It's more than okay to fill your plate up with #allthefood at Thanksgiving dinner, but certain dishes can make the post-holiday slump all too real in dance class the next day. To combat that sleepy, too-full feeling, try swapping a few Thanksgiving staples for lighter (but just as flavorful!) options.
Eat This: Baked sweet potato with brown sugar
Not That: Vegetable casserole
Traditional casseroles can be loaded with cream of mushroom soup, breadcrumbs, and butter—which will make you feel sluggish. Instead, dig into a vitamin B6, fiber, and protein-loaded sweet potato, topped with brown sugar and melted butter for added deliciousness.
Eat This: Homemade cranberry sauce
Not That: Canned cranberry sauce
Standard canned cranberry sauce can have anywhere from 24 to 53 grams of sugar. If you're making cranberry sauce from scratch, you're in control of the ingredients. Use fresh cranberries, orange juice, apple cider, and a pinch of sugar. The sauce will be full of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Eat This: White turkey meat and some crispy skin
Not That: Dark meat turkey leg with fatty skin
Turkey skin can be a good source of healthy fat, and a great source of flavor. Grab 3 ounces of white meat (the size of a deck of cards) for a punch of low-fat, energy-producing protein. Too much dark meat can make you drowsy.
Eat This: Pumpkin Pie
Not That: Pecan pie
The high sugar content of pecan pie makes pumpkin a healthier, equally satisfying alternative. Pumpkin pie is packed with potassium, vitamins A and C, and beta-carotene.
A version of this story appeared in the November 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "Eat This, Not That: Thanksgiving Edition."
In our "Dear Katie" series, MCB soloist Kathryn Morgan answers your pressing dance questions. Have something you want to ask Katie? Email firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance to be featured!
I'm 14 and have been studying ballet seriously for about three years. Even though I feel ready,my teachers haven't put me on pointe yet. Am I doing something wrong? Should I ask them about it, or is it pointe-less?
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Samantha Figgins (Andrew Eccles)
Samantha Figgins is currently in her fifth season with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (and was a Dance Spirit cover girl back in 2013!). But what many people don't know is that the gorgeous dancer suffers from single-sided deafness. As a baby, Figgins contracted spinal meningitis, which caused her to lose all hearing in her right ear. She never gave up on her dance dreams, though, and fought her way through uncomfortable situations, never missing an opportunity to learn and grow. Now, after getting her first pair of hearing aids, she opens up about her path to success. —(As told to Courtney Celeste Spears)
Sara Esty as Maggie in "A Chorus Line" (courtesy Esty)
Sara Esty's ethereal grace and sophisticated charm have won over ballet and Broadway audiences alike. The bunhead-turned-Broadway-baby began training near her hometown in Gorham, ME, at the Maine State Ballet's School for the Performing Arts (with her equally fabulous twin sister, Leigh-Ann). She enrolled full-time at the Miami City Ballet School in 2004, and joined Miami City Ballet as an apprentice in 2005. In 2006, Esty won the Princess Grace Award, and she was promoted to soloist at MCB in 2011. After leaving MCB in 2014, she made her Broadway debut in An American in Parisas the understudy for Lise, and went on to share the role of Lise with her sister on the show's national tour. Most recently, she was seen in 5th Avenue Theatre's production of Marie, Dancing Stillin Seattle, WA. —Courtney Bowers