A Trained Ballerina Told Us What She Actually Eats Every Day

What a Trained Ballerina Eats Every Day

Photo:

Courtesy of Sassy Gregson-Williams

If ballerinas are historically synonymous with a kind of unattainable discipline, Sassy Gregson-Williams has made it her mission to change that conversation. The UK-based ballerina was only 15 when she decided to reject the restrictive diet that is so often a hallmark of the dance world, instead training her focus on foods that would help her feel nourished and energized.

After a year or two of experimenting in the kitchen, Gregson-Williams leveraged this experience into a bona fide wellness empire by starting her successful blog, Naturally Sassy (quickly followed by a cookbook of the same name). Now a registered nutritionist and trainer (with a sizable following on Instagram), she recently launched a streaming workout experience called Ballet Blast.

Needless to say, the 21-year-old has a fresh perspective on fueling the body, which is why we were curious about what a typical day of meals looks like for the former dancer. Below, she shares a day in the life of nourishing eats—from morning smoothie to scrumptious dinner (and a lot of snacks in between).

Here's What Ballerinas Actually Eat Every Day

Photo:

Courtesy of Sassy Gregson-Williams

Mid-morning snack: protein smoothie

Here's What Ballerina Actually Eat Every Day

Photo:

Courtesy of Sassy Gregson-Williams

Gregson-Williams tends to eat her first meal of the day on the later side, after meeting with her early morning clients. "I'm never hungry first thing and find I have far more energy if I push my first meal later into the day and eat my meals slightly closer together," she says. "This is the same premise as intermittent fasting."

That said, she emphasizes that this is a general habit based on hunger cues, not a rule. "I have no hard rules with my diet," she says. "If I was starving first thing, I'd inhale my smoothie right away!"

That smoothie is usually made with Form Vanilla Performance Protein Powder ($31); homemade almond milk; frozen blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries; half a banana; and ice. "I'll normally add two big handfuls of kale or spinach, too," she says.

Brunch: Garlicky Mushroom and Kale Omelet

The Ballerina Diet

Photo:

Courtesy of Sassy Gregson-Williams

"I'll have an early lunch, which often looks like a big breakfast," says Gregson-Williams. "Today's was a garlicky mushroom omelet with kale, parsley, and tomato." She cites omelets as an easy way to fill up on protein and vegetables in one go.

"Eggs are incredibly nutritious: rich in iron; phosphorus; selenium; and vitamins A, B12, B2, and B5," she explains. Since she abides by a mainly plant-based diet, Gregson-Williams says that eggs fill in the gaps where protein and vitamin B12 are concerned—the latter of which is notoriously difficult to source from an otherwise vegan eating plan. "B12 plays an important part in the production of your red blood cells, as well as the proper functioning of your nervous system," she says.

Snack: Crackers With Almond Butter and Banana 

Snack: What a Ballerina Eats Every Day

Photo:

Courtesy of Sassy Gregson-Williams

After a busy morning of training clients, Gregson-Williams reserves the late afternoon for a workout of her own and makes sure to fuel up well ahead of time.

"Today, I ate almond butter on oat crackers with a little banana about two hours before I streamed Ballet Blast," she says. "This snack contains a good amount of carbohydrates from the cracker and banana, along with the fat and protein from the almonds. Your muscles use the glucose from carbohydrates as fuel, in particular for short and high-intensity exercise. Fat becomes the source of fuel for longer and low-intensity training."

Dinner: Curried Lentil Dhal With Sweet Potato, Red Pepper, Ginger, Lemon, and Turmeric

Dinner: What a Ballerina Eats Every Day

Photo:

Courtesy of Sassy Gregson-Williams

"This is my ideal weeknight dinner," says Gregson-Williams, adding that the warm spices make it particularly scrumptious during these chillier months of the year. Turmeric and ginger, in particular, are powerhouse ingredients, boasting anti-inflammatory benefits—key after a long day of breaking a sweat.

"Lentils are also a great post-workout food since they help replenish glycogen levels and repair muscle tissue with their combination of carbohydrate and some protein," she adds. Better yet, it makes for awesome leftovers. "I make about six servings every time I make this dish, ready to eat again during the week," she says. You don't need an intensive dance background to appreciate some efficient meal prep.

Next up: the healthy items a wellness editor always buys at Trader Joe's.

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