December 14, 2019

You can’t have your cake and eat it too


By: Stefanie Safahi

One of the greater misfortunes of life is that those things that are truly enjoyable are never really all that good for you. Why can’t cheese fries be just as nutritious as kale? Why can’t rolling a joint and playing Halo 4 all day be as productive as running a 5k?

While many musicians might like to believe such a Shangri-La in which you can consume and do whatever you want without feeling repercussions exists, the universe begs to differ.

Just look at James Brown. All respect to Mr. Brown, though. He was truly a talented individual who just happened to fall victim to that ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ lifestyle that still entices so many in the industry. At the height of his career in the 1960s to 1970s, Brown was riding a wave of success and didn’t show any signs of washing out any time soon. A few years and a few drug problems later, Brown pulled a shotgun on a man using his toilet in 1988.

There are countless other examples out there, but the message is the same: you are what you consume. Everything that goes into your body interacts with your insides and influences how well your body and mind work.

Human bodies are complex structures that require certain nutrients to keep things running smoothly on a day-to-day basis. If you don’t satisfy those nutrients, because, say, you live off of Big Macs and PBR, your body will struggle to keep up with daily activities like making it through a three-hour band rehearsal.

I’m not saying you need to become a total veg-head or cut late-night tacos out of your life completely, but I am urging you to be more cautious of how you’re treating your body, especially since it can influence how well your career can thrive.

Below are some simple tips to help you do some “spring cleaning” of your health habits.

1. Drink water. Everyone, not just vocalists, needs water. It replenishes your body and flushes out the toxins, like those seven shots of Jack Daniels from last night. Opt for a water bottle next time you’re at the vending machines and that Dr. Pepper is catching your eye…

2. Eat this, not that. It’s hard when you’re ballin’ on a budget and/or touring to make healthier choices because they tend to be pricier. If this is the case, just choose the lesser of two evils. There’s also a handy dandy book that you might find very helpful, especially if touring and unable to make your own food at home.

3. Get physical. This is easier than you think. You don’t necessarily have to turn into a gym rat who lives in muscle tees and snorts protein powder. Take advantage of the nicer weather and get outside for a little while. Walking to the bar also counts.

4. …But get your z’s, too. Sleep is good. Musicians and those involved in the music industry are often subject to a few all-nigthers here and there, but you need rest. Get some.

5. Bye, bye, bye sodium. Sodium is like the cunning snake of food seasonings, always slithering into every meal when it gets a chance. Ditch salt and other processed foods that are jam-packed with sodium because a diet saturated with sodium can lead to increased blood pressure, which in turn can lead to increased risk of heart problems.