31 Flavors…

My sister Katy, heard this true story from an acquaintance  at  The John’s Robbins’ conference in Tucson…. Wow.

John Robbins told the long story of his relationship with his father, who started Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors ice cream (one for each day of the month).  You may know that John, after attending Berkeley in the late ’60’s, told his father that he would not be taking over the company; in fact, he did not want any money from the company or any inheritance having to do with it.  They didn’t speak for years.  Then, in 1984, John wrote “Diet for a New America”, which his father did not read.  By then his father had diabetes, high cholesterol, was overweight, etc.  He had the best cardiologist that his billions could buy him (in Rancho Mirage, CA).  The Dr. told him that he would take medication and they would try to keep him comfortable for the few remaining years of his life.  “There is, however, an alternative,”  and brought out a copy of “Diet for a New America” and handed it to Mr. Robbins, not realizing that it was written by his son.  “Read this and change your diet, and then you’ll have a different outcome.”  Mr. Robbins did not reveal his surprise to his doctor, whom he respected.  He went home, read it, made the dietary changes (even though his wife, John’s mother, disagreed), and lived a much better life for 20 more years!  His mother, meanwhile, got sick over time and became deaf, blind, bedridden, and survived with Alzheimer’s for 3 x longer than most people.  John was sad about that (and did not volunteer that story – someone in the audience asked about his mother, since he’d only talked of his father.)

Winter Love Soup

I have to post my favorite winter recipe. This soup (adapted from my good friend Marci Murphree),

is my favorite thing about the short, cold, dark days of winter.

Winter Love Soup (with Ground Bison, optional…:)

In a big pot with a little Olive Oil,

Brown some minced garlic, a chopped onion, chopped mushrooms, and 3-4 chopped celery stalks.

Salt, Pepper, Chili Powder, and Mrs. Dash… Sprinkle the Seasoning In!!!

Add 2 big cans of Organic Tomatoes, with the juices… chopped or whole or both.

Simmer, Season with the above seasonings…

Add 1 (or 2 if small)  frozen bag of organic mixed veggies… I like corn, green beans, peas

Simmer, and season.

Add chopped organic broccoli, some organic spinach and/or kale.

Simmer and season.

Add 1 can of organic chili beans and maybe some browned/ground bison.

Simmer and Season.

I add about a cup or 2 of water in the middle of this whole process.

Simmer for an hour or two… and indulge with a little sprinkle of parmesan on top…. my, oh my….

FUNdamental Fitness… Tyne 5!!

5 Movements on Tyne

It’s cold outside… if you can’t make it to my FUNdamental Fitness classes (MWF @ 8:15am, and Sun @ 5pm)….

Try this workout at home:
2 minutes… 3 times… a TOTAL BODY 6 minute workout!!!
I dare you…
This is a perfect FF scenario…
10 squat jumps (Sit, and Cardio Interval)
6-10 Plank/Push Twists (Push, Pull, Curl)
20 Bicycles
Do it with great awareness, strong form, and then for speed… laugh alot.

Let me know how you do!



The Energetics of Drumming.

This article was originally written for, and published by, Modern Drummer Magazine.


I offer it as a template for this Drum Journal… enjoy!

 We tap on things incessantly, and we don’t know why. We grind our teeth to the rhythms in our head, and don’t know why. We are pulled to the music, and move to it, but we usually only move our hands and shift our feet…wanting to be a part of it…and don’t know why. Everyone has a heart beat. We are all made of rhythm, but drummers are unique. We are called to manifest this heartbeat, and then, like a “glass against a wall” we connect this beat with the Earth’s pulse. We are a ground wire, so to speak, that bridges nature’s rhythm to the outside world (This is not to say that other musicians don’t feel this primal pulse, but they were not called to be the anchor point). The drums have been a tribal healing instrument for thousands of years and gurus, healers, and teachers have used the vibrations of the drum to energetically align the body to heal. This is heavy! When called to drum, we are asked to physically, and energetically, ground the music. This doesn’t mean that the drummer is perfect, or always right, when it comes to rhythm and feel…but it does mean that we have been uniquely asked to keep our minds open, our ears open, and our hearts open, in order to more clearly “tune in to nature’s pulse”. (If you are driving a car, it doesn’t make you the best driver in the car, but you are the one selected to be the most aware, the most responsible and have the best view of the road).
I like to think that we have been given this honor to play drums, (by whatever force turned you on to it in the first place), and with this responsibility, it is vital for drummers to treat the calling with respect. Hopefully these words of advice will remind you and guide you toward a more spiritually energetic place.
1.Do your homework.
Whether practicing for a lesson, preparing for a gig, or researching a book, homework means the same thing…set a goal and do the work to get there. The point is not to let anything get in the way of being in the moment, when it is time to play. By having the foundation under us, we are able to free our mind. I can recall gigs when I did not memorize the songs, and used charts. I was a step away from fully feeling those songs, and distracted from interacting with my fellow musicians. Even cheat sheets can take your mind into the “thinking zone”.
2. Be physically prepared.
Our bodies take a lot of abuse, as drummers. We lift heavy gear, we set up and tear down, and we hit things for hours. All the while we are expecting to stay nimble, fast, relaxed and strong. What body builder do you know that can run a marathon? Well, we chose it, so it is our job to maintain our bodies to the best of our ability. This means getting enough water (at least half a gallon a day), eating well (3 meals a day with protein, fat and carbs in balance…see The Zone by Barry Sears, for specifics), and stretching, toning and relaxing our bodies. As energetic ground wires, the better shape we are in, the more pure the channel becomes.
3. Be thankful.
It is easy, in this industry, to whine. We work hard, or we don’t work. There is rarely a steady paycheck, no retirement, and no paid vacation. It is a tough ladder to climb, and even tougher, to enjoy the climb. But, we were given a gift, and we must be thankful. It is an unwritten, spiritual law…and it changes everything. I had just gotten off the road opening for Faith Hill. We toured strong for a couple of years, and it was time for me to make a change. A few months later, I found myself in a lounge bar, playing “muzak” for six people who didn’t even know we were there. I had a miserable attitude, and asked the bass player how he managed to not go crazy. (He is a successful, well-known player). He said, “I am a professional musician. No matter what the job entails, I must look on it as a challenge and a gift that I am playing, making money, and making music. Gigs come and go. They are good and bad. All you have is your attitude about the gig to take home with you. Treasure your gift in all situations, and it will always be there for you”. This is priceless information that I have used countless times since. Be thankful.
We are drummers, for whatever reason. We are on a path of healing and sharing. Doctors use x-rays and labs as their tools for healing…we use rhythm. We are conduits of the primal pulse, and it is our responsibility to respect this gift, and honor our place in the muse.
In the articles to come, I will address specific ways that drummers on-road, and off-road, can enhance their physical, mental and spiritual energy, and I will be talking to pros about their philosophy on playing, and how they keep “it” alive. Using my background in fitness and health, I will describe ways to eat, drink, play, and work, that will make it easier to be the best drummer you can be.

FUNdamental Fitness… What is it?

Human DNA hasn’t really changed much since we chased our food, tore it apart, ate, stretched and rested.
FF classes use this principle… intervals, strength, yoga… core-based balance and power… in a condensed
workout that will challenge your body without overusing it.
The concept came from studying aerobic exercise, 5 movement strength training (using groups of muscles, rather
than 1 or 2 targeted muscles), anaerobic interval training/recovery, functional fitness, and yoga.
… and then I watched how kids move… naturally, in spurts, with curiosity and passion… balancing and twisting…
I wrote about this format in my book… FUNdamental Fitness: Playground Exercises for Grownups….
and I use it in my classes and with my personal training clients.
FF is challenging, muscle-confusion, inspired by great music, joyous, sweaty, and as hard or as easy as you need that moment.
Come try a class, or contact me for personal training.
More to come on this blog as I post weekly workout blasts!!! Stay tuned!

My Univera Cocktail…

My Univera Cocktail

Mornings are not my very best time… I love to wake up without an alarm…
But I stay up too late!!!! My musician lifestyle keeps me powered-up until
midnight, during the week… and later on the weekends… so the 6/7am workouts
are a challenge. (A challenge that I LOVE and am so grateful for, btw…)
So… I don’t do coffee… never have… I might someday….:)
But I DO do… my Univera cocktail… my mouth waters just thinking about it…:)
2 ounces of Essentials
1 ounce of Xtra
2 ounces of Aloe
It nourishes me, energizes my body and mind, and clears the morning fog.
If you haven’t tried these products… well… let’s just say that I will be on them
for the rest of my life… check out my website for more info… or contact me!

Me and John Wayne…the movie!

Me and John Wayne!!!! A Surfy, Sexy, Swingin’, Groovy Trio….

We played over a year ago now, at the French Quarter, to a large, happy, toasting crowd… and we had FUN!

And then came the Nashville Flood… and John’s studio was in trauma, and hence his livelihood… so the band was on the

way back burner… of course. John’s up and running now, but has decided to not to return to the band… BUT we are back in the

rehearsal studio with a fabulous new bass player… Bobby Durham…. Do we change the name? The sound will still be groovy…

I’ll let you know when/where we play… To be continued!!!