Claire Thomas Heard The Words ‘Recovery Isn’t Possible’ & Changed The Trajectory of Her Life

In this exclusive article, Female Health Founders Claire Thomas shares her founders story and reflects on how the words ‘recovery isn’t possible’ change the trajectory of her life and led to the creation of her business Nourish To Soar. We know you are going to gain lots of heartfelt insight and inspiration from this female founders story.


Founding Story Nourish To Soar By Founder Claire Thomas

Reflecting on pivotal moments in life often reveals how they can reshape our journey for the better. For me, that transformative moment occurred in a GP’s office, where I was delivered the devastating news that recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) wasn’t feasible, and my career as a paediatric intensive care nurse had come to an end. Although it took time to recover from the initial blow, that moment sparked a desire within me to instil hope in others—hope that recovery is not only possible but achievable.

Navigating life with CFS presented a challenge, especially at that point where there were limited resources on self-support and a lot of the guidance was around the use of anti-depressants and pacing.

-Claire Thomas

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As a Christian, I believe in the power of healing but struggled to know what to do practically during the waiting period. A friend’s gift of a book focused on nutrition, lifestyle, mindset, and faith for CFS sufferers became a beacon of change. Applying the principles gradually, I witnessed positive transformations.

Seven years later, having worked persistently on beneficial nutrition, lifestyle changes and a positive mindset, I successfully recovered.

-Claire Thomas

This journey cultivated a growing passion for supporting others practically. In 2019, a year after my recovery, I stumbled upon the role of a nutritional therapist and found the role and training that I had been looking for to support others. Leaving my position as a nurse educator in the NHS, I spent three years retraining and, in 2022, graduated with a PG Diploma in Personalised Nutrition. Thus, Nourish to Soar was born—a platform dedicated to empowering purpose-driven female entrepreneurs living with chronic illness to increase their energy levels and fulfil their life ambitions through personalised nutrition and lifestyle transformations.  

Founding Story of Nourish to Soar

Launching Nourish to Soar wasn’t my first venture; I already ran a first-aid training business. While grateful for the experience, the transition to a women’s health business brought unexpected challenges. Days of doubt and uncertainties emerged, fuelled by unrealistic expectations and unfair comparisons with others ahead of me.

It has taken longer than I wanted to gain a clinic space and run the business full-time. In retrospect, the prolonged journey has proved invaluable, teaching me perseverance and resilience. One of the most valuable lessons has been realising this endeavour is a marathon, not a sprint. This has taken off the pressure I was putting on myself, whilst spurring me on.

The most significant ongoing challenge for me is effectively conveying the role of a Nutritional Therapist and why there is value in investing in our health.

This is where I have found discovering my voice and sharing my personal story to be an asset.

-Claire Thomas

Allowing people to witness the possibilities and positive transformations achievable through adopting beneficial nutrition, lifestyle changes, and cultivating a positive mindset as foundational elements.

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My Unique Contribution

One of the most significant lessons I’ve gained since launching is the importance of embracing experimentation and not being afraid to refine my approach based on what works and what doesn’t. At times, it may have seemed like I adjusted my messaging and services more frequently than I initially desired. However, this process has allowed me a profound understanding of my clients and their evolving needs.

As I’ve reflected on my own health journey one thing that has proven beneficial is the incorporation of testing to unveil the intricacies behind the scenes. Consequently, I pursued certification in nutrigenetics and phlebotomy, allowing me to offer comprehensive services to my clients.

Given that my clientele comprises ambitious women living with chronic illnesses, I aimed to craft a solution that empowers them with the necessary tools to enhance their health sustainably. Inspired by a strategy day I participated in at a local hotel with a business strategist, I envisioned a similarly immersive experience for my clients—a dedicated day away from the routine to invest in themselves. This day involves a deep examination of their health and the formation of strategies to boost their energy levels. Moreover, integrating testing provides a clearer picture of their current condition, enabling the implementation of more targeted interventions throughout the 12-week programme. 

At present, I haven’t come across another Nutritional Therapist implementing a signature programme in this unique fashion.

-Claire Thomas

The enriching experience of blending my personal journey into the creation of this programme has been incredibly fulfilling, and feedback from participants underscores the tangible benefits of this distinctive approach.

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Obstacles I Overcame

Confronting personal challenges in 2023, such as grappling with infertility and experiencing a miscarriage, severely tested my resilience, leading me to contemplate the possibility of walking away from the business on more than one occasion. During these moments, my confidence wavered, impacting my ability to foresee positive outcomes, and this sentiment seeped into my perception of the business and the challenges it presented. The struggle to attain the desired number of clients and results left me easily disheartened. Faced with a crucial decision between giving up and lingering in uncertainty or actively seeking assistance and investing in my journey, I chose the latter.

I made strategic investments in a strategist and counselling and reached out to my local women’s networking group for support.

Devoting time to non-negotiable practices became paramount—establishing a morning routine, prioritising a balanced diet, ensuring adequate sleep, engaging in journaling, and incorporating physical activity to maintain a positive mindset and stay on course.

-Claire Thomas

By reassessing my expectations and what I deemed possible, I witnessed a transformative shift. My confidence flourished, my voice found its resonance, and, most importantly, tangible improvements emerged as I took proactive measures. Clarity on my vision and a profound understanding of why I embarked on this journey became the anchors that propelled me forward. The unwavering desire to demonstrate to others that achieving a state of wellness is not only possible but worth pursuing remains the driving force that fuels my commitment.

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Impact & Success

One of the most rewarding aspects of my profession is witnessing women elevate their energy levels. Frequently, they approach me disheartened, questioning whether they can ever regain their former selves. It brings me immense joy when they embark on implementing their personalised plans, and their spark is reignited. I’ve had the privilege of seeing clients rediscover their zest, transforming into the lively, fun mums they once were. Some have experienced heightened productivity, attracting new clients due to the increased energy invested in their work. Others report a newfound resilience, better equipped to navigate stress and an overall sense of reclaiming their true selves. Witnessing this transformative journey, where women transition from merely surviving to truly thriving, fills me with profound joy.

My Favourite Technology & Tools

Recently, I opened a clinic space in Tiverton, Devon, driven by a longing for in-person interactions and to facilitate blood testing services. However, I recognise the immense value of incorporating technology to enhance client support and service delivery. A pivotal tool in this is the Practice Better client management system, which has become indispensable. This comprehensive system consolidates all aspects of my practice, offering a seamless experience for clients through its user-friendly app. It streamlines processes, from crafting health plans and facilitating telehealth calls for online appointments to automating client onboarding and providing a secure space for communication.

For my website needs, I use Zenler, a versatile platform that enables me to host my website, manage email lists, create courses, and establish effective marketing funnels. Having everything centralised has proven advantageous, especially as I expand and develop additional courses. Despite the digital advancements, my affinity for pen and paper persists.

The act of writing things down holds a comforting quality for me, and I anticipate this preference to remain unchanged

-Claire Thomas

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Women’s Health Community Engagement

Over time, I’ve embraced a fearless attitude towards feedback. There was a period when I hesitated to receive feedback, fearing potential mistakes and dreading criticism. However, I now openly welcome it, recognising failures as invaluable learning opportunities. This mindset shift allows me to continually refine my approach, ensuring that my services effectively meet the needs of my clients.

Acknowledging that perfection is unattainable, I’ve adopted strategies to get closer to what works. Engaging in marketing research calls has been one such method, enabling me to directly inquire about the preferences and expectations of my audience. This proactive approach unveiled insights leading to the decision to extend one of my courses from a 3-week format to a more comprehensive 12-week structure, which I aim to launch later this year.

Recent feedback from a client prompted a recalibration of my delivery style. The observation that I could be overly accommodating led to a valuable adjustment. Now, I pose a direct question to clients, asking about their preferred level of challenge and accountability—ensuring a more tailored and effective interaction.

Furthermore, I recognise the significance of monitoring audience engagement through various channels such as social media posts and lead magnets. This data-driven approach helps identify what resonates well with my audience, allowing me to refine and optimise content delivery. Looking ahead, a key focus is on enhancing communication with my audience by actively seeking their input on course development and free content. This commitment to ongoing improvement ensures that my offerings align closely with the evolving needs and preferences of those I aim to serve.

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The Future Vision of Nourish To Soar

My journey of overcoming CFS has ignited a passion to establish centres for individuals grappling with chronic illnesses. These centres aim to provide support for those who aspire to work and contribute, yet find it challenging to navigate life in such circumstances. Having experienced CFS while working in the NHS, I had the additional benefits of sick pay and occupational health however I’ve encountered individuals who lacked the privileges of sick pay, occupational health, or a supportive team.

The vision is to create a comprehensive centre offering diverse services, including nutritional therapy, counselling, occupational health, and financial support. These services will go beyond addressing physical health, encompassing mental well-being and providing practical skills for occupying the mind during challenging times, such as engaging in activities like sewing—something that personally helped me during my own struggles.

Central to this vision is the establishment of a safe space where individuals can find guidance, discover ways to manage their symptoms, and potentially recover from chronic illnesses. I aspire to open the first centre by 2027. Taking the initial steps, I’ve already launched my clinic space and am actively building a team, with plans to expand to a larger facility in the future. This commitment is rooted in the belief that everyone deserves a pathway forward, and through these centres, individuals can learn to navigate their health challenges in a manner that suits their unique needs.

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Advice To Fellow Female Health Founders

For aspiring female health founders, my advice is to gain clarity on your “why” as it will be a steadfast guide during challenging times. Building a supportive community of like-minded individuals who can offer encouragement and assist in navigating possibilities is crucial. While understanding the market and your clients is valuable, don’t hesitate to experiment with new ideas; every step is a valuable learning opportunity, not a failure.

The women’s health movement is rapidly expanding, brimming with possibilities for the future. Reflecting on my own journey, I recognise the importance of embracing and sharing my story more openly. Demonstrating knowledge and empathy by owning your experiences can establish meaningful connections, considering that women are relational beings. Clients often resonate with personal narratives, so don’t shy away from owning your story and the motivations driving you to support others.

The trajectory from devastation to empowerment has profoundly shaped Nourish to Soar—an embodiment of the transformative influence of personalised nutrition and lifestyle changes. My unwavering commitment to sharing hope and nurturing resilience remains the foundation, guiding the way toward a future where wellness is attainable for everyone.

To learn more about my services and schedule a complimentary 30-minute call to delve deeper into your needs, visit www.nourishtosoar.co.uk.

How To Connect With Claire Thomas & Nourish To Soar