Emily Claire Clarke was diagnosed with a rare chronic disease in early 2014. After undergoing failed brain surgery and suffering the side effects of more than 10 medications, Emily turned to food for a cure. Her time in the kitchen led to an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle that has allowed her to manage her chronic pain naturally and taper off all prescription drugs and injections. Through her business, Busy Bee Well, Emily has gone on to support the wellness journeys of many women who are unwell, while providing those who are well with the tools to prevent disease. Beyond the basics of food, Busy Bee Well brings balance to every aspect of a woman’s life, including love, relationships, career, fitness, and sleep. Find more from Emily on her website and Instagram.
Q: What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
A: I worked for a couture designer in the Knightsbridge neighborhood of London.
Q: What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
A: One week before my 28th birthday, I was in tremendous pain from my trigeminal neuralgia, but I was totally and completely ignoring my body’s pleas for rest, calm, and anti-inflammatory foods. Instead of honoring my body’s needs, I plastered a fake smile on my face and worked around the clock at an unfulfilling job until I collapsed from a combination of pain and exhaustion. When I next opened my eyes, I was in the hospital with both my neurologist and husband towering above me. Before the doctor demanded it, I knew I had to stop working for my physical health. Fortunately, two weeks later, I received an email with a link to IIN – it was just what I needed to keep my mind active and my soul inspired as I truly embarked on a quest of holistic healing for the first time in my life.
Q: How has your life changed since becoming a Health Coach?
A: Food! It is as simple as that – food is the beginning and end of everything. I now know that the food in my shopping cart, in my refrigerator, in my chef’s pan, and on my plate represent how I currently feel about myself, my future wellness goals, and the wellness goals I have for the family and friends I am cooking for. Being a Health Coach means I embody the truth that “every time we eat or drink we are either feeding or fighting disease, and the choice is ALWAYS ours.”
Q: Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
A: Brain food and EVERYTHING ANTI-INFLAMMATORY.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you now?
A: The beauty of being a Health Coach is that there is no such thing as a typical day. The only commonality my days have is that I try to get into the kitchen at least once. The kitchen is the heart of my home, where I prevent and reverse disease through the ingredients I select to cook with, and my happy place. Professionally, I see clients three days per week, which I have found is the best balance for existing, living, and thriving with both trigeminal neuralgia and hypermobile EDS.
Q: What makes you and your practice unique?
A: Busy Bee Well is unique in that we honor every woman’s progress – big or small. It is through celebrating these progressions that clients become self-motivated to take the next, more significant steps in their wellness journeys. Everything is progress, even drinking one extra glass of water per day. Equally important, Busy Bee Well is a practice for women because as a wife, daughter, friend, etc., I understand that by taking care of women, you take care of the world. I wanted to ensure that women everywhere had the tools they needed to first take care of themselves so they could take care of their families and friends without becoming sick.
Q: How do you help your clients be successful? Is there a recent example that stands out for you?
A: Most importantly, I help my clients identify what they ENJOY! Which whole foods they ENJOY eating, which forms of exercise they ENJOY, and which acts of self-care are effortless to schedule into their calendars regularly. If there is genuine JOY in wellness, all the limiting feelings of temporary diets from the past will be erased from memory and new pathways for sustainable changes will be established.
Q: What do you love about your work?
A: The permanent/sustainable transformations that occur within the mind, body, and souls of every busy bee. The lasting lightness that comes from learning that sometimes the weight you most need to lose cannot be measured in pounds and ounces and the confidence that once you begin to nourish yourself with primary food you will make choices with secondary food that will effortlessly support healthy (physical) weight-loss goals.
Q: How have you seen the need for Health Coaches change over the years?
A: The need for Health Coaches is paramount in the age of social media. It is so difficult to decipher photoshopped bodies from reality, and there is an infinite amount of “information” floating around claiming to be the “best way to lose weight quickly,” etc. Health Coaches help individuals develop a single-pointed focus and healthy relationships, beginning with themselves. Most important, Health Coaches introduce primary food to clients.
Q: What’s your tip for balancing your family, work, and personal wellness?
A: In my opinion, there is no such thing as a balanced life, only a balanced diet. ;) However, that is the great thing about food and drink. Every single time we eat or drink, it is entirely within our control to balance our plates. As for family, work, and personal wellness, I have learned the difficult way that first and foremost I have to take care of myself, and to do this, I schedule self-care/Pilates/meditation/walks into my schedule just as I do with clients. Feeling balanced within myself then extends to balance within my marriage and work.
Q: Tell us your favorite way to wake up each day!
A: Waking up is a blessing in itself. I remind all my clients at Busy Bee Well that opening your eyes with a beating heart and air in your lungs is the best start to the day for it means your fabulous body is already fighting to support you as best as it can. Now it is time to take all your newly acquired wellness tools and begin supporting it and nourishing it right back.
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