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Is Breakfast Sabotaging Your Auditions?

Lianna Nielsen teaches nutrition classes for actors at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. With this video, Lianna offers advice to actors about what to eat before an audition.

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Nutrition Classes for Actors – Lianna Neilsen – Maggie Flanigan Studio

Could Your Breakfast Be Sabotaging Your Audition?

As actors we each have specific ways to prepare for auditions: script analysis, line memorization, speech and vocal warm-ups, even picking out the appropriate outfit. Some go even father, ensuring they exercise and get a good night sleep—but do you think about what you actually put in your body that morning or even the night before? What you eat for breakfast, lunch or even for dinner the previous evening may be affecting your performance or even costing you the job.


"What you eat for breakfast, lunch or even for dinner the previous evening may be affecting your performance or even costing you the job."

Lianna NeilsenNutrition for Actors

Foods like sugar, gluten, and dairy behave like opiates in your body, which means they can be addictive and affect your emotions. Sugar and processed grains spike your blood sugar. The more frequently you consume them, the more your blood sugar levels go on a roller-coaster ride that affects your mood, concentration, and focus. Gluten can cause brain fog—making it hard to remember lines, and for people who suffer from ADD, ADHD, anxiety or depression it can exacerbate their symptoms—not something to risk before a big audition or performance. If you are someone who is anxious or tends to get nervous, caffeine can trigger your nerves, cause anxiety and even panic.

So many people go through life mindlessly eating what’s available, fast or convenient. They grab a protein bar or a yogurt thinking they are making a healthy choice when they might as well be eating a candy bar or ice cream. So what should you be eating?

Real, whole foods: foods that don’t have barcodes or come in packages. Minimally processed foods that have ingredients you recognize and can pronounce. Avoid hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, GMOs, added sugar and preservatives as much as possible. When you eat real food your body knows exactly what to do with it. It supports your mind, your immune system and your metabolism effortlessly.

You want to aim for balanced meals, with protein, fat, fiber and greens so that your blood sugar is stable, and you feel full and satisfied. Healthy fats (avocados, olive oil, nuts, etc.) help you feel full and with grounded energy. Dark leafy greens are wonderful for detoxification and for lowering stress levels. Protein and whole grains can be great energy sources if you choose the right kind for your body—but they also can weigh you down and cause blood sugar or digestive issues if you are eating the wrong type.

Everyone’s body is different, so what you specifically need to be eating is your job to figure out. Start by experimenting with different types of breakfasts. See how long they keep you full, pay attention to your mood, focus, and energy. How does it affect your digestion? Once you start paying attention it’s easy to notice which foods help you feel energized, strong and happy and which make you lethargic, anxious or tired.

The body is an amazing, intelligent and dynamic instrument. As a performer, your body can be your best asset or worst impediment—it all comes down to how you care for it.

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Nutrition Class for Actors with Lianna Neilsen – Maggie Flanigan (917) 794-3878

Learn About Nutrition Classes for Actors at Maggie Flanigan Studio

To learn more about audition preparation and the nutrition classes for actors at the Maggie Flanigan Studio, visit the studio website acting classes and programs page.

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