Every so often I get a message that gets me all choked up.
A while back I got an email from a listener named Denny Hemingson thanking me for helping him restore his health and drop 46 pounds eating The Wild Diet packed with delicious foods like bacon and eggs, butter, coffee, and even Alyson’s coffee cake!
This is where the internet can lead to meaningful “real life” relationships.
That message kicked off a series of adventures with Denny, the guitarist and bandleader of the Tim McGraw Band! This throwback episode celebrates the release of our new collaboration, an album of original music called Swamp Thing.
In this show, you’ll learn:
- How Denny lost 46 pounds while on tour with Tim McGraw
- Quick tricks to eat clean on the road
- How to get a high-intensity workout in a parking lot
- How to reduce anxiety and stress with meditation
- And much more…
Plus, if you listen in ‘til the end, you’ll hear us jam in one of the songs from the new album. Don’t miss it.
When you host a podcast, you just never know who’s out there listening—and last week I got a tweet from Bob Harper, the new host of The Biggest Loser!
— Bob Harper (@MyTrainerBob) October 11, 2015
How was that bone broth, Bob? I’ll send you my recipe so you can make it yourself next time!
Now on to the show with Denny.
DENNY HEMINGSON: HOW TO STAY LEAN ON THE ROAD
Abel: We recently hung out in Austin when the Tim McGraw Band came through on tour. We ate delicious Wild food, rocked out on guitar, and then Alyson and I went to the your concert at the speedway. I was seriously impressed by the pure physicality and stamina of your band throughout the show.
You guys have a powerful energy on stage. Aside from fresh, real food, what are you doing to give yourself that kind of vitality?
Exercise. We have really gotten into working out as a band and I also work out at home by myself. At home that means lifting heavy weights and sprinting.
Abel: Why don’t you catch people up who may not have heard your last appearance on Fat-Burning Man. These things that you’ve done to lose 46 pounds have been kind of slap-in-face simple things. What are they?
I did what you talk about. But I used to do what a lot of people do—the low-fat thing, running and adding more and more miles. I loved running, but what I loved was more the mental aspect of it, a chance to get out and away from people and stress. But I got a lot of running injuries and I wasn’t really dropping weight, even when I’d run more miles. Plus I was eating what everyone, including my doctor, told me to eat.
Abel: You do heavy lifts now as opposed to jogging. Tell everyone about “the prison yard” workout.
We’ve got a couple sledge hammers and a giant tire—we’ll either flip it on end or beat it with hammers. We have heavy chains we’ll swing around our heads, kettlebells, and Bosu balls. The most recent addition is a sled you can load some weights on and we pull it.
Abel: It’s fun and simple. You’re lifting heavy and swinging sledgehammers – it gets you pumped up before the show. I’ve been reading your updates from the road, and as soon as anyone meets you, you can tell you’re zen and calm and have everything together. I think that has a lot to do with the fact that meditation is a big part of your life.
You meditate outside, with the dog, in hotel rooms… Can you talk about diet and getting back in touch with the vitality of your body as opposed to just going out and jogging? What’s the mental game there?Once you clean up the diet and have some success, you start looking for the next piece of the puzzle. Click To Tweet
It’s about stress management. On the road with all the travel, schedules changes and crazy stuff happening, it can be kind of stressful.
Meditating can be really helpful. It helps me sleep better at night—which is always a challenge because a lot of times we’re sleeping on the bus.
Meditation is a really simple thing. I prefer to do it lying down and I try to deep breathe and not think about anything.
Abel: Do you use apps?
Sometimes I use a guided meditation that tells you to relax your head and neck, etc.
Abel: There’s some great ones out there. I use one called Calm.
Yes, that’s a great one.
Abel: …and “Simply Being.” I’m not a huge fan of that woman’s voice, but…
I remember years ago my wife and I had a cassette tape or something of this guy helping you fall asleep at night. I’m sure he was a great guy- his name was Bob Griswald. Then I made this weird face and said his name, which put this image in my wife’s head of some strange guy named Bob Griswald. Then we had to stop using it.
Abel: Binaural beats allow your brain to get to a more relaxed state relatively quickly. They have specific modes and background music you can use to get yourself into different states – like focus, sleep, and deep relaxation.
If you’re on a plane where it’s super loud, where you can ‘t think straight because there’s so many sounds and words and languages, it can be really taxing on your body. Noise canceling headphones are a solid good tool for those situations.
What else do you do on the road?
I go for long walks. It’s exercise and meditative. If I can find some woods or a trail or something, I’ll do that a lot. When I was on tour, I was out looking for the only piece of grass in Vegas. I found it, but apparently it was owned by Wells Fargo or something and I got kicked off!
Abel: Finding that land is about grounding and PEMF’s (pulse electromagnetic fields). Basically when you’re flying around at 30,000 feet, it’s really easy to get out of balance. Science is all over the place on this, but anecdotal evidence says that every time you go off of a plane or from an unnatural environment, putting your feet directly on the ground (whether that’s the beach or grass) de-stresses you and helps you sleep and feel better.
It’s something I do all the time. Explain to people what happens when you put your feet in the ground after you haven’t for a while.
I feel more relaxed. We were in New York City doing the Daily Show, a couple of us went for a walk in Central Park. It was about five miles and by the end of it, my legs were tired. We found a piece of grass and we all took our shoes off and walked across the grass and by the time I got to the other side, I was totally refreshed.
“We are afraid of going barefoot on the ground these days, but it really does connect you to something.” -Abel James
Abel: Your tour bus food supply is stacks the deck so you can focus on eating the right things. Walk us through. You get on the bus, you pull open drawers and look on counters, what do you see?
Kate is kind of our dressing room and bus mom who makes sure we get what we need. We have some ruby red grapefruit, avocados, kimchi in the fridge, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, nut butters, lamb and dried berry protein bars, dark chocolate, and always fresh coffee.
I asked for some Brazil nuts and they brought back this gigantic bag that cost like 50 bucks, so we have a good stock of Brazil nuts.
When we head out, the bus actually starts at Whole Foods. We can stock up there get on the bus and drive to the gig. From there, Kate helps us stock up when we run out of things.
Abel: It’s not just nuts and berries. The fiddle player’s whole family is into eating brains and organs… The Wild Diet is spreading beyond just the band.
My wife is really getting into it. We started a garden and we eat salad out of our garden every night. The more people you come into contact with who see that you’re feeling good and it’s making you healthy, they get interested.
Abel: You got into fasting and feasting! Why does intermittent fasting works well for you.I like intermittent fasting on the road because it’s hard to find food that you want to eat. Click To Tweet
It’s so much easier not to eat. I guess it has something to do with becoming efficient at burning fat. I’m not hungry when i do that– unless I eat in the morning, and then I’m in for the day.
“I usually eat a big dinner after an all-day fast. It’s a lot, but not as much as if I’d eaten three meals that day.”
Abel: You’re honoring your own circadian rhythm – eating a bunch of carbs in the morning when cortisol is up can lead to fat storage. So saving the carbs for dinner works well for most of us.
It’s interesting doing this with Alyson because our rhythms aren’t always the same. I usually eat nothing until the late afternoon when I’ll have a green smoothie. She might eat lunch earlier. But the thing is you have to get real food down before you can get into the fasting. You couldn’t have fasted in the first couple of weeks, right?
Once you’re burning fat for fuel and feeling good then you can try it. And coffee is good. If I drink a fatty coffee in the morning, I’m good to go. On the road, I usually don’t eat anything until around 5:00pm. And I workout fasted with plenty of energy!
“Once you make the shift, working out fasted is a lot better than working out on a stomach full of food.”
I’m just rocking along pretty even.I’m not forcing myself to fast. I just do it because it feels good. -Denny Hemingson Click To Tweet
I do it on the road because it’s convenient. When I’m home, sometimes I’ll eat breakfast or lunch.
Abel: I think you guys are a tremendous example for everyone out there. And what you do is common sense stuff. You told me once that your motto was, “Plan ahead, then do the best you can.”
Sometimes you get stuck in a place and there’s just nothing around you’d want to eat. But you can always pick something that sort of fits. It might not be organic or grass-fed, but if you’re not doing it all the time it’s okay.
Abel: You’re the one in control of all of this. When you realize that you’re driving your body and its health through lifestyle choices—what you’re eating, how you’re sleeping– you can make little adjustments and start to turn that dial.
Since I’ve been eating this way, if I eat something I don’t usually eat anymore, I feel it. The desire isn’t really there as much as it used to be.
When I’m at home, I strive for 100% organic produce, pastured and free-range meats, etc. because I know when I head out on the road I can’t control everything and someone’s going to serve me something cooked in soybean oil or something.
Abel: What’s up next for you and the band?
You can check out everything coming up at www.TimMcGraw.com.
BEFORE YOU GO…
Most of you know that I’m also a musician—and when I went to Nashville, Denny and I recorded a whole album of original music. That album is called Swamp Thing, and it’s hot off the press!
We wanted to capture blues and rock music at its peak with fat vocals, swampy grooves, and a honking horn section. When we got in that room, something magical happened– we made a kick-butt album because we were having so much fun!
The musicians I had the honor to work with on the album include:
- Denny Hemingson, the lead guitarist, who has been nominated for The Academy of Country Music Award for steel guitarist of the year.
- David Santos, the bassist, who toured with Billy Joel, Elton John, John Fogerty and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
- Wendy Moten, the backup vocalists, has recorded with Eric Clapton, Kenny Rogers, Alice Cooper and Buddy Guy.
- And more…
If you want to hear the Fat-Burning Man jamming on guitar, blasting his sax and even clarinet, head to www.swampthingmusic.com.
Order your copy of my just-released Swamp Thing album and also get a free copy of my bestselling eBook “The Musical Brain” and my video presentation on “How to Upgrade your Brain with Music.” This will be available for a limited time only—so grab yours now!
Head to www.swampthingmusic.com to get all the goods!
I sent the album out to a few folks to get their take. Here’s what Mark Sisson has to say about Swamp Thing:
“The new album frickin’ destroys. If Sawyer Brown and Leon Russell had a love child, it would sound something like that. Then throw in some Credence, a little Little Feet and a dash of Steely Dan. Point being, it’s not derivative. This blatantly steals from everyone and in a unique way, so you get away with it. Crisp and raspy, clean and nasty—what are you doing podcasting man?”
If you listen to the songs on my new album, you’ll hear the story of how I quit my job and drove around the country in a vegetable oil powered Mercedes, and the love song I wrote for Alyson.
If you buy today I’ll send you my free e-book about how to upgrade your brain with music.
Grab it today and get all the bonuses—and drop a line and let us know what you think!