How Creative Balance Health Came to Be
My Health Journey…
Hello, I’m Claire Stanley, founder of Creative Balance Health. My passions include holistic whole-body health practices, farm-to-table cooking, and indoor gardening. I balance this with my entrepreneurial spirit, prioritized self-care, and being creative.
My love of cooking began as a child in New England. We picked local apples, berries, and corn and used produce from home gardens and farm stands. Meals were prepared unprocessed from scratch. It just tasted better! However, the idyllic childhood hid a dark secret.
“…A dark secret.”
My parents were Holocaust survivors and my mother, emotionally scarred, took out her demons physically and emotionally on our family. The unrelenting trauma from the abuse manifested into constant rashes and infections, bouts of antibiotics, and even hospitalization.
After college, I entered the high-pressure ad agency and media world. I was often out sick and plus dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), uterine fibroids, a pituitary prolactinoma, and hives. It never occurred to me that my extreme lifestyle, frequent travel and extravagant wine-fueled dinners, was negatively contributing to my health issues. I just pushed through.
Until I just couldn’t…
Claire Stanley, FDN-P, CHC
Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner
Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach
“I suffered a complete physical breakdown . . .”
Fast forward to my early 40s, I had co-founded a biotech company, divorced, started my own advertising business, sat on numerous boards and committees, and was dealing with my father’s Alzheimer’s disease, all while raising two teenagers as a single mom. My body just gave out from all the stress. Now covered in eczema, stomach painfully bloated, I suffered severe ocular migraines and an excruciating bout of shingles. I was embarrassed by the rapidly expanding belly fat that no fad diet or intense exercise, when I could muster the energy, would fix.
No matter how much I napped or drank coffee, I just couldn’t get out of bed or function. I was exhausted, depressed, and canceling meetings. I gave up tennis and yoga due to shoulder and neck pain. My startup was flatlining as all of my focus, time, and money went towards doctors and prescriptions instead of my business. I was getting nowhere with my doctors, being told my labs were “normal” for my age, or even getting properly tested. Even more frustrating, I was offered antidepressants and suggested my pain was all in my head. My struggle was real and getting worse. I was desperate for relief.
“At last I had answers . . .”
I decided to try a more holistic approach and finally, I got answers! With the right functional lab testing and extensive health assessments that dug much deeper into my gut function, hormones, and diet, the underlying connection between all of my “unrelated” symptoms was revealed. I learned I was in advanced “Stage 3 Adrenal Fatigue” metabolic dysfunction with a “leaky gut” from bacterial overgrowth and other pathogens, along with hormone imbalances and food sensitivities to gluten, dairy, and soy. I was given a rigid diet and supplement plan and gradually I regained my energy, focus, and optimal weight and the inflammation and pain disappeared. However, that would be short-lived.
I found myself overwhelmed and confused by my new instructions as well as all the conflicting information in books and on the internet. My brief medical appointments were months apart and felt rushed, so I didn’t have the weekly support, accountability, explanations, and practical tips I needed to make these changes stick. The recommended high-intensity workouts make me feel terrible and my lifestyle was never addressed. Motivationally I struggled to stay on track, leaving my success-driven self to feel like a failure, guilty, and abandoned. I started cycling through different doctors, treatments, diets, and other “magic bullet cures” all over again.
“I got the right lab tests…”
Despite eating “healthy”, the twenty pounds returned, my face became puffy, and my eyebrows disappeared. My family history meant my TSH level had been frequently tested all my life; the results were always “normal”. However, once I got the right lab tests – in this case, a complete thyroid panel instead of the previous standard sole TSH marker test – I was diagnosed as Hypothyroid. This experience taught me the importance of getting the right lab tests to assess health conditions accurately, so the right healing measures could be taken.
Facing career burnout, perimenopause symptoms, endometriosis, cystic acne, and an empty nest, I decided to pivot by following my cooking and natural health passions. I wanted to become a Holistic Health Coach so I could give other women the support I never had and make their health recovery journey easier. I earned my health coaching certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition®, also became a Hormone Cure Coach®, and then later got certified as a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® (FDN) Practitioner.
“As an FDN Practitioner, I could now offer my clients access to the same functional lab tests. that had helped me..”
…uncover and understand the “why” behind my own health issues years earlier. Using the principle of bio-individuality, I could help others to determine which foods work best for their unique metabolism and explain why to avoid others. Instead of pushing through, my clients learn how to get quality sleep and when to adjust their exercise intensity to facilitate recovery. By incorporating the step-by-step, stress-reducing lifestyle changes I learned and now teach others, my brain fog lifted, hormones balanced, and overall health improved. Eventually, I was even able to stop my medications, under my doctor’s supervision.
However, in 2013, my health started to deteriorate again due to my being in a chaotic and abusive relationship. Despite my ideal diet and exercise regimen, my body became painfully inflamed, blood sugar and weight spiked, hair greyed and thinned, and my brain fog, fatigue, and hypothyroidism returned with a vengeance. Through my FDN training, I understood how the “Fight-Flight-Freeze” trauma response floods the body’s sympathetic nervous system with hormones and too much could lead to inflammation and disease. As a childhood and now adult abuse victim, my post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) factors combined with epigenetically inherited trauma, like what my parents endured from wars and P.O.W. camps, made my deteriorating health situation literally textbook.
“I needed to get rid of all hidden stressors – emotional, physical, and environmental – if I was to get better.”
Thankfully as an FDN Practitioner I knew what to do with my sleep, diet, and exercise to aid my recovery. By running the right functional lab tests on myself and carefully choosing the optimal supplements to support my vulnerable digestion, liver, and hormone systems I began to heal. Within six months of my safely leaving the relationship, my health was restored, and my extra pounds, pain, and grey hair were gone. My hypothyroid condition and blood sugar were under control without medication and I was really starting to feel like myself again.
Career and personal challenges are bound to happen to all of us as we grow older. I know what it is like to try to run a business while struggling with my body, exhaustion, and poor health. As a Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Integrative Nutrition Holistic Health Coach, I support midlife, entrepreneurial women to take back control of their health, weight, and energy, with access to informative lab tests and resources, so they can finally get answers, achieve progress, and feel revitalized about how their body looks, feels, and performs – and get back to doing the things they love and matter most.
“Today, I help other women cut through the overwhelm and find their own answers . . .”
I want to end the overwhelm and trial and error guesswork cycle that my clients have suffered through trying to find answers and relief. Instead, I provide a personalized, sustainable strategic lifestyle plan so you can feel great in your body again and return your focus back to your business and living your ideal life.
“Creative Life Balance”
When I founded Creative Balance Health just over a decade ago, I came up with the name because I both have a creative background and I am open to creative alternative health-building options, sometimes outside of the traditional box. I know that when it comes to what works for one individual may not be ideal for someone else, health should not be approached as a one size fits all endeavor. Way back when I was struggling with my own health and finding extreme diets and regimens to be difficult and all-consuming, I knew I wanted more balance in my life. I wished to find programs that I could more easily integrate into my crazy-busy varied life both professionally and personally. Creative Balance Health was born out of a desire and promise to treat my clients as unique individuals with unique needs. I was determined to create health coaching programs that take each client’s real-life situation and constraints into consideration. My intention is to encourage a full life balance that isn’t only about health and diet, rather about a balance that can include everything that matters most.
If you want to stop the health and weight rollercoaster and are not getting the answers and support you desire from your current situation, I’d love to help and see how we can work together so you too can restore midlife whole-body vitality naturally.
Schedule a call
Are you curious about how health coaching can help you? Let’s talk.
Click below to schedule a call, get answers, and find out how you too can regain your energy, lose the extra pounds, and get empowered with your digestive health! You will first answer a few questions so I may better understand your current situation, which we will review together during our conversation.
“Claire is an expert health coach who has developed a unique and successful customized strategy to improve health and lifestyle patterns.”
“Under Claire’s skillful guidance towards a deeper awareness and alignment with empowering core goals, I felt heard, validated, supported, less stressed, more peaceful, and happier with my choices.”
“Claire provides targeted support for implementing positive changes and self-care that renew energy, health, and radiance to more fully enjoy life.”
– Laurel S.