Archive for the ‘NERDSTEAK – Brain Food’ Category

ID-100142619The American diet as it relates to calories has actually changed very little over the past 80 years.  There has been a switch from a high carbohydrate and animal fat diet in the past, to a high vegetable fat based, higher protein diet in more recent years.  We also have the addition of increased fiber, understanding of healthy fats, as well as an increase in raw vegetable and fruit consumption.  This shift, specifically over the last 40 years, does not proportionally match the increase in the obesity problem. So what is the cause?

Due to the breakthroughs in technology, the average calorie expenditure of individuals has DRASTICALLY decreased, especially starting in the 80’s.  A reduction in jobs requiring manual labor, new modes of transportation, and a huge increase in the tech. industry has wiped out the need for the population to get their hands dirty, focusing more on computer skills and less on physical activity, as well as the use of things like the internet, TV, and video games.  (For the record, I love the internet, TV, and video games.) This basically means that the diets of the average person has remained relatively unchanged (with a slow and steady caloric increase,) while our way of life has drastically reduced general physical activity.  In the 60’s over half of the private jobs required some kind of manual labor, but now it is less than 16%.

Although red meat still reigns supreme in the US diet over the past years, chicken consumption increased drastically since the 1970’s as did the average fruit and vegetable daily intake.  Although the vegetable and salad oil use has increased a good amount over this same time period, most likely due to the availability of fried foods and snacks, the use of butter and margarine spreads at meal times has decreased along with a huge swing from whole milk to lower fat varieties.  There has been an obvious increase in carbohydrate consumption over the years due to things like HFCS as well, but as stated before, this does not proportionately reflect the skyrocketing obesity rates. Also, the diets of previous years had a larger portion of calories coming from carb. sources like breads, pasta, white rice and potatoes.

Americans have drastically increased in eating out as opposed to cooking at home, but the options available at restaurants have shifted to healthier options, even if a good portion of consumers still do not choose them.  The American consumer also forged the path to larger portion size.  They demanded greater value and their purchasing habits reflected this, however the actually content of the food has remain steady of the years, which supports the fact that the food industry should not be directly to blame for this obesity epidemic, but the US lifestyle should.  Just like any industry, it reacts to the purchasing habits of its consumers, and the food industry is no exception. That being said, the food industry could defiantly do a better job in promoting low calorie, fresher foods.

I just want to leave you with one more interesting fact…the average person is now 33 pounds heavier then they were in the 60’s and also burn almost 200 less calories a day, which can account for almost 60% of those extra pounds.  Add just a bit more of physical activity, we can start shedding the weight.

 

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This post will not involve lining your pockets with bricks or chugging water right before your initial weigh-in.  If you are planning on doing a weight-loss challenge at work, school, gym, or just for yourself, why not try and do it right.  I will also not be talking about tricks for your final weigh-in to nudge past your competition.  That being said, here are a few points to have a successful and healthy weight-loss competition:

  • Have fun and be a team – Even though you want to destroy Sally in HR or make Steve in Accounting cry, you will not be successful unless you and your fellow participants are working together to achieve the goal for the greater good.  Some appropriate, motivating smack talk and competitive strategy is great, but if there are people lagging behind in the contest, motivating them will be beneficial for them AND for you.  Leading a weight-loss charge makes a fun and exciting challenge right through the final weigh-in and beyond.
  • Plan ahead – Do you have a big lunch meeting scheduled and feel obligated to eat? Plan ahead by reviewing the menus online to find an appropriate meal that fits within your diet restrictions.  Will you not have time to run out for lunch tomorrow?  Make sure you have a supply of healthy and readily available foods at home to bring for lunch or if you are traveling.
  • Read your food label or menu – Nutritional callouts like ‘low-fat’, ‘low-carb’, or ‘cholesterol-free’ don’t necessarily mean LOW-CALORIE.  Make sure you are eating the appropriate type of foods for whatever your dietary goals might be.  Do a little research into the ingredients used to make your choices.  Understand what a real portion size is as it relates to the ‘per serving’ ingredient and nutritional labeling.  Some choices may be better than others in some circumstances, however it might not be appropriate for YOUR diet.   For instance, olive oil has more health benefits compared to butter, however both are fats which contain about 9cal/gram, meaning they both have the same amount of calories, and if you are on a calorie restrictive diet, supplementation is not as good as reduction.
  • Keep Eating – Metabolism is a tricky thing, however if you don’t eat enough calories, your body will shut down and you will not lose any weight.  Take a look at my previous post on metabolism to understand how  it works.
  • You have time to work out – Anyone who says they have no time to workout is lying.  In the morning before work, at lunch, right after work, while traveling, with your family or co-workers are all possible as long as you plan accordingly.  When you have limited time, a quick, high intensity workout is going to separate the losers from the real-losers.
  • Weight-loss diet is temporary, weight-maintain diet is permanent – There is nothing worse than losing a whole bunch of weight, only to put it back on after the competition.  You have to remember that once you reach your weight-loss goals, your diet needs to evolve into a weight-maintain diet.  Read my previous post about the weight-maintain diet and make sure you adjust accordingly so you don’t bounce back.
  • Write it down – Keeping track of your food and beverage consumption can really put into perspective what your calorie and nutrient intake is like.  Writing down meal plans, exercise schedule, or list of appropriate foods for your diet allows you to stay on track without losing focus on your goals.
What are some of your tips for a successful weigh-loss challenge???

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For those who are just starting out on their diet adventure, unlike what most personal trainers and nutritionist say , your restrictive diet and exercise plan is only temporary! Too often, people do not adjust their plans after achieving their goals.  After you have shed those unwanted pounds or even start to see the outlines of what almost could be a six-pack, you have to adjust your eating habits and exercise schedule for your next goal.

I recommend that starting out (assuming you are in the weight/fat loss stage,) you consume a low fat/lower calorie volumetric diet as well as an exercise plan based around using your fat stores as energy.  You will want to eat a lot of low calorie but nutritionally dense foods to keep you full and energized (chicken, lean fish, vegetables, whole grains…) along with more frequent, smaller meals.  You will want an exercise regiment consisting of 30 to 45 minute activities followed by a small intake of calories.  If you like to spend a lot of time at the gym, make sure you are still consuming calories every 30 to 45 minutes which will keep your body using some of your stored fat along with the protein/carbs you are consuming (see my previous metabolism post.)

The wonderful part about this plan is when you do finally hit your target goal…lets say you lose the 30 pounds of fat you didn’t want, you can now switch your diet to more of a weight maintain version of your previous plan.  Along with adding back some of the fat you removed, you can now be a bit more lenient overall and increase some of your portion sizes.  At this point you will also be increasing the difficultly of your workout (same routine but faster paced or increased weight and reps).  This ALSO means that you will have more muscle mass, and will be burning more calories, which ALSO means you can eat more calories throughout the day and still maintain your current weight!

This applies to both men and women.  Women do not have to be bulky to increase there muscle mass and benefit from this type of diet plan.  I feel that this system overall help with those fluctuating dieters who try to stick to a super intensive plan only to fall off the wagon and have to start over again.  This plan rewards you by allowing you to eat more food as time goes on.  It also stresses more of the exercise portion to be the buffer when you feel like a sunday afternoon BBQ feast.

Do you have any tips or trick for anyone looking to follow this type of diet/exercise plan?

Here are a few key items that can upgrade your cooking skills from amateur to PRO status:

•Mandoline – You can slice, dice, and even make french fries.  If you think a chef is spending time slicing that radish paper thin for your salad, you are mistaken.  If you need to get a perfect dice, or baton even, start with a mandoline slice, then finish with a chefs knife.  Need to sliced potatoes for a gratin…the mandoline is your best bet.

•Blender – I want to make an ‘xyz’ puree…BLENDER.  I want to whip up a vinaigrette or mayonnaise from scratch…BLENDER.  I feel like a pistachio cilantro pesto on my salmon…BLENDER.  I love cream of broccoli soup…BLENDER…blender.

Stand Mixer – No matter what brand you prefer, you can whip, blend, fold, kneed, grind and stuff all with the same piece of equipment. Multi-tasking at its finest, in some case you can set it…AAANNNDDD?

Ice – Being a master with something as simple as ice can make your ingredient prep. pro level.  In a fast, high volume restaurant, do you think they are always cooking your risotto or pasta from raw product to order?  Do you think every batch of sauce is cooked and held hot? Nothing helps with speed, and quality control than cooking and cooling food items in an ice bath.  Perfect for vegetables when wanting to keep a bright green color with a tender mouthfeel.  Holding foods hot changes its color, flavor, and appearance.  Cooling hot foods fast to refrigerated temperatures is also a food safety bonus!

Silpat – The most non-sticky bulletproof pan liner you can find.  It will hold up to high over temperatures, melted sugar and will keep coming back for more.  Baked goods don’t stand a chance, and neither does anything else for that matter.

•Strainer/cheese cloth combo – A chinois is also acceptable, but if you ever wondered how a chefs sauce or soup is nice and smooth with no lumps or grittiness, its because the strain out the bad stuff.  Is your gravy or cheese sauce a little to chunky?  Toss it into a strainer with a few layers of cheese cloth and save the day.

What are some of your favorite cooking tools that make you feel pro???

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Here is another list of fancy food terms explained so you can impress your foodie friends…

A LA CARTE – The fancy version of this is a menu broken down into separate parts so you can order whatever you want for your meal, as opposed to all together…for us normal folks, just think of it as a ‘dollar menu’ for expensive stuff.

MINCED – Just cut any food item to heck and back…basically minced.  One step above pulverized with a laser.

CANAPEAS – Think of a Ritz cracker with a piece of cheese on it.  Now change the cracker to a slice of artisan bread, and change the toppings to a red onion marmalade, torched Bree, and crispy lardons.  Can-of-peas.

CARAMELIZED – A fancy way to say, ‘I almost done burnt it.’

NAPPE – Confirming your sauce is thick enough by its ability to coat the back of a spoon.  You don’t want paste, and you don’t want water.  Nappe is that sauce sweet spot.

APERITIF – Pre-gaming to get the mouth party started.

UMAMI – If you taste meat-like-flavor in something without having the confirmation of actual meat being present, verbally state you get a strong ‘umami’ profile from the dish.

AU JUS – The natural juice of whatever food item you just cooked.  If you cook a shoe and juice comes out, you can serve it with shoe au jus. Don’t cook a shoe. Gesundheit.

CONFIT – Cooking a food items in its own fat. If you cook a shoe its own fat, you can serve shoe confit.  F.Y.I. shoes don’t have fat unless your foot is in it, but that wouldn’t be shoe fat…it would be you fat.

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I like to eat, and I like to be full!

This weight reducing diet is what helped me lose a good portion of the weight I have dropped over the last few years.  This diet is not for everyone, and has some conflicting theories to traditional diet plans.  I personally feel that this weight loss diet is a good way to learn about caloric density of food, to train yourself to eat more meals throughout the day, and is the perfect supplement for those of us who can eat like it’s our job. (For some of us..it is our job)

Basically, this diet plan involves being able to eat larger volumes of food, as long as the food has very low caloric density.  To put this into perspective, place a 100 calorie slice of pizza next to 100 calories worth of celery, and you will see the difference.  Again, in my opinion, I like the idea of eating food until I am full, not eating a specific amount of calories per meal.  However, you will have to do work upfront to understand which foods will fit into a low caloric density category:

  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Lean meats and seafood
  • Broth based soups and sauces
  • Fruits with high water content

High caloric density foods would be items like:

  • Fats, oils, butters
  • Nuts
  • Candy and soda
  • White flour or high starch based foods

This diet also promotes relatively high fiber content which can slow down how fast your body absorbs calories.  Brown rice, whole grains, and certain fruits will allow you to stay full longer, which makes timing your meals much easier.  Any doctor or nutritionist will tell you that a diet lower in fat and calories with an increase of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and whole grain is a winning combination.

There are of course a few tidbits of info I am going to bring up which have helped me along the way that everyone might not agree with.

  • First of all, SALT CONTAINS NO CALORIES! You can argue all day long, but salt itself has negligible caloric density, and since you will be eating a low fat diet (fat being flavor) I recommend using salt to compensate for this. Yes, salt with increase your water weight, but that is not FAT and can be flushed out with physical activity. There are of course other health concerns involving a high sodium diet, but physical activity can counter act those negative effects.
  • Which brings up my second point, physical activity. Starting out, you wont be running marathons, but as time goes on you should be increasing your physical activity as you become more ‘fit’. At the same time, you can start to slowly transition from very low caloric density foods and incorporate other items like nuts, healthy fats, and caloric dense fruits. Once you build up your ability to burn calories, you can start being a little more lenient on your diet.
  • Fat is fat is fat.  Yes I know that olive oil is more ‘healthy’ than butter HOWEVER when speaking about caloric density, they are the same. Fat contains 9 calories per gram if it’s olive oil, corn oil, safflower oil, avocado oil, butter or margarin. Starting out, you will want to limit your overall fat intake. Once you increase your physical activity, you can then start incorporating these healthy fats back into your diet, as well as reducing some salt intake since fat is the greatest thing to happen to food since bacon.
  • This diet is not designed for you to drop 10 pounds in a day. You need to stick this out and try to lose 2 or so pounds a week. This is much easier to do while also being full.  This is also not the type of diet to weigh yourself every day. The good part is you get to eat a large volume of food…the not so good part is your weigh will fluctuate more day by day.
  • This diet is made to fight boredom. Many people eat for comfort, boredom, or out of habit. If thats the case, grabbing those low caloric density foods is perfect compared to grabbing that bag of chips. Loading your fridge with fresh veggies and low-calorie dressing (SALT SALT SALT) make them a convenience food as well!

There are some fundamentals of the Atkins diet that can apply here as well, but I do not believe in a carbohydrate free diet.  The nature of humans is to use fat AND carbs as energy, but choosing the right carbohydrates at the right time is key.

If you like being full, enjoy finishing your plate, not necessarily following a calorie counting diet, or are a boredom eater, this might be the diet plan for you!

Please feel free to comment with questions other useful information!

“When I was your age, we used to go outside and play!”  We have all heard this line before and it basically proves my point about why the food and beverage industry should not be at fault for the obesity problem.

Quick history lesson…potato chips were first massed produced and the first fast food restaurants were introduced in the 1920’s, 7up and Hostess Brands like Wonder sliced white bread were invented in the 30’s and  soda fountains, ice cream parlors, candy stores, and television were all rising in popularity, TV dinners and frozen pizza were introduced in the 50’s; THEN the current obesity problem didn’t start creeping in until the mid 80’s and 90’s.  So for all those years and many generations, the US consumer enjoyed prepared and manufactured foods, all was good with the world.

But now, the food and beverage community is being blacklisted for providing what is now considered unhealthy foods and the cause of the current health and obesity problem.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?  We have at least 60 years when the American consumer utilized prepared and manufactured foods in there diet without an obesity outbreak.  So what else could be the cause?

The wonderful and historical modern technology I am using to communicate this message to you is the cause in my opinion! We are texting, tweeting, facebooking, searching the internet, using smart phones, gaming, staying indoors, working at our computers, and letting technology do everything for us.  People are no longer encouraged to work outside, have jobs that involve manual labor, walk instead of drive, or exercise.

That being said, I love video-games as much the next person, and TV, movies, and the internet are utilized more than they should at my house, but I balance this with physical activity.  Everyone loves to pull information from movies like ‘Super-size Me” or discuss what is being served at schools, but have we discuss the activity level of your average person between the 30’s, the 60’s, the 90’s and now?  I have a feeling you will see a DRAMATIC drop in calorie expenditures while the calorie intake level will have a much slower, steady increase.

20% of an elite Kenyan runner’s diet consist of plain old SUGAR, an average professional athlete is consuming 3000 – 4000 calories a day, and olympic level athletes have been quoted as eating what you might call ‘junk food’ to achieve the 6000 calories needed for top performance.  Michael Phelps can sustain on a 10,000 calorie a day diet which includes: eggs, french toast, pancakes, pizza, and energy drinks, but he has the physical activity to back it up, which proves my point that it’s not what you eat, but how to use it.

Am I the only one who feels activity level is the cause of our obesity problem, and not the food?

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Here is a quick explanation on how metabolism works in regards to your diet.  Yes, many factors affect your overall metabolism (age, sex, muscle, physical activity), but this analogy will discuss why smaller meals more frequent is the way to go for successful weight loss.

  • YOU ARE A MACHINE – You are a car.  You run on fuel, and get a certain amount of miles per gallon (this is your metabolism).  Some gas is better than others, however for this explanation,  we are converting gas into general calories.  So to sum it up, the amount of miles you travel compared to how much gas you have in the car will represent how well your metabolism is working.
  • RAN OUT OF GAS – Let say you have no gas in your car.  Your car will, of course, not move.  It is a fact that when you consume little to no calories, your metabolism is inactive.  Your body will stop utilizing gas (calories) as its energy, and start breaking down the internal car parts to move.  I don’t think I have to tell you that this is bad.  Many people who are on a very calorie restrictive diet who also work out a lot will find it hard to lose weight because your body is trying to hold on to as much as it can to function normally, while using what it does’t think is important as energy. YOUR CAR WON’T MOVE WITHOUT GAS.
  • TO MUCH GAS – Your car has a gas tank that can expand and can hold WAY more gas than it needs.  You can fill it up as much as you want, and your car will work VERY hard, but your car will move SLOWLY.  All of that gas is weighing your car down and decreasing your miles per gallon.  You are producing excess exhaust and making your engine parts dirty.  Overfilling your gas tank will cause some gas to spill out and unfortunately, your car absorbs this excess weight as ‘hard to use gas’ aka…fatty fat fat.  YOU DON’T NEED ALL THAT GAS.
  • JUST RIGHT – When you fill up your gas tank just enough to get to your next destination, you win.  You have found that happy medium of the right amount of gas for the right amount of miles. When you are traveling, and you are running out of gas in this mode, you will coast to the next gas station to refuel (coasting is my way of saying fat/weight loss).  You are getting the best miles per gallon because you are not being weighed down, and you have gas to move.  Your parts are running very efficiently and your system know how to handle the waste.  For longer road trips, you can add more gas to the tank, but just enough to handle the extended distance. JUST ENOUGH GAS IS GOOD.

As stated earlier, this is in regards to your diet.  If you have a high tech car with super premium gas, you will have better performance.  Certain model cars just work better than other.  Upgrading your car parts will increase its ability to run.  Now how hard is that to understand???

Eat smaller meals more often Speed-Racer!

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ID-100167763Here are a few fancy food terms that will make you sound like a culinarian at you next kegger…

HEIRLOOM – such as ‘heirloom tomatoes’.  These are types of food items that have never been developed for large scale agriculture.  They are usually grown in small quantities in parts of the world you have never been to.  These varieties of grown food have no hybrid varieties, and utilizes natural pollination methods.  Generations after generations grow one particular variety of crop without the interference of ‘The Man’.  In other words, This is the same strain of plant, or seed that was around 75, 100, or even thousands of years.  For all you natural fans, this means no GMO’s of any kind, and due to ‘survival of the fittest’, they grow great in whatever region they are from, but have a tough time anywhere else.  Expect to pay a little more than your average variety, and if you grown them yourself, make sure you get some kind of confirmation that your seeds are actually heirloom, due to shenanigans.

ANCIENT – such as ‘ancient grains’. Very similar to heirloom, these are grains, seeds, or plant life that have been unchanged for 1000’s of years like quinoa, amaranth, spelt, Kamut, and many others.  These are very different from mass produced corn, rice, and common wheat that have been selectively developed for years for optimal growing. Ancient grains are said to be super healthy, usually containing high amounts of protein, fiber, and nutrients.  Some of these grains are still not safe for people with wheat allergies, but some are, so do your homework. You will also pay a little more for these, and they usually have a long cook time compared to what you are used to.

ARTISAN – such as ‘artisan pizza crust’.  Unfortunately, this word as no standard of identity in the food world and lost most of its meaning when the food marketing professionals of the world slapped it on everything.  Originally, it stated that a skilled food craftsman created, developed, or cooked your food item.  It means that your product is not manufactured, but made by a person, you know…with his or her own hands and the sweat on his or her brow (hopefully not dripping into your food).  Small cheese, beer, or bread makers who create things from scratch usually would call their products artisanal.  But, as stated earlier, it now just means a little better than a standard product.  There is no one to regulate this term, so use it however you like.

NOTES – such as ‘flavor notes’.  This wine has notes of late harvest elderberry and raisin yada, yada, yada.  It means it kind of taste like it has ‘XYZ’ in it.  You can use this word if you have no idea what something really tastes like, but want to put your two sense in.  Say something like, “very strange, I pick up some notes of lawn trimmings and wet dog in my PBR”.

FORCEMEAT – such as ‘uuummm forcemeat’.  Take your charcuterie terminology to the next level!  This term describes ground lean meats blended with fat and usually formed in some way.  Yes kind of like sausage.  Actually, it is exactly like sausage, and I recommend using this term as much as possible.

CRUDITES – Yeah, those platters of vegetables with ranch in the middle all packaged real nice from your grocery store…thats what crudités is.  Raw vegetables with sauce.  Classy.

GASTRONOME  – Call yourself this, because it means you like fancy food shenanigans.

What are some of your favorite food terms???

ID-100145911So you have your trailer packed like a game of Tetris with extra tubes, strings, and sticks.  You have sent your stage plot and input list to all the clubs and venues on your tour.  You strategically planned your route to consume a minimal amount of gas.  You brought enough Febreze  (a.k.a. shower in a bottle), to deodorize even the smelliest of roadies.  You have a few extra bucks to handle the flat tire, detour, bar tabs, and occasional motel stay on your epic rock & roll adventure.

OOPS!!!!

More often then not, your band did not factor in the food situation into the equation.  You can only live on budget priced fast food for so long before you become sluggish, tired, sore, and even loopy.  Unless you are filling arenas, you are most likely moving most of your own equipment, performing on hot stages while head banging and karate kicking, then packing up to do it all over again the next day.  Since you aren’t getting paid much, you save those hard earned dollars for gas, merch, and ‘other’ shinanigans.  Here are a few ideas to help you stay full, healthy, and energized to melt those faces.

BREAKFAST – First morning on tour, and you have a long drive ahead.  Time is money and you need to keep the pit stops, and money spending to a minimum.  You might be hungry but others might not be.  I recommend breakfast bars and dried fruit to start the day and here is why.  You can have a filling breakfast for less than $2.00!  You can eat when you are hungry and not have to stop to get food.  You should have bought these items ahead of time and factored it into your tour budget.  If you were smart, you would have bought something like Kashi GOLEAN Crunch bars and dried cranberries which are high in protein and fiber to repair those torn muscles and to keep you full longer.  YES FIBER!!! After a few days of having this type of breakfast, you can schedule ‘regular’ pit stops (wink wink, nudge nudge). The fruit has vitamin C in it which will be incredibly helpful when your other band members start to get sick, and your van won’t smell like fryer grease.

LUNCH – This should be one of your pit stops.  This is where I recommend eating vegetables.  Who would ever believe that you, a super hipster indie rock star would eat vegetables anyway?! First, they are nutrient dense and relatively low in calories.  This means you can pack it in and again, stay full for longer (remember, this is lunchtime so there are still plenty of miles to lose that full feeling before your show).  $3.00 6 inch subs, $4.00 fast food salads, farmers markets, truck stops…the cool thing about being in the middle of nowhere is you might actually have a little more variety in unsuspecting places.  You should have at least one of your daily meals be actual food, you know, like grown from the ground.

DINNER – This can either be before or after your show, depending on your preference.  Hopefully you worked out a deal with the venue for food of some kind.  It is more than likely going to be tasty fried bar food, BUT you planned ahead and ate good all day, so if you can eat at the club for free, then go for it.  If not, just remember it is getting late so you aren’t really going to need any more carbohydrates (plus you will be drinking you carbs anyway).  You are going to want to stay away from high fiber, and filling foods because you have a crowd to please…jumping around and moving gear while full is not a good idea.  Most bars will have one or two items that are half-way ok, chicken or turkey wraps, grilled chicken sandwich, something like that.  If you can swap out the fries for a side salad, even better.  Avoid smelly foods because your fans don’t want to talk to you with onion breath and garlic seeping from your sweaty pours.

BEDTIME SNACK – Yes, you read that correctly.  You drove 400 miles, unloaded gear, performed, loaded gear, then ran around like a fool.  You have burnt up more calories than you think.  You have lifted weights and done a cardio workout all at the same time.  Before sleeping I recommend a protein shake.  Yeah yeah yeah, weightlifters and bodybuilders drink it by the gallon, but protein after a workout is an amazing way to relieve sore, stiff muscles so you can party like a rockstar tomorrow.  Another bonus is you are drinking additional liquid, which will help you fight the impending hangover.  This might also help you shed those unwanted pounds so you slide into your skinny jeans that much easier.  You can get a ready-to-drink version for less than $2.00 each, or save even more money and buy the powder to mix yourself.

OPTIONAL – I do recommend supplementing with a multi-vitamin for the duration of your tour.  We both know that you are not going to have the most variety in your diet on tour, plus the risk of sickness.  These are not a cure all, but anything you can do to battle 5 smelly band members in close proximity to each other would be beneficial.

So lets recap…in one day you ate: a hearty breakfast bar, dried fruit, a bunch of vegetables in salad or sandwich form, free meal at the bar, beer (that still counts as calories), and a protein shake.  You are consuming calories at 5 points throughout the day which is what ‘The Man’ says is good for you (smaller meals more frequent), you are taking a multi-vitamin, and from my rough estimate, for $8.00 to $9.00 a day (much of which has been paid for up front.)  You will wake up with minimal soreness, you will regulate your pit stops, you will have food already purchased so you don’t need to worry about having money for it, and you will be cranking your amp up to 11 for the duration of the tour.  If you cannot afford food for your tour, you are not ready to tour.

Do you have any other tips for the starving artist on tour???

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