Recently, Shy Town Girls intern Bailey Allen was able to chat
with Holistic Health and Wellness Coach Jenna Lento about the importance of following your passion, living your dreams, and being mindful of your healt
h. Jenna began her career as a Broadcast Technician at a news station. She quickly found that her passion was not with news, but with health. While building her fruitful business she lived an exciting life traveling from Toledo, Ohio, to New York and recently made a move across countries to Germany!
1. You began your career as a broadcast technician at WTVG 13ABC in Toledo, Ohio. Why did you feel drawn to pursue a career in broadcast?
As a young girl, I knew I wanted to go into broadcast journalism. I would watch the reporters and anchors and was sure it was something I would want to do. Never shy in front of the camera and always pleased to write, I found myself adoring Katie Couric and wanting to be just like her. As I went through school and took different courses, it was confirmation that I was just where I needed to be. Without thinking twice about what I would study in college, I took on everything I could to get my foot in the door and break into the business. As a sophomore in college, I applied to be a broadcast technician, and landed the job. That’s where it all began!
2. How did you discover your passion? Was it difficult to make your career change to a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach?
I dealt with ADHD during my younger years, and now looking back I can see why my body felt so unbalanced. I was filled with so much energy and a unique appetite. I wasn’t fueling my body with the proper nutrition. When I moved out on my own during college, my food choices were up to me. It was then that I decided to ditch the processed carbs and take control of my health. The results had me hooked. Not only did I feel great, I felt balanced and focused. That was when I realized the way you treat your body truly affects your productivity.
3. What has been the most rewarding part about being a Health Coach?
Helping others reach a balanced and healthy lifestyle. It’s not that people don’t want to be healthy, often times they aren’t educated to know what’s good and bad. As a holistic health coach, I’m able to spread the “wealth of health” to people through health counseling, meal plans and social media. When I start working with someone, often they begin to realize that being healthy goes beyond what you eat. It’s about finding balance and happiness in all areas of your life. It’s taking a healthy lifestyle and integrating a career you’re passionate about, loving relationships, physical activity and faith. When you combine those ingredients, you are looking at a recipe of success!
4. What has been the most difficult part about being a Health Coach?
It’s never easy hearing of the difficulties that someone is going through. You often want to quickly fix it, but it doesn’t work that way. A healthy and balanced lifestyle takes hard work, time and dedication. I always say coaching someone can be compared to pealing the layers of an onion. As time passes, we continue to pull more layers of the onion back. The more layers we peal, the more healing takes place. You see, more often than we realize, food isn’t the problem. It’s everything else the individual is dealing with that makes them reach for comfort foods. So, that in general can get complicated, but when the individual knows what to do and doesn’t do it, it makes for little improvement. By the end of the first meeting, I can often see what the client is struggling with. It’s getting them to see it and then do something about it.
5. Walk me through a typical day as a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach.
Each day is different, especially now that I’m in Europe. I start by taking care of myself first. If you don’t take care of yourself, how are you going to take care of others and be at your best? After all, we must practice what we preach! I usually begin with a healthy breakfast, workout, prayers and errands or cleaning. I then take to my at home office! I like to make my desk my little sanctuary, adding personal touches to make my work environment comfortable. I then get to work! It always includes emails and checking on my website and then planning and prepping. Each week consists of new recipes, workouts, blog posts and videos for my website JennaLento.com.
6. What do you believe is the most important reason to follow your passion?
I believe we are given this one beautiful life to live. Don’t waste your days in a dead end job that makes you miserable. I’m not saying quit your job tomorrow, I’m saying find a way to do what you love. We spend a large chunk of our lives working. Spend that time in an environment that allows you to thrive and offers a healthy workspace. When you do what you love, you never have to work a day in your life. Go after your dreams!
7.What do you believe has been your key to being a successful business owner? What tips can you give 20-something’s trying to begin their own businesses?
I believe when you apply passion, hard work and skills you’ll reach success. Never give up on what you want and keep pushing forward no matter what. There were many people who doubted my transition from news to health, but it didn’t matter. Regardless of others opinions, I went after it. That’s what I am encouraging you to do. Don’t let an opportunity pass you by.
8. Why is it so important to develop healthy habits as a young woman?
The reasons are endless! Our bodies are our temples and we must take care of them. The habits you create today will improve your tomorrow. I always tell my clients not to look at eating healthy or being balanced as a quick fix diet, rather as a way of life. Incorporating these habits into your lifestyle on a daily basis is good for the body, mind and soul. These habits can help improve all areas of your life and prevent serious health issues in the future.
9. Can you offer some advice as to how 20-somethings can maintain their health while living on a budget?
Most people I work with are on a budget, whether they are in their early twenties or late thirties. We all want to keep our wallets happy. So, when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle we have to learn to buy only what we need. You can afford to spend the few extra dollars on organic produce if you opt out of the extras. Plan your weekly menu and buy only what’s on your list. Also, incorporate recipes that allow you to cook once and eat twice. We have many on our site! Review your budget and decide where you can cut back. It may mean skipping the pricey coffee run, and brewing your own at home. Also, eat out less! Not only will you save more money, but you will be eating healthier too!
10. 20 something women seem to have such stress during this transition phase in their lives, trying to finish school and find a job while following their passion and living on a budget. Do you have any insight as to how stress effects your health and wellbeing?
Yes, I remember that transition period. It can be a stressful time in life while preparing for your future career and adulthood. Stress can lead to a number of health issues, weight gain and premature aging. NO thank you! Take this time in life to start incorporating stress relieving habits. Keep all areas of your life clean and organized. It may sound like an odd suggestion, but when you know where everything is and you are in a well-kept environment, you don’t feel as frazzled. Also, plan and prep each week. Keep a paper and electronic planner and spend a small amount of time each week planning ahead. You can include your work hours appointments, social gatherings and bill reminders. I would also encourage you to again plan out meals and then also days you are working out and what you are doing. Try to include deep breathing exercises and fun in your life too. Find your joy!
11. You began your journey in Toledo, Ohio and have made several moves during your career. How do you make these life changing decisions while keeping a level head and being mindful of your passion?
I have a supportive husband who I discuss everything with. We are a team and make decisions that will benefit us and our future. So, having supportive people around you is always helpful when it comes to making life decisions. While major changes are taking place I rely on my faith and balanced lifestyle. I continue to eat healthy, get good sleep, workout, and incorporate healthy habits. Taking deep breaths and finding joy during these hectic times helps too. It may be as simple as a bubble bath with a candle or a small piece of dark chocolate.
12. You recently made a move all the way to Germany! Tell me, is experiencing a foreign city fabulous? Has it been difficult to adjust?
It’s beyond fabulous! Sometimes, we get so comfortable in our cozy little place that we forget there is a big beautiful world waiting to be explored. This truly has been a wonderful experience so far. Everything is different, but I love learning a new culture. Thankfully, the adjustment process has been rather smooth. I’m trying to learn the language, so I’m able to better communicate when in public. If you ever have an opportunity to explore, while doing what you love, I highly recommend it!
13. With this big move, it must be difficult to keep in contact with clients in the United States. How do you adapt your business to suit your lifestyle? Is there any advice you can offer 20-somethings starting their own business about being resilient in following your passions?
I have made some adjustments with my health coaching, and one of them happens to be the one on one health counseling. The time difference makes the phone meetings rather challenging. However, I’m using this time to really build my site and other programs. For example, my membership program and four week meal plan remains in place. These are really great options for gals on the go looking for an affordable healthy kick start. Also, don’t ever give up. I decided that when I got to Europe, I wasn’t going to just sit around. I created this mobile career, and I’m going to take full advantage of it while in Europe. By the time I return to the states in the spring, I hope you’ll see all of the wonderful additions and fun that took place on our site.
14. What are the most important products should every healthy 20-something keep in her apartment? (food, beauty, or otherwise)
I always tell my clients eating healthy is important, but what you put on your body is just as important. Read the label of your products just as you would do for your food. Stick with all natural products that use real ingredients. We just posted our homemade organic sugar scrub on the front page of our site. Check it out! Less chemicals ladies! Also, it’s always good to keep fresh healthy food on hand. Have it ready to eat, so you aren’t ever in a pinch! Also, purified water and freshly sliced lemons. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Don’t forget to include healthy fragrances around your home. We love soy candles, essential oils and incense.
15.What do you wish you could tell your 20 year old self?
What wouldn’t I tell her? I would sit her down and say breathe easy, the best is yet to come. Stop wasting your time and energy worrying about everyone else’s approval. It doesn’t matter. Believe in yourself! Even though you are the youngest woman in the office, be confident and go after your goals. Everything that happens, takes place for a reason. Don’t look back on the past, it made you who you are today. You have a wonderful life ahead, so smile and enjoy the ride!
Check out jennalento.com for recipes, workouts, and healthy lifestyle tips! And don’t forget to try one of her fall smoothie recipes here http://www.jennalento.com/Plugins/Recipes/Show/36!