This week’s topic is: Juggling Family, Partnership and Real Life with Daniella Monet and Andrew Gardner
I am so excited to have two very special guests, Daniella Monet Zuvic, who is an actress and ethical entrepreneur and Andrew Gardner, who is a CPA, VP of sales, creator and founder of Gafton clothing, finance wiz turned full-time dad, and together they host the podcast, Adulting Like A Mother Father. Listen in, as they share their wisdom about family, entrepreneurship, being plant-based and more.
- Daniella and Andrew share their journey as new parents and entrepreneurs…
- What it’s like to work together, to be new parents and the transition it’s had on their relationship…
- Transitioning between inward and outward shifts and how to find balance in their lives…
- Daniella shares her experience going plant-based…
- What their routine looks like with foods, water intake and supplements…
- Andrew and Daniella share their journey from when they met to now…
- We discuss the environment and why eating less meat is the solution…
- Whether awareness surrounding going plant-based brings about a sense of optimism…
- Why it’s so important to respect individuals’ lifestyle choices without judgement…
- Some of the biggest ways Daniella and Andrew’s lives have changed since becoming parents…
- What Gio, their son, has taught them…
About Daniella Monet
Actress Daniella Monet and fiance Andrew Gardner are expecting! With 8 years of navigating life together the two will deep dive into the in’s and out’s of adulthood. Covering everything from food & fitness to relationship & finances. Adulting can be a mission, but we’re finding the hacks so that we can come back stronger in the second half.
Having acted since a kid, Daniella leveraged her earnings to invest in conscious companies that help make living a more environmentally lifestyle accessible. As a role model to many, Daniella wants to continue to be an authentic voice by inspiring those of my audience that are coming of age. Adulting may not always be easy but she’s doing her best to laugh her way through the lessons.
About Andrew Gardner
Andrew Gardner and fiance Actress Daniella Monet are expecting! With 8 years of navigating life together the two will deep dive into the in’s and out’s of adulthood. Covering everything from food & fitness to relationship & finances. Adulting can be a mission, but we’re finding the hacks so that we can come back stronger in the second half.
As a kid Andrew always had big dreams. Having grown up in a small town outside of Sacramento, CA he spent most of his upbringing playing quarterback and maintaining above average GPAs. While Andrew is always seeking more purpose, today he spends his days working in the finance industry putting his analytical brain to work. As a soon to be father, he strives to ADULT to the best of his ability, whilst sharing any tips along the way.
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Daniella and Andrew’s Interview
Other Podcasts you may enjoy!:
- Getting Protein on a Plant-Based Diet
- How to Balance your Hormones on a Plant-based Diet with Dr. Neal Barnard
- The Most Important Supplements To Take!
- Recipes & Good Ways To Get Iron on a Plant-Based Diet
Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly: Hey, Beauties, and welcome back to our Monday interview podcast. I am so excited for our guests today, who are actually sitting next to me on the couch. We have Daniella Monet and her fiancee, Andrew Gardner, and they also have their five-month adorable baby with us today, named Gio, who is so cute. Daniella is an actress, and together she and Andrew are entrepreneurs. They invest in a lot of different plant-based companies and they are the hosts of Adulting Like a Mother Father, which is the podcast I’ve been on. They are an amazing family and they’re doing so much amazing work in the world. I am so excited to share their wisdom about family, entrepreneurship, being plant-based and more.
Fan Of The Week
Kimberly: Before we get into it, I want to give a quick shout out to our fan of the week. Her name is SusanNealYoga, and she writes, “This fun host covers loads of different topics to help you improve your overall health and wellbeing. Listen, and you will be hooked.” Susan Neil Yoga, thank you so much for being our fan of the week. I am so appreciative that you are part of our community. Sending you lots and lots of love, beauty, and I hope we get to meet in person one day. Until then, sending you a huge virtual hug.
Share The Podcast and Leave a Review on Itunes
Kimberly: Beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, please just take a moment out of your day and leave us a review on iTunes, which is free and easy. Your review could be one sentence or two, it doesn’t have to be this big long thing, but it’s a really wonderful way to support the show. I thank you so much in advance. While you’re at it, you can also subscribe to our show, that way you don’t miss out on any of our interviews or any of our Q&A podcasts. It’s a great way to get a constant source of just information and motivation and inspiration into your week every week, so make sure you subscribe.
Interview with Daniella and Andrew
Kimberly: All right, all that being said, we have our amazing guests sitting right here, so let’s get right into our interview.
Kimberly: Well, I’m so excited to be sitting on the couch with you guys. There’s four, actually five of us.
Daniella: I’m excited this is great.
Kimberly: Daniella, Andrew, Gio and my little nugget that’s still a seven months in there.
Daniella: That’s amazing. Amazing.
Kimberly: Yeah. Thank you so much.
Andrew: Thanks for having us.
Daniella and Andrew share their journey as new parents and entrepreneurs
Kimberly: Well I loved talking to you guys on your podcast as well. And just to continue the conversation, turn it back to you guys, your journey as new parents and being plant-based, which is a huge topic that we talk about. And Andrew’s been plant-based for six months. So tell us a little bit about just your life in the last few years. It transitioned. I know you guys have been working for a while. You are an actress, Daniella, and then and then what’s going on now? Did everything feel like you put it on hold, or you just pivoting your life now you guys are entrepreneurs? You started these different businesses.
Daniella: It’s been-
Kimberly: What’s going on?
Daniella: It’s a journey.
Andrew: It’s been interesting.
Daniella: It’s been interesting. It’s been fun though. We’ve been together eight years, so he’s been a part of a lot of me being an actress and doing that whole thing full time. And then to now being a mother and a father and pivoting more into working together. And the companies that we’ve invested in are plant-based companies [crosstalk 00:01:25] being Outstanding Foods and then Sugar Taco restaurant. And we’re actually looking to do one in the Valley. So that would be [crosstalk 00:01:34] you.
Kimberly: Oh, that’d be incredible.
Andrew: Did you try it yet?
Andrew: No, you’ve got to.
Daniella: No? Oh man.
Kimberly: I haven’t tried it.
Daniella: You would love it.
Kimberly: Where is it?
Daniella: I love it. It’s on Melrose and Poinsettia. It’s near LaBrea.
Kimberly: Oh my gosh. Yeah, I’ll have to go there whenever I’m that part of town.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s a little ways from you.
Daniella: It’s amazing. Then Kinder Beauty came about and so we started doing a subscription box that’s a hundred percent vegan, cruelty-free, and clean. And it goes worldwide. So for people that are around the world that don’t have access or don’t know enough or is just… I was a confused consumer before going completely vegan in all aspects of my life. I didn’t know what beauty brands to trust. And is it clean? Is it a hundred percent cruelty-free? What’s the difference between cruelty free and vegan?
Kimberly: And there’s beauty brands out there… I learned hyaluronic acids sometimes they can come from rooster feathers. There’s all these ways of sourcing that I wasn’t aware of before.
Daniella: Crazy. Yeah. So we sort of clear that up and created this box. And now the podcast is just kind of our grounding space in a weird way. It brings us together, it opens up a conversation about pretty much anything that’s current in our lives. And we started when he was four weeks old.
Kimberly: Wow. And Gio’s how old now?
Daniella: Five months.
What it’s like to work together, to be new parents and the transition it’s had on their relationship
Kimberly: So what was it like you guys doing your own thing to now you’re working together and you’re parents? I mean you guys have been together for a long time, but still it’s a big transition in a relationship.
Andrew: Yeah, it is. I think what made it easy is we’ve talked about it for years at this point. It’s something that she’s been pushing on me for at least three, four years maybe.
Kimberly: You mean the baby part or the-
Andrew: All of it. No. Stepping away from what I was doing to work together. We’ve been thinking about it forever and when Gio came it was just the perfect time. I remember I took a couple of weeks off to spend time with both of them. And then I just had this epiphany and call it whatever you want. I just couldn’t see myself back where I was in what I was doing. And it just felt like the perfect time to jump. And say, “All right, well we’re going to do this. I don’t know exactly what we’re doing, but we’ll figure it out.” And I will say this, I wouldn’t trade the ability to have this time with him for anything else and it’s so special.
Kimberly: Yeah. So you can be with him every day. Both of you guys, which is such a gift.
Daniella: Oh yeah. We know we’re lucky. We know we’re both fortunate.
Kimberly: As parents.
Daniella: Yeah. And I know it’s nice for him because [crosstalk 00:04:05] rare.
Kimberly: Oh my gosh. He’s so cute.
Daniella: Thank you.
Transitioning between inward and outward shifts and how to find balance in their lives
Kimberly: Yeah. For both parents to be home this much is very rare. But if you think about in the past the way the villages, village life, community life used to be set up, I feel like that’s such an important part of wellness. So we have something called the Solluna Circle, which I’ve mentioned to you guys, this community program. And now we’re doing it in different cities. We’re getting more live circles going. And I’ve just felt that this idea of coming together and raising children and coming together as communities and families is so missing. And I think that’s a big reason people have so much anxiety and depression today. So along those lines, you guys had very outward lives. Imagine you’re shooting all this stuff, so you’re on set. There’s a million people on sets, all this. How have you guys dealt with being very inward? You’re working at home, you’re parents now to Gio. There’s a big outward to inward shift. Has that been hard or how do you guys find balance with that?
Daniella: I’d say it was hard for me in the beginning.
Andrew: Yeah, I would agree with that. I think it… I almost disagree. I think initially it was easier to be inward because this was just so sacred to us. It was so special we were holding on so tight to this new experience. But I would say around month three, month four we both started itching a bit to get out in the world.
Kimberly: Yeah. So then how did you balance that? Well, now you’re doing your podcast over at Podcast One. Do you take him everywhere with you?
Daniella: Pretty much. When we go to the studio. It’s 50/50 whether we take him or not. I don’t mind that he’s there, but sometimes it’s just nice to know that he’s in his little cocoon at home and my aunt will come over and be with him.
Kimberly: Yes. Will she come to the studio and hold him?
Daniella: That will happen too. We’re big on being with him as much as we can.
Kimberly: Yes. It’s so amazing.
Daniella: It is. It’s funny, even when he goes to sleep at night, this sounds crazy, but we’re like, “Oh, we miss him.”
Kimberly: Yeah, of course. Well, does he have a actual bedtime now?
Daniella: He has a bedtime. And he wakes up at the same time every morning.
Kimberly: Oh my gosh.
Daniella: So it’s amazing.
Kimberly: You’re not nursing at night?
Daniella: Not once.
Daniella: I don’t know.
Kimberly: At five months?
Daniella: So it went away about two, three weeks ago. Which was hard for me. It was really weird.
Andrew: And it happened so fast.
Daniella: It happened so fast that he just didn’t wake up. So I’m like, “I’m not going to wake him.” At first, I was not waking him, but I was feeding him while he was asleep. I would just go out-
Kimberly: Yeah, the dream feed. Yes.
Daniella: So I did do that for a while, but then I just saw him sleeping so hard, that it even felt weird to go in there and feed him. So that just grew out of it.
Kimberly: Yeah. He’s a pretty big… He’s a big baby, so his stomach is probably bigger than the average child, which means he can go more hours I guess.
Daniella: That’s what happened.
Kimberly: And in the morning he’s probably starving. Like he eats-
Daniella: He’s ready to eat in the morning. He wakes up and he’s not fussy. He’ll just like… As soon as he sees me, because he’ll get him first, change him and then bring him to see my face. And as soon as he sees me, it’s like go time.
Andrew: It’s like he’s never eaten before.
Daniella: Yeah. He’s ready to eat.
Daniella shares her experience going plant-based
Kimberly: So Daniella, how long have you been plant-based?
Daniella: I’ve been plant-based since I was about 11 years old. So it’s been just… Yeah, 20 years.
Kimberly: Amazing. And so I get this question all the time. I’m really passionate about telling women you can be plant-based when you’re pregnant, and when you’re nursing, and after. I’ve been plant-based now over 12 years as well. So both now in this pregnancy… And we’re doing a plant-based pregnancy course coming out.
Daniella: I can’t wait for that. To share with people.
Kimberly: Yes. It’s just people need to know it’s such a healthy way to eat. So for you, when you got pregnant and now when you’re nursing, did you find yourself eating more of the same foods but more of them or did you have different cravings or what was your experience?
Daniella: I didn’t really have cravings actually. In the first trimester I did like sour foods. So I was interested in fermented veggies-
Daniella: Pickles, yeah. Loved it. And then everything became really normal in my second and third. [crosstalk 00:08:18]
Kimberly: Yes. I feel that too.
Daniella: Yeah, you just eat the same. I ate the same foods. Everything was really normal and I felt normal.
What their routine looks like with foods, water intake and supplements
Kimberly: That shows how balanced you we’re going in, I think. And how balanced the foods are. They’re so nutrient dense. And now he… I mean I have to say it’s amazing how big he is. He’s so healthy. You’re obviously producing a lot of milk. So same thing. You’re drinking a lot of water. Are you just eating more of the same foods?
Daniella: More of same foods. I am probably more mindful about what I eat now. Prior to being pregnant even, I think I probably indulged and didn’t think too hard about what kind of fats were going into my body and that sort of thing. And now I just care more about just getting a lot of really rich, dense nutrients [crosstalk 00:00:09:04]. I take a lot of supplements even though I probably don’t need them. I just do it more. Because why not? It can’t hurt. And-
Kimberly: Are you taking a DHA, an algae based?
Daniella: Yes, I take that. I also just take prenatals. I’m still taking prenatals.
Kimberly: That’s good to do at least through breastfeeding I think.
Daniella: And then I’ve been doing other things. Now that it’s cold and flu season, I’ll give him, or I’ll take vitamin C and I don’t know. That’s pretty much it. Vitamin D, a B vitamin obviously. And so I know that I’m able to give that to him.
Andrew and Daniella share their journey from when they met to now
Kimberly: Yes, that’s amazing. And Andrew as the… You guys have been together for a long time. And so I love to hear this story because we get a lot of questions from listeners about… A lot of women become interested in changing their lifestyle, being plant-based, and they say, “Oh my gosh, my husband is still a big meat eater. He’s not interested.” So can you guys tell about your journey from when you met to now?
Andrew: Yeah. So when, when we first met, I was, I guess as carnivorous as it comes. What in my mind was normal, what I grew up doing. And she was fully vegan at that point. She’d been vegan… You’d been vegan for 10 years already. Right?
Daniella: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Andrew: And so I’ll fast forward. She worked on me for eight years.
Kimberly: Yeah. Not pushing, but just-
Daniella: Sometimes. We would go to a Mercy For Animals gala, or something, and then… Or we’d watch a documentary, and it would just be like Fire Inside of Me. And then throughout… I don’t know. Time would pass and I wouldn’t say anything at all.
Kimberly: But would you eat meat at your home?
Andrew: Initially, yes. Initially, yes. And then I want to say it was probably three years ago at this point, maybe longer, maybe four years ago, where she just came to a crossroads where she wasn’t comfortable with it in the house anymore. And so we talked and I agreed to go basically fully vegan at home.
Kimberly: Wow. Four years ago.
Andrew: Yeah. Something like that. So we went that route. And I was still… I was working in and out of the house so I would do whatever I wanted for lunches or whatever. But when I say like she was working on me. The reality is there were times that she pushed me very hard, but it’s only because she’s so passionate.
Kimberly: Yeah, of course.
Andrew: Right? Which I understand now. And once you change your mindset about some of it, I can see why it’s an all or nothing sort of thing. I can see why there’s so much passion behind-
Kimberly: So you could see her passion, but when she was pushing did it make you want to dig in even more or were you loosening up?
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:11:47] That’s a really good question. I don’t know if it made me want it more, but any time somebody tells you what to do or it gets a little fiery with you, I think naturally your walls come up. Because as soon as you start pushing hard on me. I don’t want to hear it and I’m not going to hear it. But I guess I would say I could always step back and think about what she was saying and why she was saying it. And I had the ability to go to so many galas and gatherings with her where they would show videos, and I’d get more of the story behind it. And it’s hard to turn that off after a while.
Kimberly: Yeah, the footage is rough.
Andrew: Yeah. So fast forward last year towards the end of the year we went to the premiere of Game Changers. And I think that one spoke to me so much more because I grew up as an athlete and I’m still very physical and active and that’s who these, these guys and girls were. And I saw that the food that they were eating in the movie and I was like everything looked like all the stuff that I wanted to eat.
Kimberly: And everybody in that movie is so strong and fit and amazing.
Daniella: And healthy.
Andrew: And so like that definitely had a big impact on me. And I think from that point, I want to say it was September, October. I’ve-
Daniella: No, prior to that because we had him in September.
Andrew: There you go. [crosstalk 00:13:06]
Kimberly: He’s a September baby.
Daniella: I know.
Andrew: Yeah. So I’ve been fully plant-based since then. Yeah. And then on January… I wanted to do it first of the year, but I ended up pushing it a week. I just wanted to challenge myself. So I’m currently in the 90 day body transformation where the diet’s a hundred percent plant-based. So just following what I was doing, but I wanted to see how much I could push my body and like what changes I could make on that sort of diet.
Kimberly: Wow. Amazing. So how do you feel?
Andrew: I feel great. Yeah, I feel really, really good. I used to think it was a lot harder than it was. And maybe some of that’s true. I think in the last year or two, the things that are available for us out there have grown exponentially.
Kimberly: Oh, dairy lover. I used to love cheese back in high school and the Miyoko’s cheese-
Daniella: Oh it’s just amazing.
Kimberly: And the Kite Hill. I mean you don’t miss anything.
Daniella: Miss it. Except for the bad stuff that’s in it.
Kimberly: Yeah, exactly. And have you guys tried Miyoko’s butter?
Daniella: Oh yes.
Kimberly: I’m obsessed with it.
Daniella: She’s just amazing. And I’m so proud of her, and all. It’s cool to see these brands start and get a little bit of traction in our community.
Kimberly: And go mainstream.
Daniella: And then now those products… Yeah. In other people’s homes and talking about it-
Andrew: I think one of my favorite products of all food is the Miyoko’s, it’s the chive cheese.
Kimberly: She came on this podcast. I interviewed her and she’s like this badass woman. She talked a lot about entrepreneurship and how she runs her business. And she has this whole philosophy. So I really respect her.
Daniella: I respect her.
Kimberly: She’s up in Napa Valley. Everything is so clean. So she’s a kick ass woman.
Daniella: Oh my gosh. I’m so impressed. Very.
Andrew: Yeah. So then we started, we met, we talked about before how it starts to unfold. It’s like an onion. You’re like, “Oh this part.” And then the environmental part became something that you guys were more-
Andrew: Honestly, I think that’s a bigger piece for me than anything else. Because the food piece, I can take a step back and I have the desire to be more selfless. When I know the impact that it has just by changing what I eat on the environment, on the planet, that makes it better for me. And it feels good. But I feel like for once I’m doing something that’s bigger than just me. [crosstalk 00:15:25]
We discuss the environment and why eating less meat is the solution
Kimberly: And it has such an impact. I mean you guys see where I chose to live here because the woods and the forest. And the thing that, the environmental part that really gets me is the deforestation because so many people say to me, “Oh I eat meat now, but it’s organic and pasture raised and grass fed.” And I say, “Well where do you think all that grassland is coming from?” They’re literally flattening the forests to make space and we saw all those Amazon fires.
Daniella: I would love for you to talk about that because I feel like people don’t make that connection.
Daniella: And they’re wondering why all these fires are happening.
Kimberly: There’s steps, right? People start to feel better about, “Oh well I’m not supporting factory farmed animals.” They’ll be like, “Factory farms are horrible.” But then that’s the tricky part because… And do you guys know Kip and Keegan who did Cowspiracy? They’ve done different documentaries. So they came on here too and they were saying, “Factory farmed animals. That’s really bad for the cow. But if you get the grass fed, pasture raised, it’s bad for the forests, [crosstalk 00:16:35] the owls, the coyotes. Here in the middle of the United States, the wild horses.” It’s bad for everything unfortunately because it’s destroying the land.
Kimberly: So really the only solution is to eat less meat. Because you can switch from factory farmed to organic and that doesn’t solve the bigger environmental problem. And it doesn’t also solve the fact that you’re putting really heavy protein in your body, which weighs down your liver and your kidneys and acidifies your blood and makes you age faster and heart disease. All the millions of reasons why we want to cut back on meat full stop. So yeah.
Daniella: Oh yeah.
Andrew: Now are you an advocate of everybody going all in?
Andrew: Because I think even if people just made small changes, it would have such a big impact.
Kimberly: Yes. I think that people have different personalities. I’ve worked with such a range of people. Some people, it’s better for them to do all or nothing. Because if they’re around it, it’s just like some people quit smoking cold turkey. But I think for a lot of people that right now can’t imagine living without their favorite foods. Even if we teach them to switch to having a few go-to dinners and switching and then they start to feel good and then it’s like a cascade effect and they become more and more and more plant-based.
Kimberly: Maybe it was two days a week and then it’s three days a week and then it can grow. And I think there’s a lot of people in that category. And especially for men. Husbands and partners of our community when they’re like, “Wow, this Beyond Burger tastes amazing.” And they’re like, “This recipe is so filling, I feel great.” Then they can start to actually see it. When I was into cheese, it took me two… That was the last thing to go for me. It took me two years to get off cheese. It was hard for me to imagine never eating pizza again. Never eating it. But then as I pulled away, I started to feel so much better and that experience kept me going.
Daniella: Makes perfect sense.
Andrew: I don’t know why I feel like cheese is the hardest thing for everyone.
Kimberly: Well, it’s got all those casomorphins. It’s addictive.
Daniella: It has so many addictive qualities to it.
Kimberly: Yeah. It gives you… It changes your mood. It’s very addictive and it tastes good. I mean, let’s face it.
Andrew: It does.
Andrew: Like we were already saying there, there’s so many alternatives now that are actually really good.
Daniella: Yep. So true.
Whether awareness surrounding going plant-based brings about a sense of optimism
Kimberly: Do you guys feel… I mean I love that you guys are investing in all these plant-based companies. Do you feel now hopeful? Do you feel optimistic? Do you feel like because of Game Changers and all of this information out there, are you starting to see people really turn?
Daniella: Absolutely. I have people in all walks of life reach out to me in our circle who’ve said, “Oh, I’ve been vegan for X amount of months and it’s changed my life. My cholesterol, my blood pressure, all these things have changed for the better.” And it’s the most unexpected sometimes to hear from these individuals because they are the carnivores. Or the people that thought that they just weren’t men if they didn’t eat meat. But it just, it takes maybe a health scare unfortunately, or watching a documentary or something. The awareness changes and it’s happening all around us.
Kimberly: What about within your families?
Kimberly: Are they pretty open?
Kimberly: Where are they from?
Andrew: Yeah. All your family is basically from here.
Kimberly: Oh yeah. From California. Okay.
Daniella: Yeah. Medway.
Andrew: From Woodland Hills.
Daniella: From, basically on the [crosstalk 00:20:09].
Kimberly: Yes. I love it.
Daniella: [crosstalk 00:20:12] outside of this world too.
Kimberly: Which is where I tend to go more now that the middle of LA is so chill.
Daniella: Yeah, it’s very nice.
Andrew: And then my family’s from Northern California. [crosstalk 00:20:22] by Sacramento.
Kimberly: Oh, okay. So this is not like so weird for them. They’re not from the middle of-
Kimberly: No rural place.
Andrew: They are two totally different places though.
Daniella: But yeah, they are far more removed.
Andrew: Have you ventured up to Northern California much?
Kimberly: Near like Big Sur, or?
Daniella: No, not that. No inland or like in the outskirts or not the outskirts but inland of them.
Andrew: Yeah, these are basically like two different states. In a way. The people up there are so-
Kimberly: Gio’s been so good. And now he’s getting a little fussy.
Daniella: Say hi. Say hello.
Kimberly: Oh my God, he’s too cute. I can’t believe in a few months I’m going to have another little one.
Daniella: Oh my god.
Kimberly: You forget how-
Daniella: Well, let me remind you.
Kimberly: I mean, let me see this beautiful child
Daniella: Yes, in the beginning. It’s so different. I mean, he’s like a little man now and he has a personality, but [crosstalk 00:21:12] I feel like for first two months I was like, “What is this human that I’m raising? Who is he?”
Kimberly: Yeah. Oh my gosh. So sorry, Andrew, you were saying your family’s more inland.
Andrew: Yeah. So I would say like-
Kimberly: Are they like, “Oh, Daniella doesn’t eat meat?” At first?
Daniella: Oh, I’m sure.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah.
Daniella: They were probably like what’s-
Andrew: I think they thought it was weird. I don’t think they outwardly said that to me, but I know it took quite an adjustment for them to even think about like, “Oh, what will even make her when she comes?” [crosstalk 00:21:45] Or like the questions like, “Oh, you don’t eat eggs, do you?”
Kimberly: Right, right. [crosstalk 00:21:51] It’s always like-
Daniella: “You’ll eat peanut butter right? Or can you have sugar?” There’s so many questions.
Kimberly: And then I always get, “Well, what’s going to happen at Thanksgiving?” [crosstalk 00:22:02] And I’m like, “Thanksgiving is about coming together. It’s okay if we don’t have a Turkey.”
Daniella: Yeah. Oh my gosh, so true. I think it took some adjustment from his family, but we’ve been together for a while now and everyone’s so supportive. And his mom will go out of her way to make things for us now. And it’s cool. And they’ve adapted to so much more plant-based foods.
Kimberly: Oh good.
Andrew: I could be wrong, but I almost feel like my family’s more accommodating to you than your own family.
Kimberly: Has anyone gone vegan in your family or-
Daniella: So both my mom and my dad at one point had breast cancer. And so both of them went plant-based while they were recovering. And then now I’d say my mom is mostly plant-based and my dad’s girlfriend is a vegetarian. So there’s a lot of influence around us and everyone is very open minded. But I would say we are the most plant-based out of everyone.
Kimberly: Yes. And you guys have had the discussion about raising Gio plant-based?
Andrew: I don’t know if it was much of a discussion.
Kimberly: Well mama, we know who’s in charge.
Daniella: So back when I decided to make the household vegan, was about the same time I had the conversation [crosstalk 00:23:15] about our family moving forward. I just said, “It’s a love thing for me.” When I love someone. And I try not to push this on everyone because even if I love my parents, my family, whatever, friends, I try not to say too much. But with them, they’re my unit. They’re my everything, my little tribe. And I care and I want the best for them. And that’s how I share.
Kimberly: And you know so much about it.
Daniella: I know so much.
Why it’s so important to respect individuals’ lifestyle choices without judgement
Kimberly: Yeah. It’s hard. I really… I think being a parent, you go through so much. And a big lesson for me was not being judgmental. Because I remember innocently I would post stuff and people be like, “Oh my gosh, you’re making your child be plant-based.” And they would judge me and then I’d be like, “Well, I can’t believe this child’s eating all this dairy when there’s all this research correlating it to ear infections, all these things.” Right? So there’s that element of everybody’s doing their best. And making the best decisions that they can. I think we all have to respect each other.
Andrew: Yeah. 100% goes back to like what I said. I think as soon as you start telling people what they should be doing [crosstalk 00:24:29]-
Kimberly: Yes, exactly. I think I don’t tell people and then I don’t want them to tell me. But we love to share.
Daniella: Sure, if people ask. And now there is a lot more asking.
Kimberly: Oh yeah, it’s great.
Daniella: I’m open to having conversations that are gentle and people are curious. I’m happy to share, but I try not to. Or I make light of it. I’ll make a joke in some way. I’ll find some way. I’ll make a joke about something and people will be like, “Oh, okay.” But, you know what, it’s who I… It’s how I am. I don’t know.
Kimberly: It’s you being yourself. Yeah. I love how passionate you are about it, Daniella. It’s really the through line.
Daniella: Yeah. I mean it’s… Yeah, it’s been a huge driving factor for me. I was just saying to him in the car yesterday, actually. I’m like, “For the longest time I felt like that was my purpose was to get these messages across. And it’s changed since having Gio.” It’s changed. It’ll always be who I am at my core, and I’m always happy to share it. But it’s gone… It’s for me so much less about… I don’t know how to explain it. It just feels like now he is my sole purpose. And I want so much for him and I think it will live through him. Maybe the veganism and the activism will live through him. So I’m just trying to put as much energy as I can into him and hopefully just my lifestyle and the way that I live and what I believe in. [crosstalk 00:25:52]
Kimberly: It’s both. Yeah. Yes, that’s right. I don’t think it has to be just one thing, [crosstalk 00:25:57]. You’re putting so much, but the way that you’re living in and talking about it in your work. It’s all there too.
Daniella: Thank you.
Kimberly: It’s just this holistic-
Daniella: Yeah, it’s my foundation. It’s just… And now I think the other piece that I always try to portray is that it’s not an everyday thought process for me anymore. It’s literally just how I live.
Kimberly: Right, right, exactly.
Daniella: It’s effortless. And I don’t feel like I’m a weird person. I feel like a completely normal person just doing the best that I can and living the best way that I can.
Kimberly: Yeah, and such a great example for your son and all the energy. There’s so much light in you guys.
Daniella: Oh thank you I’m trying. Oh, you just spit up all over your leg. But the best part is that it’s only on your leg. That’s the best part.
Kimberly: Well the best part is, I’m 100% sure you guys have some wipeys. If not, I have wipes.
Daniella: We all come prepared [crosstalk 00:26:55] at all.
Kimberly: I love it. Oh yeah. Those are the wipes I have. The water wipes.
Daniella: The water wipes guys. Anyone listening that’s a mom, these are the go tos.
Kimberly: I feel like everybody’s using those water wipes now.
Daniella: They’re so easy. And I just feel good about them.
Kimberly: Yeah, they’re so-
Daniella: I had to choose right now at least.
Kimberly: They’re so plain and-
Daniella: Until I come out with my own.
Kimberly: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:27:16] I love it.
Daniella: There you go buddy.
Kimberly: There you go, honey. So going back to Gio for a second, what are some of the big… I mean lessons, I guess the easiest way to say it. He’s five months.
Daniella: He’s five months.
Some of the biggest ways Daniella and Andrew’s lives have changed since becoming parents
Kimberly: Your lives have changed so much.
Daniella: This is our life.
Kimberly: I mean, again, going back to this idea that you guys were working out of the home, you’re just an actress. I’ve been on sets. I know what a different life that is.
Daniella: It’s chaotic and it’s more-
Kimberly: Were you ready for the change?
Daniella: Yeah. The second I would get locked into some sort of job, I think I wanted so badly to be home and grounded. And-
Kimberly: And do you think you’ll ever go back to that?
Daniella: I will. I will, but I’m going to have so many different boundaries now. I think before I was just a giver. I would let it suck my energy. So much so that I would like deem it princess mode. I came home and I’d be like, I was on all day-
Kimberly: When did you start acting?
Daniella: When I was a kid.
Kimberly: Oh wow.
Daniella: Yeah. So it was all I knew for the longest time. And in a lot of ways it’s the biggest blessing that’s ever happened, because it’s afforded me a totally unique lifestyle. It’s afforded me this platform to reach other people and help spread awareness about things I care about. And it’s a huge outlet. I love entertainment and I like making people feel things, but I’m very specific. I’ve never really been into anything too heavy. So I do just strictly comedy. I feel like that just brings light into people’s lives. And if I can make them laugh. And if it’s something that like my family could watch, then I’ll do it. I’m very specific.
Kimberly: Yes. Well there’s so much creativity in being an entertainer, in being an actor. And so it makes sense that it’s channeled now into having a child and being a mother. You’re still so creative every day with what you’re doing.
Daniella: I’m an entertainer. We’re both entertainers now. The voices, the dance moves the singing.
Kimberly: So yeah, five months.
Daniella: Yeah. It’s such a difference between one to five you would think. What’s the difference?
Kimberly: It’s huge.
Daniella: They’re like two totally different human beings. And it’s honestly, this is the best time of our lives.
What Gio, their son, has taught them
Kimberly: What qualities… I was saying before, I feel like I became less judgmental and more patient. What qualities do you guys think Gio, who’s such an amazing teacher has already taught you?
Daniella: That’s a great question. What do you think?
Andrew: That’s a great question. I would say patience is definitely one of them.
Kimberly: As you swipe [inaudible 00:29:51].
Daniella: That and we value our relationship a little bit more now.
Kimberly: Yeah, 100%.
Daniella: I woke up when it came to our relationship. Even though we’d been together for so long, I think I realized, I just want to be a unit for so long. And I know that I’ve seen the hardships in relationships. We grew up with broken families. And even if it doesn’t work out, God forbid between us. The biggest thing for me is I want to have a good partnership and I want to make sure that we create that now.
Kimberly: How do you guys work on your marriage with a new, a pretty newborn?
Daniella: Well, first, we’re not even married.
Kimberly: Or, your relationship.
Daniella: We just- [crosstalk 00:30:33].
Kimberly: Do you ever have time together? You do?
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:30:34] The first four months we couldn’t because he consumed us.
Kimberly: That’s the reality.
Andrew: We weren’t sleeping. No time to do anything. We weren’t comfortable with people coming over to watch him so we could disappear.
Kimberly: Yeah. And I felt the same.
Andrew: [crosstalk 00:30:47] time.
Daniella: And we still are, but now he naps and he sleeps through the night. And so we have pillow talk, and we’re able to talk- [crosstalk 00:30:54] about what went on or what… Anything that’s wrong, that we need to work on.
Kimberly: So you actually have an evening now. [crosstalk 00:31:02] What time does he go to bed?
Daniella: Yes. [crosstalk 00:31:04] We start the wind down period at probably about six. You can step out if you want.
Kimberly: Oh, little guy.
Daniella: Get some fresh air.
Kimberly: Do you need to feed? You can feed too.
Daniella: Oh yeah, I could feed if you want me to.
Daniella: But get some fresh air first. [inaudible 00:31:21] Can he go outside?
Andrew: I need to start flooding sweat. [crosstalk 00:31:27] My ears are sweating.
Kimberly: It’s amazing seeing you guys together. The three of you. I love it.
Daniella: It’s cool. It’s so cool.
Kimberly: You don’t see it that much. You usually see the mother with the baby by herself, or maybe with a helper of sorts. This is amazing. You guys are doing amazing. Oh yeah, go back to this. You have time in the evening now he goes down.
Daniella: So he goes down. We start wind down probably around 6:15 is when he’s in the bath, and he takes his time and then we do a little massage after. Then I let him nurse for as long as he wants to, which is usually about 20 to 30 minutes. And then by that point he’s so tired, it’s bedtime. And he just sleeps, and sleeps, and sleeps. And he’ll wake up at 7:00, 7:15ish sometimes, and then we nurse him back and it’s… I’ll say that that period of time when he’s asleep from like 7:00 to whatever time we go to bed at 10:00, 11:00 is really special. We cook dinner together now. Even if we end up watching TV or maybe not, we sit at the table, we eat dinner, we talk. That’s really something we’ve missed since however long it’s been.
Kimberly: But that was how you felt. Would you say if you had to go back or for the next baby, in those few months, would you say it’s important to have had more time together? Maybe have gotten a babysitter sometimes. Or you just weren’t in that mode and now you’re reestablishing?
Daniella: I don’t know if I would have been in that mode to have help. And I don’t know if I would in the future.
Andrew: I don’t think so. I mean, not the first one at least. I try to look backwards and think that we would have done it differently because we were so in love and it was so consuming, that like I don’t think we were ready to go anywhere.
Kimberly: No, I wasn’t either. By the way. I never… he was on my body for 14 months. Like I told you, I never used a stroller once. He was just there. We co-slept for a long time. But then actually when we moved him into a nursery he did start sleeping longer.
Daniella: Yeah, because they… That was the biggest thing with him is he was really big, and his bassinet was small. It was in our room. We tried co-sleeping but we got scared out of it because a lot of people told us we were crazy. You know what I mean? You hear the stories and-
Kimberly: Yeah. Our, we had a friend and her baby, they were co-sleeping and her daughter, she woke up and she was down at the foot of the bed, in the sheet. It was scary.
Daniella: Yeah. And he was so big that for the longest time when he was really little, he slept on Andrew. And then he got too big to the point where it wasn’t even comfortable for either one of them. So when we transitioned him into his crib, he did end up sleeping longer because he had more space. He was able to feel like he could sprawl out. Which I think was really important for him. I feel like he grew right away. Yeah, it’s interesting.
What are you most excited about now for the rest of this year?
Kimberly: So now you’re at this amazing moment with everything, baby Gio’s growing, podcast, your businesses, the box. What are you most excited about now for the rest of this year?
Daniella: Oh man.
Kimberly: I ask you these big questions.
Daniella: No, it’s a big one because I already know the answer. It’s like, I just want more time doing this.
Kimberly: Yeah. So this is it. You love this.
Daniella: This is all I care about right now. All these other companies, they’re self-sustainable in a lot of ways. I can… I have the ability to be able to tap into them, give them what they need. Do maybe social promotion for it, or talk about it amongst communities. And then be able to step back and just be in my space and I’m really lucky.
Kimberly: Yeah. So you feel fulfilled in the family unit.
Daniella: I feel so fulfilled.
Kimberly: This is just feeding you.
Daniella: It’s my purpose. I swear, I knew I always wanted to be a mom. But there’s nothing like growing a baby inside of you, giving birth, and then actually doing the work, the labor, to be a mom every day, every hour of the day. It’s the most important thing right now.
Kimberly: I didn’t know I wanted to be a mom until I was. I was backpacking around the world and then I was writing books. I was doing all this stuff. So then I didn’t have this longing for… I thought, “Oh, I might have kids,” but it wasn’t so strong. But once I became a mom, I was just, “Oh, this is it.”
Daniella: Like I said, when I go back into the workplace whenever that is. If I start acting again, I’ll have boundaries because he’s my number one. And so if anything I feel compromises or pulls me too far away, I think I’ll be quicker to set a boundary and say, “This is important.” Or some… Even now when I get on a phone call or a conference call and it goes too long. And I know it’s cutting into a feed or something. I have no problem saying, “Listen guys, I got to jump off.”
Kimberly: Yeah. I love it.
Daniella: It’s just different. I wasn’t like that before. So that’s my biggest takeaway. I feel stronger.
Kimberly: Love it. Strong, clear, excited about the year. Well, on that note, Daniella and Andrew, thank you. And Gio, thank you guys so much for coming on the podcast.
Daniella: Thanks for having us.
Kimberly: I know this is a lot juggling. And I love that you brought him, and the whole family has come here. You guys are an amazing family and not just what you’re doing, but being.
Andrew: Thank you.
Daniella: Thank you.
What true beauty means to Daniella and Andrew
Kimberly: And you guys are so authentic. So I want to close the podcast. I talk about this idea of true beauty a lot with our cornerstones for true beauty. Well I won’t say my definition too much, but it’s about being really connected to yourself. It’s not outward. How would you guys define a true beauty for you and your family?
Andrew: Go with a deep question.
Daniella: You go, you go first.
Andrew: True beauty. I mean from the family perspective it’s… I always think he’s too young to think this way, but it’s just like all of us thinking about each other. First [crosstalk 00:37:30] the health of the family, the wellbeing of the family.
Andrew: And then outside of that, as an individual, I just like being very aware. So I like to be aware of my thoughts and work on that stuff and ultimately I just want to be my best self for him, for her, and then myself.
Daniella: Yeah, he’s a great role model. I’m so lucky to have him in my life. Because I feel like he is a big grounding force. He’s constantly, basically helping put things in perspective. Which I think if I had to say that that’s true beauty to me, putting things in perspective. I think as a new mom I’m very quick to get a little uptight or anxious about things now, because I have so much to care about. Prior to that I was such a free spirit. I just didn’t think too hard. Now I catch myself overthinking, and he’s very good at putting things in perspective. And sometimes I literally need to visualize myself zooming out, so I can look at the big picture and think, “Okay, this is so minuscule. This is such a small little moment.”
Kimberly: It’ll pass.
Daniella: And then I picture… Yeah, it’s beautiful. We’re okay. We’re all doing the best we can. There’s only so much we can really control. And that helps me a lot.
Kimberly: Amazing. Perspective, which is also about presence.
Daniella: Yeah, being present.
Kimberly: Well thank you guys again, so much. Beauties, be sure to tune into our show notes. We’re going to link to Daniella and Andrew’s information and their podcast and your amazing vegan, nontoxic, beauty box, and all the resources on them. This amazing, beautiful family. Thank you for letting us have a glimpse into your real life [crosstalk 00:39:09] and bringing your baby here.
Daniella: We just wanted him to have this experience. We’re in a tree house.
Kimberly: Yes, it does feel like a tree house, right?
Daniella: It’s magical, seriously.
Kimberly: I want to show Gio the redwoods on the way out [crosstalk 00:39:20] so he can look up. So Beauties, we will be back here Thursday for our next Q&A podcast. Until then, take care, Beauties. Sending you so much love and we will see you soon.