“Get away from rules-based diets. Eat for your long-term mental health and happiness, not for short-term gain.”

marissa carraniniNutritional Therapist Marissa Carrarini was in conversation with Alexis Williamson-Jones, Trust Consultant Teacher for PE, on Healthy Eating For Sport, for our fifth GDST Talks event.

GDST Talks welcomed nutritional therapist Marissa Carrarini to speak to parents, teachers and students across the GDST family on approaches to healthy eating for sport. Marissa shared a very clear and positive message about enjoyment, balance and inclusion around eating, with no food groups banned. ‘If you’re missing out on carbs, for example,’ Marissa explained, ‘you’re missing out on social activities too, like pizza and birthday cake.’

She also cautioned against quick fixes, such as energy drinks. ‘Nourish your body not just for now, but for always,’ she advised. ‘You are a whole person, with complex needs, and food should promote your sporting progress, not limit it.’

“Food and stress should not go together,’ explained Marissa, ‘Eat what your body needs, not what your mind, or someone else’s mind for that matter, says you need.”

“Food can help you to not only achieve, but to enjoy; not only to win, but to thrive.”

Marissa’s Takeaway Tips

  • Food isn’t just for sport. Think about what else you eat for – going to parties, cultural activities, seeing friends and family – and meet these needs, too. 
  • Our bodies are always changing depending on the stage we are at in life; don’t choose a  way of eating now, and stick to it. Be flexible enough to recognise when your eating habits need to change.
  • Enjoy your rest days – don’t feel guilty. Your body needs time to recover when you’re training regularly. 
  • When you think about your sport, try to bring to mind what you find beautiful and exciting about it – it’s probably not the food that fuels it! This is a good way of getting your approach to healthy eating for sport into perspective. 

“Think of what I say here as guidance, not rules.”

To see more of Marissa’s guidance and advice, you can access a recording of her talk below. The recording is available until 31st March. Marissa will be presenting later in the year on Healthy Eating for Revision. Check back here for updates!

Parents’ comments: 

‘Really great messaging – so clear and comprehensive’

‘What a wholesome approach- we are thoroughly impressed’

‘So refreshing to hear such a sensible viewpoint on diet’