Veronica Wrobel is a vegan nutrition coach and we wanted to find out how she got into this specific career and her plans for the future.
1) Could you start by telling us a bit about yourself, what you specialise in and where you are based?
My name is Veronica Wrobel and I was born in Italy from Polish and German parents, so the best way of describing my origins is by saying that I’m European as I’m a mix of cultures. I have always been interested in the impact people and societies have on the economy and politics, which then shifted to the impact on the environment as a whole, which led me to graduate with a bachelor in Politics, Philosophy and Economics. Then, about three years ago, something happened that completely changed my life and I decided to go vegan. After finishing my studies, I moved to London where I started my own business as a Vegan Lifestyle Coach and today I help people from all over the world in their vegan journey, guiding them with the right mindset, nutritional information and relationship support to become happy and healthy vegans. For the moment I’m based in the UK, however I work on an international level.
2) How did your journey begin and transition into what you are doing today?
After finishing university, I had no idea of what I wanted to do - all I knew is that I wanted to do something that would have a positive impact on the planet. In 2018 during the COP24 in Poland, I met one of the co-founders of OLIO, the food sharing app, and a couple of months later I was on my way to London ready to be part of their start-up. I have always been passionate about food and being able to pair it with sustainability was a dream coming true. However, I knew that this was not something that I wanted to do indefinitely and after a friend of mine asked me for help to go vegan, something shifted in me and made my heart jump. In that moment, I knew what I wanted to do with my life and since then I never looked back.
3) What made you pursue the route of healthy eating and helping people transition to a happy and healthy vegan lifestyle?
It is hard to pinpoint one thing or occurrence that made me pursue this route. Since becoming vegan, I became passionate about many current social and environmental issues, but what resonated with me the most was human and planetary health. Having suffered from anaemia and depression myself, I knew that I needed to work on my health to be able to live a happy life, and going vegan played a huge part in my journey. In a nutshell, I wanted to contribute to creating a future were all living beings can thrive, including animals and the living planet.
4) What are the hurdles you have overcome on your journey to finding your career?
I had to overcome the fear of being judged and of being in the game, rather than just an observer. When I realised that there is no way of having an impact without being judged, that’s when I started to speak up and show my vulnerable side. I also had to give up being such a perfectionist and stop telling myself that I’m not good enough, because what really mattered is that my clients were getting their results and achieving a healthy and happy lifestyle.
5) What advice would you give someone who wanted to become a vegan nutrition coach?
There are two pieces of advice that I would give and that I give myself all the time. The first one is: listen more than you speak. As coaches, we know a lot of things but they are useless if we are not able to recognise the problems of our clients. Second, focus on your clients and on getting them results. It doesn’t matter how many IG followers you have or how big your email list is, what matters is that you are able to deliver and help people.
6) What are your motivations?
As weird as it sounds, I’m motivated by the unnecessary suffering of others. As long as there are animals being killed for human use and people suffering because of their (involuntary) poor health choices then what I do is going to be meaningful. I’m motivated to create a world were all living beings can not only survive, but thrive. A couple of months ago, I got a written tattoo saying “the voice of the voiceless” and every morning I am reminded of why I’m doing what I am doing.
7) What or who inspires you?
I get inspired by people who choose to live outside the limits that society imposes upon us and who defy what is considered normality. Vegan activists like Earthling Ed and Joaquin Phoenix are the first names that come to my mind, but what really keeps me inspired is reading and learning every day. Recently I read a book by Dr. Melanie Joy and her approach on communication between vegans and non-vegans has completely changed the way I think and speak to others. What’s important for me is to keep getting inspired every day and surrounding myself with inspirational content, because alone no one will go far.
8) What are the most difficult challenges you face being self-employed?
Being self-employed and working from home (especially now during COVID) has led to lack of motivation more than once. Working for myself also requires a lot of self-discipline and organisation on many fronts, which is not always easy to deal with, especially when I have worse days than others. Moreover, having my business means that I never stop working because there is always something to do, so it’s important to also know when to stop and take a break. So for whoever is thinking about starting their own business, be prepared to work long hours, but make sure that you also take care of yourself and your own wellbeing by knowing when to pause.
9) What are you passionate about?
I have many passions that seem to stem from my love of food, animals and nature. Food has always played a huge role in my life as it was my way of communicating my love and showing that I care to others. Food is also an expression of my creative side; being able to create something that is beautiful to the eye and tasty to the mouth brings me an incredible pleasure. Besides food, my biggest love is and has always been animals. I used to spend every summer at my grandparent’s farm in Poland being in contact with animals and nature, which filled my heart with joy. Shortly after moving to London, I adopted Gus, my third dog, and one day I’m planning to have my own farm with rescued animals and a permaculture garden.
10) How do you define a healthy mindset towards food?
For me, having a healthy mindset towards food means forgetting about the whole dieting conversation which is very restricting and limiting. Some people might see a vegan plant based diet as limiting, but I see it as liberating. When going vegan, one breaks from the traditional way of seeing a meal and starts to discover new foods and recipes. The purpose of food is to fuel our life and help us achieve our goals, so one would naturally choose foods that help us thrive. That is exactly what plant foods do, they make you thrive!
11) Any words or wisdom/ favourite quote?
My favourite quote is by Jane Goodall and it says: “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” I think it summarises perfectly how I feel about personal choices which can have a huge impact on a bigger scale.