Never stop believing — when something does not go as expected go back to your why, to your purpose. You can make an impact, keep taking practical steps every day.

Today, more than ever, wellness is at the forefront of societal discussions. From mental health to physical well-being, women are making significant strides in bringing about change, introducing innovative solutions, and setting new standards. Despite facing unique challenges, they break barriers, inspire communities, and are reshaping the very definition of health and wellness. In this series called women in wellness we are talking to women doctors, nurses, nutritionists, therapists, fitness trainers, researchers, health experts, coaches, and other wellness professionals to share their stories and insights. As a part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Anna Resende.

Anna Resende is a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. With a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering, Anna decided to change careers after falling in love with the comprehensive curriculum of the IIN’s Health Coaching Training Program which has led her into a transformational journey. Now she writes and coaches people to find a lifestyle of lasting health and wellness. https://www.mammaterrahc.com

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

Igot my Chemical Engineering degree back in 1995 and worked in the manufacturing industry for the following 27 years, most of the time with continuous improvement. Because of my husband’s job, we’ve moved a lot throughout the years and I was always able to find myself a job. When talking to a former colleague about my job search before moving to Maryville — TN, he suggested Health Coaching for me. I did not know it was a profession, nor that it even existed but, I decided to do some research. It was when I found IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. To my surprise, IIN has been in the market forming health coaches for 30 years and offers an innovative, transformational, and personalized online holistic wellness education. When I laid my eyes on the Health Coach Training Program (HCTP) curriculum it was love at first sight. Everything that I’m passionate about was listed there, I felt as if the program was tailored for me. Two days later I was registered and 6 months later graduated. I had my business plan together in the last module and was able to open my business right away. As a Health Coach, I can use my passion for nutrition, cooking, and a healthy lifestyle to help people discover the best version of themselves. At this point in my life, the fact that I can do what I love, make a positive impact in my community, and yet be more present in my kids’ lives is a blessing. It’s been a journey and I’m enjoying every minute of it.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

I had the first sign that the universe had orchestrated the whole career change for me during my very first class. Before starting the training, I had made a matching tattoo with my son of a yin and yang symbol. Then in my first class, I learned that the yin and yang symbol is the core of IIN’s Integrative Coaching Method. That was my first realization that nothing happens by chance. When one door closes, the universe opens a window. At that very moment, I strongly felt that I had taken the right path. As the training progressed, I was certain that I’d found my calling. My years working as a continuous improvement engineer had been a setup for my health coaching career. Now I’m looking for the root causes of diseases and improving clients’ health instead of improving manufacturing processes and looking for root causes of failures.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I was prepping for my first workshop, I had my whole presentation done around the theory of nutrition — with definitions of protein, carbs, fats, and all. A week before the big day, I gathered some friends to listen to my rehearsal. Although they said my material was interesting, I felt terrible. Then I slept over it, meditated about it, and finally realized that I was using the wrong approach — it was way too complicated, and not practical at all. Hence, I changed the whole presentation to a list of simple actions that can make a big difference in one’s health and well-being. With the new approach, I was able to share my journey and speak from the heart. The audience’s feedback was very positive. The main lesson I learned from this is: Keep it simple! It’s important to show people that it’s possible to achieve great results by taking one step at a time.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

I believe we can change the world one person at a time — starting with ourselves. While I’m still going through my journey, by sharing my struggles and successes I can encourage others to start theirs. The ripple effect is real and starts with each one of us doing our part.

I’m constantly finding different venues to spread the word that the Earth can become a disease-free planet if we all use ‘food as medicine’. As nutrition is at the root of our relationship with nature, I’m encouraging people to grow their food organically or to buy from local organic farmers. Organic methods tie in with regenerative agriculture principles that can salvage the nation’s depleted soil and leave a sustainable planet for generations to come. We need to let nature nurture and heal us. It starts with me planting my garden and composting my food scraps.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better well-being?

1 . Breathe Intentionally — Practice breathwork twice a day. Breathing is the most central, vital function of life. Oxygen is the number one nutrient our bodies need. Breathing is a function that can be developed because it’s managed by two different sets of nerves and muscles — from the voluntary and involuntary systems. Practice breathing exercises to train your involuntary system. Conscious breathing is a great stress reliever and as such is a key component of health and wellness.

2 . Nourish Your Body — Drink 20 ounces of water first thing in the morning, one gallon throughout the day, and eat real food. After air, water is what our bodies need the most. Every physiological fluid in our bodies is made of water: blood, gastric juice, bile, saliva, lymph, urine, and sweat. Water is also the physiological means of transportation of oxygen and nutrients to cells and wastes to the exterior. Then eat a wide variety of whole, fresh, clean, mostly plant-based foods. Local and organic as much as possible. Choose quality over quantity. Crowd out sugar and processed foods.

3 . Manage Stress — You can eat the best food in the world but if you are getting constant stress signals for everyday issues your body won’t be able to digest or absorb any nutrients. When our autonomic nervous system is on a “fight or fly” response it suppresses digestion and immune function to concentrate blood flow to muscles. Stress is a survival mechanism but, the body doesn’t know the difference between a life danger and a work-related issue. So, use good stress relievers such as breathwork, time in nature, grounding (touching the Earth’s surface with bare hands or feet), and gratitude.

4 . Move your Body — Our bodies were designed to move! Just pay attention to the number of bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles we have. So, stretch in the morning to wake up your body. Move throughout the day and practice moderate physical activity daily. Find something you like — it might be walking, hiking, dancing, biking, running, gardening, yoga, whatever brings you joy. Movement releases endorphins — natural body-made painkillers and also neurotransmitters that increase feelings of well-being. It also boosts energy, focus, mood, and strength.

5 . Prioritize Sleep — Don’t ever take sleep for granted. Plenty of things happen in our bodies while we sleep: memory consolidation, hormone regulation, immune system function, restoration of organs, tissues, and muscles, as well as body and brain detoxification. Aim for 7–8 hours of sleep every night, keep a consistent sleep schedule even on weekends, and establish a relaxing bedtime routine. Also make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet. Quality sleep is crucial for the body’s healing mechanisms.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Replacing food factories with organic vegetable gardens — in the sense of the “grow your own food” movement. I believe this is a wonderful way to reconnect with nature and get all the wonderful benefits from it. With the convenience of processed foods, people got disconnected from the concept that food should nourish our bodies. “Let food be thy medicine” — Hippocrates

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. Don’t feel discouraged — when you expect 500 people to download your free e-book and you get less than 100, celebrate your new 100 subscribers and keep your head up! Celebrate all your small wins to train your brain to feel the sensation.
  2. Listen to your intuition — when you’re in alignment and in a place of service the universe will nudge you in the right direction, tune in and listen up!
  3. Never stop believing — when something does not go as expected go back to your why, to your purpose. You can make an impact, keep taking practical steps every day.
  4. It takes a village — it takes a lot of work to build a business. Be resourceful, and ask for help if you need it. You can do this!
  5. Go one day at a time — do your best today and be better than yesterday. Don’t give up, give it all!

Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

They are all interconnected and are all very dear to my heart. But if I had to choose one, I’d pick mental health. Mainly because without mental health we cannot move forward with our lives. We have to be well to do well. Change always starts from the inside out.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

People are welcome to visit my website: www.mammaterrahc.com where they can find out about the programs I offer and the different ways to connect with my work.

I have a free weekly newsletter — Mamma’s Tips, where I share health and wellness subjects, recipes, and good books. I love to get new subscribers!

I have been publishing a blog post every week, sharing my health journey and giving insights and resources to people longing for changes.

A few weeks ago, I published my first e-book — A weekend of Felling Great, in which I share small lifestyle shifts that can have a huge impact on one’s health and well-being. People can download it for free from my website.

I’m also a proud new partner of Awakenpedia — a modern spiritual awakening platform where people can find different holistic healing modalities and tons of teachings.

Last but not least, I couldn’t be more excited to share my next endeavor: I’m launching my podcast — Good is What Makes You Feel Well, in the first quarter of 2024. Stay tuned!

Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.