Nourishing the Dancer's Soul: A Comprehensive Guide to Dance Nutrition and Wellness
Welcome to Beyond the StEPS
We are taking it back to Season 1, where we talked to *Kristin Koskinen, RDN in depth on Dancer Nutrition! Dance is a beautiful form of artistic expression that demands dedication, discipline, and passion. However, the intense physical and mental demands of dance can sometimes lead to challenges in nutrition, body image, and overall well-being. In this article, we will delve deep into the world of dance nutrition and wellness, drawing insights from an expert's conversation.
Rethinking Dance Nutrition:
- The conversation starts by challenging traditional ideas of nutrition in the dance world.
- Dance nutrition should be about nourishing the body and mind.
- The shift from weight-based discussions to a focus on well-being is a key change needed in the industry.
- Mindful eating is introduced as a critical practice for dancers.
- The process starts in the mind, focusing on the sensations and thoughts surrounding food.
- Tips for becoming more aware of what you eat and how you eat are discussed.
Importance of Bento Boxes:
- Bento boxes are highlighted as a practical solution for portion control.
- These versatile lunch boxes encourage balanced, nutritious meals.
- The concept of introducing Bento boxes to children and fostering early nutritional awareness is emphasized.
Dealing with Bloating:
- Bloating, a common issue among dancers, is addressed.
- Factors like gut bacteria, improper digestion, and food sensitivities can contribute to bloating.
- The importance of slowing down, chewing food thoroughly, and promoting good digestion is stressed.
Self-Talk and Language:
- The influence of self-talk and language on a dancer's mental and emotional well-being is discussed.
- Words like "good," "bad," and "calories" should be replaced with positive terms.
- Encouragement to embrace nourishing food without labeling it as good or bad.
Dancers' Resources and Support:
- The role of artistic directors and teachers in providing a supportive environment is addressed.
- Suggestions are made to eliminate weighing dancers or discussing weight.
- The significance of building a culture of wellness within dance studios and companies is highlighted.
- The benefits of virtual consultations with registered dietitians are highlighted.
- The accessibility of such consultations is discussed, allowing individuals from various locations to seek guidance.
Health Made Simple for Dancers:
- The existence of the "Health Made Simple for Dancers" Facebook group as a valuable resource for dancers and parents is introduced.
- Social media platforms and communities can offer a space for sharing knowledge and experiences.
As dancers continue their pursuit of artistic excellence, it is crucial to prioritize their health and well-being. This comprehensive guide to dance nutrition and wellness explores the importance of mindful eating, Bento boxes, addressing bloating, positive self-talk, and the availability of valuable resources. By embracing these concepts and breaking away from weight-centric discussions, dancers can nourish their bodies and souls, leading to a healthier and more fulfilling dance journey.
*Kristin Koskinen, RDN, LDN, LD,CD is a registered dietitian who grew up dancing. Her interest in nutrition began when she was in her teens and danced in a pre-professional ballet company. There was a lot of talk among the dancers about diets and weight loss, but not much understanding about nutrition to maximize performance or the disordered eating that too often results from dieting. Now, she is a resource for dancers and those who support them. Kristin owns a private practice where she offers nutrition counseling with a focus on performance nutrition. She incorporates the functional aspects of food in her approach to help
artistic athletes of all levels. Her integrative approach recognizes that nutrition isn’t just about the food you eat. It’s important to take many factors into consideration, including environment, cultural influences, social norms, and body image, especially when working with dancers. She is an active member of the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a founding member of DanseMedica. She is regularly invited to speak on topics related to dancer health, including industry-specific podcasts DanceWell and Bendy Bodies. Kristin’s a frequent contributor to media including Dance Magazine, Pointe Magazine, PopSugar, HuffPost, Shape, Oprah, LiveStrong, Healthline, Cooking
Light, Forbes, MSN, NBC, and Today.com.
You can find her on social media or at her website,
FB:Kristin Koskinen, RDN (@eatwellpros)
Twitter: Eat Well, Live Well (@eatwellpros)
LinkedIn: Kristin Koskinen, RDN, LD, CD
Watch the Full Episode Here!