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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10 tips: Nutritional Educational Series – Making healthy food choices from Dancehealthier

10 tips: Nutritional Education Series – Making healthy food choices from dancehealthier!

  • Don’t forget about Dairy– Dancers need strong bones. Depending on your intake, on occasion, eating lower fat dairy products may be wise (however, absolutely not necessary) due to dairies high saturated fat content. Low-fat dairy products contain the same amount of calcium and essential nutrients but contain less saturated fats. However, watch for added hormones, preservatives, and antibiotics, or added sugar (plain yogurt + whole banana + flax seed). Moderation is the key. Another option is to eat Greek yogurt.

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  • Drink lots of Water – Goal, 8 cups a day. Before, during and after dance. As a dancer we need to drink more water because we sweat more than the non-dancer.

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  • Foods to eat less often – Processed foods (they contain unpronounceable ingredients, and are high in sugars/sodium/and often times saturated fats). Also moderate desserts and treats. Remember, too much or too little of anything creates bad eating habits. But desserts are ok to eat in moderation! Yum!

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  • Fill your plate with fruits and vegetables – Why not half? Choose colors and make your plate pretty. Red, orange, dark-green, yellow. Be sure to add them in creatively.

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  • Mix it up with plant protein – Very key for the life of an active dancer. Variety is helpful, beneficial and yummy too. Choose beans (pinto, black, white, red beans, split peas), soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggies, burgers, soy/almond dairy products), nuts, dried fruit, almond milk.

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  • Balance Meals – Every dancer is different, which is an ever so wonderful thing. Finding out how to balance YOUR specific plate is the first step to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Remember that eating healthy foods, eating in moderation (not omitting, or overeating), & eating consistently (not binging or fasting) are all healthy and ideal habits for a dancer to instill and maintain.

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  • Power up with protein – Protein is essential in building and repairing muscles. Choose lean, low in fat cuts of beef, chicken meat, and turkey. Limit your seafood to twice a week and also remember, quality protein sources come from plant-based foods too. Eggs count too!

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  • Eat healthy foods – Eating healthy foods will absolutely make you crave the healthy foods, and less of the high fat/sugar/sodium foods naturally (Whole grains, dairy products, fruits, vegetables). It’s important for peak performance to acquire the essential macronutrients, minerals and vitamins from these foods to energize your body efficiently. Be sure to make your plates colorful.

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  • Energize with grains– At least half whole-grain/wheat. Examples: 100% whole grain/wheat, brown rice, and other whole grains (pastas, quinoa, cereals, crackers).

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  • Reach your goals – As dancers we want to be at peak performance. Treating your body with respect by giving it proper healthy foods, eating in moderation, and knowing what foods can benefit you the most is the key to your success.

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“Calling all Fiber!”

With the freshness of a new year, it’s always a good time to begin new habits, and new things to help us grow as people.  There is truth in the fact that the happier we are, the more we illuminate as dancers.  Another way to put it is that we subconsciously emit a certain aura when we are more or less happy.  Have you ever been told, “Wow, you just look so much better?”  Sometimes, we as dancers, aren’t even aware of the impact our energy has on ourself, others, and even our dancing.  So, in this way, it’s always a good thing to keep expanding while finding ways to stay both happy and healthy.

After asking some dancer friends what their own resolutions were for 2012, a common theme came up.  Nutrition!  So, I thought I would tap into some fun nutritional facts and share with you what came up for the next few Movement Wednesday entries.

This week’s Movement Wednesday themed food is, DIETARY FIBER!

The real story on dietary fiber:  The term “dietary fiber” refers to all components of the plant cell wall. In general, most plant cell walls contain 35% insoluble fiber, 45% soluble fiber, 15% lignans, 3 % protein, and 2 percent ash.  Dietary fiber is a complex of all these elements, therefore all 4 of these components create a diet rich in high-fiber foods.

  • Insoluble fibers:  Incapable of being dissolved, although capable of binding water, which promotes regular bowel movements.  Ex: Anything containing cellulose; Wheat Bran.
  • Soluble fibers:  Capable of dissolving in water, which exert the most beneficial results.  Ex: Oat bran, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, and outer skin and rind of fruits and vegetables.
  • Lignans:  Show such properties of anticancer, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity, by regulating estrogen levels.  Ex:  Flaxseeds.
Why eat it?”
  • Decreased intestinal transit time
  • Delayed gastric emptying resulting in reduced after-meal blood sugar levels.
  • Increased stool weight
  • Increased lipid (fat) metabolism
  • Regulation of bowel movement
Practicality of adding more fiber into our diets:
  • Bring an array of nuts, seeds, even granola for a easy “popping” snack.
  • Make homemade oatmeal in the A.M., adding in yummy nuts, dried fruit and a touch of peanut butter. Or, even easier, eat some high fiber cereal or muesli.
  • Make a quick and easy burrito for lunch filled with black beans, refried beans, diced tomatoes, corn, rice and some guacamole.
  • Make a bean soup, or just add some legumes in stews.
  • Pack high fiber granola bars, like barre – a real food bar.
Thanks for tuning in this week.  To check out last week’s Movement Wednesday nutrition post click HERE to read, “Calling all Yogurt!”
** 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 like it, click HERE!  Feel free to make a comment or contact me via e-mail at dancehealthier@gmail.com. Thank you all so much for your support! **

 

“Calling All Yogurt!”

With the freshness of a new year, it’s always a good time to begin new habits, and new things to help us grow as people.  There is truth in the fact that the happier we are, the more we illuminate as dancers.  Another way to put it is that we subconsciously emit a certain aura when we are more or less happy.  Have you ever been told, “Wow, you just look so much better?”  Sometimes, we as dancers, aren’t even aware of the impact our energy has on ourself, others, and even our dancing.  So in this way it’s always a good thing to keep expanding, stay positive, and find ways to stay happy and healthy.

After asking some friends what their own resolutions were for 2012, a common theme came up.  Nutrition!  So, I thought I would tap into some fun nutritional facts and share with you what came up for the next few Movement Wednesday entries.

This week’s Movement Wednesday themed food is, Yogurt!!

  • Practicality:  Easy to eat on a five minute break, easy to transport, and lots of options.  If you don’t like one kind, try another! Even try Kefir or Greek Yogurt (if you have not already)!
  • History (Who knew?):  The legend often told is that yogurt was born on the slopes of Mount Elbrus is the Caucasus Mountains, between the Black and Caspian Seas.  On the hot southern slope a mixture of organisms that thrived in these temperatures contaminated a pitcher of milk belonging to a Turkish nomad.  The result was what they called yogurut, which was changed to the current version, “yogurt,” in the eighteenth century.
  • Nutritional highlights:  Provides a great source of protein, calcium, phosphorous, riboflavin, and Vitamin B12.  It is also a great source of pantothenic acid, biotin, selenium, zinc, and potassium.

Health Benefits:

  • Improved tolerance of milk – Enhances lactose digestion 
  • Improved intestinal health – Live active cultures helps to keep intestinal balance as well as suppressing harmful bacteria in the intestine.  
  • Lowers blood cholesterol levels – Not typically a problem with dancers but research shows that 1 cup of yogurt per day for one year lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) in total blood count.    
  • Anticancer and Immune-Enhancing Effects – Various probiotic species may reduce the risk of colon cancer as well serving as an immune-enhancing agent, anti-tumor effect, and detoxifier of cancer-causing substances.

Ways to add it into your daily routine for the new year:   

  • Add it your salad dressings.  Simply place yogurt in the blender with enough water to achieve a desired consistency. Add in your favorite herbs and spices.    
  • Mix it in with your cereal or granola and even add in some bananas and berries. 
  • Make smoothies!  Add in your yogurt, fruit, veggies, juice, and even some peanut butter for a yummy smoothie.   
  • Make a yogurt parfait.  Parfaits are healthful, visual, and a yummy treat.  Layer yogurt, granola and your favorite fruit in a wine or other fun glass.
  • Top waffles or pancakes with a dollop of plain yogurt and then top off with your favorite fruits and nuts.
  • Bon Appetit!

If you have not had the chance to read the recent Conversation Sunday piece titled, A Resourceful Interview and OFFER from Active Release Specialist, Andy Shetterly, please take a look!  He has great things to say and wants to work with you!

**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 like it, click HERE!  Feel free to make a comment or contact me via e-mail at dancehealthier@gmail.com. Thank you all so much for your support!**