attention, because this wasn't a fad that got on Oprah or something like that. At that time, it wasn't in the news. It wasn't something that was widespread, where everybody was talking about it. It wasn't like that. It wasn't some fad diet or anything.
Siri Shakti: But everything was based on very strategic, scientific data. This was cutting-edge studies that were being done to show on a cellular level what animal-based products do to the human body.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. So yeah, so then I was like, my antennas went up and I said, “Okay, universe, multiverse, you're talking to me, I'm going to pay attention 'cause I know I will suffer and have all kinds of things happen if I don't listen.” So I learned to listen right away now. Look for the signs, you see 'em, and see what it's about. Don't leap into it, but see what it's about. And I remember Paul had said, “You know what?” ‘Cause I was like, “Yeah, we haven't done anything yet. We've been thinking about it.” He's like, “Hey” … And there was no vegan restaurants close by, and we hadn't looked yet. We didn't know. I don't think there was … Google wasn't what it is today. I don't even remember if Yelp was around at that time.
But he had said, “Hey, come to my house for dinner either tonight or tomorrow or” … I forgot when it was. And he said, “I'll have you come over, sons will be there. Evan and Spencer.” And he was like, “I'm going to make you guys some burgers.”
Siri Shakti: Oh yeah.
Dr. Dan: I was like, “What kind of burgers?” He's like, “Nut burgers.” I'm like, “What? A nut burger?” He's like, “Yeah, it's really cool. We crush up all these different types of nuts. And we use this bonding thing that's plant-based, and we put it together and make a patty, and then we put it on and we lightly grill 'em or whatever, just for a couple seconds or whatever, and they're amazing.” And I'm like, “Are you kidding me?”
Siri Shakti: Yeah. I remember sitting in the kitchen, watching him make them. And he was slicing everything up so fine, and putting it together. I'm like, whoa, what is this?
Dr. Dan: He was chopping like crazy.
Siri Shakti: And it smelled good. And I had never had any sort of plant-based food. Other than salad.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, nothing like it.
Siri Shakti: But actually prepared plant-based meal. And I remember we all sat down and started eating, and oh my god, it was so good.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, my taste buds were like, what the heck? What was I missing out on? ‘Cause up until then … And I get this question all the time, “Don't you miss meat?” And I'm like, man, I used to eat four, five chicken breasts a day. I used to eat 40 egg whites. I used to eat baked potatoes and rice. And just a mixed veggie type thing. And that was it. Those were my meals. And man, I was bored as heck. I used to say food is just fuel. I didn't even think about it. And yeah, you put on some seasonings and stuff like that, and you could make some spicy chicken and stuff like that, and sweet and sour chicken and stuff like that. But man, I had never experienced anything so flavorful in my entire life.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. Yeah, that was my experience too. And I think after that, sitting there, eating that beautifully prepared meal and talking with them, and feeling their passion about what they were doing, and on top of that, I hadn't seen Paul in a while. Paul lost so much weight. And he looked really good. He kept talking about how great he felt. He had so much more energy. So I think at that point, you and I were pretty much sold. We were like, okay, we're going to go home. We're going to try this.
Dr. Dan: We said, yeah, let's give it a try. Let's give it a swirl. I think we committed to two weeks, and said after two weeks, let's re-evaluate and see how we feel and keep going.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, and at the time, I was … I think I was about three or four months pregnant-
Dr. Dan: Maybe two or three? Something like that.
Siri Shakti: No, it was more like … It was three months pregnant with Malena, which is our second child. She's now 13. And I've read things before of, should you be concerned about eating a plant-based diet while you're pregnant? All I can tell you is that I felt amazing. I felt so good. I looked probably the healthiest I had ever been. But the funny thing is, kind of going back, is when we started this, we were … I think we took to it pretty well because I can clearly remember you coming home and saying to me, “All right, go through our fridge, go through our pantry, and take out anything that has animal products in it, and throw it out.”
And I remember thinking to myself, wow, we have a lot of food in there that has animal products in it. That's a lot of money to get rid of. But you and I were just so ready to make a change that we knew that that's something we had to do. We were determined to be committed to this. So that's what I did. I threw away quite a bit of food. I think some of it, I actually gave away. Didn't just toss it all.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, and at the time, it was a little freaky, though. We were a little worried because there wasn't really a lot of information out there at the time. Now, we have all these movies, and-
Siri Shakti: Documentaries.
Dr. Dan: … documentaries and stuff that talk about this. There's so many doctors that you know about now because of those documentaries and movies, that … And also the internet, because back then, it was nothing like it is today, so you couldn't just Google, plant-based doctors or anything like that, and then find one. You're just like, whoa. You gotta remember, back then, there were doctors that did believe that this was great for you, but just like any doctor, some doctors believe in one thing, other doctors believe in others. Some doctors believe, drinking alcohol is good for you, some doctors … And I mean what, just 50 years ago, doctors used to recommend smoking cigarettes to help your throat and stuff like that. All kinds of weird stuff. Or that … I don't even remember what it is, I'm just thinking off the top of my head, there was a medication that they recommended pregnant woman, and I forgot what it was. I think it was for liver spots or I don't know. Something like that. And what happened was, their children that they had, couldn't have children themselves.
I mean there's all kinds of just weird, crazy stuff out there, so my point is, you want to find a doctor that … And again, this is also part of the disclaimer or the warning or whatever you call it, before doing anything new, seek medical advice. Go to a physician. Not just any. Go to one that is well-versed in this. Because if you go to a doctor that believes in eating just meat and that's it, then they're going to tell you … You go to a butcher, they're going to want to serve you meat.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, well 'cause they're not going to be tuned in or knowledgeable about this world of the plant-based diet. They're going to have their judgments just based off of their own personal belief, and-
Dr. Dan: Correct.
Siri Shakti: … so yeah.
Dr. Dan: Or go to both. This is actually what I would recommend. This is what I would do if I started all over, because now we have so many different resources out there. Personally, I would go to maybe my normal physician, and ask them, “What do you think about going plant-based?” And if they're like, “That's a horrible idea, blah blah blah, you need meat,” all this other stuff, then you get their input, you ask them questions, and then you seek out a doctor that believes in the plant-based. And then you ask them their opinion as well. That way you have two different people and decide from there. Do your own research, for sure.
Siri Shakti: Nice.
Dr. Dan: So for us, I remember, after going vegan, and going plant-based, I remember, man, I felt so amazing. I had so much energy. I felt like I was on healthy crack. Healthy speed. I felt amazing. I had so much energy. My clothes stopped fitting. People started asking, “Are you sick? You don't look sick, but you lost so much weight so fast.” Not that this is about just losing weight. It just happened. I wasn't exercising or anything, it's just your body was holding on to so much excess crap that … And you're eating more water-rich foods and healthier foods, and we were eating really, really clean.
Siri Shakti: Oh yeah, we were eating super clean.
Dr. Dan: Very alkaline.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. And the funny thing is, back then, like you were saying, is that the information we have now … Oh my god, there's so much information on the web, and recipes, and there wasn't as much back then. So we had to come up with our own recipes, and I think we'll do a whole other episode on recipes and how to find recipes and things like that, but just to touch on it, we had to come up with our own things. And I can remember so clearly, we found a few recipes that we liked, and I made them over and over again. I felt like we ate the same things for a whole year.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, there wasn't a lot of books and stuff on recipes. Now you've got … You could just YouTube right now, vegan or plant-based options for this or that or desserts or anything.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, you can even Google how to start plant-based diet, or easy plant-based recipes. So that way, you find simple information of how to get started. It would have been nice to have all that.
Dr. Dan: Exactly, but you know. That's cool.
Siri Shakti: So now, touching on our own story, as we … These past 14 years, we've clearly learned so much information. And when I sat down to think about what we want to share with you, it's a little overwhelming because there's so many great facts that we want to share, but we decided just to bring it down to the few biggest questions that we get, that I know that you've gotten as well.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, I get 'em … I get them all the time. When I'm out in public … Not when I'm just walking down the street, but when somebody knows that I'm vegan or plant-based, they'll just straight-up ask me. Or you'll get the person that says they know it all and they try and convince you that you're wrong.
Siri Shakti: Yes.
Dr. Dan: And I'm just like, okay. And I never argue with them. I just go, “Oh, that's interesting. Oh, yeah, good, good. Yeah cool.”
Siri Shakti: Yeah. There's no convincing someone that doesn't want to be open to other ideas.
Dr. Dan: Exactly. It's a waste of my time. Why even bother, right? I know that one of the big things that I get, and this always makes me laugh, is when they go, “Humans are carnivores, just look at our fangs. Look at our canine teeth. Just look at these in the back. They're fangs, they've developed over all these years, and they're meant to rip flesh.”
Siri Shakti: Wow. I didn't know I had fangs. Am I a vampire?
Dr. Dan: I guess so. But I invite you to go out right now. Go out to the wilderness, or if you're not near the wilderness, if you have an animal of some sort, a cat or a dog, I invite you to just go over there and put your fangs in them and try and rip that flesh and chew up their meat. Not just their skin, but chew up their muscle tissue and just chew on it, gnaw on it. Take a nice bite and swallow it.
Siri Shakti: Yummy.
Dr. Dan: Just see how yummy and tasty that is, 'cause I'm sure it's just like that … What is it, rotisserie chicken that they have at Costco or the grocery store that probably is so delicious.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. Yeah. If we have fangs, it should be really easy to do that. Go give it a try.
Dr. Dan: That was sarcasm. So in other words, yes, those canine teeth are not meant for ripping flesh and chewing on muscle or anything like that. You are not a lion. That's a lion. Do you have the desire to go chase down an animal when you're walking around and it's like, oh, there's an animal. I'm going to go get that 'cause I'm hungry. No. You don't have that. Heck, even if you want to talk about milk, when you're driving down the highway and you see a cow, do you have the desire if you're thirsty to pull over and just go suck on those udders and get some quick milk?
Siri Shakti: Oh my gosh.
Dr. Dan: I mean, what would you do if you were driving by and you saw a man and his family just sitting there and they're all lined up, and they were all underneath the cow, drinking. Would you be like, oh, wow, that looks amazing. I'm going to go get some.
Siri Shakti: Before you move on from that point, I want to make a point, too. Think about it from this point of view, that humans are the only species that drink milk past infancy. But we don't drink human milk from a mama. We drink it from another species. And we're also the only species that drinks milk from another species. Cows' milk is perfectly designed to grow a cow from birth to becoming a full-grown cow. Just like mother's milk is perfectly designed and has all the vitamins that an infant baby needs to grow it into a child and then an adult.
Dr. Dan: Exactly.
Siri Shakti: And I could go on forever about this, but let's stay on topic. You were talking about the teeth.
Dr. Dan: Man, we could go so deep into the milk alone right there, too. Yeah. We won't go that deep into this one. There's plenty of information out there. Maybe we'll link some or something on the episode page.
Siri Shakti: And another thing that goes hand in hand with the teeth, a carnivore, the jaw only has the ability to move up and down, whereas a herbivore, their-
Dr. Dan: So we're talking about a lion. A lion cannot open and close its jaws and go left and right to … What is it called, to crush things and side to side-
Siri Shakti: Yeah, to grind it.
Dr. Dan: Grind it, yeah.
Siri Shakti: Whereas herbivores can go up and down and side to side, which is meant from grinding food down.
Dr. Dan: We're talking about humans and other animals that are similar to that. Yeah. And not only that, but if you look at the anatomy on top of that, of the oral cavity, the stomach acids, the length of the colon. Humans do not show the mixed structural features that you would find on an omnivore. An omnivore is … They can … Means all. Omni is all, universally, or omnidirectional, which is a bear or a raccoon, which can eat either or both. They can do plants and they can do other animals.
Siri Shakti: Oh, okay.
Dr. Dan: And if you look at … As we went back to the lion, or any of those that I was talking about, the omni animals, that … The omnivores, they can actually … Their stomach acid can handle raw meat and plant-based. So a lion … Do you ever see a lion or a bear go grab another animal and then they go and throw it on a cooker and go cook it and spice it up or anything like that? No, they don't cook their meat. They just eat it. And that's what their stomach acid and their digestive tract, that's what their body can do.
But how many humans do you know that go eat raw flesh?
Siri Shakti: I know there are some out there, but-
Dr. Dan: Yeah, they're all in prison, right?
Siri Shakti: Or they're all sick.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, they're all dead, or whatever. We're talking about human flesh. So you would get sick if you were to sit there and eat raw meat. I don't know anybody that would recommend eating just raw meat.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. Like you were saying, it's that carnivores, their digestive system is short, and they have those acids to be able to break down that raw meat. We have … Us, herbivores, have very long digestive tracts. And so the food can take its time to process and break down. So what happens is, when we eat meat, our body … It all turns into acid. It's extremely acidic.
And I want to find a link to this, but I was reading that even the World Health Organization, okay, we're talking about the World Health Organization, is calling for new studies to be done for the meat industry and for the dairy industry because they're seeing all these studies coming out that are showing that there is cancer and many other disease factors that come into play with communities that have high percentages of meat eaters and high intakes of dairy.
And again, I could go on for … Explain many different studies that have been done on this. Some of them, we are going to put some links to, like the China Study, for instance, that was done, that's a really awesome one.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, there's a lot of resources out there now today. There was just a movie they did, What the Health? It's on Netflix. Really good. Really eye-opening. We've seen a lot of that, with some great studies. They reference a lot of the World … What was it called again?
Siri Shakti: World Health Organization.
Dr. Dan: World Health Organization. And I think they called the WHO, right? Something like that. W-H-O. The who.
Siri Shakti: Yes, you're right. The WHO.
Dr. Dan: But it was really cool. I remember actually seeing an episode, too. You can go on YouTube and search this as well. We'll probably put a link down below. This episode on the episode page. But there was … On The Doctors, I think it's called. Yeah, I think it's called The Doctors, that show, or something. It was on YouTube, the producer, director, and one of the doctors on that, What the Health? They were talking to the doctors, the ones that have that show, and they were going back and forth on plant-based diet and stuff like that.
It was really funny, though, 'cause they were talking about … The doctors, the ones on the show, they were all about eating meat and being meat-based, and they kept talking about all these studies where meat is better and all this other stuff. But every one of those studies that they referenced were all funded by either the meat industry or the egg industry, the dairy industry, or somebody that had … They put up the money. So it's kind of like, really?
So in my opinion, if whoever is funding that study has monetary gain from that, they shouldn't be allowed to. They should be thrown right out. It should be like that's not even allowed.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. For obvious reasons, guys.
Dr. Dan: That would be like somebody committing a crime, right? They created a Ponzi scheme or something like that, and stole hundreds of millions of dollars from people. And then they get arrested, or they go to court, and they have their day in court, and they're allowed … They're like, “Judge, I'm going to go ahead and do my own investigation. Forget the police. I'm going to go ahead and fund this myself. I'm going to hire the people myself to investigate myself. Okay?”
Siri Shakti: Right. Nope, not going to happen.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, it's the same thing. It's pretty damn crazy.
Siri Shakti: Yeah.
Dr. Dan: So what are some of the most common questions we get on top of that? One of them is, do you just eat twigs and berries or salads or tofu? Don't you just get boring? Don't you feel very limited in what you can eat?
Siri Shakti: That's funny, 'cause it reminds me of when we first started. My dad would always say … We would come over, and he's like, “So what do you want to eat? Twigs and berries?” And it was a joke, but I remember at the time being like, that bugs me.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, I think that after the seventh or eighth time, we were kind of like, man, you need some new material.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, new material, moving on.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. “I'll go outside and get you something from the trees, if you like.”
Siri Shakti: Sure, give. me some twigs and berries.
Dr. Dan: Exactly. No, like we said, those nut burgers and things like that, that we've tried, and you go to a vegan restaurant, there's so many different amazing options out there. Or just Google or go on Pinterest, or go on YouTube and search plant-based meals, different kinds of recipes. And you're just going to be like, man, I never even knew that I could put something like this together, and this is just amazing. There's so … I feel like before I was limited. Now I'm not. Now I'm free.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. There is so much variety. And the world of plant-based eating has come so far. Whenever we have … For instance, when we have Thanksgiving, for instance, we went to our best friend's house. Some of her family eat meat, and some are plant-based eaters, so we decided we were going to make all of the plant-based food, and then they would make some of the meat and dairy food and stuff like that.
So I brought this whole meal. And I had seven different dishes. Amazing, Thanksgiving dishes. Some of them are very, obviously, traditional. I had my stuffing, sweet potatoes, I had a Tofurkey. We had pumpkin pie.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, Tofurkey, for those who don't know, is a tofu turkey type thing. Really good.
Siri Shakti: Super good. Super good. Everyone loves it.
Dr. Dan: There's some bad ones and there's some good ones.
Siri Shakti: Yes. But even my family that eats meat, they always get some of the Tofurkey, too, so I have to make-
Dr. Dan: Yeah, they all do. They love it.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. I have to make more, 'cause they all want some. And it's so cool to watch how the people that normally just eat meat and things like that, they always come over and they're looking at what I've made and they're like, “Oh, I want to try some of this.” And they always comment, “This is really good. Can I get the recipe for this?”
So there's my perfect example, that you are so not limited. That's far from it.
Dr. Dan: And vegan restaurants, too. Man, they're amazing.
Siri Shakti: They're everywhere now.
Dr. Dan: They're everywhere. You go on … Happy Cow is an app that you can actually access from the computer, but you can also download it onto … I'm pretty sure they have it on Android as well, but I know they do on the iPhones and iOS devices. And whenever I'm in a new city, or sometimes I'm in my own city, and I'm like, oh, let me look on there and see if there's any new restaurants that opened up that are either straight plant-based or they're a combination. They go by vegetarian and/or vegan. They offer vegan options and plant-based options. And man, every now and then, we find a whole new place that we didn't even know of. Or if we're in a different city, we find some amazing restaurants. We were in Long Beach at your mom's boat over there, where they have it docked, and there was an amazing plant-based restaurant there. It was so awesome.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. The kids loved it.
Dr. Dan: That we'd never heard of it. We were just like, oh, tried a new place.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. This is not a fad. This has caught on, guys. More and more people every day are becoming plant-based eaters, and for multiple reasons.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, some people are just doing it a couple of times a day. So if they're eating three meals, two of the meals might be plant-based, and then one might be meat or whatever. So yeah, more people are doing it.
Siri Shakti: Yeah.
Dr. Dan: Another one that I get a lot is, aren't all vegans skinny, sickly-looking, and hippies? Live in the trees and they don't shave their armpits and they're all smelly?
Siri Shakti: Oh, shoot. I smell?
Dr. Dan: You do. That was me telling you-
Siri Shakti: But I do want to live in a tree. I want a really cool treehouse.
Dr. Dan: Nice. Nice. Everybody's different, just like in anything in life. There's going to be some stinky people that are plant-based, and some that aren't. Right? It happens. It's how the world is.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, so just because you're plant-based, doesn't mean you have to stop wearing deodorant. They don't go hand in hand.
Dr. Dan: Exactly. You'll probably do a deodorant that doesn't have-
Siri Shakti: Like a natural one.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, a natural one that doesn't have all the chemicals. And there are some great … It took me a while to find a really good one. And I found one that's awesome, and I love it.
Siri Shakti: Me, too.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. And again, that's like saying … And I've gotten this before, too, where people said, “Oh, you're from California.” And then when they meet me, they're like, “Oh, I thought you'd have blonde hair and blue eyes and be a surfer.” And I'm like, what? You know. “I thought you'd be tanned because you're Californian.” And I'm like-
Siri Shakti: And hang out with the Beach Boys.
Dr. Dan: I'm like, I don't lay out in the sun all day. Come on. What? Right?
Siri Shakti: Yeah, it's just a certain perception of vegans. And because I have met a lot of people that are plamp … I can't talk here. Plant-based eaters that tend to fit that description, but like you were saying, the thing is, is nowadays, I have met people from all walks of life that are plant-based eaters.
Dr. Dan: Another one I get is, where do you get your protein from?
Siri Shakti: Oh my gosh, that's a huge one.
Dr. Dan: Because protein only comes from animals. Meat.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, that's it. No.
Dr. Dan: As long as I can remember, when I was body-building, I remember even in like the Weider books, the Joe Weider books that talked about exercise and working out. They even said in there that it's the building blocks of amino acids. So what are you saying, plants don't have amino acids? Is that what you're saying? Come on.
And again, the way to look at it is, where do the animals get their protein? Do they eat other animals? Do you have cows eating other cows and that's how you get protein? No. Cows are eating what? The grass. Right? They're eating plants. Right? Or grains, depending on what they're being fed, depending on what kind of animal you're getting. So they're getting it from the plants. So why not cut out the middleman and stop eating the flesh and the guts of the cow to get what they ate, which you could eat right from the source?
Siri Shakti: Yeah. Almost all plant-based foods have protein and the thing is, it's such a big misconception. And it is so ingrained in us because it's what we've been taught for so long. This goes back so far, but it's one of those things that is … It's really slowly being … I wouldn't say slowly, but well, it's being debunked because there's so much information out there now, guys. There's all these great studies that have been done by-
Dr. Dan: There was that study by … I forgot where I read it, but I remember, there was a study of, I think it was the army or the military, where they took … And it was funded, I believe, by the meat industry or one of those industries. They put up the money and they said let's do a study, and they took some of these people, new recruits, and they divided them in two. And one was plant-based, or vegetarian at least, I can't remember if it was fully plant-based or vegetarian. And then the other one was regular meals that they eat. And they put them against each other to see … Not against each other, but tracked their improvements. How well they did. And they thought that the meat eaters were actually going to do better, and that was the point of the study, but it actually was reverse. That the plant-based, vegetarian or whichever one it was, plant-based or vegetarian, that they actually had the biggest increases from when they started. So that never really got published, but it was found. So they revealed it, but it wasn't the meat industry that put up the money for it. They didn't show it.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, and I highly … Like you were mentioning, that documentary, What the Health?
Dr. Dan: Yeah, What the Health?
Siri Shakti: That goes over all of this. And they talk about where they get all the information from. They state their sources. This isn't just some made-up stuff that we're saying-
Dr. Dan: Well no, and there's so many plant-based athletes out there now. Actors, athletes. Some of the most famous people in history, even, have been plant-based eaters. We're not saying that one is smarter than the other or whatever because … We're just saying that it's not … You don't … It's not going to be just the dumb people.
Siri Shakti: Like the dumb-dumbs?
Dr. Dan: The dumb-dumbs.
Siri Shakti: Nice. Some of the sources that I like to use to get protein, you don't have to look very far, that give you your protein, they give you your amino … Your essential nine amino acids, are things like hemp seeds, chia seeds, soy, buckwheat, quinoa, nuts, seeds. Spinach, kale. The list goes on. But those are my top ones. I use, actually, spinach and kale a lot.
Dr. Dan: And you don't have to be perfectly exactly, where you're measuring every single thing out, you're like, “Oh, I need to have my hemp because that's what's going to give me this.” And if you're worried … ‘Cause that's a big myth. If you're worried, oh, I'm not getting enough of this, well go get a blood test. That's the only way you could truly know if you're actually lacking something or not.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. I wish I wrote this down, but I remember reading recently, how the percentage of what humans needed for protein and how the average American gets … I forgot, I wish I had the numbers, like I said.
Dr. Dan: Well it was babies. Babies needed the most, and even then, it's recommended … Some astronomical number was recommended that adults have that's way in excess of what even a baby would need when it's growing the most.
Siri Shakti: And that's what they're saying, is that the average American is getting way too much protein every day. And that's what I'm saying, guys. It's not something you have to overthink. It's actually very easy to reach the amount of protein that you need each day. It's not hard.
Dr. Dan: We didn't need to be convinced of any of this stuff. Heck, we didn't even really do this kind of research until after the fact-
Siri Shakti: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Dan: … because we started getting people asking us constantly and we got irritated and were like, “Where do you get this from? Where do you get your protein?” And I'm just like, dude, I feel awesome. I feel great. What are you talking about? I'm not lacking muscle. I've got muscle. I feel strong. I can lift stuff. I'm not skinny and sickly-looking.
Siri Shakti: I remember when I was in the hospital, ready to give birth to Malena, and we had been plant-based eaters for six months or something like that. That was probably the best health I had ever been in. And the nurses kept asking, “Whoa, what do you guys do?”
Dr. Dan: Like, “You're glowing, whoa, your skin and everything looks amazing.”
Siri Shakti: Yeah. “You're glowing. You're about to give birth and you look amazing. You're so strong, so healthy.” It was just so clear. So you were telling them all about it. We were so passionate. Well, we still are today, but passionate about sharing that with them.
Dr. Dan: So here's another one that I get, is where do you get your B12, 'cause you can't get B12 without eating meat? And the funny thing is, is I was like … After hearing this, I was like, what? I never even thought about that, so let me look at it. So first off, I looked at what the recommended dose was. And then I looked at my … And actually, I ended up buying a B12 supplement. And then I looked at it, and I looked at how much … Te percentage they gave you and what was the recommended amount recommended. And then I looked on my vitamins that I have. I have a … I forgot what vitamins.
Siri Shakti: The multivitamin?
Dr. Dan: Yeah, the multivitamin that we have. That food-based, plant-based. And it's great for you. It's not Costco or some cheap one that you buy at the-
Siri Shakti: Get it from Whole Foods or Sprouts.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, and on there the B12 was already in excess. A little bit above that. I'm like okay, so I guess I don't need those other ones that I just bought. But the truth is, when I looked it up, people that are getting B12 from the animal, that the animal … Well first off, the animal is eating plants and stuff, or feed, or whatever they're giving it. But they actually put supplements. Like a powder, I think it is. Supplement B12. A cheap source because of course, they're trying to be affordable. And they put that in their feed. Or inject it or however they do it. But that's what they give the animal that you're taking in again. So it's like, why would I do that? Why wouldn't I just take it myself? Why would I wait to get it from there?
Siri Shakti: Get it from your food or like you were saying, take a nice, healthy, plant-based multivitamin and get it from there.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, and I know that some plant-based foods are actually fortified with the B12 as well. I know almond milk and stuff like that. And now I guess they call them almond beverages because the milk industry started suing them or something and saying people are getting confused and thinking that almond milk is milk. And it's not milk. Milk is milk from a cow. I wondered why they started changing that name, and I had to look it up and find that out.
Siri Shakti: I'm not sure if you knew this, but the milk industry, the dairy industry, has been increasingly … Every year is losing more and more money because more and more people every year are drinking these almond beverages, as we put it. Or I'll say milk. Almond milk. There's cashew milk, there's macadamia milk, hemp milk. And even people … I have a lot of friends that eat meat, but they won't drink milk. They'll actually do almond milk. And they love it. It's so creamy, it's so good for you. You can even make it if you want, it's really easy.
So yeah, they're losing a lot of money. Of course, they still make a lot of money. We're talking lots of money. But just goes to show you how more and more people are waking up to the power of these types of things. I remember when we started, Dan, I didn't know that many people that were drinking almond milk or soy milk, things like that. But now, more than half of my friends are.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. And again, you could look this up, some of the most famous people in the world over the years that were either vegan or vegetarian. What'd they say? I think it was Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo da Vinci, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein. I mean, man. And this was before it was a fad. They didn't have Whole Foods back then. They didn't have Amazon and books and stuff and YouTube and other people coming to them saying, “Hey, you should do this.”
Siri Shakti: Even Albert Einstein would talk a lot about how humans … For humans to survive, eventually, we're going to have to cut out the dairy and the milk. Because, and we'll get into this in a minute, but because of what these two things are doing to the planet. It's just not sustainable.
Dr. Dan: Yup.
Siri Shakti: All right, so-
Dr. Dan: So anyways, let's see what else we've got. Oh, your brain developed because you came out of the trees and ate meat, and if you stop, then you'll get dumb. And I've heard this, and I couldn't believe it, but yeah, it's just like … I usually just laugh. I don't even know what to say. If it even deserves an answer, 'cause it's just so ridiculous. And the truth … I mean, man.
Siri Shakti: I don't know what to say to that either. I don't know, we've been doing this for a long time and I don't feel dumb. I feel pretty smart.
Dr. Dan: I feel like I've gotten so much more done my entire … Since I've been … I feel like in the time that I've been plant-based, I've done astronomically more to the point where I couldn't even calculate. Prior to that, and to now, it's like wow. It's crazy. I can't even … And then I just mentioned all those smart people. They weren't dumb. So there you go.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. So maybe we don't need to dive too far into that. I think that's enough to just make the point.
Dr. Dan: Exactly. Let's see. Another one, but what if I stopped eating meat? Then the world would be overgrown and animals would take over. And plants and everything would just overgrow because the animals wouldn't eat the plants. Man.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, I actually have something to say about that, because farmed animals are actually not allowed to reproduce naturally. Farmers only breed animals when they can make a profit out of doing so. So as demands for meat goes down over time, fewer and fewer animals will be bred. So what that really means is that we will not be overrun by millions of farmed animals as some people have come to imagine. And everything comes to a balance. Everything does balance out, 'cause eventually, the ones that are left will be set free. For instance, pigs. Pigs can go root around in the woodlands or in the mud, whatever they do. Sheeps can graze on the hillside like deers do, and so on. And their populations will find their own natural levels, just like other animals do.
Dr. Dan: And if you want to just talk bout something that just blew my mind. I remember hearing this a long time ago, and I was looking for it briefly but I didn't find it. But if you look at how many resources it takes to raise an animal to be slaughtered and then fed to a human, it's insane. So when they say, “We need animals for this, this and this” or whatever, it's like, well, if you realize that right now we're in a water shortage, especially in California, and all over the place they talk about it. And in droughts. You would think, imagine how many gallons of water it takes to raise a cattle. I have it written down as … When I looked it up, it was like for one pound of beef, it takes 1,799 gallons of water. For just one pound. I've also heard-
Siri Shakti: And actually, just to comparison, it takes only 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, I remember hearing something like that too, and I thought it was just … Seriously? So obviously … Another example, I was going to look for but I never got around too, but I remember the comparison they showed was something like for each cattle or something like that to raise from beginning to … They used the example of a pond filled with enough water to have a battle ship just floating there. Something like that. It was a great visual. A lot of water.
Siri Shakti: And to just add to this, the Environmental Protection Agency, this is where I got this information, says that nearly half of all the water use in the United States goes to raising animals for food. And on top of that, to produce a day's food for one meat eater … So for one meat eater, it takes over 4,000 gallons of water. For one vegetarian, it takes only 1,200 gallons of water, and for one vegan, it takes 300 gallons of water. So let's compare 4,000 gallons of water for a meat eater for one day compared to a plant-based eater, which is 300 gallons of water. And we are talking about our resources.
You know what, enough said. That is it, right there.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. That's a lot.
Siri Shakti: It's huge. So we also talk about … If we're on the topic of resources, let's talk about food, too. Because another thing I found is that in the U.S, 70% of the grain grown in the U.S is fed to the animals. To the factory-farmed animals. 70%. This is grain that could be going to human beings. That's just huge numbers.
And then also, the last one I wanted to add is that the world's cattle alone consumes a quantity of food that equals to the caloric needs of 8.7 billion people. So we're saying that the world's cattle consumes enough food that could be feeding 8.7 billion people. That's more than the entire human population on earth. And this is why I'm talking about … I can get really passionate about this, we'll have to do a whole other episode about this, but when we first started this plant-based diet, it really for me had nothing to do about let's save the planet or animal rights. Anything like that. It was just, we wanted to feel better. You wanted to lose a bit of weight, wanted to feel better.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, it made sense so we were like, hey, let's commit to trying this out.
Siri Shakti: Yeah, but naturally, when you do something, you learn about it. And the more that I read and I watched documentaries. Oh my goodness, I was opened up to a whole new world, and eventually, it did become for me about animal rights and about protecting them. And it has come about … It's come to the point where I feel like, I'm a citizen of this planet. I'm an earthling. We're all earthlings. And it's our responsibility to take care of this planet and pass a good planet on to our future generations. For our children and their children and so on and so on. And just this information right here about the water and the food, that's enough to show you that this industry, it's not working. It's just not sustainable, and there's only so far that we can go with it.
Dr. Dan: Exactly. So is there anything else you want to add before we get into the RockStar mission for today?
Siri Shakti: I could go on with talking about global emissions and things like that, but maybe we should save that for another episode.
Dr. Dan: Let's save that. We could definitely dive even deeper.
Siri Shakti: Yes, yes. Okay. Well then I think we're ready for our RockStar mission.
Dr. Dan: Awesome. All right, well before we go into that, don't forget to go to RockstarInLife.com to get links and resources mentioned in this episode, the transcript. Download my free books, training yoga, meditation, home schooling advice, and so much more being added every single week. Go to RockstarInLife.com and join the Rockstar In Life revolution today.
Siri Shakti: Awesome.
Dr. Dan: All right. So here is your Rockstar mission for today, if you choose to take it, which we hope you will. We want you to check out some of the links and the resources that we'll have on this episode page. So again, that'll be on RockstarInLife.com, and we want you to just, from what you've heard, decide, is this something I'm willing to just try? Just try and see if it fits? If it makes sense to you. If you're so against this and you're like, no way, there's no way I'm going to do this in the world. We're hoping you're not going to be like that. we're hoping you're willing to just give this a try.
Siri Shakti: Yeah. And what they could do is, if you're interested in this, if this is something that's sparking interest, you could go watch … Two different documentaries I highly suggest is Forks Over Knives, amazing, amazing documentary about two doctors from two different backgrounds that have come together and done groundbreaking studies all about plant-based, and then the other one that we've been talking about, which is What the Health?
Dr. Dan: Yeah. So that's part of your homework right there. Watch those two movies right there, those documentaries. I believe Forks Over Knives is also on Netflix. If not, you can just look it up and figure it out. We'll put a link down below and so that'll be in there as well.
And then the other thing I'll say is just try it out for two weeks. Give it two weeks. I like to say 30 days but just commit to two weeks to try it out. See how you feel. Because sometimes some people might feel a little sick 'cause in the first week, they might feel a little lethargic as their body is getting rid of a lot of the junk that's been sitting around and moving around for years. So give it two weeks, see how you feel, and then give it another two weeks. Try it out for 30 days.
Siri Shakti: And even if no one else in your family wants to try it, that's okay. We all have our own journey. Just do it yourself. Heck, I know couples that one eats meat and the other is a plant-based eater and they have different beliefs, but whatever.
Dr. Dan: Yeah. I think some of my favorite stories from people like that is they're like … Let's say it's the woman, it's the wife. And she's like, “Yeah, I'm plant-based now” … And actually we knew somebody like this. Part of the home schooling group. And the rest of her family was not. Or maybe it was just her husband wasn't. And he still wanted to eat meat-
Siri Shakti: It was the husband.
Dr. Dan: … but she was the one that cooked. So she was like, “I'm not cooking meat.” So I don't know … We haven't talked to her in a long time.
Siri Shakti: She's like, “If you want meat, I'll make everything else, but if you want meat, you have to cook it yourself.”
Dr. Dan: Yeah. Get yourself out and cook it more if you want, then.
Siri Shakti: There you go.
Dr. Dan: Yeah, so give it a try. Check it out. And obviously, I recommend … Well first off, I'll put out the disclaimer to make sure that you seek … Always seek a doctor's advice before starting anything so we're not liable.
Siri Shakti: Thank you, yes.
Dr. Dan: We always gotta say that. Do your own research and figure out if it's right for you. And if you're going to do this, keep a journal. Keep a journal of how you feel every day, and I have a feeling, especially for a lot of you, you feel great right away, and after the first week or two, you'll be like, man, I can't believe I've never done this before. I have some amazing foods, and this is awesome.
Siri Shakti: Yes. Yes, and I'm going to post more recipes and things like that, that will help you out. I can even post the first recipes that we started with that were really easy that you can get started with.
Dr. Dan: All right. So that's it, everybody. Thanks for joining us.
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