Fuelin' Roadie
Nutrition tips for the bands playing their hearts out one town to the next!

Jan
31

Some of you may be curious as to my purpose of this blog or why I would be interested in this topic of nutrition.  I thought I’d clear the air on my intent.  Currently, I am working to complete my Masters of Science in Nutrition and my area of study is Nutrition & Musicians (graduate May 2010).  My area of employment is as a private practice dietitian, doing mostly consulting work in areas of culinary, clinical, and sports nutrition.  The information I research is science based and meant to veer away from “assumptions” and opinions, but instead focus on the empirical evidence. I am an enthusiast of music and nutrition professional (one who has a degree and has completed a 1,200 hour internship through the American Dietetic Association + passed a national board exam for dietitians).  Air cleared?

Now on to a gripe and a word of caution…

I am appalled at the amount of poor nutrition information that is available on the web geared towards musicians. I truly hope that the majority of you do not “google” nutrition topics and believe all that you read. I am in the midst of doing a major (science based/research driven) literature review and the amount of “quack” nutrition information I found made me laugh–and then cringe!  If you have a question and are curious about the validity of the information please ask me first. I am not out to sell you a magic supplement or tincture that will provide you with a laundry list of “cures” to your ailments. Although there are many out there who do wish to sell you something!  So, why the rant? Because, I have just spent 6 hours doing research and became so frustrated with the amount of nutrition advice on the web that I felt the need to send you all a message of caution.

5 Tips to Getting Solid Nutrition Information:

1. Ask yourself if they are trying to sell you a product? (particularly supplements)  Not all people selling something are “bad,” but it’s always good to be cautious.

2. What are the credentials of the person writing the article? Another word of caution, not all educated people know a lot about nutrition and may never have taken a class in nutrition.  I took 6 years of nutrition and nutrition related classes–huge difference!

3. Look to education-based website for solid information. For instance, websites ending with .edu

4. Is the information something you can easily adapt to or include in your daily habits? If it’s not practical then it may not be realistic for you.

5. Professional magazines and musical journals may have a clear message relating to nutrition and your profession; thus, I recommend sticking to these for information. When in doubt, ask!
Am I a skeptic? No, but I do take the time to critically review literature before making recommendations. If you have a nutrition-related question this is the place to ask!  As I go through my review I promise to keep you all up-to-date on the latest and greatest findings.  If you have tips or suggestions for me please let me know!

Your Nutrition Expert~

The Roadie Nutritionist

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Jan
29

After observing some roadie’s food habits I noticed that many of you enjoy sandwiches for lunch. Sandwiches can be really tasty, but they can also get old after awhile. In a previous post I mentioned ways to Power Pack Your Sandwiches.  Today, I prepared a quick & healthy lunch that took less than 10 minutes and had me back in my office in time for my next client.

Ingredients:
1 pita bread
2 Tbsp hummus (I used the Trader Joe’s Greek Style with lemon & herbs–delicious)
1/4 cup baby cilantro (you can try basil, parsley, or baby lettuce–your choice!!)
2 Tbsp 2% cheddar
1 small tomato, thinly sliced
1 box of Green Giant’s Immunity Blend Veggies

Fruit Smoothie
1 cup cherries (frozen)
1 banana
1 1/2 cups fresh limeade (I just juiced 2 limes and added water–no sugar)

Directions:
Prepare sandwich–heat bread, top with cheese on one side, spread hummus on opposite side.  Stack with herbs and tomatoes.  Serve (2 minutes). Throw your fruit in a blender and mix for 2 minutes.
Microwave your veggie bag–4 minutes

Lunch does not have to be so boring on a bus nor revolve around turkey or ham!  Add some fresh herbs and sliced vegetables to create an “immunity boosting”  lunch!

Enjoy~

The Roadie Nutritionist

Jan
22

Being on the road all the time can make it tough to get a good workout in or for that matter a workout at all. There are though ways to still have a quality workout even while stuck on a tour bus. To get a good workout in while still on the road you will need a few toys. Here is a list of items you can use to stock your on the road gym:

1)    The TRX is a great 2lb suspension-training device that you can literally take anywhere and use for training. TRX uses the forces of gravity and your own body weight to help you build strength and chisel out your body. You can find out more about the TRX at http://www.fitnessanywhere.com.

2)    Resistance Bands are lightweight bands that come in different resistant strengths. You can use one at a time or double them up for greater resistance. They come in different colors yellow (easiest resistance), green, red, blue, black (greatest resistance).

3)    Jump Rope. The bus has to stop some time.

4)    Physio Ball can easily be inflated and deflated for whenever you want to use it.

5)    A mat if you don’t like lying on the bare ground.

6)    A Yoga or Pilates dvd/book is not only great for flexibility and core strength, but also can be a challenging workout.

Throw your new gym equipment in a gym bag and get ready to stay in shape and relieve some stress while on the road.

Michelle, CSCS

The Roadie Trainer

Jan
21

The Randy Rogers Band & Cross Canadian Ragweed are rolling into Colorado today.  First stop, Colorado Springs, then Denver, and finishing up 3 1/2 weeks of travel in Ft. Collins.  Three and a half weeks on the road can take it’s toll on your body, throat, and energy. The best way to ward off fatigue and fight the flu (beyond use of Tamiflu) is through food & hydration.  So here are my finishing food picks in Colorado.

Cowboy’s in Colorado Springs (PS–the link on the RRB website is wrong so use this one instead)

They don’t have much at the venue that is not fried, battered, and dipped.  Their idea of healthy looks like cottage cheese and a garden salad.  Fried food can really create an environment for gastric reflux, which ultimately can lead to sore throats–never a good thing for a performer!  My picks:

Garden salad and a ham or turkey sandwich

Grilled chicken plate with a salad

Friday night at the Grizzly Rose

I love how they refer to this as a “Grill” when in reality it resembles fair food! You got it–more fried food! The only thing I see grilled would (should) be the Chicken skewers and some of the salads.

Perhaps I should call the chef Willy Callahan and have a chat about some new grilled items for the menu.

Saturday night in Ft. Collins at the Aggie Theater

There is not any food at this venue, but a close walking distance is Jay’s Bistro. 135 W Oak St, Fort Collins, CO 80524

My picks: grilled fish tacos, ahi salad,Bouillabaisse, Ahi Tuna Poke, Turkey Arugula Sandwich, and the Santa Fe Salad.

I know at times you may think that I am a “Food Nazi” or anti all fried foods, but rest assured I too like the taste of grease.  Your performance depends on your health, as does mine; thus, choosing healthy foods more days than not can help keep you in top shape for the stage!  After the weekend it’s time for some days of rest and recuperation!


Eat to perform instead of performing to eat!

The Roadie Nutritionist

Jan
20

The logo reads, “never fried. never baked.”  Nope, Popchips are popped–like popcorn.  I got a box of these in the mail yesterday to sample, and I decided that I had to share it with the roadies, especially since I just popped off a list of snacks to you yesterday. So, add these to the list!  Popchips come in your favorite chip flavors, which mine is Sea Salt & Vinegar.  The bags are generally ~100kcals/bag which beats out the 180-240kcals per bag for traditional chips.

If you would like a sample box to try out let me know and I will try to get you one!

Enjoy the Pop~

The Roadie Nutritionst

Jan
19

Let’s start with a game…

True or False………….All health foods taste like cardboard.

True or False………….Healthy foods are more expensive.

True or False………….There’s not enough storage space on a tour bus to keep healthy foods.

True or False………….Healthy snacks require a lot of preparation.

True or False………….Anything “Organic” or “Natural” = healthy.

Alright, enough with the quiz–the answers are all FALSE!  Here’s why:

  1. Some of the easiest snack foods are fresh fruit, peel and eat!
  2. If you play your cards right and avoid a lot of the prepackaged foods healthy foods can be quite inexpensive.
  3. Yes, I realize space is limited on a bus, but if you have space for giant bottles of Tito’s vodka then you have space for healthy snacks! If you buy big bags of foods I suggest transferring them into smaller bags to reduce the size. Plus, bags of food generally have a lot of air (big surprise) in them.
  4. If you despise the idea of “preparing” food then opt for foods that have already been chopped, shredded, or divided into bite size pieces.
  5. Don’t assume that just because something that is organic or “natural” is healthier than those that aren’t. While getting together some snacks for the Randy Rogers Band I compared labels of the Ruffles brand baked chips and an organic brand, the ingredients in the Ruffles brand chips were healthier and lacked MSG (monosodium glutamate).  I bought the guys the Ruffles brand instead, and saved an additional $1.57.

Are you interested in healthy snack foods? Here’s the Roadie Nutritionist’s Top Picks:

Fresh Fruits:

  • Bananas–generally a favorite amongst many Americans, easy to eat
  • Clementines–usually do not have seeds, peel easily, and great source of Vitamin C
  • Limes–great addition to your favorite spirits
  • Apples–can stay a long time in the refrigerator, high in fiber, and pair well with caramel dip for a quick sweet-tooth fix

Fresh Vegetables

  • Mini Cucumbers–very few seeds, the peels are not tough, and they taste great in hummus
  • Broccoli florets–easy to dip in just about anything and great with cheese
  • Baby carrots–perfect snacking size and another favorite pairing of hummus
  • Red bell peppers–make a great base for nachos (no chips needed). Easy to dip, too

Cheeses

  • Kraft’s brand of 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar slices are my favorite. Each slice can be bent into fours and enjoyed with a triscuit and a slice of apple
  • Kraft’s 2% reduced fat string cheese–childhood memories! These are great on the go or for a late night snack

Packaged Foods

  • Blue Diamonds 100Kcal Snack Packs–nuts have their place in the healthy snack food category, but a standard bag of almonds can easily have over 1000 (yes, thousand) calories, so do yourself a favor and try these small snack packs out first to get familiar with portion sizes. Once you know you’ll think twice next time you start to polish of a large bag of nuts.
  • Triscuits (Hint of Salt)–your bus has probably had it’s fair share of processed foods; thus, cutting back a little on the salt can be beneficial!  You won’t miss it with these!
  • Baked Ruffles–a slight difference from the “real” thing, like no oil on your fingers. They taste great!
  • Caramel Dip Snack Packs–One individual package has about 200 calories, but it makes for a great dessert when coupled with an apple!
  • Hummus–perfect dip for some of you favorite vegetables

Bars–often these can be more of a meal replacement (high in calories), so be aware of that. Always drink plenty of water when you eat them, and when you can choose whole foods over a bar.  They can have their place in a healthy diet.

Beverages

  • V-8 Mini Cans–perfect way to get your vegetables in quickly!  Also, pair well with Tito’s Vodka to fix your hangover! Squeeze a little lime for some added Vitamin C.
  • Sparkling Water (the kind without sugars or sugar substitutes)–if you get sick of drinking plain water or you really enjoy Diet Sprite then consider this as an alternative. Again, tastes great with Vodka and a squeeze of lime! 😉

So, how much did I spend on the above?  $42.84…definitely won’t break your wallet and will surely save you some unnecessary calories and equip your bus with some healthier late night snack options! I found all of these at Albertson’s Grocery Store.  Do I think these are the ONLY snack foods that are healthy?  No, of course not, but it’s what I picked up today.

PS–Stay away from the candy drawer!  Better yet, turn the candy drawer into a fruit drawer…just sayin’!

Happy Snacking~

The Roadie Nutritionist

Jan
18

Bread….check.

Meat….check.

Condiments…check.

Meal…really?

Yes, sandwiches really are a quick & easy food to eat. The great things about sandwiches are that they can be quickly transformed into a tasty treat or can be enjoyed in their finest simplicity. If sandwiches are a main meal on your bus this post is with you in mind!  Let’s add a little more flavor to your meat–and nutrition!

  1. Add roasted red bell pepper slices
  2. Use fresh spinach in place of lettuce
  3. Skip the mayo & stick with mustard
  4. If you must have cheese try the 2% reduced fat sharp cheddar (passes my culinary taste buds!)
  5. Use a high fiber bread (>3 grams of fiber per slice–read the nutrition label to be sure it’s per slice)
  6. Consider hummus in place of mayo
  7. Like a little crunch? Add in grated carrots or sliced almonds to the sandwich
  8. Sliced avocados provide the creaminess of mayo with more nutrients and healthier fats
  9. Fresh basil adds an Italian flare to any sandwich with loads of nutrients
  10. Raw onions may not be great on your breath, but do have phytochemicals that are heart protecting that have been show to lower blood pressure and possibly lowering cholesterol.

Can the sandwiches be a healthy main meal?  Absolutely, but think about some of these tips to help create a more balanced meal.  Sandwiches are great for the bus due to the fact that they take little thought and easily can be assembled while moving :). Remember to pair the sandwich with satisfying side dishes that also promote energy on stage and you will be moving in the right direction!

Happy Eating!

The Roadie Nutritionist

Jan
15

The holidays are gone and 2010 is here. Time to get into shape! Monday, right?  Nope–don’t wait! Everyone always waits for a Monday and then turn around and end it on Tuesday. Your schedules are busy enough; thus, don’t look to your first day “off”  to start either.

Why? That’s easy–stamina!  Pure and simple! You can take that in any direction you’d like to take it, but the simple truth is the healthier you eat, the fitter you are, the better your stamina will be–on & off stage!

How? Glad you asked. There are numerous ways to approach this. You could 1) tidy up your diet or 2) increase your activity (aka workout). So, which is it? Which would you prefer to tackle? A little of both is the best bet for quicker results.

Here are some Roadie Tips to get you started:

  • Add a vegetable to your breakfast. See previous posts on breakfasts for tips on ways to incorporate the green stuff.
  • Find ways to cut out regular calories, such as cream in coffee or regular Coke. Opt for fat free half & half and diet sodas. Do you use regular mayo? Choose light or skip it all together and slather on the mustard.
  • Make your bus a jungle gym. Figure out ways to do a workout on the bus! Whether you are driving or at a stop you can make it work.  Pull up bars can easily fit in between bunks or work your triceps by doing dips.
  • Sprints. Stopping for 10-15 minutes? Use that time to do interval sprints to work heart and lungs.
  • Choose iApplication to help calculate your calories or help you pick healthier restaurants along the way.
  • Lastly, if you’re stumped about how to get started then ASK ME!  That’s why I am here…

Be realistic and reasonable about setting and achieving your goals. If you need help, seek out someone to hold you accountable! Challenge your band to compete against one another and put money on it!

Happy & Healthy Eating~

The Roadie Nutritionist

Jan
14

Growing up with Taco Cabana around the corner from my house meant that I never really felt the craze for Taco Bell. Although, I do have good friends in Texas who love their late-night Taco Bell runs! Now, Taco Bell is tackling the same “weight-loss” theme as Subway.  Yesterday’s news is Jared, and today’s news is Christine.  Check out this link on the drive through diet.

I sit on a fence regarding this topic. The truth of the matter is most Americans now eat out regularly.  Should we?  Well, if you are on a bus traveling from one city to another I guess eating out seems to be an easy option.  The only option, no, but easy!  So this begs the question, “Can I eat out healthfully?”  Yes, you can.

Fast food restaurants are beginning to realize that people are becoming alarmingly aware of the hidden fats and calories in their favorite fast food treats; thus, they are working to make their menus more appealing to the “healthier” people out there.  So if you want to trim some calories at your favorite fast food restaurant here are 5 easy things to remember:

  1. Plan ahead. If you have the chance to get online and check out www.CalorieKing.com do it. This website gives you the nutrition facts of numerous fast food establishments. Type in your restaurant in the food search box and you will get a list of menu items. Click your favorite, but be sure to have a seat first so the shock does not knock you on your butt!
  2. Hold the sauce. Yes the sauce adds unnecessary calories and is often ladened with mayo.
  3. Share the fries. Fried foods will always add an unhealthy dose of calories to your entree, so if you must have them share them! You can easily shave off 300 to 500 calories depending on the size!
  4. Let go of the liquid calories. Opt for a diet beverage, unsweetened tea (great mixed with diet lemonade), or be adventurous and just get water! Fountain drinks go down easy—right to your gut and inflate that tire, so skip it when you can!
  5. Opt for a vegetable! Vegetables have very little calories (until you adulterate them with dressing or cheese sauces), and add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your diet. If you are a regular at the drive thru, then opt for the vegetable option 9 times out of 10 to save your heart and love handles.

Can you lose weight while eating out?  Yes, the trick is to cut back your calories.  Starving yourself will not enhance your performance, and eating healthier foods can!  Getting sick on tour can really create a setback for your band. If you want to ward off the flu choose healthier foods, drink plenty of water, and get some rest!

Randy Rogers, I hope you feel better soon! I’m telling you my secret–ginger slices with lemon and rosemary!  It’s my secret brew that keeps me happy & healthy when everyone around me is getting ill!

The Roadie Nutritionist

Jan
12

It’s time to purge and get the system reset for the New Year!  Yes, it’s already 2010!!  After a week of hard partying (some much harder than others) it’s time to cleanse with vegetables. Vegetables are your body’s main source of vitamins and minerals and are far more superior than juices and concoctions that sell for $20 an ounce :).  Don’t waste your money or your time!

Do you have a microwave on your bus? If so, opt for this healthy egg dish:

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup spinach (raw)
  • 1 tsp butter or olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • whole grain English muffin
  • 1 slice of ham or canadian bacon

Directions:

In a microwave safe dish (like a Pyrex measuring cup), whisk your egg with butter (or oil).  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Add in your spinach, and microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Meanwhile, toast your English muffin.  Assemble like a sandwich and enjoy!

Spinach is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber,  Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper, Manganese, and Amino Acids (PROTEIN–believe it!) So next time grab a handful of spinach and toss it into your eggs, smoothies, and in spaghetti sauce.