Sunshine and Longer days!

I spoke to my big sis yesterday during our weekly Sunday Face Time chats and she exhausted the conversation early to get out and enjoy the rays of sunshine.  She lives in Alaska and was gloating over the longer days becoming more noticed.

This coming weekend we spring forward and  although we lose an hour of sleep – who cares, right?! An extra hour of sunlight moving closer to solstice day creates hope for the cold days to end (although here in KC we have had a seriously mild winter)!

What does longer days of sun mean for you? Here are my favs!

  • Flowers, flowers and more flowers!
  • Walks and hikes for a much greater span!
  • Corn hole and beer – just saying!
  • Vitamin D – healthy immune system!
  • Fresh fruits and Veggies!
  • Green Grass and Parks!
  • Water Slides, Water Parks, Water Rides, Water Fountains, Water Polo!

Now looking at the bottom right corner of my computer I see that it’s just March 6…Yikes, I may be a little overconfident here, although back to my point…Spring forward is this weekend so mark your calendars and sunlight feel free to shine on through!

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OH YUMMY FOODS

So for today, I decided to take a stroll down my homepage to my blog roll which lists many of my favorite food blogs.

So I thought I would share some of their recipes and websites for wonderful references to great, scrumptious, and yummy eats! Of course I can’t forget to mention the many beauteous photos as well. I take no credit for these photos, and instead send kudos to these blog founders, authors and artists. Thank you for making me want to eat all and everything (especially being prego)!

101 Cookbooks:  January cleanses and detoxes

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101 Cookbooks: Spicy Chickpea and bulgar soup recipe

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Bev Cooks: Seared cod with swiss chard and roasted turnipscod3-2-605x900.jpg

Bev Cooks: For kiddos – Tuna melts 

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Oh She Glows: Pumpkin gingerbread cookies veganveganpumpkingingerbreadmuffins.jpg

Oh She Glows: How to pack a weekend away in an hour (plant based)

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I think it’s time to eat…

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Ambition at its very best. . . Barre – A Real Food Bar!

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.” ~ Alice May Brock

Julia and Aaron in action!

Dancers tend to be ambitious people.  Luckily, our ambition (in most cases) tends to stick to us like glue, naturally creating new fascinating and desirable paths for us to experience and share. I recently had the privilege to talk with cofounders, Julia Erickson and Aaron Ingly, of Barre – A Real Food Bar. Julia, a Principal with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre along with her husband Aaron, a retired dancer from PBT, serve as perfect examples of dancers whose ambition is far from being on the shy side. Today, Julia and Aaron are on the fast track with their new business endeavor – Barre – A Real Food Bar. It all began with a little heart, creativity, intelligence, but most importantly the glue that stuck. . .  Ambition to create healthier lives for dancers.

*By the way, a portion of the proceeds benefits arts education!

dancehealthier:  Tell us, what is Barre – A real food for dancers – and what inspired you guys to create this product?

Barre:  As I’ve gained experience as a dancer, I’ve become increasingly more attuned to how I fuel my body. I created Barre because I was looking for a better pre and post rehearsal snack. I started futzing around in the kitchen, getting creative, and realized I could make something more nutritious and tastier than the bars out there on the market. You know how we, as dancers, are always trying to find that perfect pre-show snack…something that’ll support you yet not weigh you down? I’d found it! I designed Barre to serve dancers perfectly as a balanced source of slow and fast burning carbs, protein, fiber, and naturally occurring electrolytes – to provide great energy, muscle support and recovery. My creation was a hit at PBT among my colleagues; Aaron and I then got to thinking that we should share it with the rest of the dance world and beyond.

dancehealthier:  What is Barre’s mission?

Barre:  This is our mission statement:  In order to fuel their bodies for top athletic performance in rehearsal and on stage while remaining lean, dancers have very specific nutritional needs. The mission of Barre is to provide exceptional nutritional fortification—inspired by these needs—for dancers and everyone else who demands clean, wholesome, nutritious and great tasting sustained energy. To accomplish this goal, Barre produces and distributes health-minded snacks and performance products specially formulated to live up to the rigors of such a demanding artist-athlete lifestyle. Barre supplies all levels of the performing arts and related exercise industries from studio to stage. But this isn’t the limit of Barre’s scope: the attention to detail given to nutrition by dancers can benefit people in all walks of life, whether it be picking up your kids from school, running a 5k, or combating the dreaded midday office slump. Barre uses simple ingredients that everyone can pronounce, in their purest and most unadulterated form. And while good nutrition is the foundation of wellness, as artists we believe great taste is paramount! When all natural, healthy ingredients are artfully combined, nutrition and taste need not be mutually exclusive. We believe in aiding performance in the fine art of life through our superior quality gourmet nutrition products.

dancehealthier:  What flavors do you currently have on the market?

Barres!

Barre:  We currently have two main flavors, Pirouette Cinnamon Pecan and Black Swan Chocolate Berry, on the market. We also have a limited edition flavor, Pirouette Crunch, which has an extra added crunch.

dancehealthier:  The barre is good, tasty and pure – using only real ingredients? How important is it for barre to promote healthy nutrition for dancers?

Barre:  We saw a void in the dance world of healthy, readily accessible snacks, and we have set out to change that. We’d love for Barre to be sold at every dance studio in America – so kids and adults alike are never presented with that situation we’ve all been in: when there is no healthy snack around so you’re forced to eat something not great or witness your energy level suffer and risk injury. It is so important that good nutrition is advocated for in the dance world, because it is an environment with a naturally high risk for disordered eating. This being said, it seems that more than ever dancers are embracing healthfulness as the new paradigm for success, and we are thrilled to partake in this positive change! Our charge is really to help educate dancers and their families about why it is so important to take great care, through great nutrition, of the very tool with which we perform our art. And to make great nutrition readily accessible!

dancehealther:  If barre could give dancers any piece of advice, with integration of dance and health in mind – what would it be?

Barre:  Work hard, stay balanced, and eat well!

To order barre, be sure to visit http://realfoodbarre.com/products-page/.  If you think could/should/would be interested in carrying Barre – pilates/yoga/dance studios/stores, of course including your workplace (if you think there’s a place for it there) feel free to contact Julia and Aaron for further inquiry at info@realfoodbarre.com.

**Thanks to all dancehealthier readers and subscribers for all of your support so far. If interested, you may subscribe to dancehealthier at the right hand side of the homepage.  You will only be e-mailed when new posts are published. Dancehealthier also has a facebook page.  To check it out, click HERE!  Feel free to make a comment or contact me via e-mail at dancehealthier@gmail.com.**

Dancehealthier inspired by Shelby Elsbree and her blog – Tutus and Tea

“Come, let us have some tea and continue to talk about happy things.”- Chaim Potok

When I first had the idea to create dancehealthier, I checked out other dance bloggers (although not a ton) for hints, ideas, and to be quite honest – confidence in the idea of writing.  I came across Shelby Elsbree’s blog named, The Offbeat Chronicles of a TuTu with Tea, and loved her ideas, creativity, and passion for life.   A september dancehealthier post titled, Balance, and Shelby’s article titled, Breakfast, Lunch & Lessons initialized further conversation on the theme of balance, and it’s vital role it plays to the health of a dancer.  Shelby, although I have never met her in person, is a person who is inspiring because she constantly indulges in the things in life that make her a well-rounded balanced person and dancer.  Her passion for life is contagious, so be sure to check it out!

Below is a Q&A I conducted with Shelby:

dancehealthier:  How long have you been dancing and when did you join the Royal Danish Ballet. 

Shelby:  This coming March 2012 will mark my third year of dancing with the Royal Danish Ballet. I joined the company as a corps member during their Spring Season of 2009. They were preparing an all Balanchine program, so coming from New York City, it was the perfect transition to feel right at home.

dancehealthier:  What is your intention of your blog? To influence, motivate, inspire, find your balance, or just have fun?

Shelby:  I like to think of Tutus & Tea as a fun collaboration of my work and many passions… It’s primary purpose is to keep me balanced — A reflective way of sharing my work and opportunities as a dancer with my friends and family while living far away, and a creative outlet to express and develop my other passions as a learning photographer and foodie enthusiast. :)

dancehealthier:  Do you think your love for food and photography has helped you grow into a better dancer, artist, and lover of life?

Shelby:  I definitely believe that delving into my other passions (photography and love of food) has helped me to develop as a more well-rounded and inspired person, artist and dancer. It keeps me positive and happy to indulge my interests both at and away from the theater, so the balance it provides me with is a certain benefit.

dancehealthier:  Do you think there is a bigger need for integration of dance and health?

Shelby:  I definitely agree that there is a bigger need for integration of dance and health. There are so many misconceptions and too-often true clichés about the world of dancers, and as the daughter of a doctor, I can’t stress the importance of a balanced and effective understanding of health — especially as an athlete.

dancehealthier:  With dance in mind how would you define health?

Shelby:  With dance in mind, I would define health as an individual state of happiness and balance between your body, mind and spirit – I would stress that all three of these figures receive just as much attention as the others. To be healthy is to properly fuel your unique machine (body) and to understand that it needs the right (individual) care and attention to run at it’s very best, and to be proud of it.