9 Dietitian-Approved Apps For Healthy Eating
Every dancer's nutrition goals are different. Maybe you're trying to go vegan, or maybe you want to cook your own dinner more often. No matter what your personal objectives are—or whether you work with a dietitian—there are all kinds of apps that can help you make smart decisions at the tap of a button.
We asked three dietitians who work with dancers for their top recommendations.
Want to know how much vitamin C is in your peach, or how much caffeine is in your dark chocolate? Registered dietitian nutritionist Rachel Fine, founder of To The Pointe Nutrition, says the Nutrients app can help you easily assess the nutritional content of whatever you're eating.
Developed by a dietitian for Olympic athletes, NutriTiming analyzes how much food you need throughout the day based on how active you are. Emily C. Harrison, founder of Nutrition for Great Performances, uses it to help some of her clients analyze their food choices, but warns that the focus on numbers can be triggering for anyone who struggles with disordered eating.
App: Water Drink Reminder
How many of us actually remember to hydrate regularly? Heidi Skolnik, who consults with dancers and athletes through her company Nutrition Conditioning, recommends using an app like Water Drink Reminder to automatically send you nudges throughout the day.
"Eating out can be daunting," admits Fine. The HealthyOut app helps you find nutritious restaurant meals nearby.
Skolnik recommends collecting all your favorite recipes on ChefTap so that you always have healthy dinner ideas on your phone—and know what you'll need to buy at the grocery store in order to whip them up.
App: 21-Day Vegan Kickstart
With veganism trending, Harrison sees many dancers simply cut out all animal foods without adding in healthy alternatives. "A well-designed vegan diet can be great, as long as it's done well," she says. The recipes on the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart app were created by doctors and dietitians.
App: Food Intolerances
If you're not sure which foods work with your diet restrictions, the Food Intolerances app helps you navigate the choices, says Fine.
App: Recovery Warriors
If you're recovering from disordered eating or struggling with negative feelings about food, the Recovery Warriors app can help track your behaviors and emotions, says Harrison.
Need help navigating the snack aisle? Fine says you can personalize your interests on ShopWell to find options that align with your health goals—tailored to the exact store you're standing in.
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Dancers are understandably obsessed with food. In both an aesthetic and athletic profession, you know you're judged on your body shape, but you need proper fuel to perform your best. Meanwhile, you're inundated with questionable diet advice.
"My 'favorite' was the ABC diet," says registered dietitian nutritionist Kristin Koskinen, who trained in dance seriously but was convinced her body type wouldn't allow her to pursue it professionally. "On the first day you eat only foods starting with the letter A, on the second day only B, and so on."
Back in 2011 when Joe Lanteri first approached Katie Langan, chair of Marymount Manhattan College's dance department, about getting involved with New York City Dance Alliance, she was skeptical about the convention/competition world.
"But I was pleasantly surprised by the enormity of talent that was there," she says. "His goal was to start scholarship opportunities, and I said okay, I'm in."
Today, it's fair to say that Lanteri has far surpassed his goal of creating scholarship opportunities. But NYCDA has done so much more, bridging the gap between the convention world and the professional world by forging a wealth of partnerships with dance institutions from Marymount to The Ailey School to Complexions Contemporary Ballet and many more. There's a reason these companies and schools—some of whom otherwise may not see themselves as aligned with the convention/competition world—keep deepening their relationships with NYCDA.
Now, college scholarships are just one of many ways NYCDA has gone beyond the typical weekend-long convention experience and created life-changing opportunities for students. We rounded up some of the most notable ones:
Yvonne Rainer's Parts of Some Sextets (AKA "the mattress dance") hasn't been revived since it premiered in 1965. Nor has Rainer had any wish to do it again, to ask performers to heave 10 mattresses around while carrying out 31 tasks that changed every 30 seconds. It was an unwieldy, difficult dance. (Even the title is unwieldy.) But Emily Coates, who has danced in Rainer's work for 20 years, became curious about this piece and was determined to see it again—and to dance in it. She will get her wish November 15–17, when the mattress dance will be performed as part of the Performa 19 Biennial.
"The show must go on" may be a platitude we use to get through everything from costume malfunctions to stormy moods. But when it came to overcoming a literal hurricane, Houston Ballet was buoyed by this mantra to go from devastated to dancing in a matter of weeks—with the help of Harlequin Floors, Houston Ballet's longstanding partner who sprang into action to build new floors in record time.