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Category Archives: Athlete Nutrition

Green Machine Soup for Aerial Power!

Hello Dear Danglers! It’s coooooooold here in NYC, and cold = soup! This is what’s for lunch today at Casa Witwer, and I thought you guys might enjoy it too. It’s nice and light, and has yummy greens to decrease inflammation (common in folks who pursue physical awesomeness). It’s really simple, too! Enjoy! Love and pull-ups, Laura


Green Machine Soup Recipe (scale up or down as you like!)

  • 2 cups stock (any kind)
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 handfulls of spinach
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar to taste
  • salt & pepper (or, I use Trader Joe’s Everything Seasoning – YUM)

Put everything in a pot, simmer until tender. Sprinkle with hemp and/or sesame seeds if you like and serve!




As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.


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).

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, the F-books, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are sharing things these days.


A Hearty, Healing Winter Soup!

I LOVE to make this soup in the winter! It’s loaded with yummy things (kale! beans! carrots! onions!), and an awesome way to get some green veggies and fiber. Make it in a slow cooker, or use canned beans & rock it on the stove top. Enjoy! Love and pull-ups, Laura


White Bean & Kale Soup
Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 onions — chopped
1 carrot — chopped
3 cloves garlic — pressed
1 bunch kale — trimmed and sliced
1 pound dried cannellini beans — soaked overnight (or use
white beans)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 quart chicken broth or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onions,
carrot and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent. Add kale
and cook till wilted, about 3 minutes.

In a crock-pot, place your soaked beans, add red pepper flakes,
the contents of the skillet and cover with broth (if you need more
liquid, add either more broth or water till contents are covered by

Cook on high 8 hours or until beans are tender. Once beans are tender,
add the tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste.

Per Serving: 349 Calories; 8g Fat; 19g Protein; 54g Carbohydrate; 13g
Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 85mg Sodium.

Drink Heavily This Holiday Season!

You heard me! Down it, slam it, chug it, hell- play games with it – today, we’re  talkin’ green juice, mah peeps (wait – what did you think I was talking about?!?!)!  A mix of greens, apple, broccoli, parsley, ginger, cucumber, lime, and celery, this stuff is liquid love for your poor, abused circus body. I will explain.

Our number one enemy in our daily work is inflammation (to be delved into another day – it’s a topic all on its own). Most professional aerialists will experience shoulder tendinitis/bursitis at some point, and pretty much any injury is made worse when that heat starts creeping in; you can work around it, but it can sideline your training in some pretty major ways. One way to reduce inflammation is by eating and drinking things high in nutrients and compounds which support healing and “cooling” the body – enter Green Juice! WOOT!

It’s high in anti-oxidants and plant-y goodness, with ginger to reduce inflammation. Also?  It actually tastes really good (I know, I was surprised too). Here’s an adapted recipe from Kris Carr’s amazing book “Crazy Sexy Diet” – give it a try, and check out her website while you’re at it (she’s kind of awesome).


-1 large cucumber (peeled if not organic)
-big fistful of kale, spinach, or other leafy green
– 2 stalks celery
– 1  big broccoli stems
-1 pear or green apple
-1 inch of ginger (or less) + 1/4 of a lime



You have to take really, really good care of your body – if it breaks, where are you going to live? Love and pull-ups, Laura

As always, if you like this post, share it on your blog, FB, Twitter, and wherever else you crazy kids are posting things these days!

Breakfast of Champions


This week (and the next and the next), I’m trying to undo some of the damage I did from my “holi-week” back home. Just curious, does everyone’s mother put a whole stick of butter in every dish? (kidding Mom!) If you’re finding yourself walking around with unbuttoned jeans this week, perhaps you’ll join me? Here’s a great option for breakfast:


Two Eggs A La Laura

  • fork-whisk two eggs in a mug
  • nuke in the microwave for 30 seconds
  • add a little cheese if you want (a strongly flavored cheese like feta will give you more taste for fewer calories)
  • nuke in 15 second intervals until fluffy, stirring occasionally
  • top with salsa & 1/4 of an avocado
  • if it explodes, you did it wrong


Voila! Do you have any quick breakfasts that you go for when the muffin top in your kitchen is around your waist rather than in your pantry? Share!