Dancers, we want to make food our friend! We are talking about the fuel that helps us perform at our best and the nutrition that keep us healthy and strong. It is sometimes difficult for active people like dancers to juggle schedules and fit in the time for healthy meals. Often it becomes frustrating, especially when we know what the healthier choices are, but just don't take the time to eat right.
There are several possibilities for conquering the "eating right dilemma". One of the most important tricks is not letting yourself get too hungry. Hunger often leads to overeating the types of foods that are not as healthy and often calorie dense without adequate nutrition. Instead, eat regularly and choose foods that will make you healthy and support your dancing by giving you energy and stamina. The key is to have wholesome foods available even when you are on the run.
There six basic nutrients that are essential for a healthy mind and body. The six types of nutrients include: carbohydrates (go for complex carbohydrates), fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water. Work to balance your diet by eating a variety of foods. If you are only eating yogurt, oranges and rice cakes you are missing out on many important vitamins and minerals. Eat in moderation, if you have chips or soda at one meal, compensate at the next by having a nutrient dense choice like low fat turkey on whole grain bread and an apple. The third suggestion is to choose food for its wholesomeness. As in the example above, choose whole grain bread over white bread, choose whole fruit over fruit juice and water over soda. By choosing natural foods you can avoid additives and usually get more nutritional value.
Although it is not always easy to eat the healthy foods, by a little planning and fore thought you can have healthy snacks with you right in your dance bag. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables (you can carry them with you) for the complex carbohydrates. They provide fuel for your muscles and brain. Drink plenty of water, it regulates your body temperature, keeps you from becoming dehydrated, carries nutrients to your cells and waste away from your cells. Eat lean protein to build and repair your muscles. If you are not sure about what the healthy choices are start by taking a look at the food pyramid and keep learning more from there. Dancers-With just a little planning there will be a healthier, happier you!