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Welcome to Nourishing Routes

My Story

My name is Marissa Pendlebury, and I am an Author, Public Speaker and the Founding Director of an organisation called Nourishing Routes. I also work for the NHS as a children and young people's mental health practitioner. When I’m not drinking pots full of tea and eating my favourite chocolate, I enjoy practicing yoga, crafting holistic wellbeing workshops and helping individuals to develop a positive relationship with food and their body.

Nourishing Routes is based on my own personal experiences and academic research, while aiming to empower as many people as possible to develop life-long positive relationships with their food and body – through learning to love themselves unconditionally from the inside out.

During my teenage and young adult years, like so many other vulnerable individuals, I grew up in a world where there were so many unrealistic expectations. Being a ‘good’ person was based on school performances, grades, appearance and, eventually, the way I looked and what I ate. I see so many young and older girls, boys, women and men today struggle to accept their bodies and themselves just as they are.


In a world where there seems to be endless social media pressures, many people beat themselves up for not feeling good enough, slim enough, fit enough, academic enough or affluent enough. Like my younger self, many have grown up to believe that happiness and success lies in a number or something measurable – such as how much money we have in the bank, what we weigh on a scale, or how many calories we eat a day.


Despite many of my own lost years to multiple stays in hospital and battling negative thoughts about myself, it saddens me much much more to see current social media trends and 'health' stores selling dieting/weight loss-related products. Despite a lack of evidence for the effectiveness, many advertise themselves in a way that suggests we have something missing – something that we can only obtain through purchasing this product.


For me, it is a helpful reminder that the diet and fitness industries create over 20 billion pounds of revenue and profit in the UK alone. Meanwhile, 1.6 million individuals are affected by eating disorders, 1 in 4 people feel depressed about their body, and children as young as 5 fear becoming fat more so than diseases such as cancer.


We are living in a world where low self-esteem and jumping on the back of detrimental diet plans are the accepted norm...

Nourishing Routes aims to turn that norm on its head by showing individuals that there are so many routes to wellness other than diets, superfood powders and fitness programs. While healthy eating is indeed one avenue to wellbeing, it is not the entire picture.


Alternatively, I help to empower and guide individuals to realise that they have an amazing gift to share with the world. A gift that can be found though rekindling their natural creativity and ability to make positive social connections with other people and the planet.


To me, health is also about developing a loving relationship with yourself, and food, where you can value the deep social and cultural connections to what we eat and how we use the amazing bodies we were uniquely born with.

Initially, Nourishing Routes began as a blog and You Tube channel, where I directed my passions into communicating to others about my personal journey to wellness, and how recovery was about so much more than simply restoring a healthy weight.


For example, a key part of my own recovery journey was getting involved in my community and taking part in voluntary activities such as youth work and being an advocate for mental health. I saw that there was so much beauty and love in people, and that a genuine smile wasn’t dependent on weight – but simply about feeling that they had life meaning, purpose and positive connection to others and/or nature.

After going on to study health sciences, nutrition, public health and psychology throughout university and my early career as a public health researcher, it dawned on me that there were so many avenues to wellness than what most of us generally think about it. I see this reality so much more in my work as a children and young people's mental health practitioner.


Rather than trying to eat as little as possible or work out the gym as much as possible, I acknowledge 10 key nourishing routes to wellness. Some of these are founded on the idea of compassionate living – ultimately learning to love yourself unconditionally, just like you would do a best friend. Below are the 10 Key Elements.

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These 10 key elements include:​ 

Compassion for the self and others​


Nourishment – Not Numbers (appreciating the deeper meaning and value of food and developing a healthy relationship with it rather than solely focusing on Calories or Macro-nutrients)​ 


Acknowledging that Health is Possible at Varying Sizes while Developing a Positive Body Image​


Expressing Gratitude​


Engaging in mindfulness or Mindful Daily Rituals


Expressing your Unique Creativity​ 


Making Positive and Meaningful Social Connections​ 


Experiencing Freedom and Autonomy​ 


Pleasurable Movement (moving your body in a way that feels fun rather than punishing)​


Personal Empowerment (especially to be critical of negative messages and also the freedom to become your best and most authentic self)


What I Offer

As well as delivering empowering talks in schools, colleges, universities and youth centres, I also offer counselling and coaching to individuals with eating disorders.


I additionally provide professional training to individuals who want to learn more about eating disorders and how they can effectively integrate the Nourishing Routes philosophy into their mode of working.


Through my advocacy work, I became determined and inspired to publish a book about my personal journey to recovery from disordered eating and the Nourishing Routes philosophy.


I have also created an online course as well as a Gaining Weight Reclaiming Life E-book that can be used to help individuals deepen their understanding of themselves and take more practical steps to overcoming their eating disorder while simultaneously developing a positive relationship with their food and body.


In the future, I hope that Nourishing Routes can enable me to set up a wellness centre where individuals can meet like-minded people and engage with activities that are nourishing for their wellbeing.


I would also love the opportunity to develop an ambassador training programme so that more and more individuals can use their own personal experiences to help empower others and spread the Nourishing Routes philosophy.​​

I'd love to hear from you. If you would like to get in touch to just say hello, find out more about coaching,  share your own ideas and experiences, or to see if I'd like to speak at your event, please drop me a message 

You can also contact me to arrange a FREE 30 minute discovery call to see if coaching could work for you and if we would be a good fit

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Alternatively, you can directly email me at:

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