Magazine article Dance Spirit

Jump-Start Your Day

Magazine article Dance Spirit

Jump-Start Your Day

Article excerpt

NUTRITION

EAT RIGHT TO ENSURE YOU BEST AUDITION YET.

Nat eating breakfast (especially on an audition day) is like starting on a long car trip with the fuel gauge on empty. When you wake up in the morning your body has basically been fasting for about 12 hours. Your dinner from the night before has been digested and the calories (or energy) have been mostly spent or stored away.

You may have noticed that when you skip breakfast, you don't do as well on your schoolwork, especially late in the morning. This makes sense. Whatever fuel or energy your body had first thing in the morning is definitely gone by mid- to late morning. Without energy, your muscles don't work as well and your brain can't think as quickly.

FOLLOW THE RULES

"When I do eat breakfast, I find it helps me with my dance day. Maple and brown sugar oatmeal is my favorite," says TJ Espinoza, a dancer and singer who has performed with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani and others and is a judge for Encore Performing Arts Showcase, Inc. Yet breakfast is still the meal most often skipped by Americans age 8 and over, according to a survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association in 1991.

So follow these two rules to get your day started right: one, make time to eat breakfast, and two, eat a breakfast that isn't too high in sugar and fat and isn't too low in nutrition.

BREAKFAST QUESTIONNAIRE

Answer "yes" to these questions to ensure a healthy breakfast.

* DOES IT HAVE PROTEIN? Milk products (including reduced fat cheese or low-fat yogurt), lean meat or even soymilk or nuts add protein to your breakfast.

* DOES IT CONTAIN A GRAIN (preferably a whole grain)? Hot oatmeal, for example, has lots of nutrients and fiber, but cold oat cereal has a lot less going for it nutritionally. Other whole grain breakfast options include whole wheat toast or bagels and muffins made in part with whole wheat flour.

* IS THERE REAL FRUIT IN IT? …

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