C is for Cookie: The Ultimate Aerial Diet

I looooooove me some cookies. Also? Pie, ice cream, chocolate, and donuts. A lot. I do not like Brussels sprouts (or any kind of sprout for that matter), and lots of other Super Healthy Foods that Are Not Pie. But taste bud preferences aside, what should we be eating to ensure success in the air? Is there such a thing as the Aerialist Diet? And WHAT ABOUT ICE CREAM?! Imma break it down for you, Dear Danglers.

The Ideal Aerial Diet

Yeah. There is none. (MIND BLOWN) Successful circus artists run the gamut from Atkins devotees to vegan, and everything in between. Now, having said that, certain things will set you up for success more than others. To access your inner super hero, here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you’re face first in a (delicious, delicious) pint of Ben & Jerry’s.

 

  1. Muscles need protein to grow. There is SO MUCH debate about exactly how much protein we need, but here’s my take on it: Are your muscles growing? Congrats! You’re probably getting enough protein! And vice versa. If you’re working to take some pounds off, protein can be your best friend – it curbs hunger, and acts like a natural diuretic to keep you from retaining excess water.
  2. One thing most aerialists agree on, across the board, is that processed foods bring you down. If your grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as food, there’s probably a better choice to be made.
  3. Inflammation is the devil. It’s the bane of the aerialist’s existence! There are foods that ramp it up, and foods that bring it down. Hydrogenated oils, heavily processed foods, and sugar (nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!) increase inflammation in the body. Whole foods, particularly leafy greens, healthy fats, and powerhouse seeds can bring it way down. Have a look at the list at the bottom for some of my current favorites!
  4. Personally? I think a life without treats is a sad life indeed. If you are Suzi-Super-Clean-Eater, I am in awe of you – go on with your bad self! If you’re like me, and not willing to be that strict with yourself, the 80/20 rule is a helpful one: get 80% of your daily calories from clean food, 20% from the stuff in the goodie box in the high cabinet. Though some will argue with me, I’m not convinced that a little sugar, salt, and fat is gonna kill you. That said, if you’re struggling with inflammation, just know that you may have to forgo the deliciousness for a little while to give your body a chance to catch up.
  5. Organic is lovely – go for it whenever you can!

Pre-Training Smoothie

1 apple, pear, or banana (fruit sugars give you energy to fly!)
1 cup of berries or another brightly colored fruit (adds nutrients and fiber)
1/2 of a large cucumber (adds fiber, nutrients, and reduces inflammation)
1/4 of a peeled lime (cleansing & energizing)
1 inch piece of peeled ginger (reduces inflammation)
1 large handful of leafy greens like chard, kale, or spinach (nutrients, reduces inflammation)
1 handful of green herbs like parsley, basil, or cilantro (nutrients, flavor, and can reduce water retention)
1 handful of nuts (reduce inflammation, protein gives you staying power)
1 Tbsp seeds (chia, flax, sunflower, hemp, or a mix of all 4)
1-2 cups coconut water (can substitute filtered tap water)

 

Toss all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or blender and blend on high! If you’re using a regular blender, use frozen fruit or a handful of ice cubes to help get everything mixed properly. Increase or decrease water to taste.

 

To sum it up, I love Michael Pollan’s rules from “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” – eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. Simple right? (BTW – great book – highly recommended) If you need the structure of a diet, the Paleo Diet has a great focus on whole foods, or check out “Crazy, Sexy Diet” by Kris Carr. Stay tuned – my team and I are in the process of compiling a cookbook of phenomenal recipes designed to reduce inflammation, boost energy for training, and support strength gains for aerial and circus work! More soon! Love and pull-ups, Laura

Laura’s Current Favorite SuperFoods

** All your fruits & veggies are amazing! Here are a few things I’m eating a lot of right now that you may or may not have tried!

Green juice (NOT the kind that’s 95% fruit!), chia seeds, hemp seeds, tahini, subbing cauliflower for rice or potatoes for a nutrient boost, rolling my own sushi (nori, brown rice, stuff with avocado & veggies), fruit sauce (1/2 a banana, 1 apple, 1 pear, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, handful of nuts, 1 teaspoon of flax seeds, toss it in a blender on low), zucchini noodles (use a vegetable peeler to make “noodles”, steam or eat them raw with your favorite sauce).

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2 comments on “C is for Cookie: The Ultimate Aerial Diet”

  1. ohwell Reply

    I think the nutritional needs are completely individual…

    Myself, I’m very cut, with bodyfat often going down to single digits, muscular like for a contest (and I’m female), etc and I had been experimenting with a variety of food regimens over the years, keep up to date on recent biomedical research, etc…had tried all kinds of “superfood”-heavy schedules (superfoods…what a silly false term, created to lighten people’s wallets for sure)….also, used to work in geriatric care and seen variety of patients living healthy and strong until over 90 and over 100 y.o., even and learned what they ate throughout their lives….I came to a conclusion that most “superfoods” are pure hype; there’re also toxins and anti-nutrients, tyroid suppressors, kidney-heavy stuff, etc in many of these–what people tend to forget abuot. And gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, paleo and other fads are just silly. Simple, old school diet works best: whole organic grains, teas, reasonable amounts of grass-fed/organic meats, apples’n’cabbage, etc. Oh by the way, according to some recent research/studies–and more than one–increased antioxidant levels…DECREASED post-exercise recovery capacity. Figure that one out…mother nature knows a few things one can’t buy in a pharmacy. Surely, superfood and supplement industries are a big business now. Also, one has to keep the longevity issue in mind and remember that short-term efficient diets for athletes can be cancer and heart-disease friendly. I would LOVE to know the diet of Vicky Unus/La Toria and Lilian Leitzen, by the way 🙂

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