The Incredible Edible Egg

The Incredible Egg: Nature’s Gift to You

The egg is considered by many to be nature’s most perfect food: contained inside that little shell is a perfect source of protein (all nine essential amino acids) and an explosion of nutrients. And that old myth about the yolks being bad for you? Not true. In fact, the yolk contains almost all of the vitamins and nutrients of the egg; it’s arguably the healthier part of the egg, full of carotenoids, essential fatty acids, iron, and vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Check out the table comparing yolks and whites below.

Separating whites from yolks is another one of those weird food fads that makes no sense. Nature makes this perfect little morsel of nutrition and tastiness and the only fuss we need to make is in learning how to prepare it. (For safety cooking tips, see here.)

Most people think of eggs as a breakfast food: scrambled, fried, “omeletted,” etc., but eggs don’t have to come with bacon and toast. Here are a few ideas of how to add eggs to your diet beyond breakfast.

  • Eggs (fried, scrambled, poached) over sautéed spinach or kale
  • Hard-boiled eggs: chopped in a salad, like a Nicoise
  • Egg salad in a sandwich or on healthy crackers: try making it with olive oil instead of mayo
  • Deviled eggs: try with mustard, vinegar, olive oil, curry powder and chives instead of the usual mayo.
  • Dropped into a soup: if you stir with a fork, it will ribbon through the soup as it cooks
  • Cooked or baked in tomato sauce (a Southern Italian favorite) for dinner
  • Plain hard-boiled eggs are a great snack after dance class: your body will thank you for the protein; you can prepare them the night before and store in the fridge. Easy to make, easy to eat.

 Whites vs. Yolks: Nutrients
Nutrition: Whites vs. Yolks

Considering Meditation? The Path is Curiosity

If you are considering, or have ever considered, meditation, then these wise words are for you. They are from Pema Chodron, an American Buddhist nun, whose practical advice and unusual perspective are always spot on.

The path of meditation and the path of our lives altogether has to do with curiosity, inquisitiveness. The ground is ourselves; we’re here to study ourselves and to get to know ourselves now, not later. People often say to me, “I wanted to come and have an interview with you, I wanted to write you a letter, I wanted to call you on the phone, but I wanted to wait until I was more together.” And I think, “Well, if you’re anything like me, you could wait forever!”

So come as you are. The magic is being willing to open to that, being willing to be fully awake to that. One of the main discoveries of meditation is seeing how we continually run away from the present moment, how we avoid being here just as we are. That’s not considered to be a problem; the point is to see it.”   Pema Chodron.

Meditation is a tool, and learning to use it is like learning to use any tool: it takes time and it’s a process.

Pema’s quote tells us to start wherever you are; don’t wait until you’ve reached some “magic” place where you are perfectly poised to meditate. It will most likely never come, and then you would miss what meditation is for: it’s for day-to-day life; it’s for helping you get to a better place.

And the good news is, it doesn’t cost anything or take much time. 5-10 minutes a day of slow breathing while sitting still can make a huge difference in your stress levels (lowering them) and in your ability to focus (improving it).

For more information on Pema, check out her website. (Yes, even Buddhist nuns have websites!)

New Superfood: Nutella!

New Superfood: Nutella!

Is it true that Nutella is a ballet superfood?*

Indeed. This carefully guarded secret was brought to light recently when a stash of recipes was discovered in the Vaganova Ballet Academy’s kitchen archives. It turns out that since the 1960s, the Academy kitchen has served 2 tablespoons of Nutella per day to its students. Like morning medicine, students line up for their spoonful before technique class, and then again before bedtime.

The Russians have closely guarded this secret while crediting the school’s curriculum and training for generations of exquisite dancers. How clever! Who would have ever guessed that a simple chocolate and hazelnut spread could produce such astonishing results as increased multiple turns, tighter battements in petite allegro, and the totally unexpected, guaranteed “perfect fifth” closing to double tours and entrechat six.

Whether slathered on fruits, breads, or eaten off of a really big spoon, Nutella has been found to increase your likelihood of landing a triple tour en l’air and closing those 32 foutees with something fancier than a double. 

How can I eat it? (How can you not?)

  • Melted in hot milk for a wintery treat
  • Spread on crackers
  • As a dip for cut up fruit
  • On warm toast with peanut butter (oh la la!)
  • and the list goes on…it’s endless really.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, all dancers can benefit from this secret weapon. It’s my most fervent recommendation that you drop what you’re doing and hit the closest supermarket, armed with cash and a can-do attitude. (Don’t be shy. Go for it. As much as you can carry!) Fill that pantry full of this powerful, all-natural superfood.

Finally, be sure to get your “Vaganova Academy Recommended” daily allotment of two heaping tablespoons. (That’s bigger than a teaspoon, FYI.) Then, watch your legs lift, your turns whirl, and your jumps soar.




*Too good to be true, alas. Happy April Fool’s Day!