Tristan Prettyman is a bonafide rockstar: She’s jammed out on multiple acclaimed records, taking her artistry to audiences around the globe. But fans are also now learning more about her similarly fierce prowess in her second equal love: Wellness.
Growing up in San Diego, she took to the waves, learning how to ride a rad swell from her father. She also started teaching herself how to play music and eventually, she was so talented even her protective parents urged her to go for her dream.
Soon, she was signed, traveling the country and recording music under Capitol Records. When her last tour wrapped, the thoughtful, funny, and soon-to-be-mom found her attention pulled more toward health and wellness, than to music. To her happy surprise, when she started exploring the field, she realized she had already snatched up tons of helpful tools along her journey. Check out what she learned about nutrition while on tour, her travel tips, and most importantly, how creativity swirls and twirls in unexpected, beautiful ways—if you let it.
SBS: How did wellness mix in with your music?
Tristan Prettyman: We were in a van traveling, and there wasn’t Whole Foods at this time 10 years ago. When we started, I’d be healthy at home, but on tour in a van with dudes… it wasn’t easy. Eventually, I didn’t want to eat a hot dog, and it was a natural progression to searching for healthier options. I noticed that on tour I’d be bloated, greasy and my pants wouldn’t fit. I didn’t feel good, and I knew the audience could tell I was uncomfortable. As Whole Foods and yoga and Pilates studios started popping up, it got better. We would start to bring a Vitamix and rice cooker. On the last tour we had it so dialed in with the tools, like an essential oil diffuser. Then, we made trips to better markets, had green juices on the riders and asked for brown rice and such. The whole band was supportive.
SBS: What changes did you see onstage?
TP: I remember very early on I was at a random café in an airport. I ordered a chicken salad, and I thought, ‘That’s not chicken.’ So I decided I’m not eating meat when I’m traveling since I don’t know where that meat comes from. So I became vegetarian on tour. After making the diet switch I had so much energy! Having a green shake in the morning and rolling into the radio without coffee and pastries made a huge difference. Being on tour is an amazing way to see the world, but it’s grueling. Your immune system is constantly being attacked. To be able to eat, clean, and exercise helps with your energy level, skin, and overall balance. All of a sudden, I had tons of energy for 4 a.m. morning news shows!
SBS: What was your wellness routine on tour? How do you maintain it while traveling so much?
TP: I found it key to exercise every day, whether it’s going out to just walk around whatever town we’re in or walking through the airport without using the moving walkways. I use the stairs everywhere. Exercise any way you can, whether at the hotel gym, with a Beachbody download, or on your own. It’s so much easier now than it was 10 years ago since we can find things online.
I love Beachbody’s PIYO, which is yoga and Pilates rolled into one. I don’t look forward to it per say, but if I want to sleep well and feel good throughout my day, I remind myself that working out makes me feel my best. I’m obsessed with my Sticky Be Socks to wear during Pilates, which I now do twice a week!
SBS: What tools do you travel with to keep your wellness routine intact?
TP: At home I have an oil diffuser by Young Living. Bringing that on the road makes it feel like home. Sometimes I think that stuff is more mental than it is actually working, but if I’m in a hotel room and I feel yucky, that makes me feel better. If it works, go for it!
I also travel with chamomile tea and magnesium, which helps with sleep and constipation, both which need some help while traveling. You can even buy magnesium in single packets.
Also, I try not to drink too much, which is hard on tour. But limiting alcohol and coffee is helpful since those 2 things can disrupt your flora and microbiome. I don’t want to get a UTI or yeast infection, and since I hate taking meds, I’d rather keep my balance from the start. Drinking a lot of water and ginger tea is helpful too.
Elderberry syrup from Sage Mountain during cold and flu season is also a must for me. I take it every day.
SBS: What do you love so much about surfing?
TP: We live in such a digital age and we are always available. We are high strung without realizing it. We never have a moment to just chill. That kind of condition didn’t exist 20 years ago but there was peer pressure and homework so surfing was the way to disconnect then. And it still is now. Nobody can reach you. You’re surfing and you’re very present. And even if you surf with a bunch of friends it’s very much with yourself. There’s something very peaceful and meditative about it. I don’t surf as much as I used to now that I have a kid, but I do surf with my dad as much as I can. I always feel better after. You leave everything behind. You leave it all on the shore.
SBS: What’s important to remember during that first surfing lesson?
TP: The great thing about surfing is you have to have a beginners mind. Be playful and be patient. Most people stand up their first time! It gets easier as you go and being a strong swimmer probably helps. Take a lesson, get a coach, and practice standing on the shore. Watch some surf movies to visualize that experience. I love Blue Crush.
SBS: What is key about creativity in your mind? What are some surprising aspects about your creative process?
TP: I did my last tour two years ago and then got pregnant. At that point my switch turned off and I wasn't very creative. I had no desire to be creative or play music. I had to surrender and at one point, someone said, ‘You are creating a life.’ That made sense to me. I thought that once I gave birth the urge would come back but it hasn’t yet. I was stressing myself out when I wasn’t being productive. I kept thinking I had to be writing. But when I was on a vacation with my husband, he asked me why I was feeling that way. He reminded me you can’t force the creativity. If you force it, people know it’s not authentic. He suggested I take a break and explore this other passion. He was right.
So I’ve taken that passion to health, wellness, and healing with foods and herbs. It’s always been fascinated with it but I hadn’t had a chance to fully explore it because I’ve been busy with my music. When my son was 6 months old I enrolled in Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and I graduated recently. That’s the flow.
SBS: Were there any helpful and standout resources along that journey?
TP: I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. It’s a quick and easy read, and it was inspiring. She explains how creativity comes from curiosity. So now I find myself following my curiosity to health coaching. I feel like music led me here and maybe this will lead me back to music in some roundabout way someday. I’m building a studio to have a space for music since I don’t have one right now. Elizabeth also talks about how creativity won’t come and smack you on the head with an amazing thought. You have to set up a space and intention, create an altar and put your attention and energy there…or it won’t come to you. That’s something I’m looking forward to.
Since I’ve started working with clients, I’m learning how to just go with it. Specifically, I love working with other moms. It’s awesome to be able to coach and be somebody’s cheerleader. I feel like it’s almost music: I’m still affecting people and hoping to bring some positivity to cheer them on. It’s just a different vessel.
SBS: What’s your approach as a coach?
TP: I like to keep it pretty simple. Being a mom, I want to make meals quickly. I try to make stuff that’s not packaged, and I try to buy the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. To start, we’re part of a CSA only 4 miles from us which is fun because we get random veggies and then I google recipes to add to my list! It’s easier than you think: Eat clean, don’t eat a lot of processed food, try not to drink a whole lot, and get exercise. Simple.
I think a lot of problems can come from people not being aware of what they’re putting into their bodies, whether it’s food, relationship or career. So, I try to bring the awareness to what we are putting in ourselves on all levels. How do we bridge the gap of where we want to be and where we are? If a client is in a stressful job and can’t lose weight, maybe we should take a look at that.
Also, IIN taught me that different things work for different people, so no one diet will fit everyone. So if you really like the Paleo diet but two things that are off the list work for you, just do it. You don’t have to be in the box. You can make the box whatever shape you want.
SBS: What have you learned about yourself since starting your new path as a coach?
TP: I didn’t realize how much time, effort, and energy I already put into wellness. I already cook, read, and research so much to discover what works best for myself. For example, I found an old recipe binder from 2002 and I had a recipe for a green shake. I was ahead of the curve! When I look back I think, wow, I’ve put a lot of energy and passion into wellness without realizing it!
1.) Let Me Love You: DJ Snake with Justin Bieber
2.) Shape of You: Ed Sheeran
3.) Moving On and Getting Over: John Mayer
4.) Surefire: John Legend
5.) Sing To You: John Splithoff
6.) Needed Me: Hannah Georgas
7.) Fuego: Juanes
8.) Sweet Life: Frank Ocean
9.) One Dance: Drake
10.) Andy Grammer: Fresh Eyes
11.) Life Goes On: Fergie (I co-wrote this song for myself a couple years ago. But Fergie ended up recording it, and she just released it as her latest single. It’s the first time I’ve had another artist record one of my songs, which is a very surreal moment for me.)
Tristan’s San Diego Favorites:
Healthy Meal: Flower Child
Splurge Meal: Rancho Valencia
Calming Activity: Yoga Tropics with Daniella DeVarney
Nightlife Activity: Movie at The Lot in La Jolla
Snack Spot: Mozy Cafe
Fitness Studio: Elevate Training in Solana Beach, or Core Studio in Palo Alto
Fitness Apparel: Lululemon pants…and of course my Sticky Be Socks for Pilates!
Tristan’s SBS Mantra: 'Be Strong' is especially helpful when I am getting my ass kicked at Pilates. When I look down at my feet, it’s like a little pep talk to push through till the end of class! Also love 'Be You'- I can get along with anyone, I like to have fun, dream big and not take life too seriously. My glass is always half full.