You’re walking along the aisles of your supermarket and stop upon what seems like an endless supply of bread. Without hesitation, you spot a darker loaf that reads “Made With Whole Grains and Seeds.” You skim the back label and add it to your bag. Within the same minute, you second-guess your choice for a more appealing fluffier “white” loaf but since you’ve read that fiber is “healthy,” you skip it and move on. Was your bread choice the right one? If you’ve ever felt conflicted around your food choices, then it’s time we dissect the reasons behind them.
I often stress the importance of making time in your schedule to sit back, relax, and enjoy the mindful experience of a meal. However, busy days are bound to fill our schedules, especially during the summer intensive season. It’s in these instances when meal planning becomes key to a dancer’s diet. Since intense dance schedules can leave hunger cues unnoticeable, planning meals and snacks is critical for preventing energy dips and appetite surges later in the day.
From pre-performance snacks to post-performance recovery, nutrition education is essential to a dancer’s training. But as I’ve discussed previously, dancers must juggle aspects of performance nutrition and meal planning, both of which can hover the realms of diet culture, with the goal of avoiding restrictive eating habits. To balance the importance of performance nutrition with the fundamentals of a non-diet lifestyle, we must recognize the tenth principle of intuitive eating: “gentle nutrition.”
Do you have an interest in nutrition, food, or helping others? Many dancers inquire about the road to becoming an expert in nutrition for dancers. This article will share tips for you to consider if interested in blending your passions for dance and wellness.
Dancers are artists. They’re also athletes and as a result, must actively stay ahead of their schedules in order to promote longlasting energy for hours of rehearsals and performances. From what foods you eat to how you eat throughout the day, there are several factors that can impact or impede your energy levels. Let’s discuss a few tips to ensure that you’re building a high-powered performance throughout the day.
Since dancers are at a unique risk for falling into restrictive eating styles due to the unequivocal pressures of body aesthetics, it can be tempting to use such a diagnosis as a socially acceptable means to control body weight. But if you have been diagnosed with a food intolerance, food sensitivity, or food allergy, then you’ll want to prevent your restrictions from crossing paths with disordered eating. To do so, here are 3 steps to consider while navigating your diet…
The thought of feeling “not hungry” might seem far-fetched to those familiar with a larger appetite. But hunger varies substantially from person-to-person. Missing hunger cues can happen for a number of reasons, leaving those who are trying to fuel their body confused throughout the day. If you can relate, let’s discuss a few reasons why your hunger might be M.I.A. From there, we can pinpoint a cause and work on a solution.
As a licensed dietitian and a certified coach of Intuitive Eating, calories are an important topic that I love to hate and, well, hate to love. Similar to weight loss, the discussion of calories often comes with its fair share of varying perspectives and beliefs. And because calories are a widely confusing and sometimes misguided topic, I want to cover a few common questions.
Eating “plant-based” has emerged to be a trending food topic within the past few years. Many choose to omit animal products from their diet because this way of eating is environmentally sustainable and promotes animal welfare. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, balanced vegan and vegetarian diets are able to provide health benefits at any life stage; even for athletes.
For most, bloating involves a certain level of stomach discomfort that translates into difficult decisions around food. Especially for dancers who spend most of their days moving, bloat can be a major distraction. Certain individuals, such as those with preexisting digestive conditions like irritable bowel syndrome might be more prone to bloating than the general population.
Fuel the instrument that has to physically execute your moves: your body. Getting the biggest nutritional bang for your buck (and bite) is the goal during this critical time.
Like the word “fat,” “sugar” gets a bad rep in our society. Technically, sugar is the simplest form of the macronutrient carbohydrates (AKA “carbs”). Carbs are critical for the body, fueling our brain, nervous system, red blood cells, and *most* importantly: petite allegro.
Dear Rachel, my family has decided to try the keto diet. They’ve lost weight and even feel more energized. What are your thoughts about dancers going keto?
Probiotics are the “good” guys, specifically bacteria and/or yeast, that work to keep the peace among this population microorganisms. Promising research supports the benefits of probiotics, specifically in regards to digestive health, immunity, and even mental health.
Intermittent fasting is one of the most controversial topics because technically, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re restricting calories enough to be in a calorie deficit. If you’re meeting your total nutrition needs during the “allowed” hours, then you can technically fuel your body sufficiently. There are, however, several issues that I’d like you to consider…
It’s an economical option that enables me to boost my family’s intake of veggies, lean proteins, and fibrous whole grains. Now it’s time for you to tackle this trend. Here’s my step-by-step approach to guide you towards your own #mealprep-worthy snapshot.
The mirror game. As dancers, we’ve all done it: you’re in a room, surrounded by mirrors, and with others working towards the same performance goals. How can we not compare? Looking at the dancer across the room might motivate us to work harder so, technically, isn’t it a good thing? To better utilize your time in class, I’m breaking down 5 simple steps for you to take to stop the comparison game and instead, use the mirror as your best tool for learning.
Learning how to reconnect with your innate feelings of hunger (and fullness), is an important component to a balanced lifestyle. Though not always practical, especially if you’re recovering from a history of eating disorders or simply navigating a hectic schedule, listening to your body’s mealtime cues is a critical skill. Therefore, let’s discuss 3 ways to reconnect with your innate hunger and fullness.
Amazon is surely the world’s largest online marketplace for books, clothing, and well, food! Since partnering with Whole Foods, Amazon Pantry sells a multitude of options and today, I’m sharing my top 10 favorites. The best part? Each is shelf-stable, making it a convenient option when on-the-go or between rehearsals. Stay fueled and stock your dance bag with these must-haves.
Increasing your intake of foods high in Vitamin C can help support your immune system. To keep you feeling your best, let’s discuss 3 tips for incorporating more Vitamin C into your day.
Most “Type A” dancers have something in common when it comes to his or her relationship with food. Especially for those with a sparked interest in nutrition: Type A dancers love sticking to safe foods. Often times, these are highly nutritious, plant-based, and minimally processed (like the ones I mentioned above).
Meet Kylie! I am SUPER excited to introduce you all to the newest member of the TTP team! Kylie Mignone is currently a Senior dietetics major at Bradley University. Kylie cannot wait to share her favorite recipes, tips, experiences as a dietetic student, and SO much more.
Intentions encompass habit-building steps that work into your day-to-day life. 2020 is a new decade. Let’s tackle this one together. Here are my top 3 tips to start the year with actionable intentions to reach your biggest resolutions.
From the food to the conversations, holiday meals can let off some heat (and I’m not referring to the heat of your kitchen!) Consider these 5 tips to not only build confidence around your dinner table but to also find more freedom and enjoyment throughout the season.
Since we cannot control nor prevent unsolicited criticism that may find its way along our path towards food freedom, we must configure a toolbox that helps us to navigate through while holding tight to our confidence. Utilize these sample responses as a guide for building competency around your non-diet food choices.
With at least 10-12 percent of dancers weighing below ideal body weight for health, it’s critical to take steps to reduce your risk of RED-S and thus, your risk of injury. Let’s discuss 3 important steps to consider to ensure that your body has enough energy for not only your dancing but also for your metabolic functioning.
Whether you call it “overeating” or “binge eating,” you may be familiar with the experience of eating to the point of physical discomfort. Eating past fullness can result from a variety of reasons, and before we discuss how to stop “overeating,” we should first identify why you’re “overeating.”
As a non-diet dietitian, I’m thrilled to see the anti-diet revolution driving full force down our social feeds. The health and wellness world is evolving with powerful movements like intuitive eating, food freedom, and body positivity. I want you to know, however, that I very much welcome dancers, who are looking to lose weight, into my practice. This is because weight loss can come from us working together. There’s a caveat though… let me explain.
To consistently dance and perform at your best, you need to have a working relationship with your body. Asking someone to love their body is often unrealistic (though it can be a goal!). However, a certain level of body acceptance is necessary to achieve the physical- and artistic- success required of dancers. Though it takes time, let’s discuss 5 tips to build a better body image:
Featured writer Colleen Werner explains how her journey to food- and body- healing shaped her #BoPoBallerina movement.
Learn how to dictate your portions using mindful eating techniques that help to increase your attunement to feeling fullness and satisfaction. Here are a few tips to consider.
Young dancers are especially vulnerable to messages of dieting and weight loss, given the environment in which they train. As peers, we can play a role in helping a friend, who might be struggling with disordered eating, to find support. To learn more, I sat down with Melanie Kressel, a Mental Health Therapist to discuss 4 tips to consider if you’re concerned about a friend’s eating habits.
Since we cannot control or prevent all instances of criticism, it helps to equip yourself with the tools to educate and set boundaries as needed. But how? The first step is to decide if it’s worth the energy to educate others about your lifestyle decisions.
Exercise is often a natural part of my clients’ lives. Whether it’s a class, a rehearsal, a walk (or all of the above), we’re accustomed to higher levels of physical activity. Rest on the other hand, is another story.
For some, this time of year means haunted houses, spooky movies, and fun costumes. For others who struggle with food and body image, however, October is often the start of a stressful few months. I’m sharing my top 3 tips that you can implement to build confidence during this time, rather than fear.
Rather than focusing on superfoods, let’s look at a few favorite bites that dancers can incorporate into their daily meals plans. To do this, I’m sharing my Rule of the 3 R’s.
Despite this reputation, potatoes offer an impressive nutritional resume. Potatoes pack a multitude of vitamins and minerals including phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, and B vitamins. Another benefit and perhaps the most appealing when compared to other starches are potatoes’ content of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a specific type of fiber found only in certain plant foods like legumes and grains.
In regards to Intuitive Eating, which encompasses a non-diet approach to food, I hear a misconception lingering around social media. My urge to address this stems from my hope to stop the fear mongering that is lurking around this non-diet approach to living.
Nutrition for Healthy Dancers asked three parents to share their experiences with navigating the rigid world of a child’s dance career.
There’s no doubt that at some point along your dance training, you’ve heard about supplements. If not consuming a well-rounded diet that is sufficient in both calories and nutrients, dancers are at risk for developing deficiencies.
If you’re anything like me, you ‘re constantly battling thoughts that tell you “if it’s not perfect, then it’s not worth it.” As someone with perfectionist-type tendencies, I must make an active effort to translate preconceived superhuman ideals into sustainable (and realistic) goals. Are you ready to start building sustainable habits? Here are 3 tips to tackle your all-or-nothing mindset.
For dancers, nutrition advice should come from a qualified source. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists accurately translate scientific jargon into accessible information. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are a dancer’s ideal source for meal planning and nutrition-related information. Before turning to either Google or a health coach, here are 6 reasons why you should consider a licensed professional for nutrition information.
I chose to attain additional certification as a Professional Counselor of Intuitive Eating. This enables me to help others let go of restrictive habits. Together, we navigate an all-or-nothing mindset until we find true comfort in that grey area.
A large part of learning how to eat intuitively involves raising body self-awareness. Learning how to eat intuitively also teaches us about the importance of compassionate self-care.
Simple ingredients with a not-so-simple taste. These decadent cookies are as real as it gets. No hidden nutrition agenda, no secret agent fiber additive, and absolutely no protein powder. Yup, straight from a dietitian’s kitchen to yours. It’s time we let cookies be cookies.
With gruesome schedules for training and rehearsing, dancers benefit from convenient snacks that are packed with nutrient-rich ingredients as part of a daily menu. Nutrition is critical to so many aspects of a dance including jump height, endurance, aerobic capacity, injury prevention, and weight management.
When it comes to meal prep, I often talk about balance. I stress the importance of combining each macronutrient including carbohydrates, protein, and fat. These hold several responsibilities in the body and when incorporated together into a balanced meal, they come together to enhance energy, promote satisfaction, and keep us full for longer. But let’s discuss another team player that is often left sitting on the bench: taste. Amongst the chatter in the health and wellness world, we often prioritize…
What does a dancer’s diet look like? To best address the role of nutrition in a dancer’s diet, let’s look at the most common questions that I receive as a dance nutritionist.
Society often views emotional eating negatively. A healthy relationship with food means that we honor personal preferences that often stem from emotionally pleasant memories and experiences.
How do we measure a healthy body weight? Body weight, as a measured number, encompasses a spectrum of components of body composition.
As dancers, we often strive to perfect the imperfect. We continuously work to build upon a basic framework of movement that allows for both the improvement of our technique and the creation of our art.
Summer intensives offer an incredible opportunity for dancers. Food is the body’s fuel. Without enough fuel, a dancer risks low energy, inability to concentrate, injury, and burnout.
The road to rebuilding one’s relationship with food can be daunting as we attempt to balance the use of food in optimizing one’s performance with the use of food in rediscovering one’s personal enjoyment. Finding a middle ground between “healthy” and “ too healthy” is further distorted with the masses of misinformation surrounding health.
Did you know that stress and anxiety pose negative health implications on both our body and our mind?
Restrictions put us at risk for negative health consequences that impact our biological and psychological wellbeing. Here are four ways to build a healthier relationship with food.
If you’re someone who typically relies on nuts as part of a plant-based diet while navigating a nut-free zone, it may be difficult to locate convenient meals and snacks.
These delicious muffins are packed with nutrition from Greek yogurt, avocados, flax, and even carrots! Prep in advance and enjoy as the perfect on-the-go snack or meal!
Before reaching for the supplements, consider the role that a varied diet plays in building immunity.
When it comes to fueling for the job, creating a balanced plate is the first step to optimal performance. To best prepare for this upcoming season, consider this a quick guide to creating the most nutrient-dense brain-boosting power bites for your performance—both on and off the stage.
Dehydration is one of the leading factors negatively impacting our performance, whether it’s in the studio or in class. Keeping your body hydrated can even help with balance, flexibility, and muscle recovery.