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"Snacking Game Plan" for a Dance Intensive (Including a Snacks Packing List)

Dancing for seven days straight was NO JOKE! Good thing I had a “Snacking Game Plan” to fuel my body (and save money) during the intensive. Here’s what I did:

Last week, I went on a dance training trip to LA for eight days. My cousins graciously allowed me to crash on their couch in Silver Lake ($ saved!), and I Ubered and took the Metro up to NoHo (aka North Hollywood, aka the Dance Hub of LA) each day. As a dancer, my purpose of this trip was to learn, create, and share. As a dietitian, I was determined to nourish my body in order to get the MOST out of this trip. In total, I took 14 dance classes, attended a KRUMP session, taught an intermediate/advance hip hop class, and performed at a showcase. On top of that, I got to reconnect with old buddies from my dance team back home, meet some new friends… Oh, and cook a gourmet meal for my cousins to thank them. Not bad for a week!

So, how did I eat to nourish my body to survive 5+ hours of dancing each day? I came up with a “Snacking Game Plan!” I thought about what I would eat ahead of time, and packed snacks accordingly. Yes, I brought a Trader Joe’s tote bag full of snacks from Chicago to LA. Why? Because pre-planning your snacks allows you to make sure you’re getting what your body needs and prevents you from overeating or eating whatever is placed in front of you (i.e. junk food looks extra yummy when you’re starving!). I also enjoy options, so here’s what I packed:

Carbs- whole grain Wheat Thins, Good Thins chickpea crackers, cheddar cheese Smart Crackers, and Mint Chip Larabars

Protein- Pacific Gold individually packed beef jerky (14 g), Oatmega Bars (14g)

Healthy Fats- Yumbutter peanut butter, pistachios (other nuts like almonds, cashews, and walnuts are great options too!)

Hydration- Vita Coco coconut water, water (I stay away from Gatorade/Powerade to avoid the excess sugar and food coloring)

2 Lock-Top ½ cup Snack Containers for portion control

Obviously, I wasn’t going to pack a bunch of perishable produce with me, so I hit up Ralph’s Grocery Store when I arrived in LA to pick up some bananas, berries, and peaches (produce you don’t need a fridge for). Luckily, I had access to my cousin’s kitchen, so I bought eggs and made omelets with spinach and cheese a few times for breakfast. If I didn’t have time or slept in late, I just grabbed a Laurabar or Oatmega Bar before my first class. Here was my schedule/meal plan:

8-8:30am Wake Up (I’m a snoozer!)

8:30am Breakfast: Omelet with spinach and cheese OR protein/nut bar

10am First Class

11:15am Morning Snack- half a protein/nut bar or a few crackers (they only gave <5 minute breaks between classes, so I just put in a little bit of what I can)

11:20am Second Class

12:30pm Lunch: No Meat Pasta, Salad, Pistachios or beef jerky, Coconut Water

2:15pm Third Class

4pm Afternoon Snack/Early Dinner- Banana with Yumbutter, Peach or Berries, Pistachios or Beef Jerky, ½ cup Crackers

7pm Freestyle Worship, KRUMP Session, Rehearsals, or Other Events

10pm Late Dinner: Various meals provided by my lovely cousins!

12:30-1am Bed Time (I function best with 7-8 hours of sleep)

I don’t claim this is the most comprehensive or best snacks packing list, but this “Snacking Game Plan” sure worked for me! I was sore the first half of the week, but I did not feel fatigued or exhausted. I also understand that everybody’s nutritional needs are different, but hopefully this gives you some ideas for your next trip or dance intensive!

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

1. PLAN AHEAD! Don’t get stuck scrambling for food to eat because most likely, there won’t be healthy options available or you’ll spend extra money buying them.

2. PORTION CONTROL! Snack containers or snack zip lock bags are great options to portion out bulk items.

3. VARIETY and BALANCE is KEY! Get a balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fats! As dancers, we need it all!

What are your favorite snacks to fuel your body? Comment below!

©2017 by Rhythm & Nutrition