Graduate Focus – Bláithín McCormick, The EcoShack & Bite Size Changes

I’m Bláithín, I qualified from Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching in 2019. I currently operate as a NLC under the name “Bite Size Changes” and during lockdown I launched a second business. My sister and I opened an organic zero waste shop called “The EcoShack” in County Cavan. We start selling this week.

Blaithin McCormick

“I studied Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching at IHS because I wanted to help people. A few years ago I met with a nutritionist to try and improve my mental health, she trained at IHS. The Nutritionists support helped to instil a passion in me for all things nutrition and wellness. I couldn’t believe how education about food and small dietary changes made a massive impact on my overall health. I wanted to show people who were like me that with guidance, simple changes to their diet and lifestyle could improve their quality of life. IHS really made us feel confident to hit the ground running as practitioners when we finished in 2019. However due to a full time job, shingles, and number of unfortunate life events my mental health took a hit later that year. I had to take a break from business and practice some extreme self-care. So, funnily enough, my first client was myself. I reevaluated my life and using my NLC skills I was able to nurture myself to a healthier place.

I was just starting to get bookings through “Bite Size Changes” when Covid hit. I lost my clients, my 9-5 job in Dublin and I had a lot of free time. I saw this as an opportunity to focus on what I love. I completed the Stress Management Course with IHS and signed up to Sports Nutrition. I was determined not to waste this time and I wanted to come out of lockdown a better educated coach.

Fast forward to the 7th of June and the start of “The EcoShack”. My cousin contacted my sister and I. She owns a successful zero waste shop in Wales called “The Pantri Box”. This shop originally started out in a quirky renovated horsebox. She offered the horsebox to my sister and I to buy as long as we continue on as a zero waste shop of our own.

We couldn’t believe it. This is something my sister and I had dreamed and planned for years but never thought we would be able to do because of time constrictions with both of us working full time, but now, I had all the time in the world.

We couldn’t let this opportunity pass. Apart from the obvious beneficial impact of a facility like this, my other main reasoning to pursue this business opportunity was how it links with my NLC business. I am very passionate about the environment and to combine my two passions is incredible.

Now as I write this I am ordering stock, stamping our brown bags with our logo and getting ready to sell our stock for the first time. Within 4 months of hearing about the horsebox, we own an organic only zero waste shop. I love that I can experience helping people be healthier everyday when I work in the shop. I can chat to customers and spread awareness on the health and environmental benefits of unpackaged organic food and natural cleaning products, shampoo etc. I can discuss the nutritional benefits for the food we stock and give the customers an in depth knowledge of how to get the most out of it. I had intended to practice NLC in Cavan, Ireland eventually but there would have been no place for my clients to shop for this kind of product and the fact I am bringing this facility to Cavan along with my NLC business is something I am very proud of.

You can follow our journey on Instagram at the_eco_shack. “