Nutritionist Stephanie Moore reveals how to beat bloating and lethargy and makes the case for why we should eat just two meals a day.
Sometimes as vocal coaches we’re so busy juggling teaching with all the admin jobs that go with running a business that we forget one important thing – to fuel ourselves properly.
But eating junk food, skipping meals or gobbling down a snack in the few minutes break you get between students, can leave you feeling:
- Tired and craving a mid-afternoon nana nap.
- ‘Hangry’ – irritable and emotional because you’re tired and hungry.
- Bloated – because your body is struggling to digest.
- Symptoms of reflux.
So what should we eat to power through the day?
To find out, BAST Training turned to Stephanie Moore, a clinical nutritionist and health coach who has worked with many performing artists.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Singing Teachers Talk podcast (it’s well worth a listen, tune in here), Stephanie says that we should focus on the quality of food that we eat and avoid “poorly-nourishing, highly-processed stuff that’s just going to cause problems and not actually give you anything in return”.
She also revealed that she advises many of her clients to eat only two meals a day.
Before we explore this idea in more depth, let’s be clear: Stephanie’s approach to nutrition has nothing to do with calorie counting, starvation diets or living up to unrealistic ideas of body shape (perpetuated by filtered images on Instagram). It’s about being kind to your body and nourishing it.
Why eat only twice a day?
If you’re a grazer, eating only twice a day may sound extreme. But Stephanie says eating multiple times during a day is exhausting for the body.
“It drains us of energy and damages our intestine,” she says. “Think about our ancestors living off the land – they, were lucky to get one meal a day. We want the body to be in a non-digestive state as often as possible [that’s when lots of healing and regeneration takes place], we need that recovery time.”
Instead of snacking, consider eating two hearty, well-planned meals a day. This will give your body the chance to digest and then recover.
“If you’ve got a busy day, work out where your two meals are going to be,” says Stephanie. “If your day is going to be busy later on, you could have a really good brunch or breakfast – a proper knife and fork meal with your eggs, bacon and sausage. I’m talking about a hearty, proper meal that will then sustain you for five or six hours.
“Later on, when you’re hungry, sit down and have your second meal, one that you really appreciate and your body really wants. Many people eat when they’re not hungry because they think they should or they’re worried they’re going to run out of energy or fuel later.”
Taking the time to eat
It’s not just about what you eat, but how. Instead of eating on the run or in front of the TV, sit up at the table and savour your meal.
“Wolfing down food, barely chewing, not noticing what you’re eating because you’re driving or phoning someone or on the computer – this is distracted eating. I tell all my patients not to do it as it means that the processing of your food is, at best, 50%. And that’s often a trigger for acid reflux and bloating.”
Listen to the podcast, The Best Nutritional Dos and Don’t for Singers, to learn:
- How to aid digestion
- The importance of gut health
- Why (the right sort of fats) aren’t bad, in fact they’re very good for us.
Take a deeper dive
Sign up to BAST’s Focus On event on Monday June 27, 2022, where Stephanie will be a guest speaker. At this one-day online event, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the wellness of the singer starting with the body. Stephanie will be talking about gut health, and how it impacts the performer.