I think most people agree that keeping healthy isn’t rocket science. That it requires some discipline and awareness.
But the road blocks are often more to do with the how than the why. How to eat for energy. How to make the best choices based on circumstances. And so it was for principal dancer at American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland.
knowing something needs to change is the beginning of a long journey towards discovering the how. Copeland didn’t have the advice of a nutritionist while trying to figure out the best way of eating for her, and you don’t need one either.
Ballerina Body seeks to guide you towards a strong, sleek and healthy physique through ballet based exercises and a diet plan based on good fats. There’s nothing complicated about either the exercise or the food – you don’t need any fancy things, just the motivation to begin.
Copeland spends time explaining and cultivating the importance of a strong mind because our minds are connected with our body and spirit and all need to be aligned if we are to feel cantered and strong.
With this strong framework you can launch into the exercise section with confidence. Follow that with the diet plan and you’re off to a flying start.
Ballerina Body is divided into four sections – mind, motion, meals and mentors. With Copeland’s guidance, you begin moving as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. As Copeland points out, would a cat wake up and immediately jump up ? No. A cat takes a leisurely stretch before moving, and you should too. Floor work firms the basis for the initial exercises and from this basic plan you can add or substitute more. As you move on to centre stage, you’ll Demi plié, you’ll try adagio and relieve, by which time you’ll be ready for the main course – meals!
Copeland explains in detail the benefits of good fats and why they should be included in this diet plan. You’ve basically got Act 1 and Act 2 foods, the former being the main ingredients such as animal proteins and the latter are the supporting role choices – vegetables, fruits and grains. There’s a 21 day meal plan & grocery shopping lists to help. Then you’ve got the recipes divided into curtain raiser, Intermezzo & Coda plus soups, snacks and more. And yes, there are desserts.
I like the simplicity and positivity of this book, and whether you’re training to dance professionally or just want to be strong and healthy, there’s something very helpful to takeaway in Ballerina Body.
I reviewed Misty Copeland’s earlier book, An Unlikely Ballerina, here.