Keep It Real

Please remind yourself how wonderful it is be in this world, where you are now, and have freedom of choice! You can do almost anything you want to do, be almost anybody you want to be and you can thank America for believing in that theory and preserving your rights as a human being to pursue your beliefs. This is something I am thankful for and never take for granted each day.

Speaking of never taking things for granted, you also have a tremendous number of choices when it comes to food. Food is available in America in plentiful amounts, through many sources, and it is everywhere. It is not very likely that you will go hungry, or without food anytime soon. Truly a blessing in of itself – but the choices we make can create a great impact in our lives. And since most of our readers care about dance and wish to pursue a career in ballroom dancesport, you better believe your food choices will and can make a difference in your dance career. Maybe this sounds like a broad statement or an over exaggeration to some of you. People inherently know that they should eat right to look and feel good. However, the general population ignores the facts and goes for what tastes the best or better yet, what is convenient. That my friends, is going to cost you.

Yes, most Americans are cooking less, eating more convenience foods and eating their meals out more frequently. Young people particularly like to eat at fast food restaurants. They look at it as fun. Let’s face it; we all like to go out every now and then for something we particularly like at our favorite restaurant. The truth of the matter is, most restaurants do not care about your health. They deal in making food look and taste appetizing. If they have to use more additives, sugar, salt, preservatives, to name a few things, to get you to want to eat their food, they are right there making that happen. Unfortunately, my young dancer friends, you need everything working perfectly and in your favor to win dance competitions. If you think you can get away with sticky bun, cinnamon rolls and diet sodas all your life for a quick pick-up, boy have I got news for you.

What you put in your mouth matters. If you are developing food habits that are really not that good for you, now’s the time for a nutritional change. Here are some “good words” to eat by, “keep it simple and real.” I’ll even make it easy for you to remember. Foods with one ingredient rock, they are always going to be the best foods for energy and nutrition. We’re talking about most fruits and just about any vegetable you can think of. No, candy is not in this category. However, the occasional piece of (organic) dark chocolate never hurt anybody. In fact, it is supposed to be good for you! Dark organic chocolate acts as an antioxidant in small doses.

Instead of preach to you to eat more wholesome foods, I thought I’d give you a couple of

energy booster drinks as ideas. You can drink these fun and easy to make drinks anytime and they are easy to make. They are loaded with power vitamins to make your body feel good. I’m a firm believer that a healthy body will dance better!

Freddie’s Easy/Anytime Shake

Ice cubes crushed

A couple of dates (de-pitted)

½ cup of a milk product or substitute, i.e. Soy Milk, Almond Milk, etc., you can also

use pure juices (1/4 cup or so)

Fruit(s) of your choice: can be fresh or frozen (small amount)

A few nuts added in

A protein powder, or vegetable green powder of your choice (I like Barley Green Powder). Better brands are sold in health food stores.

Some Chia Seeds or Hemp Seeds

A Frozen Banana (that is the secret ingredient). It ties everything together and makes an awesome “smoothie” drink. Yes, I freeze bananas and use them in smoothies. I throw everything in a blender and out comes a yummy, nourishing drink.

If you notice, I didn’t really tell you the amounts to use. Be creative and adventurous and think of other wholesome ingredients to experiment with. The whole idea is to use real foods that give you good nutrition and energy. So go for it, you might as well have a little fun making something you enjoy!

Here is one more for those of you who like to step up the nutrition level and also have a refreshing and nutritional boost.

It’s A Green Thing

Ice cubes crushed (or you can make the drink over ice)

1 Lime

1 Cucumber

1 or 2 cloves of Garlic

Green Powder (various kinds to choose from – Health Food Stores best for this)

2 Celery stalks

A bunch of Collard Greens (or any other kind of lettuce, kale, dandelion greens, etc.)

Mix everything in the blender except for the lime. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the lime

juice over the drink. I personally love this drink and always feel so good after I drink it. I find it so refreshing. Here’s a tip for the best tasting foods and ingredients to use, when possible choose organic. Organic food provides the the purest of food choices without pesticides.

Choose foods that make sense for life. My young dancer friends, you are on a mission to succeed and part of that journey is finding out what promotes success in every way you can. And, if you think of your body as a temple that you worship, then it becomes easier to make good choices in general, which includes food, of course. So, give yourself the respect you deserve and watch how perfectly the universe lines up to give you whatever else you may want! After all, a healthy body is a happy (dance) body!!

Bon appetit,

Thought Of The Week:

I would like to pay tribute to one of the greatest motivational speakers and monumental self-help authors of our time, Mr. Wayne Dyer. Mr. Dyer passed away on August 30, 2015. He will be missed by all of us who embraced his clear and concise wisdom in relating to the world. He was one of those people, once you heard him speak, you would never forget. He left a lasting impression on this earth for the better!

“If you change the way you look at things, then things you look at change.” – Dr. Wayne Dyer

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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