Dancers are athletes.
Just like any other athlete, it’s important that we be conscious about how we are fueling our bodies. The stereotype of the stick-thin waif who dines on lettuce leaves and cigarettes is long gone, and as our field becomes increasingly physical, so too must our fitness and nutrition.
Here begins the start of a brand new series for Art Intercepts. In The Fit Dancer, I’ll discuss principles of exercise physiology, fitness, and nutrition to help you on your journey toward maximum health and longevity in your dance career. To kick the series off, I’m going to let you in on a little secret:
I can be quite crafty in the kitchen!
While you might ordinarily associate my column with dance injuries, pedagogy and miscellaneous ramblings about technique, one of my favorite hobbies is cooking. Dancers are constantly on the go, so we need quick and nutritious meals that can be prepared fast, and/or ahead of time. Since it’s important to begin your long days of class and rehearsals with a good breakfast (and since strawberries are in season right now), it’s only appropriate that I share with you my favorite smoothie recipe. I drink one of these beauties every morning, and should you choose to do the same you’ll never go back to a bowl of cereal.
- 1 banana
- 1 cup frozen strawberries*
- 1/2 cup frozen other berries (I use blueberries and raspberries)*
- 1/4-1/2 cup plain yogurt (regular or greek)
- juice of 2-3 oranges
- spoonful of honey (optional)
Place all ingredients in the blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass or travel cup and sip through a straw!
* You can use fresh fruit, but if you do plan on adding a few ice cubes to make it cold and smooth. Better yet, buy fresh fruit in season, wash it, and freeze it yourself!
What’s your go-to quick and easy breakfast?
Lauren Warnecke is a freelance writer and editor, focused on dance and cultural criticism in Chicago and across the Midwest. Lauren is the dance critic for the Chicago Tribune, editor of See Chicago Dance, and founder/editor of Art Intercepts, with bylines in Chicago Magazine, Milwaukee Magazine, St. Louis Magazine and Dance Media publications, among others. Holding degrees in dance and kinesiology, Lauren is an instructor of dance and exercise science at Loyola University Chicago. Read Lauren’s posts.