Council Journal would like to present the first episode of our Women in Business podcast series, featuring Dr Michelle Hone of The Fit Clinic.
Dr Hone is a fertility nutritionist and the founder of The Fit Clinic, a team of nutritionists who specialise in female health.
The Fit Clinic has worked with thousands of women, empowering them to understand their bodies, so they can reach optimal health and feel their best.
Michelle and her team support women throughout all life stages; helping them to optimising their hormonal health, fertility, and supporting them during pregnancy, and beyond.
Read what Michelle had to say to us below or listen to the full conversation on Spotify or Soundcloud! Stay tuned for more episodes of our Women in Business podcast series coming soon.
How Did You Get Started On Your Business Journey?
Funnily enough, this was never the plan! I did my undergrad in Sports Science and then afterwards I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I decided then to do a PhD because the opportunity arose. I wanted to become a lecturer afterwards and that was my plan. When you do a PhD, you’re very pigeonholed into one specific topic and so I was focused on protein metabolism. I did have a sense though that I wanted to have a broad understanding of nutrition and not just one very tiny area. For that reason, I decided to set up a Facebook and Instagram page and that was in 2014 or 2015. I then took research papers and wanted to make them accessible to the public because usually these topics are read about by very few. For me, it’s always been about evidence based and research based practice. I started with infographics on Instagram and Facebook. All of a sudden, people started messaging me and asking for bespoke nutrition plans! I had no intention of doing it but then one day my husband suggested that it might be worth doing. I stayed up that night until about 5am and did my first nutrition plan and then that just was how it went during my PhD! It was born that way and now has become a team of 12 nutritionists who work all over Ireland and the UK.
Who Or What Is Your Biggest Inspiration?
I’m probably going to say, the reason I’m able to spend so much time and dedication to working is because of the people I help. So to give a bit of background, we work mainly with fertility nutrition. So whether they’re just starting their journey and wanting to optimise their health in order to conceive or try for a baby or the other end of the spectrum where people have been on the fertility journey for quite a long time and it’s been quite difficult like if they have gone through loss or IVF rounds. So for me, my inspiration is helping those people because in the world of female hormones, female health and fertility, it is so incredibly overwhelming. Couples can just feel so lost and it can really get you down. It can feel like a really lonely journey.You can go to your healthcare professional and they might just say oh just take folic acid and come back to us in six or twelve months if nothing has happened. We know from the research that there’s so much more that you can do with someone’s health from a nutrition, lifestyle and exercise approach, to better their fertility. For me, it’s about taking those people who have experienced loss and empowering them to feel that they can better their health and their outcome.
What Advice Would You Give To Your Younger Self/A Young Female Entrepreneur?
So when I first started out I was very broad in nutrition but actually I’ve found that helping women with hormonal issues like PCOS or endometriosis or fertility issues is far more rewarding for me than just writing someone a diet plan so that they can look good in their jeans! I think I was able to niche in this area because it’s something I had experienced myself and I’m now just very dedicated to helping couples who have gone through that too.
What Are Your Plans For The Future Of The Business?
So I have organised a few amazing events such as a 90 day fertility programme which helps women to optimise the health of their egg before trying to conceive. I manage the nutrition side of things, Emma Dowling is our health coach so she manages the exercise side of things, we have Dr. Aoife Durkan who’s a psychologist who helps people navigate difficult emotions and then we have our yoga teacher Lorraine Hogan and recipe developer Maria Harte. This programme had never been done before and helps couples create the optimum window for a healthy conception. My ultimate dream is that this would be integrated into GP practice and to people in fertility clinics too. This should be a part of the process within IVF clinics and for all couples trying to conceive. I would love for this information to become mainstream so that people would know about it!
For more info you can check out thefitclinicnutrition.com or @thefitclinic on Instagram.