DFW Style Daily’s exclusive series Face Time explores the real lives of models. Going beyond the runways and the glossy photo shoots, we’ve scooped on-set adventures, dished about designers, and learned important lessons along the way. Interviews with Carlotta Lennox, Myles Crosby, Donny Boaz, Atti Worku, David McKay, and many more have proved that Texas models are among the most fascinating and accomplished in the country.
Today, fitness model Daniel Crouch will take the Face Time challenge – and this is one Texan who faces challenge head-on. For example, he tackled a lifelong love-hate relationship with food with the help of his wife, Lindsey. Later, the high-achieving couple launched Guiltless Foods together, breaking into the health and lifestyle market from a delicious new angle.
Now splitting his time between Dallas for modeling and Austin for the family business, Daniel doesn’t shy away from long working hours and heavy responsibilities. What’s his inspiration? Read on to learn how this multi-tasking model achieves a strong work-life balance.
DFW Style Daily: At what age did you begin modeling? Were you scouted or did you pursue modeling as a career?
Daniel Crouch: “I actually pursued a modeling and acting career at age 24 to impress a very special girl. I had recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, and I wanted a fresh start and flexible schedule as I figured out a way to get her attention and discover the purpose for my life. …My persistence worked; five years later she became my wife.”
Much of your career focuses on fitness modeling. Describe a few key distinctions unique to the fitness modeling category.
“Personally, I’ve found fitness modeling to be more difficult than commercial print. You can hide a few pounds when you’re modeling clothes, but it’s impossible to hide an overdose on your favorite dessert when you’re shirtless under industrial-strength lights. Photoshop has its limitations.”
As with several of the models we have interviewed, you have a special interest in food and nutrition. What sparked your passion for healthy eating?
“For the first 28 years of my life, I had a serious love-hate relationship with food. I loved to overeat, and I hated myself afterwards. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get a handle on sweets and portion control. Upon becoming engaged, my wife Lindsey, became a healthy personal chef specializing in low carbohydrate and low sugar meals to help me overcome my binge eating disorder. Our company, Guiltless Foods, originated from my own personal need.”
Describe the mission of Guiltless Foods. What sets your company apart in its category?
“Our mission is to bring back favorite bread products without any guilt, gluten, grain, or gaining weight. We created Guiltless so that we could eat our favorite foods like pizza, sandwiches, breakfast tacos, fajitas, and burgers everyday, and I could still work as a fitness model. We replaced low-nutrient, high-carbohydrate, processed grains with high-protein, high-fiber, low-carbohydrate, nutrient rich, raw seeds to make all of our Guiltless products.
“The choice to eat healthy has always been there, but delicious and healthy options haven’t, until now. Even non-health-focused foodies love it, and call it the best food they’ve ever had. Once you go Guiltless you never go back, baby!”
What is your favorite product among Guiltless’ current offerings?
“As Chief Tasting Officer, it is my responsibility to eat our products everyday. I start the day with two breakfast tacos, using two Guiltless tortillas, four whole scrambled eggs, cheese, and avocado. Then, I have a sandwich for lunch on our traditional Guiltless bread, a large salad with Guiltless pizza, or a burger or chicken sandwich on our Guiltless buns for dinner. I’ll also have a Guiltless chocolate chip cookie or an almond butter and jam sandwich on our Guiltless cinnamon raisin bread as my protein-packed dessert.”
Any tips for balancing work and home life, while running a family business with your wife?
“We succeed because I honor Lindsey as my wife first, and business partner second. Having a loving marriage actually makes our business better. Creativity flows where love grows. And when it comes to being parents, we include our son in as much of our lives as we can.
“I’ll never forget taking my son Shep with us to business meetings, even as an infant. Lindsey’s input is, and always will be, critical to our success. I never wanted her to have to choose between mom and partner, so we would bring Shep along. It takes a special woman to gain professional respect with a baby on her hip. Lindsey is the perfect balance between sweet and spicy, mom and boss.”
Speaking of your son, he recently celebrated his first birthday. What have you learned in this first year of fatherhood?
“I would say that I’ve had to learn to be less selfish, to think outside of myself. I’ve also learned that I can, and will, do whatever it takes to see that my family prospers, no matter how tired or weary I may become. Now that I’m a pack leader, my family is dependent upon me to make wise decisions for us all. I will make them proud.”
What lessons do you hope to pass on to your son?
“It’s my desire that Shep, Crouch son number two, due in early January 2015, and all our future children, know that God hears our prayers and rewards those who diligently seek Him. I know this law to be true, because He’s blessed us with everything we’ve ever asked for. We’re proof that living your dreams to their fullest measure is possible.”
Finally, when you’re not working, how might you spend a free afternoon or evening in Dallas or Austin?
“Every Friday after we’ve clocked out, we take a family walk, then chow down at one of our partner restaurants, including Maudie’s or Stiles Switch BBQ, in Austin. Then we all come home, jump in bed, and watch a movie or our current Netflix obsession television show.”
All images courtesy of Daniel Crouch.