Staying Healthy

Health can help your dancing and your happiness beyond belief.  It’s no secret that you feel better when you’re eating correctly and exercising an adequate amount.  That is how the human body was created to function, on the nutrients that we must provide it.  So, if we don’t provide these tools to our body, it will refuse to function properly, therefore causing weakness, sadness, hunger, etc.  In this article we will discuss my beliefs on this topic and what I think the appropriate things are to be putting into your body.

DISCLAIMER:  I’m not a doctor.  I’m 13!  These tips are from my experience and what makes me the happiest when I’m eating and what allows me to dance my best.

The Contreversy

If you look online and search “healthy foods,” there are probably millions upon millions of links to click on.  And all of them probably say different things.  Some of them agree on the basics – fruits and vegetables help your health.  That’s about it.  Then everything starts going wack.  It’s true that everybody has different ideas and different outlooks on this subject, and this can be very, very confusing.

Now, go on Google and search from “healthy foods for dancers.”  See what comes up.  Only 1.1 million options.  But, the difference is that they all say the same kind of thing.  They say that dancers need balance.

So, instead of following all of the crazy diets and crazy things that crazy people who want their stomachs to do crazy things do, how about you follow the correct advice of dancers everywhere.  This leads me to my don’ts list for health for dancers:

DON’T…

  • Do any fad diets that people who want to “lose weight” tell you to do.
  • Try to loose weight.  Unless you’re 16 or older I’d say, you’re fine wherever you’re at.  Your eating healthfully should be to feel and dance better, not to loose weight.
  • Eat just to eat.  You won’t feel good if you’re eating more than your body needs.

Now, again, there will be some people that will tell you opposites or controversial things that are other than the items on this list, and this is just what I recommend.  But, the things I’ve listed here are well-researched and supported by other, grander resources.

Balance

Balance in your health should be the first thing that comes up when you think…”Should I eat this?”  Sometimes, it’s hard to keep balance when you have a really crazy schedule and you don’t have time to thoroughly think about adequately including each of the food groups in a meal.  That is completely normal.  But, watching your balance is necessary to your health.  So, this is the way that I manage balance amongst my insane ballet and academic schedule:

Using a Meal Chart

This has saved my life.  Here’s some basic pointers on a meal chart:

  • I typically schedule meals for all of the weekdays, never the weekends.  The weekends should be free!
  • I don’t schedule dinner, I always eat whatever my family eats.  My family usually eats together.

Here are the directions to creating your meal chart:

  1. Research and find healthy foods that you enjoy before you start inserting things into your meal chart.
    1. Grab a piece of paper and separate it into 5 sections.  Label these sections the name of each food group.
    2. Find 1 main dish for each group and put it at the top of the section.  Then, find 4 side dishes and put them underneath the main dish for that group.
    3. Repeat for each of the food groups.  Remember, your side dishes can have more than one food group in them.
  2. Organize your healthy foods into different days.
    1. Make the template for your chart.  Here is a printout that you can fill in by hand.  You can also use this to replicate if you prefer to do it electronically.  Meal Chart Template
    2. Fill in each empty square with the dishes you brainstormed.  You should have a different food group for each main dish, and you should have four different food groups for the sides for each day.  Meal Chart Template w/ Food Groups
  3. Stick to it!
    1. It will take some getting used to to stick to a meal plan, but you’ll get it eventually.
    2. Post it somewhere in the kitchen so that you have easy access to it.  I also recommend keeping it somewhere online so that you can easily access it when you need it and you aren’t at home.

Health Has Lots To Do With One’s Consciousness

It takes focus, dedication, and hard work to keep your body maintained the way you want it to be.  Here are some questions to ask yourself before you put food in your body in order to stay the healthiest you can be:

  1. Am I hungry?
  2. Will this benefit my health?
  3. Will I feel confident that I did the right thing after I eat this?

If you answer no to any of these questions, I would rethink what you’re doing.  That could either be switching the food that you’re eating or not eating anything at all, if you answered no to question 1.

The bottom line is, think about what you’re putting into your body.


 

Thank you for reading this post.  Don’t hesitate to comment with any questions or replies.

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