Seven Simple Nutrition Guidelines For Irish Dancers!

There is nothing I despise more than super rigid eating rules, that turn eating into an overly complicated science project leaving people with questions of what’s good or bad, what diet they need to jump on next, what expensive new supplement they need to buy, etc. I am a true believer in intuitive eating: trusting your body’s wisdom to know when and what to eat, but I know when you are just starting out with creating healthier eating habits,  it can be helpful to have a road map or basic guidelines of where to begin. Hope this helps! XO

GUIDELINE #1: These guidelines are not DO OR DIE! These are simply tips made to help you out! The most important thing is listening to your body and learning what works for you. It’s a process so be patient with yourself. 🙂

GUIDELINE #2: Aim to eat some protein, fat, and carbohydrate at every meal. Here are some examples:

BREAKFAST:

Scrambled eggs, avocado and Mary’s Seed Crackers or Ezekiel bread…My personal favorite breakfast!

Oatmeal with almond butter and a side of eggs or egg whites

Protein powder, banana, almond butter, and almond milk smoothie

LUNCH:

Whole grain wrap (sandwich bread works too, I just prefer wraps) Spinach salad tossed in olive oil, your favorite type of protein (chicken, ground beef, turkey, etc)., a side of blueberries or an apple (…what I eat 95% of the time for lunch, and sometimes dinner too! 😂)

Tuna or hard boiled eggs mixed with avocado (tuna salad) and a side of your favorite vegetables

SNACKS:

Protein bar and nuts (dark chocolate covered are my personal favorite!)

Rice cakes and peanut butter

Fairlife Chocolate milk and protein bar (Anyone who’s had a conversation with me for more than 10 minutes probably has heard about my obsession with Fairlife chocolate milk haha!)

DINNER:

Whole grain wrap (sandwich bread works too, I just prefer wraps) Spinach salad tossed in olive oil, your favorite type of protein (chicken, ground beef, turkey, etc)., a side of blueberries or an apple

A type of meat or fish, quinoa pasta, and vegetables tossed sautéed in coconut oil

Stir-fry with rice, your favorite type of meat, and vegetables sautéed in sesame oil

Taco salad: Ground beef or turkey, spinach, Mexican Rice or tortilla chips, on spinach or lettuce, olive oil or melted coconut oil (with taco seasoning on top), with carrots and salsa on the side!

NOTE: A big timesaver is frozen rice, frozen quinoa (from Trader Joes), and frozen veggies. Crockpots also help save time with cooking meat!

GUIDELINE #3: Eat approximately 3 meals and 2 snacks. If you are hungrier, eat more, and if you are less hungry, eat less.

GUIDELINE #4: Eat some type of PROTEIN AND CARBOHYDRATE after you work out and/or dance. After you work out, your body needs to refuel. If you feel super un-hungry after you dance or workout, try to at least drink a protein shake with almond milk or drink chocolate milk.

GUIDELINE #5: Listen to your body!!! I can’t emphasize this one enough! If you feel lethargic, sluggish, are having stomach issues, etc. look at what you are eating! I went YEARS without knowing I had food allergies and was just convinced I was just someone who “got sick.” So if you aren’t reacting well to certain foods, look at what you are eating and figure out what is going on.

GUIDELINE #6: DRINK WATER! Cramps from dehydration are NO FUN and easily preventible. Drink water all day long to avoid cramping up in practice or during your workouts.

GUIDELINE #7: Avoid eating something heavy before you dance. Blood goes wherever it is needed. If you eat something heavy minutes before dancing, the blood goes to your stomach to help digest your food. While working out or dancing, your muscles need that blood. If you feel you need to eat immediately before dancing, eat something light that is easy to digest! Otherwise, you may find yourself feeling heavy, lethargic, have digestive issues, or get side cramps.