In the latest Getting to Know blog post, we chat with Claire Gasper, non-diet dietician, founder of Diet-Free Me and local mum of 2. We talk about wellness, alternatives to traditional nutrition advice, and how adopting a non-diet approach can help promote a positive shift in your health focus.
Hi, Claire. Please tell us a bit about yourself
My husband and I moved to Willagee at the end of 2016 and we now have two kids. Our daughter turns 3 in December and our son turns 1 at the end of September. Prior to starting Diet-Free Me, I was a fulltime stay-at-home parent looking after our two little ones. I didn’t return to work after having my daughter, but I completed a Certificate IV in Breastfeeding Education with the Australian Breastfeeding Association. I love my volunteering work, and I find to so rewarding to be able to help families with breastfeeding.
What inspired you to start Diet-Free Me?
I was inspired to start Diet-Free Me because I’m fed up with people getting the same old advice about nutrition and healthy eating that just doesn’t work in the long run. I want to empower women to feel confident about their eating and connect with their body to eat intuitively. My mission is to get the message out there that there is an alternative to just going on another diet!
Some advice I’d like to share with Melville Mums is about shifting your health focus from weight loss to wellness. Everyone has a deeper reason for wanting to lose weight, such as wanting to feel fitter or to have more energy or to feel more attractive. Instead of waiting to lose weight to achieve those intentions, think about what you can do today to action them directly. By focusing on physically and mentally healthy behaviours, you can feel well regardless of what the number on the scales says.
What do you love most about what you do?
What I love most about what I do is supporting my clients to develop a healthier relationship with food that allows them to eat things they enjoy without feeling guilty. I love food and it makes me so sad to hear people say that they love certain foods but don’t allow themselves to eat them.
Has the COVID-19 situation affected business, and have you had to do things differently over the past few months?
My business is very new, so it hasn’t been greatly influenced by COVID-19, but I am offering telehealth sessions as an option for people who want to reduce their contact with others. These online sessions are also great for mums with babies or kids. I know how hard it is to get to appointments when you’re a stay-at-home parent!
So, what’s next for Diet-Free Me?
I’ve just launched my DIY package, which includes my 40+ page Beginner’s guide and access to my members-only Facebook group. My next project is to look into hosting some local information sessions or workshops for people who want to learn how to ditch dieting and feel better about their body.
What are some of your favourite places or things to do in the local area?
One of my favourite things to do in the local area is go for coffee and a play with my daughter. When my son was born, I wasn’t able to spend as much one-on-one time with my daughter, but now that he’s older, we can go out by ourselves. She loves to have a babycino and we often share a piece of cake or something. Carawatha Park in Willagee is great, and so is Kadidjiny Park in Melville.
Do you have any advice for mums looking to start their own business?
My advice is to figure out what makes you special, and what sets you apart from others like you in your field, then use that to promote yourself. For me, my non-diet approach is totally different to what people expect from a dietitian, so I really highlight how my coaching sessions are not what they’ve experienced if they’ve seen a dietitian before.
If you loved this post, check out our Getting to Know… blog series, which features local mums and business owners.