Your Body Tips
No matter what your New Year’s resolutions are for 2015, there’s no need to deny your sweet tooth. The next time a dessert craving hits, whip up this chia seed pudding for a tasty treat that’s filled with fiber, calcium and even some protein. It takes only a few minutes of prep time, and will keep refrigerated for up to five days.
Almond Chia Pudding (4 servings)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1–2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or raw honey
Seasonal fruit for topping (such as pomegranate seeds or pears)
1. Combine almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla and sweetener in a bowl or mason jar. Mix well.
2. Store covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour, but preferably overnight.
3. Stir well before serving and add a bit of water to the pudding if it becomes too thick.
4. Top with fresh fruit of your choice.
Nutrition per serving (without fruit): 167 calories, 4.5 g protein, 11 g dietary fiber, 41% calcium, 25% vitamin E, 12.5% vitamin D
Skip This Sip
It may be tempting to gulp down a Red Bull before curtain—energy drinks have been shown to improve athletic performance by boosting force, power, speed and accuracy. But a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that the drinks also increase insomnia, nervousness and stimulation for multiple hours. That could keep you up all night feeling agitated after a show, leaving you exhausted when it’s time to get back onstage tomorrow.
If you’re fighting butterflies when you wake up the morning of an audition, stretch out. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, who trained in ballet before popularizing the concept of “power posing”—standing tall with a puffed-out chest to feel more confident, for example—says this idea could extend to your very first moments in the morning. Early results of recent studies show that people who sleep with their arms and legs long feel brighter and more optimistic than those who spend the night in the fetal position. If you wake up in a ball, don’t worry—just reach out into a giant X for a few moments before getting up.
Weird But True
If you’re working out knots before class, use an easy touch. Light moving pressure can help soften fascia and relax clenched muscles, but too much force could trigger muscles to tighten up in defense. Take a gentle approach during any pre-class roll-outs, and save the deep-tissue work until after dancing.