Hey Drummer friends, juicing fans… and guitarists?As always, I hope this blog finds you well and you've had a great positive start to the year.
When Rhythm editor Chris Barnes got in touch with me (late 2012) asking if I'd be interested in being featured in Rhythm magazine in an article about my new-found love for the health benefits of juicing (and trying to find a healthier way) I was both flattered and shocked (I mean, I can't remember the last time I saw a feature in a drum magazine on people drinking green liquid…).
I of course said YES … and 12 months later, here we are TODAY - one magazine feature and a year's worth (18) 'Juicing and Healthy Tips' blogs for us all to digest.
With the start of a fresh new year, it seems a 'healthy move' for me to pursue other outlets for my juicy sharings… so with a mutual hand shake and "group hug" this will be my final online blog for Rhythm.
BIG thanks to Rhythm's Chris Barnes and Chris Burke for offering me the stage and support and the drummer's who've kindly shared their health-related journeys with you too…
Kenny Aronoff, Zachary Alford, Paul Kodish, Cherisse Osei, John Jenkins, Rich Redmond, Steven Wolf, Emily Dolan Davies, Barry Van Zyl and Ben Stone.
A Website will SOON be online for a place for me to continue "the stage" Rhythm has offered and will include recipes, blogs, newsletter, health-related events and community cleanses.
To be notified when this is online, please email email@example.com.
Lastly, thank you (and YOU!) for taking the time to read these blogs and I sincerely hope they have been of some interest and inspiration to you.
To go out with a BANG and a great finale, I have a heavyweight drummer/health-fan to share his journey with you…
We first met at London's Wembley stadium (at Capital FM's Summer Time Ball 2012 show) and I've since kept an eye on his powerhouse-grooves menu and health-conscious setlist!
His CV reads like a 'who's who' from the pop/rock world –
Nena, Steve Morse Band, Pitbull, Nicole Scherzinger, Billy Joel, Joan Osborne, Blood Sweat and Tears, Deep Purple, Bernie Worrell, Hiram Bullock – but, the gig that has elevated him and his 'phat stadium pocket' around the world (and back), is with Spanish-American singer-songwriter, Enrique Iglesias.
He was born in New Jersey, USA and moved to New York City (Manhattan) for the music biz and lived there from 1986-2007, then moved back to NJ after having kids.Friends, please welcome…
Van's Steps for health and high energy
"So, a problem I ran into was that I made a list of personal goals and that list included a variety of things including things I want to do with and for my kids, places I need to see, financial goals, physical goals, musical goals and of course career goals. After looking at this list and being so inspired by it I realized that in order to pull it off I would need and abundance of energy and fuel to pull off even half of it. The problem was that at the beginning of this period of inspiration I didn't have the kind of energy I needed. The first eye-opening event happened by accident. I was asked to write and record a album in Mallorca, Spain with the German pop star Nena with some other members of her band. The location was so remote that she had to hire a chief or we'd be spending most our days driving to eat. Nena being a life-long vegetarian asked if we would mind going 'veggie' for the three weeks and we all agreed (reluctantly). At the time I was just starting to get in shape for my first triathlon and the setting of Mallorca was the perfect place to train in the morning before we started working. While I missed the taste of meat I started noticing a drastic improvement and increase in my energy whether it was swimming, biking, running or drumming.
"I thought it was the climate or some other factors but after the CD was finished I kept on switching to a week with meat/week with no meat (but continuing some fish) and for me, there was no comparison. I still felt great eating fish, but the meat had to go.
"I don't preach about being a vegetarian or a pescetarian, but I would suggest trying different things to see how your body reacts. In my case, I have not had a bite of meat since 2005 – I miss the taste, but the trade off is just not worth it.
"With this being said the following is my current key to healthy and energetic living.
"In the summer I normally do two or three triathlons – either sprints, Olympics and occasionally a half-iron man (depending on how motivated I feel). This forces me to train for all three events whether I'm on tour or at home. On tour I'm bringing my bike on the bus in a bag, find open water swims (on Google maps) or just use the hotel pools and run wherever I can. Starting in late September I move my training over to P90X – again a lot of this stuff can be tricky on the road. For the P90X I use the movies on an iPod touch in my pocket since setting up a laptop in random gyms doesn't work. I search out gyms online if my hotel doesn't have the weights I need for P90X (dumbbells ranging from 10-90lbs and a pull-up bar) and generally jog there if it's a reasonable distance. As I've gotten more into P90X I've adapted it to my needs. Normally I'm doing the P90X weight days but doing some form of cardio on the days P90X would normally have one doing Kenpo (martial arts), Plyometrics (jump training) etc – but I tend to change it up so I'm not getting in a rut. What I love about P90X is that all of the muscle-building exercises are healthy and not putting too much stress on my back, knees and elbows because most of the these moves are using your own body weight, dumbbells and/or involve stretching, core and yoga based moves so I'm gaining flexibility and strength – good for an older guy like me!"
"For my needs, my diet and my training won't work with out both being in place to support each other. I eat pretty much what I want, excluding meat (I do eat fish), bread (with some exceptions) dairy aside from cheese, sugar (with some exceptions) and I eat loads of greens in every shape and form.
"My belief about diets and food in general is based a lot on noticing how other fancy diets never work for people. Anyone can force themselves to not eat a variety of unhealthy things for a month or two and loose some weight but in my eyes that's just not a realistic approach in the long term. So, what I try to achieve is something realistic in the long haul that works for my life (not just to shed 20lbs in a month, only to gain 25 back in two months!)"
"I'm not a big breakfast eater. I like to get up and get going and a heavy breakfast slows me down, so blended smoothies are my breakfast of choice in the AM (along with strong coffee).
"All the ingredients below fall into my blender at one time or another: bananas,
frozen fruit or some kind (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), vanilla unsweetened almond milk (OR coconut milk), coconut oil,
apple juice (or cider) almond butter, 1 or 2 RAW eggs (don't tell my kids or they will be pi**ed!), Vega One (vegan) protein powder."
"I love, love, love juicing… but HATE, HATE, HATE cleaning the juicer !!!
So, most of my juicing happens in catering on tour (or at a juice joint).
Van's favorite Juice combo
Carrots, apples, beets, celery
"… and then walk away from the juicer without cleaning it … ha!"
5. ENERGY SOURCES
"I get most of my energy boosters from greens or almonds:
GREENS – I eat loads of salads, a variety of pure energy greens in various forms (Inner Balance drink, Green Super Food drink OR energy bars).
RAW ALMONDS - I also have raw almonds mixed with raisins or dried blueberries or cranberries in my home studio and on tour, which keeps me satisfied from the munchies and away from the other fatty stuff like chips and fried munchies!"