The Bountiful Health Benefits of Turkey Day Classics
Thanksgiving dinner is one of those moments where it's more than okay to help yourself to everything. And you shouldn't feel guilty, either—your dinner plate is packed with nutritional goodness that'll keep your body in tip-top dancing shape. Dance Spirit spoke with Peggy Swistak, MS, RDN, CD, of Pacific Northwest Ballet, about the bountiful benefits of the most popular turkey-day dishes.
A small portion of white meat turkey (sans skin) is packed with healthy, low-fat protein that'll give you the energy boost you need to hit the studio post-holiday.
If there are green vegetables on the table, Swistak encourages you to load up your plate! “Green veggies are filled with polyphenols," she says. These compounds, which are found in natural plant sources, have been proven to reduce inflammation and help prevent cancer. Don't know which veggies to pick? According to Swistak, one delicious option is steamed Brussels sprouts—they're a great source of immune-system–boosting antioxidants and vitamin C, and filled with fiber to help regulate your digestive system. Green beans are another tasty low-calorie, high-fiber choice.
Sweet potatoes hit the spot, and Swistak encourages dancers to enjoy one: “A roasted or baked sweet potato is high in fiber, antioxidants and vitamin A." White potatoes are another great option. They're filled with potassium to help promote muscle strength and
bone health. Make sure to keep the skin on—it's full of nutrients, too.
According to Swistak, a scoop of homemade cranberry sauce goes a long way. This superfood is a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
It's not Thanksgiving without dessert! Swistak recommends pumpkin pie, which is lower in fat than other pie varieties and high in vitamin A and fiber.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers by clicking on their names here:
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Madison Jordan and Jarrod Tyler Paulson brought their real-life romance to the audition stage. (Adam Rose/FOX)
It's usually right around the third or fourth week of "So You Think You Can Dance" audition rounds that we start itching for the live shows. Sure, the auditions are fun, inspiring, and entertaining, but at a certain point, we reach audition saturation. (And the live shows are just so good and feature so much more Cat Deeley.)
All that said, Nigel and co. kept things spicy this week, so our attention remained firmly glued to the screen. (It's been 16 seasons—who are we to doubt Nigel Lythgoe, sir?) Here's how it all went down.
When it comes to injury-prone body parts, knees reign supreme for dancers. But a little strengthening can go a long way in preventing painful outcomes. We turned to Dirk Hartog, a physical therapist with Westside Dance Physical Therapy in NYC, for three exercises that'll support and stabilize your knees.