Graduate Focus – Clare Hegarty Nutrition

Clare graduated from the Diploma in Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching in 2018 and now runs Clare Hegarty Nutrition, where she specialises in helping families live happier, healthier lives.

Clare Hegarty Nutrition

“My name is Clare and I am busy mum of 3 young children, the motivation and driving force behind the work I do today.

Once in a very busy and demanding corporate career, I now specialise in educating and empowering women to transform their own and their family’s health. I believe that everyone deserves to feel healthy, happy and the best version of themselves.
My journey into nutrition was a very personal one, born out of my desire to help my own family and, in particular, my little boy who had sensory issues that led to fussy eating. Concerned about the impact a limited diet might have on his health I went in search of answers. Like most, I trawled the internet, trying to arm myself with the knowledge I need. I read and researched but ended up confused and frustrated by the overwhelming, conflicting and at times misleading information out there. However, one thing that did come from my research was that diet and lifestyle played a significant role in health. That food directly impacts our children’s development, their learning and their physical and mental health. That knowledge sparked a huge interest in studying nutrition, and it was then I decided to go back to college and retrain.

It was important for me was to find a reputable college, one that would give me a robust, internationally recognised, accredited and evidence based qualification. I researched multiple colleges in Ireland and the UK and after many emails and phone calls to the wonderfully helpful staff in IHS, I decided IHS was the right fit for me. Studying with IHS was the best decision I ever made. The standard of teaching and tutor support was excellent and the ongoing support I have received from IHS since graduating has exceeded my expectations. The health coaching aspect of this course has been really beneficial in helping me motivate, support and guide my clients to reach their health goals and shift mindset. With this course, I was able to register as a member of the UK Health Coaches Association. I am now studying coaching and mentoring at a higher level as I have seen first hand the crucial role it plays in helping clients achieve optimum wellness.

Soon after I graduated I opened up my business Clare Hegarty Nutrition. The first thing I did was write the course ‘Busy Mums – Healthy Kids’. My aim was to combine all my knowledge and create something that every family could use to live healthier, happier lives. Even the most well read and health savvy parents can feel completely lost when it comes to nutrition and knowing what to feed their family. I know this, because that was me. My mission was and is to simplify nutrition and provide families with practical, evidence-based advice that will help them make more informed decisions about the food they eat and to take control of their health. I wrote this course for the many families out there who are struggling to put nutritious balanced meals on the table, battling with kids around food, serving 3 different meals, wanting to make changes but don’t know where to begin. Taking the stress out of meal times, creating lifelong healthy habits, helping fussy eaters engage with new foods is possible. I have achieved this for my family and believe it is possible for anyone.

Another aspect to my work is fussy/picky eaters. My little boy showed signs of this at an early age and I have always wanted to help other families in what can be hugely stressful for both parent and child. I have spent a lot of time exploring techniques and designing materials for this aspect of my work. I have designed various resources but the one we are most proud of are the A-Z nutrition cards. Child-friendly, bright and colourful A-Z nutrition cards – ‘A for apple, B for Broccoli’ etc – to help my son learn about foods in a fun and engaging way. The key was making it fun while encouraging him to experiment with new textures and tastes. Gradually, he began to change from the child who wouldn’t let water touch his lips or eat anything ‘green’ to one who chopped and ate his own vegetables and loved drinking water. My experience has taught me that it really is possible to get even the fussiest of eaters to eat a wide range of foods and have a healthy diet. Even the smallest of changes in our diet and lifestyle can have a profound and positive effect on our health. The key is getting the right support and advice. It can be daunting asking for help and support. I offer a safe, non-judgmental space for mothers lacking in energy, who feel overwhelmed and who are concerned about their children’s nutrition.

Behind every fussy eater and stressful meal-time is often an overwhelmed mum who has put herself at the bottom of the priority list. I know because I was that mum. I am very passionate about supporting women to eat better, sleep better, feel more energised and live the life they want. The areas I now work in are areas I have lived experience of – this was very important to me. Once, I was juggling a very demanding corporate career and trying to raise a young family. I put my own health way down my list of priorities. I was overwhelmed and exhausted and my energy levels were on the floor. The last thing I wanted to do was to come home after a long day at work and cook a healthy, home cooked meal from scratch. However, I strongly believe that the health of our children starts with our own health and eating habits. I share my experience and my story and combine that with my training in Nutrition, Sleep( qualified sleep coach), Anxiety Management to help women transform their health and mindset. I love what I do and witnessed how simple lifestyle changes have transformed the lives of the many women I have had the pleasure to work with. Women just like me. I don’t consider myself an expert in this business, rather just a regular mum who retrained and now works with others to help them live healthier , happier lives.

Another area of my work is corporate wellness. Helping companies put health and well-being at the heart of their business. Having spent many years working in the corporate sector, I combine an in-depth knowledge of the corporate working environment and training in Nutrition, Sleep, Stress Resilience and Anxiety Management, to create bespoke, tailor made Workplace Wellness Programmes. Research shows that a healthy work environment contributes to increased productivity, improved staff morale, decrease in absenteeism and clear benefits to the bottom line. The formula is simple – a thriving business needs healthy employees and I put this at the core of my work. I understand only too well what burn out is like, working long hours with little more than coffee and the odd sandwich to fuel me through a day. High levels of stress and poor quality sleep are common amongst busy professionals. The programmes I deliver are practical, informative and will motivate and inspire employees to make positive health changes to all aspects of their life.”

You can find Clare’s website here, also follow her on Facebook or Instagram