Hi ya Green Team!
As we are less than one week away from Carnival and I thought that it would be great to contrast how different countries get in shape for their local Carnival.
In Trinidad, our two days on the road is like survival of the fittest. It is fun yet exhausting as you need to have the right fuel and stamina to support you for the 48+ hours of non-stop wining, posing, drinking, chippin, and vybzin.
Preparing for Carnival for some women can almost be compared to an athlete preparing for the Olympics; an Olympics of glamour and stamina. The aim is to get into the best shape so that you can possibly to be photographed by some of the best photographers all while wearing stunning costumes.
When I was looking around at different carnivals around the world I wondered, “How do other nationalities get their bodies ready for their carnival?” “How do they feel confident and fit?”
Fitness is huge in Trinidad whether it is joining in a fitness class, working with a personal trainer or simply hitting up some weights and squats. The gyms are super packed around January and February and you may experience a waiting line for some gym space and equipment but all is well and you’ll get your workout in. Supplements and protein shakes are also the rage at this time.
There are so many parties and fetes; that if dancing is considered exercise then that counts to getting in shape too right?!
Yoga gets popular also as it is great way to stay calm and mindful while getting that sweat that is desired. It is a great addition to prevent sore muscles with the famous heart and hip opening poses while having strong injury preventative effecs alongside a solid workout schedule.
Diet foods – Everyone is on a diet for carnival which consists of salads in the week and fried chicken or pizza on the weekends, possibly after a night out. Soups are also on trend alongside grilled low fat meats.
On a real though we have green juices, lots of salads, veggies & practice portion control accompanied by a healthy exercise regime.
Brazilians are all about inclusion of caffeine into their diets in forms of (Guarana, coffees, teas & energy drinks). According to a study conducted at Oxford Brookes University testing the benefits of caffeine on sports , too much caffeine can be detrimental and can leave you feeling nautious, dehydrated and shaky. My recommendation of safe caffeine sources include (1-2 cups coffee, green tea). Guarana supplements have been proven to have some health benefits however I am not personally familiar with its effects on the body.
Black Beans are consumed in Brazil due to their fat burning potential and this is certainly one of my personal favourites. I ate black bean salad today for lunch actually!
And then they dance Samba nonstop! 1000 kcal dance workouts are a typical norm for these Brazilians & they really work up a sweat and get physical to really tone out their bodies.
In Jamaica, they say no to fast foods and sugar containing foods most of the time which I agree with one hundred percent. When purchasing junk foods you are at risk for stale oil which could be rancid, and have loads of extra fat and sugar calories which are more likely to store on the upper back, lower tummy and love handles.
They also choose baked versus fried foods. This is again due to the fact that baked foods will contain less fats and would be healthier for you due to its retained nutrient potential through cooking technique.
And they switch out refined carbs for extra veggies. Carbohydrates are great for energy however they are best metabolised when living an active lifestyle In small amounts again reflecting the article above by molly in regard to portions. Adding more veggies allows for a more natural approach to portion control without you having to really think about it.
Life after Carnival
You are now in seduentary mode or In total relax vibes. Especially for those who were dieting hard, the noem is to have roti, pizza or KFC right after Carnival. Don’t fall into this unhealthy trap!
I have put together this list of meal ideas for my clients who wish to stay healthy even while nursing a Carnival tabanca:
If you need extra support and guidance, contact me and let’s start NOW towards getting you one step closer towards your fittest and healthiest self.
Annick G. Lewis Nutritionist (BSc) & Qualified Personal Trainer
CEO & Founder Green Balance TT