I'm psyched to report that I had a great feature in the October issue of Bass Player Magazine- The pre-eminent publication for bass players and all things related to great instrument of the bass. Awesome to be in featured alongside Bass Greats Doug Wimbish (Living Colour), Hutch Hutchinson (Bonnie Raitt) and Troy Sanders (Mastodon). The article gets into the nitty gritty of some aspects of my technique and the multitasking process of bass playing with my whole sampling rig on tour with the Pimps of Joytime.
Eric Benny Bloom is the trumpet player extraordinaire from the bands Lettuce, Pretty Lights and his group Sonic Bloom. Eric is both hilarious and insightful when it comes to discussing health on the road.
In this conversation:
- What factors contributed to Eric making the transition to being vegan and how that affected his life overall and as a musician on the road
- What making the transition to a plant-based diet did for Eric’s trumpet playing
- Making the move to New Orleans and what continues to inspire him about being a part of the musicians community in NOLA
- Living as a vegan in New Orleans, a city traditionally characterized with a diet rich in animal products
- Show preparation, his diet on show days and eating before performances
- The importance of being truly educated about your endeavors and taking chances in life
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Tourganic Podcast Theme song 'The Path' written by David Bailis and this episode's musical interludes by Eric Benny Bloom
Wheatsville Food Co-op- There are some great plant-based vegan options in Austin. The small city has numerous vegan food trucks, restaurants/cafes, of course the original Whole Foods Market but I like to support their local co-op. Wheatsville Food Co-op is a great local market that offers healthy food for the community at a good price. I love the prepared foods section which has a juice/smoothie bar, taco/burritos made to order and a full organic salad bar. We came through Austin on our way to a festival and grateful we stopped through Wheatsville Food Co-op for a nutritious meal and to pick up some supplies for the road.
On Sunday, I raced in my fourth triathlon in a five week period. These were my first triathlons and I just began swim training for the first time less than 6 months ago. I was racing the Olympic distance and I did one sprint race. At the race 2 weeks ago, I was 3rd in my age group and my run pace was 6:38 per mile, which I was happy with. Tri racing is an endeavor that I will continue and I am excited to learn ways to improve my time specifically on the swim and bike. A few quick notes:
I completed these races with no gatorade/sugary strangely colored drinks, no gels or processed foods along the way. Simply whole foods and water. I will do a specific post about my race nutrition but happy to report that it is indeed possible to thrive without sugary processed foods/drinks, which seem to be everywhere in these races.
Another truly great positive I took away from these races was the tremendous sense of community and support from other racers, the staff and fans. So cool to connect with others in a positive way especially in a world where these interactions with strangers can sometimes be infrequent.
In an effort to reduce waste as well as not consume processed foods (even if they are organic/vegan/raw) I have been making my own energy bars to have a quick power snack after/in between workouts or on the go during a busy day. They are also great for the whole family. These are very simple and all raw, organic, vegan with no added sweeteners or oil. You just need a Vitamix or food processor. The recipe was inspired by Minimalist Baker and I modified it as follows. Hope you enjoy!
1 Cup of Dates
5 Tbsp of Peanut Butter
1 cup of Oats
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Flax Seeds
½ Cup of Raisins
¼ Cup of Cacoa Nibs
1 to 2 Tbsp of filtered water (if needed)
Blend the Dates and then add small amounts of water, if needed (Vitamix needs a little) and add the other ingredients.
Don't blend too much! Roll into balls or shape into bars and place in fridge in air-tight container for about 30 minutes to let them set. Voila! Warning these are addictive!
Drummer Stephen Chopek is an inspiring example of someone who is committed and unwavering in his pursuit of health of mind, body and spirit on the road.
In this conversation:
- Making the transition from career drummer sideman to front man and solo artist. What that progression has entailed and what he has learned.
- Motivating factors in Chopek’s transition to being a plant-based vegan- Master Cleanse, empathy for Animals, listening to his body on tour in order to find out how he could perform at his highest level.
- The life changing experience of doing a 10 day Vipassana silent meditation retreat and how that has manifested in his everyday life and his music i.e. the power of decision making, the concepts of impermanence and acceptance.
- What Chopek gained by cutting out alcohol on the road and how that set him up for a morning routine that has enabled him to thrive.
Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes:
Tourganic Podcast Theme songs 'The Path' and 'Shirtmaker's Brawl' written by David Bailis and this episode's musical interludes by Stephen Chopek and Stephen Chopek/Charlie Hunter Live
As much as I love Spain, it can be a tough place for the traveling vegan. The local diet is heavy on meats, seafood and white bread with little to offer for vegetables and whole grains. Whereas the smaller towns are a bit of a challenge, Madrid is great for the health conscious eater. There are a ton of options for vegetarians, vegans and people looking for plant-based options.
Vega- My absolute favorite spot was Vega. The 100% vegan restaurant uses organic ingredients with an emphasis on locally grown foods and wines. It was so nice, I had to go twice! Even if you are a meat eater, I strongly recommend checking this spot out when in Madrid to take a break from the heavy typical Spanish fare and if you are a vegan, well this is the place for you!
Yerbabuena- I stopped through Yerbabuena for lunch after a long day of travel and a run. They had some great options and I went with the 1/2 lunch special that they made vegan. They've got fresh juice as well. Nice little spot with some healthy options for lunch in Madrid.
Integral Yoga- Wow what a score in Charlottesville! The smoothies and juices here are incredible! The combo of all organic ingredients and super creative recipes made me wish I lived closer so I could try everything on the menu. The juice bar is in the back of a health food store, which has a nice vibe and is well stocked and has good prices They have a small prepared foods section, as well as a good bulk section which is always crucial for the healthy traveler. Next time I'm back in Charlottesville, you know where to find me!
My guest this week is saxophone player Johnny 'Bones'. Johnny has been touring with The California Honeydrops for close to decade and he displays some serious skills on the sax. His solos are memorable to anyone attending a Honeydrops show. Johnny's approach to touring, his diet and his focus on health of mind, body and soul are an inspiration.
In this conversation:
- Johnny's path and why/how he went plant-based and how that decision has affected his ability to thrive on the road, overall wellbeing and happiness.
- Thee crucial role that meditation, mindfulness and yoga have played in his life.
- When Johnny began to feel that classic 'run down' feeling after years on the road and how living a plant-based diet helped to turn that around.
- Connections between musicians and athletes as performance based mindsets where you must be at your highest level night after night and the discipline that it takes to maintain that consistency
- Books, Documentaries and other sources that have significantly changed Johnny's life and provided inspiration along the way
Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes
Virtuoso bass player Garrett Sayers has been laying down killer bass lines for his band the Motet for over a decade. As the band continues to tour nonstop, he has been a consistent example of how living healthy on the road is possible. Throughout his great career, Garrett has performed alongside a host of amazing artists and leads his own trio as well.
In this conversation:
- Garrett's path and why/how he went plant-based and how that decision has affected his ability to thrive on the road, overall wellbeing and happiness.
- The point in which Garrett had reached his limit with physical pain and discomfort and cured his ailments through the process of an Elimination Diet.
- The revelation of living a gluten free, plant-based vegan diet and the benefits that brought for him.
- Connections between the discipline of health and music and how there is really no difference in his approach to both of these essential aspects of his life
Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes
Boise Co-op- Boise has no shortage of healthy options but my favorite spot is the downtown Co-op. The organic juice/smoothie bar is great and I highly recommend stop at the salad bar and the bulk section. The produce is fresh, reasonably priced and I believe is 100% organic!
Right next to the Co-op is 208 Pho and Vegan. I had the vegan pho (Vietnamese noodle soup) for dinner and it was great after a long day of travel plus morning/evening workouts. The menu is simple and there aren't a ton of vegan options (or options period!) but that is cool as the vegan pho was just what I needed. The price was right as well. Good idea to hit up this spot and then head over to the Co-op for some some supplies for the road!
Bass player Jordan Scannella is a force to be reckoned with. Jordan constantly tours internationally with the group Tortured Soul and manages to do this while living a plant-based lifestyle focused on health and maintaining wellness. Years ago, Jordan had a crazy experience of a 3 month prison stint in Japan for a minor offense and during that time he wrote all the lyrics for his first solo album, which grew to him fronting his own hiphop/funk band- Jorscan. In this conversation:
- Jordan's path and why/how he went plant-based and how that decision has affected his overall wellbeing and ability to thrive on the road.
- How a juice fast propelled Jordan into a higher state of awareness of diet and how that transcended into his musicality and all aspects of his life.
- Jordan's run in with the law and incarceration for possession of a tiny amount of pot in Japan. How he took something that could have shook his psyche and derailed his career and turned it into a truly positive force in his life that continues to affect him daily.
Beyond being a extremely gifted bass player and overall musician, Jordan is great human being with much wisdom to offer to the world. His path is an inspiration and I hope you enjoy the second episode of the Tourganic podcast.
Please take a moment to rate, review and subscribe to the podcast in iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tourganic-healthy-living-on-the-road/id1249586072
I'm so excited to release the first episode of the Tourganic podcast today. This is project that I have put considerable work into and I am glad to say it is on off and running!
In the podcast I speak with touring musicians about how they live a healthy lifestyle on the road. While many of the conversations are about how and why my guests live a plant based, vegan diet on the road, the content of these conversations will have a diverse and holistic approach to focus on health of mind, body and spirit. My goal is that this podcast will give you a window in to their life and offer you some insight that will inspire you. Please check it out and if you like it subscribe and comment on iTunes. Please click on the link to access the podcast on iTunes!
Dub Trio- dubtrio.com
Diet for a new America- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diet_for_a_New_America
Forks Over Knives- https://www.forksoverknives.com
The Cove- www.thecovemovie.com
Cafe Gratitude- I had to make this second Santa Cruz entry to shout out one of my favorite spots when I'm traveling, Cafe Gratitude. They have multiple locations in California (see my San Diego post) and even one in Kansas City. The Santa Cruz location is a staple every time we come to town. The menu is simple and so nutritious. I usually have the 'I am Whole' bowl, which is full of plant-based nourishment. It gives me everything I need after a day of training/traveling and before a night of playing music. The prices are reasonable and I'm always grateful to find myself at Cafe Gratitude when on the road!
Staff of Life- This organic market in Santa Cruz is such a winner! They have a great juice/smoothie bar, salad bar and prepared foods section (which is always great for the hungry traveler). In addition, the produce section is overflowing with awesome organic produce at fair prices. The green juice I got was on point as well! Staff of Life is a must if passing through Santa Cruz and looking for a good market to replenish your food bag and you appetite.
This smoothie is the goods!! Perfect for postworkout. Totally vegan and organic. I have been training hard preparing for some upcoming triathalons and life as a whole. Turmeric is a great to combat inflammation and I feel helps me with quick recovery from my workouts.
1 Tbsp Turmeric Powder
1 Large Carrot
1 Stalk of Celery
1 cup of frozen Mango
1 cup of Coconut 'Yogurt'
1/4 cup of Flax Seed
2 Tbsp Soaked Chia Seeds
2 Medjool Dates
Blend in the Vitamix and ENJOY!
Virginia Beach is a fun spot and I enjoy playing there but have found eating healthy to be difficult at times. There are some great juice/smoothie bars and vegetarian oriented cafes but many close by 4 or 5pm, which can leave the hungry musician out of luck.
That's why I want to post about Thai Arroy. I don't do Thai food to often because of the use of so much sugar and the prevalence fish sauce in the preparation of entrees. We were hungry after our festival show last weekend decided to check out Thai Arroy. We got there just before they closed at 10pm. Huge props to these guys for having a separate vegan menu!! Thats what motivated me to to go there, Very grateful that they are committed to serving plantbased dishes! Everyone loved what they got. Mine was spicy!!
Overall this place was a winner. The staff was friendly and the prices were reasonable as well. Check out Thai Arroy next time your in Virginia Beach!
While playing tennis yesterday with a friend, he asked me for some tips about traveling healthy. He is about to head off on a trip for a year. This advice applies to travelers for shorter trips but especially for frequent or longer term travelers.
The concept is the importance of establishing a routine. Traveling can throw off your whole schedule (and I understand sometimes that is the point!) but to remain healthy and fit on the road, routine is key. I recommend a morning routine to include a workout and a focus on hydration and eating light (fruit/smoothies/juice). I also have friends who tell me they benefit greatly on the road by their morning yoga, meditation and breathing exercises as well. Any of these things can help provide a framework for your morning routine.
My morning routine is what keeps me on point on tour and if I do miss a morning, by shear momentum my body will want to make up for it with an afternoon or evening workout.
All that being said most importantly- Don't get stuck in your routine! Routine can help to get you in a rhythm but then make sure to change your workouts up and keep yourself and your mind challenged!!
Prasad- Prasad is one of my go to's every time we play in the great city of Portland. Luckily it was a short walk from the Crystal Ballroom where we played on this last tour. Prasad has great juices, smoothies, breakfast and lunch options but their 'bowls' are the star of the menu. I love the Dragon bowl, which comes with brown rice/quinoa, beans, steamed greens, avocado, sea vegetables, cabbage-apple kimchi, scallions, hemp & sesame seeds and your choice of a homemade sauce. These entrees are so wholesome, nutritious and a solid deal as well at $10.50.
I truly don't think you can go wrong with any of the options at Prasad. This place is a total winner! There are so many great spots in Portland and Prasad no exception! I highly recommend Prasad for the hungry traveler looking for healthy plantbased options in Portland.
Viva! Vegetarian Grill- Eugene seems to always come through with great plantbased food for the hungry traveler. I've already posted about the Eugene classic and staple Morning Glory and the awesome vegan food truck Coalesce Juicery. Neither were open when I had a free minute before soundcheck, so I set in off in search of another option for a late afternoon lunch.
I found Viva! a small little shack that serves vegan sandwiches, tacos and some appetizers. I went with the housemade falafel, which was solid. The menu isn't exactly my cup of tea but I always appreciate finding some plantbased food made with love. I definitely dig the minimalist vibe of this little spot. The only seating is under a small tarp next to there little shack where they cook the goods. Very cool spot holding it down for a certain type of vegetarian fare in Eugene!