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Smart Snacking

It's 1:45pm and you have just enough time to stuff some food into your mouth that, hopefully, will give you enough energy for the remainder of your day. What do you reach for?

TLDR: find snack combinations that work for you and don't forget to drink water throughout your entire day!

carbohydrates + protein

carbohydrates + fats

fats, proteins, + carbohydrates

Before we dive too deeply into the rabbit hole of snacking and our marketing-led conditioning for it, let's break it down.

Why do we snack? Well, this might seem like a trick question. I promise it's not! For me and many of my friends, we snack by eating small amounts of food in between meals as a pick-me up during a long day of rehearsals or spent at the theater - or in this case at home as we balance dancing, cross training, and sitting throughout our quarantine days. Snacking is a completely personal practice, too! Some dancers do not like to eat in between their regular meals while others prefer to eat their meals as snacks with more of them, more often throughout the day. This post is simply designed to offer snacking suggestions for you. Take it as you need and leave the rest!

Snacking can play a vital role in energy maintenance during a full day of dancing. It's uncommon that eating a full, mid-day lunch will allow a dancer to continue dancing into the afternoon/evening without a heavy feeling of being full, bloated, or sluggish. Your body, after all, needs time to digest meals and if you're trying to dance while digestion is happening, you might find that you're more tired after a full meal than if you'd consumed a smaller snack.

That being said, right now while we're all dancing at home is the perfect time to test out and play with your snacking: what foods help you to continue dancing with vitality into the afternoon; what foods make you feel bloated or weighed down; what foods help you to feel good and energized? Take this time now to test it out and bring what you've found with you once we all get back onto our studios!

Winning Snack Combinations - Snacking doesn't have to be rocket science - it's food after all - and here are some quick, simple combinations meant to provide quick and easily accessible energy for you. A key goal is to ensure that you're getting adequate carbohydrates in your snack, water throughout your day, and proteins + fats to keep you sated and prevent tummy grumbles.

Mel's Snack Suggestions:

fresh, raw veggies + hummus | carbohydrates, fiber, + protein

fresh, raw veggies + guacamole | carbohydrates, fiber, fat, + protein

chia seed pudding + fresh, raw fruit | carbohydrates, fiber, + protein

fresh, raw tomatoes, cottage cheese, + balsamic vinegar | carbohydrates, fiber, fat, + protein

tortilla, cheese, avocado, + sriracha | carbohydrates, fat, + protein

crackers, cheese, tomatoes | carbohydrates, fat, + protein

pretzels + cheese | carbohydrates, fat, + protein (don't forget water with this salty combination!)

fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies | BECAUSE WHY NOT!?

Have suggestions that I missed? Add them to the comments below!

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I'm a Nutrition Educator & Wellness Coach based in and serving Washington, DC and the DMV region. My lifestyle-focused method has successfully helped clients achieve personal results and enhance athletic ability, eMpowering performance in class, rehearsals, and on-stage. As professional dancer myself, I have gained nutritional balance and improved my own relationship with food through many years of practice and a Masters of Science in Nutrition from University of Bridgeport. I bring this depth of personal and academic experience to a variety of clients, particularly performance athletes and fitness enthusiasts. In my spare time, I teach yoga and manage Ballet Embody, a professional contemporary ballet company.
Healthy Food
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