AFPA Graduate Spotlight: Claire Simmons


During the last 30 years, AFPA has certified over 130,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. We regularly feature distinguished graduates who are using what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference. 

Meet one of our featured graduates, Claire Simmons, an AFPA Certified Holistic Health Coach.

Tell us about yourself.

Hi! My name is Claire Simmons and I am an AFPA Certified Holistic Health Coach. I live in North Carolina with my husband of eight years and our three boys, ages 6, 4 and 2.

I graduated from the University of Miami in 2004 and from there landed my first job as a television reporter and producer. After spending several years in the industry, I accepted a job at one of the nation’s largest healthcare organizations, where I worked as a senior communications director. I truly enjoyed my time there as it was a wonderful blend of challenging and exciting work, but ultimately, I wanted to spend more time with my children.

In December of 2022 I made the decision to leave my corporate job and stay home. Family is extremely important to me, and I didn’t want to look back and wonder where the time went. Additionally, my passion for health and wellness has always been front and center in my life, so I wanted to ensure that I was creating the best life possible for my boys. I wanted to be there for them, cook them healthy foods, play outside with them, and give them a childhood based in wellness.

Claire Simmons, AFPA Certified Holistic Health Coach

How did you initially become interested in health and wellness?

Ever since I was a child, my parents encouraged my brothers and I to be active and play outdoors. My mom always cooked at home and eating out was a rare occasion. Once I left home and went to college, I knew that I wanted to maintain a healthy lifestyle and not give in to the usual college temptations!

I started going to the gym and fell in love with fitness. That led me to get certified to teach group fitness, which I did throughout my college years. I remember devoutly reading women’s health magazines where I learned about nutrition and picked up several tips and tricks that really came in handy as a young adult, navigating life on my own for the first time.

From there, fitness and nutrition just became ingrained in my everyday life. Eventually, I started learning about intuitive and mindful eating, mental strength, emotional maturity, and all of the other components of health that we don’t hear as much about as workouts and diets. That’s when it really clicked for me…having that whole package in place is what made me feel and perform my best. I couldn’t stop learning about wellness and I wanted everyone around me to feel as good as I did!

I think I always knew that there was a path for me in the wellness industry, but I was always busy with life and put my focus on my career, having babies, and such. But once I gave myself time to think about what direction I wanted to go in and how I wanted my life to look, I just could not ignore the call that wellness was where I needed to be!

Which AFPA certifications have you earned, and why did you choose those certification programs?

I have earned the Holistic Health Coach Certification, which is comprised of the Health and Wellness Coaching Course as well as the Holistic Nutrition Course. I loved the option of combining these two because true wellness is more than what you eat. True wellness must blend harmoniously with one’s culture, society, family, work, and family life. The Holistic Health Coach Certification teaches you the nuts and bolts of nutrition which is so important and includes strategies on how to navigate real life, even when your diet can’t be “perfect.”

How are you using your certification/planning on using your certification?

First and foremost, my primary goal is to use the knowledge gained through my certifications to create the healthiest and happiest home environment for my family. My family is my priority and if we aren’t healthy, I know that it is hard to live life to the fullest! Plus, I want my children to learn about nutrition and fitness now when they are young so they can lean on these tools throughout their entire life. I think it could be the best present I can give them! My husband is an entrepreneur and has a very stressful and challenging job, so I want him to know that when he is home he will always get the best from me in the form of delicious, healthy food, a space to rest, a clean and orderly environment, and, of course, lots of attention from the kids and me. 😊

Outside of my family, I have so many ideas to help others! I want to create a wellness committee at my sons’ school and help build up programming to teach students about nutrition, fitness, and wellness. I’d love to build a garden at school and home to grow fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables. I want to help moms who also want the best for their families but who are struggling with how to do that. I want to help those who are working the corporate grind and show them that it is possible to incorporate health into that busy lifestyle. I also want to create and share more content about nutrition and healthy living and publish that on social media, a blog, and for other websites that have like-minded content.

How has becoming certified with AFPA impacted your life?

I’m so grateful I made the decision to get certified by AFPA! It gave me the confidence to pursue my passion and cement my credibility in the wellness space as not just someone who loves health and wellness, but someone who is capable and prepared to help others. AFPA gave me credible and solid information on so many topics and dove deep into the science, research and current landscape of where we are as a nation with our health. I also feel as though I have an entire community working towards a similar goal and a group of people who are always available to help me.

What was one thing you learned in your studies that has left an impact on you?

It’s striking to me just how much our nation NEEDS health coaches. (Whereas before, I though having a coach was a total luxury!) So many of us don’t realize that we live in a system that puts profit over health. It is up to the individual to do the research and decide what is best for them. It’s a sad truth but if one really wants to thrive and live their best life, you have to go against the grain. What is popular is usually not healthy and what is easy is rarely healthy either. I hope that I can be an advocate for those who crave health but don’t have the time or energy to find their path.

How can we find you online?

My Instagram is @Clairehossimmons.

 I love to post tips and tricks there, as well as my life as a busy boy mom!

Anything else we should know?

I just want people to know that if they make the decision to incorporate nutrition, fitness, and wellness in their life in a way that works for them, they will feel so good! There is a workout out there that you can love, just like there is a way of eating that can make you feel and look your best. Wellness is a superpower, and our world would be such a better place if we all decided to go the healthy route. Health coaches can blend the gap between healthcare and real life, so don’t be shy to reach out and ask for help! We are here for you.

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