Building an Impactful Plant-Based Brand w/ Chenoa Ann – Ep. 17

Meet Chenoa Ann Brookins, a Plant-Based Lifestyle Blogger who is currently going through her second vegan pregnancy! Learn how she seamlessly took her lifestyle online and inspires others to eat more plants through her social media content, digital products, and mentorship. Follow her on Instagram @chenoa.brookins or check out her website ♡

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Chenoa is a Plant-Based Lifestyle Blogger based in Austin, Texas with her husband, Alex, and 4-year old son, Knox. She is passionate about inspiring others to eat more plants whether it be once a day, week, or all the time to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Chenoa recently started offering 1:1 coaching to the vegan curious or already vegan women who need a mentor. Chenoa is currently on her second vegan pregnancy and loves sharing her experience with others through her blog and social media outlets.

Chenoa recommends the following movies and books which helped her change the way she thought about food:
Movies: What the Health, Cowspiracy, Earthlings, Food, Inc., Gamechangers
Books: How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger, The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement by Peter Singer, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, Skinny Bitch by Kim Barnouin

Social Links:
IG: @chenoa.brookins
Tiktok: @chenoabrookins
Facebook: Chenoa Ann

In this episode, Chenoa shares why she adopted a plant-based diet (1:47), the benefits of eating plant-based (8:28), how it affects travel (10:10), and her e-Book, “Plant-Based and Shine” (17:10).  

Audio Transcript

Hi everyone. It’s Danielle. We have an amazing episode for you this week. And before we get started, I want to speak to those of you who are just starting out with entrepreneurship and may be a bit confused.

Those of you who are side hustling with no consistent marketing strategy, no business plan, and no momentum. So it sometimes feels like, you know, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall. I know how that feels. And if this is you, I want to invite you to apply to momentum mastermind. My first high-level group program with a handpicked group of ambitious new entrepreneurs who are here to support each other, hold each other accountable and smash business goals together with lessons and guidance from me. So you have clarity every step of the way the mastermind runs from March to June. So if you’re ready to take your brand seriously and looking to skyrocket the momentum in your online business, send me a DM on Instagram and we can set up a call to see if it’s the right fit for you.

(1m 37s):
Hi guys. And welcome back to this week’s episode of the Wanderlover podcast. This week, we are going to be having such a special guest on the show. Her name is Chenoa Ann Brookins. Chenoa is a plant-based lifestyle blogger based in Austin, Texas with her husband, Alex, and four year old son Knox. She is a dear friend and past private client who has seamlessly taken her personal plant-based brand online. Welcome to the show. Chenoa I’m so happy to be here. We’re so happy to have you here. What is life like in Austin? That’s where you are right now, right? Yes.

(2m 17s):
Austin is super cool. Lots of very cool people. Lots of fun things to do. Great vegan food. Everybody likes to be outdoors. It seems to me we’ve been there for about seven years. I say there, cause I’m on vacation right now, but yeah, we’ve been in Austin for about seven years. Wow. And is that where your plant-based journey started? Yeah, kind of. I was vegetarian a few years prior to, I shouldn’t say flexitarian cause I definitely had my moments where I just was dabbling and trying to figure it all out. But yeah, I would say right around the time that we moved to Austin was whenever we went or I went Fully vegan, we met a, a couple who was vegan as well.

(3m 7s):
You know, we had people to cook with and, and talk about veganism with. And so yeah, it was That’s so awesome. So is that what true you and your family to veganism? Yeah, I mean, okay. So if I go, if I roll back really far, I took a class in college where I had to write a paper about animal rights. And so it kind of, I went down this rabbit hole of watching these videos of I’m sure most people have heard of these horrific videos. And anyway, it it’s like once I saw those things, I couldn’t unsee them.

(3m 47s):
And so I think it just, I just kept going with it. What is the name of the show you watch? It wasn’t a show. It was these well, it was these videos on PETA where I was seeing, you know, the animals being just kind of tortured and these chickens and other animals that were just, or other chickens that were just dead already. And there’s no windows, it’s just pretty horrific. I mean, if anyone’s seen it, you know what I’m talking about. And so anyway, it’s just sad and I’m such an empathetic person that really hit home for me, for sure.

(4m 30s):
Some of the documentaries that I watched over time though, were let’s see. I just recently saw what the health a couple of years ago and earthlings is good. I’m trying to think of the other ones that I really felt like really hit me hard. Yeah. Maybe if you can send over a list, I’d love to link them and just have them. Yeah, that would be awesome. And you’re currently going through your second vegan based pregnancy, right? Yes. Yeah. What is that like? Well, that’s great. I don’t know. I feel like you can, you can be an unhealthy vegan and you can also be a very healthy vegan.

(5m 12s):
It’s hard for me to compare, like not being vegan while being pregnant because I was being for both of them. But I would say that whenever I got really into this, I was very obsessed with making sure that I was getting all of the right nutrients and supplements. And so I kind of just became my own health expert research. And so with being vegan and pregnant, I would say knowing about, you know, how you can have a B12 deficiency, iron deficiencies and all of those things, even if you’re not vegan, you could, but definitely this helped me figure out all of those details so that I can be the healthiest.

(5m 58s):
Yeah. And you just launched your newest e-book right. Plant-based and shine. Is that in there? Yes. In the beginning of the book, I talk a lot about how to feed vegan kids, but I really wanted to save the in pregnancy for possibly another book. So I think I’ll probably start that in the new year, because I’d really like to cover more. I remember seeing a video where you walk through your fridge on Instagram and it looked amazing, like all of your supplements, all of your vegetables and basically the things in fridges that I didn’t know, lived in fridges.

(6m 39s):
And it was so nutritious. Can you give a brief rundown of all your essentials? Yeah. Whenever we grocery shop, we try and buy a lot of fresh veggies and fruits because I think it’s, it’s easier to make a choice as whenever you have a lot of, you know, healthy, fresh fruits and veggies. I did that walk through because I was trying to show everybody how to like store their vegetables because I mean, even just a few years ago I would buy kale or asparagus or whatever, leave it in the bag and toss it in the drawer. And then, you know, a few days later you’re like, this is treating them.

(7m 24s):
Like, I think I, I recall talking about how they were, if you, if you treat them like they’re fresh flowers, you know how they keep fresh flowers in the refrigerator, clean them off and make them all pretty. I think, I think whenever you do that and you treat the food nicely, then you you’re like more, more apt to like inclined. You’re more inclined to eat them because they’re, they’re there and they’re already clean and pretty, you know? Yeah. And I see that, like you involve Knox with all your cooking and you educate him and he’s so into cooking with you. Oh my gosh. It’s so yeah, he gets really excited.

(8m 5s):
He’s like, you know, he knows what the different fruits and veggies are and he, he gets excited whenever we like bring something new home, like ran buttons, you know? Oh, wow. I don’t think I, I knew where I’m a transfer until like maybe two years ago. It’s way ahead of me. Yeah. It’s pretty cool. That’s so cool. And what are the benefits of going vegan and have you personally noticed in other aspects of your life, any changes? Yeah. It’s like, it’s, like I was saying earlier where you can either be unhealthy or not, and it’s sort of your choice, you know, it’s like whatever the most important to you, but there’s a lot of other vegans out there that I, that were really inspiring to me that I found on social media.

(8m 55s):
And I think that that really helped me. But yeah, back to your question, finding those people and getting inspired to eat really healthy, helped me out. And once I did that, I did notice a huge change in my energy levels. I I’ve never been diagnosed with hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia, I think is what I probably might have had, but yeah, I’ve never been diagnosed. But before this, I always had those huge sugar crashes and I think it was just cause I wasn’t paying attention to, you know, how many or how much processed food that I was eating.

(9m 35s):
And this really helped me. So definitely like I feel lighter, more energetic. I’ve noticed my eyes got wider. I don’t know the total weird thing to say, but I’ve heard people say it before. So I don’t know if that’s scientifically proven. Yeah. And I can attest that you look so young. Like I think when I first found out your age, I was like, what’s, there’s no way. Maybe it’s good genetics. I definitely have some wrinkles, but having kids will do it to you. And what’s it like traveling and trying to find plant-based options when you’re on the road.

(10m 17s):
Yes. Well, we’ve gotten pretty lucky. Yeah. I’ve heard that like traveling to some countries, like I’ve heard that South Korea is like kind of tough to eat vegan and I’ve heard Japan as hard to eat vegan, but I’ve definitely had some friends travel there and they’re like, yeah, it’s not so bad. But luckily the places we went to have been pretty easy to eat vegan, which has been Italy, Portugal, Spain. And what else? Oh, Thailand. Thailand. So my tips would be, I talk about this in my book too. So my tips are figuring out what vegan restaurants are going to be around you whenever you arrive.

(11m 1s):
And then also checking out where the grocery stores are and like trying to land or, you know, like get an Airbnb that has a little kitchen so that you can make your food at home. That also is really great for budgeting. So we would like get there, you know, try and have like one meal, go to bed the next morning, go to the grocery store and pick up as many things as we, as we could to cook at home. And that was really helpful. Yeah. And I think I also read in your book that you pack for the road, just in case you can’t find any vegan options. Right. So like snacks in your carry on. Oh my gosh. Yes we, yeah, we let’s see where were we going?

(11m 41s):
I think it was, yeah, it was Portugal. We had the chance to like check Meagan on the airline that we were taking. And when we on, they were like, Oh, it just says you’re vegetarian here. And you know, I mean, whatever, I don’t know. I guess if somebody who worked sort of a flexitarian, it wouldn’t have been a big deal, but we were like, Oh my gosh, there’s cheese all over. But yeah. Luckily we had eaten a whole bunch before we got on the plane and I brought a bunch of vegan snacks. So, and it was in the evening that’s right. It was the evening. So Knox was going to go to sleep pretty soon. So we were, we were okay. We made it.

(12m 21s):
I’m so glad. Yeah. That sounds very stressful. Trying to feed your family and it’s not working. And we don’t really compromise. I mean, I guess if, I guess if we were starving, I don’t know, then we would just, we would just eat what we needed to eat, but yeah, we try not to compromise and I’m sure there is going to be some day where something might happen and we might need to eat whatever it is that we need to. But until Then, just keep shining Advice. Can you give to someone looking to learn more about incorporating plant-based foods into their diet? I would say start small. I think whenever you take baby steps, you have more chances of success and you don’t feel like you’ve made some huge mistake.

(13m 10s):
So keeping fresh veggies and fruits in your house, trying to stay in the mindset of like, okay, this is what I want. This is really what I want. This is what I care about. So what sort of things do I need to do to make sure that I’m not going to get derailed? You know, like let me pack my lunch for work and let me try and, you know, just keep all of the things that I need around to make sure that I don’t have any, I’m going to call them mistakes, but you know, any slip ups Yeah. Being prepared in case something were to happen. Exactly. I think that a lot of people find, at least the people who I have talked to that really want it, their slip ups come with work whenever, you know, their, their people that they work with, want to go eat at, you know, a place, a barbecue place, for instance, you know, I would just nicely decline.

(14m 11s):
I mean, and try not to talk about it. I feel like sometimes whenever you talk about it too much, it just makes things awkward for people. Does that make sense? Yeah. No, definitely. If you don’t want to draw a lot of attention and be the one person trying to, I guess, site against your entire work community. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. Have you ever encountered situations where you personally felt uncomfortable stating that you were vegan? Yeah, I would say in the beginning, sometimes it was awkward, especially whenever you feel like you’re wrong in a way, because it’s so normal to not be vegan, you know, and people look at you sideways whenever they’re like, but this is what everybody does.

(14m 59s):
This is, this is normal, you know? So you just kind of out of place. I would just say again, keep focusing on what it is that you feel the most passionate about and you know, of course it’s going to be uncomfortable making a change like that, but if you really care, you know, then it gets easier. Yeah, for sure. And I think having support around it, you learn how to navigate that situation because you’re guided by people who have been there and have experienced that. Exactly, exactly. And I think it’s really important to not get in that mindset of like trying to change other people’s minds because that’s another battle, you know?

(15m 43s):
And you, you want to have compassion to other humans too, because that’s the way that they eat that they choose to eat and that’s okay. Yeah, definitely. And it’s all about like spreading awareness and educating, you know, some people just may think that it’s strictly one way and really have no insight into the whole lifestyle whatsoever. Right. Right. Exactly. Yeah. That’s where you come in. I would love to see like a community based program maybe in the future. I know that I’m thinking about, I want to, I want to set some time aside to really consider putting together a Facebook group.

(16m 26s):
I keep wanting to just go for it, but I wanna make sure that I can be there like 100% to support others. So I’m trying to find the best time to do that. And with us having a baby coming soon, I’m a little bit nervous. When is the baby coming? She is supposed to be here February 15th. Did just decide on a name. Yes. Oh, we did. Do you want to share no worries. If not, Well, I’m not 100% sure, but you guys will see follow along Instagram. I cannot wait to see.

(17m 8s):
And so I guess one of my last questions is basically just to give us a rundown about your newest e-book plant-based in shine. There’s so many amazing recipes and so many great tips, especially like my favorite was the traveling part, but what inspired you to write it? What you included in it and anything else we should know? Oh gosh. Yes. I have been wanting to write this book for like two years. And honestly, I think it was you Danielle, that kind of sparked my, you just shatter all of those limiting beliefs because I feel like I have so much to share and why not? You know?

(17m 47s):
So the first part, it, I talk a lot about raising kids, vegan, traveling vegan, just some insights that I’ve discovered that I think could be helpful for others. And then it’s about a little over 40 recipes. They’re very clean. These are things that we eat all the time and yeah, we’re just really simple to make and very healthy. I loved seeing the availability of so many substitutes. So ingredients that I didn’t know what, like were there in a supermarket, you know? And if you look for these specific ingredients, they’re there and there’s so many alternatives that you can use that are all plants.

(18m 32s):
Yeah, exactly. I have a few friends who live in a little bit of a food desert and my advice to them is, and I know a lot of people might disagree with me, but Amazon there’s so many, like you can get, you can get nutritionally East on Amazon. You can find what else, what am I find that I found on there? That’s weird. That’s like different than what you normally would see date syrup, you know, Amazon. Yeah. It’s a great resource. If you are really wanting to try something different and all you have is, you know, your, your normal Walmart, things like that.

(19m 16s):
So, Yeah. Wow. I didn’t even think about buying groceries on Amazon. I’ve been out of the country for so long. I feel like it’s just not available yet in so many other parts of the world, but yeah. I can imagine with like Amazon pantry, right. Or Amazon fresh, they definitely would have so many substitutes and alternatives. Yeah. But, but don’t, don’t think that this, these recipes in this ebook are only like full of things that you’ve never heard of. So these are vegetables that you’re going to find in your supermarket. Like I share a case of recipe that is all vegetables and you don’t have to use nutritionally. Steven Darrell. I love it.

(19m 56s):
Cause it tastes cheesy. It kind of adds a little bit of zing to it. It’s not something that you have to have, so don’t be afraid. Yeah. They’re all very make-able. Yes, exactly. Well, thank you so much to know. Is there anything else you would like to share? Oh gosh. Stick around for the plant-based pregnancy book. I am really excited about that and follow me on Instagram. Chenoa.Brookins And hopefully I’ll get to that Facebook group soon. Yeah, definitely. I will be sharing all of your socials in the subscription of this episode. And I personally cannot wait to find out the name of your baby girl.

(20m 42s):
I can’t wait to share. It’s so amazing. And just your story of going through to plant-based pregnancies. You are an inspiration to so many, So much. I love you too. Thank you so much for being on the show, Chenoa.


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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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