Brenda (Bree) Cañas is a toned and tender-hearted yogi and health coach. I found her on Instagram this past summer during Tone It Up's Bikini Series. She lives [relatively] close to me (Houston is such an expansive city), so we have been able to meet up in person several times. I'm actually going over to her house on Thursday to watch the premiere of Toned Up with our fellow #TIUHouston girls.
She is seriously such a cool girl and I'm so honored to interview her for my blog. I really think you guys will like her :)
Sweat Stretch Eat- First off, tell us a little about you. Where are you from? What are you passionate about?
Bree - My name's Brenda, but I also go by Bree, whichever is easier for you! I'm 21 years old and I live in a small Texas town by Houston called Spring. Right now I am going to school at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and am currently a certified health coach in training! Ever since I started Tone It Up, I have realized my curiosity and passion for health and nutrition. I have recently quit a part time job at Starbucks to follow this passion by opening up my own health coach business called Simply Serene Wellness. I would have never taken that big step if it wasn't for my school; thank you IIN!
Sweat Stretch Eat- When did your fitness journey begin? When did you start Tone It Up?
Bree - I began my health and fitness journey in 2012, when I had to enroll in a Fitness for Life course for a credit toward my Associate of Science degree. I was not happy about it -- I never really exercised, and I used my cardiac arrhythmia that I was diagnosed with when I was younger as an excuse not to. Imagine how I felt when I thought about starting the class! With those feelings aside, I felt that it was a sign that change was needed. Lucky for me, I took it with my boyfriend of 2 years at the time, who always encouraged me!
From the start of the class, I jogged/walked for a mile and a half for twice a week during class, and I'd add another day for homework. I wanted to bump it up a notch so I searched for some workout videos on YouTube, where I ran into Tone It Up! I fell in love with their style since then - I remember the first video I did was their Sweet and Sexy Valentine's Day Routine!
It was tough, but fun. I then joined their nutrition plan, which has helped with my nonexistent appetite and shedding inches by learning what is good for my body. It was a simple transition since I was crowding out a lot of junk food with wholesome foods and LOTS of water! I went from sleeping late and sleeping in until noon, laying around doing nothing to waking up at 7am, working out, cooking all the time, smiling, laughing... It was an amazing change, and my mom was ecstatic when she noticed the huge transformation!
Sweat Stretch Eat- That's so great! I'm a TIU member too and they are a big part of my fitness journey as well. So, how did you first discover yoga? What got you hooked?
Bree - In 2013, I was curious about yoga and decided to start my practice at a local yoga studio. My first class was a vinyasa flow and I LOVED the energy deriving from the teacher and myself after class! I was addicted since and I went to class every week. Around March, I decided to take the intro Ashtanga (Primary Series) class, and I kept taking it until I felt ready to take the real class (it felt a little scary!) I continue to take the Ashtanga classes, as well as a few classes on YogaGlo to change it up.
Kathryn Budig is definitely one of my favorite instructors on YogaGlo; her sense of humor and carefree attitude always gets me through the challenges! I also love participating in monthly yoga challenges on Instagram on my personal account.
Sweat Stretch Eat- What are your top 3 favorite poses that challenge you?
Bree - My most challenging poses that I've attempted to practice so far I'd say is tittibhasana (firefly pose), grasshopper pose, and most definitely handstand!
Sweat Stretch Eat- Good ones! Random question: What is the best compliment you have ever received?
Bree - The best compliment that I have ever received was how inspiring I was through Instagram, being consistent, disciplined, and taking charge of my health. Those kinds of compliments always get me going!
Sweat Stretch Eat- What is your favorite #TIUapproved recipe?
Bree - My favorite TIU approved recipe would have to be Karena's Kale Salad (from the nutrition plan)! It's way too good, even my dad loves it!
Sweat Stretch Eat- What are some of your 2014 goals?
- Read 10 new books by the end of the year.
- Receive my Yoga Teacher Training and Health Coach Certifications! I will receive both by March-- I'm so excited!
- To learn and practice more ways of taking care of myself that I enjoy.
- Gain more muscle and stick to my yoga practice.
- To experiment with a lot more recipes every week! I tend to have the same thing over and over again ;P
- Create new friendships and build on current ones (this will be a tough one, because I never grew up socializing a lot!)
- Spread the love about health and wellness to thousands through Simply Serene Wellness through workshops, social media, and so on!
Also, In January I'm hosting a challenge (it starts tomorrow) for the new year on Simply Serene Wellness! If you're interested in viewing the new year from a new perspective, join me!
Sweat Stretch Eat- I'm in!! Speaking of Simply Serene, tell us a little more about your business.
Bree - Simply Serene Wellness is all about supporting others with their health journey by not only viewing what they give their body nutrition wise, but how they take care of it and bringing awareness and love to other parts of their lives, such as relationships, finances, career, and so on. I believe that all aspects of your life are connected to your happiness - you can eat all the kale in the world, but if you are fighting with your boyfriend all the time and bored at work, are you truly happy? I also offer 6-month programs. I work with clients to find their happy and healthier self and to create a life that they love. I have 2 clients at the moment, and for the short time that we have been working together, to my surprise, they have progressed a lot! If you are interested, feel free to contact me!
Bridget, thank you so much for having me! You are such a beautiful inspiration! And thank you Sweat Stretch Eat readers for taking the time to read my story. I hope you have a wonderful new year!
If you want to keep up with Bree's personal accounts, follow these links:
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