Real Life Health Story from College of Naturopathic Medicine

college cnm - thrive magazine

Another inspiring ‘Real Life Health Story’ from College of Naturopathic Medicine. CNM Vegan Natural Chef Graduate Monika Mateja shares her journey of becoming a health entrepreneur!

What attracted me to CNM was that I could study during weekends while still having my full-time job. I read other student stories, looked at the curriculum which, aside from the cooking skills, has very good naturopathic content and internship hours. The easily accessible college location suited me, too.

I loved the practical approach to learning in the CNM Natural Chef kitchens. The course was professional and fun. I enjoyed many knowledgeable teachers who showed us what is possible with vegan food. We cooked delicious recipes and the practical knowledge given by the lecturers was invaluable. We had a fantastic group of students in our group, passionate about vegan food, and we kept in touch.

The lecturers were extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of nutrition and wellbeing.

I used to work as a Supply Chain Manager for an engineering and construction company. I was always interested in healthy eating, natural therapies and wellness. After 14 years in the corporate world I hit the burnout and was signed off with mild depression. My Type 1 diabetes was out of control. I was advised to cut out simple carbs and processed fats, and to exercise. I followed this as much as I could but I hit a wall at the age of 40. I put on weight, demand for insulin increased and I was recommended to take statins for my cholesterol levels. I was also diagnosed with disc prolapse and had an operation. I started to look into natural therapies in late 2017.

I was going to a yoga studio and noticed that my body craved peace and quiet, calm, good food and nourishment rather than sugary food and alcohol.

This inspired me to look further into this topic and I switched to a plant-based diet from January 2018. Since going into natural therapies I can manage stress. I lost over one stone, my skin cleared, I do not have to take that much insulin and my cholesterol levels have gone down so I do not need to take statins.

It is not easy to change and pursue something completely new, especially as I had quite a successful career and a good salary. However, I did ask myself, do I really want to do this for the next 20 years? Also, my mum died from cancer at the age of 52. She is my true inspiration to help as many people as I can to eat and look after themselves in the most natural way possible.

Since doing the course I left my previous job and started my own business. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and studying at CNM gave me that chance. I also trained as a Health Coach and I received my certification in August 2019. I run cooking workshops and supper clubs at my house, as well as having private clients who I guide to a plant-based diet. I hope to write a book one day with my story, delicious recipes, and healthy eating tips. I love coaching as this is truly a way to help people to get better. I am honoured when I can help my clients learn about the most suitable food for them, their body and their lifestyle; one-on-one coaching is very powerful.

I have never felt fitter and healthier. I love my healthier version of me.

Find out about the latest courses being launched with College of Naturopathic Medicine >>

CNm nutrition courses


As featured inside Thrive Magazine – summer issue 2020, featured in a promotional partnership with College of Naturopathic Medicine.

CNM has an exceptional 22-year track record training successful natural therapy practitioners online and in class. Colleges across the UK and Ireland. Visit or call 01342 410 505