You have been dancing now for several weeks, after a long break, and you are not happy with yourself yet. Although you have developed better eating habits, hardly have time to eat some days, and even though you are definitely losing weight, and developing muscle, you are not exactly where you would like to be, there is still some fat around your hips and on your legs. A few pounds are gone, hopefully, if you have been sticking to your diet-which you have, and you haven’t! Do not rest for the worst of Winter is yet to come. It is most important to stay healthy. If you had listened to me and drank your lemon and honey teas, you might not have gotten sick! And how can you take your vitamins if you are out of them?? You might even look extremely thin on the upper body and face, but below there are still areas you need to address. They are improving, but you cannot quit working on them. Pretty soon, if you stick with it Be happy!!!!You are w they will be perfect and you can be proud.
You are well on your way to not only succeeding in your dieting plans for life, you are becoming a healthier eater, better and stronger person. One thing I notice is that like smoking, after a break of being really good, and not smoking, or a trauma (like your teacher yelling at you), we run back to our carbs for comfort. Like ice cream, bread, cookies, muffins, candy, anything we have been depriving ourselves of which we think is not really bad for us in small quantities. But after we have sated ourselves, then we feel guilty, or worse, we have started smoking again! It is not the weight, we can lose that again. It is the self-confidence and the discipline, which we have believed ourselves capable of that we undermine. It is important for your psyche in ballet, to believe in yourself, to be disciplined, and that takes training, too! If you discipline yourself to do something or to not do something, you take pride, and then it is not a job, but a purer way of life. A temple for your inner sanctum, where you can go and revel in the fact that you are you, not a cave where you dart and hide, hoarding goodies for when you feel bad or want to let down. Look at those foods that provided a minute’s solace. Did they really? Were they good tasting? Were they healthy? Were they worth it? Think about it.
Think about eating half a la a partridge in a pear tree- A giant vat of spinach, 10-12 medium-sized shrimp, 2 and one-half shiny red bell peppers, 2 and one-half small potatoes, a small plate of popcorn, A large handful of chickpeas, a small handful of raisins, a two-finger wide slice of salmon (maybe one-and-a half finger wide), one-half of a blueberry muffin, and a teaspoon of peanut or other nut butter. These are snack portions of these items-as part of a meal they are roughly the same size (for a dancer), but you can eat other things with them. The potatoes are raw, by the way, and not on your diet at all, yet. Except on cheat days and if every day is a cheat day, you do not get a cheat day! Nag, nag, nag. No, really, you don’t. If you don’t want to listen to me, try this app-it’s free for 7 days-a virtual nutritionist. She can support you in your weight loss endeavors, very nicely, if you don’t cheat, and suggest better food choices, or alternatives that are healthy!
But if you are eating things like this, and they satisfy you, then you already know that 1) your stomach is not that big, and 2) they provide you with energy and other vitamins and minerals you need-that is why they satisfy you. Let them. Learn from them. See what that can do before you tear off a big chunk of crusty bread and chow down. Try eating snack-sized portions of these tempting tasties instead of eating a whole one, a cup or a bowl, or a big plate of food. Try smaller portions, a smaller plate. If necessary, carry your plate around with you and fill it up instead. You know you cannot go over if you use a measure. And don’t say, pile it up. You can make a bigger pile of veggies or protein, slightly. This is a cute write-up of Holiday food portion sizes. Don’t know-take a look!
Gradually, you are building up your stamina so that instead of being exhausted on Thursday,you are exhausted on Friday. You are not only doing some things right, and you must continue your good progress, you are better able to see where your failings are occurring and you may now begin to consider what those are and how to address and change them. One, you are trying to give yourself energy to compete in a very highly demanding profession of dancing. it is a long journey. probably, you are still not giving your body adequate replacement of minerals and electrolytes lost. You may not be drinking enough water. If you are run down and getting sick then you need to work on this but continue to lose weight and build lean muscle. Maybe you have inflammation from dancing the Nutcracker, preparing for competitions or doing an entire season on your tippy toes- here are 10 foods that fight inflammation:
Also water and Turmeric.
Soon, you will face the onset of winter, you will need to heal and get adequate rest especially and as well as Nutcracker and auditions, you will be preparing for competitions (possibly), travel (maybe), and the stress from academic if not ballet exams and the deep deep winter months which will limit your other activity (possibly). You will have to face of and confront the holiday issues. I start by watching Bridgette Jones once and then the second part and then move on to Holiday and other chick flicks, because no where else will you actually see Renee Zellweger being eaten by Alsatians and scraping the mold off of cheese to prepare you for winter and the fact that you will not actually starve or freeze to death, but you may very well catch cold. So let’s consider that while you are on this fabulous plan to have a plan, you do not actually have one yet. let’s look at nutritious Fall and Winter foods and produce and try to find sustenance in pictures and produce departments-not necessarily more meat, but complete proteins are essential. Meat free meals can be less expensive, lower in calories, etc….A complete protein refers to proteins which contain ALL of the amino acids, but nine of them cannot be produced by the body alone, so vegetarians have to go an extra mile to get them without eating meat. These nine are called (not the ring bearers) the essential amino acids, as “it is essential for you to get them.” Meat and eggs are complete, beans and nuts are not. Humans do not need every essential amino acid in every mouthful or at every meal but we do need most of them everyday. Most dieticians believe that plant-based diets can provide enough. Here are some excellent recipes and foods which provide not only vegetarians, but also dancers with tasty food choices and plenty of protein. Try eating one plant-based meal one day per week and see if you notice raised energy (or feeling better levels) if you are a staunch meat-eater and need those amino acids every day. Notice most of these meals provide adequate, though not off the charts amounts of protein and you are looking for a plan that provides roughly 10 grams per meal or 1 gram for every pound of (actual) weight of your body per day. http://greatist.com/health/complete-vegetarian-proteins
A list of healthy go-to dinners is given here-not all of these will follow your diet exactly, but you can use alternative ingredients that you have on hand and they almost all work as a lunch!
Top foods in your diet should include:
Quinoa- (I like it mixed with lentils, a bit of tomato and chicken broth). It’s full of dancer needed vitamins and you can use it in baking, too; buckwheat. is not wheat at all, but in the rhubarb family.
Soba- (i.e noodlers) You can have it in pancakes, or like a cereal as in grits. It is very healthy, has antioxidant properties, may improve circulation and helps control blood glucose levels (helps you burn fat);
Hempseed- (contains significant amounts of all nine amino acids in question) may help to stave off the common cold and boost your immune system. It is also a rare source of essential fatty acids including omega-3s, which can help fight the winter blues. Hemp is popular in baking and cooking recipes;
Chia-add some to your diet or try making chia “gel” which can replace eggs in baking (!), and is delicious as a homemade refrigerator jam with blueberries and agave syrup-look it up. Chia doesn’t have a lot of protein per serving and you cannot or should not over indulge as it contains very high levels of phosphorus (good and bad) but it is the highest source of omega-3s and is full of trace minerals as well as antioxidants. Puddings, smoothies and a few in your favorite fruit beverage or juiced drink won’t hurt. They also look pretty on baked dishes as an accent like wheat germ and absorb liquid very quickly;
Soy- Not for everyone but is absolutely chocked full of protein no matter the type and 1/2 cup remains the typical serving. For protein choose the firmest tofu available.
I am leaving out Quorn as a lot of people are allergic to it-its a bit like a mushroom the way they grow it, and also Cricket Flour (as it is just gross); Rice and Beans, everyone knows about already, but does have a protein content on a par with meat and is very healthy and good to eat;
Ezekial 4:9 bread- and you can make your own! It contains all the amino acids and a lot of vegetarians swear by it. All bread should contain sprouted grains anyway, and trader Joe’s has plenty of those for less money than Whole Foods, though i am not dissing whole foods. They are awfully affordable on their sale goods, dairy and grass fed beef. Ezekial bread has 21 grams of protein and it is already complete so two slices is a serving (at breakfast/lunch).
Wheat gluten- gets demonized by a lot of people these days, but with the obvious exceptions of celiac-sufferers and the gluten intolerant, it’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact, I have read that it is not necessarily to avoid gluten IF YOU ARE NOT ALLERGIC TO IT-
First created more than a thousand years ago as a meat substitute for Chinese Buddhist monks, Seitan is made by mixing gluten (the protein in wheat) with herbs and spices, hydrating it with water or stock, and simmering it in broth. But this one’s not complete on it’s own—it needs to be cooked in a soy sauce-rich broth to add gluten’s missing amino acid (lysine) to the chewy, very meat-like final product.
I like stores that make shopping interactive and fun while educating me about good nutrition options (at a fair price) and that is why God made Trader Joe’s. http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/shopping-list.asp He loves their shopping list feature as much as I do and most towns or areas now have one. If you had to, you could eat there entirely and still pay rent and afford coffee. You can send this list along with your shopper, email it, or use it for other things and it prints out, but you can also access it with your phone. Most health food stores have a newsletter and they are usually chock full of interesting information. I include 4:
Fresh Thyme/Sprouts/Henrys (their website also boasts a resource health page and a shopping list!) https://www.sprouts.com/web/guest/deals-of-the-month
Whole foods (too much on their website to list) http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/whole-deal
Balducci’s-it’s not strictly a health food store but the food is ridiculously good and healthy! (primarily a source for recipes and general food info) http://www.balduccis.com/recipes
Chances are you are depleting some of your fat reserves if you have been eating better. You might have an injury of you do not eat properly. What is beginning to happen at this time of year (with everyone) is common and your body is using up its usual reserves of various stores (winter, and yes, we do!) of nutrients. You are not drinking enough water. You are not eating the right things but you are eating a lot of calories, leaving you feeling hungry within hours of eating a big meal again. You are eating late at night and rushing out before having a good breakfast. You take whatever is available for lunches and snacks. You take a vitamin. You are not thinking about food-who has time? Let alone think about it, who has time to prepare it all? It is very important now to reread that first article and take stock of your habits. Cutting out the bad ones now will help you through the winter to the Spring, when people typically want to see the results of dieting and good health, but Winter is not conducive to it. We are not only going to survive Winter, we are going to give our bodies plenty of nutrients all winter long, and enough food!
Follow the clean eating concepts http://atthebarre.net/9-clean-eating-principles-for-a-ballerinas-diet/ which we discussed before to remind yourself that you are not eating processed foods. Without counting calories, this is one of the best methods of learning to eat healthy. Stable and proven, but will not exactly cause weight loss or the creation of lean muscle.
Great Fall and Winter foods (by design) give us the added vitamins and minerals to fight off sickness-some are : Pumpkin seeds (full of zinc); Tuna (helps protect cells from free-radical damage and boosts your immunity); Mushrooms (packed with beta glucans, which help the body fight infection); Sweet potatoes -now that you have lost your weight!-or substitute your weekly jacket potato for one of these (rich in vitamin A, which fights free radicals that could weaken your immune system); Green tea (hot cup of green tea has amazing antioxidant benefits); Greek yogurt -just cannot beat it for probiotic properties (found in yogurt and other naturally fermented foods, help maintain a healthy and strong immune system). And these are just a few that you should include in your Fall and Winter diets regularly to help build a stronger dancer and to enlist their super power strength and immune system building properties.
I have noticed that when a professional dancer is asked about her diet, she states she “eats whatever she wants.” I think this is largely hype, perpetuating the myth that she is just perfect and everyone wants to continue to be like her. Also, it cuts off the dreary conversation of weight control and refocuses on her perfectionism. But partly it’s true. Once you learn to eat right, you are likely not going to have to calorie count again. Eating right and good eating habits become habit, just like anything else. There is also always something they tell us is bad for us, then they come out with conflicting evidence that it is also good for us, hence variety is the spice of life, I think. Variety in diet also provides different sources of nutrients. Dancers who subsist on a diet of anything, are going to pay some price down the road. Also, as there should be some reward, everything in moderation, is a better motto than “I never eat_____,” unless ______is unpalatable to you, there is almost nothing you cannot eat in moderation. That should stop people who think they are going to have to cut out their favorite foods for life. I once had a NY-based voice coach who was an older Austrian man, of small stature and he said in order to watch his figure he dieted during the week, but on Sundays he ate whatever he wanted. I used this approach to maintaining a weight and found it largely successful as long as you did not overeat those things. The point is, food, and the kind you like, is always going to be readily available and believe me, after years of food experience, you do not run out of opportunities to eat. So what is good in foods for the Fall?
Some choices are obvious, but others less so, or less appetizing until you find recipes or have them prepared in ways that are appealing. A book I do like is Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet
Apples- apple picking season is upon us, as are other crops, hugely of value to dancers eating to work hard and stay healthy. They are good innumerable ways (perhaps the most widely reciped of all fruits) this is their season and apples picked now will last you all winter if not mixed among the bad. They are full of vitamin C. They are also full of natural pectin which helps the cardio vascular system. Apples with peanut butter are delicious though not the highest source of protein, they are a healthy snack. Baked, in yogurt, or first thing of the day, they help fight colds.
Pumpkin- is a prime source of vitamin A, which improves your vision, but it is also loaded with phytosterols, which decrease bad cholesterol, and are one of the most obvious beta-carotene (besides carrots), which help protect against free radicals which can lower your immune system. Trending now are hot and cold pumpkin drinks, smoothies and pumpkin smoothies. Stock up now and make your own pumpkin seeds, but it is also as nutritious canned. Explore the wide range of non-dessert uses of pumpkin and its seeds, it’s interesting and informative, as well as potentially delicious. No one has more knowledge of pumpkins than pumpkin growers https://www.google.com/search?q=pumpkin+growers+association&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb
Brussel Sprouts-brussel sprouts are a very good source of iron, which helps your body form red blood cells, and vitamin K, which can improve bone health. The mini cabbages just taste healthy but this would belie the fact that they are chocked full of vitamin C, for your immune system. Moe than one source of vitamin C daily is proven to assist in building immunity in cancer patients. Here are six quick and easy ways to eat Brussels sprouts and you can usually buy the trees at trader Joe’s (et al) right now as they are in season. I have frozen them before. 🙂
Figs-you do not have to eat solely bananas for potassium as figs contain a lot of it and more compact, therefore perfect for dance bags. This is an autumn fruit and anexcellent source of fiber, which helps decrease cholesterol, promote blood sugar control (lose fat), prevents constipation (!), AND keeps you feeling full longer. A win win win win. Figs are also packed with potassium, and that, as dancers know might make you feel a little less sore and exhausted, but did you know that it also helps control your blood pressure. Amazing little purdy fruit.
Cauliflower is getting a lot of positive attention lately as its white color deceives you into thinking it is a brain, but in reality this in-season veggie is just as nutritious as those dark leafy greens! Cauliflower is probably the top source of vitamins C and K, which helps to regulate your inflammatory response.Pay close attention professional dancers with chronic tendonitis! Rich in fiber and folate, which is crucial for any women thinking of conceiving since it helps prevent neural tube defects….in other words, it is one of those vegetable women are WISE to eat. It is one of those tricky little foods that picks up the flavors of those with it, so look no further than the Internet for loads of low fat recipes by which to transcend your previous knowledge and enjoyment of cauliflower. https://www.google.com/search?q=award+winning+cauliflower+recipes&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=sb
Though some people may forego BEETS, of all the root veggies, and veggies, this one alone is one dancers must find a way to eat. Why???? Weeeel, they contain a phytonutrient called betalains, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beets are also a good source of folate, potassium, and manganese, which helps with calcium absorption and blood clotting. Dancers are hard pressed to find another source so rich in beetness, and dancers need betalains to HEAL. Coupled with some of the other items on this list, they are bound to assist you with possibly even recurring conditions you thought you might have to suffer through life with as a dancer. i will not provide any beet recipes here as it has to be totally your choice, but beets are best uness you can find a Nopal cactus, Beets are it. Somebody knows about this http://betalains.wordpress.com/ and look no further because it is betalains that give beets their color…..
Pear. At this time of year, it might be good to stock up on pears as you will not find them so abundant as now, and to because they contain vitamin C (another source), copper (which may help prevent against certain cancers), and boron, a nutrient that helps the body retain calcium, also good for Winter.
There are many myths about eating. I remember one girl in ballet class who decided she was going to live on popcorn. She ended up in the hospital. She was definitely slightly voluptuous, but she was not eating any nutrition and of course this did NOT help her dancing career and she gained back all the weight she lost anyway. Once she recovered, her family got her professional help. When sugar or carbohydrate intake is not enough to maintain a certain glucose level, the body must turn to its own muscle tissue and skeletal tissue to supply the needed glucose. fat cannot be converted to sugars primarily and we operate on a high level of glucose, especially our brains. No sugar, no you! The body is geared toward survival and once you begin to eat again, even a normal amount of food, the body starts repleting its fat stores, preparing for when you may possibly starve it again. Winter is nothing if not a great testament to the fact that we as humans, must survive, as we see foliage and natural things around us die off, we prevail. As dancing activity depends on glycogen stored in muscles for fuel, not many calories are burned so winter is especially tricky for dancers. Fat is not used for high-intensity workouts because it cannot be broken down fast enough. Most dancers have an abnormally low caloric intake, so they are undernourished, yet overweight and usually feel guilty. Muscle is denser than fat, so inch by inch it does weigh more, or looking at it differently, the smaller, leaner you, may not actually weigh less, so a combination of intake and exercise has to balance to lose weight and to build lean muscle, if weight is a consideration. Some dancers are thin and have no visible muscles. If you gain a few pounds over the winter don’t sweat the small stuff! Your body has tricks for survival and even though you are eating somewhat less, without dancing everyday, you may tend to gain a few pounds which by the Spring will fly away once normal activity is resumed. This might be a perfect time to polish the stationery bicycle or dust the elliptical or get on the treadmill, just to make sure your calories burned equal or are greater than ones consumed. 15-25 minutes per day to start, and building up to 45 by mid-November or December should get you through the winter, and though the temptation may be great, avoid alcohol and traditional holiday dinners, cookies and cakes, but not the preparation or festivities. Drink waters, have a coffee or tea instead of hot cocoa and remember to succomb to your cheat day allowance regularly so that you do not feel cheated.
Calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates must blend together for an optimal and well-balanced diet. Obviously for every individual these amounts of each are going to need to vary and do. There is no amount that is agreed upon by practitioners, actually. Dancers are observed to have fairly large intake of fat. Typically a normal person should consume protein 10-20%, carbs 55-65% and fat 20-30%. But depending on your dance regimen and level of activity that should vary and differ by person slightly or seemingly more than, but remember those guys have faster metabolisms anyway. You do not want to Fall backwards! Some professional dancers in major companies have had reported fat levels of up to 50%, and this is in part due to what some people consider protein-rich foods, including cheese and peanut butter, which is actually very high in fat. Dancers like sweets and they like pasta. Other starvation diets have had proven effects upon the psychology of individuals, resulting in obsessions with food, psychosis, and extra fat storage. It is very important, especially in cold weather not to deprive or starve your body-it will rebel! In all, there is a connection to eating and there are famous experiments proving that the best way to lose weight is not to starve yourself. If a body is deprived of food, it calls upon every physiological and psychological mechanism it has to cause itself to eat and gain weight. DO not feel guilty about not being smarter than your body. Listen to it, instead of fighting it or depriving it. Give it what it needs-food more often if necessary but smaller portions. Drink plenty of water. You might even want to add a glass or two during winter in addition to your 8 glasses per day, that is.
There are several published guidelines for dancers and they affect how you should approach healthy eating habits. They are:
1) Dancers must maintain olympic-like physical condition all the time so there is only one way to approach a dancing life and that is to begin to eat healthily and get used to it. Make it a way of life and engage yourself in it. Enjoy food-buying it, preparing it, and eating it. Make what you enjoy and do not depend on others to adhere to your own personal guidelines. They won’t. Letting others take control only guarantees you are not in control of what or how it is prepared. If it is a child, get them involved in the whole process. It should be a family plan and not a lone wolf plan because that will only leave them feeling deprived and left out. It may also result in other children feeling you are leaving them out or that you care about another child more. Food is fun!
2) Dancer see, dancer do. If one dancer sees a lot of other dancers eating ice cream, or living on one or two items, or eating Nutella or subsisting on peanut butter and they look okay, it is common for them to repeat this for themselves and omit variety and eat a lot of bad things, or things that simply do not provide them with all their nutrients and energy required. It is important to eat what you like, but also to eat a variety of different foods and from different food groups. No one food is going to provide you with what you need and will result in problems later. This is an act of desperation. Don’t follow, lead, or at least use your common sense: How can a diet consisting of only one thing and omitting lots of other types of foods be healthy? Dancers have to be smart!
3) In normal weight loss, the last 5-15 pounds is considered the hardest to lose. This is doubly hard for some dancers because to achieve the perfect ballet body, considerably more than pounds is at stake. It is your career, and despite dancers being underweight or at least not incredibly overweight, they need to lose the pounds and achieve the toned body look to be successful and aesthetically pleasing, whatever that may be for the day. This is very exhausting and stressful mentally and possibly physically.
4) Dancers are in the studio all the time so what time remains, particularly for teenagers, limits the activities for cross-training available or possible. Once you have trained your muscles to dance, is it alright to train them to do anything else, used to be the question, but dancers have proved that other aerobic activity, such as swimming, walking and running, builds stamina, is cardio and sheds weight, as well as strengthening other muscles, preventing injury, not contributing to it, but of course you have to be careful not to “bulk up.” Certain activities would be off-limits for dancers struggling with this problem naturally, but others activities would be fine. The eliptical is a common and available tool to increase energy expenditure without causing any particular stress or bulking up to the body, and it can be done in increments to either lose weight or to warm-up, or to build stamina. Swimming is also a good Winter sport for dancers. I know one dancer who laps in the pool once per week in the Summer and 3 x per week in the Winter. So consider your body type and experience in absorbing this as it matters in your approach.
5) The dancer must always consider her goals and balance what is good for her professionally and what is good for her health, development and future. The two do not always coincide and it is most important in adolescents and young adults not to sacrifice too much for ballet. DO not cut corners with nutrients in Winter. Your health and future health govern the length of your dancing career. It can be shortened by not attending to your overall health. Choices, choices, choices. Stay warm.
Consider body builders for a moment. Though the connection between dancers and bodybuilders is not hugely noticeable it is in certain regards and the study of it has led many researchers in sports nutrition to divide types of desired looks in sports by types of exercise, and while it is know that ballet benefits athletes, bodybuilders set out to achieve a certain look the same way dancers do and their short spurts of exercise also develop lean muscle, though their intention is usually to bulk up a little, some are very slim and attractive. What do they do differently? Well, it starts with nutrition.
The entire article detailing these meal plans for one week can be followed below, but keep in mind this plan is based on the consumption of calories consumed per day of about 13-15 per pound of weight. S0, if you seek to lose weight and not bulk up, then you would want your food intake to be slightly different, and of course containing fewer calories, but if you activity level is very high, you might want to eat more food, so that you don’t lose weight.
They feel that the 15 best lean-muscle building foods are:
1) Beef (from grass-fed cattle)-it contains high levels of protein, cholesterol, zinc, b vitamins and iron. Also, beef from grass-fed cattle contains much higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than conventionally raised beef, which gives you a boost in shedding body fat and building lean muscle. You are what they eat…..
2) Beets- contain a source of betaine, also known as trimethylglycine, and is a nutrient that enhances liver and joint repair, especially important for dancers, and also has been shown in research to increase strength and power. Dancers need those. They may enhance energy and aid recovery.
3) Brown rice-slowly digests and is a whole grain, giving you longer-lasting energy throughout the day and during actual workouts. It helps to increase your GH (growth hormone) levels, which are critical for encouraging lean muscle growth, fat loss and in gaining strength.
4) Oranges- eaten before a workout can boost lean muscle growth, strength and endurance.
5) Canteloupe- has a low fructose content and is one of the fruits that converts quickly meaning it is good to have in the morning and is one of the good fruits to eat after a workout.
6) Cottage Cheese (organic)-is rich in casein protein, an immediate protein source, and is especially good before bed. Casein protein is exceptionally slow digesting which means it prevents your muscles from being used as energy while you sleep.
7) Eggs- Known as the perfect protein, but their good for other reasons, including the yolks, where there is cholesterol. Egg cholesterol id proved to create lean muscle and decreases the bad cholesterol (LDL) particles associated with atherosclerosis.
8) Milk (organic)- ocntains about 70% more omega-3 fatty acids than normal milk and is rich in both casein protein and whey protein, as well as the amino acid glutamine.
9) Quinoa-besides being a complete protein and a slow digesting carb (like brown rice), it has been linked with (IGF-1), and insulin-like growth factor, associated with lean muscle and strength gain.
10) Wonka Pixy Stix- yes, contains dextrose, which requires no digestion, going straight to the bloodstream after a workout, for the fasted possible recovery, getting the carbs straight to your muscles.
11) Spinach-of course, you remember Pop-eye. Well, it is both a good source of glutamine, the amino acid responsible for lean muscle growth, and spinach can also assist muscle strength and endurance.
12) Apples-An apple contains Polyphenols which helps to increase muscle strength and prevent fatigue, allowing you to train harder and longer. They have fat-burning qualities as well and they are a good pre-workout carb source.
15) Wheat Germ-that old standby is still a top source of zinc, iron, selenium, potassium, B vitamins, is high in fiber and protein and also has a goodly amount of branched-chain amino acids (BCAA’s) arginine and glutamine. It is not only a great source of slow-digesting carbs but is also a good quality protein that is great before workouts.
A Guide to Eating for Lean Muscle for one-week. Other plans can be purchased at the link below or spliced together from accumulated sources.
It states: “The following plan is designed for a woman weighing 140 pounds. When trying to gain lean muscle during a rigorous exercise program, a good rule of thumb is to shoot for an intake of about 13-15 calories per pound of bodyweight. So for a 110-pound woman, total daily calories would be between 1,430 to 1,650; for a 150-pound woman, about 1,950 to 2,250.” It notes additional supplements suggested for workout days.
- whey protein
- cottage cheese 1/2 cup
Serving Size 1/2 cup (110g)
Servings Per Container 4
Amount Per Serving Calories 100 Calories from Fat 20 Total Fat 2g 3% Saturated Fat 1.5g 8% Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 10mg 3% Sodium 450mg 19% Total Carbohydrate 4g 1% Dietary Fiber 0g 0% Sugars 3g Protein 15g Vitamin A 4% • Vitamin C 0% Calcium 8% • Iron 0%
2 tbsp (Mix salsa in cottage cheese if you want)
- whey protein
- whey protein (could sub Greek yogurt ta this time of day)
- wheat germ
1/2 cup (Mix wheat germ in whey shake)
- whey protein
- small apple
- Frittata Recipe
- cooked oatmeal
- Stir-fry B Recipe
- whey protein
- whey protein
- whey protein
- wheat germ
1/2 cup (Mix wheat germ in whey shake)
- casein protein
- walnut halves
- whey protein
- Spaghetti and Meatballs C
- low fat cottage cheese
Sunday (High Carb “Cheat” Day)
- whey protein
- Breakfast Sandwich D
Note: Cheat Day for dancers is Sunday or ONE DAY and not two and the recipes are provided below-
Recipe A: Frittata
- 2 large whole eggs
- 1 large egg white
- 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- In frying pan on medium heat, cook onions for about five minutes with fat-free cooking spray; add broccoli and cook for about five minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix eggs, and cottage cheese and add to pan, lift and rotate pan so that eggs are evenly distributed; as eggs set around the edges, lift to allow uncooked portions to flow underneath.
- Turn heat to low, cover the pan and cook until top is set.
- Invert onto a plate.
Frittata A Recipe PDF (12 KB)
Recipe B: Stir-fry
- In a pan over medium heat cook shrimp in nonfat cooking spray, add boiled rice and vegetables, add scrambled egg and soy sauce if desired.
- Cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Stir-fry B Recipe PDF (54 KB)
Recipe C: Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 4 oz lean ground turkey
- 1 cup cooked spaghetti squash
- 1/4 cup fat-free ricotta
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup raw spinach
- Mix desired spices with ground turkey and roll into balls; add desired spices to sauce and cook meatballs in sauce until done.
- Cook spaghetti squash in a shallow baking pan with ½ inch of water in pan at 350 degrees in oven until tender. Scrape out spaghetti squash with fork to make spaghetti strings.
- Top spaghetti squash with meatballs and sauce, and spinach and top with ricotta.
Spaghetti and Meatballs C Recipe PDF (12 KB)
Recipe D: Breakfast Sandwich
Recipe D: Breakfast Sandwich
- 1 large whole egg
- 1 slice reduced-fat American cheese
- 2 slices low-fat deli ham
- 1 whole-wheat English muffin
- Make breakfast sandwich: toast muffin; fry ham in pan and place on one half of muffin.
- Fry egg in pan using nonstick cooking spray and place on ham; top egg with cheese and cover with other muffin half to make breakfast sandwich.
Breakfast Sandwich D Recipe PDF (12 KB)
My feelings about this meal plan is that it is too high in protein and calories for most dancers working from a significantly smaller frame. But it contains a lot of foods and gives examples of healthy ones which help to develop lean muscle, build strength, provide energy and reduce fatigue and aid in recovery. A lot of small meals is also ideal for dancers because of their class length and activity level, and of course they need many of the same slow-working carbs and protein, but not in necessarily such great amounts or number of servings per day. Much smaller, and somewhat servings and nothing after 6:30 would probably do the trick. But there are tremendous differences between a bodybuilder and a female dancer visually at least. She would not want to bulk up this way and as you can see by the type and number of proteins and powders, average weight speculated upon, that is what it takes to create and maintain a powerful looking frame. The minute this diet changes at all, so does the composition, these results begin to fade and muscle loss increases and bulk decreases, so you remember how people look when they deflate from bodybuilding. That’s the general idea here, too and as we stated a dancer trains everyday and needs a diet that can be flexible enough for time off, but also increased for heavy performance periods and longer workouts. And they don’t mention it here, but a lot of yogurt and cottage cheese makes you fat! These are all extremely healthy food choices for dancers, though and for the same reasons (nearly).