Singer-Songwriter Amana Melomé On How She Manages to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle and Stay Grounded While Navigating the Industry.
(Amana Melome by Myra Vides)
I’d describe myself as an artist, singer-songwriter, global nomad, dreamer, health-nut, foodie and an overall (I like to think) joyous soul! For months out of the year I find myself on the go for my music career. Sometimes I’m on tour, other times I’m writing or recording. Maintaining a natural, healthy lifestyle and making sure I stay grounded in the midst of it all, is absolutely essential!
In my mind, the key ingredients for a great life are: good health (nutritious unprocessed foods, water, fitness), along with inner peace and JOY as a consequence of love (for another, for self, for what you do), and an attitude of gratitude. I don’t think there is any one wrong or right way of checking off any of the boxes on the list, each person will have their own path to each, but I can share with you how I go about it.
Often during interviews I am asked what my secrets are for my glowing skin. The interviewer’s bubble is always burst when I reply “I have none — just the good stuff I put IN my body — and using the most natural products I can find on my skin.” Eating clean, unprocessed foods (organic if possible), and staying hydrated keeps my engine running. My immune system is strong and my stress levels are low.
My morning starts with a “thank you” to the universe as my feet touch the floor, followed by a large cup of warm water. I try to get cups of warm water in me throughout the day, and organic coconut water is a favorite!
I’m allergic to dairy, and wheat products. I have known this now for many years, after doing an intricate food allergy test with our wonderful family doctor.
Nowadays I follow what would be considered a (loose) Paleo diet. Notice I say loose — because I feel that being TOO strict with anything removes the joy — and food is definitely my friend! haha! I simply pick and chose my cheats — rarely and wisely. They have to be worth my allergic reaction, which causes me to have flu-like symptoms. Often I’ll pack food from home in tupperware or zip locks (which take less space) for travel on planes, trains, or long hauls in the car. I also keep finger foods aka easy to grab things like sliced up apples, pears, carrots or fennel, rotisserie chicken legs or turkey slices, boiled eggs and nuts on hand. Lots of nuts and seeds! Almonds, pistachios, hazel nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. Exploring the local market has actually become one of my favorite activities when on tour in other countries, it gives you a chance to unplug from (what can sometimes be) a stressful or chaotic touring environment. It’s a wonderful way to take in some of the culture, smells, sights, sounds and flavors in one swoop, which often ignites songwriting inspiration!
When I was performing in Bahia, Brazil I remember falling in love with the market, the colors, the people, the sounds and the abundance of veggies and fruits I had never seen like the cashew apple!
I also love collecting pure oils from different places too (often from markets), and blending up my own concoctions of natural body and hair oils when I get home. The one I’m using now is a mixture of (organic) coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, sweet almond oil, argan oil, shea butter, and a few essential oils for fragrance. In a crunch (i.e.. lost luggage while traveling) I prefer to use any pure oil on my skin and hair instead of a chemical-loaded brand name cream. Coconut oil when possible, olive oil is also fantastic (though a little less fantastic smelling lol). My skin loves both!
This brings me to another small thing that helps keep me grounded: making a ritual of everyday routines — taking the time to take care of myself. Rubbing my oils into my skin. Taking a moment to check in with myself in the mirror. Taking a few minutes to connect with my breath and lengthen my spine when I sit down at the desk to write. Making time in the day to be creative, and/or to connect with nature (usually a walk, hike, bike ride). Thanking the universe for my today (even when it wasn’t a wonderful day) before I fall asleep. Ultimately I create several small “meditation” moments throughout my day, instead of forcing myself to sit and meditate for a long time in one shot, which I believe would be too easily skipped or dismissed. Being playful has also become an wonderfully beneficial part of my everyday life now, often goofing around with my husband or friends, allowing spontaneity and avoiding taking myself too seriously ALL the time, which I believe is a trap we fall into very easily as we grow up.
Lastly, movement is a must, for both the body and the mind! Although I continue to sign up to the gym wherever my home-base is (currently Stockholm), I find it almost actually works against my workout intentions (mentally), because of the constant-travel. The excuse that I don’t have the weights available, or can’t go to that class I love becomes “oh well, I can’t work out” (hilarious, yes, I know!). I do love the occasional dance class, and I’m working towards making yoga part of my every day again (I travel with classes on the laptop). My feet are my favorite mode of transportation, I usually get in a walk of an hour or two, daily (unless it’s pouring rain!), even if it takes much longer from point A to point B. Biking is next in line.
It all boils down to what goes into the body, and being present and appreciating the little things and moments. The “cherry on top,” if you will, of maintaining a healthy, natural lifestyle, is feeling energetic, keeping my throat pristine, my skin glowing, and simply feeling good in my body. Boosting the immune system is another wonderful consequence, which means having less chance of getting sick, which is priceless! In this business of show, no matter what – the show must go on! Let me tell you, it is definitely not fun being on stage in front of 4,000 people at a jazz festival in Italy with a high fever, blurred vision and plugged ears (which means I can’t hear the musicians)!
Thank goodness I only had to pull that off once so far! (knock on wood!)
These are all of the bits and pieces which allow me to put forward the best version of me, vocally, physically and emotionally. I am no expert. I am learning as I go, and I believe we’re all works in progress until the day we leave this earth. May this glimpse into my lifestyle bring inspiration, or perhaps you have tips you’d like to share that may inspire me further? Open. Always. Thankful.
Wishing you good health, love and light – until next time. – Amana Melomé
About the Author
[table id=68 /]