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Author Katarina Todorovic
Katarina Todorovic
Created on Aug 14th, 2023
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Fueled + Balanced Nutrition 2023: Stop Overthinking Food and Start Enjoying It! Feel Your Best Both Physically and Mentally by Clearing Up Nutrition Confusion and Creating a Healthier Relationship With Food, Your Body, and Exercise! 

In the world of sports and performance, achieving peak physical condition is a multifaceted endeavor that extends beyond training routines and exercise regimens. Recognizing the profound impact of nutrition on athletic prowess and overall well-being, Lexi Moriarty stands as a beacon of expertise in this arena. A Certified Sports & Performance Dietitian and Eating Disorder RD, Lexi is the driving force behind Fueled + Balanced Nutrition, a practice that harmonizes the science of nutrition with the art of balanced living. With an unwavering commitment to enhancing both physical performance and mental wellness, Lexi guides athletes and individuals alike towards a holistic approach to nutrition that nourishes body, mind, and soul. In this exclusive Delivery Rank interview, we delve into the remarkable journey of Lexi Moriarty, uncovering the philosophy that drives Fueled + Balanced Nutrition and discovering how her unique blend of expertise empowers individuals to transcend their limitations, redefine their relationship with food, and ultimately, excel in their pursuits. 

Can you tell us about your journey and how you became passionate about nutrition, especially in the context of sports and eating disorders?

I would love to! I have been an avid runner since I was 15 years old. Around this same time, I developed an interest in eating healthier. This quickly spiraled into unintentionally underfueling my body simply because the most prevalent nutrition information available to me was very "diet" focused. This experience didn't only teach me the importance of performance nutrition but also how easily someone can fall into the slippery slope of disordered eating. From there, I realized that I wanted to combine my passion for teaching others with my interest in nutrition, specifically sports nutrition. After years of experience in the nutrition field, including Division 1 college athletics, I started my nutrition private practice where I focus on helping active people and athletes optimize their performance and health. 

Fueled + Balanced Nutrition is focused on sports performance and eating disorders. How do you strike a balance between these two seemingly diverse areas of nutrition expertise? 

Yes this is such a good question. My goal is to help all active people think differently about nutrition and exercise while feeling their best both physically AND mentally. There is so much sports and performance nutrition information out there that is based on rules, diet culture, and eliminating certain food groups. Whether someone that I work with is struggling with an eating disorder, disordered eating, RED-S, or just looking to optimize their nutrition, I hope to teach them that this doesn’t have to be the case. You can eat with the intention of optimizing your fitness and health while prioritizing a healthy relationship with food and a full life. As a result, I pull a lot of concepts related to intuitive eating, intuitive movement, yoga, mindful eating, and non-diet nutrition into my work with clients, groups, and companies.

As a Certified Sports & Performance Dietitian, what strategies do you employ to help athletes optimize their performance through nutrition?

When working with clients to optimize performance and fitness, I look at both the day to day and the bigger picture. For day-to-day strategies, we talk about hydration, protein and carb intake, sleep, electrolyte replenishment, supplements, and fueling training before, during, and after so they can ensure their body has the tools to get the most out of training. For the bigger picture, I look at overall energy and macronutrient intake in order to prevent health and performance issues that may be related to RED-S and could hinder fitness or performance gains. I also find that a healthy relationship with food and exercise is key too. If we feel pressure to eat or exercise in a certain way, it can sometimes work in direct opposition to performance goals. For instance, if a client feels uncomfortable taking rest days this can hinder them from fully recovering, increase their risk for an injury and RED-S, and get in the way of their goals. If these types of hurdles come up, we may also end up working on strategies and mindset shifts around preconceived notions about exercise, nutrition, and food.

Dealing with eating disorders requires a sensitive approach. How do you create a safe and supportive environment for clients struggling with such challenges?

Thank you for asking this as it's such an important part of working with someone recovering from an eating disorder, or even RED-S or disordered eating. First off, I always try to meet each person where they’re at. It can be really hard to make changes to how you eat and exercise and this work takes time. Pushing someone too fast or before they’re ready can sometimes make the situation worse unless it’s medically necessary (and sometimes it is). When possible, I try to meet each client where they are, start with small changes that don’t feel so overwhelming, and slowly move them along the recovery process at a pace that feels doable for them. Developing trust with each individual is also huge. I try to help my clients understand that it’s in our best interest as a team to be honest and open with each other about where we’re at in the process, what to expect, and why we’re making some of the changes that we’re making. I find that these two things are so important in developing positive client relationships and assisting on someone’s journey to recovery. 

With so much information available online, it's easy for people to fall into nutritional fads. How do you educate your clients about evidence-based nutrition and steer them away from potentially harmful trends?

I like to make sure our work together feels comprehensive, but not overwhelming. There is so much inaccurate or misleading information out there and it can take a while to tease out what’s working and not working for each person. With this, we work on a few goals at a time and try to prioritize the most impactful or easiest changes first. When it comes to evidenced-based nutrition information and strategies, I love to educate using analogies, comparisons, and studies with well documented results. I also always find it helpful to talk through all scenarios because it can be the most well-documented recommendation out there but making it work for YOUR individual lifestyle consistently is the hardest part. I also always like to practice “experiments” with clients… how can we play around with certain strategies, see how it works and feels, and then come back to the drawing board with new information. Doing these things is what makes research-backed recommendation individualized and sustainable for someone.

If you would like to find out more about Fueled + Balanced Nutrition, visit https://fueledandbalanced.com/

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