By Phyllis Guy
Dancing, health and life, go hand in hand in hand. Dancing makes everything better. As a Mind-Body Nutrition coach, I am always looking for ways to improve or enhance my clients’ lives…with nutrition, exercise, meditation, etc. Since May of 2015, I have improved my own life through ballroom dancing. It all started with a Christmas gift of 1 dance lesson. That’s all it took – 1 exhilarating lesson. After that…I was hooked! If you’re reading this, you may be hooked on dance too. I laughingly call it an addiction…a good addiction. Because of this new and exhilarating addiction, I like to keep my body and mind as fit and healthy as possible. Is that easy? No way! Not even for a mind-body nutrition coach. Just like in dancing, it’s a muscle to develop, a practice. And will-power has nothing to do with it. What’s the answer? How do we feel healthy, light, energetic and able to dance as long as our bodies will let us?
As a dancer, you already know the benefits of dancing – better memory, improved muscle tone, improved coordination. I won’t go into all the details. If you want to know more, here are 2 great articles that go into all the benefits to the body and the brain.
What I want to talk about with you is how nutrition helps you on the dance floor and in life. Mental focus requires a healthy brain. What you fuel your body with, affects your brain, sometimes immediately. Consider this…our brains are made up of 60% fat. So it only makes sense that our brains need fat to work properly. If our brains love something, doesn’t it make sense that our bodies will too? Let’s talk about how to fuel our bodies and brains best with a variety of healthy fats.
Whoa! Whoa! Doesn’t eating more fat cause higher cholesterol and clogged arteries?! I used to think that, too. Until I started eating more fat and grew healthier with more energy and more focus. Healthy fats can actually reduce cholesterol and help you lose weight. More and more, the science is there to back this up. If you still believe that a low fat diet will keep you healthier, here are a list of symptoms –
- Poor digestion
- Inability to lose weight
- Dry skin
- Dry brittle hair
- Blotchy dry, oily skin
- Redness around the eyes
- Loss of menses, irregular period
- Food cravings
- Poor cognitive functions
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you may need to add fat to your diet. So how do you do that? Good question.Healthy sources of fat include avocado (my favorite), fatty fish (like salmon and sardines), nuts (not peanuts), full-fat dairy (if you can tolerate it), eggs (the whole egg), coconut, olives and olive oil.
If you add these wonderfully filling and nutritious foods to your diet, what do you need to leave out? Another good question. The answer…low quality carbohydrates, processed foods. The stuff that our brains and bodies have absolutely no use for. I think you know what I’m talking about. The junk that comes in boxes and bags. The junk with a list of ingredients that make any chemist cringe. Is it easy? That’s up to you. But you will come out on the other side so much healthier and lighter.
You will add years to you dancing, years to your life.
Phyllis Guy is a graduate from the Institute for the Psychology of Eating and Precision Nutrition. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She has been a fitness trainer since 2002. Phyllis decided to become a Mind-Body Nutrition coach because she got fed up with watching people try diet program after diet program and lose the weight only to gain it back and more. Her approach is to treat the whole person using Psychology of Eating principles and change your relationship with yourself and your food. Here clients come to her from all over the country.