Ten years ago, when Minna Lee was just 17 years old, she found herself hanging up her skates for the final time after a decade of competitive figure skating. Not knowing what life had in store for her next, Minna moved away from home to attend New York University. She found herself in her dream city and had her sights set on a career in entertainment. The universe had other plans, however, and as she began to find her place in the Big Apple, Minna realized that sharing her personal health and self-care experiences had the potential to help others. Now, at 27, Minna is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, creator of the blog Living Minnaly, and founder of Live24k—a golden “mylk”–centric supplement line—all while continuing to thrive in her favorite city, NYC. Minna puts it best: She is truly a “Jill of all trades.” Though her résumé is already quite impressive, she’s not stopping yet. Minna is constantly pursuing continuing education opportunities to add to her perspective on all things wellness-related so that she can empower and support her clients. Every post on Living Minnaly (we love the clever play on words inspired by her name!) demonstrates that Minna is dedicated to “inspire and coach others towards living a healthier and happier life.” She often shares her favorite recipes, nutrition advice, travel tips, life lessons, and real talk about all things fitness with candor that’s inspired by her own wellness struggles. Minna explores deeply personal health and wellness topics without hesitation—from her truth on life with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis to past injuries that required surgery and her struggles with disordered eating. Minna’s vulnerability is refreshingly beautiful, and it’s apparent that she is baring her heart and soul to make the world a better place by showing others they aren’t alone in their insecurities or life challenges. When it comes to her personal life, Minna views working out as her ultimate me time. This is when she can truly be herself and live in the moment as she looks inward and listens to what her body is trying to tell her—a self-care practice that, as she points out, is of the utmost importance, especially if you have an autoimmune disorder. Minna knows firsthand that caring for your mind is just as important as caring for your body. It’s not just about looking good—it’s about feeling good too! This attitude really sets Minna apart as a personal trainer. It’s apparent after reading her client testimonials that her dedication and caring attitude don’t stop once your training session is over and the gym closes for the evening. She’s even been known to send her clients photos of recommended food items from the aisles of Whole Foods! Considerate, dedicated, and upbeat are just a few words those close to Minna use to describe her. If you’re seeking fitness motivation, an honest perspective on life with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and leaky gut, or a tasty recipe for matcha mini muffins—Minna is your go-to gal! We cannot wait to see what this humble, driven woman does next, because we know it will change the world for the better. Keep up the great work, Minna!
A Day in the Life
What does your daily routine look like?
I know this is cliché for an entrepreneur to say, but no single day is alike. The general skeleton of my day will look similar to this: Wake up at 5 or 5:30 a.m., do my morning routine (glass of lemon water, oil pull, brew coffee or tea, and wash my face), and head off to train my morning clients. After that I’ll either head home to do work or stay in the city for meetings and work out of a coffee shop for a bit. Usually more meetings and phone calls will fill the midday times, then I head back home to fulfill Live 24k shipments and get more work done at home. I’ll then head to my remaining training clients for the day, likely then a blogging event, and then head home. That’s when the brunt of my startup work for Live 24k begins, honestly! Then dinner, workout, getting stuff ready for the next day, and then my nightly routine.
What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?
For the easy daily self-care, I am big on nightly routines and winding down properly. No phones, just my skincare routine, getting my sleep environment set up by diffusing my essential oils, changing into cozy clothes, burning a little palo santo, and zenning out. I define self-care as anything that replenishes your mind and soul—it might be baths and massages for one person, it might be going on a walk or working out, it might be therapy or indulging in a hobby without distractions.
How do you stay inspired?
By focusing on the work. I find that if you focus on the actual work and the process of doing it all, it’s easier to reinvigorate yourself. I also am very aware of my emotional and mental currency—by that I mean I have limited resources of these things, so I make sure to only surround myself by things that help replenish those currencies more than they drain them. This extends to people, environments, working relationships, and social ones! Disclaimer: Just so you know, if you order an item through one of our posts, we may get a small share of the sale.
What are the best products you’ve discovered recently?
I’m addicted to all of Saje’s essential oils—I diffuse and topically use them. I fell in love with Tata Harper’s new clarifying foaming cleanser and the clarifying mask recently. Then Kari Gran is a new discovery of mine—love her cleansing oil for a double cleansing night, and her lip whips are to die for.
What are your favorite apps?
To be honest, my phone is all work stuff! I love me some VSCO, Snapseed, and obviously Instagram for media stuff. A random app I love to use is Waterlogged to track my water intake since I’m intrinsically so awful about it.
Whose Instagram is on your radar?
This is almost a mean question because there are too many I love! I only follow accounts that truly inspire me, whether it be for their photos or their voice. I love my friends @sammyyeason for her realness (and her ridiculously cute kid), @kait.hurley for her beautiful spirit and different way of explaining thoughts that I share, @juliannavezza for her beautiful travel photography, @foodbymars for being a fellow Hashi’s warrior and awesome source of science-based nutritional advice, @emilyschuman for girlbossing, @monicawangphoto for interior photography, @em_henderson I just want to be my best friend…gosh I could go on and on!
What’s your go-to healthy snack?
I’m not the biggest snacker, but I can easily house an inordinate amount of berries any time. Or honestly one of my Live 24k Golden Fuel lattes is welcome at any time of the day!
What are you reading, watching, or listening to?
What superpower would you like to have?
To fly. Not only do I physically love the feeling of flying through the air in any way: It would allow me to travel the world so much more easily!
Would you rather explore space or the ocean? Why?
Space honestly scares me because I think I saw too many weird alien movies as a kid. I would need to be a better swimmer, but I think the ocean is fascinating. There are so many creatures that exist out there that we don’t even know of yet—and I sincerely hope we do a better job at preserving it so that future generations will be able to discover those things.
What’s your coffee order?
For a treat, it’s an oat milk cappuccino (hot or iced depending on my mood) but a black pour over for everyday.
What piece of advice has impacted you the most?
Do whatever you truly want to do as long as you don’t hurt anybody in the process—because even if you do make mistakes, you will find a way to move forward. I tend to be very anxious and worry a lot about the future, but I’m so grateful to my mom for helping ingrain this in my head. It’s helped me tackle fear of the unknown and take more leaps of faith than I otherwise would have. For more on Minna, check out her Instagram and her blog, Living Minnaly.