The Plan to Eat Podcast

#40: The Value of Family Dinner with David McMenomey of BeDadStrong

November 09, 2022 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 40
#40: The Value of Family Dinner with David McMenomey of BeDadStrong
The Plan to Eat Podcast
More Info
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#40: The Value of Family Dinner with David McMenomey of BeDadStrong
Nov 09, 2022 Season 1 Episode 40
Plan to Eat

David is a husband, father, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of, a movement that is calling out dads all over the world to be their best for their families.  He lives in Meridian, Idaho with his wife of 15 years and their 2 kids, Isaac and Faith. 
In this episode, we chat with David about how life changes when your family grows and how creating family time at the dinner table can be a transformative experience for everyone. We hope you enjoy it!

Connect with David online:

Sign up for a free trial + get 20% off your first annual subscription:
Contact us:

Connect with us:

Show Notes Transcript

David is a husband, father, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of, a movement that is calling out dads all over the world to be their best for their families.  He lives in Meridian, Idaho with his wife of 15 years and their 2 kids, Isaac and Faith. 
In this episode, we chat with David about how life changes when your family grows and how creating family time at the dinner table can be a transformative experience for everyone. We hope you enjoy it!

Connect with David online:

Sign up for a free trial + get 20% off your first annual subscription:
Contact us:

Connect with us:


I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner.

Roni: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Plan to Eat podcast. Today our episode is an interview we did with David McMenamy. He is the owner of Dad Strong, which is a workout program for men, focused on being intentional with your life and your workouts, and getting exercise in when you're a busy.

Riley: Our conversation today with David, um, we spend a lot of time talking about just the dinner table and how to be intentional with people in your life. And I. Think that the biggest thing I got out of it was just like the why behind the dinner table. Like more than just like eating together. Like why do we get together?

Why do we see each other like that? And just the real benefits of it. So I hope you get a lot out of it and we can't wait for you to listen to the show.[00:01:00] 

Roni: David, thanks for joining us on the podcast today. We appreciate you being here with us.

David: Yeah, thanks for.

Riley: So to get started, why don't you just tell us a little bit about you, um, what you do about Dad Strong, and we'll go from there.

David: Yeah, so I'm a husband, I'm a father. Uh, I've been married for about 15 years. I've got two kids, uh, ages 10 and seven. So 10 year old boy and a seven year old daughter. I work from home. I'm a marketer, entrepreneur. Yeah, so with Dad Strong, I started that about four years ago and I wanted to find a way to combine a couple of my passions.

Um, One of 'em is being a dad, cuz it's just kind of my life. Um, it's not something you really try out, it's just something you do and you find it as a priority. So when I do something, I wanna do it well. And then I, I also love being active. I love fitness. I've been an ath an athlete my whole life. So I wanted to find a way to combine those two areas.

Being a dad and being into fitness. Um, I'm not somebody who's like a bodybuilder or [00:02:00] anything like that. I'm just really functional. I want to just stay moving and stay active. Cuz kids are, they're, they're exhausting for the most part, especially if you're in that toddler phase. Like, I'm out of that phase and I still remember it.

Like, I don't wanna say they're nightmares, but there's some PTSD there.

Riley: Yeah, cuz you're still tired. Even though you're out of that phase, you're still tired.

David: still tired. Yeah. And both of my kids were busy, so it just constantly running around. And as a husband, like I really care about my wife's mental health as well, so if my wife is rested and she's got a, you know, a sunny disposition about the world that day. Everything is great. So if I can, and that kind of forced me to like step in more and be present and change diapers and just, you know, make snacks, like whatever it is to help around the house, just so my marriage can stay happy and everybody can stay healthy.

So I combine those two, um, with Dad strong and, uh, I, I teach guys how to exercise, how to work out from home [00:03:00] 21 minutes a day. I used to spend hours a day at the gym. And I found there's a way to actually. Quite a bit simpler and a lot more functional, and it fits in with your family and you still are healthy and active and you can still chase your kids.

So that's what Dad Strong's all about. Yeah, and it's, it's super fun. I, I love watching dad's, you know, the light bulbs kind of go off like, Whoa, wait, I don't like working out. Doesn't have to be selfish. I know I need to, I know I want to, but sometimes it feels selfish to take time for yourself. Well, you don't have to take hours a day, uh, to go do it.

So that's, that's what dad strong's all.

Riley: That's awesome. And that's one of the reasons why we wanted to talk to you because plan to eat, you know, we're a meal planning site. Um, we help people figure out what they're going to eat and how they're gonna make that happen, and. But a big priority for us is just getting people back together cuz we've kind of like dis like the, the dinner table has kind of disintegrated

Um, and so we are a mission of ours is if you're planning [00:04:00] your meals and you're eating at home, like naturally an overflow is that your people are gonna start to come together to eat those meals as much as they can, cuz everyone's really busy. But, it's a big priority for us. And so when we talk to you, Last time it, it was the thing that we were like, This guy's trying for this thing

He's trying to do this in his life. He's trying to help other people do it. And it's such a big priority for us. And so we're excited to talk to you more about that. But, just being involved in your own life, , it sounds like normal, um, but it can kind of, it can kind of get distracted with a lot of things really easily.

David: Yeah. And I think it comes back to like, where is your identity? Like what's, what's your pillar? What's your foundation? And you know, I think the American family, it used to be built on, you know, the, the pillar of the home was around the dinner table. It was around meals when you could sit down, kind of let your guard down a little bit.

And either vent or, you know, sing the praises of something that happened in that day. It was just how everybody got to know each other. Right? That's why when you're doing, doing business with people, you either [00:05:00] play golf with 'em so you see their worst side or you have a meal with them. Um, so you see if you wanna do business with them.

So it's the same thing around that dinner table. And I love that you guys like, that's a part of your mission is how do we bring unity back in the home? How do we bring this like stability? In some way back in the home. And that's our goal with Dad Strong. It's not just like we want dads to be, you know, Greek gods and look amazing.

Um, we want 'em to, to to be.

Roni: Hm.

David: there's a lot of correlation between exercise and strong mental health. So if guys are fat and lazy and outta shape, like they're probably not gonna have a lot of perseverance when it comes to other areas of your life that are really, really hard. So, you know, like you guys make it simple for planning meals.

It can be this huge audacious like goal in front of you. If you've never done meal planning before or you've never cooked, uh, a really, you know, good fresh home cooked meal, it can be, it can look impossible, but you guys do an amazing job of breaking that down, making it simple for anybody to just grab a couple of tools, you know, plug in some information, and then you spit it [00:06:00] out for 'em.

And I think that's just an amazing thing that you guys do.

Roni: thanks. We appreciate that. So I'd be interested to hear kind of how things in your life changed, like after you had kids. So what were some of the ways that your workouts changed or your meals changed? What was different before and after children?

David: Yeah, I, I wish I could say I had a plan going into having kids. I'm, I just kind of take things as they come. My wife is the ultimate planner. Um, so that's probably why we, we work so well together. Um, but before having kids, I mean, food is kind of our hobby. We love food. We're foodies like we come from, you know, Northern California and the Bay Area.

There's just food everywhere. Like, we would go out to eat like three or four times a week just to try new things and see friends and hang out and like, we were just so fun and young. Um, and then we had kids and it was like, you know, the tornado hit and you're like, Wait, what just happened in my life? You know, Or what you thought was your life and what you thought was important.

We just, we had to be [00:07:00] a lot more on it, um, with planning ahead because with kids like you, whether you like it or not, you're immediately put on, uh, a timetable. You know, cuz there's two things going on. Either they're, they're hour glass of, It's time to take a nap is going down. Right? Or they need food.

Right. And there's only like three reasons kids cry, right? It's because they're hungry, you know, they mess their diaper or they're tired. So we always saw like our life as being kind of bound around. Wow. They're, you know, we have 30 minutes till the next nap, or we have, you know, two hours until they need to eat again, so we need to fit this in.

And so we just started to build a schedule around our life and meals and, and everything. Yeah, we definitely weren't planned out before that. Um, but as soon as they came it was like, Okay, you gotta be an adult now and like have some stuff together. So yeah, things definitely change for us.

Riley: Well, just so you feel like there's, there's a lot of people in that position, right? Like plan to eat. Um, we have people come to us [00:08:00] because they usually have hit some kind of like life milestone. Just like you're describing, like, well, we could do whatever we wanted before and then suddenly we're on, have to be on a plan.

Um, so a lot of people come to us for that reason, , um, of just like the, Oh yeah, this isn't working anymore. Or who knows? People move in with them. Or like in-laws or kids or the diet change, whatever this like big life thing is. It's usually why we end up talking to people. So and why they're using Plan to eat is that we understand that.

David: Yeah. And that's interesting cuz for a lot of people the default is convenience, right? That's just the default. If you don't have a plan, you have a default of like, Oh, you know, I didn't plan out dinner today. Okay, we'll just order in. Okay, well now, and now we have the Devil of DoorDash, which is like, It's just awful.

It's amazing. But it's awful as well. Um, cuz you're like, Oh, I didn't really have to think about it. I, oh shoot, we got 40 minutes still food. Oh, alright. I'm gonna order something. It's gonna be at our doorstep and we don't even have to see the delivery driver anymore. They could just drop it off. So [00:09:00] that.

That default, I think is also adding to part of the problem of I don't have to plan, I can just spend money or you're spending two things, right? You're, it's at the cost of your own health. Maybe if you're just ordering like a dry salad, you'll be okay. But, um, it's usually not as healthy if you're just going after convenience.

So what you guys do, I think it takes, it should take the pressure off of the home a little bit. Like, okay, no, this is all ready. I just have to sit down for one month, one, you know, 10 minutes or whatever to plan it out, and then that takes the pressure off the rest of the week so you can be a lot more free.

And it does allow you to be more flexible, when you actually have your meals planned.

Roni: It definitely does. I think it's funny because, uh, well, I think it's funny that you mentioned like ordering out and getting a dry salad because I'm just like, Well, yeah, but like, when you order out, even if your best intention is like, I'm gonna order something healthy, that's never what you order. Because more than likely you have a bag of salad in your refrigerator that's like wilting that you

You know, like[00:10:00] 

David: Yep. That's spring mix. You gotta get it. You gotta let it rotten there just to have it. It's, Yeah. It's a

Riley: Um, oh, . We just talked to somebody who was talking about when she sends her kids to school, like the vegetables and fruits, like make a round trip. Like they, they go to schools and they come back to the fridge. And that just made me think about that. Like, you have to buy the spring mix. Like it's gonna go to your house, it's gonna take a little tour and it's gonna go to the trash can

David: Yep. 

Riley: unless you are actually planning it and eating it.

David: Yes, for my house, we just rotate the vegetables between the kids' lunches. So like my daughter will bring home some of the oranges that she didn't eat, and I just put 'em in my son's bag, or, you know, she didn't eat one of the snacks. I just rotated over to his bag so it, it gets rotated before it gets thrown out.

I give it at least two shots between each one of their meal or each one of their lunches, and then it gets tossed.

Riley: That's a great idea. . So I, I don't, I don't think you do like a food plan with dad strong, but do you like help them, the people that you're working with, do you help them at all with those kinds of choices? Because you just called [00:11:00] DoorDash the devil, so , like, I know that, that kind of thing, like. It just makes sticking to your goals a little harder when you have something that's so easy.

Um, and so like transitioning your, my brain basically from, I'm gonna do what's easy to do, what's a little bit harder. I mean, I guess I've probably built into what you do. That's kind of the whole thing is instead of what's easy, I'm gonna do this harder thing. Uh, how do you navigate that with your clients?

David: So we do talk about carb cycling for men. Um, a lot of this is, it's obviously built around men. So men's bodies are incredibly, I think, more simple than women's bodies in terms of hormones. Um, we focus on boosting testosterone, you know, activities to help boost testosterone foods that help you boost testosterone.

Wait, did we talk about quick grab meals? Um, where, you know, guys can take a convenience snack and, you know, not be hurting their bodies, so we give them some food ideas there. But we don't give 'em full on like, you know, you should cook these specific meals.

Here's [00:12:00] recipes for meals, just kind of building blocks around how to plan your meals out and, how to plan your diet out. So, You know, you're really encouraging your body, um, to be healthy and, and handle the workouts. Like if you're exercising quite a bit, you can really hurt yourself if you're not feeding and replenishing your body with the right, you know, nutrients and minerals and vitamins and everything.

Riley: Yeah, absolutely.

Roni: So I'm curious about what meal planning looks like in. Hold. You said your wife is the ultimate planner. But do you guys, does that something that you guys come together and do as a family or is she just like, I'm gonna go do this all by myself?

David: Well, that's, that's like probably the most entertaining part of our household other than telling kids to go to bed and brush their teeth. And I think we have like three or four commands in our home. It's like, get your shoes on, go to bed, brush your teeth, You know, that's. Do your homework. I don't know that's, that's getting there.

Um, but meal planning for us is always an adventure. Um, my wife will come to [00:13:00] me like clockwork on either Sunday afternoon or Monday and go, Okay, what do you, you know, what do you feel like for dinner this week? And I'm pretty sure like, I'm just used as a sounding board to give bad ideas, cuz she'll take every single one of 'em.

Like without fail, I'll be like, Oh, let's do spaghetti meatballs, or let's do a boez, or let's do whatever. She's like, Oh no, we just had Italian, like, you know, six days ago, I think we need to, uh, maybe we'll do this instead. And then like, based on my bad ideas, she comes up with better ideas and then she builds her meal plan.

So I think it's just more of like, help me get the conversation going. You know, and I've understood this so I'm not. I'm never like married to certain foods of like, I'm just, I have to have, you know, enchiladas this week, or I'm gonna die, or whatever. It's just, I could be super flexible with that. Now, my wife, on the other hand, if she's feeling Thai food, we're definitely getting Thai food.

It has to be like, she's gonna make Thai food or if she's feeling, um, Mexican, she's making Mexican food. There, there is no flexibility there. So yeah, that's, that's kind of our [00:14:00] meal planning process is just a conversation where I deliver a bunch of bad ideas and then she takes 'em and turns 'em into a meal.

Riley: We're both laughing because that's what happens in our houses too. Um, a little bit of role reversal cuz Roni and I are both the planners, but I've never thought about it, that I'm just like trying to hear the bad ideas that, to lead me to good ideas, . But that is what happens

Roni: Well, but my husband's bad ideas aren't, aren't something that's like an actual meal. Like he would never say, Let's have spaghetti and meatballs instead. He's like, Why don't you buy corn dogs?

David: Okay. First of all, he's not wrong. Why don't you buy corn dogs? ? But yes, it's not a meal. That's a perfect air fryer snack. Like if I'm starving and my, my son's starving and my wife's not home and I don't feel like, you know, making a full meal. It's like throw the corn dogs in the air fryer. And I actually taught my son how to use an air fryer recently, and it's been a game changer taquitos.

Back on the meal plan, um, he's able to make him himself, doesn't have to come pull on me to make stuff for him, and he's 10. Okay. [00:15:00] I think he's, he's legally able to use an air fryer without killing himself.

Roni: Yeah.

David: There's, there's probably something in the fine print there, like, your son must be at least 10 years old to use this thing.

Riley: uh, is, has that been, I mean, you said it was a game changer, so like this transition into him being able to make his own snacks, like, I mean, I, I'm just sitting here thinking, cuz I have a two and a half year old thinking, wow. The day she could make her own snack like that. She has snacks 18 times a day, so that'll be amazing.

David: There's certain miles. Yeah, there's certain milestones, right? Like, okay, they can finally brush their own teeth or, Okay, they can finally put themselves down for a nap. Or, Well, maybe that never happened with your, that, that probably never happened with us either. Um, or they can finally get their own shoes on, like, Right.

Getting kids' shoes on or like, Teach 'em how to put their own socks on. Total game changer. Like things you don't even think about are little milestones that completely change your life. And having my son be able to make his own snacks, um, yeah, it was definitely, he's not really driven to do that, but sometimes he's so hungry and I just [00:16:00] won't answer him as he's yelling for dad that he'll figure it out on his own.

It's kinda like the cry it out method, you know? Just let the kids put themselves to sleep. Um, it's the same thing. Yeah. Find yourself an apple like that was the original snack. Like just go grab an apple, you're fine. Go grab a banana. But now he's able to cook things and yeah, that has definitely helped cuz most of the time you just feel like a private chef in the house.

You know, or a bartender, I'm usually the bartender. Like, we sit down for a meal, I'm like, Oh, finally I get to eat hot. A hot meal. Which never happens, right? Cause the kids are constantly like, Hey wait, can you do this and can you do that? And you finally get back down and it's all cold. I dunno if that happens to anybody else.

Um, but yeah, I'm usually the bartender too, like, get me a. And the problem is like all of our drinks and stuff are at the top of the fridge, so either the kids have to climb on the shelves and risk like pulling the refrigerator down, um, or I have to get up and and pour them a drink. I know this sounds like first world problems, doesn't it?

Riley: It's okay. We all, I, we can relate.

Roni: was gonna say that I [00:17:00] think the first time any of us actually put ourselves down for a nap is like once you move outta your house, you know, like what? Like you're in college and you're like, Wow, today was so hard. I need a nap. Like otherwise, I'm not sure that you're ever gonna get like your 10 year old to be like, I'm gonna go take a nap.

Riley: uh, 

David: No, not unless, Yeah, Not unless they had a sleepover at a friend's house or got up really early for a sporting event or something where they're just exhausted. And I remember, yeah, the first time my son took a nap after the age of like eight or nine, my wife and I just kind of stood in the doorway like, Is Eli alive?

Like what just happened? this.

Riley: I, uh, I sometimes tell my daughter, cuz sometimes she doesn't want a nap. And I tell her, There is gonna be a day where you'll regret every nap. You didn't take w like you're gonna be 31 day and you're gonna wish that you could have a nap every day. So just remember this . You don't want nap.

And when you're 30 and you're like, Oh man, I really should have taken that nap at two and a half. [00:18:00] Um, anyways, that's just silly. Um, but, so you mentioned the dinner table. Um, what do you guys do at your house to try to be intentional around the dinner table, if there is anything? No pressure.

David: No. Yeah, I mean, one of the rules we have is no electronics at the dinner table. And now in our family, we're so flexible and like we do a lot of life together. Like we spend a lot of time together. So we're not like Nazis or super militant about things. But the kids understand. The why behind what we ask, and that helps a lot.

You know, So my daughter did this fun little project at school. Um, she's seven where she has this little can and it's a can of questions. And so, you know, she love, she's like literally our family event coordinator at this point. So it's like, Oh, we're gonna play, it's family game night guys. It's family game night.

We all gotta play Taco Cat, Go cheese pizza or like whatever game [00:19:00] that we play. Um, or Uno, Taco Cat Go Cheese pizza usually ends in a lot of tears, mostly on

Riley: Uh, I haven't heard

Roni: I don't know that.

David: Oh my gosh. It's a, it's a card game where literally the cards are a taco, a cat, you know, uh, a goat, and then a cheese and pizza. And you have to say in that order as they go down, as you're putting cards down, and if what you're saying matches the card, you have to slap.

And the last person to slap takes a pile of cards. So you try to get rid of all your cards. Um, so if you gotta be pretty quick, it's kind of this brain weird game. It's, it's super fun and lots of screaming. Um, yeah. So at the dinner table though, with those can of questions, she'll pull 'em out and she'll go around like, we'll all read one or, you know, have a conversation around.

I'm like, What's one thing that somebody did nice for you? Or what's one thing that you did nice for somebody else today and just kinda making you think outside of the standard, like, Well, how was school today? Or how was [00:20:00] daycare? Or how was, How was work today, honey? You know, it's like, That allows for one word answer, not, uh, who did you work with today and, and what did you guys work on, right?

That's a little bit more in depth. So those are the types of questions that come out. I wish I could say, you know, we sit down at six 15 every night and pull out that can of questions and we all have a, you know, three hour conversation over a bottle of wine. That doesn't happen. Um, but it's at least a starting point a lot of times for us to ask good questions and make eye contact.

It's, it's a little harder now that they're in sports cause I dunno, three or four nights a week are trying to get a meal in before or after a sporting event, whether it's practice or a game. So that's kind of been broken up a little bit and it, it's, it's sacred in our house to all sit down together. So, yeah, hopefully that answers your question cuz pulling electronics outta the equation.

It, it eliminates distractions. Right? So we can't have the TV on, like, we're not gonna have a [00:21:00] baseball game on while we're. Um, kids can't have a tablet at the table while we're eating. For, for the most part now, sometimes it's just a crazy night and we just need to get calories in our bodies before we run off in our other directions, and that's totally understandable and totally okay.

So yeah, that's, that's a little bit of what happens at our dinner table.

Riley: Yeah, I think like food facil, like when you can do it, you know, like food facilitates the, like everyone being together, but things like that can of questions really kind of enhances the community aspect of it. Of like, how do we like get, can. Connected with one another. And it's probably like, especially cuz your kids are young, like that's just gonna like be a building block for later.

Like, so then you're not just having the like, Well, today was good. And then everyone's just staring at each other, eating their spaghetti. Um, but kind of like teaching them to like have those kinds of like thoughtful questions to ask one another, which is probably a really good tool forever . Um, and for you guys, just like, cuz when they're 18, you know, you don't probably, you won't need the can of questions, but, um, it's the, [00:22:00] it's like teaching you to have those kinds of conversations over that meal, which is just a habit that you can build.

David: Yeah. And, and on the other side of things too, like if you don't have an answer for, what's one way you help somebody else today? Like, Oh. It was all about me today. You know, it, it just kind of turns the tables of like, maybe tomorrow I should have an answer for that one, you know, or find a way, um, to do something for somebody else that wasn't about me.

So I think it also kind of encourages that behavior too.

Roni: Yeah, even you saying that question when you were explaining that, I was like, Ooh, there would be a lot of days. I probably wouldn't answer for that question, unfortunately. You know? I mean, a lot of days I don't really live in my house, so

David: it's understandable.

Riley: Uh, but I mean, I'm just thinking like. You know, there could also be a day where like your daughter's like bust out crying over that question and then it gives you an opportunity to like have a real conversation. Like why, why did you cry about that? Like what? Like, I'm not saying that your daughter would or will, but just like there could be a day and it kind of gives you that like, [00:23:00] temperature of like how everyone's doing and like that's what the dinner table can kind of be before, just like check in.

Um, I don't know. I think that's cool. So I don't always leave my house either, but Roni, you helped me What time?

Roni: Oh, thanks.

Riley: Yeah.

David: Yeah, totally. The, the temperature check is huge and you know, as a parent, It's everything. Like you'll blink one day and your two and a half year old is gonna be seven and a half or 10 or 13. And if you don't take this time to really just slow down and see what's in front of you, there's a, there's a saying, you know, where your treasure is, your heart will be also, and.

If, if your treasure isn't the relationships and en en enjoying the journey of watching your kids grow up, cuz you can see kids one of two ways. They're either a blessing or they are a pain and they are a huge inconvenience. [00:24:00] And you're right on both of 'em. Like they are an incredible inconvenience and they, they teach you how to not be selfish or how to be incredibly selfish.

Um, or they can be the most rewarding. The, the experience of having relationship and understanding the emotions and understanding the changes in those, in the answer to those questions on a daily basis. You know, we know when my son or daughter brings up a certain person's name from school, we kind of know what's gonna come afterwards.

We know what type of person they are cuz we ask questions about. We want to know who their friends are. We wanna know how they feel when they interact with certain people. Um, there's just the little nuances of those things that you can totally miss if you don't take that time to slow down and have a conversation over a meal.

And, you know, don't hear me wrong on this cuz you could turn this into, Some horrible experience around the dinner table. If you're forcing people to [00:25:00] talk every time you sit down. Sometimes you're just hungry and you want to be quiet and stuff your face with calories. I totally get that and that's totally okay.

But the, uh, the dinner pla the dinner table should be, I don't know, we'll call it a safe space. It should be a safe space for everybody. Just kind of do what they need to do. Cuz you're family, right? And when your kids are young, the. Take the time to ask questions. Take the time to really maybe dig a little deeper or see, wow, they answered that question differently a couple days ago.

What happened? Or, they're really cranky today. I wonder if something happened. You know, like just being present enough and aware enough in those moments to take a step back and say, I should. Ask the next question, dig a little deeper. Like, Wait, tell me a little bit more about that. What happened? Did you know, How did the teacher make you feel when she said X, Y, z?

You know, so anyways, I, I think you're a hundred percent right. The dinner table is that canvas that can, you [00:26:00] can kind of paint whatever you want on it.

Riley: I don't even know what to ask him there. That was such a great, uh, all of that was great.

Roni: That was great. I mean, I was gonna, it made me think, I was listening to a podcast yesterday of a guy who said that throughout all of middle school he was just like terribly bullied, like, like being punched in the head, kind of bullied, like very aggressive and like not to blame anything on his parents, but it just makes me think like, , if you are spending this quality time with your kids, hopefully you would be able to, you know, like discover some of the things that are potentially going wrong in your child's life so that you could help, like mediate that, you know, and like having that safe space at the dinner table could be a really great place to like open up that conversation or to like realize maybe we need to have a conversation after dinner about this.

Cuz there's obviously something going on.

Riley: Mm-hmm.

David: Yep. I mean, I was just at a marketing. in San Diego for the last week, and there's people from all over the world that I met and [00:27:00] the, the deeper I got in a conversation with people, even the people who you think are making hundreds of, you know, tens of millions of dollars and everything's all together, you find out they're on their second divorce and their kids are split up between multiple homes and you know, or you find out, okay, they're not quite as successful as you thought.

There's so much more to the story here. So many people are right on the verge of either bankruptcy, emotional bankruptcy, suicide. It's all right. And it's like literally two or three questions away to find out what's going on there. Um, I've had multiple experiences with, you know, talking to, uh, the bank teller or talking to the lady who, or the, the gentleman who checks you out at the grocery store, just asking one or two questions, like, how are you not just like, Oh, hey, how's it going?

Thanks. You know, all these transactional moments, um, with your family. You have full access to them as much as you want, right? So when you ask two or three questions to people in public, most people aren't doing [00:28:00] that. It's a really easy way to set yourself apart. Um, but you can really bless somebody just by asking one more question.

Um, I know this kind of sounds like random acts of kindness, but it doesn't take much. Like you don't have to pull money outta your pocket and give it to somebody like just asking a question and being present long enough. Sometimes it's a 15 second interaction can completely change their day, and most of it is, You saw me, you saw me.

know, and that's, I dunno, I saw that all, all week. I had some incredible conversations with people who I asked one question and it was, everything was right there on the surface and they just poured it all out, like their whole life right in front of me. And like very successful people. I'm like, I.

Interesting. That's so interesting. Like if you just had maybe more people in your life where you trusted who you could sit down with and pour this stuff out, it wouldn't just be right on the surface with a random stranger. And maybe that's the point though, is like, I'll never see you again. I can just tell you anything I want.

Um, but I don't know. There's, I think there's something to that.

Riley: [00:29:00] Yeah, the whole time you were saying all of that, I was just thinking like people just wanna be seen. Um, like our family members just wanna be seen. Our p random people that the grad, the gas station, the grocery store, like everyone just wants to be seen by someone. Um, and so just being intentional and kinda like, I don't know, living your life more intentionally, like with the questions you ask and like being prepared for the fact of like, somebody might spill their guts to me.

David: Yeah,

Riley: But, and then like, what am I gonna do with that? Like, okay, well have a great day. It's probably not . Yeah. Um, but like being willing to just be like, Yeah, that's hard. And just like sitting there kind of with them in that, I think is really valuable. And like more people, I think that everyone would be doing a lot better if more people were like that

Um, if more people had like, intentionality to ask and be, and like help, I don't know, just to see other people. Cuz we all just kind of can get tunnel vision on our lives and what we have to do. But kind of like, I guess that kind of selfishness we talked about earlier of like, what did I do to help somebody today?

I don't know that I did anything [00:30:00] but like thinking every day, like, what can I do to care, care for someone? Or what can I do to see someone today? Um, it could be make a big impact.

David: Yeah, and I. I, I think of life in terms of overflow or emptiness and I, you know, going full circle back to the dinner table and having that really quality time where people can feel seen, they can feel heard. Maybe it feels like an interrogation sometimes, but it always comes from a place of love. Um, but it fills their cup.

It fills their emotional cup and then you can live like we are made to live out of overflow. We're not made to live out of lack in poverty. It's just kind of how we're designed. Same with food and calories. Like when you get, when you get hungry, you get hang, right? At least I do. Um, so you need to fill yourself up.

And when you're full, you then can think about giving and you can think about helping other people and everything. So, If your kids and your family and the people that you care the most about don't feel seen and heard and um, like they're [00:31:00] emotionally full, they will never overflow. They will never pour out in other people.

They won't have any capacity to see other people cuz they never felt seen themselves. I know that probably wasn't very good English, but they have never felt seen themselves. So if we can kind of start that inside our home. With the people that we're supposed to love the most and care about the most.

Man, I think this, we can make a revolution here. Like you can change, you can change your, your little city or wherever you are. Just you get to know the people. Like, I remember there was a, a guy who did the seafood counter, a local grocery store, and I asked him a couple of questions. And he just, yeah, again, he poured out his whole life, you know, what was happening, what was going on.

And I, I asked a couple follow up questions, and it didn't take more than two minutes, but he just kept standing there going like, Man, I've never talked to a customer like this before. Like, I'm sorry, but you know, I, I hope it happens again. Or I, you know, And so the next time I saw him, I asked him, I followed up, like, how was, how's things going with your girlfriend?

Like, is [00:32:00] everything all right? I know it sounds like super personal, but he offered it up. So I'm gonna obviously follow up with that question. Um, but you create relat.

Riley: Hmm.

David: I don't know the guy's name, but we at least have a little bit of rapport and relationship and I don't know, I think you can change the world that way.

Riley: I.

Roni: Well, yeah, well, we just had somebody on the podcast who, um, she, her, she has owns a company where she manufactures kitchen tools specifically for children. And so she says, you know, she's found that. Like through teaching kids how to cook, she feels like she can change the world basically because it's such a place of empowerment for children.

And I kind of like what you're saying is along the same lines, like the dinner table can also be like a place for such like connection and empowerment you know, unfortunately we've like, a lot of families are just like so busy and we're so into convenience that like, we've lost the idea of family dinner even occasionally, but like, family dinner could also change the world too.

You know,

David: Yeah, [00:33:00] I remember when I was first dating my wife, her really close family, friends, church friends, they would have family. And there was, it was Friday night, family night, and there was like six or seven families who would get together from the community and they'd bring a, you know, a side dish or whatever.

It wasn't really about the food, um, but it gave everybody, this, again, this canvas, like you can kind of paint whatever you want with it. Like we sit down and hang out and you have conversations. And I got to know people I never would've met normally. And we came together every Friday night and it was literally the, the pillar of our week.

It's kind of where you got filled up and. It was incredible. And so I've always remembered that. I'm like, Man, I would love to do that. I would love to be that house that hosts family night where anybody feels welcome. Somebody has a friend from out of town, or just somebody they just met. They can bring them and they feel like they're at home and they're a part of the family, and it all centered around food.

So, yeah, I, I totally think you're gone to something there.

Riley: Yeah. I love that. I love that idea. I. [00:34:00] It's something that I really enjoy when we get to do it. Like when we get to have a ton of people over and have dinner. Um, I just, I wish it was something that could happen more often and maybe I just need to be more intentional about it.

David: Yeah, just set a date. It'll happen

Riley: every Friday,

David: Okay. Maybe ease into it, but

Riley: Right. Go big or go home.

David: that's right. Well, we do have holidays coming up and everything, so Yeah, I think that's why people look forward to the holidays, you

Riley: totally.

David: It's cold outside, at least find out where you live. But everybody gets inside for a warm, you know, amazing meal and the smells and the, the noise and the laughter. And I dunno, there's something very nostalgic about that and like super comfort, comforting to the soul.

Roni: Mm-hmm.

Riley: totally is true. And I think it's probably just this community element or intentional element of it, of just like, this is not like a staple. Like I know at Thanksgiving, even if I don't get to be with my family, I'm going to get to be with people. And I think that that's something that. I mean, [00:35:00] in a lot of senses, we've really lost community in a lot of ways, and there's so many aspects of that that we could look at.

Like everyone works from home or like, I don't know. Everyone kinda lives all over the country. Like nobody's just like living down the street from every relative like we once did. Um, and so like that's the thing about the holidays, it kinda like takes us back to that thing, um, that we've lost even if we never experienced it.

Like I've never lived down the street from all my relatives, but. That if there's something about it, just, it's, it's like nostalgia is just built into it. , even if, um, I, and I, I grew up going to holidays with family, but not like living down the street from them. And it's just like a, just like a pinnacle part of your year to like get together and be in those spaces with people that you care about. Yeah.

David: We're, I mean, we're designed, we're designed for community, we're designed for relationships. Not everybody's designed to have a hundred, you know, shallow friends. Some people, some people are, and they thrive off of that and they're, you know, they're a little ray of sunshine in all these people's lives, and that's just their personality.

But a [00:36:00] lot of us are designed to have a few really deep core relationships that we can come back to and we're safe no matter what. Um, and I, I think food helps facilitate. Really deep, amazing, meaningful relationships. Wine does too, but food really, really is. helps with that.

Riley: That's funny. We had a conversation the other day with somebody and that was part of what she said too. . Actually, I don't think we recorded that part of the conversation, did we?

Roni: We might not have

Riley: Oh, Anyways.

Roni: I was gonna say related to this, if you haven't read the book, Bowling Alone by Robert Putnam, it's really good. It's, uh, called Bowling Alone, the Collapse and Revival of American Community. And so it's all about how like, previously in, you know, maybe like 50 sixties, like everybody was involved in like a bowling leave or a softball team or whatever, you know, and you had these.

Uh, events basically that you were going to, and they created a community and they created people that you're around. And like with the invention of the internet and technology and all of [00:37:00] these things. Uh, we've totally, like who, who do you know who's in a bowling league anymore? You know, like I have one friend who does softball every summer and like, that's one out of all of my friends.

So, um, it's a really interesting book. It's like a really interesting study on like American culture and how it's changed in the last like I, five decades or so.

David: That's interesting cause I, I think we are also designed to look, you know, have things to look forward to.

Roni: Absolutely.

David: And I, I mean, I think dinners every night can be that thing that we look forward to. Like, Oh, I, you know, I haven't seen my kids all day. I haven't talked to my wife all day or whatever, and I just, I just can't wait to get around 'em and hang out and look, you know, I look forward to that.

Holidays for me are that, you know, that. I look forward to seeing everybody and spending some time. But it's interesting with the sports thing, cuz I mean, I love sports, I love being around it. I look forward to playing golf with friends, you know, on a monthly basis or something like that. It's just a, I don't know.

Yeah, we're just, it's that community element. We're designed for it. Yeah. I love it.

Roni: Have we [00:38:00] missed anything that you wanted to share on the podcast today?

David: I don't think so.

Roni: Okay, Well, why don't you do, why don't you tell everybody where they can find you online and all that stuff?

David: if you wanna know more about Dads Strong, you can go to Um, we have some challenges on there, uh, for men who wanna, you know, have a weight loss goal or a fitness goal. We. Allow you to actually wage your money on your own weight loss. So if we say like, if you're really serious about it, put your money where your mouth is.

And uh, some guys will put down a hundred bucks and go like, Okay, if I don't hit my goal, I'm just gonna pay out a hundred dollars. But if I hit my goal, then I'll get that a hundred dollars back. Um, and you can do it with a pool of friends and it's kind of fun. There's community aspect in that. So you can get 10 or 15 friends, talk trash to 'em in the forums, like whatever you want to do.

Um, and, and create a challenge, which I think is, is super fun cuz it's, it's hard to hit goals when you don't have somebody holding you accountable or you don't have people to kinda laugh at you [00:39:00] along the way or you can laugh with them. And, that's the core of be dad is, is guys can do that there.

Um, you can find us on, uh, Instagram or on Facebook and you join the Facebook community. Just, uh, yeah, search for Be Dad Strong.

Riley: Awesome. So we also always follow up at the end of our episode to ask. People we interview , what their favorite meal has been lately. Um, maybe something they made at home so they ate out, whatever. Just what's something that comes to mind is like, that was amazing.

David: So I was just in San Diego. California to me is like Mexican food and Mecca. Um, there was a really good. Mexican place right on the beach there called Puesto. And it was, it was a filet mignon, um, taco with a handmade blue corn tortilla. And an incredible ceviche that went with it. I was just, I'm in heaven literally thinking about it right now.

My taste was are watering again cuz it was that delicious. It was so citrusy and amazing [00:40:00] and fresh. Yeah, that was my favorite meal of late.

Riley: All right, now you gotta make the recipe and figure out how to make it at home, so now we can all enjoy it.

David: Yes, yes. I, My wife would probably figure it out if I just told her what that was. She'd be like, Oh yeah, I could do that.

Riley: good. Okay, All right. Well, thank you so much. We really enjoyed our conversation and, uh, look forward to talking to you again sometime soon.

David: Yeah. Thanks for having me. I really enjoyed it.

Roni: We hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you did, please share it with someone and subscribe to our podcast. Wherever you listen to your podcasts.