Brekkie of Champions

The Ballroom Fairy alighted Chez Moi this morning. Smacked me in the noggin with her glittery wand, sprinkling magic dust all over. Commanded, “Amnesia begone! Fitness begins in the kitchen. Remember!” Another smack, for good measure: “Heal!”

Fortunately for me, I actually like Brussels sprouts and all the Green Besties, morn to midnight.

This sparkling alert does not represent the dreaded “D” word. That term that begins with “die.” Rather, it begins with “eat.” As in Eating Plan. Focusing on what you cannot have, on deprivation, really works against human nature. What works? Tasting the rainbow! (Skittles do not count.) Summertime is the best time to take full advantage of a super abundance of colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables. Focus on the abundant variety in Nature that even the most informed eaters can ignore in the hurly-burly of daily life.

Yes, I have recently experienced partial amnesia, as charged by Ballroom Fairy. While enjoying lots of fresh food, I’ve also seen months of overindulgence in, oh, wine and cupcakes and bread. A tummy can hold only so much; less room remained for spinach and kale and other Green Besties. I spent too many evenings in the close embrace of my comfort carbs. Excuses? Got ’em. Reasons? Not so much. Vanity-wise, my waistline and my dance costumes are not thanking me for this distance from the Rainbow Connection. Healthwise, via overindulgence, I’m taxing my pancreas and liver, missing out on the micronutrients that power up immune system and energy, and losing metabolically-active muscle mass because of insufficient protein.

My specific Eating Plan resembles a modified Bodybuilder’s Shredding Regime. It’s perhaps more regimented than the average person seeking better health would follow, but I’m working toward dance goals that demand optimal health and performance. So, for me, it’s four small meals, each containing about 4 ounces of lean protein and an abundance of green veg and a modest amount of complex carbs such as a quarter-cup of brown rice or quinoa. Plus two protein-rich snacks a day, such as raw almonds or Greek yogurt or a protein supplement drink. Where I diverge from the way bodybuilders in shred mode eat is in the inclusion of some fresh fruits. The goal is boosting the immune system, powering up energy and re-building lost muscle. The route is fraught with Pure Pleasure, not suffering. This food tastes sooooooo good and is filling as well.

That’s the Eating part. Don’t forget the Plan.  It’s just like the old trope: If you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. It’s true that the Ballroom Fairy only delivers wisdom and glitter. Not prepared meals. That, you have to gift yourself. It takes time, true. And, it can feel daunting, if you’ve fallen out of the habit of shopping the perimeter of the grocery store where clean food hangs out and back home your pots and pans are dusty with disuse. Any good habit takes a bit of determination to build or re-build. I’m more than ready. Join me! At the very least, make friends with the Farmers’ Market while it’s in full swing and take steps to escape the death grip of processed foods and sweet drinks, sugary or diet versions. Your body will thank you. Mine says, “As long as you don’t take away my black coffee, we’re good.” Deal!

Yum! Muscle growing, energy building.

Yum! Muscle growing; energy building.

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