Feeding Successful Futures

once-upon-a-time

 

Glasgow based Claire Bannerman has used challenges, setbacks  and a life threatening accident to fuel her passion for health, wellbeing and supporting local communities. Clarity Nutrition, launched in 2012, is a leading nutritionist and food training provider, working with individuals, community groups, businesses and charities to transform lives – one meal at a time.

Alongside her passion for food, Claire’s journey has also taught her about the importance of overall wellbeing, finding space to reconnect and recharge, which is why, alongside her nutrition and food training work, she’s currently busy looking at other ways to nurture body and mind. In the year ahead, Claire’s main goal will be rolling out her successful yoga and Pilates retreats in unique, extra special locations across Scotland, including hidden gems near Linlithgow Palace, Bute, Skye and the Highlands, in what she excitedly describes as the Complete Clarity experience. Further details about the retreats will be released in due course.

There’s no doubt that Claire, 41, has spent her entire career surrounded by food and the role that good nutrition plays in fuelling our wellbeing is a cause very close to her heart. No wonder Clarity Nutrition’s strapline is lifelong skills, not quick fix pills. She started out as a food scientist in the food manufacturing sector, working with many household brands and progressed from being an apprentice to a Food Technical Manager. An industrial accident in her late teens was the first of many setbacks but despite this, she forged a successful career path and ended up working for two years with a small charity called Food for Thought. Using cooking as a tool for the socially excluded and those with mental health problems, she became immersed in working with local communities and saw firsthand the impact which improved nutrition and wellbeing had on transforming the confidence, health and ambitions of local people.

In 2009, a near fatal car accident on the M8 proved life changing in many ways. Claire commented; “It took me a good three years to recover and being entirely honest, I’ve not had a pain free day since then. My back and shoulders took the brunt of it. Our car ended up on its roof and I can still remember the irony of being able to see the Royal Infirmary so close to where we crashed.”

Claire used nutrition and wellbeing to nurse herself back to health. She took up yoga and later qualified as a pilates instructor. Rebalancing mind, body and soul became a mission and she took a coaching qualification so that she could help support others looking to improve their wellbeing and self belief. She was frustrated with the endless prescriptions for painkillers and sleeping pills which seemed to be the medical profession’s only response to her health problems and became convinced that nutrition and wellbeing in all areas of her life would be the answer.

She said’ “When you’re full of prescription drugs, your body becomes out of balance. I knew from my research that the spine itself has very specific nutritional needs and I wanted to explore ways of meeting these needs rather than masking the problems with pills.”

From this difficult period in her life, Clarity Nutrition was born. “I wanted to use the negative experiences in my life to shape a wellbeing programme which was accessible for anyone but especially for people who have fallen through the gaps in mainstream education,“ Claire explained. She started Clarity Nutrition by running weaning fairs for new parents, showing them how to prepare nutritious food for young babies. Three years later, she now works with community groups, charities, individuals and businesses, delivering cooking workshops and nutritional coaching through 1-to-1 consultations, workplace health programmes, community cookery classes and courses.

Claire said; “The work we do with community groups and young carers is hugely rewarding. Many people have never been given the life skills to produce nutritious, cost effective meals but once you get them engaged, you can improve the wellbeing of whole communities as you reduce illness, improve people’s access to education and work and empower people to value their wellbeing, to nourish themselves in every way.”
Clarity Nutrition also runs a range of workshops on workplace wellbeing and recently delivered a highly successful session for a company working on a building site, constructing a new school in Clydebank. “Healthy builders are productive builders!” explains Claire.

She is now an REHIS (Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland) accredited tutor and a Healthyliving Award assessor, allowing Clarity Nutrition to offer Healthy Cookery Classes with REHIS qualifications in Food Hygiene or Food and Health.

Readers of Business Women Scotland magazine will feel particularly inspired by Claire’s story. “I want to help women in business to be their best selves, to restore balance in their lives through a greater focus on nutrition and wellbeing. The better we feel the more empowered and successful we become. Our Complete Clarity programme is the vehicle for women to achieve this, with everything from meal plans and nutritional recommendations to fitness assessments and Fusion Flex Personal Training.”

Claire talks passionately about the benefits of a balanced lifestyle, with good nutrition at its heart, “Food is the fuel which powers our lives. Eating a nutritious, balanced diet is beneficial on many levels. It makes us more efficient, energetic, alert and stronger both physically and mentally. We also need to exercise, get sufficient sleep and manage symptoms of stress and anxiety as well, so that we are emotionally and hormonally balanced. If any of these factors are out of kilter, it can affect how we feel and perform and I’m passionate about helping people live their best lives and be the best version of themselves.”

The new Clarity Nutrition website will be a vital tool for helping Claire grow her business and it’s packed full of valuable nutritional information, top tips, recipes and advice. “I’m really excited about what the next few years are going to bring for Clarity Nutrition. We’ve got ambitions plans and lots of souls to nourish and lives to change.”

 

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