Dance Well, Live Well

Wellness blog for dance medicine, holistic health, and more

Repost from Mar 2021

Talking about nutrition WITHOUT talking about food

Food is such a taboo topic these days. Conversations about eating healthy can quickly turn into judgemental conversations about food choices and body image, which makes having conversation about nutrition difficult at times.

But nutrition doesn't only have to do with food.

In fact, we believe that nutrition is more about how the body handles food and the key to feeling great and optimal performance lies there. So what can we consider and educate others on regarding nutrition that DON'T have to do with food? Below are just a few aspects of nutrition that easily get overlooked, and a few tips on what you can do to improve your health and performance from a nutritional standpoint, without even thinking about what you're eating.

Hydration. Fluid is best absorbed with a little sea salt and lemon or lime. Some people call this a basic "structured water," which means improving water's absorption and usage potential. Your body really is about 2/3 water, so making sure it's getting fluid that it can absorb and use easily is key to proper nutrition.

Digestion, absorption, and excretion. To a large extent, it doesn't really matter what you eat if your digestive system can't break down food properly, extract and absorb its nutrients, and safely get rid of food particles it doesn't need. Symptoms and conditions like gassiness, IBS, nausea, and constipation are signs that your digestive system likely needs help with breaking down and processing food. Resolving these issues will fast track your body's ability to extract and use nutrients better.

Vitamins and supplements. In most cases, even the healthiest foods don't have enough nutrient support for healthy living, especially for athletes, so supplementation through vitamins, minerals, and other supplements can be a good addition to a daily routine to make sure you're getting the proper levels of all the nutrients you need. Quality matters, so cheaper vitamins typically have low nutrient amounts in harder to digest forms. Make sure you invest in good quality vitamins - and your local Supercenter or bulk discount store doesn't count at high quality.

Belly breaks.  food digestion and absorption requires a significant amount of energy, so sometimes frequent eating doesn't leave a large enough window for the digestive system to do its job, then rest and recharge for the next round. Symptoms of needing more digestive rest include constipation and gassiness or heartburn shortly after eating. A 12 hour rest period most days of the week is best. And don't worry, sleep time counts, so the easiest time frame tends to be overnight (ex: 9pm-9am)

If you're struggling to find a safe and sensitive way to talk about nutrition, hopefully this provides a few starting points for you to consider, because there's so much about nutrition that happens outside of food choices. If you want more details and tips on aspects of nutrition that don't have to do with food check out https://dancemed.org/nutrition for more resources.


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AZ Dance Medicine Specialists
info@azdancemed.com | 602.730.4159