One of the things that I really love about the wedding industry is all of the different ways you can become involved in it. This month’s Student of the Month, Graduate Claire Solomon is an excellent example of someone who has taken her passion for weddings and combined it with her other skills and experiences, to create something very unique, for Brides. Claire is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and AAWEP Accredited Wedding Planner and has launched Ready Set Glow, a wellness business and 12 week online program, aimed at helping Brides glow from the inside out, on their wedding day. If you are a Bride to Be reading this, visit Claire’s website to find out more about her Glow-Getter program (registrations for the next round are now open). If you a Wedding Planner reading this, Claire’s program might just be what your ‘stressed’ Bride-to-be needs.
Let’s meet Claire and find out more about her business.
Claire, can you tell us what Ready Set Glow is and where the idea for the program came from?
Thanks for having me!!
I have always had an interest in health and wellness but one thing that stood out to me was how confusing and conflicting the information can be. (So am I supposed to drink coffee or not?!). Like most kids of the 80’s, I was bought up on a good Aussie diet of cereal and toast for brekky, a cheese and vegemite sandwich with an apple for lunch and meat and three veg for dinner. We never really had typical ‘junk food’ around our house apart from the occasional ice cream for dessert. I vividly remember as a kid feeling particularly tired after lunch and battling through the rest of the day. That was my normal and I never questioned that anyone felt any different to me.
Into my high school days, still living at home, we continued to eat normal 90’s food. I’d stepped up my cereals to the more gourmet ones and dinner might be chicken with a fancy marinade out of a bottle with some pasta and veg. My sleepiness after eating definitely hadn’t gone away as I got older and had progressed to a particularly un-attractive swollen belly; it was actually hard when you poked it. Again, I never once thought this was odd and thought it happened to everyone. I had no reason to think anything of it.
Then off to University, where I studied Communications & Advertising; ahh the years no-one looks after themselves! Booze, cigarettes and a family-pack of 2 min noodles was all I needed and had the time of my life! It was the end of my second year when I headed home for the holidays and I felt absolutely horrible. Worse than I had ever felt. My belly was permanently swollen and I could barely find the energy to make my toasted sandwich with cheese and tomato sauce. I knew I needed a detox. I didn’t know what a detox exactly was, but I was starting to realise that I probably shouldn’t feel like THIS.
I found a dusty old book in the garage at Mum and Dad’s called ‘The Blood Type Diet’ and for my Blood Type it suggested I quit Wheat and Dairy. It sounded pretty extreme, but I was willing to try it. Within 3 or 4 days, I was feeling very different. My belly was actually squishy and flatter and I wasn’t needing nanna naps in the afternoon. I didn’t really understand why, but it didn’t matter, I was feeling better than I had ever felt. This started my immense fascination with how food can change everything.
I began using my body as a science lab and listening in with which foods made me feel crappy and which made me feel good. I made my way through every diet you can imagine and learnt a lot about myself and the way my body worked. I certainly wasn’t raised on ‘bad food’ or ‘junk food’ but it dawned on me after a few years of testing and learning that ‘junk’ for my body was actually wheat! Cereal, toast, sandwiches, pasta, noodles – it’s all wheat and all I’d really ever eaten in different forms!
My interest in Health & Wellness was heightened and as a result I am now an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. We studied over 100 dietary theories (yep over 100!), the energetics of food and how our genetics, stress levels, emotional health and views of the world make us incredibly unique from one another. It became clear why diets and health advice all conflict each other – one person’s food could be the next person’s poison. That was definitely the case for me.
In the lead up to my Wedding Day in 2013, the idea that all eyes would be on me brought up all the usual female insecurities. I already had a decent idea about health and how my body worked but I knew it was time to take it up a notch! The confusion was real. There were more and more experts saying to eat this and not that and everywhere I turned I was made to feel I was ‘missing’ something from my diet or eating ‘too much’ of another thing.
Although I’m quite an organised person, the Wedding Planning stress levels were high. Planning a Wedding is like taking on a second (unpaid) job on top of your real life. The year leading up to your Wedding is a crazy ride and one where you can feel lost, confused and under a lot of emotional stress.
‘Ready Set Glow’ was born out of my desire to help other Brides-to-Be achieve their own personal health and wellness goals through supporting, motivating and educating them through lifestyle and behaviour adjustments unique to them and this crazy time of their lives.
The idea of eating well and exercising right is not new and there are other programs on the market that offer to guide us through that process and towards a goal. Tell us what makes your program so unique?
As an Accredited Wedding Planner, I have a deep understanding of the process Brides are going through. Not just the planning process but the stress, the emotion of dealing with friends and family members expectations of your Wedding Day and the pressure around knowing you should be looking after yourself but finding yourself staring at an empty Twix wrapper again. I’ve been there. The ‘Glow-Getter’ program is not just about eating well and exercising. There are certainly an abundance of other programs that offer this and they are likely to work for you on a physical level. ‘Glow-Getter’ goes beyond this and allows you to explore your health holistically –both body and mind.
Finding out what eating ‘right’ actually means for you, discovering which exercise allows you to thrive (and not just become another guilt to add to your to-do list), discovering key stress-relief and self-care methods and of course mental and emotional preparation for marriage and the next phase of your life together. It’s not a fixed meal plan. It’s not a diet or the next greatest fad. It’s not about counting calories or obsessing over a number on the scales. It’s giving you all the tools and lifetime skills to be the boss-lady of your own health. Giving you motivation and full support without boxing you into a diet plan, cutting out a food group or leaving you feeling deprived and hungry.
Being a Bride myself, I felt the other health programs on offer were focused on weight loss just for the Wedding Day but I didn’t want a quick fix. I had the time to do things properly and I wanted support in setting up my health for the future, not just for one day. I’ve created ‘Glow-Getter’ in a conversational, fun and ‘bite-sized’ way cutting through all the science jargon and marketing fluff that hits us in the face at the supermarket which I feel is a totally unique resource to other Brides
I love that you have put together something specifically for Brides. It is such special time in a woman’s life, but it can also be a time when many of us can feel challenged and stressed; even those of us with good habits when it comes to nutrition and exercise. I have also seen that it can be the beginning of the kilo creep on for a woman. In what ways do you think the 12 week program is going to make a difference in a Bride’s life…not just now, but into the future?
Stress is bad. We’ve heard it all before but the year leading up to the Wedding is when it becomes a reality. The stress hormone cortisol is quite a beast. When he’s hanging out in your body, your hunger hormones don’t function correctly (especially the one that tells you you’ve had enough to eat), you’re less likely to get good quality sleep and you’re more likely to hold onto weight. Cortisol is an incredible function of our body really. Think about the cave-man who sees a lion. Cortisol is that energy surge that allows him to sprint out of danger. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t know that OUR cortisol is because we’ve had to re-do our seating plan AGAIN because Aunty Sheryl wants to bring her new boyfriend, not because there is a lion in our living room.
Glow-Getter is heavily focused on stress-reduction and teaching you tools and techniques that will not only make your year an enjoyable one but give you skills that will come in handy in married life too. I work with Brides who feel they have a pretty good understanding of health and wellness but their Wedding has created the desire to get motivated and feel guided through a process that they know is unique to them. Brides have lifetime access to all content and resources and is designed to allow you to revisit and reconnect with yourself as you move through different phases of your life.
What can someone joining the program expect?
It’s a 12 Week Online Program with content released in your exclusive Member Portal on a Sunday. It’s a mix of both Written and Audio content designed to fit around your busy Wedding Planning life with timely email reminders and motivation throughout. Each week there are just 3 main ‘Glow Actions’ for you to put your focus on and you are supported throughout with a customised ‘Glow-Getter Personal Motivator Journal’ with guided exercises each week and your ‘Bride Tool Kit’ rammed with resources grows each week in line with the content. Although you are encouraged to keep up with the content week to week, as you have unlimited lifetime access to all content and recourses, there is absolutely no issue with setting your own pace!
What does ‘glow’ mean to you? How does a woman look when she has her ‘glow’ on?
I believe a ‘Glow’ is having vibrant health from the inside out. Not just physical health or fitness but having a true understanding of how to keep yourself thriving on all levels. A woman who has her ‘Glow’ on is one who is not just physically healthy but also has bubbling happy confidence for having the guts to empower themselves to crack this healthy thing once and for all.