10 Healthy Pre-Class Meals For Dancers
You should never go to class on an empty stomach; you should also never go to class with a gut full of the wrong stuff. Selecting healthy meals and snacks from a wide range of whole foods will give you the energy and nourishment you need to get through class. Starving yourself is so passé (and I’m not talking about your turnout). Nosh on any of these 10 healthy options before you hit the studio.
1. Bagel and Cream Cheese
Smear some cream cheese on a whole grain bagel. The cream cheese provides calcium while the carbohydrates from the bagel will fuel you through class.
2. Greek yogurt with nuts and berries
Avoid blended yogurts that are loaded with artificial sweeteners and colors not found in nature. Instead, top plain greek yogurt with some almonds and fresh berries. Add a drizzle of honey if the yogurt is too tart for your taste.
3. Hummus with pita
Hummus, a dip made of ground chickpeas and sesame paste, is full of protein. Pita bread is also a fun break from traditional toast. Swipe some hummus on a couple of slices and you’re good to go.
4. Almond butter on whole grain bread
Switch out the ol’ peanut butter jar for a tub of almond butter. Spread some nutty heaven on a slice of whole grain toast and top with banana slices. The carb-protein-fruit mix will help balance your blood sugar levels.
5. Oatmeal with dried fruit
Oatmeal is a great source of protein, complex carbohydrates, and B vitamins, which help settle your nerves. If possible, go for steel-cut or whole rolled oats. Instant oats, while convenient, are excessively processed and stripped of their nutrients.
Grab a cold, crunchy pickle from the fridge before class. When you sweat, your body loses electrolytes. This salty treat helps replenish your stores, and in conjunction with plenty of water, can prevent dehydration.
7. Chunky Monkey Smoothie
This smoothie has peanut butter, cocoa powder, banana, and almond milk. The peanut butter and banana work together to provide your body with protein and potassium, two things essential to muscle recovery. Replace almond milk with coconut, or another nut milk if you prefer.
8. Black Forest Smoothie
Combine frozen cherries, cocoa powder, and almond butter with your favorite nut milk and you have cake in a glass. Cherries are packed with antioxidants that help ease arthritis pain and other forms of inflammation.
9. Turkey Wrap
Wrap cheese slices and shaved turkey in a whole wheat or gluten-free tortilla. Turkey is a great source of lean protein, and it’s easy to try a carb-free version. Simply fold turkey and cheese together for a quick and tasty meal before class.
It’s always a good time to have a heaping spoonful of guac. Make your own guacamole with salt, lime, diced onion, chopped tomato and cilantro. Or, keep it really simple and just scoop the green stuff straight. Avocados are a great source of protein, B vitamins, and healthy fats.
You can always make adjustments. Lactose intolerant? Skip the swiss. Cow milk a big mistake? Use nut milks. Allergic to nuts? Try soy beans, sunflower seeds, or dried fruit. Avoid meal replacement fads like Slim Fast and protein bars that are loaded with unnecessary chemicals and sugars. Remember, if it sounds like a science project, opt out.