Hello my pretties! I hope you all are doing well. I, unfortunately, got a nasty strain of the flu this past week and was rushed to Urgent Care and all that. I've been on complete bedrest since Friday and let me tell you...I am bored out of my mind! I normally am constantly moving around doing things and not being able to do that is driving me nuts. But other that that, I'm doing better and should be feeling good enough to go back to school on Wednesday. I would spend all this free time writing new blog posts but I am currently having writers block at the moment. Good thing I've prewritten and scheduled all my blog posts up till end of March because if I didn't we'd have a serious problem...
Anyways enough of my rambling, today's post is about the perfect audition "diet" because auditions for summer intensives are coming up within the next couple of months. I use the word "diet" very loosely here. It's not a loose weight diet but more of a diet for you to be at your peak during you audition. (It also works for performances too!) So let's get right into the post.
Before We Begin...
First of all, no matter how nervous you are before an audition or performance, YOU MUST EAT!! I cannot stress how important this is. During Snow White, I was SO nervous before the school outreach performance, I couldn't eat or drink at all. Making that mistake made me sick and really weak. Not a good idea during full length ballets or important auditions. If you eat, you'll be more alert to tackle any obstacles that may come.
The Week Before...
First of all, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to change your look before the audition. It's the biggest mistake a dancer could make. Cutting back on food, portion sizes, not eating from certain food groups is just gonna leave your body ill-prepared for the intense audition or performance. If you stick to what you normal eat, you'll be well fueled for the audition.
The Night Before...
No one likes feeling insecure in a leotard and tights, right? To make sure you look your best, try minimize the amount of sodium you have the night before to prevent bloating. “Most of the sodium people take in actually comes from processed foods,” points out my friend Danica Fleming, a registered dietitian who wants to work with dancers.
A suggested dinner would be along the lines of grilled salmon or chicken, brown rice, steamed broccoli and a fruit salad with a lot of water to drink.
The Morning Of...
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, so don't skip it. You want to get the most out of your morning meal because your nerves will only get worse as the audition approaches.
“Anxiety just doesn’t allow your stomach to empty very well,” says Fleming. A breakfast of Greek yogurt, oatmeal and berries is a great option because they are all low glycemic index foods. “That means they’re time released,” she explains. Instead of all the carbohydrates dumping into your bloodstream at once, they will provide slow and steady fuel all morning long.
An optimum breakfast would consist of an egg with toast and a banana (for potassium and to prevent muscle cramps) and some form of dairy. Protein is also a must. “Having it in the morning keeps my mind a little more focused,” she says. You can get protein in a myriad of ways. Some brands of Greek yogurt contain 14 grams of protein, which is about the same amount as two eggs. A good alternative is one cup of oatmeal which has 11 grams of protein.
Although it may be the last thing you want to do with the nausea nerves settle in is eat, but for optimum strength, try to eat something a few hours prior to the audition. Trail mix, a banana with peanut butter, or yogurt are all good choices. Many dancers, such as myself rely on energy bars because of their portability. “If you’re going to eat a bar, just be sure to read the ingredients,” Fleming adds. “You want nothing containing sugar alcohols, which tend to cause gas, cramping, bloating and diarrhea.” Sorbitol, xylitol, maltitol, and any other ingredient ending in “-ol,” are sugar alcohols. I suggest Kind Bars or Rickland's Orchard Bars because they have many different flavors. Plus, most of them have nuts in them which is a good alternative to trail mix if you aren't a fan. Both bars have protein in them but Rickland's Orchard Bars have more protein then Kind Bars.
You always have some of the snacks on hand in case you have to wait around for a while.
To help your muscles repair after an audition or performance, you should eat with in thirty minutes to an hour after the event is over. “Even if you have another audition, four or five days later, your preparation starts the moment the first one is over,” said Fleming. Again, protein is a good choice, but it doesn’t have to be meat or fish.. Edamame, hummus or nuts can all get the job done without feeling heavy in your stomach.
What to Avoid
Caffeine and alcohol are two of the biggest performance busters. Too much caffeine will leave you shaky and can heighten your anxiety. A small amount will help with alertness, but Anding says it shouldn’t be more than 4 ounces of coffee a day. Alcohol comes with a host of problems, from impairing muscle recovery to depleting the body of essential B vitamins. The effects are detrimental enough that, she says, “Alcohol really just needs to go by the wayside until you’ve secured your dream job.”
Don’t Forget Water
Part of the recipe for your best performance on audition day is proper hydration, but how much fluid is enough? "Let's say you weight 120 pounds, you should drink about 60 ounces per day." says Fleming. Beware that the winter months of audition season can require added focus on fluid intake. Cold weather leads many people to turn to hot drinks like coffee and tea, with less of an impulse to drink water. In addition, the dry air actually depletes your body of moisture (which is evident in dry skin). “Drinking only when you’re thirsty is a flawed strategy,” says Fleming.
(pc: Google Images).
Hopefully this gives you all a better insight into what I try to do when preparing for a performance or audition. If this post helped you, don't forget to give it a +1 on Google+, follow me on all my social media sites and leave me a comment below if you have any other tips for preparing you body for auditions or performances. See you next week!
~Poodle Previous Post: Ballet Series: Balance Social Media: Instagram & Twitter: @ballerinaboss_ Pinterest & Tumblr: @ballerinaboss19 Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/ballerinaboss