Blood Sugar Balance 2022

Blood sugar imbalance is an underlying cause in most chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and more.  

This 4 (+) week Blood Sugar Balance program provides everything you need to eat, move, and sleep to keep your blood sugar in the sweet spot- The spot where you have sustained energy, focus, and moods. 

We’ll take a deep dive into the sugar/insulin connection, the role of gut and mitochondrial health in weight gain (and loss), and practical ways to maximize the benefits of exercise and sleep to create your own metabolic sweet spot! 

In functional nutrition we look past the presenting symptoms to understand the underlying cause of your fatigue, weight gain, sleeplessness, and cravings. 

Until we address the “non-negotiables”  (blood sugar, inflammation, oxidative stress, hormone imbalance), no lasting intervention will help.

The BSB+ program can help you take a closer look at “what’s going on inside your body” to best support your health, overcome stubborn weight gain, and balance food, cravings, energy and mood.

When it comes to weight loss, it's important to trust your gut

Recent research suggests that the composition of the gut microbiome can predict an individual’s likelihood of obesity.

New studies report that differences in our gut microbiome are also associated with our body’s response to weight loss interventions.

When it comes to blood sugar and insulin balance it’s crucial to trust—and support—your gut bacteria.

How Your Gut Health Affects Your Weight

Experts suspect that gut bacteria— specifically, a lack of diversity in the microbiome—could drive junk-food cravings, insulin resistance and more.

Since your gut bacteria line your intestines, they come into contact with the food you eat. This may affect what nutrients you absorb and how energy is stored in your body.

One study examined the gut bacteria in 77 pairs of twins, one of whom was obese and one of whom was not.

The study found that those who were obese had different gut bacteria than their non-obese twins. In particular, obesity was associated with lower gut bacteria diversity, meaning there were fewer types of bacteria in the gut.


Other studies have shown that if the gut bacteria from obese people are put into mice, the mice gain weight, suggesting gut bacteria could affect weight.

Other studies show the number and variety of bacteria in your gut may affect your weight by influencing how different foods are digested in your body.

Dietary fiber is digested by certain species of gut bacteria, which may aid weight loss.

Other gut bacteria digest certain antioxidants found in plants known as flavonoids, which may help prevent weight gain.

Our gut bacteria can also influence how dietary fats are absorbed in the intestines, which may also affect how fat is stored in the body.


the proof is your biochemistry

Most of us care about weight loss, but we need to back it up to our biochemistry.

Not surprisingly, our nutritional choices show up in our blood and not just on our hips.

When researchers collected blood samples collected before and after the weight loss intervention, they found changes in the levels of metabolic markers in the weight loss and no-weight-loss groups.

The weight loss group showed an increase in adiponectin levels. Fat tissue secretes the hormone adiponectin, and an increase in the levels of this protein is associated with weight loss.

The weight loss group also exhibited a decrease in the level of six proteins, which scientists have previously shown to be associated with inflammation, obesity, and other metabolic disorders.

Biochemistry precedes weight loss.

And weight loss is associated with healthy gut bacteria, reduced inflammation, and an improvement in metabolic and immune function.  

how does this program work?

  • DATES: 
    • Saturday, January 15 Kick-off @ 12 pm 
    • January 15-22 Prep Week
    • 4 Weekly Program with weekly Coaching Calls on Tuesdays @ 7 pm
  • GOALS:  Balance blood sugar, improve gut health and insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, fatigue, and risk for metabolic disease.
      • Nutrition: (meal template, recipes, using our “macro mantra” at every meal: fat, fiber, and protein.
      • Gut Health Support: via targeted nutrition, supplementation, and lifestyle interventions.
      • Movement for your Mitochondria: Learning the best and most efficient forms of exercise for metabolic health.
      • Education: Weekly small group coaching calls on a variety of topics to support your progress.
      • Motivation: Daily texts to inspire, educate, and motivate you to keep your focus on your program participation and personal transformation.
      • Tracking and Progress Updates: All participants will track daily food, mood, and movement. There’s an option for adding blood glucose monitoring with an at-home Contour One system or a Nutrisense CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor).
  • COMMUNITY: Prepare to be amazed by the power of this community to support, inform, and support you. We are ALWAYS better when we work together towards our goals.
  • Join our private FB group NOW

Sample Program Guide
and Week One Prep Booklet

Sample BSB Meal Plan
and Recipe Collection

two ways to play: enroll now!



This program includes:

  • Program materials and recipes
  • (5) Small group coaching calls
  • Daily texts and practical resources
  • Private Facebook group access.
  • 15% off optional Gut and Blood Sugar Support Supplements via FullScript
  • Optional: Help with blood sugar monitoring if student chooses to add their own blood glucose monitoring system.

This program includes:

  • Program materials and recipes
  • (5) Small group coaching calls
  • (4) (30) minute private coaching calls with Tina
  • Daily texts and practical resources
  • Private Facebook group access.
  • 15% off optional Gut and Blood Sugar Support Supplements via FullScript
  • Optional: Help with blood sugar monitoring if the student chooses to add their own blood glucose monitoring system.


If you’ve been told or suspect you have insulin resistance, unstable blood glucose, or can’t seem to budge the belly fat no matter what you’ve tried, you might want to add a glucose monitoring system to this program.

There are two ways to go and I can coach you through each process as I have used both.

The first is an at-home system employing a small lancet, testing strips, and glucose monitor.  I use the Contour One brand and it comes with a cylinder to load lancets in so you just click and stick which is not difficult or painful at all.  Together, we’ll decide when to measure your blood sugar, logging the results to see trends and the impact of your food and drink choices.   Cost: between $70 -$100 

The second option is investing in a month or two using a CGM (continuous glucose monitor).  I use Nutrisense which supplies you with two sensors monthly to apply to the back on one arm.  It’s not painful either, measuring the interstitial fluid, not blood in your body to sense blood sugar fluctuations in real time.  Cost: $250-$350 depending on program.

Please Note: There’s no requirement to get either one of these systems to participate in this program.  They are entirely optional. 

Questions about this program or other coaching help?

I’m all ears! 

Email me at or drop me a tet at 913 963 8546 today!

Fall Blood Sugar Reset

If you’re struggling with fatigue, mood swings, stubborn weight gain, belly fat, lackluster skin, and bothersome sugar cravings, it’s time to reset your metabolic engine!

Join me for my Fall 10-day Blood Sugar Reset,  October 17-27,  2021 with a kick-off workshop on Sunday, October 17th @ 12 pm

Show your body a little respect, and your body will reward you with greater focus, stability, and metabolic health. 

It’s not about willpower- it’s about biochemistry.


What do excess belly fat, blood sugar imbalance and serious diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes have in common? Poor regulation of insulin, a hormone secreted by your pancreas, is the critical connection.

Insulin gets secreted in response to the elevation of your blood sugar. Insulin is absolutely necessary to get the sugar out of your blood and into the cells where it can be converted to energy. Without insulin, your blood sugar would skyrocket and you’d become diabetic.

But insulin may also be released in response to stress.

The relationship between cortisol (a stress hormone secreted by your adrenal glands) and insulin is circular. Increased cortisol raises blood sugar which causes an increase in insulin which in turn causes cortisol to go up.

When we are chronically stressed, our cortisol levels remain high which keeps our insulin levels high.  This interrupts the normal function of insulin in response to the food we eat.


Under normal circumstances, after a meal, the increased glucose in your blood causes your pancreas to secrete insulin.

The more glucose in your food, the more insulin is produced.

Insulin binds to the cell membranes and triggers the cell membrane to open up and let the glucose in.

Insulin allows glucose, amino acids, fats, magnesium, and other nutrients into the cell where they can be used in the mitochondria to produce energy.  When this is in balance we feel centered energetic, focused, and lean.

It’s when our blood sugar, insulin, and cortisol are out of balance we experience issues.

When you eat foods high in carbohydrates or eat your meals too close together (ie. snacking) it stimulates a rapid rise in glucose and in response, insulin.

When insulin is chronically high,  you are in a constant state of inhibited fat-burning, low growth hormone, and lower metabolic rate. The end result is belly fat that is very hard to lose.

Excess insulin can also cause your blood sugar to get too low, leading to brain fog, irritability, and ravenous cravings due to blood sugar instability.

Chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels lead to insulin resistance. This is when the insulin receptors on your cells tire of the constant insulin stimulation and shut down. 

Less insulin in the cell and more insulin in the bloodstream is a recipe for weight gain, diabetes, and a host of other diseases.


when your cells become insulin resistant three things happen

  1. Insulin can’t keep up with the demand and your blood sugar starts to rise, leading to diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
  2. Insulin triggers fat storage around the middle so your belly grows steadily.
  3. Unbalanced blood sugar is stressful to your body causing increased levels of cortisol and insulin, sugar cravings, and unstable.

Does this sound familiar?
to examine your current
relationship with sugar.


so what can we do about it?

The first thing to address is your sugar consumption.  This may sound simple but it’s actually a little harder to kick the habit than you might imagine.

That’s because sugar is hidden in all kinds of foods marketed to you as “healthy.”  Processed foods, condiments, sauces, and fruit juices are often packed with excess sugar.

So the first step is educating yourself about what you’re eating and then taking the steps to eliminate them for a few days to help reset your blood sugar and metabolic hormones.

The good news is you can do this in a relatively short time.  You can impact your blood sugar and hormone balance in as little as five to ten days!


You have the power to decrease belly fat, fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, and memory loss.

In this program you’ll learn:
  • That hunger, cravings, constant snacking, emotional eating, and binge-eating are all connected to a metabolic imbalance that can be reversed… so you can experience emotional stability and freedom from food.
  • How to eat to melt away belly fat without feeling deprived or living on bacon grease.
  • How to lower your blood sugar even if you are a pre-diabetic or diabetic.
  • How to improve your blood chemistry and energy levels by balancing the queen of all hormones, insulin.
  • Learn what to eat to balance your blood sugar and reset your insulin receptors so you can improve your memory, energy, and focus.


There’s no reason to suffer any longer in your body. It is completely avoidable.

All you really need to know is how to reset your hormones to feel better fast.

Your excess weight and cravings aren’t something to be ashamed of, they’re biochemistry!

This 10-day Blood Sugar Reset is the first step in your healing journey. 

ree yourself by learning how to eat to support your own biochemistry to look and feel great!


sign up today

Your 10-Day Blood Sugar Reset Includes:

  • 70-page Blood Sugar Balance Handbook
  • 10-Day Blood Sugar Balancing Meal Plan
  • 40 Delicious Sugar Balancing Recipes
  • Step by Step Instructions to help you conquer your sugar addiction
  • Daily inspiration and resources via opt-in texts
  • Community support via Private FB group 
  • Virtual check-ins with Tina, your Certified Functional Nutrition Coach, and Program Leader
  • Discounts on optional Blood Sugar Balance Supplements via Fullscript.

Just $49


stop blaming yourself

As a Certified Functional Nutrition Counselor, I can help you understand that your biochemistry is not your destiny.

Let me teach you how to eat to be free of cravings, weight gain, and self-sabotaging guilt.

It’s not magic- it’s science, and you can leverage it to feel at home in your body.  This reset is a great way to begin.


Questions?  Email me! 


Small-Group Training Series

Maybe you’ve gotten a great start with your Spring Cleanse but worry you’ll relapse without additional support.  Perhaps you’ve had trouble getting started all together and need someone to push you and hold you accountable. 

Both people can benefit from joining my Spring Cleanse Small Group Coaching series beginning Thursday, April 8th.

This session meets for 6 weeks each Thursday evening at 630 pm via Zoom.  

Beyond providing structure and accountability for your continued cleanse goals, these sessions provide a deeper dive into the intersection of food and physiology.

We’ll explore the relationship between weight loss resistance, sleep disturbance, gut health, and chronic stress.

Your Small Group Series includes:

  • Five weekly Zoom Sessions on Thursdays at 630pm
    1. Thursday, April 8 – Weight loss resistance
    2. Thursday, April 15 – Microbiome Matters
    3. Thursday, April 22 – Stress & the Gut-Brain Axis
    4. Thursday, April 29 –  Food Sensitivities
    5. Thursday,  May 6 – Timed Eating Protocols

  • Weekly Homework Assignments to complete

  • Weekly Accountability Updates from each participant

This series is an extension of my online Spring Cleanse course. I highly recommend you sign up for the Spring Cleanse course for the foundation and resources provided.  Luckily, I’ve included that option!

Small-Group Training with
Spring Cleanse Course

Small- Group Training Series for Spring Cleanse Alumni

Move from Confusion to Clarity with this 5-week Group Coaching Series

This group is limited to 15 participants.  A minimum of 5 is required.

Spring Cleanse

Over the winter months, some of us may have overindulged in food and drink. We may have let our exercise program slide, eaten too much while hibernating, or had one too many glasses of wine to keep the winter blues away. Whatever the reason, by early spring, few of us are feeling our absolute best. Undertaking a detox now can change all that, and help put you in perfect form for the year ahead.


On an energetic level, Spring is the ideal time for cleansing. In traditional Chinese medicine, spring is linked with the element of Wood, which encourages us to try new things, set a new course, and find new ways, to commit to action. It’s an open, energetic, enthusiastic feeling, so even if you’ve never detoxed before, this could be the perfect time and the perfect way to start feeling better fast.

Why Detox?

We’re regularly assaulted by pollution in the air, in our homes, in the foods we eat, and in the clothes we wear. Our livestock are treated with drugs; our crops are sprayed with powerful pesticides and fungicides, many of which have unpleasant side effects on our health.

The best way to deal with our toxic load is to build up our immune systems. Our bodies were designed to be “self-cleaning” but it needs our support to work optimally. Our circulatory system, metabolism, gut, brain, and powerful elimination system require our attention. 

Cleansing once or twice yearly gives your body the chance to rest, restore, and reset.


Benefits of a Cleanse

  • While this cleanse is not focused on weight loss, it may be a side-benefit. You may shrink as your body releases toxins and inflammation.
  • Cleansing helps alleviate bloating, nausea, and indigestion as it gives your gut and your liver a chance to rest and renew.
  • Constipation, gas, and cramping also subside as your gut flora is balanced and restored.
  • Frequent colds and flu, tiredness, cellulite, blemishes, and puffy eyes may all improve as your lymphatic system awakens with new vigor.
  • Clogged sinuses, congestion, and nasal drip may disappear when you stop eating the foods that cause them.
  • Urinary problems clear up as your kidneys take a break from overworking and under-functioning.
  • Better skin, sleep, brain function, and mood are improved when you get rid of toxins that may have been affecting your brain function and memory.

this Spring Cleanse includes:

  • Complete Step by Step Spring Detox Program
  • Addressing the Problem, Process, and Practices for healthy detoxification
  • Sample Meal Plan
  • 44 Delicious Detox recipes
  • Shopping List
  • Lifestyle Hacks and Real Life Resources

Just $25

This is simple biochemistry! Once you realize how much power you have over the way you look and feel, it’s so much easier making supportive choices! You can do it!

Just $25

Food and Mood

The gut-brain connection

In this blog, I’ll unpack some of the exciting new research about the link between gut health, mood, and stress. We’ll explore the importance of your friendly resident gut microbes, probiotic foods, and supplements, to improve your mood and energy. 

And, just because I love you, I’ve included simple recipes to keep your gut and taste buds happy.



There are trillions of microbes that happily live in our gut. These friendly microbes do more than help us digest foods, make vitamins, and protect us from the not-so-friendly microbes – they have mood-boosting and stress-busting functions too!

Our microbiome is a hotbed of research right now and we’re finding out more about gut bacteria’s awesome health and mood/stress benefits every day. And, while the research is just beginning to decipher the many gut microbe-brain connections, it’s an important topic that I couldn’t wait to share it with you!

Did you know that there are more microbes inside our gut, than all of the human cells that make us? That’s right, we’re more than half microbe!   So, how could they NOT impact our health?”



The microbes that live in our guts are known as our “gut microbiota”.    The microbes that we can ingest are known as “probiotics”.

“Probiotics” are live organisms that you can eat, drink, or take as a supplement. They turn milk into yogurt, and cabbage into sauerkraut; and they are great for both your gut health and mental health. 

Special probiotics that have mental health benefits are called “psychobiotics,” (psycho = mental health, and biotics = live). They are live organisms that can benefit our psyche.


Probiotics can be found in yogurt, sauerkraut (and other fermented veggies), miso, tempeh, and kimchi. You can drink them in kefir or kombucha. 

Be sure to choose unpasteurized ones that will be refrigerated in your local grocer. Unpasteurized foods are not recommend if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system, so please check with your healthcare provider.

Of course, there are a number of probiotic supplements available too. Check with your healthcare provider to identify which one is best for you.

Generally, we look for one that’s refrigerated and has at least 10 billion active cultures. I also suggest you look for one that has been “third party tested,” which means someone outside the company has tested it and says it’s a quality product.

Also, be sure to read the label before taking any supplements. The probiotics with the most research are of the Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus types. There’s still not enough known about the psychobiotic effects to make specific mood-boosting recommendations yet.



Try some of these delicious gut healthy recipes.

Confetti Vegetable Salad with Miso Dressing

Cauliflower Olive Salad with Yogurt

Strawberry Almond Chia Pudding




It may not seem obvious or intuitive, but your body is interconnected in a myriad of surprising ways.  New research is focusing on the “microbiota-gut-brain axis.” It’s the very complex connection between your gut, its microbes, and your brain. This new field has been called a “paradigm shift in neuroscience” (Dinan, 2017).

There are a number of ways we’re beginning to understand how our gut microbes affect our brain. One is via the “vagus” nerve, which is the nerve that directly connects your gut to your brain. 

Other ways are through “biochemical messengers” that are made in your gut and travel throughout the body to communicate with other organs, including your brain.  

Examples of biochemicals include short chain fatty acids, cytokines, and even tryptophan (the amino acid that the neurotransmitters melatonin and serotonin are made from). 

You may have heard about seratonin as it is the main target in antidepressant medications to improve mood.  But 90% of our seratonin is produced in the gut.  Recent studies indicate taking anti-depressants can hurt the gut microbiome which only further compromises mood.  The focus needs to be on keeping our gut healthy; not simply treating the symptoms as a cure.

There’s a lot of research surrounding the microbioate-gut-brain axis that may one day prove helpful for  conditions like autism and Parkinsons.


Several studies show that stressed rodents not only have increased stress hormones and stressed behaviors; but, they also have different gut microbes! This has also been studied, to a small extent, in people too.

One study showed that moms with high levels of stress hormones during pregnancy had infants with more of the “bad” gut microbes.

But, can it work the other way around? Can changing our gut microbes affect our moods and stress responses?

Studies of rodents that grow up without any gut microbes at all (in a “bacteria-free” environment) respond to stress more than mice with normal gut microbes. Then, when they’re given either a probiotic or gut microbes from non-stressed mice, their stress responses often go back to normal.

“Gut microbiota and probiotics alter behavior and brain neurochemistry.” That’s a pretty powerful statement. (Ait-Belgnaoui, et. al., 2012)

Many animal studies show positive effects on behavior when they get probiotic supplements. For example, after a probiotic, stressed rats had lower levels of both stress hormones and an inflammatory molecule associated with depression (“LPS” – lipopolysaccharide). Human studies show that after a few weeks of taking probiotic foods or supplements, healthy people have reduced stress hormones, feelings of stress, negative thoughts, and sad moods.

One fascinating study showed that when people took probiotics, brain MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) tests showed reduced brain activity for negative and aggressive thoughts!

There is some exciting research on the positive effect that probiotics can have on moods and stress. So, what can you do to nurture your own healthy gut microbes?.


We’ve already discussed the benefits of consuming probiotic-rich food.  Once the gut microbes take up residence in our guts, we need to feed them!

PREbiotics are food for gut microbes and, when fermented in the gut, produce specific changes in bacterial composition or activity. 

They’re your friendly gut microbes’ favorite delicacies so they’ll happily grow, and multiply.

Prebiotics are basically foods that contain fiber. Things like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Even dark chocolate (preferably with at least 70% cocoa).

Foods that are particularly high in prebiotics include jicama, asparagus, avocado, whole grains, and allium vegetables like onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots.

Giving animals prebiotics has shown to reduce stress hormones, and anxiety-related behaviors. In people, studies show that taking psychobiotics along with prebiotics can improve both the microbes in our gut, as well as our mood.

The new research clearly supports our interest and maintenance of a healthy gut.  Adding probiotic and prebiotic foods (or quality supplements) is a first step towards that goal.

Do remember, no two people have the same microbiome and your response is most important.  If you feel bloated, anxious or gassy after adding fiber, probiotics, and prebiotic foods to your diet, it may be a sign your gut health needs further attention.

If that’s the case, please contact your health coach or provider for more individualized guidance.  Our gut affects every aspect of our physical and emotional health.

What is Metabolic Health?

Understanding Your Metabolism Is A Key To Better Health

Even if you’re in the middle of a deep sleep, or quietly reading a book, your body is always active. It never quite “shuts off,” because it’s always storing and consuming energy (from the food you eat) – and building up and breaking down molecules necessary to maintain your health.

This always-on process is called metabolism, which literally means “a state of change.”

Your body relies on metabolism to carry out all its functions – whether it’s storing or burning fat, regulating sugar levels, or keeping your neurons firing – so metabolism has a huge impact on your health.

When your metabolism is working as it should, you’ll have much more energy throughout the day – you won’t feel so sluggish and fatigued. You’ll also find it easier to gain muscle mass and lose fat because your body will be sending the right hormone “signals” to your metabolic system. Even your mood will be brighter if your metabolism is well-balanced. On the flip side, scientists have discovered that metabolic disturbances are linked with major depressive disorder – a testament to the mighty effect metabolism can have on all aspects of your well-being.

Not surprisingly, then, your body tightly controls its metabolism. It does this through swarms of small-but-powerful signal molecules known as hormones – which travel throughout your body in different amounts. So by checking in on your hormone levels, you can get a good gauge of how healthy your metabolism is – and, ultimately, how healthy your whole body is. This is why understanding your metabolism is key to better health.

If it weren’t for metabolism, all the good nutrients you eat wouldn’t do your body any good. Metabolism is how your body turns the nutrients in a delicious casserole or a tasty smoothie into energy – and into the raw materials your body needs to build muscles and repair tissues and organs.

Since metabolism has such a powerful impact on your body, you may be wondering what affects your metabolism. What factors can cause shifts in your metabolic health?

Without a doubt, your diet is one of the most important things that can alter your metabolism.

Because many nutrients serve as the building blocks for the hormones that regulate metabolism, if you have a well-balanced diet – you’re getting the nutrients you need and in the right quantities – then your metabolism will most likely function properly. But say you’re eating lots of foods that are high in sugar. This excess sugar will disrupt your metabolism, and put you at risk of developing metabolic diseases.

Exercise, too, has a profound effect on your metabolic health. In fact, some research suggests that long-term physical training makes your metabolism work more efficiently – so you burn more calories even when you’re not being active.

Something else that affects your metabolism is your age: your metabolism “slows down” as you age, so your body accumulates fat more easily. Certain behaviors can also cause changes to your metabolism. For example, if you’re not getting enough sleep, then your metabolism will be negatively affected – which can contribute to weight gain.

You may recall that earlier we said that metabolism is controlled by signal molecules called hormones – and that you can gain insights into your metabolism and health by understanding your hormone levels. Hormones tell your metabolic system when to store or use energy – and when it should build or break down important nutrients. While your body produces many hormones, there are 3 hormones in particular that can give you incredible information about your health. These three hormones are the thyroid hormones, testosterone, and cortisol.


Nestled at the front of your windpipe is a gland called the thyroid. And although it’s small – only a few inches in length – it plays a big role in the body’s metabolism. This gland is responsible for secreting two important hormones: T3 and T4.

These two hormones travel through your bloodstream and regulate your metabolic system in many ways (for example, they let your cells know when to either break down fats or store more fats). Production of thyroid hormones is controlled by a tiny gland situated in your brain – the pituitary gland. This gland squirts out a hormone of its own – the aptly-named thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).

If you have elevated TSH levels in your blood it’s very possible that your thyroid isn’t making enough hormones. (Your pituitary gland releases more TSH to send a strong signal to your thyroid that it’s time to make more thyroid hormones. When your thyroid hormone levels are too low – which can be caused by diseases of the thyroid gland, for instance – then your body starts making more fat than necessary. You’ll start gaining weight, and you might also experience fatigue and hair loss.

What happens if your bloodstream is flooded with way too much thyroid hormones? As you may have guessed, in this case your body will start rapidly breaking down fat. A healthy body requires some fat, but if your thyroid hormone levels are too high, then your body will eliminate too much of its fat. The result? Weight loss – along with some other not-very-desirable effects, such as higher blood pressure and sleep problems.


Though many people think of testosterone as only a male hormone, it’s incredibly important for healthy metabolism in both men and women. Testosterone is crucial to well-balanced fat metabolism and muscle production. In fact, lower-than-normal levels of testosterone prompt your body to increase its fat mass.

On other hand, if a man has too much testosterone coursing through his body, then he may be more irritable and have a lower sperm count – among other negative consequences. Women with too much testosterone may gain more weight, have excess acne, and even male pattern baldness.

Testosterone also helps regulate sleep and mood, so for all these reasons (and more) it’s important that your testosterone levels are within a normal, healthy range.


Cortisol – dubbed the “stress hormone” – is released into your bloodstream when your body senses a threat or emergency. Cortisol causes your body to dump glucose (sugar molecules) into the bloodstream, providing you with the fuel you need to respond to the perceived threat. For example, if you’re out hiking and you suddenly encounter a fearsome predator – a bear, perhaps – then cortisol sparks a surge of glucose that gives you the energy to “fight or flight.”

But what if you’re always under stress? Maybe deadlines are always looming over your head, and the traffic congestion en route to the office doesn’t help matters. In situations like these – where you’re always stressed – cortisol will continue pumping you full of glucose. (Cortisol, after all, can’t distinguish the difference between a bear and an important deadline.)

Since your body won’t use all this excess glucose, it’ll turn the glucose into fat. Thus, chronic stress can lead to unhealthily high levels of cortisol – and result in weight gain.

Since your metabolism underpins so much of your health, it’s important to get a good understanding of how well your metabolism is functioning.

My upcoming Metabolic Reset will give you the support and plan to help reset your hormone balance and heal your metabolism.

Sign up here for your FREE 6-WEEK Metabolic Reset Hormone Balance Email Series.

Nine Mindful Eating tips for the Holidays

Mindful eating is deliberately paying full attention to what you are eating or drinking, without criticism or judgment.”

Jan Chozen Bays

Mindful eating isn’t about making a list of rules. It is not about judging ourselves for what we consume, nor is it about following a certain ‘healthy’ diet. Instead, consider these simple tips for mindful eating this holiday season:

1. Savor the flavors.

Be fully present to the wonder of your tastebuds. Let the attentive mind join in on the festivities as you note the sweet, salty, spicy, bitter, sour, and pungent notes in the foods you consume.

4. Practice gratitude.

Cultivate thankfulness by offering gratitude for your food. Note all that there is to be thankful for on your plate: the food itself, the seeds, the soil, and the hands that helped along the way from farm to fork.

5. Practice self-compassion.

Over the holidays, many of us indulge a little more than we normally do. This can stir thoughts of guilt and self-judgment. Notice where you might be judging yourself and see if you can tend to yourself with loving-kindness instead. Consider mindfulness exercises for self-compassion to help you  Here’s a great meditation to honor our changing rhythms and cycles from Insight Timer.

6. Be mindful of your needs.

It’s equally important to be mindful of our needs. What foods don’t sit well with us? How do different holiday beverages impact our sense of wellbeing? Become mindful of what nourishes you, and what distresses you. Use this awareness to guide your choices.

2. Play with all your senses.

Beyond savoring the flavors, you can tune into the food you eat with the other senses. What does the food look like? What does it smell like? What does it feel like? The full spectrum of your senses brings a richness to your eating habits.

3. Eat slowly.

When in doubt, slow it down. Take your time to really savor this wonderful meal that has found its way to your plate.

7. Be mindful of your mood.

Mood and food are inextricably linked. Since the holidays can stir a range of feelings such as anxiety and frustration, mindfulness of our emotions can help us to address these moods most optimally. Note how different foods affect your mood.

8. Notice your hunger and fullness cues.

Often, we let our mind dictate our eating habits rather than listening to our bodies. So, it can be helpful to consider: What does it feel like to be hungry? What sensations tell me when I have had enough? When it comes to feelings of fullness, eating slowly can support our ability to notice these cues.

9. Observe your body – and don’t forget to breathe.

During the holidays, our digestion needs extra support. One of the best ways we can do this is to notice where we are stressed or contracted. Coming back to the breath through mindful breathing help. Here’s a quick breathing meditation from insight timer.

Source: Sean Fargo, Mindfulness Exercises

Need a little more help to navigate the Pandemic Holiday?

Get my FREE Holiday to Holiday Guide.

Thanks all and have a happy, safe and healthy holiday season! Tina

A Different Holiday Season

Our first (and hopefully last) Pandemic Holiday Season!

My usual concerns, like how many places we can fit around one table, how much I’ll eat, and what my thighs will look like come January 2021, seem trivial now that the holidays are overshadowed by the pandemic, rising COVID cases, and a country so divided.

Oh, how I long for the simple joys of pumpkin pie and belly fat.

My name is Tina, and each year, as a gift to my clients and friends who share my desire to remain healthy through the holidays, I create a Holiday to Holiday Handbook.

I thought about skipping it this year and diving straight into a vat of dirty martini’s but realized this year, more than any other, we need strategies to stay sane if not lean through the holidays.

So I’ve updated this year’s F#&K the Pandemic Holiday to Holiday guide to include tips for sanity, self-care, and making the most of our ZOOM Christmas experiences!

Your FREE 2020 (F#&K the Pandemic)  Holiday to Holiday Guide includes:

  • A Treasure Trove of Holiday Recipes (Vegan, Paleo, Pegan, Low Carb and Keto)
  • Tips to Maximize Your Virtual Holiday Experiences
  • Stress Relief and Sanity Resources
  • Free (30) Minute Stress Relief Stretch Workout
  • The Truth About That Holiday Pig Out
  • Booze and Fat Loss – What’s Happening There?
  • Post-COVID Relief: Retreats, online workshops, coaching, and more!

Enjoy and Happy Holidays.
Stay healthy.



Why Eating Clean Isn’t Enough Anymore

I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for nearly forty years which either means I am very old or very wise; (I am very old.)

During that time I have survived the low fat, high carb craze, the long slow distance theory of fat loss, and countless wasted hours planted on a spin bike, stair climber, treadmill, all in the pursuit of a better, leaner, healthier body. The rub? I was taking a huge detour, but, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.

Going Paleo changed my life and my body.

Nine years ago I discovered a better approach to exercise, (variety), and changed my eating habits (Paleo) which finally helped put my body back in balance, helping me lose those last 10 lbs. At 50, I looked and felt better than I had in my 30’s! (I’d still just as soon be 30, with my life experience now, but we don’t always get what we want, right?)

Just as my slightly older friends had warned me, with age comes change; that not so subtle metabolic ‘clunk’ that signals another shift in your body composition, energy, and mobility.

You’d think after three hip replacements I might have a clue, but my persistently positive attitude always makes me susceptible to naivety.

Denial notwithstanding, recently, the reality of time’s passing has shown up in my ability to, well, MAINTAIN.

And I am certainly someone you might call pro-active! I eat clean, workout regularly, meditate and try to be kind to others. I practice gratitude, dammit! But all of those things still added up to this:  my back hurt,  I felt shitty, fat, stiff and old. Furthermore, I just noticed dimples on my biceps! WTF????

Of course, I am aware of the source: inflammation.

That’s essentially what aging is. As we get older, we “rust out,” sooner than later if we don’t watch our sugar intake, alcohol consumption, or choose to stop moving. Other things play a role too, like sleep, attitude, staying connected and engaged, and having a faith of purpose.

What I didn’t understand until very recently was also how much our environment plays a role. To be specific, I’m referring to the (literally) thousands of toxic chemicals we are exposed to daily.

The minute we step out of bed in the morning, the Toxic Party begins.

We wash our hair with them, brush them on our teeth, slather them on our bodies and apply them to our eyes, lips, and cheeks. Toxic irritants are present in most commercial shampoos, toothpaste, deodorants, cosmetics, and cleaning supplies.

Our food, air, and water supplies are also loaded with chemicals; chemicals largely sanctioned as “acceptable” by our governmental agencies; the same organizations that were designed to protect us.

In a 2003 study performed by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, researchers found an average of 91 industrial chemicals, heavy metals, or other significant toxins in test subjects. These chemicals included PCBs, commonly used insecticides, dioxin, mercury, cadmium, and benzene. At least 53 of these are known to suppress our immune system.

In 2004 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testing a much bigger sample of 2,500 people, detected an average 116 chemicals in subjects and finally, in 2005 a third study found traces of 287 chemicals in test subjects. These toxic chemicals create inflammation and disruption of our T cells, often setting us up for inflammatory disease and/or triggering an autoimmune response.

Autoimmune dysfunction is when the body gets triggered somehow to turn our own immune systems to “fight” and resist us.  This can affect one organ or multiple organs which causes a myriad of diseases.

The Bottom line? We feel bloated, stressed, wired and tired. That’s not the quality of life we aspire to.

So what can we do? Thankfully, there’s a lot. Here’s what I’m doing:

Eating clean. This means taking a closer look at what I have been eating and getting real about my protein sources and selections. I still avoid dairy, grains, glutens, sugar and processed foods, but have been a bit lax of late with my travels and eating desserts and drinking way too much. That’s gone, NOW. My belly is my reminder: Booze = Bloat and I ain’t digging it. I’ve also taken a look at my medications and supplement list and with the help of my Naturopathic doc, Alicia Johnson, I am taking only what I need and flushing the rest (more on this in another blog).


Moving More.  Truthfully my back has been a big hindrance to this. I know what you are thinking- how does a freaking Pilates instructor wind up with a herniated disc? I know! It’s bullshit. But it’s real and it’s cramped my style for several weeks. Thankfully most injuries of this kind tend to take care of themselves in time and that is the case with me. I have been able to return to teaching Pilates and Inversion Therapy, maintain my walking but need to add in some more 20-minute resistance training via weights and the reformer. All of these things I call “supportive” exercises as they provide variety and support instead of breaking me down.


Making Sleep a Priority. This has never been my strong suit but lack of sleep is a huge detriment to our health. Skimping on sleep not only affects our energy and the way we feel, it affects us on a cellular level. Sleep scientists say sleep deficiency is associated with problems with concentration, memory and the immune system — as well as with shorter lifespans. Caffeine, alcohol, stress and sleeping pills all undermine the quality and quantity of our sleep and therefore, our health.  I am not quite Benjamin Franklin, but I did ask Herb the other night if it was bad that we were in bed before the sun went down. His answer? “Nope.”


Toning down the toxins. This has been eye opening and truthfully, I never gave it much thought until recently. I’d been so focused on my diet and exercise that I must have thought I was somehow immune to the toxins I was ingesting and slathering on every day. I was wrong. Why would I go to all those lengths to detox my body and then simply ignore the toxins in my food, home, and makeup? This, after having to remediate my home for mold last year when Herb got sick with not one but two autoimmune diseases.  His sickness from mold toxicity triggered Lyme’s disease which had previously been latent.


All I can say is denial is a powerful thing.

Today we are installing a new whole house water filter to decrease the toxins in our water; getting a small freezer so we can purchase grass-fed beef and afford it; replacing our soaps, shampoos, deodorants, detergents and other cleaning supplies with chemical free options; and buying organic ALL the time instead of MOST of the time- especially those fruits and veggies on the “Dirty Dozen” pesticide list.

Why I’ve Decided Not To Age

Recently Herb and I went out on a date.  We wanted to try a new, hot restaurant called 1900 so we made a reservation.  Good news?  We got in.  Bad news?  The only thing left open was at 6:00 pm.  Now that might explain what happened next, but it was still shocking, and unwelcome, and altogether uncalled for.

The restaurant tucked discreetly off the street, was beautiful and sophisticated, decorated in austere gray and white with floor to ceiling windows.  The elegant atmosphere was just quiet enough to make it seem extra special. We followed the hostess (who looked like she was twelve) to our table and sat down, grinning because we were so excited to be out together.

We giddily nodded as our waiter delivered water, took drink orders, and recited the specials, so we didn’t immediately notice where we’d been seated.  It was a corner table, one of the best in the room where we had a lovely view of everyone in the place.

It wasn’t the table that bothered us, it was the company!  It looked like we were dining in an upscale nursing home! Everyone in that room was OLD! 

I looked at Herb and asked, “Did we cross over to this status without our knowledge?  What’s with the all the raisins?”

He smiled and said, “Well, we are eating at 6:00 pm.”   Leave it to Herb to be positive.

Unconvinced, I looked suspiciously around the room.  This, I thought to myself, seriously sucks.  Then I had a drink.

This morning I woke up with a stiff back.  It’s been stiff for about three weeks, but it went rogue on me this weekend after a particularly shitty week.  Undeterred, I woke up at 5 am, thudded out of bed and stubbornly did my morning meditation.  Mind over matter, you know.

I then packed a bag to drive with Herb to the Mayo clinic for the third and final visit in three weeks.  It was to be a good day- at 2 pm he was scheduled to get his arm out of the straight cast he’s been wearing since having elbow surgery last month.

Living with the one arm bandit has had its challenges and we were both looking forward to his emancipation.

Although my back was killing me I was determined to be a good partner and make the six-hour drive. I packed my Yamuna balls, back support pillow, ibuprofen, ice packs, and favorite healing crystal to help me make the journey.

We made it as far as the county line before he turned the car around and brought me home.  “This isn’t going to work,” he said, ” let’s be logical.  You’re miserable and I can’t worry about you.”

So, I thought, maybe I am old. 

Tomorrow I turn 59 and that’s a number an awful lot like 60, which I used to think was old.  In fact, when I was a kid, my friend Duonna House told me her parents were 30, and I thought they were ancient.  I also remember watching middle-aged women put lipstick on in the bathroom at Putsch’s cafeteria, wondering why they even bothered.  Didn’t they know they were old?  Jesus, I was brutal.

Now, when I hear my kids talking about feeling old in their 30’s I want to laugh, but really, why should I?  Age, like time itself, is a construct, so who’s to say who’s “old” and who isn’t?

Age never bothered my client Rae Block.  A diminutive force of nature, Rae’s power as a woman only increased as she aged because she only grew more into herself.  She was funny; she was intense, she was smart, and she was irreverent.

I knew the moment I met Rae that I was in the company of a unique woman.  What I didn’t  know at that moment was how lucky I was that our lives had crossed.

One of the first things my new employer said to me was, “I hope you’re better than my last trainer.  All she did was walk me to get ice cream,” and she laughed that ornery laugh. “I knew how to manipulate her.  I hope you are going to be tougher on me than that.”

Classic Rae- being herself was never a problem.

Rae was bold.  She wasn’t about to take an ounce of grief from anyone and you knew it.  She had lived a life of her choosing and she took responsibility for it.  That’s why she abhorred anyone who didn’t do the same.  She did not suffer fools… or victims… or weaklings.  I loved Rae and I never wanted to disappoint her, so I learned to be someone she could respect and that helped me in my own life.

As the months and then years passed, my time with Rae became one of the highlights of my week.  She’d roll her eyes during wall squats, protest about the treadmill speed, feign weakness on the abdominal curls, but she was as lithe and energetic as a 20-year-old (she often looked like a 10-year-old rolling around the floor), and I marveled at her ability to be completely ageless in mind and body.

One day after training, Rae mentioned that she had a spot on her lung and that her son was taking her to the Doctor to have it biopsied.  I went cold inside. 

I said, “You’re going to be fine.  You feel great!” and she agreed.  She felt fine; she felt great.  Nonetheless, I asked her if I could call her after she went to the oncologist to see how it went.  I also told her she didn’t have to pick up (Rae valued her privacy), but that I would call anyway.

I was with friends for dinner but snuck away to the ladies room at the appointed time to call her.  I was relieved when she picked up.  I thought this was a good sign.

“Hi, Rae.  How are you?”

“Fine darling.  Fine.”

“How did it go at the Doctors today?”

“Well, I went, and David went.  And I have lung cancer.”

“Oh, Rae.  I’m so sorry.”

“Yes, well I asked the Doctor about it and it’s spread to several places.”

“Oh, Rae.  I’m sorry.”

“Well then I asked what stage it was, and the doctor said 5.  Then I asked her how many stages there were, and she said 5.”  (with humor!)

I said nothing.  I couldn’t because she didn’t want tears from me.

“And so,” she continued,” I asked how long I had to live without chemo and I didn’t like that response… so I guess I’m going to have chemo.  We’ll just see.”

“Well you know I’m here for you.”

“I know that darling.”

I think she sensed I was going to say something schmaltzy so she interrupted, “But Dr. Holt called today, and I got some good news.”

“What was that?”

“My mammogram came back, and I don’t have breast cancer!”  and we both laughed.  That was Rae.  She died in 2009.

When I begin to feel sorry for myself because my back hurts, or my hip hurts, or my butt or face is drooping, I think of Rae. 

Because Rae never cared about age.  She never seemed like a woman of 75 or 80 or 82.  She was beyond it.  She was simply Rae and that example was only one of the magnificent gifts she gave me.

Thank you, Rae.