By respecting your body, you will empower your mind!
By Fatima Gorezi
Danna Hoffmann is a passionate health and lifestyle coach, fun loving and a mother of two.
She started her entrepreneurship journey with Miso Cute Cooking – offering healthy cooking courses for kids and their parents – over 5 years ago, but has been on a healthy-lifestyle journey since 2010. She is a proud graduate of The Institute For Integrative Nutrition.
While she started studying and investigating, she found some amazing experts to follow, and although it took her a good few years, she has managed to find a diet-free, deprivation-free, hunger-free lifestyle!
She helps women to reach a healthier lifestyle where they can also enjoy the food they eat, the extra energy they gain and live in a sustainable manner!
What was the process like to become a health coach and public speaker? What types of training & massive actions did you take to get there?
I consider many events and periods in my life to have lead me to what I do, and what I am today. I have always had a passion for public speaking; as a young girl I wanted to be an actor, and found myself on stage often. That passion grew over the years, as I found more and more I wanted to say and share with the world.
Health was always a topic that interested me. My grandmother, the woman I spent most of my childhood with, was always in the kitchen, preparing us what she considered the healthiest.
I practically grew up at grandma’s house. During the week and on weekends we would spend every waking hour there. On Friday evening the whole family (somewhere between 20-30 people) would all meet around her dining table. There was hardly any room for the plates, as there was so much food there. Good, hearty, healthy homemade food.
There was always delicious smells of something ready or cooking on the gas stove, filling up the house with scents I’ll never forget. In grandma’s world, food was health. She was always up to date with the latest health hypes, and made sure her family only enjoyed what was REALLY healthy. Little did she know that her “schooling” was in fact big food company propaganda. Butter was soon replaced by margarine, avocado was said to have too much fat, and her own arthritis she “treated” by eating heaps of milk products.
Grandma battled for 4 years with lymphoma. When I was 5 months pregnant, grandma passed away. The strongest woman I ever knew, could not walk alone to the toilet on her last months on earth. She could not taste the flavor of food from all of the chemo.
Losing my grandma was a huge wake up moment for me. I started studying and investigating, following all the top experts in the field. I wanted to know why. Why is it that someone who cared so much about her health, died of a terrible disease, and suffered from many other chronic illnesses.
What I know now, after 8 years of dedication, thousands of hours of studying and investigating, is life-changing. It has changed my OWN life, it has changed my FAMILY’S life, and I have managed to help many families out there along the way.
Did you have a mentor when you were getting started? How did they help you? If you didn’t, do you wish you’d had one?
I consider many people to have contributed in mentoring me. My mother was a big part, mainly motivating me to go ahead and follow my dream no matter what. A dear friend who mentored me ever since I started and has coached me all along the way. Business coaches, who helped and are still helping me develop my business even further. As a coach, I understand how important it is to have someone help you find your path, and keep you accountable to reach the goals which will bring you closer to your dream.
What is the best investment you’ve made in yourself or your work?
Being an entrepreneur was always a dream of mine. I founded my first company with my husband when I was just 23 years old. After having our two boys, and dabbing in other business ideas, I decided to start a business – Miso Cute Cooking, offering healthy cooking classes for kids and their parents. This was the beginning of a beautiful journey. I brought a lot of valuable information to their parents, while letting the kids experience the joy of cooking from scratch, tasting raw ingredients, and coming up with delicious meals.
Their parents asked me to come to their home and work with them one-on-one, a request which kickstarted my coaching career. Since then I’ve graduated IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition) and became a certified health and lifestyle coach. I’m now continuing my education with IIN, and focusing on gut health and the gut-brain connection. I’ve spent a total of 8 years now, educating and developing my passion into the job of my dreams.
If you could go back & give advice to your younger self, what would you say?
This question is always hard for me to answer. Not because I don’t have that advice, but rather because I think that if I really could get a chance to talk to my younger self, it would change the course I’m on today. Part of success is failing time and time again, and learning from those events in life. Having said that, if I could say just one word to young Danna, it would be: “Patience”.
How are the current innovations happening in positive psychology influencing wellness coaching?
Positive psychology is a very large part of health coaching. This might sound random, but if you have a rusty old car you really hate, you’re more likely to drive on gasoline fumes, hardly ever check the oil, and simply not take care of that car. If you have a nice car which you love, you’ll make sure to treat it well, and trust it to safely bring you places.
Our bodies are our cars. If we don’t love ourselves, our lives, our surrounding, we will not treat ourselves, or our bodies, with the respect and love we deserve. It all starts with gratitude, self love, and surrounding ourselves with positive people. This is the first work I tackle with my clients, even before talking about what they eat.
What’s one of your favorite memories of something that happened to you after or because you became a health coach?
My favorite story by far would be the one about my dad. My dad suffered from type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol for 36 out of my 39 years on this earth. When dad came for a visit two summers ago, he was in a pretty bad shape. He managed to wound his foot, spend a week in the hospital with back to back antibiotics treatment, and when he finally came out, his foot was still not looking well at all.
When you look at the eyes of your aging 60 year old father – who might get his foot amputated, unless we take action immediately – you give it all you got. I finally managed to convince him that changes need to be made, in order to save his foot, and his life. We’ve put together clear guidelines he and my mother could follow, in order to tweak both his diet, and his lifestyle. I brought him into the kitchen with me, and introduced a lot of vegetables which dad was convinced he didn’t like (but which I proved to him was not actually the case).
Two months after dad took charge of his life, his blood tests came back with an email from his doctor. The email included only three lines:
Dear Mr. Levy,
Your bad cholesterol is good.
Your sugar-levels are within range.
Keep listening to your daughter!
Dad started walking a lot, gained more energy, his foot healed completely, he became diabetes-free and a new man!
So as you can imagine, out of all of the success stories and best memories I have, this one will forever be my favorite.
Looking back at your path & how you got where you are now, what’s one of the things you are most grateful for?
I am most grateful for having an amazing and supportive husband, holding my hand through this whole journey. His ongoing support is what lifts me up during the hard times, and helps me move mountains during the good times. He’s my rock.
What’s one of your favorite quotes, and how has this quote helped or inspired you?
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose” – Dr. Seuss
This is true wether you start your own business, or start on a healthy lifestyle journey. You always have the choice to take the path that’s right for you.