5.22.17

Misty Copeland has spent her entire ballet career casually blowing everyone’s minds. First, as one of the American Ballet Theatre’s youngest soloist, then as their first African American principal, Misty’s powerful style and stunning physique have captured the attention of the world.

Not only is Misty ‘ballet body goals’ personified, but she also projects a message of personal strength and balanced living that we love to see from someone with so many young female admirers. In her new book, Ballerina Body, Misty spells out the warm-ups, workouts and nutrition habits that keep her body in world-class shape. 

Ever wondered what a ballerina eats between studio sessions and how she eats on her days off? SAME. Below, we’re sharing the ballerina’s personal ‘meal choreography’ and healthy snacking advice…

How To Snack Healthy

Carry your own. It’s a smart idea to carry your own small bites so you don’t wind up grabbing whatever’s available — and often not so healthy — when hunger pangs hit.

Load up on nuts and fruit. They’re easy to tuck inside your pocket or bag. They’re also really good for you and filling enough that when you’re at the movies you won’t be tempted to buy a bunch of candy. Along with my nuts, I love dried fruit and bananas. And for a nice blend of salty and sweet, I’ll sometimes pack a bag of grapes along with lightly salted air-popped popcorn.

Down the water. You can’t go wrong with water. It’s a sugar-free elixir that your body can’t live without, and it also helps quell your hunger. Often when we think we want to eat, we’re really craving water instead.

How To Eat While On The Road

Pack your nutrition. Airports are starting to feature healthier options than the traditional burgers and pizza, but to be safe — and save a few dollars while I’m at it — I like to take along packaged food that I can rely on to give my body what it needs, especially if I’m heading overseas. I usually carry packets of plain oatmeal, packaged tuna, whole wheat crackers and nuts.

How to Dine Out + Eat Well

Choose wisely. It can be tough to stay committed to healthy eating, especially when you’re surrounded by other diners ordering delicious-looking sweets and fried foods. But you can summon the willpower to stick to your eating plan and still feel satisfied. Even if I’m eating at one of my guilty pleasures, Red Lobster, I go with options that don’t have a ton of empty calories added to them. For instance, I’ll order the crab legs and a garden salad. Go for clean! That could be a piece of fish that isn’t breaded or fried, a salad or vegetable, and quinoa, lentils or couscous instead of rice.

Misty’s Perfect Day of Eating

Breakfast. I’d have a muffin or bagel slathered with scallion cream cheese, which I’d wash down with an iced coffee.

Snacks. During the day, I’d nibble on cashews and macadamia nuts along with some dried pineapple and a few grapes.

Lunch. My favorite lunch is a delicious spinach salad topped with pecans, goat cheese, dried cranberries and a light vinaigrette.

Dinner. My ideal dinner is a piece of grilled salmon. I’d have it with roasted onions, carrots and butternut squash seasoned with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper. Since I would have been conscientious all day, hydrating constantly with water, I’d have a glass of Prosecco and maybe a peanut butter cookie for dessert!

For a power boost. My “Perfect Day Menu” would be my ideal when it comes to taste along. But when I want a delicious meal that’s also going to give me a burst of energy to power me through my workout, these are the foods I go for: oatmeal for breakfast, a Mediterranean wrap for lunch, and coconut quinoa and lentil curry for dinner.

Excerpted from the book Ballerina Body by Misty Copeland. Copyright ©2017 by Misty Copeland. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.


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