I dance about 6 days a week now, ranging from 3-5 hours per day. That doesn't count time I practice on my own, or any other dancing I might do (swing, hip hop). Needless to say, I need to eat A LOT. I had decent metabolism before, but now its like I have the giant venus fly trap from Little Shop of Horrors - "feed me, Jessi, feeeeeeed meeee!!! " - inside my belly.
I need meat. I need veggies and fruits. I need good calories, people! But my budget doesn't support it... My grocery cart gets filled with boxed mac'n'cheese, tuna, canned soup, cheese and bread (all generic store brands, by the way). Oh, and produce includes apples, bananas and potatoes. Grapefruit for occasional variety, when and if they're on sale. Figuring out how to fuel my body on the cheap but healthfully is like trying to do a calculus exam without a calculator. Impossible. "Cheap" and "healthy" cancel each other out.
I hate eating the processed food that I do. I know the calories aren't great quality. I've taken enough nutrition and science classes to know what's going on in those packages, and some things give me the heebie jeebies. And its not just "this could give me cancer someday". I need good calories so my body has quality fuel to run on and repair itself with, boost the immune system, the whole bit. Being a successful dancer for as long as possible means taking care of my body - sleeping enough, dancing smart, eating well... This really bugs me.
So what's the solution?? I can't exactly cut down to one meal a day so I can buy the good stuff... that would be anarchy from the beast within, and bad news for everyone around me. I guess for now I just have to ignore the lab-created bright yellow-orange of my mac'n'cheese and just swallow...