Triathlon training on tour. While you guys know about my constant running while I travel, this post is to report to the homies how easy (and inexpensive) it is to do swim training while touring. I swim in most of cities we hit up and almost always do it for $10 or less. The YMCA is all over the place and the other thing I search for are recreation centers. Rec Centers are great for the community! Usually these pools are mellow and I consistently have my own lane (which is unheard of at the parks pool where I train in NYC). A bunch of friends have told me how much they dig swimming on the road, so with them in mind I'm going to work on a list of pools that I swim in all over the world while on tour. I'll be posting that in the next few days and feel free to add suggestions!
Superfood Bar- One of my favorite spots out there and Nola highlight, Superfood Bar is now open for business in Denver. Around a year ago, Superfood guru Joseph Stone launched the Denver location and it appears to be going great. Denver is fortunate to have this addition to its array of healthy food options. The smoothies are incredible and you pretty much can't go wrong with any order at Superfood Bar. I love the wraps as well (pictured). Any trip to Denver will now always take me to the Superfood Bar after a morning workout.
PS Soon to be released: Tourganic Podcast with Joseph Stone of Superfood Bar. Joseph drops tons of gems on living healthy and how to craft a diet on that will sustain you on the road.
So stoked to have completed my first Ironman 70.3 race. It was a great experience and looking forward to the next. The training continues as the next race is in August and 2 more in September. Definitely felt the heat near the end of the ru portion on some of the ascents and my run time dipped a bit below what I normally pace at in races but I made up for it with a pretty smokin fast bike section (which I wasn't expecting!)
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
Love this article my dad just sent me. Sometimes the debates get so caught up in talking about the differing opinions on the benefits vs drawbacks of a vegan diet on one's health that its easy to lose sight of the positive impact that a plant-based vegan diet has on the environment!
I've posted before about staying healthy in New Orleans and it can be a tough one for musicians on the road. I happy to report the amount of great options in NOLA is growing. In this post I want to mention the Daily Beet, which has 2 locations in the city.
It was only in Nola for a couple of days for jazz fest and to play with Walk Talk but I still managed to get in a 10 mile run day one and 15 miles day two. Such a great way to enjoy a city. I was located near one of the Daily Beet locations at the St Roch market and it was a great source of postworkout nutrition. The rainbow bowl was essential! The smoothies were good as well.
For my longer run, I headed up to city park, ran along side the grass trail next to the levee and eventually ran along the lake. Really beautiful scenery and I ran at near dusk so although it was HOT, not unbearable.
This episode's guest is Rapper Kuf Knotz. Kuf has been putting out killer records and touring all over for years and does so while maintaining a vegan lifestyle and sharing his positive message throughout the world.
In this conversation:
Not having phone for a year and the freedom he gained from that experience
Personal crisis and tragedy leading to growth
Kuf’s spiritual path and exploration
His path to veganism, stemming from his fathers death and learning from his family medical history
Dr. Malachi York
Importance of fasting
3 to 4 month cycle of diet: Fasting/Cleanse>Raw foods>Strict Vegan>Vegan
His record Positive Light and making a positive album in the current culture of hiphop and how that record was a direct result of a raw diet. The effect that had on writing, lyrics, message
Touring plant based vegan as a band and what that brought to the band as a whole, the performances and the value of eating together/building together
XPN- Community outreach through music
The importance of belief in your self and how that connects with health and maximizing your performance
Please take a moment to rate and review the podcast in iTunes/Apple Podcasts app and visit www.tourganic.com 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 Kuf Knotz
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
The focus of the Tourganic blog is eating healthy on the road but I want to give some love to some great vegan spots in my neighborhood in Brooklyn. Both of them are relatively new to the scene.
Happy Zoe's Vegan Bakery- I am excited for this new addition to Williamsburg. Happy Zoe's offers vegan and gluten free baked goods as well as smoothies, soups and entrees. This small and rustic spot packs a punch for its small space. Zoe made a point to let me know she doesn't overdo it with the sugar and sweeteners and one can see that everything is made with love and care. Happy Zoe's just opened up in December of 2017, hopefully the community will support and sustain this great spot!
Acai Berry- Acai Berry is located on a busy block on Manhattan Ave at the corner of Bedford in Greenpoint and you might easily miss it. They offer juices, smoothies, acai bowls, soups, sushi and more. Everything I've had here has been spot on. The acai bowl was just what I need after a 15 mile run and the sushi rolls were creative and very good. Greenpoint is holding it down with some great restaurant options and Acai Berry is right in the mix, offering plant-based vegan options for the people.
Hope everyone is out there is pumped for 2018! Look out for many new podcast episodes and Tourganic posts for inspiration to stay healthy out there on the road and at home.
You can now find all of the Tourganic Podcast episodes on Spotify! Just search for Tourganic
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 www.tourganic.com 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
So excited to be working on me and Mayteana Morales' new band- Walktalk's debut album! Please go to our Indiegogo campaign page and check it out. We are working hard to make an amazing album and we need your support to make it happen. Here is the link:
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
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
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
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.