For Marcus Schall, sport and eating healthy have always been part of his life. He started strength training at the age of 14 and also rowed a boat as a teenager. He later worked in sales for sports and medical products, gained experience with new trends in sports nutrition, especially in the USA, and thus found a new calling. He is now with us “SuperGoodFood” among the authors and primarily advises competitive athletes on performance-enhancing nutrition.
Schall primarily focuses on simple, everyday, natural recipes with optimal nutritional value. “If you want to exploit your full potential, it’s absolutely important to eat healthily – but it’s not rocket science!” As a “Performance Food Coach” he has a broad range of positions: he currently looks after, among other things Germany eight , the Götze brothers Mario (BVB) and Felix (FC Augsburg), sprinter Gina Lückekemper, steeplechaser Gesa Felicitas Krause, combiner Eric Frenzel, rower Maximilian Planer, Ford factory driver and Le Mans winner Dirk Müller as well as the AMG- Performance Racing Team Black Falcon.
HOW DID YOU COME ON THE TOPIC “HEALTHY DIET”.
“That was quite a while ago. I started strength training at the age of 14 and the topic has been on my mind ever since. At the beginning there was hardly any information about it; strength training magazines were my first sources. Later I started working in the sports sector and dealt more intensively and specifically with the connection between nutrition and sporting performance.”
WHO OR WHAT SUGGESTED YOU TO WRITE THE BOOK SUPERGOODFOOD?
“The impetus for the book came primarily from the feedback and questions from visitors to our first workshops and lectures. The topics were always the same, so a book seemed obvious.”
WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU EAT A VERY HEALTHY DIET?
“Yes, I think so – healthy and conscious. But that doesn't mean I eat compulsively. In fact, the way we eat healthy at home doesn't really mean giving up for me. Many of the classic “sins” like fast food, pizza or chocolate bars have never really appealed to me. In addition, you can easily eat these things in a better or healthier way. For example, you don't necessarily have to eat burgers in a fast food restaurant; there are now many smaller and much better burger restaurants. The quality of the food and products used is always my top priority. Life is too short for bad food! And of course I allow myself the occasional little sin, that's just part of it. For me it’s ice cream, pasta and wheat beer.”
WHAT DOES HEALTHY DIET MEAN TO YOU?
“First of all, very clear – organic. If you look into the background of modern agricultural industry, in my opinion there is no way around it. Otherwise I can summarize it like this: Balanced, fresh, as unprocessed as possible, predominantly regional and seasonal, lots of colorful vegetables, supplemented with outstanding quality animal products.”
HOW DO I FIND OUT WHAT DIET IS RIGHT FOR ME?
“It's not easy. You have to try out a lot and listen to your body. There is no one suitable diet. However, I firmly believe that we should all consume as much fresh and unprocessed food as possible. “Back to the roots, so to speak.”
FOR MANY, HEALTHY DIETS COME WITH MORE EFFORT AND MORE COST. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
“No. Of course, high-quality food costs a little more than cheap industrial stuff. But that is above all a question of priorities. Many people spend several hundred euros on new smartphones without batting an eyelid, or more than four euros on a coffee to go. However, for 10 organic eggs, this amount seems too much for most consumers. So it's primarily a question of priorities, which in my opinion have shifted. Food and nutrition have a direct impact on our body, they even become a part of us. Therefore, it is only logical to invest a little more money in order to eat healthily. And if you plan and buy smartly, for example seasonally and regionally, then many products are not that expensive. And a homemade vegetable soup is cheaper than two fast food meals, and much more substantial.”
DO YOU LIKE COOKING YOURSELF?
“My wife Dani usually does that. I’m more concerned with breakfast, snacks, smoothies and the like.”
TODAY ONE IN TWO PERSONS FEEL GLUTEN INTOLERANCE OR LACTOSE INTOLERANCE. HOW ARE SUCH INTOLERANCES TO BE CLASSIFIED FROM A NUTRITIONAL SCIENCE PERSPECTIVE?
“It’s also a relatively complex topic. In general, however, I am convinced that many of these intolerances are not necessarily actual intolerances in the medical sense, but rather sensitivities. In my opinion, these are often due to the quality of the food used. It is not uncommon for a supposed gluten intolerance to be more of a reaction to the over-bred industrial wheat, which does not occur or only occurs to a limited extent with spelled, for example.”
IS THERE A PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT RULE OR ASPECT THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO GIVE TO YOUR ATHLETES AND TEAMS?
“There are certainly some, but of course they are largely confidential – especially in the pre-Olympic year! But I always explain one approach right at the beginning of our work: Food is Fuel. For the highest possible performance and the best possible regeneration. “It is therefore essential for athletes to eat healthy and keep themselves busy.”
WHAT LARGE PROJECTS ARE STILL UPCOMING FOR THIS YEAR AND NEXT?
“There are a few. With the Germany eight, preparation for the Olympics is of course the absolute focus. We are currently planning Phase II, which will run from the beginning of October until departure to Japan. The same applies to the work with Gina Brückenkemper and Gesa Krause, who are also already preparing for this competition. Otherwise, there are still a few projects in motorsport and football on the agenda. So it certainly won’t be boring.”
WHAT DRIVES YOU?
“The conviction to do the right thing and to ensure that the topic of nutrition in top German sport finally receives appropriate attention.”
WHAT TIP CAN YOU GIVE OUR READERS TO TAKE THE FIRST STEP IN THE RIGHT DIETARY DIRECTION?
“-Food is Fuel-, this doesn’t just apply to athletes. Anyone who begins to view their diet as fuel has already taken the first step. In addition, take it easy! Many small steps make one big one and every beginning is easy.”