Monday, October 19, 2015

Are Keto Diets OK For Teens?

Keto diets have actually been around since the 70's. Eades & Eades wrote "Protein Power" and Dr. Atkins wrote the first of many of his books about not eating carbs.

So while fabulous reviews can be read from people over the decades, dancing parents must wonder.

Wonder about disordered eating, or worse yet - a real eating disorder.

In ballet, that usually means anorexia or bulimia.

But let's get back to keto diets, or low carbohydrate, higher oil and protein diets.

Ketogenic is a term that means generating ketones in the blood, which results from lower carbohydrate intake and increasing the ingestion of (healthy) fats and proteins.

Considering the obesity problems the US has, never mind the need of dancing daughters and sons to be extremely thin, I doubt that the "food pyramid" is a relevant guide.

But let's consider the following:

  • brain hormones are made from fat - hormones that generate mental clarity and well being
  • reproductive hormones are made from -- fats! generating growth and -- well being
  • energy -- daily needs and ballet classes -- is generated from fats
  • good mood brain chemicals are made from -- fats!

The keto diet excludes carbohydrates and raises the percent of fats and proteins in the daily meal menus.

And there is not only evidence over decades that this is good for pretty well anyone -- keto diets are recommended for infants with epilepsy. You can read more about that here -Diet if you like.

If you have specific endocrine problems, please follow your endocrinologist's advice.

If you have no medical condition and want to keep up your fat burning energy and maintain a healthy weight and love your ballet dancing even more, look into a keto diet.

If you are the mom of a dancing daughter/son, here is a book about freezing keto meals with recipes.

If you aren't savvy about healthy fats yet "Facts About Saturated Fats" will enlighten you!

I truly hope this helps with both teen dancer diets and healthy meals for the whole family.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Dancers Eating Fats Young And Old

It is important for dancers (and anyone) to eat fats whether they are young or old.

Even saturated fats! 

eating fats


Saturated fats normally in our diets  include:

  • eggyolks
  • beef - grass fed beef is best
  • coconut oil
  • palm oil
  • other red meats

The fats to avoid are:

  • commercial "vegetable oils" 
  • trans or hydrogenated fats - now excluded in many food products
  • most fast food or deep fried foods 

Dancers are picky about their leotards, tights and pointe shoes. They have to be!

Dancers and dance teachers are picky about their flooring and studio spaces. Understood!

If they are just as picky about the fats they eat they will be healthy!  I say this because fats, essential fatty acids and saturated fats support:

  • joint health
  • muscle health
  • brain health
  • heart health
  • vascular health
  • mood (avoid depression and anxiety)
  • sleep health

The quality of the fat you eat is important whether it is a saturated fat, unsaturated fat, purified fish oil, flaxseed oil, hemp oil, olive oil or nut oil.

Fats are best bought in dark glass bottles, stored in a cool place. Organic - why not - easy to get and free of solvents, herbicides and pesticides.

I hope this post has given you some useful tips on eating fats and facts about saturated fats.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Church of Tango - A Recommendation

I just finished reading "A Church Of Tango" by Cherie Magnus.

What a touching tale! By a woman who grew up in Los Angeles, became a ballet dancer - and had a wonderful family. Indeed one of her sons became a lead dancer with the Hartford Ballet Company.

Then disaster struck - her husband, her soulmate died not suddenly - but much too quickly.

After being miserably (almost extorted) into a bad home sale, family memoirs and all getting dumped - this lovely lady moved into an apartment complex where she found good neighbors and thrived for a few years.

She had traveled to Paris, from a yearning to learn French. There she found romance with a French teacher.

But later discovered he was a spoiled self-involved man whose own parents barely liked him.

That sounds lame, but if you read the book you'll see in the details that this woman is a pro-active problem solver, to her credit, and occasionally, to her detriment.

But she moves on! And comes down with very disease that killed her husband. But she prevails.

I could tell you more, but if I have caught your attention - just buy this book "The Church Of Tango" - it is $2.99 for the Kindle version on Amazon.

 The Church Of Tango Cherie Magnus

Monday, June 8, 2015

Teen Weight Gain - Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance?

This post was triggered by reading an interview today with Suzanne Somers and Dr. Joseph Mercola.

And I plan to read her latest book "Tox-Sick" soon.

 Tox-Sick Suzanne Somers

Teenage hormone imbalance has a great deal to do with teen weight gain or weight loss.

Symptoms of hormone imbalance include the following:

  • weight gain
  • depression
  • fatigue
  • poor concentration
  • too big/too small appetite
  • nervousness
  • insomnia

And there are more subtle symptoms too like food allergies and painful digestion.

But seeing as we're ballet dancers here, let's focus on teen weight gain. Is it because of:

  • starchy diet
  • not enough good protein
  • not enough salads and raw veggies (organic!)
  • not enough filtered water
  • bad sleep from all of the above and anxiety

Get a hormone balance test!

I am not going to explain how hormone balance is related to organic foods, good proteins and good sleep, because I would have to write a book - and Suzanne already did. 

Here is the transcript of the Suzanne Somers interview and it's a great read for teens with weight gain or hormone imbalance issues and their sisters and moms too!

If you are a dancing teen, young adult or pre-menopause dancer who thinks you may have a hormone imbalance, please read the interview and get the book "Tox-Sick by Suzanne Somers".

I have been through this situation and I guarantee that you will save yourself years of struggle and grief and ill health if you understand the way to balance your hormones with diet and perhaps some nutritional supplements.

To your health!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Ballet Dance Routine -Start Late-And Progress Faster

Most adults, or older teens who want to start ballet have goals such as:

*** get stronger
*** get taller and leaner looking
*** get strong leg and core muscles
*** be determined
*** persist through the aches and pains
*** improve professional footwork for tennis, or some other sport
*** learn flexibility exercises
*** get a full body workout while practising in an artistic manner.

Develop your ballet dance routine with The Perfect Pointe Book. This manual is beautifully designed to develop your muscles without strain or over-work. It may not feel like that when you are an adult ballet beginner, but eventually you will learn how hard to work, how to relax and stretch in between exercises, and how to recover in between classes.

Even though this book is meant to give a student a regulated pre-pointe work up, it is finely tuned to all basic ballet technique.

If you start ballet late - The Perfect Pointe Book will speed your progress! 

It can be challenging emotionally to be in a class with younger people because unless you're "born to dance" physically, you will not see as fast a progress as the younger dancers get. And you might decide you're better off in a "ballet lite" class geared toward older beginners.

 The Perfect Pointe Book. will make your progress faster!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Fast Light Bourees In Ballet Toe Shoes

The bouree is everywhere in classical ballet choreography, and it is a challenge to be light and fluttery in real ballet toe shoes.

In Pas De Quatre, La Sylphide, Giselle, this movement transports the ballerinas swiftly across the stage, implying her not-quite-physical but definitely supernatural character.

In the fourth act of Swan Lake, the corps de ballet of Swans are genuinely mourning and almost weeping sometimes, from what seems like an eternity of bourees, as they try to keep the White Swan isolated from Von Rothbart and The Prince.

So what makes this movement effective, and maybe a little easier to do?

Strong core muscles and well held ballet turnout keeps you well in control of your leg movements. In the bouree, the knees are not entirely pulled up, but instantly tensing and releasing, invisibly.

The more turnout you have, the easier it is to keep the back foot leading.

Being pulled up at the bottom of your core muscles allows you to maintain your posture without clenching your gluts, or your butt muscles, too tightly. This is important because it allows a fluid, fast, tiny transfer of tension in the hips, knees and ankles. This is where the fluttering quality comes from.

In contrast, if you are clenching your gluts instead of using your rotator muscles to turn out, you will be tight and rigid, and pushing down into your thighs, instead of pulling up out of them. As well as impeding the movement, this makes your thighs look bulky, instead of long and lean.

So to re-cap:

strong core muscles = fluid movement in the legs
strong core muscles = relaxed neck and shoulders
strong core muscles + proper turnout = the correct tension in the hips and thighs

Mentally, picture the movement of picking the toes up from the floor, not putting them down. It can trick you into feeling light and floaty.

If you found this helpful, there are many more tips in  The Perfect Pointe Book.

Enjoy these bourees - The Dying Swan

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ballet Parents Worry About Eating Disorders - Or, Disordered Eating

Ballet parents - I have written an article about disordered eating and hypoglycemia that you may find interesting.

Hypoglycemia is an insidious condition that can show up as symptoms of depression, anxiety, mood swings, fatigue - general unhappiness. It is good to read about this, because diet will correct it and return enthusiasm and well being to some individuals, without further complication.

Not that any of the above symptoms should not be investigated along other ideas, but in the spirit of keeping things simple, it is useful to get some knowledge about hypoglycemia. If it is present, the other remedies are not going to work well anyway.

I know ballet parents want to do the best they can for their dancing an introduction to hypoclygemia and see if it applies to your dancers.

I highly recommend The Perfect Pointe Parent's Manual  for more about disordered eating and other dance parents worries.

The Perfect Pointe Parent's Manual