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The “Fat Fueled Family,” Unschooling How-Tos, Montessori Education, Does Spanking Damage The Brain, Rites Of Passage With Danny Vega (Boundless Parenting Book Series).

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Danny and Maura Vega are two of the superstar parents featured in my upcoming Boundless Parenting book.
They are the founders of Fat Fueled Family LLC, a blog, podcast, and YouTube channel dedicated to leading a movement that empowers families to eat better, move more, and grow closer. In addition, they offer consultations and individual/group coaching through their Fat Fueled Physique program.
Danny, who I interview in this podcast, is the author of the children’s book series Unexplainable Adventures, the first fictional, character-based series of growth and development books geared specifically for children. After working as a basketball strength and conditioning coach, Danny spent ten years in the medical device industry before starting Fat Fueled Family LLC.
Maura is a classically trained dancer in ballet, jazz, and contemporary. Her experience overcoming eating disorders in her youth, along with dealing with postpartum depression, has made Maura a passionate advocate for mindful eating and supporting mothers. Danny and Maura live in Tampa, Florida with their two sons, who have their own Instagram channel @fatfueledkids, on which they share how they eat as well as their projects and homeschool adventures.

During this discussion with Danny, you’ll discover:

-What is the Fat Fueled Family and how did it come to be?…9:00

Danny was always into nutrition and played college football
He felt great on a ketogenic diet
Began the Ketogenic Athlete Podcast
Realized that he wasn’t feeding his kids the way he was eating

Helped his children understand the “why” behind food
Maintaining that balance of freedom and autonomy
Danny and Maura used to be “radical unschoolers” but realized it was too much/too little structure
Built trust with children
Established structure and rules

River and Terran
Mathnasium program for their schooling
Kamana Wilderness Awareness School

Structure is built around the child’s passions, interests, and desires
Unschooling is more the absence of the cookie-cutter approach rather than the absence of structure and organization
Podcasts on unschooling:

-The importance of building structure around a child’s passions and interests…13:20

Unschooling requires a lot of dedication and commitment
You have to know your child very well
Children haven’t been jaded about learning
Books by John Taylor Gatto
The Underground History of American Education
Dumbing Us Down
Weapons of Mass Instruction

-What do Danny Vega’s kids eat?…16:05

Fat Fueled Family
Both children were breastfed for 1.5-2 years
Weaned with raw liver and soft-boiled egg yolks
Well-sourced liver and eggs due to concern for parasitic infection

The effects of leptin imbalance
Concrete eating times to establish circadian biology
Lean and active kids
Breakfast:
Eggs and turkey sausage
Paleo pancakes

Lunch:
Bell peppers and avocados
Turkey and cheese

The Urban Cottage

-Leptin receptor deficiency in children…19:50

Leptin deficiency may result in:
Low bone density
Obesity
Late puberty

Leptin deficiency may be caused by:
Poor sleep
Stress
High sugar snacks
Frequent snacking

Heat and cold exposure for children can help regulate leptin
Jack Kruse’s Cold Thermogenesis Protocol

Podcast on Cold Thermogenesis:

The importance of predictable eating times

-Skipping breakfast in lean, healthy adults and children can cause more harm than good…24:25

Kids shouldn’t skip breakfast
Can cause hormonal dysregulation and low bone density

-Non-negotiable foods that Danny’s children must (or must not) eat…26:10

Animal protein is the cornerstone
No food dyes
No processed seed oils
Minimize grains
Lots of sourdough
Weston A. Price Dietary Guidelines

The Urban Cottage school that Danny’s children attend…32:17

The Urban Cottage
Students get to spend most of the time in their “sweet spot”
Exploring their passions

Focus on nature and the outdoors
Small class sizes
Inspired by the Montessori Method
Free physical activity
Informal and individual instruction
Early emphasis on writing and reading
Sensory motor training

Parent involvement
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv
Focus on the Trivium and the Quadrivium
The trivium consists of grammar, logic, and rhetoric
The quadrivium consists of arithmetic, astronomy, music, and geometry

Similar philosophy to Naval Ravikant’s idea behind education
Unschooling to University by Judy Arnall
John Holt – The Foundation for Unschooling
John Holt

-Danny and Maura’s approach to discipline…49:15

Started off with very little discipline
How spanking harms the brain
Spanking vs. consequential parenting
The Fifth Commandment says, “Honor your parents”
Deuteronomy 28
Biblical approach to discipline
Emphasis on God’s love
The Ten Commandment

Alice Bailey’s Ten Point Plan

-The importance of Rites of Passage…60:00

Increasing independence and responsibility
Purposely getting lost on hikes
Gun safety courses and learning how to shoot a handgun and rifle
Learning how to be outside
Gardening and working the land
Camping in the wilderness

Wild At Heart by John Eldredge
10 Ways To Grow Tiny Superhumans by Ben Greenfield
Podcast with Tim Corcoran:

Boundless Parenting by Ben Greenfield

-And much more…

Upcoming Events:

Six Senses Retreat: February 27, 2023 – March 3, 2023

Join me for my “Boundless Retreat” at Six Senses from February 27th, 2023 to March 3rd, 2023, where you get to improve on your functional fitness, nutrition, longevity, and the delicate balance between productivity and wellness. Complete with a healthy farmhouse breakfast, yoga spa sessions, and sound healing, you learn how to live a boundless life just like me, and I’d love to see you there. Learn more here.

Keep up on Ben’s LIVE appearances by following bengreenfieldfitness.com/calendar!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

32 Questions For Boundless Parenting

The following questions were posed to Danny and Maura Vega, and the rest of the wise parents interviewed for my upcoming book, Boundless Parenting.

How many children do you have, how old are they, what is their profession or passion, and why, in particular, are you proud of them?
Are there any elements of your parenting approach that you would consider to be particularly unique?
What books, systems, models, or resources do you rely heavily upon or consider to be indispensable in your own parenting?
What traditions, habits, routines, or rituals are most important, memorable, or formative for your family?
What rites of passage or significant moments of maturation to adolescence or adulthood have your children experienced, if any?
Who do you look up to as parenting mentors?
What have you taught your children about raising their own children?
Do you have any philosophies or strategies for educating your children outside of traditional school, such as homeschooling, unschooling, self-directed education, or other alternatives, creative, or “outside-the-box” forms of education?
What has been your proudest moment as a parent, and why?
What do you wish you had known before first becoming a parent?
Have you ever experienced imposter syndrome as a parent? If so, how have you coped with that?
How have you achieved a balance between mentoring and passing on wisdom without “living vicariously” through your children?
Have you ever faced any big parenting decisions that kept you awake at night worrying or that you feared you would mess up?
What do you regret, if anything, from your experience as a parent?
What is the biggest mistake you have made as a parent?
What, if anything, from your parenting experience would you go back and change or improve?
If you had multiple children, what did you think was right at the time with one child that you then went back and changed with the next child or future children?
Have you ever sensed or feared that your children would grow up too different or weird as a result of any “outside-the-box” parenting approaches you used? If so, how did you deal with that?
Have you ever differed from your spouse on parenting principles, techniques, or approaches? If so, how did you manage that?
Warning: This question is long but important: As a parent, have you ever felt conflicted about wanting to share a book, teaching, resource, or method with your children as a means of impacting their future success, but feared that it might “overload” them, especially at their age? If so, how did you balance bestowing this valuable knowledge to your child without causing them to worry too much about adult concerns? How did you decide when to just “let a kid be a kid” versus nudging them towards responsible adulthood and the attainment of valuable wisdom?
How have you balanced being a present, engaged parent while preserving your own identity, taking time for your own self-care, tending to your career, or pursuing other interests that did not include your children?
How have you engaged in one-on-one time or created space for dedicated time with your child, especially if you have more than one child?
If your children have grown up and moved out of your house, what strategies have you found most helpful for maintaining and building your relationship with them?
If your children have grown up and moved out of your house, do you often miss them, fear for them, or think of them? If so, how have you coped with any loneliness or desire for their presence?
Do you have non-negotiable rules for your children?
How have you disciplined your children, if at all?
How have you helped your child to establish responsibly, moderated, or conscientious consumption or use of books, media, entertainment, screen time, and social media? This is not my favorite question because the focus on “limiting screen time” seems a bit blown out of proportion these days and I think causes kids to get obsessed with the “forbidden fruit” of screen time, but it seems to be on the minds of many parents today, so I’d be remiss not to include it.
Have you emphasized or encouraged any health, fitness, or healthy eating principles with your children? If so, what has seemed to work well?
If your child or children could inscribe anything on your gravestone, what would you hope that they would write? What would you most want them to remember about you?
What do you most want to be remembered for as a parent?
What do you think your child or children would say is their fondest memory of being raised by you?
What message for parents would you put on a billboard?

Resources mentioned in this episode:

-Danny & Maura Vega:

Fat Fueled Family

– Podcasts:

– Other Resources:

Boundless Parenting by Ben Greenfield
Leptin and Its Emerging Role in Children and Adolescents
Weston A. Price Dietary Guidelines
How Spanking Harms the Brain
Montessori Education
Jack Kruse’s Cold Thermogenesis Protocol
Naval Ravikant’s idea behind education
Unschooling to University
Alice Bailey’s Ten Point Plan
Wild At Heart

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Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Danny Vega or me? Leave your comments below, and one of us will reply!

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