Your Best Body

Raisins may be small, but their benefits are huge. A recent study published in the Journal of The International Society of Sports Nutrition found that athletes who ate raisins before a workout had more energy, moved more quickly and burned more fat than those who didn't. The dried grapes are chock-full of fiber, potassium and iron, and have no added sugars. Plus, their price tag is easy on the wallet, making them an all-around excellent choice to stash inside your dance bag.

Healthy eating is always more fun when it comes in the form of finger food. Shelby Elsbree, a Royal Danish Ballet dancer and a prolific amateur chef, created this light and refreshing recipe: "I decided to try a spin on the summer salads I've been experimenting with this season, and came up with a fun way to serve one of my staple combinations."

 

Balanchine was the first to show off dancers' bodies in all their exposed glory with his leotard-and-tights ballets. These days, contemporary costumes offer even less coverage. Edgy ballet choreographers seem to be obsessed with bare legs right now. What's a dancer to do if she's got some dimples on the back of her thighs? Flush cellulite away by getting your body's lymph fluid moving with a few minutes a day in an inverted yoga pose—a shoulder stand, a head stand, even resting your legs up the wall. Anything that gets your feet above your heart will help.

Next time you open your fridge in search of a nutritious breakfast, consider adding a slice of cake to the mix. Yes, you heard me right—dessert with breakfast! Researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Wolfson Medical Center in Israel believe that adding a something sugary to a high-protein meal in the morning could result in long-term weight loss. Their study showed that those who had a treat with their healthy breakfast had stable blood sugar levels and ate fewer calories throughout the rest of their day because their sweet tooth was already satisfied.

We’ve always been told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But new research from the University of Iowa shows that the benefits of apples go far beyond good annual check-ups. It turns out that apple peels are bursting with ursolic acid, a weight loss substance that promotes muscle growth. Between the fat burning and muscle building, this fruit makes the perfect post-rehearsal snack—just don’t cut off the skin.

Foam rollers are one of the most ubiquitous props in the dance studio. And for good reason—ballet creates some serious knots in the muscles!

 

Keeping a snack in your dance bag is a must. But finding one that's portable, healthy and will sustain your energy? That can be a challenge. Energy bars are a frequent go-to solution for dancers. Unfortunately, however, they are often loaded with refined sugars and lack "real" ingredients.