Set the Stage with Salads

Set the Stage with Salads

I like to serve foods that provide for baseline nutrition needs and then can be easily modified to meet individual needs. If you’ve seen my Athletes’ Nutrition Pyramid (most recently @balletalliance Festival seminars), you will recognize this idea and can see how you can put it into action.

🥗 As we roll toward summer, salads offer a lighter option. I always try to take advantage of fresh, local, seasonal produce. As a bonus, eating more fruits and veggies can support hydration status, something that’s a big concern during warmer months. This is important to dancers, basketball players, and others who may spend a lot of their summer inside, but still are out in the heat walking between venues during summer camps and intensives. It can be hard to keep up with just water: sloshing is a real concern. Planning your meals can be an effective part of your overall hydration strategy.

Here’s an easy example of using a plant-food rich base, and filling in to meet specific needs. 🥗 Greek Salad:
🍅 Tomatoes
🥒 Cucumber
🧀 Feta
⚫️ Olives

Need more protein?
✅ Add cubed turkey or chicken
✅ Stir in cubed or crumbled tofu
✅ Serve with gyro meat

Need more carbs?
✅ Stir in orzo pasta
✅ Serve in a pita
✅ Add mixed greens

Need more carbs and protein?
✅ Mix in leftover quinoa

✅ Add garbanzo beans
✅ Serve with tzatziki and pita

Avoiding dairy?
✅ Skip the feta
✅ Add some crumbled tofu for calcium and protein
✅ Toss in slivered almonds
✅ Add more olives .
👩🏼‍⚕️ EXPERT TIP ‼️
🍱 If this is going into a bento, consider packing the olives and feta separately. The salt in each can pull the water from your tomatoes and cucumbers, leaving them soft and soupy rather than fresh and crisp.