TTP #13- Bassist Pete Shand: Purveyor of Heavy Low Frequency in a Groovy Style

New Tourganic Podcast episode!

This episode's guest is bassist Pete Shand from the New Mastersounds. Pete is a road warrior and has been through the hard partying cycle of touring and now is striving to create a more sustainable way of life on the road through a plant-based diet and daily stretching routines. Physical issues with his back also forced Pete to take a hard look at touring lifestyle and search for answers on how to continue to keep bringing his talents to the world.

In this conversation:

  • His daughters influence on going vegetarian and finding a healthy way to maintain on the road

  • Making the most of your time offstage while on tour to improve your show performance 

  • The importance of stretching for his back problems and physical issues

  • Daily plantbased protein shake w flax/chia seeds coconut water and garden of life greens

  • Avoiding burnout over years on the road

  • Getting back to show ready before tours

  • Discipline of being in the military and transferring those skills after discharge

  • Perspective gained from traveling

  • Link of simplicity and vegetarian diet

  • Preparation for gigs and constantly feeling like you have to work harder than the next guy 

  • The role of the bass player

Pete Shand1.JPG

New Podcast Episode feat. Kalmia Traver

This episode's guest is Kalmia Traver- singer, saxophone player, songwriter, band leader and completely inspiring individual Kalmia Traver from the bands Rubblebucket and Kalbells. We cover a lot of territory in this episode from her transformation as a sax player in the horn section to front woman of an successful touring band. Her battle with cancer and the amazing story of touring while undergoing treatment and what helped her get through that time to her current state of living cancer free. We talk about how that experience affected her diet and the discipline to maintain that level of nutrition on the road. We also get into how mindfulness and meditation was a crucial factor in her survival and ability to thrive in the face of adversity. Kalmia's story is an inspiration to all of us who face tough challenges in our lives and how to look those straight in the face and beat them back. Her ability to thrive in the toughest of moments is incredible.

In this conversation:

  • Transformation from section sax player to frontwoman

  • ‘Cancer Tour’- How that reality shaped her growth as a performer and transcended to a mindfulness practice

  • Inspiration sources- Tara Brock Podcast, Power of Now- Eckhart Tolle, Kelly Brogan- Melding eastern and Western healing techniques

  • Touring with Cancer and the affect on diet and nutrition. Whole foods, organic, No sugar, No meat, minimal grains/seeds must be sprouted, sour dough bread, goat milk but no dairy, greens and veggies, lots of fats, fermented foods

  • Salad Backpack!! And touring with a Nutribullet

  • Playing shows and performing while fighting cancer causes a shift in perspective and elevated the connection with fans

  • Sowing the seeds of self love and working to eliminate insecurities

  • "The best career is the one that combines your greatest strengths with fulfilling what the world needs the most"

  • Breaking through exhaustion and physical ’barriers’ on tour

  • Rising above our perceived capabilities

  • The healing process of creativity and Kalmia's goal of not only healing herself but others through music

    Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes and 

    Tourganic Podcast Theme song 'The Path' written by David Bailis and this episode's musical interludes by Kalbells

Kal 1.JPG

TTP #10- Wenzl McGowen on his Spiritual Journey and its Impact on his Life and his Saxophone Playing

Wenzl McGowen is an incredible force on the saxophone and member of the band Moon Hooch. This episode includes practical life advice for the touring musician, why the band went vegan together, the depth of the impact that meditation has had on his life as a musician and well constructed concepts about the nature of the universe and cosmos. We cover lots of ground in this episode from his upbringing on a completely isolated commune in Portugal to his touring life with Moon Hooch. In this conversation:

  • The dynamics of touring with a band and concepts of conflict/resolution

  • Playing in the moment and striving for freedom with his instrument and the tools he is using to achieve the 'flow state'
  • Wenzl's path of Meditation. How he got into it, what it means and how it has manifested on his life including how meditation has transformed his stage experience

  • Upbringing in a commune in Portugal. Lessons learned from his father who created and ran the commune and turning negative experiences into positive lessons in life

  • Making the transition from living completely isolated on a commune with no outside influence to coming to NYC at age 18 for school

  • How and why Wenzl became vegan. The significance of the band doing it together

  • How Moon Hooch tours maintaining health on the road. Bringing a portable kitchen, cooking in the green room, foraging for wild plants and supporting co-ops

  • Daily and pre-show rituals on tour

  • Goals with his saxophone playing: Strategies to break out of preconceived patterns and musical ‘vocabularies’ and evolve to a system more based on numbers and shapes. How he is implementing this concept

  • Influential books and documentaries in his life

    Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes and visit for more info on this episode and living healthy on the road

    Tourganic Podcast Theme song 'The Path' written by David Bailis and this episode's musical interludes by Moon Hooch

 Photo Credit: Matthew Dimas

Photo Credit: Matthew Dimas

TTP #9- Drummer and Animal Rights Activist Tom Garrington on the Power of Questioning the Status Quo as a Musician and Vegan Advocate

Tom Garrington is not only a great drummer but also a committed vegan, animal rights activist and outspoken advocate for the plant-based movement. In this conversation:

  • The "Best Speech You'll Ever Hear" and the moment where Tom's life changed direction and he became a strict vegan
  • How Tom has been able to positively affect so many others and help them make the transition to a vegan diet
  • The concept of voting with your dollar and the power we possess as consumers
  • Developing the skills to face adversary and see difficult moments as oppurtunities for growth
  • Specific documentaries, Vlogs, websites, activists and books that have been influential in Tom's path to veganism
  • How important keeping an open mind has been in Tom's success as a musician and in his learning about the impacts of veganism 

    Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes

Tommy Garrington Pic.png

TTP #7- Trumpet Player Eric Benny Bloom on the Importance of Gaining Knowledge and Taking Chances

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

Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes and 

Tourganic Podcast Theme song 'The Path' written by David Bailis and this episode's musical interludes by Eric Benny Bloom


Austin, TX

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.

Austin Co-op.JPG


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.  


TTP #6- Drummer Stephen Chopek on The Discipline of Persistence- How He Has Been so Consistent in Living a Disciplined Life on the Road- Daily Meditation, Fitness Routines and a Vegan Diet

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

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 9.35.52 AM.jpg

Charlottesville, VA

 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!

TTP #4- Saxophonist Johnny 'Bones" from The California Honeydrops- Drops Some Knowledge About his Vegan Diet, Life on the Road and Staying "Aligned" with Mind, Body and Spirit on Tour

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 

TTP #3- Garrett Sayers on Music, the Evolution of his Healthy Diet and Living a Gluten Free Plant-based Diet on the Road

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