Success Worldwide : The One With The New Approach to Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing
Success Worldwide : The One With The New Approach to Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing
Nordic Nutrition offers a new approach to nutrition, health and wellbeing.
Nordic Nutrition offers a new approach to nutrition, health and wellbeing. Founded by Sonia Wahlroos, a Finnish born Nutritional Therapist, specialising in Women’s Health, Fertility, Sport and Exercise Nutrition, she’s a real powerhouse. With a strong background in sports, she has been teaching different body and mind methods for over a decade. Her experience is unparalleled when it comes to nutrition and we couldn’t wait to delve deeper.
Here, we chatted to Sonia to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand, Nordic Nutritionist?
I have always been interested in healthy lifestyle, nutrition, sports and holistic methods to improve your wellbeing. Nordic Nutritionist was founded almost 11 years ago but at a beginning it was a different name, as I was working as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor while completing my degree. The reason I got so interested about nutrition is the endless opportunities in the field: you can be work at the clinic environment, lecture, writing book, creating a brand or tool to support one’s health. This is very important to me that my work has continuity and challenges and entrepneuship definitely tick those boxes. Work is also very rewarding: It is wonderful how you can heal people’s health concerns only through the diet and of course seeing how enormous impact it can have in one’s life.
After the last 18 months and the rise in people working from home, have you seen an increase in people wanting to work with you to focus more on their health and nutrition?
Absolutely, especially after the first lockdown I got loads of requests but unfortunately, I was unable to help as I had just had my third baby and homeschooling my eldest. However, lot of them started with me slightly later and I personally think that when the first lockdown was on, most of my clients needed mental health support, not a strict diet or comprehensive programme because we were already so overwhelmed what was going on in the world. I do hope that the interest stays high and now when life is slowly starting to become normal, people don’t give up all those wonderful health related improvements that they made.
How do you want people to feel when they work with you?
Firstly, I want them to achieve their goals, whether it is losing weight, balancing hormones, improving insomnia, or correcting deficiencies as they need to feel they have accomplished what they wanted. Secondly, while working with me I want to teach them about healthy eating and what is suitable for them, so that they have knowledge and strength to follow diet that support their personal health and they are not any more prone to fall into fad diets that rarely works for long term.
Learning to maintain the results it is very crucial, not just the journey how to reach the goal.
Of course I always want they are having a good time during the sessions; feeling t that they are being listened, supported and respected.
Looking back since launching your business, is there anything you would do different?
Absolutely! I would build a clear, realistic 5-year business plan and hire a business mentor. Also I would set much stricter boundaries to myself: at some point I was working all the time (I had home office and I was studying from home) and eventually I felt I had lost completely work- life balance. You can and you must push yourself time to time but for a long term its is not professional or good to your or your business to burn yourself and at the same time trying to help others to live better & healthier life ☺
Another thing is that I should have asked help for those areas that I was struggling and using too much time. I am not very technical savvy and yet I was trying to build my website on my own. Just madness. Learning to outsource more was then and probably today my biggest challenge.
Tell us more about what inspires you…
I am visualist: I adore beautiful buildings, homes, people and of course food. I have always travelled a lot and I have to say that is something that really makes life great: hopping on a plane and seeing new places, cultures, food and people. Little adventures always fresh up your mind and soul.
As a mother of three, of course my kids are huge inspiration as well! Being mum is the best thing in the world.
If you to describe your brand in three words, what would they be?
Holistic, sustainable, personal
When did you first become interested in nutrition and how did you go about educating yourself enough to be able to launch Nordic Nutrition?
I have backround in fashion, but my family has been in health and wellbeing industry since I was little girl, so wellbeing, exercising and eating healthily has always been part of me. In my early twenties I was working as a Pilates instructor and Pt and when we moved to London in 2010, I sign in for a year Nutrition coaching course that really made me passionate about nutrition. I completed a Nutrition therapist degree in 2014 and after I specialized in Sports Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. When you work in the field, it is never ending learning process and I am constantly building my knowledge and therapeutical skills.
It is not about how much you know; it is mainly understanding what your client is after and how you can help them best possible way. We are very unique, and one size does not fit all.
I am actually doing my second degree of Nutrition Therapy, as I wanted to have bachelor’s degree and deepen my Nutrition Therapist skills.
What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to launch their own wellness business?
Be systematic, focused and driven to one thing at a time. Give enough time to each project and accept obstacles as it is part of the journey. I am so grateful I have always been quite open to new things as that has really strengthen my understanding how I want to run my business. There isn’t only one right way to run business or become successful. Trust yourself and be unique.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
I am waking up at 6am and then helping my boys to get ready for school while drinking my morning combo: lemon water with probiotics and strong oat milk coffee. We leave the house bit after 7 am and if it is my working day, I head to Pilates or a gym for an hour before starting my workday. After my training I shower quickly and have porridge or omelette with some fruits & green juice.
Around 9 am I am checking my emails and spending some time to replying on them. I try to be consistent and always get back to everyone in 24h as that is part of the good client- therapist relationship. Depending on a day, I may have client sessions, consultations, studying, admin work or business planning which at a moment takes a lot of my time. I have some exciting changes coming up next spring!
The day goes normally way too quickly and often I am having my protein rich lunch around 1pm. Afternoon goes similar way and around 4.30 I am normally heading back to home and “jump in” to help my nanny with kids. Homework, hobbies, the basic family life. After kids have gone to bed, I may still check my emails as it’s helping me to prepare the next day. To relax, me and my hubby may watch a good series from Netflix or heading out for a dinner with friends. As we are both entrepreneurs, our schedules are flexible, but hours can sometimes be very long.
But, when you are doing what you love, it doesn’t feel a sacrifice and when kids are off from school, I am always able to spend some time with them as well.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Very little. I started my business at the time when social media was mainly for socializing and marketing happened via magazines, good contacts and building a strong network using various methods. However, I hope I would have been more active in past five years, as now I am finding quite hard to start utilizing it as a marketing tool. But it is necessary if you want to build the brand bigger and I am currently looking for a part- time employer, to mainly support me with social media marketing.
You’re very well traveled but which place really has your heart?
Very hard to pick one place but top three I can do. I am from Finland, Helsinki and the city has its own very special vibe. It is a capital, but still like a small village with great restaurants, Scandinavian architecture, and lovely people. I highly recommend visiting around midsummer, it is magical!
I also love South of France. We bought a house there few years ago as we wanted kids to have a place where they can spend summers and play freely in the nature. Especially when you live in the city, it is important that they have this balance and touch to the nature.
But… I do have a big crush on New York. I love the city, people and how the place never sleeps. I am a city girl and finding that the buzz that the NY has,
inspires and motivates me in every single way. The last time I visited NY was when I was 7 months pregnant in November 2019 and the energy that the city has got me completely mad: I walked hours every day, went museums, had long dinners, and yet felt happy and relaxed when we came back to UK. We have a plan that when kids move out (still 20 years to go), we move there for a while.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?
Oh, several places: with the family Australia and Safari at the Kruger Park. I spent 4 months at the Cape Town 15 years ago and loving the light, people and outdoorsy lifestyle. With good girl friends I highly recommend Florence.
Next year I am having a big birthday and I am hoping to go for a road trip to California or to Chiva Som Thailand with my mother or a good friend. My husband is not a persn who wish to receive treatments and vegan food for days ☺
After Covid I feel my bucket list has become quite a long!
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
To be honest, I never lack motivation towards my work or life in general. I do feel tired, stressed, anxious and unfocused time to time, but being unmotivated is not really my thing. There is so much to do, see and choose from!
I love what I do and when it comes to work, exercising or eating healthily, it is just so strongly part of me that all happens naturally. That is holistic wellbeing, something that I am teaching to my clients: aiming to create a healthy lifestyle that support their life, their wellbeing goals and this way motivation follows naturally.
What’s next for you and the brand?
I am launching an online course series in spring 2022, which will be very exciting and new to me. After years of working irregular hours and being on short maternity leaves, I am finally ready for new chapter as my daughter goes to nursery.
Also, I hope I can find a great person to work with me!
What does self-care mean to you?
My primary selfcare routines means regular exercising, eating good food in calm environment, getting some fresh air, sleeping enough and spending time with family, friends and of course on my own, in right balance. Secondary self-care methods are more like treats; massage, special trip to somewhere, going to hairdresser, manicure or having a luxury to read a book for hours. As mentioned above, creating routines that supports your wellbeing daily is much more sustainable way to look after yourself than one off massages or things that externally brings relaxation or happiness for a short term.
Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.