It was quite nearly a shitshow at last year’s Dance Marathon, when the event of dancers eating FiberOne bars unfortunately coincided with Norris running out of toilet paper.
“We’re working hard to make sure we’re totally prepared from the start this year,” said Food Co-chair Katy Vogt.
Planning meals for 1,000 hungry dancers over the course of 30 hours is no easy task, yet figuring out what types of food to provide is just what co-chairs Katy Vogt and Lauren Mindel do for DM. Starting every October, the Food Committee reaches out to local restaurants old and new (Cheesies?!?) to see if they’re willing to contribute. The committee gets no budget to buy food for DM, and relies entirely on donations.
“We have a lot of longstanding relations with Evanston vendors,” said Vogt. “We want to serve dancers what they’ll enjoy.”
To this end, comfort foods like pizza are interspersed with fruits and vegetables. While all the food provided is generally ensured to maximize your performance as a dancer, here are some tips on what to eat and what to avoid.
Good to have:
Fruits and vegetables:
Both are natural energy boosters and performance enhancers, and lack unwanted side effects. Bananas, spinach, citrus fruits and sweet potatoes all get a pat on the back. Bananas are both abundant in antioxidants and almost entirely made up of healthy carbs that break down into blood sugar quickly and fuel your body. While not being anyone’s favorite food, spinach is rich in iron, which ensures your extended stamina. Citrusy fruits offer Vitamin C, which is basically life’s blood, and sweet potatoes offer “complex” carbs that provide both immediate and long-term stamina.
Anyone who’s played sports knows the greatness of a pasta dinner the night before a game or race. While scientists have recently disputed the pros and cons of carb-loading, an October 2012 study reflected its perceived success.
Fluids: Part of the 30-hour food committee's job is to make sure that the tent's water coolers are constantly filled. Common sense dictates that strenuous physical activity requires as much fluid as possible. Whether that comes from juices or water is up to you, just be sure to stay hydrated.
Not-so-good to have:
While good for an all-night study session or a quick pick-me-up during the day, coffee or energy drinks are bad news for something like DM. The physical stress coupled with the general exuberance of it all will no doubt exacerbate the headache that caffeine usually provides. It’s even been proven to mess up your emotional intelligence, and seeing as DM is extremely emotional for all involved, that’s pretty rough too. So while you may think of dodging security to run upstairs to Norbucks on Saturday morning, do yourself a favor and drink water instead.
FiberOne bars and, for that matter, anything that makes you excessively poop:
It’s a pretty long run from the DM tent to the bathroom. Just saying.
With DM only a couple of nights away, be sure to keep your food choices in mind. As DM is, according to Vogt, the “light at the end of the winter quarter tunnel,” you want to make sure you’re seeing that light front and center in the DM tent.
And not on a FiberOne-induced bathroom break.