Johanna Fassbender is bringing a wave of change into Yazoo City when it comes to fitness, nutrition, healthy living and lifestyle changes.
And her clients will tell you…the food is still delicious.
“People sometimes associate eating healthy with 'eating cardboard,’” Fassbender said. “I often hear people say 'I don't think I can eat healthy because I love food too much.' People have no idea. I love food. Being healthy and loving food do not have to exclude each other. For me they go together.”
Originally from Germany, Fassbender arrived in Yazoo City with a whole new outlook on her career and her future. She shifted her business into health and nutrition. She opened a location in downtown Yazoo City. She expanded her services. And she began giving back to the community she now calls home.
“I like that Yazoo is a smaller community, and it's easy to get around town,” she said. “My husband and I still just share one car. Where else can you do that? I also really like the landscape and that there is lots of nature around us. I love watching all the different birds.”
Fassbender first arrived in the United States as an international student at San Francisco University, where she was studying Cultural Anthropology and American Studies.
“After finishing my degree in Germany, I came back to SFSU to get a degree in Museum Studies since I had decided to pursue a career working in museums,” Fassbender said. “Shortly after, I met my husband, which led me to stay here in the United States.”
Fassbender and her husband John soon arrived in Yazoo City where John began working at the Federal Correctional Institution.
But before her relocation, Fassbender took a step away from her museum work and ventured into a whole new career path. And it all began with a smoothie.
“It started with a friend who was drinking a green smoothie at work,” Fassbender said. “I was so curious about what it tasted like, why she was drinking it and what was in it that made it green. She shared the recipe with me, and I finally had the courage to make my own green smoothie sharing it with my husband.”
Uncertain whether her husband John would even enjoy the drink, she was surprised when he told her to start making them daily.
“I started learning more and more about nutrition, what was healthy and what wasn't, and that unfortunately, the majority of the foods in the grocery stores are full of added sugars, colors and other additives,” she said. “When we moved to Yazoo City, I decided to take that change in location as the opportunity to change careers and share my knowledge about health and fitness with others.”
Fassbender first started teaching a couple of fitness classes at TCTI gym, leading into coaching private clients at home for weight loss.
“Just last year, I got certified as a yoga teacher and added that component to my business,” Fassbender said. “I also offer online programs, which allow me to reach people in other locations. My current program has people in Mississippi, as well as California and Oregon.”
Soon, Fassbender opened a yoga studio on Main Street in downtown Yazoo City. She continues to offer private fitness training, as well as one class at TCTI.
“I offer yoga and meditation classes at my studio downtown,” she said. “As far as the health coaching goes, I work with clients one-on-one and do online group programs throughout the year.”
Fassbender’s most popular services are her online group programs, including a seven or 21-day reset program.
“In a very short time, people experience what a difference eating healthy can make,” Fassbender said. “Within a few days, they lose weight, their brain fog is gone, their energy levels are up, and their digestion improves. Most also enjoy the group aspect of the program because they realize they are not alone but have the support of the group, which is motivating and adds a level of accountability.”
Fassbender’s main goal is to help her clients understand how much control they truly have over their health.
“About 90 percent of disease is preventable,” she said. “That is a really high number. Just imagine all the suffering and pain that can be prevented.”
The biggest reward for Fassbender is when her clients begin to see that control. Her business helps people lead healthier lives.
“Whether someone needs to lose weight or de-stress, it is very rewarding when someone gets it and starts to change their lifestyle because they have seen and experienced the benefits,” she said.
Fassbender admits she still loves trying new foods, tasting different cuisines, going out to eat and eating with family and friends. And in her free time, you can find her in a museum or visit a local historic site.
“I enjoy history and visiting historic sites which there are plenty of around here,” she said. “I also love to read, and I like to sing karaoke. Is there a good karaoke spot in Yazoo?”
And Fassbender manages to balance hobbies, delicious foods, healthy lifestyles, eager to share that journey with her clients and with Yazoo.
“As you can see, it’s definitely been a journey and with each year and each new discovery, I have added to my education and expertise,” she said. “I am now ready to share all this with you, so you too can embark on a journey to sustainable weight-loss and good health.”