Brenna is a Health Coach, a healthy lifestyle blogger/influencer, and the creator of The MNDFull Life, which stands for movement, nourishment, daily soul work, and fill up. She is committed to living a love-based life and is on a mission to encourage others to do the same.
Q: What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
A: Before IIN, I was SO lost. I was studying psychology and public health (double major) at Oregon State University with just a few terms to go until graduation. My current living condition and the school system were sucking the life out of me. It literally felt like my soul was dying. I was desperate for something that felt more fulfilling. I had depression and anxiety, and an eating disorder and autoimmune condition were ruling my life.
Q: What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
A: I read a book by Melissa Ambrosini called Mastering Your Mean Girl, and she talked about IIN. It sparked an interest but not enough to commit just yet. I kept hearing more and more about it, and after finally hitting rock bottom and becoming beyond desperate, I surrendered. I decided to enroll with the intention of finding more. I knew there was more; I just didn’t exactly know what this more was or how to get to it. I didn’t want to become a Health Coach; I just wanted to heal my own life (not just my body), and what IIN talked about rang true to me. After watching my own life transform, I naturally wanted to share, share, share.
Q: How has your life changed since becoming a Health Coach?
A: I moved to New York. I create my own schedule, and I’m surrounded by completely different people. I love that as I help others, I am helping myself and vice versa. I live a much more mindful life now! I ended up treating my health conditions through lifestyle changes! There is no on/off switch – this way of living is my whole life, and I want to help everyone I can! I created some online courses called The MNDFull Life programs, which stands for movement, nourishment, daily soul work, and fill up! Alongside my coaching, I am a blogger/influencer (@brennablackmun), and I love partnering with different brands and people on the same mission (I’ve met a lot of them through IIN!). I’ve been doing a lot more speaking, and I’m currently working on my first book. I lead Sacred Sunday Goddess Groups in NYC– I made them to fill a need and create a space for wellness networking as well as for women to lift up one another as we elevate to the next level and become a more true version of ourselves.
Q: Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
A: I loved learning about primary food and doing our check-ins. I still do them today and focus on all aspects of my life. Health goes far beyond food. The modules that talked about our relationship with food (e.g., the one that talked about what your plate says about you) really helped me. Everything about bio-individuality did, too. I’ve actually been mostly raw ever since – so apparently the modules on raw foods and grain-free had an impact on me, too! I’ve also learned the importance of networking through this program. Connections are SO, SO important.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you now?
A: 4:30 AM – I wake up and pray/meditate. 5 AM – to the gym for a run/weight lifting or I do a Pilates class. I live in NYC, so I usually reply to a few emails on the way to and from the gym. I also post on my IG feed every morning at 7:30 for my beautiful community on there! When I get home, I shower and get ready for the day. 9:30 AM – I have a nourishing raw fruit–filled breakfast! 10 AM – I get to work. Sometimes this means meeting my intern to take photos for a collab or writing a blog post. Sometimes this means taking coaching calls or working on a new course. And other times, it means going to a fun place like Haven Spa in Soho for a massage collaboration! 12 PM – I try to get outside and move a little, then I have some lunch! 2 PM – back to work! 5 PM – dinner time. I do intermittent fasting and try to be done by 6:30 PM. This allows the body to focus on healing rather than digesting. I USUALLY cook at home. I have a salad just about every night! 6 PM – connect with friends and family or go to a fun wellness event. There’s lots of events here in NYC. 9 PM – bed time.
Q: What makes you and your practice unique?
A: I really focus on our inner beliefs. All thoughts create form, and if you’re having a hard time changing a certain habit (that doesn’t serve you), then there’s probably an underlying belief that makes you think you want the outcome that it results in. I truly believe that when you know the truth of who you are and how powerful you are, you will think differently, then act and show up completely differently. I preach and live a love-based life.
Q: How do you help your clients be successful? Is there a recent example that stands out for you?
A: I try to relate to them a lot and share lots of stories. I also empower them like no other – it’s my gift and calling! I believe in inspiring people more than motivating them.
Q: What do you love about your work?
A: It fills me up, and I learn so much about myself every day. It is crazy how our world mirrors us, and we can learn so much about ourselves through other people. I love helping others step into their truth; it just feels good!
Q: How have you seen the need for Health Coaches change over the years?
A: It’s changed a lot! I feel like everyone needs a Health Coach. I’ve met so many friends through IIN, and they’re my Health Coaches now! I also worked in a doctors’ office for a while and realized how beneficial it was to patients/clients to have the one-on-one attention and the more intimate relationship that coaching allows. We also talk about so much more than the physical body, which really changes the solution.
Q: What’s your tip for balancing your family, work, and personal wellness?
A: You really need to schedule it in. It is so important. I use my mornings to fill up, but I also fill up throughout my day. It’s really a way of life now, and I KNOW when I need to fill up. No one wants an energy vampire, and we all have to take responsibility for our vibe and how we’re showing up.
Q: Tell us your favorite way to wake up each day!
A: I like to wake up and pray first thing – it’s also mighty powerful to journal first thing!