Anna Lutz and Elizabeth chat with Monika Saigal, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, CDN, a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian, and former dancer, about her efforts to make the dance world a healthier and safer place. Monika highlights the importance of giving dancers the knowledge and tools they need to properly nourish their bodies, and teaching dancers how to cultivate positive body image.
- Ways to navigate the pressures that exist in the dance world to conform to a particular body shape and size
- How the lack of body representation in the dance world calls for a rejection of the thin ideal and embracing body diversity
- The importance of parents and dancers seeking nutrition advice from qualified sources (i.e. Registered Dietitian)
- Signs parents can be on the lookout for if their child is not getting adequate nutrition
- How absence of a period is a major red flag for girls due to the health-related consequences of not menstruating
Monika’s favorite IG accounts:
- MS Nutrition (Monika’s website)
- Lutz, Alexander & Associates Nutrition Therapy
- Pinney Davenport Nutrition
Monika Saigal, MS, RD, CEDRD-S, CDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, a Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist, a Certified Eating Disorders Registered Dietitian, and a former professional dancer. She is the founder and owner of ms nutrition, PC, a New York City based nutrition counseling and consulting practice specializing in eating disorders/disordered eating and nutrition for dancers and performing artists. Monika provides nutrition counseling to dancers and performing artists in her private practice in Manhattan, virtually to clients nationally and internationally, and for the past 8 years, as a Nutritionist at The Juilliard School.
To better address the health needs of dancers, Monika developed the Head to Pointe® workshop series which includes nutrition, body image, and self-care workshops for dancers as well as specialized trainings for dance educators, staff, parents, and healthcare professionals on eating disorder awareness and prevention. She presents these workshops nationally to dance studios, colleges, and companies, often in collaboration with a psychotherapist to more fully address mental health topics that are important for dancers.
Monika’s experience and expertise in the field of eating disorders has earned her the Approved Supervisor designation from the International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals (iaedp) Foundation. As an Approved Supervisor, Monika provides professional supervision to Registered Dietitians and other clinicians looking to increase their expertise and confidence in working with clients with eating disorders/disordered eating.
She has been featured as a nutrition expert in Dance Spirit and Dance Magazine and had the honor of speaking about the prevention and treatment of eating disorders in dancers at the International Association for Dance Medicine & Science (IADMS) Conferences for the past 3 years.