Nutritionist, public speaker, educator, practitioner
Justyna Kalka may sparkle on stage today inspiring crowds with her wise health insights, but the Melbourne nutritionist’s own wellness journey had a very bumpy beginning. As a teenager, Justyna suffered from severe eating disorders and a battle with depression that nearly took her life.
It was the insights Justyna gathered during her recovery that led her to study nutrition with Endeavour many years later.
“I always felt if someone had educated me in time about the dangers of extreme dieting and encouraged me to prioritise my health, perhaps my teenage years would have been very different,” said Justyna.
After graduating as a clinical nutritionist, Justyna dedicated herself to using her own painful journey to inspire women of all ages to embrace their health, strength and vitality and to love and appreciate their bodies.
Working in clinical practice in Albert Park helped Justyna eventually realise what she enjoyed most about working with clients was the educational aspect of her sessions.
“It became clear to me that sharing my knowledge about healthy eating filled my soul,” said Justyna.
The next piece of the puzzle fell into place when Justyna saw American author and researcher John Demartini captivate an audience as he opened an event, and she wondered whether there could be a place for her as a nutrition speaker.
“It was a light bulb moment for me, as I realised this was a way I could share my message with so many more people,” said Justyna.
With some serious nerves at play and English being Justyna’s second language, the determined nutritionist and black belt martial arts instructor signed up to an intensive five day public speaking course where she experienced another breakthrough.
“I came back completely inspired – I realised public speaking was just like training any other muscle and there was nothing to fear,” said Justyna.
Justyna’s first paid speaking gig came two weeks later when she was invited to talk about the impacts of stress to the Melbourne City Council. Her disciplined practising paid off with a standing ovation.
“I was on the biggest high that day. As the crowd engaged with me and asked me questions, I thought maybe I could do this after all,” said Justyna.
Since then Justyna’s public speaking career has taken off, and she has shared her story and insights with school students and corporate clients including Australia Post, Origin Energy and Amcor.
Justyna also works with corporate wellness programs specialists Sano Health to develop a stronger culture around for a group of corporate clients through the delivery of health checks, workshops and programs.
“Initially I was doing a lot of free articles and content, but then I realised most large organisations have budgets for health initiatives and that there was a chance for someone like me to add some value there,” said Justyna.
Justyna’s journey has also caught the eye of the media, and she has been interviewed by outlets including Channel 10, Nourish Magazine, Australian Natural Health and Herald Sun.
Justyna said new opportunities were surfacing all the time for top nutritionists.
“This is an incredible time to be a working nutritionist – there is so much that serves us. The wellness industry is booming, and there are new challenges always presenting themselves to keep us growing and evolving as practitioners. There are more avenues open to us than I ever realised,” said Justyna.