Foods That Make Your Body Smile

With the holidays rapidly approaching and with all you as dancers go through with your schedules, I thought it would be fun to write about “Food” in general and remind you what makes our bodies feel good and gives us energy to continue our rigorous schedules.

There are wonderful seasonal foods that are only available at this time of year. I like to mention them first because there are so many incredible dishes that can be made with them and sometimes people don’t realize that they are not available for very long. There are over 100 dishes that can be made with a large orange gourd called Pumpkin. Pumpkin is actually a fruit and yet everything from soup to desserts can be made with it.

Also in the fruit category and with us for only a limited time are Pomegranates and Persimmons. You can’t believe how many people don’t even know what a Pomegranate or a Persimmon is. A Pomegranate is the size of an orange. It has a tough reddish outer skin and sweet red gelatinous flesh containing many seeds. Actually there are a lot of Pomegranate drinks that are available these days. It’s kind of a new, latest trend kind of thing. As a drink it is okay to drink as long as you limit the sugar that they add to the drink. Again, the Pomegranate can be fun and something different in recipes, from baked goods to sauces. As far as Persimmons go, they are kind of like a tomato, except they are orange and fleshy inside. They taste like no other fruit and again, there are very interesting and tasty recipes from puddings to soups that can be made with this fruit.

I’d now like to give you a list of great foods that give us true nourishment. You can compare it to what you already like and eat regularly. This list is in no particular order, just wonderful possibilities that can be mixed and matched and give you strength and energy all day long. These are foods that stick with you and satisfy the body’s needs.

Bananas, Melons, Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Coconuts, Apples, Pears, Oranges, Tangerines, Grapefruits, Grapes, Kiwis, Peaches, Nectarines, Plums, Apricots, Cherries, Pineapples, Mangoes, Raisins, Dates, Figs, Almond Milk, Protein Shakes, Smoothies, Yogurt (plain/no sugar), Dark Chocolate (organic), Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, Hemp Seeds, Nut Butters (no sugar added), Squash, Parsley, Lettuce, Dandelion Greens, Arugula, Avocados, Tomatoes, Celery, Carrots, Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach, Broccoli, Cucumbers, Onions, Garlic, Meat (lean), Chicken (lean), Salmon (wild), Tuna (without mercury), Sardines and Light Cheeses.

Now, how did you do? Are the foods that you eat on this list? Are you surprised by this list or are there foods on this list you have never heard of? If you answered, “Yes” to any of these questions, guess what, you are missing out on some excellent food choices that promote good health and well-being. And this is just a small list of many foods that are good for us.

Since the holidays are coming up, I know you are going to want to eat some of those special cookies, candies, pies and cakes that will be served. Guess what, YOU CAN AND ENJOY THEM!! That is, of course, if you have a mainstay diet of the foods listed above. If you are practicing to become a world-class dancer then it is not news to you that all facets of your life have to be in sync in order to create success. I’m here to say, with no exception, eating correctly and consistently in a healthy manner is one way to assure peak body performance. Avoid all genetically altered fruit and vegetables. Do not gorge on one particular fruit or vegetable because you prefer it but keep a balance by eating a variety. Over time one can actually develop an allergy if you do not keep a balance.

Okay, now go ahead and have that piece of pie, you’ve been working hard and it will be a real treat for you. If you keep desserts in the “treat” category, you will always enjoy them more!

Thought Of The Week:

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” Ralph Waldo Emerson



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website