Why We Age – Part 1

THE BIG REWIND  workshop series details strategies to turn back our aging clock; prevent, slow, and reverse disease, and maintain our resilience, strength, and purpose.

New discoveries in the science of longevity not only reveal why we age but what we can do to slow the process – even to age backward!

Rather than a reactive disease-focused approach, THE BIG REWIND takes a proactive health-focused approach to aging.

Although we’re living longer than any time in history, most of us will spend the last few decades of our lives suffering from preventable and reversible ailments and diseases. 

Advances in surgery and medication help many of us live a longer lifespan, but what about our health span?  Lifespan is how long we live. Our health span is how many years we live a healthy, vibrant, and functional life.

Right now, six in ten Americans suffer from at least one chronic disease; and four in ten have more than one chronic disease.

All chronic disease is rooted in inflammation.  Inflammation is such a big part of aging that some researchers have even coined the term “Inflammaging” to describe the biological process of aging.

In the near future, 83 million Americans will have three or more chronic diseases, diseases that not only diminish quality and length of life but are almost entirely preventable. Chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer, dementia, depression, osteoporosis, and autoimmune disease.

Because these diseases come on gradually, starting around age 45 or 50 we don’t always recognize the slow, steady decline in our energy, function, and wellbeing.

After 60, we may see a steeper decline, and by 70 we’re often ready to resign ourselves to poor health, pills, doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes! 

Why wait until you feel and see the decline? 

The optimal time to intervene is earlier, making lifestyle choices that support your best health in your 30s, 40s, and beyond.

Perhaps we’re not as proactive as we could be because our medical system tells us we’re fine unless we have an increased risk of disease. By focusing on treating disease, rather than preventing it, traditional medicine often fails us by waiting too long to address the problem when we can still do something about it.

But the new science of longevity, based on the principles of functional medicine, can teach us how to prioritize and optimize our health, function, and wellbeing.

Why wait a moment longer to live your healthiest, most vibrant life?


“Eighty percent of our future health is in our hands today.”
–  Dr. David Sinclair, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School


age AS a reflection of lifestyle

Longevity science has given us a unified theory of aging, that there are common underlying factors that seem to lead to downstream diseases of aging.

The diseases that we think are the causes of death: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s, are really just downstream consequences of imbalances in our biology that we can do something about.

Depending on our genetics and life experience, aging may be expressed as heart disease in one person, cancer in another, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s in another.

This specific expression is due to underlying factors like inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, diet, gut health,  sleep, and exercise- all of which we have the immense ability to control.

The diseases we attribute to aging are largely preventable when we understand the impact of our lifestyle choices.

The foods we eat, the chemicals we are exposed to, how active we are, the quality of our sleep, stress management, sense of purpose and connection: all of these factors play a huge role in the rate of our aging.


We know the chronic diseases of aging are also called inflammatory diseases. This link between inflammatory dysfunction and aging known as “Inflammaging,” is more likely to occur when we engage in inflammatory lifestyle behaviors.

These include:

  • Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugar, unhealthy fats, and excess calories.
  • Being sedentary.
  • Overconsuming alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Poor sleep habits and sleep quality.
  • Failing to manage stress.
  • Social isolation.
  • Lack of supportive community and purpose. 
  • Toxic exposure to environmental toxins found in cookware, cosmetics, food containers. cleaning supplies, medications, clothng and more.

The way we age is a direct reflection of our daily choices. 

Frailty, confusion, dysfunction or strength, resilience, and relevance.  The choice is all up to us.

your dna is not your destiny

While it is true that our genes determine our hair color, eye color, and how tall we are, they are not the final determinant of our potential for health or disease.

In fact, only about 15% of the risk for all chronic diseases is attributable to genetics- the remaining 85% is due to our own lifestyle choices and environment.

For instance, say you have a genetic predisposition for Alzheimer’s disease because you have a specific gene called APO E 4. 

If you have two APO E4 genes your risk of developing Alzheimer’s is nine times greater than the general population.

This does not mean you’re destined to get it, not everyone with these 

genes gets Alzheimer’s.  That’s because adopting an anti-inflammatory diet early in life can mitigate that risk by 50%!

Lifestyle choices have more impact when it comes to whether or not you end up with a chronic disease.

Type 2 diabetes is a prime example.

Certain genes, excess blood sugar, and body fat all boost the chance that you’ll develop it. 

But a person of normal weight, with low blood glucose, even if they have the highest-risk genetics, probably won’t get diabetes. 

The person who’s overweight, even if they have the lowest-risk genetics, is at greater risk for developing diabetes.  And we can control our weight and blood sugar.


What is epigenetics?
Epigenetics is how our behaviors and environment influence the way our genes express themselves.

Simply explained, our genes are sections of our DNA.  DNA is the blueprint/instruction manual for building our unique body. 

If we liken our DNA to being the keys on a piano (fixed/mechanical), we still need someone to play the piano to make music. The player is epigenetics.

Epigenetics controls genes.
As the “piano player,” epigenetics determines a cell’s specialization- will it become a skin cell, blood cell, hair cell, liver cell, etc.)

Epigenetics has the ability to turn on a gene (gene expression) or turn off a gene (gene silencing), depending on the environmental stimuli.

What you eat, where you live, who you interact with, when you sleep, how you exercise – all of these can eventually cause chemical modifications around the genes that will turn those genes on or off over time.

And as we previously discussed, certain diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s, are influenced by which genes are expressed (active) or silenced (dormant.)

Epigentics make us unique.
Why do some of us have blonde hair or darker skin? Why do some of us hate the taste of mushrooms or eggplants? Why are some of us more sociable than others?

Different combinations of genes that are turned on or off are what makes each one of us unique.

There’s also some indication that some epigenetic changes can even be inherited, so your lifestyle choices may be passed down to your children and grandchildren. The microbiome is a good example.

Epigenetics is reversible.
With more than 20,000 genes, the possible combinations of gene expression are limitless. 

As scientists seek to map the cause and effect of the different combinations, to see if it’s possible to reverse the gene’s state to keep the good while eliminating the bad… they could hypothetically cure cancer, slow aging, stop obesity, and so much more.

The potential of epigenetics science and its impact on aging is immense.

EpigeneticS and Age

We now know that epigenetics is the complex machinery determining how active or inactive each of our genes are. Genes are the keys on the piano- but epigenetics is the player of the piano, determining how genes are expressed or silenced.

The problem that occurs during aging is that our epigenetics become increasingly dysregulated.

Liver-specific genes are erroneously switched on in brain cells, stomach genes are switched on in muscle cells, and so on.

Genes that need to be turned off are turned on (like cancer-promoting genes), and genes that need to be turned on are switched off, such as genes that repair or protect our cells. 

Generally, we see that our DNA ages and becomes more demethylated (which we will explore more in The Big Rewind workshops). As a result, gene transcription (the process by which DNA is copied for protein synthesis),  is less suppressed in many areas.

This leads to specific genes becoming active that should not be active, like cancer and other disease-promoting genes. Combine that with the chronic inflammation that also accompanies aging and we have increased cellular dysfunction.


The biochemistry of aging begins long before we may feel it on the cellular level.  Our genetics may predispose us to certain outcomes and risk for disease, but our lifestyle has the greater impact.

In other words, genetics load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.

We now know from current research that only about 15% of our risk for developing chronic disease depends on genetics, but 85% has to do with diet and lifestyle. 

Thankfully, this is great news!
Because even if we have a genetic tendency toward premature aging and disease, we now know we can prevent and often reverse that propensity with targeted lifestyle habits and strategies.

THE BIG REWIND discusses these strategies in detail, but for now, let’s look at aging and where it begins- in our cells. 

Click here to read the next post about the ten hallmarks of aging.

The mechanism of aging all boils down to keeping our mitochondria and DNA clean, healthy, and functional.

In addition to eating healthy, moving regularly, and staying connected in your community, new scientific discoveries in longevity can help us not only live longer but better, healthier, and with more joy!

Join Tina Sprikle for THE BIG REWIND, a 3-part series exploring the reasons why we age and what we can do about it. 

workshop #1.
why we age


Take a deep dive into the biochemistry of aging, and longevity science, to learn how you can not only live longer but live better!

what we can do

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The importance of nutrition, meal timing, exercise, and targeted supplementation and peptide therapy for slowing down and reversing aging with special guest Dr. Rahul Kapur.

workshop #3. ask the surgeon

Saturday, January 14, 2023

You’re eating right, exercising and working your anti-aging protocol but still want a fresher face in the mirror.  Join special guest Dr. Regina Nouhan as she answers your questions about options for facial cosmetic surgery.

Each 90-minute workshop provides participants with:

  • The latest longevity research education
  • Actionable steps to improve your health, slow and or reverse aging
  • Workshop topic Ebook
  • Resources links and service providers
  • Video replay
  • Optional follow-up resource texts

until we get this party started why we age - 10.22.2022


I’m always a text or email away.

Email me at tina@tinasprinkle.com or send me a text at 913 963 8546.

Why We Age – Part 2

Aging is defined as a progressive loss of physical integrity, functionality, and increased vulnerability to illness and death that begins on the cellular level.

While aging itself isn’t a disease, the aging process represents a major risk factor for several chronic diseases and conditions, including frailty and lack of resilience.

Research on the biology of aging has accelerated rapidly in the last two decades. Geroscience, a new branch of longevity science, seeks to address the biology of aging and the biology of age-related diseases together.

Aging is a predominant risk factor for most common chronic diseases that limit health span: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer,  metabolic syndrome, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few.

Accumulated cellular waste, signaling errors, imperfect repairs, and cell damage all contribute to the symptoms of aging and ultimately lead to the development of age-related diseases that eventually kill us.

Understanding cell dysfunction and how it affects our bodies is the key to understanding why we age. 

This post explores what longevity scientists call the Ten Hallmarks of Aging and how they each contribute to the process.  

There’s a bit of biochemistry here, but don’t worry, we’ll decipher it further in workshop #1, on October 22, 2022, of THE BIG REWIND.

Reserve your spot today.

mitochondrial dysfunction

  • Mitochondria are the power plants of our cells. They produce the energy that our cells need to stay alive and function properly.
  • Cells contain hundreds to thousands of mitochondria on average. 
  • The older we get, the more our mitochondria become damaged and dysfunctional. 
  • Mitochondria become damaged in a variety of ways during our lifetime, such as mutations
  • in their DNA when they divide, by free radicals, and due to epigenetic changes.
  • When mitochondria are damaged, cells don’t have enough energy to properly function and maintain themselves.
  • Also, damaged mitochondria send disruptive signals to the cell, further disrupting proper cellular functioning. 
  • All of this contributes to aging.

Cellular Senescence

Senescent cells are sometimes called “zombie” cells because they are damaged cells that should have died but stay alive.

Senescent cells secrete inflammatory substances that damage the healthy surrounding cells, further contributing to inflammation and aging.

When we get older, these senescent cells accumulate in the skin, contributing to sagging of the skin and wrinkles. 

In the joints, senescent cells damage the cartilage, contributing to osteoarthritis. 

Senescent cells in the blood vessel walls lead to stiffer blood vessels which are more prone to breaking and accumulating plaque. 

Altered Cellular Communication

  • During aging, the environment our cells live in changes: it becomes pro-inflammatory, pro-aging, and damaging. This makes our cells age faster, leading to a vicious cycle as damaged cells secrete harmful substances that damage healthy cells.
  • When we get older, increasingly higher levels of destructive substances can be found in our bloodstream and cellular fluids. 
  • Examples of such substances are proinflammatory factors, proteins, peptides, metabolites, and hormones that damage our cells and accelerate aging. 
  • These circulating substances promote low-grade, systemic age-related inflammation also called “inflammaging”.
  • A dysregulated microbiome, a leaky gut, an aging immune system, and chronic pathogens like viruses can all contribute to altered cell communication.

Epigenetic Alterations

The epigenome is the complex machinery that determines how active each of our genes are. You can look at the epigenome as an on-off switch for genes.

The epigenome is very important for gene expression (which genes are active or inactive), and thus cellular function as a whole.

The problem is that during aging the epigenome becomes increasingly dysregulated.

Liver-specific genes are switched on in brain cells, stomach genes are switched on in muscle cells, and so on.

Genes that need to be turned off are turned on (like cancer-promoting genes), and genes that need to be turned on are switched off, such as genes that repair or protect our cells. 

Generally, we see that our DNA becomes more demethylated (there are less methyl groups sticking on the DNA which would normally prevent the DNA to be translated into protein). As a result, gene transcription is less suppressed in many areas.

This leads to specific genes becoming active that should not be active, like cancer-promoting genes.

Genomic Instability

  • During our lifespan our DNA becomes damaged, contributing to many problems given DNA contains all the instructions to build and maintain our body.
  • During aging, our DNA becomes more and more damaged, contributing to the aging process. 

    DNA can become damaged in two main ways:

    • Damage from the outside: This kind of damage is caused by external factors, like physical (e.g. UV light), chemical (e.g. specific drugs, substances in cigarette smoke, toxic compounds) and biological damage (e.g. viruses). 
  • Damage from the inside: This kind of DNA damage is caused by internal processes, such as replication errors when the DNA is copied, free radicals produced by cellular metabolism, spontaneous chemical reactions, a dysregulated epigenome, etc.
  • These actions lead to all kinds of DNA damage, such as mutations, DNA strand breaks, chromosomes that disappear or get rearranged, telomere attrition and shortening, and more.
  • Every day, in every cell, tens of thousands of insults damage the DNA, but most of them are repaired, fortunately.  As we age, the genes that repair DNA can get overwhelmed.

Telomere Shortening

Telomeres are short pieces as the end of our DNA strands.

You can compare telomeres to the caps on our shoelaces that prevent the laces from raveling out.

With every cell division, telomeres become shorter. When they are too short, cells stop dividing. These cells cannot continue supporting and forming our tissues properly.

Telomere length shortens with age. Progressive shortening of telomeres leads to senescence, apoptosis (cell death), or oncogenic transformation of somatic cells, affecting the health and lifespan of an individual. Shorter telomeres have been associated with increased incidence of diseases and poor survival.

The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors.

Better choice of diet and activities has great potential to reduce the rate of telomere shortening or at least prevent excessive telomere attrition, leading to delayed onset of age-associated diseases and increased lifespan.

Loss of Proteostasis

Proteins are the building blocks and workhorses of our cells.

Each cell contains many millions of proteins. Proteins are continuously broken down and built up.

However, this process is not perfect: some proteins are not broken down and keep lingering around in the cell.

They clump together and start to


accumulate in and around the cells, causing the function of the cells to deteriorate, all contributing to the process we call aging. 

“Proteostasis” refers to “protein homeostasis”. 

Homeostasis is the delicate, healthy balance that all cells strive for to stay alive and function properly.

With age, proteostasis deteriorates.

Deregulated Nutrient Sensing

During aging, important metabolic pathways become more and more dysregulated. These pathways regulate how our cells respond to nutrition.

When our cells become less tuned to nutrient signals,  it can result in reduced energy and metabolic dysfunction as we age.

The four pathways of nutrient-sensing regulate metabolism and influence aging. The four associated key protein groups are IGF-1, mTOR, sirtuins, and AMPK. We call these proteins “nutrient-sensing” because nutrient levels influence their activity. We will talk more about the impact of these proteins and what we can do about them in THE BIG REWIND workshop #2 on November 19, 2022.

It’s important to understand how the western diet with an overabundance of fast sugars, animal proteins, and unhealthy fats leads to an overactivation of these nutrient-sensing pathways and accelerates aging. 


  • Stem cells are rare cells, scattered around in the body, that produce new, differentiated cells.

  • Stem cells are very important and very powerful. In fact, your whole body was created out of one super stem cell, namely the fertilized egg cell that nestled itself in the womb of your mother.

  • Our body is continuously rebuilt and replenished with new cells that derive from stem cells.
  • When we get older, our stem cells become dysfunctional or they die off. This leads to our tissues being far less replenished with new, healthy cells.

  • Additionally, as we age, some dysfunctional stem cells take over the existing stem cell pool. These stem cells are dysfunctional because they don’t maintain the tissues properly, but they reproduce faster than the normal stem cells, out-competing them.


Cross-linking, (also known as glycosylation) attributes aging to chemical changes that happen gradually as proteins, structural molecules, and DNA develops detrimental chemical bonds (aka cross-links) to each other.

Cross-linking issues arise when glucose binds to protein. This process occurs under the presence of oxygen, and as we age there are increased odds that oxygen comes in contact with glucose and protein to activate the cross-linking transition.

This is somewhat similar to how apple slices (a glucose-rich food) will gradually turn yellow and brown as they are exposed to oxygen in the air.

Cross-linking of proteins may also play a role in the hardening of collagen and cardiac enlargement, increasing the risk for cardiac arrest.

Cross-linking is also associated with stiffening of blood vessel walls, delayed wound healing, reduced joint mobility, and changes in the lens of the eye.

In addition to these potentially serious implications, many believe that cross-linking is responsible for age-related skin changes including wrinkles and reduced elasticity.

As we grow older, sugar-derived bonds, or crosslinks, are formed between the proteins that make up our tissues, making tissues more stiff. Stiffer tissue is less capable of performing its function than soft, supple tissue, especially in blood vessels, the lungs and the skin.


Aging changes occur in all of the body’s cells, tissues, and organs, and these changes affect the functioning of all body systems.

While your chronological age (how many birthdays you’ve had), will increase at a set rate as the years pass, your biological age, the measurement of your cellular age based on various biomarkers — can change due to how you choose to live your life.

Your biological age reflects a combination of your genetics, accumulated lifestyle factors, and other determinants such as demographics, diet, and exercise habits.

Addressing aging as the biochemical event that it is can help you reduce inflammaging, slow the ten hallmarks of aging, and help keep you strong, flexible, energetic, and focused.

Now that we know why we age. We’ll take a deeper dive into what we can do about it in our second in person workshop with Dr, Rahul Kapur on Saturday, November 19, 2022.

Our next blog in this series will detail actionable steps you can take today for a younger tomorrow!  Scheduled blog release date:  October 22, 2022.

The mechanism of aging all boils down to keeping our mitochondria and DNA clean, healthy, and functional.

In addition to eating healthy, moving regularly, and staying connected in your community, new scientific discoveries in longevity can help us not only live longer but better, healthier, and with more joy!

Join Tina Sprikle for THE BIG REWIND, a 3-part series exploring the reasons why we age and what we can do about it. 

workshop #1.
why we age


Take a deep dive into the biochemistry of aging, and longevity science, to learn how you can not only live longer but live better!

what we can do

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The importance of nutrition, meal timing, exercise, and targeted supplementation and peptide therapy for slowing down and reversing aging with special guest Dr. Rahul Kapur.

workshop #3. ask the surgeon

Saturday, January 14, 2023

You’re eating right, exercising and working your anti-aging protocol but still want a fresher face in the mirror.  Join special guest Dr. Regina Nouhan as she answers your questions about options for facial cosmetic surgery.

Each 90-minute workshop provides participants with:

  • The latest longevity research education
  • Actionable steps to improve your health, slow and or reverse aging
  • Workshop handout and Ebook
  • Resources links and service providers
  • Video replay
  • Optional follow-up resource texts

until we get this party started why we age - 10.22.2022


I’m always a text or email away.

Email me at tina@tinasprinkle.com or send me a text at 913 963 8546.

The Big Rewind

The Big Rewind is a three-part workshop series about aging: how we age and why we don’t have to.

Some of our most simple, everyday habits have immense opportunity to impact the way we age—the Big Rewind Workshop series is your guide to preventing chronic illness and supporting a long, vital, and fully functional life. 

By focusing on healthspan as opposed to lifespan, we can learn ways to extend our years of feeling great and living fully— instead of struggling to endure the last of them.

This series addresses the root causes of aging, including:

  • inflammation
  • hormone balance
  • a healthy gut and microbiome
  • longevity nutrition
  • epigenetics, and
  • the importance of sleep, connection, movement, targeted supplementation, and longevity lifestyle hacks 

Longevity science is literally exploding right now. New and exciting discoveries are toppling the “old” paradigm of aging, revealing a new frontier where we can slow and even reverse the aging process.

In addition to discussing lifestyle changes to support your healthspan, this course discusses how to use epigenetics to support your DNA, improve mitochondrial function, hormone balance, and brain health. 

Because aging isn’t optional, but how you age is.


the big rewind workshop series

(The biochemistry of aging)

(Science-based strategies to reset and rewind our biological clock), and

#3. SKIN DEEP INTERVENTIONS (Options to align your outside to match your new, younger inside!)

workshop #1.
why we age


Take a deep dive into the biochemistry of aging, and longevity science, to learn how you can not only live longer but live better!

what we can do

Saturday, November 19, 2022

The importance of nutrition, meal timing, exercise, and targeted supplementation and peptide therapy for slowing down and reversing aging with special guest Dr. Rahul Kapur.

workshop #3. ask the surgeon

Saturday, January 14, 2023

You’re eating right, exercising and working your anti-aging protocol but still want a fresher face in the mirror.  Join special guest Dr. Regina Nouhan as she answers your questions about options for facial cosmetic surgery.

Each 90-minute workshop provides participants with:

  • The latest longevity research education
  • Actionable steps to improve your health, slow and or reverse aging
  • Workshop handout/transcript
  • Resources links and service providers
  • Video replay
  • Optional follow-up resource texts

until we get this party started why we age - 10.22.2022


I’m always a text or email away.

Email me at tina@tinasprinkle.com or send me a text at 913 963 8546.

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! 


Fall Yoga, Meditation & Journal Retreat



Unchanged:Restore your mind and body as Tom and Tina lead you through daily yoga and mindful movement designed to both inspire and calm the senses.

Coming home to your body through guided movement and awareness is a powerful and healing act of self-love.

Taking this time to move inward to reconnect your head and heart, will strengthen your movement practice or help you begin one.


“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather..” ~Pema Chodron



Unchanged:Stillness is a practice we cultivate to feel fully present and alive. In this retreat, you’ll have ample opportunity to drop down and drop inward with three-daily meditation practice sessions.

You’ll be amazed how quickly you’ll love this practice and the peace and comfort it brings to you.

Tom is an excellent meditation teacher, skillfully weaving humor, storytelling, and music to uplift and inspire your practice at Timber Creek and beyond.




Unchanged:Keeping a journal can be transformational. It’s a decisive practice that allows us to create a safe place to record and express our feelings, emotions, and deeply held desires.

If this is something you’d like to explore, Tina will provide guided journal prompts to make the process accessible and fun.

Keeping a journal can help access the music and voice of your true emotion.

For some, a journal is considered a best friend.


“All serious daring starts within.” ~Eudora Welty



Unchanged:Let yourself sink into the luxurious comfort and care of Timber Creek Retreat House. Just one hour south of Kansas City, you’ll feel you’ve escaped to a magical and magnificent lodge in the woods.

Surrounded by eighty acres of wooded trails and wildlife, Timber Creek is a refuge from life’s daily stresses with no detail of your comfort overlooked.

Take a nap in your king-sized bed, slip into a good book by a cozy fire, treat yourself to a massage or a lazy walk in the trees, or enjoy the serenity of the beautiful meditation room.

Timber Creek was conceived and created with one goal in mind: your comfort and well-being.


“Just be, and enjoy being.” ~Eckert Tolle




Unchanged:Busyness is an addiction that robs us of our wholeness. Taking time to rest, reflect, and retreat is a statement of our own self-worth and value.

  • Make time for healing.
  • Make time for presence.
  • Make time for sustenance, friendship, solitude, and silence

Open up and make time for your light to shine. It’s greatly needed in this world.


“Almost anything will work again if you unplug it for a minute,
including you.” – Ann Lamott





Please email or text Tina for answers!
Email: tina@tinasprinkle.com
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Why Women Don’t Sleep

Sleep is a fundamental building block to health, yet 1 in 4 women suffer from insomnia. Most women will experience trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep, and reaching deep levels of sleep during their lifetime. It is a chicken and egg situation. 

Are your hormones causing poor sleep, or is poor sleep-disrupting your hormones? 

Usually a little of both, as our bodies are cyclic. Our circadian rhythm is intimately connected with our hormonal cycle.

Stress and Your Adrenal Glands

Stress is a daily challenge for most of us. Work, relationships, family, and financial pressures add up and lead to elevated cortisol levels. Cortisol should be a short-term hormone but chronic stress keeps cortisol elevated, disrupting our circadian rhythm.

In a healthy person, cortisol levels spike early in the morning to allow us to wake up refreshed and energized.  

Levels drop slowly throughout the day as melatonin increases. This helps us feel sleepy and wind down for bed. 

Chronic stress flips this equation because cortisol remains elevated into the evening which disrupts melatonin release and quality sleep.

Cortisol levels finally drop through the night leaving us fatigued and foggy in the morning

Stress has a direct impact on our emotions via our nervous system. It triggers our sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight portion of our neural response), leaving us anxious, nervous, and hypervigilant. 

Stress disrupts our hormone balance, gut health, and metabolic function because we’re not able to access our (rest and digest) parasympathetic nervous system. Chronic stress wires our nervous systems to become sympathetic dominant. 

When the nervous system is operating predominantly in a sympathetic state, we feel anxious, reactive, and tired. Our sleep suffers.

And because sleep is the time when we rest, digest, and detox, our hormone, gut, and metabolic health also suffer. Without intervention, this becomes a truly vicious cycle.

hormones and sleep

There are several hormones involved in controlling your appetite and weight. The two big appetite controllers are leptin and ghrelin. 

As it turns out, these two hormones are directly affected by sleep (among other things)!

Dubbed the “hunger hormone”, ghrelin is produced in the gastrointestinal tract. After eating a meal your stomach distends and the secretion of ghrelin decreases, signaling you that it’s time to stop eating.

Leptin, the “satiety hormone,” is produced in several tissues, but mostly in our fat cells. High levels of fat lead to higher levels of leptin. The brain reads leptin as a sign that you have plenty of nutrition, ie fat stores, so it “turns off” your hunger. More leptin means decreased appetite.

But wait, wouldn’t that mean those with excess body fat feel less hungry and eat less, thereby losing weight?

Like all good things, too much is bad. 

When you have persistently elevated levels of leptin, your brain becomes desensitized and stops “hearing” this hormone. This is called leptin resistance. Your brain acts like the level is low which leads to you having an increased appetite.

Ghrelin is a complex hormone with many roles but we can oversimplify it for this discussion. Ghrelin is produced in the GI system, mainly the stomach. Ghrelin levels go down when you eat and then start building up again 3 hours later. 

The level rises significantly right before you eat, especially if you have a predictable eating schedule. This hormone is what gives you those hunger pains right before lunch. The higher ghrelin you have, the brain reads this as starvation and tells you to eat.

When you’re sleep-deprived, ghrelin levels rise, and along with that, your feelings of hunger.

More ghrelin +  less leptin equals weight gain.

Other Hormones

Cortisol, glucose, insulin, and growth hormone also play a role in weight and appetite and are all affected by sleep!

It’s a complicated process but we’re focusing on leptin and ghrelin since they play such a big role in our appetite and satiety.

What is the sleep-weight connection?

Let’s start with leptin. Sleep increases the amount of leptin you have, telling your brain you do not need to eat. 

This not only decreases your appetite, but it also helps with not storing food as fat for future use.

Ghrelin does the exact opposite, levels go down with sleep so your brain is not triggered to feel hungry.

Those who sleep 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night have higher levels of leptin and lower levels of ghrelin which makes you feel less hungry throughout the day.

Other Factors

In addition to hormones, your brain is affected by sleep deprivation. 

First, your frontal lobe is less active. This is the center of impulse control and behavior modification. The less sleep you have, the less active your frontal lobe is which means you have less impulse control. 

You know when you see that donut in the bakery window and you just know how tasty it will be! But, you still manage to walk away because you know it isn’t healthy and you aren’t even hungry anyways.

That ability to walk away is blunted with decreased frontal lobe activity which leads to poor decisions, and not just with food control.

Sleep also undermines our brain function and ability to focus.

When we miss sleep, our brain feels foggy and sluggish, partly due to the role of glucose while we sleep. That lack of energy is sensed by your hypothalamus (the portion of the brain that largely controls hunger) and tells you to eat high-calorie junk food in order to pep up a bit! 

Increased cravings for junk food and decreased impulse control lead to a late-night run through a drive-thru or powering through a tub of ice cream by yourself!

How do I sleep to support my weight loss?

Our body’s control over our hunger is complicated and the sleep-weight connection is still not fully understood. We still have much to learn about the signals our brain processes that drive us to eat. But it is also becoming clear that sleep plays a crucial role in helping to regulate these hormones and our brain’s ability to control or stimulate our appetite.

It all comes back to nutrition and lifestyle

Once again, our gut-brain axis is at the center of our choices.  The good news is we have choices about what we eat, sleep and move. The symbiotic relationship between food and physiology is a powerful ally in our quest for optimal health.

In my next blog, we’ll look at the topic of meal timing to explore how the body is impacted not only by what we eat but when we eat it.

Don’t worry, peeps!  The news is good!

Why nature is my physician

My love of nature started in childhood as my parents insisted their three children play outdoors as much as possible. While we weren’t allowed to run wild, (you never wanted to hear my Mom’s frenetic bell ring because you were somewhere you weren’t supposed to be), we were given the freedom to spend hours rolling around in the grass, climbing trees, dancing in the driveway, or playing a mean game of tug of war.

Perhaps it was because my parents just wanted us out of the house, or maybe they knew intuitively what scientific studies reinforce today: Nature is a powerful ally and healing force for our mind and body.

nature is good for us

We know that spending time in nature makes us feel good, but does it measurably affect our well-being? Study after study has shown the answer is yes.

Studies show that being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, fear, stress, and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but also contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

According to health researchers Stamatkis and Mitchell, nature not only improves the quality of our lives but the length of them as well. And a study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology in 2018 found that spending as little as five minutes outdoors was linked to a significant mood boost.

Research conducted in hospitals, offices, and schools has found that even a simple plant in a room can have a significant impact on stress and anxiety.

nature is our happy place

Our affinity toward nature is genetic and deep-rooted in evolution. For example, have you ever wondered why most people prefer to book accommodations that have a great view from the balcony or the terrace? Why patients who get a natural view from their hospital bed recover sooner than others? Or why we crave downtime in nature when stress takes it’s toll on our zen.

“Study Nature, love Nature, stay close to Nature.
It will never fail you.”

Frank Lloyd Wright

Nature’s Impact on our Health

Who would have thought that a little time with the flowers and trees can actually improve your memory? The University of Michigan conducted a study that revealed students who regularly went for a nature walk actually had a better time retaining information.

  1. Nature improves short term memory.
    Nature also helps us cope with pain. Because we are genetically programmed to find trees, plants, water, and other nature elements engrossing, nature can distract us from pain and discomfort.
  2. Nature reduces stress hormones.
    In a world flooded by screens, sometimes just taking the time to unplug and go outside can do wonders for reducing stress. Nature has a calming effect on our brains, even if it means going outside for just five minutes each day. As an added bonus, outdoor exercise, like going for a walk, hiking, and so forth, gets the blood flowing and heart pumping, another way to lower stress levels.
  3. Nature increases our levels of Vitamin D.
    Sure, too much sun can damage the skin and possibly lead to cancer. That being said, studies show that getting between 15 to 20 minutes a day of sunshine will allow your body to absorb vitamin D, which helps strengthen bones and reduce the risk of cancer, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
  4. Nature improves our immune system.
    Research has shown that going outdoors and getting enough sunlight can help boost the immune system. Make sure to take a little stroll outside or enjoy a bit of fun outdoors to help fight disease and stay healthy.
  5. Nature reduces inflammation.
    Inflammation in the body can lead to all sorts of disorders, from depression and cancer to autoimmune diseases. A study demonstrated that participants who spent a bit of time each week walking in the woods experienced lower levels of inflammation in the body.  
  6. Nature inspires creativity.
    Nature comes in so many colors, from orange-sky sunsets to seafoam green waters and rose-colored gardens. Spending time outside gives a chance to get inspired by all the gorgeous sights, smells, and sounds of the outdoors. Science backs that up, too, showing that spending time outside actually helps get our creative juices flowing.
  7. Nature improves vision.
    We spend a lot of time looking at screens, which can damage eyesight. Going outside gives our eyes a break from staring at a computer, television, or smartphone. Australian scientists even found that children who spend time outdoors reduce the risk of developing myopia later in life.
  8. Nature improves our sleep.
    Spending time in natural light helps our bodies better regulate sleep patterns. When the sun goes down, our brains will release the right levels of melatonin to help get a good night’s sleep.
  9. Nature increases feelings of happiness.
    You can find all kinds of different activities outdoors for all fitness levels and preferences. Whether it means going for a swim in the sea, taking the dog for a walk in the park, or mountain biking, finding outdoor activities that we enjoy will boost your mood and help you to feel happier. Plus spending time in nature promotes mental well-being.
  10. Nature can open the door to a deeper sense of spirituality.
    A long walk in nature on your own gives a chance to clear the mind and can even count as a type of meditation. Spending time in nature helps us live in the moment as we breathe in the air, listen to the sound of the birds chirping, or feel the grass on our feet.

    Nature can even teach valuable lessons and reveal metaphors to help us connect with our spirituality. The changes of the season reflect the peaks and valleys we go through in life. Meanwhile, a coursing river reminds us of our need to “go with the flow” and navigate the waters of life, so to speak.

    Nature’s generous lessons are all around us when we slow down enough to take notice.

“A walk in nature walks the soul back home.”

Mary Davis

take a walk, skip the pill

A walk in the fresh air, the sun on our skin, bare feet in the sand: spending time outside can bring so many small pleasures, making us feel refreshed and revived. Whether it means sitting in your backyard garden sipping a cold iced tea or going for a thrilling white water rafting adventure, time in nature has the power to heal, inspire, and guide you daily.

The B Bar Ranch in Montana

Need some nature?

Join Tina Sprinkle and Lisa Looy for an amazing adventure on their WILD IN MONTANA Retreat. Daily meditation, guided hikes, horseback riding, and more. Space is limited so don’t delay! This retreat will sell out.

Everything Changes

I know change is inevitable and yet, I still resist and deny it when it arrives. I’m not sure why I insist on giving change such a bad rap because, in truth, change has been my life long friend.

Change helped me find the courage to leave an abusive man with no real home and two small children.  Change insisted I exit a toxic workplace, even when I didn’t have another job.  Change has alternately encouraged, discouraged, pushed and pounded me.  But what caused me the greatest pain wasn’t change, but the resisting of it.

Change’s constant presence still reminds me there is an opportunity in every letting go.


I’ve spent most of my adult life helping people- specifically in the area of health. My goal is threefold:  first, to help people desire to be healthy; second, to accept that it’s within their ability to do so; and third, and most importantly, believe that they’re worth the effort required.

Convincing someone to consider one of these tenants can be a stretch, getting them to embrace all three is just a plain, hard sell.  Why?  Because it involves change.

We’re so focused on what we think we’re giving up, we overlook the possibilities and opportunity within the same change.



Next month we will move Pilates 1901 to a new location. I am excited about this next chapter but also admittedly sad about leaving the home we’ve shared for eleven years. The new studio is just 28 blocks away, a beautiful new space that is as light and fun and as welcoming as always.

We’ll be providing the same great service with the same love and integrity that has always defined Pilates 1901. It really is silly to get my panties in a wad, but I do and I will, and I expect some others may, too.

It’s part of the deal. I get it.


I’ll still be teaching and preaching Pilates, health, empowerment, and faith to anyone who will listen.

But as I turn sixty, I feel also change demanding more of my attention and more of my grace.  I’m looking forward to less distraction and more presence; less thinking and more being; more teaching, and healing and learning.

One morning, many years ago, I was greeted with a note from my youngest son.  He’d left it for me on the desk where I spent the bulk of my time when I was at home.  It was a picture of Joan of Arc; beneath it, he’d neatly printed these words:  “For general peace and well-being, please resign from being General Manager of the Universe.”   Leave it to Spirit to deliver such a powerful message via a ten-year-old.  I’m sorry, Sean that it took me so long to hear.

The Buddah said, “the only thing constant in life is change.”  I am learning that is true. 

I’m just going to let go, trust and ride this new incredible wave.  I hope to see you at the shore.



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.

GOALS: Overrated or Necessary