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Trail Mix

via The Rockettes

When you’re spending hours and hours rehearsing, performing or competing, your food choices can make all the difference in your performance. To eat smart all you need is a little extra planning time and this handy list of ideas we like to use on dancing days! Get ready to fuel up!

Nuts – A handful will keep you feeling full longer and help build muscle.

Seeds – Seeds are an excellent source of protein and contain healthy minerals.

Raw veggies – High in fiber, these improve your digestion and increase your stamina.

Fresh fruit – Fruit will keep your energy way up.

Dried fruits – Dried raisin, apricots or other fruits give you a quick energy boost and can stimulate your thirst, encouraging you to drink more water.

High fiber/protein snack bars – Store-bought brands are still processed food. If you can pronounce most of the ingredients, this is a better choice. You may also want to stick to those under 200 calories and not loaded with sugar-or make your own (it’s easier than you think)!

Peanut Butter – Try it on fruit, veggies, or whole grains for protein.

Popcorn – Seasoned with spices rather than butter, margarine, or oil.

Whole grain pretzels

Bagels or bagel chips

Rice cakes

Graham or saltine crackers (about 4 squares)

Cereal (dry and unsweetened)

Low-fat string cheese

Fat-free or low-fat yogurt

Hummus or guacamole with whole-grain pita bread

Jello (low sugar or sugar-free is best)

Oatmeal raisin or Fig/Fruit type cookies (stick to only 2)

More tips for pre-performance eating:

>The day before and the day of your competition eat good sources of carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans.

>Eat small meals 2-4 hours before you hit the stage.

>Skip the soda. Drink primarily water and plenty of it to stay hydrated. A little fruit juice or sports drinks are okay.

>Try to keep between-event snacks below 300 calories. You don’t want to feel hungry but choose foods that are easy to digest so that you won’t be full when you perform again later.

>If you eat out at a restaurant on performance day, choose low-fat options that are not too spicy. It’s probably a good idea to avoid gas-producing foods like onions, beans, or broccoli right before your performance.

>With tons of delicious, inexpensive and nutritious foods to pack for your next all-day dance competition, you don’t need to rely on junk food to get you through. Instead, fuel your body with healthy alternatives that give you the most punch for your crunch.

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