The moments of joy, hardships and reflection – review of  2020

The moments of joy, hardships and reflection – review of 2020

I thought I write this review of 2020 so that I can remind myself in December 2021  of all the lessons learned, wins, and grateful moments I was able to have in 2020. Yes, that was the year nobody could have predicted but somehow we survived and a lot of people found their new way of doing things: working from home, homeschooling, and even find a second job or going back to the hobby they used to love but did not have time. One thing that was missing big times was the real connection. Yes, we spent hours on zoom calls but all of us were missing a human face-to-face connection. We need it to thrive and loneliness was real and still is touching so many people.

So were there moments of true joy? For me, this year was really a blessing and a curse. The first full year in business and I was trying to keep my head above the water with a poor mindset and boundaries. I started the year well with clients but then everything stopped and I was asking myself does it really make sense? I even started to look for jobs (part of the journey) and just in time I got a job to coach patients in Diabetes Prevention Program for NHS for which I have applied in August 2019 not really knowing what is coming.

3 Desires for my business and life

The question I have been asked now and again why at the age of 40 I decided to leave a well-paid and secure job and starting something totally new. The truth is I do not have a grand story to tell you. I think sometimes we want to put a reason where it actually does not exist. Sometimes you just feel that yearning for something more, there is no particular reason and actually you need to be quite crazy to start on your own as it is not bloody easy. However, I would say three main things played a major role: freedom – choice of projects, time, flexibility, and finances; legacy – I want to create wealth beyond anything I know so far, create a life with integrity and love and time for myself and my family.

My mission is also to support any GPs who would like to add Lifestyle Medicine interventions and coaching into their practice. I truly believe this is the future to have holistic care for all the patients and focus on prevention. It is estimated that every decade of our life without the changes to our lifestyle we need to add 2/3 medications. This is unnecessary and for most of us can be avoided. I know we can do healthcare better but we need skilled and motivated GPs on all levels who have time for patients and are not deep in paperwork or have to deal with every small question patient has. I would love to see extended appointments to 30 min to fully assess the habits and coach patients to undertake the changes. It is not true that we want pills. Patients want to be healthy but they need to be educated first and coached for a period of time so that the healthy habits are truly life-changing. I admire dr Rangan Chatterjee  for his mission along with many other GP Doctors like eg. Gemma Newman. 

Paving my path to freedom and successful business


Health Coach

This played a big role as I decided to do something completely different. My background is in Supply Chain and I loved my job which gave me so many opportunities and skills. I loved traveling, negotiating, and working with suppliers and clients. I have always been a wellness junkie and loved SPA, fitness and feeling good. However, I noticed that I had less and less time for that and due to stress and really lack of fulfillment my health started to deteriorate. I also knew that if I ever decided to have my own business I wanted to create a location-independent job but yes I did start with wanting to open a coffee shop/hub with lovely food etc. I was actually looking at online space good 10 years ago taking my first ever online course – I really should have started then.

Since then I invested thousands of pounds in my education with some courses sitting on my computer. I invested in Social Media Management course and I am fully qualified to do that but so much has changed since I have done it. I have done a website design course. I now use WordPress divi theme and it is so easy but I do have a lovely VA that helps me with integration. That is why clarity is so important to have as it can save you a lot of money. In 2018 I invested in Naturopathic Chef qualifications (from College of Naturopathic Medicine) which allows me to work with clients and prepare the meal plans and develop recipes. After that I found out about health coaching and then there were not a lot of courses available so I  invested in the course from Health Coach Institute in the USA and started my course in December 2018. After that I invested to be a Master Coach with techniques such as NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming, CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – tapping). Both courses cost me over £20 000.  The truth is I love learning and chosing subjects I am actually interested in. I will probably be investing all the time and it is not unheard of that coaches invest a lot of money in education. The key is choice, clarity, and what you will do with it. In the long term,  l will use my Chef qualifications as I want to work at retreats and collaborate with other coaches.

Apart from that I invested in coaching for myself so far in the regions of £6000. This year I have few things on my mind and I am planning to be certified in Lifestyle Medicine from the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

If you are a NHS GP and looking for adding coaching into your skills along with lifestyle interventions check Inspired Medics and  Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine. 

 Work for NHS


Working as a Health Coach for Liva Healthcare helped me and my business but above all helped many people to introduce lifestyle changes so that they can manage diabetes better. It was tough at first as many people came to me with multiple conditions. I was there to help them to change some of their eating habits but also emotions related to food. There is a lot of behavioral science behind how we want to feel better with food (especially sugar) and believe me we had so many reasons to do that this year. Every patient was different and I met them wherever they were on their journey. Some were doing keto diets, were vegans or vegetarians, doing the Slimming world, or even shake liquid diet. Everyone was different and I had to approach that with an open mind. In the end, not everyone is ready for coaching, some people want advice but no long-term support, some are happy with what they are doing, and some unhappy with technology, etc. Overall, I helped and supported patients who really wanted the change, and many of them got their sugars under control and lost a lot of weight, and I am so happy for them. I learned a lot, built my resilience in coaching patients from different backgrounds. Now I understand what I want from my own practice, how I can help people who are ready for coaching, and I am very grateful for this opportunity. The money I earned helped me with my business and day to day expenses.

My private practice

Health Coach

I also had and still have my own private clients, Initially, I started with 12 and 6  weeks coaching programs, and had several private clients.  Also towards the end of the year, I have launched a new program 1:1 From Blank Page to Clarity. Lack of clarity in my goals have been a big stumbling block for me. However, clarity is not something you get and have. It evolves because you evolve and grow in yourself and your business. My plan for this year is to run several group coaching program. The first one this January is the La Dolce Vita- a program focused on health with mindset, simple nutrition, and movement without a struggle. It is intensive for 4 weeks. In March I am planning to run my Have Clarity Be Confident – 2 weeks intensive Program – for anyone wanted to focus on clarity in their life and business – this is mindset work with a few simple strategies to keep you going by the end of it. I am also planning my ebook with interesting facts for your first year in the business including numbers – yes how much it costs to have your own business in the first year! – Release – beginning of February.

Personal Life in Lockdown

Another big highlight was family time. We established the routine of regular walks in our local woodlands. Nature has truly a healing power. We walk to this day and walking is the first exercise I recommend to my patients and clients. It can be healing and easier on the joints and something you can sustain over a longer period of time. If you are bored you can listen to some audiobooks, borrow a dog or simply ensure a different pace so that you can raise your heart bit a little. It was difficult of course at first to get used to everybody in the house. My husband never worked from home so it was a bit of a shock together with homeschooling. Not easy but I can’t complain as we have one child. And yes cooking. This was a challenge I am a Chef but I keep my meals easy during the week and usually have something ready for myself. Cooking all the meals for everybody was not an easy thing. With help of Thermomix, freezing and batch cooking we were not hungry (well maybe sometimes..).

Having a personal self-care routine is a must when you give a lot of yourself to other people. I have a massage membership, I use essential oils and good skincare I exercise and meditate. I love the morning routine that sets me for a day. My health is very important. That is why I have my own business so that I can create my own rules and schedule. Not always easy and requires discipline.

My husband really supported me and I can honestly tell you that it takes the village to educate and support a Coach on a mission so please do accept any form of support you can. UK Health Coaches Association is a great community for members and support is there when you needed.

I am really hopeful that this year 2021 will bring me the breakthrough I desire in my business. Usually, it takes three years or even longer unless you are clear from the outset and all in right from the beginning. I was not, suffering from self-doubt and lack of confidence. I am grateful for the support I received and my lovely Facebook community. Do join for a dose of inspiration, health, and laughter. I have good content every day. I show up for you.

Thank you for reading and if you have any questions do let me know. I am here to help. You are amazing and I hope our paths will cross at some point.

Love Monika


Vegan Christmas – Roast with the most

Vegan Christmas – Roast with the most

Maybe this year you can tell yourself to leave the animals alone and cook some delicious plant-based alternatives. I have several options in my ebook – they do not take a lot of time to prepare. Cauliflower steaks can be served along with all roasted veggies and beautiful cranberry red cabbaged and even cranberry sauce (picture above). My lentil roast is out of this world and both layers can be served separately (you can make more and use some for your canapes). It is better served slightly cold as it needs a bit of settle time before cutting but it could be reheated and served with my red wine vegan gravy.

Cauliflower steak

This can be roasted along with carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. You prepare the vegetables first, roast for 20 min and then add marinated cauliflower for another 20 minutes. In the meantime, you reheat your lovely red cabbage, make cranberry sauce if not made, and reheat the gravy. This is a budget option but very delicious and you could serve whole cauliflower (picture above) for a stunning centerpiece. Below it is served with mashed potatoes which I formed in metal rings on the plate so it looks neat. You could pan-roast some thin slices of potatoes and again put in metal rings for mini-towers and a neat look.

You could also serve the cauliflower-like this with roasted vegetables around it.


Cauliflower roast


Lentil Roast with chestnut and smoked tofu filling

I absolutely love love this dish. I made several times and every time is even better as I experiment with more flavors. This is very delicious with cashew/horseradish sauce and cranberry sauce on homemade rye bread. 

Chestnuts add a little bit of sweetness and I mix them with soaked sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and fresh herbs. It is also perfect on bread on its own. 

Vegan Lentil Roast

I also love leftover curry next day. Beautiful warming spices. You can use the chopped roasted veggies or any other leftover food. I love it with roasted sweet potatoes and pineapple pieces. 

Vegan easy curry

I hope you enjoy these few dishes and check my dessert options (Vegan Tiramisu – just saying) and cheeze board as well as some healthy drinks which leave as refreshed rather than with a heavy headache next day.

Everything you need is in my ebook guide to help you this Christmas

Vegan Christmas – Healthy starters

Vegan Christmas – Healthy starters

I can’t believe that in a few weeks we will be celebrating Christmas again. This year of course will be different than any other. We have spent almost half of the year in lockdown or with some kind of restrictions. Needless to say, it was not easy and for many many people very challenging. Will your Christmas be different this year? We would normally travel to Poland or having somebody over here in the UK, but this time we will be alone celebrating with my cousin living here in the UK as well. I feel like I do not want to overeat or treat myself to loads of food. With staying at home it is already challenging, especially as you spend most of your time in my leggings (you too?). I keep putting on my jeans to check if they are still ok, and they have become just a little bit tighter so I am giving myself a good old break from sugar in December until Christmas.

In my Facebook group (have you joined by the way?)  this week was all about celebrating good food and preparing ourselves for Christmas. I started with starters than main dishes and on Thursday will have deserts and Mocktail/cocktail Masterclass on Friday. I feel I am better organized this year. I have my cards ready and little presents to send out to clients and to family. I am very proud actually. Just need to make that trip to the post office now. 

Vegan food does not have to be complicated with hundreds of ingredients. I love keeping it simple but with a nice and fresh presentation, even humble hummus will look great. We mainly eat with our eyes and smell, taste comes later so putting a little bit of effort to present the food will make a huge difference and impress everyone even the keenest Chefs. I do not use any special equipment but you could e.g. use a piping bag to serve hummus or other dips. 

Below I have two options for you. Golden beetroot carpaccio and little lettuce boats with cashew/chermoula dip, guacamole, and pepper humous. These options are great to serve in a buffet along with another normal flair of usual Christmas food. It will add a splash of color and freshness and leave your tummy happy and light.

Golden Beetroot carpaccio

I love this fresh dish. I got these beets in my weekly veggie box and was not sure what to do with it. It tastes like a normal red beet but has a less earthy flavor. I wanted to marinate it before serving but it will discolor quickly so Serving it raw, thinly slice is the best idea. Make sure you squeeze half a lemon on it and serve with cashew chermoula dip in the middle, smokey chermoula dots, and sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.

Beetroot carpaccio

Lettuce Boats

These are lovely and you can put anything on them. A great alternative to bread, lighter and you can have as many as you want. I made guacamole, cashew/chermoula dip, and pepper hummous. I serve with lime wedges and you can sprinkle with some pomegranate seeds. 

Vegan starter

Check also my post with my amazing lentil roast. so delicious with prune/smokey glaze on top serve with cashew/horseradish sauce and cranberry sauce. This glaze would also make a great alternative to chutney, healthier, and with no sugar.

I love these snacks pea and corn fritters and sweet potato discs. Both can be served with delicious cashew soft cheese and my prune and tomato chutney. All recipes in my ebook together with a delicious mocktail like this one below ‘Salad Martini’. 

Vegan snacks

All recipes for the complete menu are in my Newest ebook. Love this Goddess guide to Christmas and beyond. Perfect to start your plant-based journey in January. I am releasing 7 days course to eat Plant-based meals 4 times a week. This should be achievable for those who want to try it but can’t do a complete transition now.