Good nutrition takes centre stage at PerformancePro. So who better than ex-ballerina Louisa Schiattarella, our nutrition coach and personal trainer, to take the lead…
Prior to her career as a personal trainer and two years as nutrition coach, Louisa Schiattarella was a ballerina with English National Ballet and Scottish Ballet. Her changing relationship with nutrition over this time gives a valuable and informative insight into the essential role good food plays in fitness.
We grabbed a few minutes with Louisa between client training sessions at the PerformancePro gym to find out more.
1) What role does nutrition play in PerformancePro’s overall approach?
Here at PerformancePro it’s all about intelligent personal fitness, so we value the importance of not just the training but also nutrition and recovery. As the saying goes ‘what you put in you get out’ and this really does ring true when it comes to diet.
This means a daily diet rich in nutrient-dense foods with smart macronutrient timing (that’s proteins, carbohydrates and fats to you and me!). Devising then following a way of eating that works well with your lifestyle is the key to top performance and a healthy body composition.
Everyone is different, so PerformancePro nutrition plans are not rigid or ‘off the shelf’, they are meticulously thought through and tailored to a client’s individual needs and goals.
2) So what does your role as PerformancePro’s Nutrition Coach entail?
My role as nutrition coach is to understand a client’s individual goals, lifestyle and challenges. This helps inform the approach we take to advising and educating on what good nutrition really means, taking into account the information they have given me. From there, I coach each client through a process where they start to understand what works for their body and to show them a way of eating that best suits their lifestyle.
3) What does good nutrition mean to you personally, why are you interested in it?
Good nutrition to me means feeling well. This means incorporating nutrient-dense foods that agree with me into a simple plan that suits my working day. It most definitely does not mean following a rigid unsustainable diet that I feel guilty about if I lapse from time to time!
Nutrition interests me as I can feel the physical and mental benefits of a healthier approach to my diet.
4) How has this helped you over the years?
It took me many years to understand the importance of good nutrition. When I was a young ballet dancer it was never really explained to me. I was only ever encouraged to keep my weight down and so survived on a very calorie restrictive diet. In turn, this affected my strength and performance negatively.
Like many young women, I thought I was eating healthily! But I was missing so much goodness from my diet and doing my body a huge disservice.
When I came into the fitness industry, there was no longer pressure to look like a waif. My new ambition was to build a healthier and more athletic body. To do this, I had to increase my daily food intake drastically. This was done with caution initially but over time I realised how important it was to eat to build muscle to achieve the look I wanted. And of course, it felt great! I had so much more energy and strength.
This process opened my eyes to understanding nutrition and the importance of mind set and attitude to food. So I started to read and study nutrition then complete a degree in Psychology. My interest and passion has continued to evolve from there…
5) If you could only give 3 top tips for good nutrition what would they be?
6) What would you recommend as the first steps towards integrating good nutrition within a busy day to day life?
Increasingly, good nutrition takes centre stage at PerformancePro as clients turn to us for help and guidance with nutrition. It is often the first step towards a fitter and healthier lifestyle.