What You Put In Your Body, Comes Out In Your Music
If any of you are friends with me on Facebook (and if you aren't, then why not???) you'll know that I'm as geeky about food and nutrition as I am about audio engineering, music production and DJing. So, for the first time on the blog I wanted to approach the subject of diet and nutrition, and how it can help you in the studio. Seems completely illogical to believe that what you eat can have a bearing on how your tracks sound. But bear with me for a bit and you'll see just how connected they really are.
"You Are What You Eat"
You've probably heard that statement before, and you probably think it's a cliche. But, its absolutely true. What you put into your body can be a huge influence on almost every other part of your being.
So, if the food you eat can affect such things as your state of mind, energy levels, clarity of thought, stamina and overall sense of well being, it must follow that it would have an influence on the quality of the music you produce, and your performance in the DJ booth, right?
Absolutely. And I'm first hand proof.
I've always been physically fit. I've ran all my life, played sport, worked out, went to the gym, and always had enough energy to get through those all night sessions in the studio and at clubs down to a naturally high metabolism and an almost cyborg - like ability to just keep going.
I'm very fortunate. Not everyone is like me. But even I started to notice changes as time went on.
It's my birthday at the end of the month (buy me a card :), I'll be 34. When I turned 31 I thought I was healthy, buying all the 'low fat' and 'low calorie' foods that are pushed on you on TV and in the supermarket. I thought my diet was healthy. So why was I feeling tired all the time? Bloated? Sluggish? Depressed?
Creatively, I was also pretty much 'dead inside', and didn't produce anything of any quality in the whole of 2011.
Be Honest With Yourself
Basically my so-called 'healthy' diet was to blame, with far too many processed foods, sugar, chemicals and not enough nutrients from nature. It turns out, when you are very honest with yourself, and take responsibility for your life and your choices, the truth is very different to the lie you sell yourself every day.The only problem was it was starting to affect my health.
So, I did exactly what I always do when presented with a problem to solve: I researched, and I experimented. I read countless web articles, watched countless documentaries, books on nutrition, and came to the conclusion that things needed to change.
So I attempted a Lemon Detox / fast for a week at the beginning of 2012, where you substitute solid food for water, herbal tea and a syrup, lemon and cayenne pepper mixture. I could not believe the difference I felt even with just a week's experimenting with a healthier lifestyle.
After the detox, I felt sharper, my thoughts were more clear, I had an incredible amount of energy, and my creativity absolutely went through the roof. I felt less stressed, happier in myself. More positive.
All I knew is that I wanted it to continue. For the last 2 years, I have not eaten any meat besides fish, eliminated all dairy from my diet, embraced vegetables and juicing as a lifestyle. Every time I made a small change, I felt better, and kept going.
As my diet improved, so did the quality of what I could do in the studio. I could work longer hours easier, the quality of work increased, the clarity of thinking increased, leading to more efficient workflow, and better end results for both my clients and myself.
Don't Believe Me? There are others...
These guys are legends of the Electronic Music / DJ world. All of them have embraced healthier lifestyles as a result of their schedule, travel commitments and understanding that their creativity is their career. Now, all of these examples are of vegans.
I'm not saying you should go vegan. I'm saying that it can't do any harm to experiment and find out what works for you.
DJ Q-Bert: Yep, one of the greatest scratch DJs of all time believes that experimenting and paying more attention to his diet has helped him achieve the level of mastery in his chosen art form.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KCxGT-vdWg Q bert
Chris Liebing: One of the world's foremost techno DJs credits his incredible stamina and touring schedule to adopting a plant based diet.
We saw that you have just done something like 55 hours of flying 5 days, what do you do to try and stay healthy when touring?! Before a tour like that, like for example my recent Australia tour, with four cities in three days and 55 hours of flight time, I try to have enough sleep, and sometimes a sleeping pill on a flight can help. I eat light, I am a vegan, which helps very, very much and I can only recommend everyone to try the vegan lifestyle. Sleep and food and exercise, those are kind of the key factors to take care of leading a healthy lifestyle.
Tommy Four Seven: Another member of the CLR Crew, Tommy also follows a lifestyle defined by a plant - based food approach:
What do you do to try and stay in balance? Any tips & secrets you would like to share with us night folks? I've found eating a vegan diet and running during the week helps balance the crazy weekends.
Still not convinced a more conscious food intake could work wonders for you? Well, read this (click on image)...
This book covers everything from the physics and theory I have recently written about, to leading a lifestyle in order to do your best work.
...and watch this: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
I recently watched this again to re-affirm why I have made the changes I have, and it was a brilliant kick up the arse, which we all need. I'm not perfect, I slip up, I lapse, but the important thing to realise is that you can also learn, take responsibility and get yourself on the path towards knowing what works for you.
You won't know what truly works for you until you try some small changes to your lifestyle.
Want to make your best tracks ever? Start in the kitchen...
If you'd like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact me, either here or on Facebook. I'm extremely passionate about this, and also about helping people, so if you feel the need to reach out and ask for some advice if you're thinking about making your first steps, please do not hesitate!