By Carol Crenna
The same passion that Bryan Adams evokes in his music inspires his entire life. At 53, Bryan Adams isn’t your average rock star with creative pursuits that run the gamut from photographing the Queen for a stamp to creating TSN’s hockey theme song to launching a stylish European magazine and his own store. And he still manages to tour the globe as a musician. I asked Bryan some direct questions about how he manages to stay healthy, with his time commitments and travelling demands.
CAROL: I’m told that you are a very conscientious eater. What does that mean exactly?
BRYAN ADAMS: I am a vegetarian. In other words, I don’t eat any kind of animal, fish or poultry. I also avoid products like gelatin and any animal stocks in soups and sauces. I do, however, eat a little bit of vegetarian cheese. That means it’s made without rennet.
CAROL: How long have you been vegetarian?
BRYAN ADAMS: I’ve been eating like this since 1988.
CAROL: Are your reasons for becoming vegetarian health ones or ethical ones?
BRYAN ADAMS: I love animals so I don’t eat them! Plus, I was really feeling badly before, and my skin felt and looked awful. And then I read a book called Fit For Life by Harvey Diamond, and it changed my life forever, for the better. I eat much more fresh fruit and vegetables now.
CAROL: How do you get your protein?
BRYAN ADAMS: The age old question. I don’t think about it. I think many people worry about protein and it’s not needed. Have you ever met anyone with a protein deficiency? I haven’t. I always smirk to myself when someone says, “I need some protein”. I say, “Nonsense” to that. What you probably need is simply to eat something healthy!
CAROL: It is true that most people eat too much protein. I think that some vegetarians do eat too little, though. So, how do you manage the stress of your busy career?
BRYAN ADAMS: I love my job for a start. In fact, I love my life so much that I fill every waking hour with creative things to do. I’m built a house for my mother, I score music for feature films, and I’m about to release two albums of new music. I tour ten days a month somewhere in the world. I started a magazine in Berlin called ZOO. I shot a book of photos of American women for Calvin Klein with proceeds going toward breast cancer research. I completed an exhibition of photos of Canadian women for Flare Magazine… and it was all fuelled by fruit and vegetables!!
CAROL: Do you eat lots of raw food?
BRYAN ADAMS: Absolutely! I start every day with fruit and fresh squeezed juice. No coffee, no toast… just fruit. I’ve been doing it for over 15 years. It’s the best way to start the day. I have a light snack about an hour later that, I’ll admit, can sometimes be the evil coffee and toast combo, but I give myself something good first.
CAROL: Do you ever “cheat”? What factors are usually associated with it when you do?
BRYAN ADAMS: When I do it is mainly out of necessity. I mean being somewhere where I can’t get a decent meal so the diet ends up slipping into pizza, chips, beer, wine, cakes, cookies, but not all at the same time, of course.
CAROL: How often do you eat at restaurants? Do you order right off the menu?
BRYAN ADAMS: I like to eat at real Italian restaurants. Properly prepared Italian food is hard to beat for us veggies. If I’m there (in Italy), it’s right off the menu. I should add that I don’t eat vinegar, so I always replace that with lemon or lime juice. So, at a restaurant, I order a salad with a dressing of olive oil and lemon, and suggest that half and half is the best combo.
CAROL: Food intolerances to wheat, corn, dairy and alcohol can have an effect on nasal passages and voice. Do you notice that your voice ever sounds differently or your breathing is different when you’ve eaten something questionable?
BRYAN ADAMS: Probably. I’ve never had my intolerances checked, but I’m sure I’m intolerant to something. Most people are without knowing it. Dairy products are something I avoid like the plague if I’m singing, and definitely NO alcohol! That is the voice killer.
CAROL: What type of physical exercise do you do?
BRYAN ADAMS: I like to swim and I dabble in a little yoga ─ No I don’t! I don’t do anything other than run around all day and night, going here and there. The most activity I get physically is from touring and gigging on stage. That is a sweat out.
CAROL: How much sleep do you get each night? Do you take naps during the day?
BRYAN ADAMS: If I’m lucky, I’ll get seven hours a night. But more often than not it’s six. Then I have a cat nap, or “power snooze” as I like to call it, and it can last for a minute or 15 minutes depending on where I am, and if I’ve been disturbed!
CAROL: If there was one thing that you would like to improve upon in your lifestyle to become even healthier, what would it be?
BRYAN ADAMS: All of it! I’m constantly trying to improve my lifestyle to give myself more energy to do all of the things I want to do. Unfortunately, I know I can’t do everything, no matter how hard I try. But being a veggie is a marvelous way of life, and by far the greatest gift I have ever given myself.
CAROL: Where do you now live, or at least call “your base”? Out of everywhere in the world, why have you chosen this special spot?
BRYAN ADAMS: I live in London since it’s the best place for music and art. It is central to the rest of the world, and I love living near Europe. It’s a buzz to hop on the train and go to Paris for the weekend. It’s amazing to head down to Milan for the day, only two hours away.
CAROL: Your well known passion, besides music, is photography. What other pastime brings you joy?
BRYAN ADAMS: Holidays! Take me somewhere warm, and bring a few friends. Let’s go to the sea for a swim and then have lunch. Sound good?
CAROL: Sure! What do you find is the most inspiring aspect of your career right now?
BRYAN ADAMS: The part I’m most anxious to do right now is put together the soundtrack for a new film. It’s so exciting.
CAROL: Thanks Bryan. And may you enjoy the best of health.
BRYAN ADAMS: Cool Carol! Go veggie!
Original article written by Carol Crenna, featured in VISTA Magazine