While most diets have restrictions, ballerina Misty Copeland believes that the key to a strong, healthy body is not to take foods away, but to add them.

Copeland is the first African-American female principal dancer for American Ballet Theater. To achieve such a historic and prominent role, the dancer has had to endure both physical and mental challenges. An example of perseverance and success, Copeland is always eager to share some of her lifestyle tips, encouraging others to reach their dreams, just like she has hers.

#BallerinaBody! Available everywhere March 21, 2017 @grandcentralpub

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Copeland’s book, “Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You,” is a guide to the dancer’s habits.  She provides how-to plans, advice, and motivation to her readers so that they may maintain exercise and nutrition routines inspired by her daily practices.  The 11-chapter book is divided into four sections: Mind, Motions, Meals, and Mentors.  Though all are aspects important to a healthy life, Copeland dedicates more pages to “Meals” than any other section.

Consuming enough healthy fats to fuel the body is the backbone of Copeland’s nutrition philosophy.

The dancer writes: “One of the greatest secrets I have learned over the course of my career is that fat — eating it, absorbing it and burning it for energy — is key to building the muscle and providing the strength so important for ballerinas and all elite athletes to perform at such a high level for hours, day in and day out.”

The idea that a physically active individual must have fat in order to burn fat is one that many misunderstand. By “fat,” Copeland isn’t referring to that which is found in candy or chips, though. She cites omega-3s as a chief benefit of good fats that all should aim to consume. As a pescatarian, Copeland gets much of this from tuna, sardines and salmon.




Even though the ballerina opts for fish for fuel, she adds other high-fat foods to keep her full throughout the day.

Copeland writes, “Along with a small portion of fish, I began to fill my plate with vegetables when I wanted something more substantial, or I’d grab a handful of pistachios when I felt a small snack was enough. I soon noticed that even though I was eating much less, I’d feel full and go to bed satisfied.”

Rather than exploring what she can’t eat, she focuses on what she can eat that is good for her body. Additionally, Copeland’s book provides a collection of recipes that follow the healthy-fat practice. Everyone from an aspiring ballerina to an active family can enjoy these nutritious dishes from an inspirational athlete.


Click on the image for the recipe!


Bran Muffins



Zoodles Primavera


posted on 06/25/2017 by Alyssa Haduck
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