site stats
In the Kitchen With Ballet Beautiful’s Mary Helen Bowers |

In the Kitchen With Ballet Beautiful’s Mary Helen Bowers

Advertisement

Eggs and ToastYogurt ParfaitSimple SaladProtein PlatesSweet TreatsSoup SnackTea and Biscuits

“Because I dieted so much in the past, I just can’t diet again,” says Mary Helen Bowers, fresh off a Ballet Beautiful workout at her whitewashed Soho studio. “It’s something I don’t want to do, and I don’t even know if I am capable of. I think it’s a much healthier and happier way to live.”


Achieving this joie de vivre is something Bowers explores in her new book, Ballet for Life (Rizzoli), which spans, like a graceful arabesque, beyond her fitness regimen and into general well-being. Bowers is credited as the whittler of Lily Aldridge’s and Natalie Portman’s sculpted figures, and her Ballet Beautiful brand is highly beloved for its grueling, yet graceful, workouts (online and in-studio) and poetic dancewear. The success of the brand is owed partly to its inclusivity—Bowers drew back the velvet stage curtain, and invited classgoers to slide on a pair of slippers and transport themselves to the world of ballet, no dance experience required.

Chapters in Ballet for Life include workout techniques (broken down by legs, feet, center, derriere, posture, and flexibility) as well as guides on beauty, style, and food, with a chapter aptly titled “Kitchen,” not “Diet.” Throughout, Bowers’s instructions are accompanied by stunning how-to photos by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin; a collection of images that read more like a fashion editorial than a demonstration of a sur le cou-de-pied.

Off and en pointe, balance is key for any dancer. For Bowers (who enjoyed a decade at the New York City Ballet), culinary equilibrium is maintained with a fuss-free approach to food. Instead of caloric tabulations and persnickety measurements, Bowers preaches a far more relaxed culinary approach in Ballet for Life. “We wanted our ‘Kitchen’ chapter to be really simple, a guide and source of inspiration; not ‘2 cups of this and 1 cup of that.’” This may seem counterintuitive for a dancer, but Bowers forgoes rigidity in favor of simple, whole foods.

Mary Helen Bowers

Staples include Greek yogurt, eggs, salmon, greens, and nuts, and, contrary to popular wellness opinion, bread and dairy are not verboten. “You’ll see there are photos of bread because I do eat gluten! And dairy!” Given that a typical workday involves two to four Ballet Beautiful workouts, Bowers fuels up on her whole grains.

Also essential for Bowers is mealtime ambiance; she likens setting a table to setting a stage. “Even if you’re having a snack, enjoying it in a beautiful teacup or on a lovely plate makes it feel like more of an event,” she says. (Much of the charming dinnerware depicted in the book was pulled straight from her kitchen cupboard: A porcelain terrine was a wedding present and a pair of turn-of-the-century cruets a gift from her mother.)

For her, a well-plated meal promotes mindful eating, which leads to ultimate satisfaction. “When you’re not experiencing your food, that’s when it’s harder to pay attention to when you’re full, and that’s what being satisfied really means.”

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.