Welcome to another Music Monday! In each installment, I’ll be bringing you a different artist talking about how they stay healthy on the road. This series is part of a larger project I am working on in conjunction with the nonprofit, WhyHunger, which works to fight hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment. If you have the time, take a look at their site, and please feel free to share this with your social networks, especially with your music-loving friends!
Today I have Boston-based artist Ariel Rubin talking about how her healthy upbringing has helped her live well no matter where she is.
Growing up in a health-conscious home with fresh, natural food as the center of daily meals has helped Ariel Rubin of Ariel and the Undertow stick to a healthy routine even on the road.
“I was raised by parents who grow their own organic food and tend to cook from scratch rather than eat out, so living and eating healthy is something I was raised with rather than learned at a later age. I can see how this has given me a big advantage in life when it comes to understanding how the food I eat affects my body, energy and physical abilities and also the confidence to cook for myself and my own family.”
She adds, “I never grew up with an aversion to many foods because vegetables meant fresh peas, carrots or greens straight from the garden and these were as sweet and delicious as most candy. I also learned to be excited for the seasons, because each summer month had it’s own set of fruit that would come ripe – strawberries, then raspberries, then plums and peaches, finally apples and pears. It made all these foods feel special and particularly delicious.”
Seeing a direct relationship between health habits and performance and stamina, Rubin makes healthy living a priority when traveling. When asked about her last tour, she says, “I traveled with a magic bullet portable blender and lots of fruit, green powder and other fresh ingredients in a cooler. Each day I would make at least one green smoothie to make sure I was still eating fresh, nutrient filled food.” She would visit local grocery or health food stores and farmers’ markets to stock up on smoothie ingredients and other basics: “snacks, dried fruit and nuts, coconut water, etc….” Some of her go-to items are Larabars, dried fruit, nuts, bags of apples, carrots, and hopped up veggies and hummus.
“A lot depends on where you are,” Rubin explains, “but most places seem to have a Trader Joe’s or a natural foods market if you stake it out. I’m a big Yelp fan—I would look up juice bars and vegetarian restaurants. I’m not a vegetarian, but these places tend to have more healthy options.”
“When worse came to worst,” she added, she could usually rely on smoothies from Starbucks or Subway sandwiches. “Subway, while not the best but they’re consistent and you can get a lot of veggies, a policy of keeping things fresh, you can get a lot of veggies on one sandwich.”
Something she tends to avoid when performing and recording, however, is alcohol.” Musicians are offered booze as part of compensation, but I don’t generally drink much while on tour. I find maintaining my voice for nightly shows challenging enough without adding alcohol to it, so lived off of hot water with lemon and honey most of the tour. Not so exciting, but allowed me to maintain!”
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