Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Announcing Patti McCabe's Monthly Nutrition Column:

We are delighted to announce that Patti McCabe will now write a monthly column on nutrition for the performing artist!

 Patti McCabe is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor who specializes in working with the performing arts community.  She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and is accredited through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  She leads workshops on health and nutrition, and offers both individual and group counseling services in person and by phone.  More information at and

 December 2009:

Refueling the Rehearsal Day

Rehearsal days can be long and demand a lot of energy, focus, and attention – emotionally and physically.  We certainly need to eat to keep ourselves well fueled, but having recently stage managed a show after a bit of a hiatus I was reminded of how easy it can be to default to a junk food and vending machine diet.  I’ll be honest and say that I succumbed myself on more than one occasion, and while I believe whole heartedly in not wasting a lot of time regretting specific food choices in the short term – wow did I regret those choices!  Not because I considered myself a bad person for making them, but because I could absolutely feel the difference in how my body responded as opposed to how I feel after making healthier choices.  Many of us are eating just to keep hunger at bay until the next 10 minute break.  But the sugar, fat, and salt contained in junk foods are simply empty calories lacking the vitamins and minerals our bodies need to maintain peak performance.  By eating these foods to survive the rehearsal day, we are actually negatively impacting our ability to sustain our productivity for the director and fellow cast members.

When we fuel our bodies and our minds with fresh, whole foods – everything changes.  Our energy levels stay higher, our minds sharper, and our emotions more stable.  Here are some quick, healthier, snack options that you won’t find in a vending machine, but they take little to no time to prepare at home with your own ingredients – and you will save money to boot! 

•    Cut up veggies (like baby carrots) and whole grain crackers with hummus

•    Rice cakes with nut butters

•    Dried Fruits

•    Nuts and Seeds

•    Fresh, whole fruit

•    Edamame with sea salt

•    Whole Grain tortilla chips with salsa

•    Popcorn (a whole grain, but try it plain or tossed with olive oil and sea salt instead of packaged versions containing too much butter and artificial flavorings)

•    Yogurt (to avoid the refined sugar in sweetened products, try plain mixed with fruit, nuts, and a little honey)

•    Avocados

If you don’t have time to pack your own food, take note of health food stores or cafes near your rehearsal space where you can get fresh fruit smoothies, vegetable juices, or pick up something from this list on your way.

Here’s a challenge - try replacing your usual rehearsal day snacks with ones you enjoy from this list for a week and notice the difference.  You can even try keeping a food journal – write down what you eat during the day and how it makes you feel right after and then again two hours later.  A food journal is an amazing tool to start becoming more conscious of how the foods you eat affect you.   Get support and motivation by sharing your experiences here!

Wishing you happy, healthy rehearsal days until my next post! ☺

No comments: