Hello busy singers out there! Do you often find yourself getting crappy meals at your gigs or not knowing at what time you’ll be served food? What about preparing ahead and be safe? As singers, our whole body is our instrument, so we have to be conscious of the quality and quantity of what goes into our system.
What usually happens is that I wake up very early in the morning to teach at the gym and I spend there an average of 8 hours a day, for then getting home at around 3pm, have a nap, and get ready for my evening performance (that, when I am not teaching singing from home or when I am not going to my local gym to do my own workout). So with little time to eat, and with ‘who-knows-what-is-in-that” food types in supermarkets/delis/cafés, the best option is to prepare my meals at home 2-3 days in advance every night (you can also freeze it and then defrost it but I prefer to keep it as fresh as possible). This is a great way too to count your macronutrients (i.e. Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats) and make sure you get the right amount of energy needed for your daily activities. You can’t go wrong! There are a few pros and cons, though.
- You don’t need to worry about the shop/venue/bar not having what you feel like having
- It saves you money (quite a lot)
- You have all your needs met for the day inside those plastic containers.
- Peace of mind knowing you’re eating exactly the quantities you require.
- You will eat mostly cold or microwaved food all the time 😦
- You can’t add certain foods such as eggs until the last minute in case they go off
- You can’t mix food that’s meant to be eaten cold (avocado) with food that’s meant to be eaten warm (seabass)
- You can’t improvise or have a second serving
At the moment I am having 3 main meals and 2 small meals per day, including balanced quantities of:
- Protein: fish, turkey, chicken, beef, low fat dairy, beans, egg whites, whey…
- Slow Release Carbohydrates: oats, brown rice, quinoa, rye crackers/bread, sweet potato…
- Green Veggies: broccoli, kale, courgettes, asparagus, green beans, green pepper, lettuce, celery, cucumber…
On the 4th meal I substitute Carbs for 50g of a sweet vegetable (tomato, carrot, beetroot, red pepper, yellow pepper…) and 50g of a healthy fat (avocado, olive oil, nuts, nut butter…)
Also once a week I add some refeed to my usual meals, that means some extra carbs a day just to keep sane! – that might mean a couple of slices of pizza, a piece of dark chocolate, a slice of a creamy cake, a white bread bun or something of that sort. (Tip: I get my hot chocolate from the local café: half a scoop of organic cocoa powder with 1/4 soya/almond milk and 3/4 hot water – yes, I also ask for this at Costa Coffee, Caffé Nero and Starbucks if there’s no option!)
I just make sure that I won’t eat anything one hour before singing, and if I do, it will not contain any diary, pulses, strong condiments, etc. [Pre-Singing Foods]. Remember never to sing with an empty stomach but also don’t sing with your stomach full!
Water and teas are my only fluid intake (also homemade soup from time to time).
Cooking in large batches takes me around 1 1/2h and I prepare ahead for 3 days, usually at night. Also, since there’s no slow cooking or sauces/gravies involved, and the food is either boiled, grilled or raw, it’s even quicker (and healthier!). The simpler the better.
Make some time to prepare the fuels for your body, if you are balanced everything else around you will also be! Happy prepping 🙂