Winter festivities often involve larger meals with foods that might be richer than what you’re used to, and trying to navigate the seasonal sugar rush can be overwhelming.
Pumpkin, in its various forms, provides a versatile canvas for creativity in the kitchen. Canned pumpkin purée, a pantry staple, can be easily incorporated into soups and pies, and frozen pumpkin can be added to oatmeal and pancakes. When fresh pumpkin is roasted, its caramelized edges and tender interior add a delectable dimension to salads, pastas, or a standalone side dish. Don’t overlook the seeds; toasted pumpkin seeds make a crunchy, nutritious snack or a flavorful salad topper.
Many dancers struggle to keep up with their iron needs, however. Research suggests that when compared to the general population, dancers are at a higher risk for low iron stores—a likely culprit being restrictive eating patterns. This can be a result of either restrictive dieting or a busy schedule that makes it challenging to eat enough throughout the day.
While cooking from scratch is often touted as the ideal approach to healthy eating, it’s not always feasible for dancers during busy rehearsal and performance periods. Elaborate home-cooked meals are also not the be-all and end-all of nutritious eating. Particularly when time is scarce, turning to nutritious snacks and relying on packaged and frozen foods can be part of a healthy eating plan, offering convenience without sacrificing nutrition.
When Caitlin Trainor’s daughter Evangelina was a toddler, Trainor wanted to give her a treat that was nourishing and contained minimal refined sugars. After some experimentation in the kitchen, Trainor developed her cast-iron banana bread.
A healthy approach to eating during recovery involves an abundance and a variety of foods that offer the body tools to support tissue repair, muscle building, energy replenishment, and immunity. In addition to nutrition, it’s important that dancers focus on mindset—and the ability to stay motivated and confident—during injury recovery.
Just as nutrition is important to a dancer’s fuel plan, eating patterns that support a dancer’s relationship with food can have an incredible impact on performance potential onstage and in the studio. Yet research suggests that dancers are three times more likely to struggle with an eating disorder than the general population. This often involves inflexibility around foods that diet culture deems to be “bad” or “unhealthy,” like processed foods or desserts.
Martha Graham Dance Company’s Anne Souder Shares Her Substitution-Friendly Potato-Crust Quiche and Only Green Salad Recipes
In 2020, Anne Souder made a New Year’s resolution to create less food waste—and it stuck. The Martha Graham Dance Company soloist continues to work toward this goal by finding creative ways to repurpose leftover ingredients.