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It’s Time for Dance Moms to be Healthy Too!

I am always shocked when I get to dance competitions. Although the majority of dancers have strong and lean bodies, the moms are very often, quite the opposite. How can we push our daughters to be strong, lean and healthy and then let ourselves go so badly? Honestly, it makes no sense to me. And it’s not even about how we look, it’s about our health and all the illnesses that can be avoided.

A healthy lifestyle begins at home and we, the moms, set the example. If we want our dancers  to be strong, lean and healthy enough to perform at maximum capacity, then it’s up to us to make sure they exercise and eat right, in other words, it’s up to us to prepare healthy foods, exercise, and, like it or not, set the example!

BUT, I’m not talking about a diet. I’m not talking about a quick fix diet, I’m not talking about pills and fasting, I don’t believe in diets because they don’t work! I’ve seen too many people lose lots of weight quickly and then gain it all back, along with some extra pounds, when they go back to eating normal. And I’m definitely not talking about spending hours working out because no one has time for that! I’m taking about eating healthy, exercising for at least 30 minutes daily, and making healthy changes to your lifestyle that are sustainable and easy for your entire life.

Here are some of tips that will benefit you and the dancers in your life (and your entire family!):

1. Limit processed foods! What does this mean? Almost anything packaged in a box or bag. Read the ingredients and if you can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it. Use olive oil and vinegar as a dressing instead of creamy dressings.

2. Eat lots of fresh veggies. Packed with nutrition and low in calories so you can fill up guilt free. Add them to omelets, eat them as a snack with hummus, have a small salad before dinner to fill you up. The more colorful the better!

3. Reduce processed sugars. Eat fresh fruit instead. If you must have something sweet after dinner try a piece of dark chocolate (which is less processed, packed with anti-oxidants and less sugar) does the trick!

4. Choose healthy fats. You need fat in your diet, but you need to be careful what fats you’re eating. Stick with nuts, seeds, olives, avocados, fatty fish like salmon or tuna, eggs, peanut and other nut butters (use sparingly and be sure to read your labels). Try cooking with olive and sesame oils. But be sure to watch your portions!

5. Watch your sodium (salt) intake. Most of us take in way more than the recommended amount of daily sodium. Good news: cutting back on processed and fast foods should do the trick, but taste your food before adding salt anyways; it may already be flavorful enough without additional added salt.

6. Choose whole grains. Go for real whole wheat breads and pasta, brown or wild rice, quinoa or steel cut oats. Read the labels.

7. Don’t drink your calories. For best hydration, stick to water. Need coffee, limit the cream and sugar. Limit juices and alcoholic beverages. VERY IMPORTANT: Cut out all soda, even diet soda (yes, you can do it!).

Healthy eating is not about counting calories, or limiting certain foods. It’s about being aware of what you are putting in your body and watching your portions. Exercise is necessary for your overall health, but it all starts with nutrition.

P.S. I can help you! Join my next Challenge Group!