If you’ve been curious about how a ballet dancer eats, keep scrolling to find out from Arianna Ciccarelli. She also shares some of her favorite recipes!
My nutrition plan varies from rehearsal weeks to performance weeks but it looks something like this:
Breakfast 6:45 a.m.
Chia seed pudding
Snack 11 a.m.
Kashi granola bar
Lunch 2 p.m.
Toast with avocado
Dinner 7:30 p.m.
Quinoa roasted vegetables and baked chicken
Dark chocolate or popcorn
Breakfast 7 a.m.
Decaf coffee on performance days
Oatmeal with almond butter and banana
Snack 11 a.m.
Cucumber and hummus
Lunch 3 p.m.
Berry smoothie with protein powder
Snack 5 p.m.
(last snack until after a performance so I have a lot of time to digest)
A handful of pretzels
Piece of chocolate
Dinner 10 p.m. (after show)
Chicken or vegetable curry
Banana Chia Seed pudding
- 1 very ripe banana
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- Dash of vanilla extract
- Maple syrup, to taste (optional)
- Mash up the banana with a fork until all the lumps are gone.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour. Enjoy!
Lentil Spinach Coconut Curry
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (or more or less to taste)
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 tin coconut milk (14 fl. oz.)
- 1 cup water or vegetable stock
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach
- Juice of half a lemon (optional)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander (optional)
- salt to taste
- In a large lidded pan or skillet, heat olive oil over a medium heat and add onions. Sauté until softened, about 4-5 mins. Add Garlic and ginger, and cook for a minute longer
- Add the curry powder, cumin and cayenne pepper to the pan and give everything a good stir so the onions are coated in the spices.
- Next, add the lentils, coconut milk, water (or stock), and cover. Gently simmer for about 20 minutes stirring frequently (I find that my lentils stick to the bottom of the pan otherwise). If the mixture looks dry at any point, stir in a few more splashes of water.
- After 20 mins, fold in the spinach and cook for a minute or two more until the spinach wilts. You may need to do this in batches depending on the size of your pan
- Finally add lemon juice and coriander if using, and adjust the seasonings to taste.
- Serve with rice or naan.
What’s the most important food in a dancer’s nutrition?
Every person and dancer responds differently to every food! I think that is most important to just listen to your body and plan your meal plan accordingly. Many people assume that dancers are all on crazy diets, but moderation is the only “diet” I live by. We exercise 6 hours a day, and because of this I need to eat a healthy balanced diet, however I never deny myself of any food! I have a major sweet tooth and probably have chocolate of some sort every day!