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Ailey Dancer Diet: Recipes & More with Megan Jakel

Posted by Content Manager, March 07, 2014 |
Megan Jakel




Ailey dancer Megan Jakel shares what keeps her fueled during a long day of rehearsals and performances, how she maintains her diet on the road, and her special recipe for delicious low-carb muffins.





Dancing requires the right fuel, and I perform my very best when I eat properly. I have a big appetite in the morning and try to have a really big breakfast, especially when I'm dancing. Usually, my breakfast consists of eggs, salad, fruit, and multigrain toast. As the day goes by, I snack a lot on things like nuts, fruits, veggies dipped in hummus, and apples in almond butter, so by the end of the day I don't usually want a huge meal. When I'm by myself I'll make a nice salad or maybe roast some vegetables, but if friends are around I love to cook many kinds of cuisines with lots of spices.

I love spicy foods, so my favorite cuisines are Mexican, Chinese, and Indian. I'm pescatarian, which means I eat seafood, but no meat or poultry. I've been primarily vegetarian for the past 10 years, but as I've toured around the globe, I've learned to love seafood. My favorite things to make when I entertain are fish tacos (mmmm!) and spicy shrimp and vegetable stir fry.

When I'm in New York I pack my lunch every day, including either leftovers, or an array of healthy vegetables and fruits. I also stay away from sugar, although I always sneak in a little chocolate. When traveling, I pack my lunch box, which includes a good kitchen knife (with a guard) so that I can visit the grocery store and pack healthy snacks and lunches no matter where I am (I get grumpy if I'm hungry). For dinners on the road, I love to go out and experience the cultural offerings.

Whenever I get a little extra time I love to bake – it reminds me of my dad – and I love to bake things that are yummy without all of the guilt and indulgence of traditional sugary baked goods. So I'm sharing the recipe for my low-carb muffins – enjoy!


Megan's Low-Carb Muffins

Ingredients:
3 extra large organic eggs
1/4 cup organic heavy cream
1/3 cup Splenda for baking OR 1/4 cup light agave nectar
5 tablespoons organic coconut flour
1/4 shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup organic blueberries
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1 pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1.) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2.) Line muffin tins
3.) In a large bowl mix together eggs, cream, and sweetener
4.) Add coconut flour, coconut, and spices and whisk (it may seem like not enough, but coconut flour is very absorbent, so don't worry)
5.) Wait 5 minutes to thicken and then fold in blueberries and walnuts
6.) Scoop batter into cups and bake for 25-30 minutes

This recipe makes 6 muffins.

Additional note: I don't really measure things, so feel free to experiment and add and subtract the spices or exchange the berries and nuts with other options! Also, if you don't like coconut, you don't need to include the shredded coconut, but the coconut flour holds the recipe together and doesn't have a coconutty taste.

 

 

 Left: Megan Jakel. Photography by Richard Calmes. Right: Megan in Ohad Naharin's Minus 16. Photo by Paul Kolnik. Above: Megan in Robert Battle's Takademe. Photo by Andrew Eccles.


Interview conducted by Lucie Fernandez and Lucelenia Amparo.

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