Vacations are starting to end as summer dance intensives are starting to ramp up. For you dancers, that means you are about to burn a lot of calories throughout the day and (most likely) not take very many in. I wanted to share an easy and yummy recipe that would make an ideal breakfast before heading off to an 8 hour day of dancing. I am not a nutritionist, nor do I have much of an educational background in the science of it. That being said, I do love all things food: Buying it, cooking it, eating it. I also try hard to cook things that are healthy and as natural as possible. I feel it is worth sharing some tips with you to help you get through those long days!
I certainly remember being a dancer and trying to get out the door on time for class or rehearsals. That means grabbing a granola bar, quick bowl of cereal or a slice of toast on the run. These foods have far too many empty calories and not enough nutrition to get a dancer through a full day of physical activity. I strongly encourage all of my dancer friends and parents to carve out a set breakfast time in the morning, and it is especially important on days you have intensives, competitions or performances. You may think you are doing yourself good by not eating a full meal before dancing, but you are actually doing your body a lot more harm. Unfortunately, dancers tend to not eat enough foods that provide sustained energy throughout the day making it easy to crash. And guess when the most injuries happen!? The less you eat, the more tired your muscles become, the harder it is to maintain proper technique and the more likely you are to sustain an injury. It's a recipe for disaster.
This oatmeal recipe I am sharing with you is a great source of nutrients, fiber and protein to give you sustained energy and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. This is exactly what a dancer needs to combat fatigue and hunger pains during summer intensives. It is also perfect for summer because berries are in their peak season. That means you can eat local AND fresh! (Bonus points for going to the farmers market to get your fresh berries every week!!) Of course, you can modify and add berries of your choice, but this is my favorite combo. By not adding any refined sugars to this recipe, you won't get that "crash" soon after eating it. If you are anything like me, I used to love putting spoonfuls of brown sugar in my already sweetened oatmeal packets... it may taste good but it certainly is not good for you!! I promise, once you try it this way you will no longer crave those sugary breakfast foods.
This recipe is hardly a recipe because it is so easy. I hope that it gives you some inspiration for starting your day out on the right foot!
1/3 cup steel cut oats
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, plus a little more to add on top at the end
1/2 peach chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp honey (or to taste)
pinch of cinnamon
1. Add oats and milk to a microwave safe bowl and mix together. I will be honest, I almost never measure out the almond milk, I know that I like my oatmeal more soupy so I just eyeball it. I recommend starting with 1 cup then adding more after cooking till you get the consistency that you prefer.
2. Microwave for 2 minutes, removing every 30 seconds to stir.
3. Top with fresh berries, coconut flakes, honey and cinnamon. I always add a little extra almond milk to the top to make it extra creamy :-)
**To make even easier-- mix all the ingredients the night before (minus the berries) and put in the refrigerator instead of the microwave. In the morning the oats will be softened and you can grab it right from the fridge and eat on the way to dance!