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3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods (Must Copy STAT)

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This article was previously published on April 13, 2017.

As long-time Peaceful Dumpling fans may know, we’re yuuuge ballet fans over here at the HQ. So when ABT principal dancer Misty Copeland’s new book Ballerina Body: Dancing and Eating Your Way to a Leaner, Stronger, and More Graceful You recently launched, I immediately thought of investigating further.

The low-down: Misty is a pescatarian. Her breakfast is always coffee + bagel or coffee + muffin. (Wow!! But she needs that for rehearsals!) Mid-morning snack is nuts and dried fruit; lunch is usually a salad, and dinner is fish and roasted veggies. I had originally wanted to try her Ballerina Body diet as an article but had to scrap that. 🙁

But balletomanes, rejoice! I have 3 incredible ballerinas who have turned to vegan diets for 3 very different reasons. All are extraordinarily beautiful and inspiring–get your notebooks out!

Sylvie Guillem 

3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods (Must Copy STAT)

It was her star turn as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, opposite another legend Rudolph Nureyev, that made her an Etoile.

Claim to fame: Literally one of the most legendary ballerinas in dance history (and very nearly *the* favorite ballerina of yours truly), Sylvie Guillem became Etoile (principal dancer) at Paris Opera Ballet at the tender age of 19 (!). After several years, she then became the principal guest artist at the Royal Ballet in London and has basically won the ballet world’s highest laurels.

Why she became vegan: For animals, world hunger, and the environment. Guillem has said,”It was a moral choice […] I didn’t want to be a part of this torture anymore. I’m doing my part, even if it’s just a drop in the ocean, because one drop plus another plus another will eventually add up.” We can’t agree more! After retiring in 2015, she has turned her focus on animal rights and environmental activism, as an ambassador for Peta and marine conservation group Sea Shepherd, and hosting the BBC Documentary Force of Nature on the decimation of ocean life due to overfishing.

Her favorite foods: Currently based in Italy, she loves branching out of her French roots. “[Husband] Gilles and I are both vegans and Italy is fantastic for vegans.[…] In France it’s not at all normal to be vegetarian, so you can imagine the kind of reaction vegans inspire. Fortunately, we’re both very open to other food cultures. Lebanese food is fantastic for vegans and so is Indian and Thai,” she says. However, she does keep Faux Gras (vegan fois gras) in the fridge. You can take a woman out of France, but you can’t take France out of the woman?!

No words! Is there a dance version of [drops mic]?
Juliet Doherty

3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods

3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods

Claim to fame: Juliet made waves as the two-time gold medalist at the Youth America Grand Prix, one of the most prestigious international ballet competitions in the world. She currently dances with Phoenix Ballet and boasts 300k+ fans on Instagram.

Why she became vegan: Juliet was advised that she had to eat a ton of protein to stay full and energetic–instead, she felt her energy levels dropping. So she started cutting out animal products from her diet and immediately started feeling better. Being completely vegan keeps her in optimum shape and helps her recover quickly–a must in a dancer’s physically grueling life. Since then, she’s also become a fan of the compassionate aspect as well, flaunting her cruelty-free beauty picks on IG.

3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods

Honestly, how cute is she?!

Her favorite foods: Juliet swears by *this* green smoothie every morning to give her enough energy for morning ballet class.

  • 1 handful of kale
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of any frozen fruit (I like mango or mixed berries)
  • 1 banana
  • 4 oz. apple juice
  • 2 tbs. ground flaxseed
  • 8 oz. water

Between classes and rehearsals, she snacks on the following:

  1. Apple & Almond Butter
  2. Bananas
  3. Bell Pepper & Hummus (or carrot sticks)
  4. Nuts & Seeds
  5. Dried fruit

Saskia Gregson-Williams

3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods

Claim to fame: The former trainee for the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago found her calling with being a healthy lifestyle blogger, cookbook author, and the creator of her own Ballet Blast by Sassy workout.

Why she became vegan: Sassy suffered from years of chronic eczema, which at one point became so bad that it covered large swaths of her body. Depressed and lethargic, she turned to whole plant-based diet to cure her condition–and started seeing results right away.

Her favorite vegan foods: Her drool-worthy creations on her website! They’re all gluten-free, vegan, and processed sugar-free.

3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods

This raw vegan blackberry orange cheesecake with a chocolate brownie base (!) is everything I want in a dessert.

3 Stunning Ballerinas Share Their Favorite Vegan Foods (Must Copy STAT)

What do you think, bunheads? Are you feeling as inspired as I am? <3

Related: How a Sugar-Free Diet Changed My Life

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Photo: Sylvie Guillem–Copyright Gilles Tapie / The Arts Desk, Juliet Doherty via Instagram; Saskia Gregson-Williams via Naturally Sassy and Imgrum

Juhea Kim
Originally from Portland, Oregon, Juhea now lives in NYC with her Oreo cookie cat, Zeus. When she is not writing, she enjoys running in Central Park, yoga, and teaching Barre classes. Follow Juhea on Instagram @peacefuldumpling, Google+ and Pinterest.
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