Promising New Science on Weight Loss Drug Alternatives

With three-quarters of Americans obese or overweight, interest in weight-loss treatments is at an all-time high.

Three injectable medications have dominated the spotlight of late: Wegovy, Ozempic, and Mounjaro. These once-a-week, injectable drugs are so popular in fact, that pharmacies routinely run out of stock.

Wegovy is FDA-approved for obesity. Ozempic and Mounjaro are FDA-approved for diabetes. 

These medications known as GLP-1 agonists are designed to manage blood sugar levels and help reduce hunger and food intake, thus potentially supporting weight loss.

They function in a variety of ways to help curb hunger, increase feelings of satiety, increase insulin sensitivity, balance blood sugar, and support weight loss.

Recently, Oprah Winfrey hosted a prime- time special on these medications and the criticism that providers prescribe it too liberally off-label for weight loss.

Weight Watchers, and Noom, long advocates of lifestyle change focusing on diet and exercise have added prescription weight loss drugs approved to treat obesity, such as Wegovy and Ozempic.

Offering the medications within a structured program of diet and exercise, advocates say, increases the chance of long-term success, and acknowledges that obesity is a chronic disease that requires chronic treatment.

While drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic might seem like a miracle to those with diabetes and obesity, the truth is the effects only last while you are taking the medication.

A study published in the Journal for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism in April 2022, which examined changes in body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors upon the termination of the drug, found that after a year people had regained two-thirds of the weight they had lost.

The positive changes they had seen in cardiometabolic risk factors like blood pressure, blood lipids, HbA1c, and C-reactive protein had similarly reversed.

How do these drugs work?

Semiglutide weight loss drugs work via complex metabolic processes to mimic a hormone called GLP-1 (Glucagon-like peptide-1).

GLP-1 is a hormone (a natural chemical in the body) produced in the small intestine. It stimulates insulin secretion (which then allows cells to take up glucose) and inhibits glucagon secretion (which prevents more glucose from going into the bloodstream) to lower blood sugar levels.

GLP-1 helps to reduce food intake, appetite and hunger and promotes fullness and satiety with the ultimate result of promoting weight loss.

Research suggests that people with obesity may have problems with GLP-1 production. As such, it has become a key focus in obesity, diabetes, and weight loss medications that function by mimicking it’s function.

Is there a natural way to stimulate GLP-1 production without expensive monthly injections? 

According to science, the answer is YES! And it all comes back to supporting our gut health, balancing our blood sugar with the help of a select combination of powerful probiotics.  

My training in functional nutrition helped me offer past workshops on Gut Health (The Spring Cleanse), Blood Sugar & Hormone Balance, (The Blood Sugar Balance Program) and Anti-Aging, (The Big Rewind).  

What all of these programs had in common was the knowledge that our body is one system that works interdependently.  The brain is not separate from the body. Our emotional health is not separate from our digestion. Our sleep hygiene is not separate from our brain function.

All health is interconnected and it all starts in our gut.

That's why I'm excited about the scienCE BEHIND glp-1 probiotics.

I learned about Pendulum Life Therapeutics from two trusted functional physicians that I follow, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Kara Fitzgerald.  

They both know and support the research and dedication of Pendulum CEO, Colleen Cutcliffe,  Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Microbiology from Johns Hopkins University.

Colleen and her two co-founders, John and Jim, began this company because they saw a unique opportunity to apply next-generation DNA sequencing technologies and microbiological assays to the emerging microbiome science space. 

Together, they have built the first and only facility in the U.S. that enables commercial-scale production of live Akkermansia and other next-generation strains.

Pendulum products are high quality curated live probiotic strains designed to improve gut health, hormone balance and GLP-1 production to support your healthy weight. 

They are a viable alternative to weight loss medications as they address the underlying issues that lead to metabolic dysfunction in the first place.  

If you’re going to take something for the rest of your life to support your health, why not choose a product that is affordable, sustainable, and safe. 

which product is best for you?

Pendulum probiotics come in different combinations to address different issues.  It is important to understand which formula will best support you in your health journey.

Learn more about the formulations by clicking the button below. 

I’m also available to meet with you to discuss how to begin if that is something you’d prefer to do. 

Email me at to schedule an appointment.

a special offer for you

You may purchase Pendulum products directly from the Pendulum website or you can get them for lower pricing via my Fullscript Practitioners Dispensary.

Fullscript is an online dispensary supporting your wellness  by connecting the two people who know your health best — you and your practitioner. Accounts are $0/month.

Sign up and save 15% off the already lower priced Pendulum Pro products offered via my FullScript Dispensary.

 Once you sign up, I’ll add an automatic 15% discount to all of your orders.  FullScript offers a huge catalogue of superior-quality nutraceuticals and supplements.


This is a recording of the recent webinar I attended featuring Pendulum Founder Colleen Cutcliffe and Dr. Kara Fitzgerald on the science and mechanics behind these weight loss drug alternatives. 

They explain the science behind GLP-1 and how select LIVE probiotics are effective in addressing our gut health and healthy weight.

Questions?  I’m all ears! 

Email me at

The (Other) C Word

No, it’s not THAT C-word, (a word I have been rightly reprimanded for using in anger, arrogance, and for sheer shock value), the C-word I’m talking about is Calling.

I started thinking about the word calling this morning. It was suggested by my meditation teacher, Scott Schwenk, a man I have never met or spoken to, a man I hear only as a deeply embodied voice via my headphones, coaxing me to presence each morning though a variety of breath-work, contemplative, and meditation practices. I practice daily not because I want to, but because I need to.

Practice helps me take responsibility for how I show up in the world, not just for my family and friends, but also for the checkout person at Trader Joe’s, the intimidating handler at the Amazon Returns desk, and most of all, for myself, (the one with the capital S), because for the majority of my life, I wasn’t able to be there for her, and consequently not a lot of others, too.

Calling isn’t cosmic.  It’s not something to earn. It’s actionable- a daily practice of aligning my better self with my still growing one to bring a better me forward each day. 

Breathing helps me to quiet my nervous system and get still. It helps me return to a place of wholeness, the one that existed before life’s necessary nicks and wounds. 

In his book, The Myth of Normal, Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture, Dr. Gabor Mate describes the creation of these wounds as not so much as what happens to us, but our reactions to them.  

While he differentiates between Big T trauma and Little T trauma, all trauma impacts our perception of life. 

No matter where we may fall on that continuum, from suffering outright abuse to being raised by loving parents who unwittingly failed to support us the way we needed, trauma, left unrecognized, distorts our consciousness.

These wounds may lie dormant for years until something seemingly unrelated triggers a roaring reaction, or they may form rigid scars, leaving us numb, disconnected, and inflexible. If not acknowledged, all wounds undermine our capacity for wholeness, authenticity, and continued growth. 

Unhealed trauma may manifest in relationship troubles, depression, anxiety, and addiction. 

I’ve experienced all of the above.

My response was to overwork, over drink, and over intensify everything. This constant state of flux helped to tamp down a nagging certainty that I was, at root, ‘not okay.’

It was not possible for me to sit still.

Instead I created and ran a successful business, married, divorced, dated, all the while attempting to raise my boys.

For a long time my busyness paid off. Then, one day didn’t. 

It was beyond burnout, it was spiritual bankruptcy. 

All those years chasing “success” when what I’d truly longed for was significance.

Since selling my business, I’ve had time more time to read, write, and reflect. John Ortberg’s quote showed me how I’d put the cart before the horse. My driving workaholism wasn’t proactive- it was protective. Significance is an inside job.

Work helped medicate my unfinished business from childhood. In my case it was centered around my adoption.

It didn’t matter that I was raised by parents who truly loved and cared for me, I couldn’t get over feeling abandoned. If my own mother didn’t want me, what was I worth?

Shame is a merciless teacher, a bullying, manipulative liar. You can either believe shame’s lies or you can dare to look beneath them. The power of any bully is the power we give them. 

Praying helped. I asked for courage and clarity from Spirit, God, the Big Kahuna.

She told me to settle down, get quiet and listen. She told me to learn to be present.

In his book, Storyworthy, elementary school teacher and professional storyteller, Matthew Dicks, invites readers to do something called “Homework for life.” This entails noting one small interaction or observation daily- experiences that not only help ground us in the present, but with one another, too.

“It only takes five minutes to drop a sentence or two into a spreadsheet about something (anything) that touched you during the day,” he writes, “yet most people won’t do it. Instead, they’ll spend two hours watching television.” 

I get it.  I love to watch television, or check emails or social media…

Cultivating presence in this way is not only fun, it’s become a reliable spiritual practice.

I now look for those small but powerful moments not only to ground me, but to elevate me. Grace, compassion, and kindness are easier to access in real time. 

As a recovering Baptist, it’s also a good reminder that Wednesday is just a good a day to say AMEN as Sunday. Why starve for those big AH-HA moments, when all the small in-between moments are the ones that feed us?

Doing “Homework for Life” is just one example of spiritual practice. Tuning into our breath, taking a walk, telling someone they matter, turning off the phone at the dinner table… There are a myriad of simple acts to help us open to presence and grace. 

My new C-Word is Calling- the verb kind, not the noun kind. 

It isn’t grandiose- it isn’t religious. It’s  excavating buried treasure, celebrating the simple, and taking time to recognize one other with authenticity and kindness. 

In a world torn apart by disconnect and suffering, we have to try. Nothing changes until we do. 

Jewish sage, Rabbi Hillel wrote, “In a place where no one behaves like a human being, you must strive to be human!”

He also asked, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am not for others, who am I? And if not now, when?”

These questions are still relevant today, and he wrote them in the 1st century, BC.

Who are we? What to we want for our children?  What do we owe to our planet? What can we do individually to shift collectively?

It’s a question about responsibility. It’s a mandate to be human. But first, we must hear the call.

A man called Destiny

He hovers above, a shining pinpoint of light, so full of unconditional love, my eyes well immediately. Meditating, I float somewhere in between, held in my father’s embrace, a reminder of the tentative consciousness we inhabit.

He was my first love, my first teacher, my safe place. 

He was also the buffer between my Mother and me, loving her when I would not, an example of patience, tenderness, and compassion I could not yet comprehend. 

When I ran away and got drunk in the eighth grade, he brought me home, but not before we stopped by the Hen House for toothpaste and a toothbrush. 

When I was wild and rebellious, acting out and lashing out, he remained gentle and steadfast, never letting me forget my value.


An only child of Irish immigrants, Ehret Oscar had curly hair, delicate features, and a sensitivity that no bully could resist.

His parents made education a priority. With the support of Pat and Rose Nell Ramey, Ehret pursued a medical degree from Washington University after attending college on the GI Bill. 


He met my mother, a diminutive 89-pound southern beauty at Barnes Hospital. Ruth Wylodene Sturdivant worked as a dietitian and he was in his residency. 

They married and moved to Kansas City to begin his practice and start their family, He became a beloved OB/GYN but multiple miscarriages derailed their plans for children.

That’s how my brothers and I became a family. It wasn’t an easy configuration. With Dad at the hospital and Mom left to mind us, we fell into the chasm between our parents. He was a stabilizing if often absent force; she was minimally present, chronically overwhelmed, and woefully ill-equipped for child-rearing.

It was confusing and lonely for all of us.


It takes me years to forgive him for leaving us alone with her, and even longer for me to cut her a break. Raising my boys helped. It’s trite to say she did the best she could, but she really did.

After his stroke, my Father’s essence shines even brighter. Life’s extraneous noise rinsed clean, only his immense kindness remains. He was a man of faith; perhaps that helped him.

By then I am in my late forties and taking care of him and my Mother. It wasn’t easy but it did help me grow up. 

The week of his death, he labors at the breakfast table, so winded from congestive heart failure he can barely breathe. 

Between arduous bites of Honey Nut Cheerios, he smiles, reaching for my hand, “So what are we going to do today?” 

My heart and eyes sting because there is nothing we can do today, except wait. 

“I think we’ll just hang out here, Dad,”  I answer. He pats my hand.

My father died four days later.

In those days, hospice left you with the morphine and told you how to administer it.

I find his decline so painful that I decide to release him with a fatal dose. When I tell my younger brother, we hold each other in the kitchen and cry. We determine it will be the next dose, but when we go to give it to him, he is gone.

Loving to the end, our father spares us once again.



Mom and dad were happy travelers.

We know he’s hung on to make sure we’ll be there to take care of our mother. Reluctant as I may be at that point, making such a vow is not done lightly. We all agree and that helps free him.

When they come to retrieve his body, I don’t cry. I’m happy his suffering was over. The thing they take away is not my father.


Dad died in 2008.

A lot has happened in my life since then. I know my dad would be proud of me because he always was.

Despite missing him, I feel his acute presence every day. 

I hear his gentle voice singing a hymn, remember the way he put his arm around my mother, and recall his ornery laugh while telling one of his interminably long and painful jokes.

For many years, I wondered about my birth parents – why they gave me up and who they were. I was sixty before I received that blessing in the form of discovering my half-siblings. We share a father whom I finally met via Zoom.

He is not my father. He is just someone who got my birth mother pregnant.


My father, Ehret Oscar Ramey, was and is a gentleman who loved with great strength. I am so grateful for that fateful connection, my lucky destiny.

Happy 99th birthday, Dad. Thank you. I love you.

2024 Reset Retreat

carrying around some holiday "leftovers?"

If you’re struggling with post-holiday fatigue, weight gain, belly fat, and bothersome sugar cravings, maybe it’s time to reset your metabolic engine!

Join me, Tina Sprinkle, Certified Functional Nutrition Coach, for the 2024 Reset Retreat which kick-offs on Saturday, January 13, 2024.

Show your body the respect it deserves, and be rewarded with greater focus, stability, and metabolic health.

Because it’s not about willpower- it’s about biochemistry, education, and community!

When our body is inflamed from too much sugar, alcohol, and stress, we experience belly fat, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, and memory loss.

Hunger, cravings, and emotional eating are all connected to a metabolic imbalance that can be reversed… so you can experience emotional stability and freedom from food triggers and addiction.

Switching to an anti-inflammatory diet will help you reduce belly fat without feeling deprived or living on bacon grease.

It can also improve your blood chemistry and energy levels by balancing the queen of all hormones, insulin.

Learn how to eat to balance your blood sugar and reduce inflammation to release bloat, joint tenderness, fatigue, and more. 

This program offers both Paleo based and plant-based options.

Research shows that stress, the body’s response to feeling challenged or threatened can wear on the body if left unchecked.

Stress releases adrenalin, cortisol, and other hormones which are meant to help us in acute situations. 

But when that stress becomes chronic, it can induce or worsen medical conditions, including obesity, depression, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer.

In addition to learning how diet affects inflammation, you’ll learn simple practices to help reduce and manage your stress.

As we age our bodies need different kinds of exercise to maximize the benefits.

High-intensity workouts, resistance training, and cardio sessions are all important components of a healthy, strong, body.

But there’s a type of training that we often overlook.

Within your body lies a little-known yet hugely important key to greater strength, flexibility, and total health: your fascia. Fascia is the miraculous connective tissue that’s woven around your muscles, skin, organs, and bones, holding your entire body together.

Learn movements to build foundational strength, develop a greater range of movement, and hydrate your entire body from the inside out.

The Reset Retreat includes:

  • Anti-inflammatory Foods Guide
  • Simple, Accessible Sample Meal Plan
  • Delicious Paleo & Plant based Recipes
  • Breathing and journaling techniques to help you reduce and manage your daily stress
  • 90-minute Fascial Freedom Workshop with Tina, your Certified Functional Nutrition Coach, and Program Leader
  • Daily inspiration and resources via opt-in texts
  • Discounts on optional program support supplements via Fullscript.

The Reset Retreat is just *$99

*T School Alumni save 20% at checkout by using code ALUMNI


I’m here to answer them! Drop me a line via email today! 

Thanks, everyone! 
Let’s do this!

Why the world needs Janet Mort

My friend Janet is a badass.

She’s also passionate, fiery, and completely committed to helping change the world, one child at a time.

Retiring after a 35-year career as a teacher, principal, and superintendent of schools on Vancouver Island, Janet went back to school to earn her PhD in Early Literacy.  

Janet and her husband Michael at their home in Victoria, B.C.

Understanding the very real, very high cost of illiteracy, Janet was determined to address the unmet needs of struggling students learning to read.

I met Janet last March while hosting a retreat in Mexico.  She wasn’t a participant, but she looked interesting so I went over to introduce myself to her and her husband, Michael.

I’m glad I trusted my intuition because Janet and I were supposed to meet. 

We didn’t understand why then, but we do now. The universe provides, even when your shrimp cocktail is getting soggy.  (If you haven’t read my prior blog about Janet and our synchronicity, please do it now).

JANET is a problem solver.

Play Video

One of the things I love about Janet is her ability to get things done. 

When her husbands physician retired and they were unable to find consistent care through her health plan, Janet rallied as Michael’s advocate.

She ran an ad in her local paper, the Victoria Times Colonist, seeking a new doctor for Michael.

The response was overwhelming; not only did Janet find a doctor (over twenty responded to her plea), she succeeded in bringing national attention to a problem many others were facing in her home province,  British Columbia, Canada.

Nearly one million British Columbians were also without a family physician, according to BC Family Doctors.

Janet and Michael were interviewed for television and national news programs. 

(Press play on the graphic above for the whole story.)

Her willingness to take their private battle public reflects the same stubborn tenacity Janet brings to her professional pursuits.

After earning her PhD, Janet founded  Joyful Literacy, an evidence based program that helps children who are most vulnerable learn to read.


Janet returned to school because she wanted to know why over 35% of struggling children do not succeed in school.

Within seven years she had completed her analysis of the most compelling literacy research, designed the Joyful Literacy Framework, and implemented it in over a hundred primary pilot classrooms where data was collected by external examiners for the first four years of Joyful Literacy implementation.

The results exceeded expectations.

  • In Kindergarten, success rates rose from 40% to 80% over three years when the standard program changed to the Joyful Literacy Framework.
  • In Grade One, success rates rose from 54% to 89% over three years when the standard program changed to the Joyful Literacy Framework.
  • In Grade Two, success rates rose from 26% to 92% over three years when the standard program changed to the Joyful Literacy Framework.

Eight other superintendents chose to participate in the pilot out of frustration that only 49.8% of their grade four students were achieving grade-level expectations.

The Joyful Literacy Framework was implemented with students entering Kindergarten in 2013.

Implementation was continued through to the year they entered grade four where, after five years of the Joyful Literacy Framework, the students’ success rate had risen to 85%.

Source: Fountas and Pennel Data

the high cost of illiteracy.

This is why Janet is on a mission to transform early childhood literacy in Canada, the United States, and the world!

  • 67% of students are not proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade.

  • Students who are not proficient by the end of 4th grade are 66% more likely to wind up on welfare or in prison.

  • Students who don’t read proficiently by the 3rd grade are 4 times likelier to drop out of school.
  • Students who are retained to repeat a grade will cost a District an average of $10,000 each.
  • The US illiteracy rate hasn’t changed in over 10 years.
  • 85% of all juveniles who interface with the juvenile court system are functionally illiterate.

Source: National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL)

And it all starts with the quality
of our early childhood education.

janet has a plan.

Building on seven years of research and data collection, Janet created a literacy program she named Joyful Literacy.

This school-based program combines a clever use of technology with an evidence-based literacy approach that enables teachers to assess their students, track progress, and boost literacy success.

Using her proven Circle Chart methodology to assess, teach, and track all eight literacy foundation skills, this framework is broadly applicable. 

Janet’s goal is for the Joyful Literacy program to be used internationally in Kindergarten to Grade 3 classrooms across the world, a goal that will be met by offering in other languages.

In addition to this robust curriculum, Janet has written several books that weave together the essential assessment, teaching, and tracking components of Joyful Literacy with practical and effective classroom strategies for optimal teacher- student learning activities.

And because Janet understands that reading begins before school, her books also help parents who want to support and foster their child’s reading skills at home.

Along with her associate, Chelsea  Mytko, Janet provides online help for parents via their Born to Read YouTube channel. 

All videos include free and accessible lessons for parents to teach their child to read at home from the womb to kindergarten.

This winning combination is further supported by the Joyful Literacy Teachers App, which Janet created to help teachers easily track and support students who need extra help and attention in their classrooms.

Teachers! Click here to access a free trial!

Joyful literacy in the u.s.

When Janet told me about her plans to expand Joyful Literacy in the United States, I immediately asked, “How can I help?”

Since returning from Mexico I have met with Janet and Chelsea to learn more about how the program and app work within the classroom for proven results. 

They’ve also been busy meeting with other developers, marketers, and educators to help expand the Joyful Literacy program to the U.S. and beyond. And it’s working. They’re developing an expansive plan to introduce the system and app to educators across the country.

According to the  National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), low levels of literacy cost the U.S. up to 2.2 trillion per year. In fact…

  • 79% of U.S. adults nationwide are literate
  • 54% of adults have literacy skills below a 6th-grade level and 
  • 20%  below a 5th-grade level.

But the real cost for illiterate people is far greater. 

Imagine being unable to get a job, provide for your children, decipher street signs or the label on your prescription bottle because you can’t read.  This is a huge disadvantage and one that we can correct with Joyful Literacy.

You can help spread the word by sharing this post with your neighbors, teachers, and local educators.  There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain!

I want to see Janet’s story on 60 Minutes and CBS Sunday morning.  Can you help me network?  Send me your resources and contacts!

We can change the world- one reader at a time because we now know how.

Dr. Janet Mort has been a featured keynote speaker at 28 summits in B.C., Alberta, and Washington state, as well as being chosen to represent British Columbia as a literary expert at the World Congress of Education in Melbourne, Australia.

She was awarded Canada’s Queen’s Jubilee Medal 2005 for her service to children and leadership in educational change and was recognized by The Order of British Columbia in 2020.

The Order represents the highest form of recognition the Province can extend to its citizens.

But to me, Janet is just my inspirational friend, a woman on a mission to change the world for good.

If you’d like more information on Joyful Literacy, please reply to me or reach out to Janet via email.

Because everyone deserves the opportunity to learn to read and live a full life.

Janet and Healing in Mexico

I noticed Janet and Micheal immediately as they walked into the restaurant in Troncones Beach, Mexico. 

I was hosting a retreat, they were on vacation, returning to a favorite spot for dinner. I thought they looked like an interesting couple so I walked up to their table and introduced myself.

“Hi, I’m Tina. You two look like a fun couple and I wanted to get to meet you.”

A bit taken back, they graciously offered their names.”Hi Tina, I’m Janet and this is my husband, Michael.” 

I learned they were from Canada and had been coming to Troncones for the past seven years. 

The restaurant at Present Moment Retreat Center was one of the best in the area and their personal favorite. 


I told them about my retreat and how much I was enjoying this area of Mexico. I returned to my table to tell Herb how cute I thought they were.

A few minutes later I traipsed back over and asked to take their picture. They were just so interesting looking…

They acquiesced and I took a beautiful picture of the two of them at their favorite table.

Later, Janet would describe it a little differently, “This woman comes walking up to introduce herself and of course Michael is hard of hearing, so after you left he just said, ‘What was that all about?’ 

Then you come back and ask to take our picture! It was so random, and if you look at the picture, you can see our food sitting there in the background!”

(I’d interrupted their dinner of course.)


Michael, who wore a stylish straw hat and large black glasses, possessed a benevolent face that looked mildly, chronically amused. He was thin and a bit frail.

Janet, who also wore glasses, was striking in her resort wear and matching headband. I learned they were retired, educators who had first met at a conference.

Janet, who was coming out of an abusive relationship, sensed Michael’s kindness and thought he was the kind of man she’d wanted all along.  He felt the connection, too, and asked her out.  They were married for fifty-five years. 

I learned later that Michael had not been feeling well. 

“When I told Michael I was concerned about his traveling to Mexico in his condition,” Janet explained, ” he said, ‘Well I can die in Mexico as easily as at home,’ and so we came.”

I took Janet’s email address and promised to send the pictures. Janet later told me she used those pictures at Michael’s funeral.  He passed away last Summer.

When Herb and I arrived in Troncones last Saturday, sitting at the very spot where we met them,  we were thinking of Janet and Michael.

I sent Janet a text of the view, saying we were thinking of her. I received a text back, thanking me and saying she was in Troncones herself.

The cell service in this area is spotty at best and I didn’t get the message until Herb and I went down for lunch on Sunday.

Just as I was showing Herb the text, Janet walked into the restaurant.

I saw her and immediately shrieked, ”JANET!”

Her face was confused and then amazed as I walked over to her to give her a big hug! 

It was a wonderful chance reunion of friends who barely know one another but feel close nonetheless. In this instance, it was nothing short of a miracle because the timing was just right, good medicine. 

We laughed at our text exchange- she not connecting the dots to know we were here, and our just discovering her reply as she walked in. I immediately asked her to join us for lunch.

“I just came here, to our favorite place, to have lunch alone,” Janet said, “to feel what that feels like.”

I replied, “Well you still can, if you want to,” not wanting to intrude on her time alone.

“Oh no! I’d love to!” she replied. 

We sat down to lunch, amazed at the synchronicity of our reunion. It felt like it was meant to be because it was. 

And for the rest of the week the three of us and Ron White , our traveling companion, were inseparable. 

We got to know each other around the pool, margaritas and molcajete, martinis and sunsets, and one memorable evening at our favorite restaurant, Tentaciones. 

Perched high above Playa Ropa, we shared the sunset, a lovely meal, and a magnificent celebration of new friendships and old souls.

“I want to make a toast to you three. And I want to do it now before I get too teary-eyed,” said Janet.

 Being with you this week has been a miracle because it’s helped me realize that I can have fun again, that I can live again. 

I know now I have a whole new chapter in front of me because I am having fun and enjoying life again. 

This week has been a miracle; a rebirth, and I just can’t thank you enough.”

Touched by her words we were all teary-eyed. 

“I’m just so glad I was that rude woman who interrupted your dinner last March,” I said.  

“There had to be a reason I was so insistent on meeting you and Micheal and now we know why. Because of this! It truly is a miracle- it was meant to be!” 

And we raise our glasses to toast to our good luck.

Ron said later that our foursome felt so easy that Janet never felt like a new friend, but someone he’d known all his life.

On our last night together we all hugged and promised to meet again in April in Victoria, BC where Janet lives. We can’t wait to meet her dog Chipotle as well as her human friends and family.

The next day I received a text from Janet. 
“So magical. We belong together.” 

I replied, “And we are together- no matter the physical distance.”

To borrow (generously) from a song by Barbra Streisand,

“There are moments you remember all your life.
There are moments you wait for and dream of all your life.
This is one of those moments …”

There is much I have not told you about Janet, about her life’s work and her passion to help the most vulnerable.

She has developed a revolutionary program that is successfully doing so in Canada and I am committed to helping her expand that help to the United States.

In a phone call to one of her best friends and co-workers back home in Canada, Janet repeated something I’d said to her upon learning of her life’s work.

“She said that I was a ‘BADASS.’ I’m not sure, but I think this is a U.S. term for a  compliment.”

It was and it is.

I can’t wait to share more about Janet and her mission with you because she has also given me a new lease on life. It’s not every day you meet a woman in such possession of her vision, path, and her process to change the world.

She is my mentor and my muse- an example of growing older agelessly, committed to improving and transforming the lives of others in the most real and tangible way.

But that is for the next blog. I can’t wait for you to read it. 

Stay tuned, because this is BIG! 

Breathwork Resources

Thank you for saying yes!

Thank you for your interest in improving your health, vitality, and mood via learning to breath more effectively and efficiently.  

The resources below will help you build a solid breathwork practice and reap the many rewards regular practice reveals.

video tutorials

I created these three videos to help review the breathwork practices we covered together. 

Please use them to develop your own practice!


Click on book cover to order via Amazon. 

apps & websites


Thanks again for investing in your health by taking time to stop, breathe, and listen to your body.

If you have additional resources to share with our group, please email me and I will be happy to add!  

My mission in life is to learn and share.  Thank you so much for allowing me to share the power of breathwork with you!

Honoring our Teachers

There’s a big holiday coming up next week, and it’s not just the fourth of July.

July 3rd, the day we will  celebrate Independence Day is also a day of celebration called Guru Purnima.

So what is Guru Purnima? 


In Hindu culture, Guru Purnima is a day to honor our teachers, past and present, for all they have contributed to our lives. 

It is a day to remember and give thanks.


I learned about Guru Purnima from my hot yoga teacher Ricky. 

His casual reference stuck with me because I’ve been blessed with so many wonderful teachers in my life.

Teachers like Ricky who’s helping me open my hips, regain my balance, and surrender my pride.


With reverence and gratitude, I write this blog to offer thanks to all the amazing teachers and mentors I’ve encountered through the years. This list is not complete, but it is a start..

Hale Cook Elementary School
  • Stella Jacobi My fourth-grade teacher at Hale Cook Elementary changed my life when she encouraged me to explore the limitless world of books and reading.  The stories she read to us each day ignited a deep respect and hunger for the written word.

  • Loraine Sheehan Gordon

The high school English teacher who drove me to tears when she gave me a big fat D on my Caesar Chavez term paper.

Loraine didn’t suffer fools or accept less than your best.  She pushed me to take myself and writing seriously. We also share an awkward story when I ran away from home, but that’s another blog.

  • Elaine Fischer The fitness director at Hilltop Racquet Club who managed to keep a straight face when I auditioned with a dance to “Ride Like the Wind” by Christopher Cross. Instead of laughing, this diminutive ball of fire asked me to take her class the next Sunday, handing me my ass along with a job offer. Thank you, Elaine, for taking a chance on me. This was the beginning.
  • Phil Freeland– Phil, my boss for the twelve years I worked at Woodside Tennis and Health Club was the shadow teacher of all shadow teachers. His brutality and toxic management style forced me to confront my fear, self-worth, and integrity.  The best gift he ever gave me was firing me. The next best gift was my therapist.
  • Shelley Stelmach– I started seeing  Shelley during my years at Woodside. She helped me stop agreeing to bad bosses, toxic boyfriends, and rampant self-sabotage. She put me back in my body and resuscitated my hope. The courage we mined together allowed me to leave an abusive boss and start over in business.
  • Rosita Arvigo–  My spiritual teacher in Belize, Rosita reminded me that faith is not a feeling but a practice.

    She taught me the power of plants, prayer, and ritual in spiritual healing, as well as the joy of community and celebration. 

    Thank you, Dr. Rosita, and your teacher Don Elijio Panti for showing us the immense healing power of plant medicine.


  • Sabin Bailey Sabin is an amazing mystic, numerologist, and reader who guided me to Rosita and that life-changing experience in Belize.

    She’s been a constant source of revelation and a trusted counselor for many years.

    If you’d like Sabin’s contact information, I’ll be happy to connect you.


  • Scott Schwenk – I’ve never actually met Scott in person but his impact on my life has been huge. I found him through an online search for breathwork and meditation programs. He is authentic, gentle, and kind, easing the way for expanded consciousness.

    Scott’s like the best friend, brother, and childhood pal you’ve never met but feel you know. 

    You can learn more about Scott, via his website:

  • Ehret Oscar Ramey – My father was my first teacher and the greatest single influence in my life. How lucky I was to get him as my Dad.

    Thank you for seeing me, loving me, and believing in me. The lessons you shared are still teaching me today.

    I love you and I miss you. 

Who are the teachers that have touched your life?

Who would you like to honor for Guru Purnima? You don’t even have to wait until July 3rd! 

Post below or shoot me a private message!  I’d love to hear! 

With love, Tina

Why Celebrate the Summer Solstice

During the Summer solstice, the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky and gives us our longest day of the year.

As we know, our planet both revolves around the Sun and rotates around its own axis — an imaginary straight line through the Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole.

This axis is not perpendicular to the Earth’s orbital plane but is tilted at about 23.5°. This is why throughout the year, the North and South poles lean towards the Sun at different angles.

So the moment when one of the Earth’s hemispheres reaches its maximum tilt toward the Sun is called the summer solstice in that hemisphere.  For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, that day is June 21st.

This first day of Summer reminds us to celebrate the nourishing light of the Sun. It’s also a moment to cultivate the light that radiates outward from within each of us.

“Smell the sea and feel the sky. Let your soul and spirit fly.” — Van Morrison

The word solstice comes from the Latin words “sol,” meaning sun, and “stitium” or “sistere,” meaning still or stopped. In ancient times, our ancestors likely used this day as a marker to decide when to plant crops, noticing that the sun switched from a southward to a northward trajectory in the sky.

But more importantly, the solstice was a time of celebration and a break from the norm.

Many cultures believed that magic took place on the night of the summer solstice, with fairies showing themselves to humans, while evil spirits were dispelled from their lives.

The solstices were an impetus in the construction of Stonehenge. 

On the night of the summer solstice, the sunset will align with the heel stone of the monument, and continue to shine through the others. 

Gatherings at Stonehenge took place between 3,000 and 2,000 BC.

These celebratory ceremonies brought people together as a show of communal strength and gratitude. People came on these pilgrimages to celebrate the Summer Solstice.

“I am summer, come to lure you away from your computer… come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches.” — Oriana Green

The Summer Solstice is also a moment for us to take stock.

The journey of the Sun represents the cycles of our lives. Just as we can align with the Moon’s journey every month, we align with the Sun’s journey throughout the year.

Spiritually, the Solstice is an extraordinarily magical day.

It is thought that the veil between this and other worlds is at its thinnest.

 You can bask in the light and magic and engage FULLY with this auspicious moment.

Some ideas to celebrate:

  • Plant a tree, bush, or gather flowers.
  • Spend time alone in nature. Walk, play, sit, put your feet on the earth.
  • Meditate. (Try this Solstice Meditation from Spirituality & Health)
  • Spend five minutes in silence, focusing on your breath, extending the exhale to 8 counts.
  • Celebrate creativity: write, draw, sing, dance! 
  • Capture the fire of this season- have a bonfire with friends!
  • Above all, let your inner light shine radiantly!

Perform a cleansing

The Solstice is also a great time to do a cleansing of yourself and your space to reset the energy within and around you.

Start by quieting your mind, and journal to delve into a bit of a reflection.

If there are things in your life that are no longer serving you, now is the time to let these energies go.

Write a letter to yourself about where you are, and what may be keeping you stuck, listing all the thoughts, unconscious choices, and people that no longer support your greatest good.

Burn the letter, meditate, and cleanse yourself with sage, incense, or essential oil.

Cleansing your home is another ritual you can do at the Solstice or any season to push out the old and bring in the new.

Don’t be afraid to open up all the curtains and windows in your space to allow the fresh air of this powerful practice to rejuvenate and bless your home. Using a smudge stick or essential oil cleansing spray works well, too. 

Whatever you do, now is the perfect time to let go of old energies and breathe in the fresh new opportunities of summer.

Cleansing yourself and your space is a sacred act of self-care. Consider doing this ritual each new season or anytime you feel stuck or stagnant.

Need support to get back on balance?  Consider joining me for my October Mind Body Breath Retreat at Timber Creek Retreat House, located just one hour south of Kansas City.

“Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Let me help you turn down the noise!

When our minds are stretched across 20 conversations, 10 apps, our worries, to-do lists, and too little time – it’s like having a million tabs open and no way to organize and focus.

Breathing is a great way to hit the reset button for your mental state.

That’s because simple breathing techniques can help balance the hemispheres of your brain, soothe the nervous system, and clear brain fog.

Breathing is a simple yet powerful tool for transformation!

Join me at Timber Creek Retreat House, October 20-22, 2023.

Immerse yourself in nature, embrace calm, and leave with mindfulness practices to change your mind and body from the inside out.

All you have to do is say YES.

In Praise of the Grandmothers

As some of you know, I recently became a Grandmother. George is two months and twenty days today, but who’s counting.

Becoming a Gigi has transformed me in ways I never expected. My heart, now three sizes too big for my body, alternately celebrates his birth and aches for the challenges I know he must face in this life.

We can’t protect our children from this world, but we can make sure they know how much they are loved.

My grandmothers were my grounding compass. They were strong, faithful, and humble. Like other women of their generation, they were the grounding center of their families, working like Trojans, yet rarely acknowledged for it.

Both were widowed and spent much of their lives alone. Clara Mae Sturdivant, my maternal grandmother lived in Nashville, so I don’t have as many memories of her.

What I do recall is her kindness, home cooking, and expert needlework. I loved her mustache, ornate pearl spectacles, and playing with her underarm flab.

A devout Southern Baptist, Clara recited scripture like a preacher. She was pious yet I never judged or loved conditionally. 

The love she showered on me felt different than my Mother’s love. I now understand that mothers don’t have the same luxuries that Grandmothers do.

Since she lived nearby, I had more time with my paternal grandmother. Rose Nell Ramey was the oldest of seven siblings. Her mother other died when she was just thirteen years old.

Being the oldest, her father looked to Rose Nell to run the household, care for her younger siblings, and oversee the daily chores on their rural Illinois farm.

It was a huge responsibility for someone so young, but if she felt regret or resentment, she never voiced it.

That was just the way it was; you did what you had to do even if it meant dropping out of school in the sixth grade. She worked as a lunch lady at Boone Elementary School after my Grandfather died.

Grandma Ramey tried to teach me to take a humble approach to life. “Live simply,” she told me, “Be kind, take life as it comes, and remember it’s not personal.”

A compulsive planner, this lesson was lost on me. By carefully weighing the risk/reward of every choice and chance encounter, I’d be able to avoid the mistakes of my elders. I had an agenda, and it certainly didn’t include becoming a cafeteria lady.

On the lucky weekends I got to sleep over, Grandma taught me to make homemade jam from the cherry tree in her backyard, sew, and study the Bible. I liked the way she read the Bible, casually, like it was the evening paper. When I asked questions, Grandma asked questions too, helping me find the answers for myself.

At night before we went to sleep, she’d listened patiently as I outlined my plans for my wonderful life.

“I’ll take voice lessons and play Mary Magdalene in the Christmas pageant. I’ll sing at weddings and funerals too, but only wedding songs because funeral songs are sad….

I’m going to marry Doug, (the preacher’s son.) We’ll have a boy and a girl and live in the basement of his parents house. After a year or two we’ll move to Australia to do mission work because I want to learn to surf, scuba dive, and eat crab.”

“That’s nice,” Grandma said as she rubbed my back.

“When my kids go to school, I’ll have time to write a spy novel. They’ll turn into a movie starring Mary Tyler Moore and the Man from Uncle. We’ll have to move back to the United States, to California, where we’ll live in a house with big redwoods in the backyard. Our kids will play in a huge tree house.”

And when I told Rose I was moving to England soon to study English at Oxford, my Grandmother said simply, “I’ll miss you.”

She was there to witness my all plans go agonizing awry. When Doug the preacher’s son dumped me to date Melodie Bash; Grandma made me a new dress to ease the sting.

When I failed my audition for the Bingham Junior High School talent show with my dazzling rendition of Barbara Streisand’s “Don’t Rain on My Parade,” Grandma said, “Never stop singing Tina. If it pleases you, then it is pleasing.”

And when I my short story was rejected Highlights Magazine, Grandma instructed me to go to the library and check out five new books. When I showed them  to her she said, “Good. Now read them. Immerse yourself in something besides yourself.”

Unlike other adults, Grandma saw my circuitous route and disappointments for the folly it was. She neither judged nor falsely championed me. Instead, she offered support for the person and not the plan.

When I was leaving for college, I was overcome with a sudden, intense bout of separation anxiety.

“I don’t want to go Grandma,” I said, hugging her. “I’m scared and I’m so embarrassed.”

“Embarrassed?” she said softly in my ear, “Don’t be. Life is crooked and unpredictable and painful. You’re just finding that out.”

I looked into her eyes, surprised.

“But it’s also brilliant and beautiful and utterly surprising. I hope you’ll avoid the awful mistake of punishing or rewarding yourself for either. Worry takes all the fun out of it.”

Later that year, she suffered a stroke. I went to visit her in the nursing home. She was sleeping, jaw slack, lips moving, breath labored. 

I stood at her bed, crying because I couldn’t stand to see her this way.

“Why are you crying dear?” She garbled, eyes closed. That startled me. How did she even know I was there?

“I’m just sad Grandma,’ reaching for her hand. “I’m just sad.”

“Well don’t be sad,” she sighed, “I’m not sad. I’m here and you’re here and we’re doing okay, aren’t we?”

“Yes, Grandma, we are,” tears escaping.

“Well then. That’s enough. That’s enough, now. Let’s not be sad.”

Grandma Rose never recovered fully from her stroke but I never saw her feel sorry for herself. She met life where it led her, even when it led her to difficult places. She wasn’t one to waste time wondering why or why me?

When she died I was devastated. Oh how I wanted to bury my head into her one more time to tell her how much I loved her.

I heard her say. “Tina, why are you crying, dear? After all, I’m the one who died.”

I am grateful for the time I had with these two amazing women. Their legacy is one of kindness, faith, quiet strength, and utter resilience.

It’s my prayer and intention to do the same for George.    I am a Grandmother.