• Coreen Ward

Nutrition for Dancers...

Updated: Nov 29, 2018



Last night I visited my old stomping grounds. This time, not as a dance teacher but as a health coach.


Dance For Joy in Brielle, NJ was open enough and forward thinking enough to invite me to speak to a group of their pre-professional dancers about nutrition.


I touched on eating a balanced diet for dancers breaking down fat, carbs & proteins. We spoke about the benefits of eating "real" food. The dancers gained some knowledge on the downfalls of packaged snacks and some sad truths about food dyes, preservatives and artificial flavoring I like to call the big "Magic Show".


I didn't ask them to totally give up their OREOS. I believe there is a time and place for junk food and just like a good Magic Show, they are best enjoyed in small doses at little kid birthdays and on the Asbury Boardwalk.


We made a few easy snacks that can sustain them through their heavy workouts and long nights.

FRUIT DIP

INGREDIENTS:

• Nut or Seed Butter of your choice

• Unrefined Coconut Oil

• Cinnamon

• Turmeric (optional)

• Honey (try local honey for allergy protection or Manuka for inflammation reduction)

DIRECTIONS:

Stir all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Experiment with portions and spices. Maybe try Pumpkin Pie Spice or Clove

VEGGIE DIP

INGREDIENTS:

• Ricotta, Plain Greek Yogurt, or Sour Cream

• Natural Seasoning to taste (like Penzey’s Spices)

• EVOO

DIRECTIONS:

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.


POWER BALLS

INGREDIENTS:

• 1 cup (dry) oatmeal or quinoa puffs

• 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes

• 1/2 cup nut or seed butter of choice

• 1/2 cup ground flax seeds

• 1/2 cup chocolate chips

• 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar

• 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes about 20-25 balls. Have fun trying new versions. Add dried fruit or spices.


My favorite part of the evening was when these young girls tried Kombucha for the first time. They had all heard of the drink and had been curious but never gotten the nerve to try. I am proud to say, every girl tried Kombucha and some even went back for more.


My hope is that this workshop will empower these girls to take notice and take responsibility for their health. It is a wonderful tool to have going into adulthood and I wish I had known more in

my youth.


I am also feeling so privileged to share my passion in an emotionally safe environment. This was my first food workshop and my expectations were unknown. Dance For Joy has always been a second family for me. They continue to support me in my dreams and accomplishments.


Last night was great and I know it is just the beginning.







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