I learned a long time ago that your body can’t perform to its maximum potential if you’re pumping it full of inferior fuel! And sugar is on the top of my list of inferior fuels. Yet, how many people consume 2, 3, 4 or more cans of soda every day? How many drink coffee with 2, 3, 4 or more packets of sugar? And then there are all those popular “energy” drinks loaded with sugar and caffeine, which are two of the most inferior (and most addicting) substances that you could possibly consume. Oh well, I guess I’ll never get that “Red Bull” endorsement now, will I?
For as long as I can remember, I guess I have been what many people would call a health nut! Well, I am and I’m proud of it. I was actually a health nut way before being one was popular! Neither of my parents were health food nuts, so I have no idea where this healthy-eating kick came from. All I can say is that I’m happy I’m on it because, over the years, it has made my life and my drumming much, much better.
When I was growing up in the 60’s, eating healthy was hard because health foods tasted terrible! Health cereal pretty much tasted like you were eating the cardboard box they came in. Actually, the box tasted better! Why did health food taste so bad and junk food taste so good? The main reasons were sugar and chemical additives. The name-brand manufacturers added loads of sugar and chemicals to their foods to improve the taste and color (making them more appetizing) and to allow them to stay fresh for a half century or so. The problem is that loads of sugar and the addition of chemicals were very dangerous for human consumption. Where the early health food companies went wrong is that they not only removed the refined sugar and dangerous chemicals, they failed to replace the refined sugar with natural sugar and the artificial chemically produced flavor with natural flavor and natural preservatives so the average non health-nut could stand to eat it!
With all of the advancements in medicine over the years, we are still unable to halt the spread of diseases like cancer. And I know why. It’s largely due to tons of sugar and chemical additives in the foods many of us pump into our systems on a daily basis. It’s like putting junk fuel into your car. Your car will run poorly, spitting an sputtering, until it finally breaks down. The human body is an engine too, no different than your car engine and no more immune to breakdowns.
Today, most health foods taste as good or better than the junk brand equivalent. That’s a good thing because it means that more of the general public (non health-nuts) are trying to eat healthier. Today even some of the name-brand companies are getting smart and starting to produce healthier versions of their name-brand products. The word “natural” on a product package today is something that even the general public has come to realize is a good thing, although more on that a little later. It’s also a tremendous help that mainstream grocery stores (I favor Shop-Rite myself) are now beginning to carry more and more healthy foods including organic meats, vegetables, cereals, juices, etc.
So, if you want to start eating healthier what do you do? Easy. Start by simply reading the ingredient list on the label of any food before you buy it. You’ll be amazed at what garbage some manufacturers are putting into stuff that you eat every day. Take bread, for example. How can bread be bad for you? Read the ingredient list and you’ll see that most breads have chemical additives like calcium propionate, which is added as a preservative. The problem with this is that calcium propionate isn’t good for you. According to the Pesticide Action Network North America, it is listed as being slightly toxic. I don’t know about you but I would rather not eat food that is even “slightly” toxic, thank you!
A good rule of thumb to use is if you can’t pronounce the ingredient on the label, don’t buy it! You can find bread with no added chemicals and no added sugar, but it isn’t easy! Hint: read the labels on Italian and French breads, some of these are sugar and chemical free. And here’s something else that you may not realize. According to our existing labeling laws, a manufacturer is allowed to print the word NATURAL on a product that doesn’t necessarily contain all natural ingredients. How’s that for a misleading system of food labeling? If you live in the USA, you have the FDA to thank for that!
Now you may be wondering what this little health-rant of mine has to do with drumming? Well, it all goes back to my example of putting junk fuel into your car engine. Putting junk fuel into your body has the same effect. Your body will develop disease including things like arthritis, etc., and you won’t be able to perform up to your full capacity. When your health suffers, your drumming suffers. Without naming names I can tell you that we’ve lost more than one talented drummer because they spent too little time taking care of their drumming engine, the BODY!
Once you realize that the human body is nothing more than a machine that will, eventually, break down without the proper fuel you will be on the road to living a healthier lifestyle. Every facet of your life will improve including your drumming.
Luckily my wife is into healthy eating as well and when we had kids, they were raised reading product labels and staying away from caffeinated drinks, etc. And I never though much about it until my son, who is now in his first year of college, told me how surprised he was that most of hsi fellow students have no idea how to eat healthy. The things that are second nature to him are totally foreign to the vast majority of his friends and he is now helping others learn how to eat healthier. That’s when I realized that I guess we did at least one thing right when raising the kids!
I know quite a bit about getting and staying healthy and will be offering my suggestions here from time to time. Please feel free to add your take in the comment section. Whether you are for or against the healthy lifestyle, I’d love to hear from you. Inquiring minds want to know!
Thanks for visiting.
Until next time: Have fun, stay loose and I’ll see you online.