Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Healthy Eating Habits During The Stressful Time of Ballet Rehearsals

Ah... the final realization of all that work in ballet shoes and pointe shoes, or your other dance styles. The ballet recital, lights, costumes, the audience. Healthy eating habits matter even more during the stressful time of the final ballet rehearsals. An athlete's food choice is critical for your long classical ballet rehearsal hours. And aching limbs can bring on sleeping problems without the intake of proper nutrients.

The gruelling repetition of staging, lighting and full out classical ballet rehearsals can be enjoyed more if you are well fed and well hydrated. For one thing, those sneaky self-doubts about your readiness to perform, your shape, your hair, etc., etc., will have lot less power if you keep up your energy in a healthy way.

For example, and believe it or not, celery sticks with peanut butter is a way better snack than the average power bar, full of useless carbs, processed protein and a few lab-made vitamins. Celery is one of the best salty foods we have. When I say salt, I mean all those mineral salts that you lose in perspiration. If your peanut butter is real (no added high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils) it is full of vitamins, minerals, protein, and a healthy fat. That fat will give you energy to handle the stress and demands on your muscles.

A light and energizing lunch could be a can of wild caught salmon with a little real, but unsweetened mayonnaise, and dark leafy greens. The omega 3 oil in the salmon is food for your soft tissues and joints. It also is great brain support. The dark green leafy salads or vegetables are full of calcium, vitamin A and trace minerals that support your metabolism and all of the extra nervous activity that the excitement and demands of the situation brings forth.

Hydrating means sipping water all day long. Popular sports drinks are extremely acidic. They do not hydrate you like water does.

Using sea salt instead of table salt keeps up your electrolytes. There are 12 mineral salts to replace - not just the one or two included in sports drinks. Lack of minerals can lead to muscle cramps that keep you awake. Also good salt is necessary to prevent water retention.

Lack of good fats increases pain in strained and fatigued muscles.

Eating breakfast is vital. Eggs with the yolks soft provides essential fatty acids. This is not the place to count calories and get rid of that egg yolk.....if you cook the yolks hard you will damage the enzymes needed to digest them. Protein is also provided by this wonderful food. A flourless sprouted grain bread will give you some B Complex vitamins without bringing on the swollen stomach caused by wheat flour.

Sugar weakens muscles. Instead of carbs and sweets, eat fruit. Fruits contain vitamins and minerals and natural sugars.

One thing from your fridge that you can't eat but can use, is a soft ice pack. When you get home from a stressful time at the theater, eat your good athlete's food, and bring out the ice pack to wrap around sore muscles and joints.

Find out how to get the right pointe shoe sizing and how to prevent dance injuries.

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