Inspirational Woman: Jane Clarke | Dietician and Founder of Nourish Drinks

Jane Clarke

Jane is both a dietitian and Cordon Bleu chef with more than 30 years’ experience in the nutrition industry.

She is the author of nine best-selling books, was a columnist for over a decade for The Daily Mail, Observer, The Times and The Mail on Sunday, and regularly contributes on TV. She worked with Jamie Oliver on several of his projects, including the School Meals revolution, which showed that people-power can bring about social change. It is with this same mindset and passion that she is leading Nourish by Jane Clarke, which provides a solution to the problem of undernourishment and provides empowerment and inspiration to those who are vulnerable or facing a health challenge, such as Dementia.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role?

I’m a dietitian and Cordon Bleu chef with more than 30 years’ experience in the nutrition industry. I’m also the founder of Nourish by Jane Clarke, a nourishing community for people facing eating challenges related to illness – I’ve created my Nourish Drinks, made with all-natural and organic ingredients, to provide nutritional support to the undernourished, vulnerable and those living with health challenges. I’m also the author of nine best-selling books, was a columnist for over a decade for The Daily Mail, Observer, The Times and The Mail on Sunday, and I worked with Jamie Oliver on several of his projects, including the School Meals revolution, which showed that people-power can bring about social change. I want Nourish by Jane Clarke to empower and inspire positive change in the same way.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Yes. I’m very target orientated and knew exactly what I wanted to do from an early age. I always set myself 5-year goals and drive to achieve them. Of course, there are changes along the way, but I’m a dreamer, I think creatively and because I was so seriously unwell as a teenager and lost so much time to being in hospital and look after a lot of very poorly patients, I have a ‘life is too short not to follow your dreams/what have I got to lose’ mentality.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

So many to list, but it is completely true the saying that what doesn’t break you, makes you stronger. I’ve encountered people who I thought shared my same beliefs, but then, can so quickly change once money gets involved. But you eventually, as I have done now, find a set of amazing people who share the dreams and have the same drive to pull them off.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

This is hard to answer, as I’m proud of many moments and things,to be honored to have my dear friend Prue Leith CBE DL offer to be my patron was huge, as was being given an honorary doctorate (which felt extra special, as we managed to get my dad who lives with fronto temporal lobe dementia down to see me accept it), but then there has been my book triumphs and the launch of my drinks, which are making a huge impact on people’s live. I’m so incredibly lucky to love what I do and to be able to make a tangible difference to people’s lives….and I love disrupting!

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

I’m very tenacious and disciplined so I never give up, even if things are hard.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someones mentee?

I have casually mentored throughout my career as I love to help someone else discover where they want to get to, and I think women particularly need to support each other. As female founders in a male dominated business world, we need to fight hard to be heard, so the more mentoring the better.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

Give female founders equal access and funding of their businesses. The statistics are shocking when you look at how few successfully get VC funding as one element.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Trust your gut instinct. It’s always right but be a little kinder on yourself, as you’re a tough critic of yourself!

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

To further drive my Nourish Drinks business to its next exciting stage. We want to get Nourish Drinks into the hands of everyone who needs them. I feel incredibly excited right now, as we are crowd funding and people are loving what we are doing….and so they should!

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