All in a day's work: Maclean the ballet dancer
Maclean Hopper is a 21-year-old ballet dancer with the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
During the week, ballet class and rehearsals go from 9.30am to 6pm with an hour lunch break. On performance nights they finish an hour earlier, before starting the show at 7-7.30pm, usually ending around 10pm. Maclean drinks lots of water through the day and doesn’t have morning or afternoon tea — it’s something they don’t have in America.
Would he describe his diet as typical of others in his profession? "I think so, however everyone is different because you figure out how your body responds to different foods; something that works for me before a show might make somebody else feel weighed down. Something may give me energy while someone else might need more or less."
7:30am A bowl of granola, cereal or muesli and a banana. I am not a morning person so it’s eaten in a groggy state.
12pm Apple, crackers and cheese, a sandwich and lots of lots of H2O
6pm A pasta dish with lots of fresh veges and chicken. For the upcoming Vodafone season of Swan Lake I am learning a lot of different roles so when I know my rehersals will be packed the next day I try to eat more carbs the night before. When I am doing a lot of partnering I try to get more protein to help my strength and to replenish my muscles.
Late Cookies with peanut butter and a glass of milk and a banana. This is the perfect snack for before I get ready for bed. Bananas are good for sore muscles. Cookies are my weakness and peanut butter makes everything taste better!
Nadia Lim’s nutrition quick fix
Because you are doing so much physical work each day you can afford to have the extra calories in the granola, peanut butter and cookies (all high-calorie foods). However, you should still keep tabs on your sugar intake — nuts and seed are energy-dense snacks without the sugar. Overall you have a well-balanced diet that is a good example of meeting your demanding physical needs without dietary supplements.