The holiday season is well underway (can you believe Christmas is only 5 days away?) and the influencers and entrepreneurs of Toronto are busy wrapping up everything that needs to be done before the end of 2017! Fortunately, we were able to get in touch with one of the city's up-and-coming holistic nutritionists and personal trainers: Monika Corbus. After all, is there any better time to chat with someone who can help us address those New Years Resolutions? Now, get reading!
1. First, tell us a bit about yourself. What makes you YOU?
My name is Monika, and I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Personal Trainer based in Toronto. I have a range of experiences in managing health from a variety of angles, which include: preventative health, sports nutrition, hormonal imbalances, digestive issues, and weight management.
I love all things nutrition, health and wellness! I live and follow a healthy lifestyle. I stay up-to-date with health trends and love to share my knowledge. My job is to encourage others to succeed and achieve their health goals. My approach is realistic and non-restrictive. It’s important to not be afraid of food. I don’t believe in restrictive diets, and rather than creating restrictions the goal is to focus on healthier plant-based, whole foods.
I am a “Healthy Foodie." I am always in the kitchen creating recipes and making nutrient dense foods and baked goods that are delicious, nutritious and essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Fitness is my obsession and that's why I also became a personal trainer. If you can’t find me in the kitchen, you will definitely find me at the gym lifting weights or training Krav Maga (if you don't know what Krav Maga is, two words: BAD ASS). As a woman, I understand gyms can be intimidating. My goal is to encourage other women to be fearless, and to train! It takes patience, but I have seen some incredible transformations, both physical and emotional among many wonderful women I have met over the past few years.
2. How did your business become what it is today?
I never in my life thought I would be where I am today. I didn’t think that being an entrepreneur one day would even be possible. My plan was to go to school, and become a teacher, the end. Becoming a teacher to me defined success, I would be set with a steady job and my life would be complete.
While I was in University, I started to gain a lot of weight and developed digestive issues. I was consuming low quality foods, staying up late, and partying on the weekends. My immune system was low and I was regularly sick, because I was living an unbalanced lifestyle. I knew something had to change and I sought help from a friend of mine who is also a nutritionist, as I didn’t know much about nutrition. I started being more active, and began to learn how to cook and eat better. I was finally focusing on myself and realized the importance of self-care. I began to see results, with this outcome nutrition and fitness became my passion.
I wanted to turn my passion into my dream job so that I could help others. Once I completed my university degree, I got certified as a holistic nutritionist and personal trainer. I began to document my fitness goals, and started taking photos of my nutritious meals and posted them on to my social media. This resulted in influencing my peers and receiving more followers and a lot of positive feedback. My business started to grow once I became more active on social media and networking at fitness facilities. The majority of my clients are from word-of-mouth referrals.
3. How would you describe your ideal client?
The ideal client is someone who is open to learning, is positive with regards to making lifestyle changes and is motivated. As a nutritionist and personal trainer it’s my duty to provide education, guidance, and support.
4. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far?
My biggest lesson learned: DO NOT FREAK OUT AND STAY CALM. Everyday is a new day to grow and learn. Patience is definitely a virtue, I’ve learned to slow down and not rush my projects. I’ve found myself previously getting overwhelmed and in a state of panic. Over time I have learned to be patient and take it day by day, as there is no rush! I have learned to be in the present and create as I go. Small term goals turn into bigger long-term goals. One can only get better with practice.
5. What’s a key challenge you’ve faced in growing your business?
A key challenge I have experienced was fear of taking the leap and trusting in myself when I first began the process of starting up my own business. It’s easy to get caught up in your own fear, for instance whether it’s fear of being criticized or fear of failure. Such thoughts can be detrimental in your progress and can affect planning and business growth. Confidence is built over time. What I find works is connecting and following other health influencers on social media or networking events and staying connected. Maintaining a health community to share and motivate one another. Every day is a new day to set goals and learn from experience.
6. Where do you see your business going in the next five years?
Within the next five years, I am hoping my business will continue to expand, and I will continue to help and influence people’s lives in a positive manner.
7. Favourite quote and why?
Beneath this mask there is more than flesh, beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.
- V for Vendetta
I know this is kind of an intense quote, but V for Vendetta is one of my favorite movies. From the first time I watched it this quote has stuck with me. I find it powerful and motivating.
8. How do you #workit everyday?
I #workit everyday by firstly waking up bright and early, usually around 6 a.m., and start my morning on a positive note by simply thinking of a few things that make me happy. I always start my day off right with a lemon water and green smoothie. I fuel up first thing and throughout the day to stay energized. I work and get in contact with my clients, workout myself, fuel (with healthy meals), get home read or write, and lastly rest/sleep then repeat (but the order may vary by day).