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Who Is Darin Olien? New Details About Zac Efron's Travel Partner In Netflix's 'Down To Earth'

Photo: Netflix
Who Is Darin Olien? New Details About Zac Efron's Travel Partner In Netflix's 'Down To Earth'

If there's one thing we've learned from the hit Netflix show, Down to Earth, it's that Zac Efron has truly found his calling as a travel host. While the former teen hunk seemed to languish a bit after his halcyon High School Musical days, he found himself a nice calling on this new series. 

But it needs to be made clear: Down to Earth is not just your everyday travel show. Rather, Efron and his travel partner go traveling through different parts of the world in search of ways to live more sustainably. So, Efron and his travel companion aren't staying in luxury hotels and sunning themselves on luxury beaches — they're finding sustainable solutions to everyday issues. 

Most of us, however, know who Zac Efron is — and his TV and movie history. But you not be as familiar with his travel companion. 

But who is Darin Olien, Zac Efron's travel companion in Down to Earth on Netflix?

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He's a Midwesterner. 

A native of Minnesota, Darin Olien's "wellness journey" began in college, where he studied Exercise Physiology & Nutrition at the University of Saint Thomas, from where he earned a Bachelor's Degree. He also holds a master's degree in Psychology from the University of Santa Monica. 

He has a dog named Chaga.

It's perhaps unsurprising that Olien is an animal lover, but he not only has a beloved dog named Chaga, he has a whole highlight section on his Instagram page dedicated to him (and he calls him "King Chaga"). Check out the cute pooch below.


A post shared by Darin Olien (@_darinolien) on Feb 12, 2020 at 6:37pm PST

He calls himself "The Indiana Jones of Superfoods," and is the founder of several popular wellness-based programs and products. 

While you may not have heard the name "Darin Olien" before, there's a good chance you've heard of one or more of his products. He's the founder of Shakeology and is the co-creator of The Ultimate Reset 21-day detoxification program, which is completely plant-based. He calls himself a "superfoods purveyor" because he's literally toured the world in search of different superfoods from all over the world. That's why he's earned the nickname "The Indiana Jones of Superfoods." He also runs his own podcast called The Darin Olien Show and you can check out an episode below. 

He's credited with bringing a previously-obscure nut to the United States. 

One of the biggest discoveries by Olien is a Brazilian nut called the Baru nut. While the Baru was popular amongst the indigenous tribes of Brazil, the West was unfamiliar with it. Baru nuts, which grow wild in the Brazilian savanna, are roasted before they're eaten. One Baru nut contains more fiber, protein, and calcium than any other nut. And, according to those that have tasted the nut, it takes like "a cross between a peanut and a cashew, with a hint of cocoa.

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He's vegan.

Olien pushes a vegan lifestyle for a good reason: it's one he follows himself. According to him, he chose to follow a vegan diet as an experiment at first. He wanted to see for himself if there was a difference in his life if he followed a plant-based diet versus one with animal-based proteins. It didn't take long for him to realize that he felt infinitely better after following a vegan diet.

And while he testified to the benefits that veganism had on his life, he's not someone that insists that everyone else become a vegan. "I became vegan after asking, 'What foods make me feel my best?' and being honest about the answer. That’s why I’m not passionate about making everyone vegan. It is not realistic, and I am not an authority over anyone else’s body. You are the best authority on you. I only want to raise awareness," he said.

He's divorced. 

On November 27, 2014, Darin Olien got engaged to actress Eliza Coupe. She made the announcement on Instagram in a post that was subsequently deleted. The couple was married on December 24, 2014, in New Zealand.

However, in 2018, the couple announced that they'd filed for divorce and no reasons were given, though Coupe shared a cryptic post in a now-deleted Instagram before their split with this quote: “Anything that annoys you is teaching you patience. Anyone who abandons you is teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet. Anything that angers you is teaching you forgiveness and compassion,” the message reads. “Anything that has power over you is teaching you how to take your power back. Anything you hate is teaching you unconditional love. Anything you fear is teaching you courage to overcome your fear. Anything you can’t control is teaching you how to let go.”

He published a book about his life's work. 

One of Olien's most popular works was published in 2017. It was a book called Superlife: The 5 Simple Fixes That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, & Eternally AwesomeThis book is mentioned a lot throughout the Down to Earth series — in fact, Efron mentions it at the beginning of every episode. 

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He likes to surf.

Like most Californians (transplant or native), Olien likes to surf. He even got a customized surfboard featuring an advertisement for his nut company, Barukas, which you can see below.


A post shared by Darin Olien (@_darinolien) on Nov 10, 2019 at 1:26pm PST

Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.