Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Foodie Ballerina: NYCB's Jenelle Manzi Gives Us a Peek Inside Her Pantry

Magazine article Dance Magazine

The Foodie Ballerina: NYCB's Jenelle Manzi Gives Us a Peek Inside Her Pantry

Article excerpt

"Besides the stage, baking is my other happy place," says New York City Ballet corps member Jenelle Manzi. "It's a constant creative process."

Four years ago, the dancer thought her baking days were over when she was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. Manzi had been dealing with pain, frequent illness and joint inflammation for nearly 10 years. She sought advice from many different professionals, but found working with a nutritionist and a naturopath to be most helpful. She cut out gluten and started incorporating into her diet herbs thought to have medicinal properties, like turmeric, ashwagandha and ginger. Manzi says she gradually started to feel better, noticing a transformation in how her body felt and functioned. She found her joints were less inflamed, and she got sick less often.

But she missed baking. Then, she realized that she didn't have to stop--she just needed to adapt her old recipes. "There's something so satisfying about figuring out how to make recipes I used to love," she says. Now, Manzi usually keeps the dough of a favorite gluten-free treat, like matcha ganache bars or grain-free cacao brownies, ready in the fridge so she can whip something up quickly for a party or rehearsal.

Though sweets are her passion, Manzi keeps her diet well rounded. "If you keep good-quality, basic whole-foods on hand," she says, "you will be more apt to create things that are healthful and delicious."

Favorite Markets

Kalustyan's: This New York landmark is famous for its Middle Eastern and Indian spices. "It's a foodie mecca. They have something like 100 types of cinnamon."

CAP Beauty: Manzi loves this shop's selection of high-quality teas, herbs and manuka honey.

Westerly Natural Market: A short walk from Lincoln Center, this store sells organic produce, nutritional supplements, healthy prepared foods and more. …

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