My name is Nastasya Generalova, I’m a pretty regular 15 year old… who happens to be a rhythmic gymnast on the USA National Team.
Let me tell you a little bit about ME.
I am from Los Angeles California – the “Golden State” and I love so many things about living here. In my opinion the BEST part of California is the food. One of my personal favorite things to eat is salmon sprinkled with lemon juice and dill, sided with a simple tomato and cucumber salad. De-lish!
Not only do I love to eat healthy food, but also I love listening to music and watching movies! Some of my favorite genres are pop and classical music. My favorite movie is “Avatar” by James Cameron – it makes me feel like I am on a different planet! (I secretly want to be an Avatar.)
So, you may be wondering, what exactly IS rhythmic gymnastics and how did I get involved with the sport? Here’s my journey…
Well, for starters, rhythmic gymnastics is an Olympic sport for women that combines elements of ballet, gymnastics, dance, apparatus manipulation, and dedication.
PAUSE – You may be wondering what apparatus manipulation means. Well, in rhythmic gymnastics it’s when your body has total control over equipment while being in movement. The five pieces of apparatus in rhythmic gymnastics are: Rope, Hoop, Ball, Clubs and Ribbon. Cool, huh?
Anyway…my mom, who is from Russia, inspired me to get started. With her support, I began training when I was 4 years old. I was also playing the piano, performing in theater classes, dancing ballet in school and swimming competitively. I was BUSY!
Soon I realized if you want to be good at something, you have to give it your full attention. I made my choice to stick with Rhythmic Gymnastics and I couldn’t be happier. It has become my addiction! I began to practice all the time and my coaches nicknamed me the “working robot”.
As I began to progress, I started to achieve my goals. I won my first USA Junior Olympics when I was 9, my second when I was 10 and my third when I was 12. As an elite athlete I was lucky to train at the several Olympic Training Centers in America, which was a dream! At 11 years old I began to travel internationally to represent USA in major international competitions. I was named “Athlete of the Year” several times and made the USA National Team when I was just 13!
To represent the United States around the world is an honor, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. My goal is to get better everyday in anything I do, from being a good student to being a powerful competitor. To do this, I learned that I have to take my health seriously so that I have energy and focus while performing and training… but I also learned that you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to fuel your body to WIN THE GOLD. That’s why I want to share some quick tips on how YOU can get your brain and body in top-performance shape. To do this, you need:
VARIETY! I try to have many different varieties of food, because different types of food have different nutrition. A balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins and water will give your body what it needs for an excellent performance. Carbohydrates can be found in whole grain breads, brown rice and whole oats. They provide energy, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Whole grain foods also keep my brain focused when I’m learning a new routine and performing!
PROTEIN! I also need to be sure that I eat the right amount of protein that I need for my muscles and my energy. Meats, beans, eggs, fish and nuts are examples of protein. As a good source of protein, I eat skinless chicken, turkey, salmon and Greek yogurt.
HYDRATION! Another very important aspect is to drink plenty of fluids. Water is essential to keep the body hydrated and at the right temperature. An important aspect of healthy eating for me is to drink more water and fewer sugary drinks.
CUT THE SUGAR OUT! Reducing the amount of candy and desserts you eat is the only solution, because sugar is hidden in many foods such as bread, cereals and fast food. But hey I’m a kid…who doesn’t LOVE treats?! One of my favorites is having a nice cold smoothie. Homemade smoothies are sooo delicious and packed with nutrients for your body. I also love to have milk chocolate, but only once in a while J When I follow these simple steps and eat healthy, I feel lighter and uplifted. I also feel more confident!
So, what did you think of my first blog?! I want to hear from you guys! What do you do to get your body and brain in top-performance mode? Send me your ideas, tips and questions on Facebook (Nastasya Generalova) and on Instagram (nastasya_generalova). You can also post them on the KickinNutrition.TV Facebook page!
I can’t describe how excited I am to talk with all of you on KickinNutrition.TV! Stay tuned for my next blog – maybe I’ll even have some new recipes and tips for you J And, remember to SHARE this with your friends! See you next time!!!