Plant-Based Entrepreneur Spotlight: Geoff Palmer - A Champion for Health, Fitness, and Sustainabilit
Are you passionate about plant-based businesses, entrepreneurship, and a sustainable lifestyle? If so, you're in for a treat! In our latest episode of Plant Based On Fire, Bryan interviewed Geoff Palmer, a true icon in the world of plant-based fitness nutrition. Geoff is not only the owner of Clean Machine Plant-Based Fitness Nutrition but also a dedicated vegan with a remarkable journey and inspiring accomplishments.
Geoff's journey began 38 years ago when he decided to go vegan overnight, cutting out all animal products from his diet. He's a natural bodybuilding and natural physique Masters Champion who stands out for his incredible achievements within the plant-based community. An author, national lecturer, vegan patent holder, and recipient of two Nexty awards for best supplement of the year, Geoff's influence reaches far and wide. He even created the first-ever all-vegan bodybuilding competition, emphasizing that plant-based nutrition can power strength and athleticism.
During the interview, Geoff delved into various aspects of his journey and business philosophy:
The Power of a Purpose-Driven Business:
Geoff's commitment to veganism is not just about personal health but extends to ethics, environment, and animal welfare. His business, Clean Machine, is built on the ethos of creating plant-based products that are effective, ethical, and sustainable.
Navigating the Business World
Geoff emphasized the importance of carving out a unique niche in the plant-based market. While larger companies might dominate mainstream trends, small entrepreneurs can succeed by focusing on quality and authenticity. He also stressed the value of mentorship and partnership, as having the right expertise can help navigate challenges and avoid pitfalls.
Fitness and Health
Geoff highlighted the misconceptions surrounding veganism and bodybuilding. As a natural bodybuilder, he's living proof that you don't need animal products to build muscle and strength. His insights dispel the notion that animal-based protein is superior and showcase the incredible benefits of a plant-based diet for fitness and overall well-being.
Geoff's dedication to sustainability shines through his business decisions. He's bringing innovative products to the market that focus on low carbon footprints, minimal land usage, and ecologically conscious practices. He's bridging the gap between nutrition, fitness, and the well-being of our planet.
Geoff Palmer's journey is a testament to the potential of plant-based businesses that prioritize health, ethics, and sustainability. His insights and commitment to excellence in the industry provide valuable lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to make a difference in the world. Whether you're interested in fitness, nutrition, or eco-friendly practices, Geoff's story is bound to inspire and motivate you to take action. So, keep an eye out for Clean Machine's upcoming products and continue to support businesses like Geoff's that are truly making a positive impact.
Welcome everybody to Plant Based on Fire. I'm your host, Brian, and we are excited to talk about plant based businesses and their inspiring stories to thrive in the industry. So we have a very special guest today, the owner of Clean Machine Plant-Based Fitness Nutrition and a real champion of veganism, Jeff Palmer. Jeff has been a vegan for 38 years now and counting, and he is a natural body building and natural physique.
Masters Champion. He has accomplished some really remarkable achievements within the plant-based world. He's an author, national lecturer, vegan patent holder, and two-time Nexty winner for best supplement of the year. Jeff was selected as number 40 in the top 100 most influential vegans by the plant-based news and he created the first all vegan bodybuilding competition in the world. So I am so thrilled to have you here Jeff to learn more about your journey.
and your business and your vision for the future. So without further ado, here's Jeff Palmer. Welcome, Jeff.
Geoff Palmer (01:07.32)
Well, thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to talk the business side. I talk the ethical, environmental, and nutrition side a lot, but I don't get to talk about the business side.
And that's really the key. Like we have to be an impact in the economy really to help be the change that we're, we're both hoping for pushing forward. So, um, well, I got a few softballs just to tee up some more context for us. Cause in case I didn't do a good enough justice on the intro, but tell us a little bit more about your personal journey of becoming vegan and how it led to bodybuilding and clean machine.
Geoff Palmer (01:41.656)
So back in 1985, I was suffering with clinical depression and had a healer actually talk me through that. My breakthrough was so intense that I quit drinking, quit smoking cigarettes, quit doing all drugs, and quit eating all animal products in one day. That was March 15th, 1985.
In that moment, in that meditation where it just came to me, you know, hey, you've just been freed from your suffering, you know, how can I pay this forward? I was so full of gratitude from being released from mental and emotional anguish that I was like, how do I pay this forward? And my higher voice just said to me, stop harming the animals. And I'm like, God, why did I not see that before? But that connection to empathy also said.
Geoff Palmer (02:36.388)
wait a minute, this is such an extraordinary event to me, I wanna share it with other humans as well as spending the rest of my life being a voice for the animals. Because I think it starts with humans. And of course, most humans need a motivation to change, right? So I traveled the world, went to 48 different countries, learning from all different disciples and disciplines on what created motivational change.
Geoff Palmer (03:05.648)
And it was in a sweat lodge and I realized that, hey, wait a minute, you can take heat and trigger a movement of the physical body, this outpouring of sweat, which triggers an outpouring of thoughts, which can trigger an outpouring of emotions, which can connect you on the deepest levels. And I'm like, all they did was heat up a little igloo. And I'm like, ah, that's it. If we can take something that people do in their everyday life.
Geoff Palmer (03:34.144)
and push it a little bit farther. Maybe that whole psycho-emotional energetic shift can happen with people. I said, okay, well, what's two common things that people do? They eat and they move, right? So I'm like, okay, well, there's a great place. It's not woo woo, it's not way out there. It's not some drug in the Amazon forest to get a breakthrough. It's...
Geoff Palmer (03:58.948)
Exercise and diet. And if you can shift that in enough way, it can have an impactful internal shift causing. So I said, great. Well, that's something I do really well anyway. I'm a champion swimmer in high school and college. I held a shared a record on the relay team. So I was like, I understood the relationship of food and mood and behavior, which was my degree in college. I was looking at biopsych, merging.
Geoff Palmer (04:27.312)
the whole body's physiology with our mood behavior. And coming from a place of attempting suicide twice, I was like, this could help a lot of people, a lot of people.
Wow. Very, very powerful. Yeah. I mean, I, one of my earlier jobs was in emergency department, medicine, software, and I talked to so many emergency room doctors and I said, what's the key and they said, diet and exercise. That's, that's the best way to avoid the emergency room that and don't do something stupid, but you know, diet and exercise. Yeah.
Geoff Palmer (04:55.406)
Yes, accidents, yeah, for sure happen, but yeah, accidents can reduce your risk, right? And when people say, oh, you know, diet and exercise and everything, no, of course it's not, but I look at it as playing Russian roulette. If you're going to have to play Russian roulette, how many bullets do you want in the gun?
Geoff Palmer (05:18.308)
Let's remove as many bullets as possible. If you're gonna have to play, at least increase your chances of not only just living longer, but living well longer. It's about enjoying life without suffering from disease states. That's what I'm interested in trying to help people with. And when I really dove deep into the science, I realized there were some amazing plants out there that could really have an impact on people's health, but weren't in the marketplace because...
Geoff Palmer (05:48.484)
We have a profit driven marketplace. It's not interested, it's a priority, it's not the health and wellbeing of human beings, it's how much profit can I make selling a cheap as much product as possible.
Yeah. And I w I was reading on your website, I think, you know, there was, there was a turning point for you as well. I think as how you jump started clean machine around that whole thing, when you're in the supplement aisles on that front, and then you took it all the way forward to getting some patents and, and supplements that mirror that human tissue, amino acid stuff, can you talk to us about clean machine and that, and your couple patents?
Geoff Palmer (06:16.798)
Geoff Palmer (06:25.464)
Yeah, so I obviously giving up drugs and living a healthy life. I'm 60 years of age. I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm, you know, benching over 400 pounds at 60 to completely drug free. So I want to show people the quality of life that you can experience through the whole life. But yeah, I worked for a vitamin shop and when I was standing in the shop, I'd look.
Okay, on this side of the aisle, we have all these natural products that are good for health, but don't do anything for your fitness level. When we know fitness has a huge impact on things like diabetes and Alzheimer's disease and cancer, great reduction with exercise. And I looked on the exercise aisles and it was full of steroids using bodybuilders. And it's like, wait a minute, that's not health. And I said, somebody's gotta bring health and fitness back together where they belong.
bastardized it into this obscene drug abuse as the representatives for fitness nutrition. And I'm like, okay, let's get back to its original nature, which is fitness is an equal part of health with nutrition. And why I named it Clean Machine? Because I'm trying to encourage people to keep this extraordinary machine that we're born into as clean, clean and free of animal products, free of drugs, free of synthetics.
Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, and it's, and it's that thing, you know, I, I face it in my own family. I face it with friends and colleagues and stuff like that. I mean, so what, what is your typical answer? I mean, well, I usually say like the elephants and gorillas do it too. So, but like, what do you say to all the men out there that are convinced that they need some meat to build that muscle? Clearly it's not needed. Yes. I love it. You already have the sign ready.
Geoff Palmer (08:21.332)
What do you think this is made of? 17 inch arms at 60 years old. What do you think? That's made of protein. It's so funny where you get your protein and everyone gets their protein from plants. I don't care what you eat. All of it originated in plants. Plants and microbes are the only species on this planet that can make the essential amino acids that make all proteins. Animals can't. We're consumers of nutrition.
Geoff Palmer (08:47.804)
Plants are producers. They make all the essential fatty acids. They make all the essential amino acids. They make all the vitamins except for B12 and K2 and vitamin D3 we get from the sun, which is not even a vitamin really, it's a hormone. So everything nutritionally either comes from a plant or a microbe. So why are we taking all this nutrition, feeding it to an animal, then killing the animal and taking its plant nutrition? Just leave the animal out of the equation. It's that simple.
Yeah. And we cut out so much of the supply chain. We don't need this well from the business. Yeah.
Geoff Palmer (09:19.52)
The impact on the environment, the impact on our economy, the impact on our health care system, it's just an extraordinary amount of waste. 35% of animals killed end up in the garbage can. We're talking 80 billion animals killed every year and 2.7 trillion fish and there's no need for this. There is zero nutritional requirement for human beings or any herbivore to eat an animal product. As a matter of fact, when we do eat them, we get cholesterol.
We get arachidonic acid. We get the things that cause disease dates. Heme iron, high methionine levels trigger cancer. It's all there. As soon as you feed plant-based iron, it's phytate-bound iron, which actually can reverse cancer. Once you feed that to an animal, it converts it to heme iron. It causes cancer. You've turned by feeding that same iron to an animal before eating it, you've turned a cancer preventative iron into a cancer.
causing iron, and then you eat it? Why? Taste? Really?
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I know. I mean, in the list is honestly endless. It just goes on and on and on with all the stuff. So, well, obviously, you know, you're an expert in that and you've been recognized. I mean, again, one of the top most influential vegans. What does that mean to you?
Geoff Palmer (10:40.572)
It means being a better voice for an animal. It doesn't mean anything to me personally. I don't care about ego. I lived life on the road for penniless. I chose to live without money for two years. I fasted for most of my time. My ego doesn't, I'm not in this for self-aggrandizement. If that happens, well great, that just means I'm a bigger voice for the animals. I'm a bigger voice to help people with their nutrition.
Geoff Palmer (11:08.856)
I'm a voice and I just want to be an example to inspire people because I care about, I've been through that suffering. I don't want to see you suffer. I'm 60 years of age right now. Both of my brothers, my father and my mother were all dead by 60. I don't want to see people suffer the way I have in my own personal life. And if I can make a business and a living out of doing something that helps other people, helps the animals and helps the environment.
Like, how cool is that? Yeah.
That's the trifecta right there. That's the triple win for sure. I mean, you've, you've been in it a long time now. So how have you seen the supplement industry change and that plant based side of it come into it a little bit stronger.
Geoff Palmer (11:53.108)
Unfortunately, there's still a huge industry. There are people in the industry who are making money because it's something they're doing, something they believe in. And then there are other people and companies that are doing it specifically for the bottom line for profiting and marketing aspects. So I think there's, there's still a strong delineation between purpose driven companies and profit driven companies. I went out and found.
uh, Lemna and was the first to bring it to market. It won the next, the award for best supplement of the year. Uh, that is the top supplement award in the industry. Um, Lemna is the most nutrient dense plant ever discovered. It is the only one that can give you in a single serving a full hundred percent daily value of vitamin B12. There's actually vitamin B12 in the plant. They used to think this was impossible.
So I'm going out there searching for these. I wanted again in 2018 with Ahi flower, the richest source of plant-based omega-3s in the world. These are extraordinary plants that nobody is bringing to market because it takes too much marketing spend to educate the consumer on. I love educating the consumer on what's the best in nutrition out there. So that's my passion.
Geoff Palmer (13:16.584)
I realize I'm going to do things that the larger companies will never do because it doesn't fit their profit motive. It takes too long to get it up to speed. It takes too much money in marketing spend. It takes money in investment and the R&D. It's not going to produce big sales in the beginning. They're all sales driven. I'm not. I can run a company that is human driven, that is animal driven, that is environment driven, and I get to do the right thing because it's my company.
That's right. That's right. I mean, and that's really, I think, why a lot of us get into these plant-based businesses is to do exactly that. So I commend you on your efforts. And I guess the question is, you know, I said it in the very beginning, like, there's people out there that don't know what is natural bodybuilding? What does that consist of? And what's the difference between that and the regular bodybuilding?
Geoff Palmer (14:09.9)
Yeah, so unfortunately we're seeing the top steroid using or drug using bodybuilders dropping like flies. There's been almost a dozen of the top bodybuilders in the last two years that have died at heart attack. Sean Roden, 26 years of age, dead of a heart attack. This is a combination of things. I'm not gonna blame it on one thing, but obviously diet and drug abuse are not helpful in that scenario.
Geoff Palmer (14:39.996)
And that breaks my heart to, you know, wife and kids and family that are left without a father. You know, is that really worth a few years of looking good and winning some awards? So natural bodybuilding is completely drug free. It's tested. So urinalysis tested.
to make sure that we're not using drugs. I take pride in accomplishing what I do without drug use and without eating any animal products whatsoever. It's why I created the World Vegan Bodybuilding Championship to show, hey look, this is a stage full of people who do not use any drugs whatsoever, do not eat any animal products for over a year, and they're on stage showing you what can be accomplished.
Geoff Palmer (15:32.536)
It's the only all vegan bodybuilding championship in the world. I'm proud to be the creator and founder of it
That is awesome. And as far as I was gonna say, what's been that response? What advice would you give to other vegan bodybuilders out there?
Geoff Palmer (15:48.052)
is that you get to really take pride in it. If you know it's the drug doing half of the work or maybe even more of the work for you and it's responsible for that growth, how much pride can you take in that? When you know that's 100% me, my control of my diet, my intensity in the gym and my commitment to the goals, that's 100% me, I get to own that.
Geoff Palmer (16:11.58)
There's something super rewarding about that. And I want to use that to inspire others to say, well, if they can do it, I can too. Let's get in the ring and see what can happen.
Awesome. I may come back to you about some swimming tips for me. That's probably my weakest segment there, but let's talk about the sustainability side of it, because I think, you know, I absolutely did it for the health aspects way back when, but the more research and studies that I've read and, you know, took my plant based certificate class, et cetera, it really focuses on the, the planet and the sustainability of it. So.
Can you talk about the importance of sustainability in your business and the supplement industry as a whole, honestly?
Geoff Palmer (16:53.976)
Yeah, so one of the fastest growing supplements in large sectors is fish oil, because people are under this false belief that fish make essential fatty acids. And they do not, fish do not make essentials, they eat them. So what you're getting is algae created, EPA and DHA. It's the fish do not, no animal on this planet can make essential fatty acids or essential amino acids.
why we call them essential, because we have to get them. All animals have to get them from outside of our body. We can't make them. That's why they're called essential. So when you look at that impact on the ocean, we've wiped out over 50% of all life in our oceans right now. 2.7 trillion fish are harvested every year and that number is going up, because people have this false belief that fish is a health food.
Geoff Palmer (17:50.252)
And people say, oh, so what's the big deal? We're going to wipe out the fish, and then we would just want to eat fish anymore. And I'm like, no, you don't understand. When the fish collapse, then the algae overbloom, because they have nothing to keep their growth in check. When they overbloom, they rob all the oxygen out of the ocean, and they too collapse. 70% of the oxygen you and I are breathing right now comes from that phytoplankton in the ocean. If we wipe out the fish,
We'll wipe out the plants that produce the oxygen that keep all life on this planet alive. That's how close we are to self extinguishing ourselves because we do not understand the connection between us, the fish and our ecosystem.
I was just thinking there should be a whole movie on that because we may cause our doom well before the planet overheats on that front. My goodness.
Geoff Palmer (18:41.757)
That's actually the fastest path to our own self-destruction and we're doing it headlong without any slowing of the brakes. Casey Jones you better stop this train.
Right, right. Well, I mean, clearly you're a successful plant-based entrepreneur. And again, I commend you on your, your efforts today and you're definitely a force of change for the vegan and plant-based worlds. Um, what advice are you going to, can you offer up for other plant-based businesses that are just getting started?
Geoff Palmer (19:11.644)
So most of the larger businesses will, one, either steal your ideas or force you out through marketing efforts and bigger spend. So one way to accomplish that is to take the higher road. If you do quality products, yes, your sales aren't gonna be gangbusters out of the gate, but if they are gangbusters out of the gate, know that big business will soon follow to try to grab those sales from you.
So the best way for small entrepreneurs to get started is carve out a niche when you're doing something quality that the big businesses won't do anything with. They'll say, that's too expensive, it's not profitable enough, it's whatever, I'm not gonna touch that and wait till it grows. Then you can have a less challenged environment to grow your own business, but you can do it with integrity by bringing the best in quality to class.
It's a harder road, but it's one that's sustainable. I see so many entrepreneurs, I like to call them, that go out and try to do a business like all the big businesses do. And you can't compete. They can outbid you, they can outmuscle you, they can buy up the shelf space. Even if you go on Amazon, they'll outbid you on all the keyword searches. There's just no way. I have an organic vegan D3, the first from organic algae ever.
Geoff Palmer (20:37.768)
And the bidding for vitamin D3 on Amazon starts at more than the cost of our product. If somebody clicks on it, you've already lost your entire profit for the product just to advertise on Amazon. That's what I'm saying. You've got to carve out a space for yourself that is not gonna be uber competitive, even if you think, oh, that's gonna make millions.
Geoff Palmer (21:02.016)
It's a better slow growth, sustainable opportunity if you can find it, if you're in the CPG side. Obviously, if in your services side, that's old.
Yeah, yeah. Well, there's definitely a lot of strategies there for sure. And that's where I do. I do hope that the plant-based network continues to fuel itself on that front. So.
Geoff Palmer (21:20.984)
That and get a mentor. I know so many big entrepreneurs have a great idea but don't understand the execution or market strategies of business. Get yourself a good person or partner with someone who knows that side of the business. If you're a product developer, get yourself a great marketer. If you're a marketer, get yourself someone who understands the retail and retail side of the business. So.
Geoff Palmer (21:49.628)
get that help either partnering with somebody that can give you that strategic advantage or get mentorship and help people prevent you from making huge mistakes that could collapse your business before it gets started.
Yeah, well said. I'm a mentor for many businesses around the area and I can't underestimate that enough that you need that collection of tribe members to help you drive it forward. What are your future plans for clean machine and vegan bodybuilding?
Geoff Palmer (22:18.884)
We have some really exciting new product launches. Again, we'll be first to market with these, including a new protein source that is not currently in the marketplace that will be the most ecologically produced protein source on the planet. So really excited about that. It has a perfect PD-Cas, which means it's totally digestible.
It is novel, it is the lowest carbon footprint to production, this uses the lowest amount of land space. It's just phenomenal. I'm excited to partner with this company. Obviously, I can't talk about it too much yet. We're under an NDA, but again, that's what we do. We find these upstart companies that are doing extraordinary things with new plant technologies.
and bring them to market and get them out there and explain them in a way that we can promote and get people excited about plant-based nutrition.
That is awesome. I'm looking forward to seeing that come out in your announcements soon on that front. So, you know, we're going to have a ton of people following this podcast and supporting our local businesses here. So, what can the community do to help you?
Geoff Palmer (23:36.06)
Oh, definitely. I do Facebook Lives every Thursday. I talk about all the latest nutritional research as regards to health and fitness and especially plant-based nutrition. Because I think once people understand the physiological, beautiful pieces of puzzle all come together and it makes perfect sense. Our physiology is very intuitive and once you can explain. I grew up reading studies, so that's my thing.
Geoff Palmer (24:05.736)
But I have a way of translating them in simple terms that make it very simple to understand. I do that. You can check out our World Vegan Bodybuilding page if you're inspired to step on stage as a plant-based athlete. Or you can follow us on Clean Machine Fit on IG and Facebook. And of course Clean Machine Online at YouTube and our website.
That is awesome. Thank you so much, Jeff, for being here and being one of our first guests on the show here. We look forward to checking in with you soon. Love to have you back on the show to whenever you're ready to make that big announcement as well.
That is all the time we have for this episode of Plant Based on Fire. So thank you so much, Jeff Palmer, for joining us and sharing your insights and experiences with the community. And until next time, please keep the fire burning. Thank you.