The Consumption Diaries: Do Rockstars Really Die Young? 

To burn brightly for a brief, incandescent moment (before falling from the sky) is a glorious rock and roll cliché : it is better, after all, to be a Cobain or a Curtis, rather than a Reed or a Jagger. Or is it? We're pretty sure the majority of intense young musicians—even the hyper-romantic, high-drama ones—wouldn't mind seeing their thirtieth birthday. So, in the interests of science, we asked three local rock and rollists to submit a consumption diary of a single weekend; we then asked certified holistic health coach Maryrose Mondiello (UrbanHoneyHealth.com) to take a look at these diaries and weigh in the long-term health prospects of the subjects. Here's what she found...




rockstar consumption diary a

NICK FROM KEEPAWAY


Nick_625.jpg

Saturday

10am I get up and make eggs. I love going out to brunch with friends, watching the people being bleary over coffee and piles of bacon, but I make way better eggs at home for a thousand times less money. This morning I scramble them and lay them on some spinach and toast.

+ eggs are an excellent source of protein and a wonderful breakfast food. a breakfast high in protein ensures that you won't get hungry for a few hours. it's a great way to start the day.
[+2 years]

11am We have a Keepaway business meeting, so I get together with the boys at the coffee shop. I drink tea. Mike and Frank drink coffee. Mike eats a big cinnamon bun that's all crusty with white icing. I have a bite. We have a lot to talk about because we just raised a ton of money to make our next record. Coffee is a good thing to consume when you're getting into your ideas. I know this even though I'm drinking tea right now (they say Voltaire drank 70 cups of coffee a day).

+ tea is good for you—very soothing in these cold months. coffee is also good, in moderation. caffeine is a stimulant useful when times call for heightened awareness and creativity, but bothersome when relaxation is needed.
[in moderation, +1 year]

- cinnamon buns can be left behind: it is best to outright avoid refined sugar and flour. then again, you only live once, so remember to enjoy every delicious bite of your life.
[-3 years]

2pm I drink some water and lie down for a while.

+ it is recommended to drink half your weight in ounces of water per day (e.g. a 180-lb man should drink 90 ounces of water per day). much of that water can be obtained from fresh fruits and vegetables.
[+1 year]

3:30pm I have to go to work. I work at Eat, the restaurant in Greenpoint. Some people get vibed out by this place because there's no music, the walls are white, and the food is all meat-free and so local it's practically grown in your mouth. It's an amazing restaurant.

+ some people thrive on a vegan diet, but it may not be for everyone (it's a good healing diet for those with heart disease). i agree with michael pollan: "eat food. not too much. mostly plants."
[+1 year]

6pm Tonight I'm making spelt flour pasta with acorn squash, beets, black radish, and broccoli, plus rutabaga soup and a kale and daikon salad. People come in and get weird because they need some low-level Sufjan and a pile of bacon. I mean, that's cool—all I know is I'm back here scarfing radish nubbins and fondling kale, and when I finally make a plate for myself, I roll out some extra thick pasta and I consume it hard because it is good.

+ it is important to eat along with the seasons. eating root vegetables and squash during the winter months has a very soothing, grounding effect, especially in soups. kale and broccoli are part of the cruciferous family and are high in vitamin c (broccoli), vitamin a (kale), fiber and phytochemicals that help reduce the risk of cancer and inflammation in the body. spelt flour pasta is a delicious alternative to semolina (wheat) pasta for those who have gluten sensitivities.
[+3 years]

10pm Headed home. I'm pretty sure readers want to consume stories of excessive consumption. I consider my role therein.

10:30pm I consume a shower. I consume some pre-game green tea. I call my friend to make sure her birthday party is still tonight. It is.

11:30pm You know, pretty much the only reason I go to parties is the hope that I will meet Her. It doesn't appear that She is here tonight. I drink some beer.

+ beer has many vitamins and minerals including magnesium, selenium, folate and vitamin b6. there are studies that show that drinking one glass of an alcoholic beverage per day decreases the risk of heart attacks and cognitive decline. just don't overdo it!
[in moderation, +1 year]

11:40pm Still no sign of Her. Or anyone like Her. I drink some more beer.

11:55pm I'm talking to the birthday girl. She's standing in front of a window so I can see my reflection behind her as I consume more beer. Sometimes looking in the mirror with beer goggles on is a good way to feel cool at a party.

Sunday

12:30am The night is young. Someone arrives with more beer. I hide some behind the milk in the fridge in case She shows up and I want to impress Her with my secret beer stash.

[excessive alcohol consumption, -4 years]

12:50am Someone drank Her beer! Now She almost definitely won't show up.

1:45am I'm sitting in an easy chair, thinking again about how Voltaire's urine must've been orange. I get up and I take the milk out of the fridge and pour it all over the birthday girl. She says, "What the fuck are you doing Nick that's not funny," and I'm like, "Well it is to me because I just blasted a mountain of molly and downed a full bag of goofballs and almost ate all my money and now all I want to do is smoke weed and watch you in milk."

- drugs are generally pretty bad for you, especially when consumed in combination.
[-10 years]

11am Another morning, another breakfast of eggs.

the verdict:
while nick eats very well, excessive consumption of both alcohol and drugs can only have a negative effect in the long term. based on our analysis, nick is taking eight years off his life.
rockstar consumption diary b

CONRAD FROM TAKKA TAKKA


conrad_xmas_625.jpg

Friday
6:30pm
Kick off the weekend in style with a glass of Johnnie Walker Black, left over from my wedding in November. Sit on the couch and listen to Richard and Linda Thompson's I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight (sadly featuring a skip in the opening "When I Get To The Border"), and then Power Windows by Rush. Stare at the Christmas tree. Contemplate the holidays, and then Neil Peart. Drink more.

+alcohol in moderation [+1 year]

7:40pm Have one glass of Casa Julia white wine while visiting my in-laws and two young nieces in Cobble Hill. The wine is also wedding surplus: over a case of Casa Julia remains from the big night. Casa Julia will be a part of my life for the foreseeable future. Music: Foo Fighters, Weezer, Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots, all from in-laws' Pandora-playing iPod. Play with nieces while idly wondering what Scott Weiland is doing for the holidays.

8:10pm Shrimp chipotle enchiladas from Lobo paired with Casa Julia white wine: better on paper than in reality.

+/- shrimp is a good source of protein, iodine and calcium and low in saturated fat. enchiladas are usually heavy, full of cheese, rice, beans and other belly-aching deliciousness. a meal like this is ideal to balance the amount of alcohol about to come...
[-2 years]

9:00pm Consume two Ketel One and sodas at Littlefield while celebrating my friend Skippy's birthday. Music: various DJ'd songs, including Robyn's "Dancing On My Own," and then the entirety of Project Jenny/Project Jan's excellent set.

11:00pm One shot of face-crunching, blood-warming Underberg, one pint of Six Point Crisp Lager at Mission Dolores. Music: drowned out by Underberg-induced giggles. Shit's starting to get real.

1:00am Arrival at a friend's holiday party in Park Slope, where I'm immediately greeted by a glass of hot apple cider spiced with cheap bourbon. Music: Arcade Fire, "Dancing On My Own" by Robyn (heard for the second time this evening).

1:10am Quickly retrieve a second glass of spiked cider.

1:30am Enjoy a refreshing bottle of beer at same party. Music: "Territories" by Rush, taken from my iPhone. Greatly enjoyed by my bandmate Rene and me until the (Canadian!) host declared her hatred for Rush and stopped the song. Humbug.

- excessive alcohol consumption [-5 years]

Saturday
10:00am
Don't go to gym, as planned the night before.

- regular exercise would be great [-2 years]

11:30am Wake up to a meat and cheese spread prepared by my wife, enjoyed with my first iced coffee in months. Listen to the Richard Thompson album again. Newly irritated by the skip in my copy. Further irritated by the postponed soccer games in snowy Britain. Hangover slowly taking hold.

+/- meat and cheese, although tasty in cold months, are very high in saturated fat and cholesterol. these heavy foods may be just what are needed to help curtail the ensuing hangover. miso soup also works well.

[-2 years]

3:30pm Stroll down the street to Siggy's, where I order a fresh-squeezed juice comprised of greens, carrots, celery, and garlic, as well as a something I'd never heard of, delivered via eyedropper. Head home and sip while listening to the Met's production of Don Carlo on WQXR. Enjoy a powerful, vegetable juice-induced belch that expels the remnants of the previous night's enchiladas, with just a hint of bourbon and cider. Stare again at Christmas tree. Contemplate trees.

+ finally something green! fresh squeezed juices are delicious and nutritious but your body may crave the fiber removed in the juicing process and leave you wanting more. if given the option, choose smoothies so that you can eat the whole vegetable. it's often a more satisfying experience.

[+3 years]

6:00pm Two pints of Stella at the Brooklyn Inn, catching up with an old friend before he leaves town for the holidays. Topics of discussion include General Motors, as well as French car-makers (friend works in auto industry). Music: Blood On The Tracks, which someone seems to program into the jukebox every time I'm at the Brooklyn Inn.

+/- for many, drinks with friends are an important aspect of our social lives. too much drinking can be detrimental to your health. moderation, moderation, moderation.
[-1 year]

8:00pm Two glasses of red wine, plus brownies and cookies at a holiday party on Smith St. Deciding to switch to beer, I rummage through a cooler that sits on the floor. I take a Pacifico. Later I return for a can of Bud Light. Highlight: eating Swedish meatballs. Lowlight: hearing the Kings of Leon.

+/- red wine is very high in resveratrol, a heart healthy compound found in grape skin (also in grape juice).

- brownies and cookies, while delicious, are full of refined flour and sugar which wrecks havoc on your body and should be consumed in moderation. fatty foods help the absorption of alcohol and one may be drawn to them while drinking, especially, during the holiday season.

[-3 years]

Sunday
The previous two nights catch up with me. Poached eggs, coffee, spaghetti with Cincinnati-style Skyline Chili all happened at some point, but the day's a blur. Turn on football but stare at the Christmas tree. Contemplate a drink.

+/- foods high in fat (poached eggs), stimulants (coffee), and heavy foods & meat (spaghetti w/ chili) all help to counterbalance copious amounts of alcohol. this is your body's natural tendency towards balance.
[+1 year]

the verdict:
while he doesn't seem to be too extreme in his consumption habits, conrad finds a way to pack in the booze, and needs to eat a lot of heavy foods to counteract its effects. if he keeps missing the gym because of hangovers, he could be taking a whole decade off his life.
rockstar consumption diary c

AMY FROM TITUS ANDRONICUS


AMY_bagel-smile_625.jpg

Friday
7:00pm
It's Friday night and some people are popping pills, but I'm popping dumplings—eight of them, to be precise—and they are totally getting me high. I raise one to my lips and push it to the back of my mouth, then swallow hard. Everything goes still. The planet briefly ceases its path of rotation around the sun. Then, all at once, garlic and ginger explode in my mouth. Bang! There are bok-choy-shaped fireworks! I am nearly knocked over onto the floor of the B train. Soy sauce drips down my wrists. My eyes roll back in my head. Yes, when it comes to food, I am a junkie.

+ vegetarian dumplings are a healthy and satisfying dinner.
[+2 years]

8:00pm I've arrived at the Roseland Ballroom in Midtown, where my tour buddies, the band Free Energy, are opening for Weezer. But try as I might, I can't convince any of the army of guards to let me backstage to say hi to my friends, even though I've got this enormous, goofy sticker on my jacket that says "I work here." Eventually, I give up and retreat to the bathroom. It seems pretty posh in there, and there are some free lollipops sitting in a basket. Apparently, this is one of the other perks of an arena rock show: Candy in the restroom. Gnaw on a lollipop and plot my next move.

- lollipops are full of refined sugar, but also kinda of fun. they may give her a small burst of fleeting energy and a few minutes to feed the oral fixation.
[-1 year]

9:00pm By some stroke of luck, I've run into Free Energy's ex-tour manager wandering around near the ladies room. He escorts me backstage and I meet up with the guys. We haven't seen each other for months, and there are sweaty hugs and high fives all around. We go out into the crowd and headbang inappropriately to Weezer, who are in fine form tonight, blazing their way through all the hits. I decide that this calls for a celebration and grab a beer. On second thought, I also grab a bottle of water for purposes of hydration while dancing. Get drunk after half the beer but nevertheless soldier bravely on until the end. I have basically the same tolerance for alcohol that I have for Weezer's more recent albums—which is to say, not very much at all.

+ it's a great idea to drink water while consuming alcohol. it helps keep you hydrated and hangover-free the next day.
[+1 year]

Saturday 7:30am Why is this weekend different from all other weekends? Because, for the first time since I moved to New York, I'm actually going on vacation. No, I don't mean I'm going on tour with my band. I mean a real vacation. So, for my first, real adult vacation, I've chosen to go to Montreal—a city which New Yorkers have recently heralded as some kind of pristine, French-speaking, snow-covered, pacifist, gay-friendly foodie wonderland. Smoked meat! French fries with gravy! Government that actually makes people happy! Pregame my descent into caloric hedonism with a good, hearty breakfast: Yogurt and honey, one cup of tea.

+ yogurt and honey is a delicacy dating back to the ancient greeks. heralded as a digestive aid, the pro-biotics in yogurt paired with the sweetness of good quality honey are a fantastic way to start your day. tea included.
[+4 years]

9:30am So, I'm terrified of flying. I'm only actually taking an airplane one way, and the plane ride to Montreal is only four hours total, counting a transfer in Philadelphia, but none of this seems to matter when it comes to the state of my anxiety. Luckily, I planned ahead for this, and have brought along an Ambien.

- ambien has no nutritional value. [-2 years]

2:30pm I'm here in Montreal, at the first stop on my culinary tour. It's Schwartz's deli, the lunch spot that has been serving its world-renowned smoked beef brisket sandwich all but unchanged for the past 90 years, feeding generations of loyal customers.

Perched atop a swively seat at the old-fashioned lunchcounter, I devour a small mountain of tender, briney, peppery meat piled high up on slices of soft rye bread and laced with spicy mustard. I find myself using my fingers to raise the slick, velvety morsels to my lips. Nom nom nom. Now time for a bite of this garlicky pickle!

+/- smoked beef brisket: full of saturated fat, cholesterol and a lot of love. exploring culinary landmarks while on vacation may be as important as visiting, the downside of course is that "oh why did i do that?" feeling after the meal.
[-2 years]

8:30pm The smoked meat actually put me in a coma for most of the day and prevented me from doing any sightseeing. It's time for some corrective measures. More vegetables, Amy! Remember the food pyramid! With this in mind I head out to a vegan cafe with my boyfriend, who, I should mention, has been my traveling companion for the past twelve hours. We walk to Aux Vivres, where I order the special, a combination plate of two Indian curries (chickpeas!) with chutney, raita, brown rice, and naan bread. Top it off with a mango lassi; I'm starting to feel better.

+ great thinking to counterbalance the heavy with the vegan! although very heavy on the starch (chickpeas, brown rice, bread) and dairy (curries, raita, lassi), indian meals appeal to your senses and leave you feeling satisfied and needing a long walk.
[+2 years]

Sunday
12:00pm
A new day, a new start. My boyfriend and I are at Bagel St. Viateur, the home of the distinctly Montreal-style bagel. Boiled in a bath of hot water and honey, the golden, doughy coronae are subsequently tossed into a brick oven, where they are cooked a second time. The results are startling: A bagel so sweet it's almost a doughnut—soft on the inside, but with the crust of a perfectly cooked pizza. The other thing that makes these bagels unique is that they're really small, so you can actually eat more of them at once. They're also remarkably cheap. You can purchase six bagels for three bucks. This is what I do, along with some cream cheese.

+/- although i am not a fan of refined flour and sugar, i couldn't help myself from looking up this place for the next time i visit montreal.
[-2 years]

12:15pm My boyfriend wants to stop for a coffee at Patisserie St. Viateur, a cute little bakery down the street. I buy a tiny juice box, which makes me feel like a kid. We sit at the counter with the bag of bagels staring us down, the steam seeping delectably out of the top and carrying with it the odor of fresh bagel and honey, and so I sample the poppyseed bagel, which turns out to be even more delicious than the sesame seed bagel was fifteen minutes ago. Encouraged by this, I decide to try the cinnamon raisin bagel as well.

12:30pm Between the two of us, we have now finished all of the bagels in the bag. We go back to Bagel St. Viateur and buy another half dozen for later.

4:00pm I am at the Biodome, a sort of indoor zoo housed in what used to be Montreal's Olympic Stadium. I have seen a lot of very cute animals and have learned a little bit about conservation and endangered Canadian wildlife. I reward myself with another bagel. Oh god I love these bagels.

5:00pm I'm visiting the Insectarium, a museum of creepy bugs and butterflies. The contents of the glass cases look strangely beautiful, alluring, appealing. I consume two scarab beetles and a moth.

+ i hope this isn't true, but if it is—this meal sounds very high in protein and very low in saturated fat.
[+2 years]

6:00pm What I'm out to eat tonight is nothing short of Montreal's most artery-clogging comfort food—the greasy, crispy, soggy, cheesy mess known as poutine. For those who aren't familiar with the dish, it's basically a heap of French fries sprinkled with cheese curds and drenched in brown gravy. Unlike actual cheese, the curds don't melt, and retain their chewy texture even when heated. To the connoisseur, this slight distinction marks out the difference between true poutine and its lowbrow, American cousin, disco fries.

I eat my poutine at La Banquise, a 24-hour diner that serves 25 varieties of the stuff, ranging from poutine with three meats (whoa!) to poutine taco style, topped with guacamole. I tuck into my poutine with gusto, but soon, I have to alternate it with bites of salad. The salad becomes more and more appealing as I make my way towards the bottom of the plate of poutine, which never seems to get any closer. My final verdict? The gravy was some of the best I have ever had, but I don't think I'll eat poutine again for another twenty-five years.

+/- poutine is necessary for one to survive frigid montreal winters. seemingly the master of balance, amy's decision to include the salad harmonizes the heavy, artery-clogging poutine experience.
[-2 years]

8:00pm I'm at a bar called Bily Kun, which has candlelight flickering softly on the walls, a violin and piano duo playing melodramatic music, and a long menu of beers with foreign names I do not understand. I decide to try absinthe, which I have never tried before, in hopes of having a real adventure, perhaps one more exciting than my twin Ambien- and smoked meat-induced comas of the day before. Hey, it's vacation! What the hell!

The absinthe turns out to be a remarkably poor choice—but for reasons entirely unrelated to its alcoholic content. It turns out that the stuff not only looks creepy, but also just tastes really bad! What's a poor foodie to do? I drink an amount consistent with my usual alcohol tolerance—about five sips—then put the drink down, and give up. Little green fairies? Romantic, subversive, and probably quite hip, but really, who needs 'em. Besides, I can't stop thinking about breakfast. Maybe I'll party my own way—like a true New Yorker. Yeah, I think I'll have another bagel!

+ enjoy the bagel and enjoy the vacation. this is what life is about anyway.
[+1 year]

the verdict:
amy doesn't really seem to indulge in excessive consumption when it comes to alcohol or drugs, and even when she does so with "junk" food, she tries to balance it out with healthy eating, a tendency toward moderation that could add five years to her life.

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