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Here are your 4 P’s:

PLANTS

PLANNING

PREP

PLATING

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Plants

Most people don’t get enough vegetables. You know you should be eating lot’s of veggies but unless eating them is built into your lifestyle, you might benefit from adding more. It’s nice, this is about adding more food! Rather than thinking about what you should take away, add more vegetables for added energy and support in reaching your personal best dancer’s body.

As a rule of thumb, make vegetables half your plate. Amp up your green vegetable consumption with that visual. Half the plate is green then a rainbow of other veggies, carbs, protein and healthy fats.

Consuming a mix of raw and cooked vegetables ensures that you’re getting maximum nutritional benefits from vegetables. Even potatoes can be included! The only concern with a white potato is that it might cause a faster rise and fall in blood sugar (has to do with glycemic load). With the level of activity you’re taking on, your body can likely handle it. Especially if the potatoes are part of a well rounded meal.

Other starchy (higher carb=energy) vegetables you might incorporate: beets, carrots, yams, taro, plantain, pumpkin, squash, corn, parsnips.

In addition to the obvious plants (vegetables + fruit) make sure you’re also including grains, nuts, beans, seeds and avocados. When you make plant food the base of your diet it becomes so much easier to eat healthfully consistently and to maintain a healthy weight.

Planning

Dancer’s have packed schedules, without planning you’ll end up eating convenience foods. A protein bar here and there is just fine but if it becomes a daily (or more) part of your eating plan it might be too much.

When you don’t have a plan it’s easy for too much time to pass between meals or snacks. Dancer’s benefit from following the “5-Hour Food Rule”. Try not to let more than 5 hours pass between snacks or meals.

Check out this related post :   The Dancers' Body Book - Part 1

If you end up going 5+ hours without eating, odds are you’ll end up eating mindlessly or feeling out of control with food.

Make a plan! Figure out when you can fit in meals and snacks. Look at your schedule. Ideally finding times when you can sit and take a break to enjoy your meals

Prep

Pick a day or a couple of days and set aside some time to…

    • Pre cut vegetables
    • Make overnight oats
    • Cook grains
    • Prep proteins

Keep easy options on hand as back up…

      • Canned soups, beans, lentils, etc.
      • Frozen, organic vegetables
      • Frozen fruit for smoothies/oatmeal add-ins

Entertain yourself while you meal prep so it doesn’t feel like such a chore. Watch Netflix on an Ipad, listen to the radio or chat with a roommate!

Plating

When you can, take some time to plate your food beautifully and take it all in. Always eat sitting down, avoid the kitchen stand against a counter meal time.

With plating your food, eat slowly. Savor each bite. Enjoy the meal you’ve prepared (or just heated)!

Practice mindful eating. This encompasses truly paying attention with all of your senses. Take in the sight, smells and tastes. Every meal doesn’t have to be instagram worthy but make sure it appeals to you.

Now, share! Which of the 4 P’s could use your attention?

Photo credit: ella.o on VisualHunt / CC BY

4 “P’s” of Healthier Eating

Jess Spinner

Jess is a former professional ballet dancer turned Health Coach and founder of The Whole Dancer.

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