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Diet And Health

By Laetitia Bouffard Roupe

Diet is obviously part of the discipline of a ballerina and artist’s life. Having a slim, lean and strong body is just part of the job description.

I can still remember today how my ballet teacher would tell me every Monday that I was fat – I was only 9 years old, 4.5 feet and 55 pounds! It honestly traumatized me during my childhood! I was on a weight-watching list and ate a special low-calorie diet throughout all my years of training. It was terrible!  Now as an adult, I do not believe in diets or numbers on the scale because truly, it means nothing.

I must admit that I did keep to Dr. D’Adamo’s “Blood Type Diet” for some time and I saw amazing results.   But, it’s a very restrictive diet and you need a lot of discipline to follow it.  Basically, you get a list of foods that are considered highly beneficial, neutral or to avoid based on your blood type.  For example, if you have type AB blood, it’s considered turkey and oranges are considered highly beneficial but you’re supposed to avoid chicken or lemons.  The variations on the food you can eat becomes very limited.

Today, I am truly convinced eating healthy and feeling how your clothes fit alone is the best ‘diet’.  There is no diet that will do what eating healthy does, so skip the diet and just eat healthy!

What does Health Mean?

According to the World Health Organization, health is, “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not only the absence of disease or infirmity.”  Health is the most precious thing in life. Without it, we are useless, we can’t do anything. Most of us take health for granted; we walk and breathe without thinking until we sprain an ankle or get a high fever.

But health requires healthy food.

We can’t control everything in life but we can control what we put in our body; it is one of the most important decisions we make each day.

Many people say, “you are what you eat” and it’s so true!  Roughly every month, the cells of your skin and liver are replaced. Your body builds these new cells from the food you consume. What you eat literally becomes you!

The human body is an amazing machine; it has the capability to communicate down to the smallest detail of what’s right or wrong, giving us helpful hints in order to improve wellness.

Clean Eating

I have practiced clean eating for a few years now and love it! It makes me feel so good. It helps me to keep a muscular and lean body for my performances while staying healthy and getting to enjoy the food that I eat.

So what is clean eating?

It’s very simple; eat less from the box, more from the earth!

  • If you can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!
  • Choose products as close as they are to their original state in nature.
  • Cut any additives, preservatives, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, “bad” fats like saturated and trans fats, as well as sodas, high-calorie juices and other drinks that provide a lot of unnecessary calories and sugar substitutes.
  • Drink plenty of water.

The best part of clean eating is that you don’t have to eat less; you just have to eat right.

I have to admit, it’s not always easy to hold on a clean diet while travelling around the world without being able to cook for myself but I try my best.

As Hippocrates said: “Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” Many traditional methods of healing, like Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, believe that food is a powerful tool for preserving health.

The food you consume can be either a powerful medicine or a slow poison.

I consider clean eating to be medicinal because it has so many health benefits: regulating blood pressure and sugar; preventing cancer; improving cardiovascular health; restoring body pH, detoxifying and eliminating toxins; improving digestion; boosting brain function; balancing hormones; enhancing muscle building and recovering, getting better sleep; strengthening skin hair and nail health…the list goes on and on.

I highly recommend clean eating to anyone.

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