February Mental Wellness Coach Certifications?

Our Certified Mental Wellness Coach (CMWC) course will go ONLINE in January! (more details to follow)…

But, I’m wondering if there is enough interest in organizing Mental Wellness Coach Certifications in February?

New Orleans on January 31 and Feb 1 (Tuesday and Wednesday) – ahead of the Amare Leadership Summit on Feb 2-5.

Phoenix on Feb 19 and 20 (Sunday and Monday) – right after the Black City Canyon 100k trail run that I’ll be doing.

If there is interest in getting a group together for either location, please let me know (smtalbott@mac.com) and we can work out the details.

The Certified Mental Wellness Coach (CMWC) is a streamlined, focused, intense course spanning 16 hours of instruction (8 hours each day) in the role of diet and lifestyle factors in balancing the Microbiome-Gut-Heart-Brain-Axis for improved Mental Wellness.

Total costs are:

  • Tuition = $1,500 per student (and you can bring a guest for FREE – or share the tuition)
  • Food = included continental breakfast and coffee, healthy lunch, refreshments
  • CMWC course materials
    • 16 CEUs and Digital Badge from Marietta College
    • Printed Workbook = includes 500+ slides ($100 value)
    • Powerpoint slides used in the certification (500+ slides for your electronic library)

Background – Why Becoming a CMWC is Important

At no time in human history have we ever been so “advanced” technologically and yet so miserable psychologically.

It’s no exaggeration to describe stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout as epidemics – literally the “Black Plague” of our modern times.

How you feel is not just in your head, it’s also in your gut, and your heart, and your immune system, and in many other places inside and outside the actual brain in your head.

National surveys show that happiness and life satisfaction levels are at all-time lows, while depression, suicide, drug addiction, and use of prescription antidepressants and pain-killing opioids are at all-time highs.

There is no physical health without mental wellness. They are two sides of the same coin, and they are vital for each other and for our ability to reach our peak potential in this one life that we have to live.

The CMWC will explore research-supported natural approaches can improve how we feel mentally and perform physically in every aspect of our daily lives, including:

  • What is Mental Wellness Coaching
    • Education, Guidance, Training, Support to help unlock potential
    • Why EVERYONE needs a coach!
  • What Mental Wellness Coaching is NOT
    • Counseling, treatment, prescribing, medicine…
  • Objectives
    • Workshop Format
    • 500+ slides (many for reference)
  • Part 1 – Science
    • New Paradigm of the Gut-Heart-Brain-Axis
    • Science-based products (how Amare fits)
    • Mental Wellness Economy
    • Science Deep Dive
  • Part 2 – Practice – What to DO?
    • Mindset
    • Ingredient Sourcing
    • Functional Nutrition
    • Immune System
    • Stress
    • Gut-Brain-Axis
    • Endotoxemia / Metabolism
    • Heart-Brain-Axis
    • Physical Performance
    • Sleep
    • Anti-Aging

If you want to lose weight – get your microbiome in shape!

Just a couple of weeks ago (Dec 12), a new study out of Denmark showed how differences in gut bacteria could account for as much as a 20-pound difference in body weight.

The new study compared the microbiome “patterns” across three groups of people – and divided the groups into “types” (entero-types) based on the predominant bacteria in their gut = Prevotella (P-type), Bacteroides (B-type) or Ruminococcaceae (R-type).

The split was approximately 20% P-type, 40% B-type, and 40% R-type – and the astonishing finding was that the individuals with R-type microbiome patterns weighed about 20lbs more and had less “residual energy” in their stool samples compared to the B-type individuals, with the P-type folks in the middle.

Think about that – the ability to extract calories from food was much more efficient in the R-types compared to the B-types, which gives scientific validity to the observation that we’ve all had around some people being able to eat “whatever they want” and not gain weight – while others might “just look” at a piece of cake and gain weight.

These results indicate that your microbiome plays a HUGE role in your predisposition to weight gain (or difficulty with weight loss) – because the bacteria balance in your gut is largely responsible for how much of the food you eat is absorbed from the gut and stored as body fat.

So – what can you do about it?

Some of the work that we’ve done over the past few years has shown that you can naturally shift your own microbiome pattern away from R-type (the “weight gain” type that are efficient calorie harvesters) and toward the B-type (the “weight resistant” type that are inefficient calorie harvesters).

Several of our studies have shown that you can achieve this “leaner microbiome pattern” by supplementing with specific strains of probiotic bacteria, prebiotic fibers, and phytobiotics (plant nutrients that support microbiome signaling).

We have a new product launching in February that will take this concept to a new level that has never been seen before – enabling us to harness the power of the microbiome and Gut-Brain-Axis to improve not only how you feel (mental wellness) but also how you look (weight and fat) and perform (overall energy metabolism).

If you want a sneak peak – check out the Metabolism Masterclass that I recorded a few days ago – and stay tuned for more details as the new product launch gets closer. Part 1 and Part 2

What is Amare? (and imagine if it were a restaurant)…

I did an interview the other day, where I was asked, “What is Amare?” as a lead-in to a discussion about harnessing the microbiome to improve mental wellness (stress, fatigue, sleep, mood, focus, etc) – so here are two bullet points that sum it up – and then a little thought experiment – just for fun as we head into the New Year.

  • Amare is “The Mental Wellness Company” – helping people to feel and perform their best – to flourish on every level – with abundant physical energy, sharp mental acuity, and resilient emotional well-being.
  • Amare is both the fastest growing mental wellness company in the world – and the ONLY company helping people “level-up” by focusing on the emerging science of the microbiome and Gut-Brain-Axis.


That said, imagine for a moment if Amare were a restaurant

Amare’s Founder was a very successful businessman, having started, led and sold companies in both the private and public sectors. By all typical measures, he was a success – with a young family and enough wealth to never work another day in his life – but he had another vision – he wanted to “feed the people” – so he started Amare – the “Mouth Watering Company” (MWC).

He knew that there were a lot of existing restaurants, but none of them served the kind of food that he knew people really needed – the kind that tasted good and nourished them, but also helped them become the best versions of themselves.

He didn’t know very much about the restaurant business, but he knew he needed a chef – someone to come up with the recipes and prepare the food – so he found an experienced chef who was looking for a new challenge. The chef had worked in some of the finest kitchens, using the highest quality ingredients from around the world to create amazing dishes for many of the top global restaurant groups. His meals had a reputation for not only being delicious and nutritious, but also for being a multi-course “experience” that diners raved about. As the Founder painted the picture of MWC, the chef knew that he needed to be a part of it.

The Founder was a smart enough businessman to know that a restaurant’s success required a lot more than just good food – it needed a TEAM to maximize its impact in the world. Anyone who knows the restaurant business, or who has ever worked in a kitchen, or served guests as a waiter or waitress, knows that a successful restaurant works like a sports team with each individual playing their “position” with all of their skill. The food doesn’t get onto a plate in front of a diner without everyone working together to make it happen. 

The chef might prepare the meal, but the right ingredients need to be on hand (at the peak of freshness and at the right price). The meal can’t be prepared without the right pots and pans and utensils – so the kitchen needs to have solid operations and project management to maintain scheduling, quality and inventory. It’s a lot of moving parts – not only to keep the pot pies hot – so MWC enlisted experienced operators who were not only nimble but also proactive and strategic.

The patrons need to know what’s on the menu, so you want wait staff to be much more than merely “order takers” – they need to be educators and story tellers and gracious hosts. They need to be able to “sell” what’s on the menu while also making sure that the offerings satisfy the guests needs and expectations – and delivers an “experience” that they’ll tell their friends about. MWC was able to attract some of the top sales people and event planners to stand on the front lines of bringing a new kind of restaurant with an innovative menu to patrons (who perhaps didn’t even know they were actually craving this new kind of food).

You need a smart and friendly and unflappable Maitre’d to oversee the smooth operations of the “front of house” and ensure customer expectations are not just met, but exceeded. As the restaurant expands to multiple cities and countries, each location needs its own Maitre’d to keep things running smoothly and maintain the ambiance for which MWC is known. Eventually, MWC would expand to every state in the nation and dozens of countries around the globe – with each market requiring experienced guidance and leadership to integrate local customs and flavors.

Before customers ever come through your doors, they need to know that your new restaurant exists and is open for business – so you need creative marketers to make the meals look tantalizing and paint the picture of the MWC experience – enabling customers to not just see, but also feel why this is the place for them to dine amongst the myriad choices up and down Main Street. Because MWC was a completely different kind of restaurant, the marketers had a tough task – changing the “fast-food” mindset of existing diners (who felt terrible) to a more holistic and “whole food” approach (that would help them feel better) by describing the how, what, and why of MWC in words, imagery, and emotions.

In addition to delivering delicious meals and memorable experiences, a successful restaurant is also a business, so you need knowledgeable and experienced finance people to set menu prices, maintain cash flow, and maximize profitability. You need a legal and oversight team to secure permits and follow local regulations. You need professionals to manage the human resources so teammates stay healthy and happy and engaged. In today’s connected market, a restaurant needs integrated technology to take reservations and orders and generate performance reports. 

On top of all of that, you need a visionary CEO to chart the course for growth and strategic expansion – so the Mouth Watering Company can nourish as many customers as possible through a globally-distributed network of independent restauranteurs – maybe reaching as many as one million homes someday?

The restaurant business is challenging – long hours, demanding customers, and stiff competition – not to mention that you often get cut and burned and covered in sticky sauce. 

But, it’s also rewarding – delivering joy and connection and meaning – because Food is Love.

Just like a successful restaurant, Amare Global – “The Mental Wellness Company” is a TEAM – coming together as ONE to Serve Love and enrich the lives of people around the world.

People are hungry – for mental wellness and also for connection and purpose – let’s feed them!

Menopause Gold Rush


Nice article in the NYTimes about all the companies piling into the ‘menopause category’ – but I’m not sure the ‘solution’ is telemedicine to prescribe women (and men) synthetic hormones – especially when there are a number of herbs that can safely and effectively restore hormone balance, reduce menopausal symptoms, and improve mood, energy, focus, and libido (e.g. shatavari, fenugreek, cordyceps, rhodiola, tongkat ali and others)…

Great Resignation or Great Rethink?

Good article in the Boston Globe Magazine – about the importance of searching for purpose at work after a life-altering pandemic.
— Read on www.bostonglobe.com/2022/11/30/magazine/great-resignation-stretches-theres-another-movement-afoot-great-rethink/

You’ve probably heard some version of the old saying, “find love and purpose in what you do – and you’ll never work a day in your life”?

Similarly, the main “lesson” from the longest (80+ year) study on “what makes a good life” (the Harvard Longevity Study) is that a “good life” is one in which, “we are earning our own success, while serving others” – not a bad way to find “purpose” in our own lives…

Maybe you’re interested in building a coaching business around helping people to improve their Mental Wellness and Physical Health – helping them become the best versions of themselves?

That is exactly what we train you to do in the Certified Mental Wellness Coach program (CMWC) – with 16-hours of education around how the Microbiome and Gut-Brain-Axis help to determine (in large part) how we feel mentally and how we perform physically.

Our last in-person class of the year is happening this week (Dec 8/9) in Nashville – and we have just a few seats left – so we would love to see you there and help you get started with your own purpose-driven success.

Updated Bio & CV

I had to submit an updated Bio and CV (“curriculum vitae” – the academic fancy-pants way of saying “resume”) for my semi-annual recertification as a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) and re-licensure as a “Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist” (LDN) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

So…posting here for anyone who wants to know the minutiae of my scientific training and professional experience – and maybe give readers some insight into why I write about the things that I write about on this blog?

Diabetes Drugs for Weight Loss? (Bad Idea)

Last night, I watched a segment on CBS Evening News about the class of drugs known as “GLP-1 agonists” used to treat diabetes and obesity. The drugs can certainly be effective for people who are severely diabetic (by lowering blood sugar) or obese (by increasing fullness/satiety and suppressing appetite) – but they are absolutely not for anyone who is looking to los a few pounds.

These drugs come with a long list of severe and adverse side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating 
  • Indigestion 
  • Acid reflux
  • Gastroparesis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Thyroid Cancer

Despite these side effects, and as I’ve written about before, a lot of “celebrities” are touting these drugs for cosmetic weight loss (not a great trade off for the side effects).

What if there was a way to increase your body’s own production of GLP-1 naturally – without the drug-induced side effects?

Well, there is – by using specific strains of probiotic bacteria such as Lactobacillus planetarium DR7 and Bifidobacterium lactis BPL-1

Each of these strains has been shown to modulate targeted aspects of metabolism related to blood sugar balance and fat storage/release (including belly fat reduction) – and they also help with satiety/fullness, inflammation, dopamine (for motivation), cortisol (for stress), and even skin tone (for beauty).

This almost sounds too good to be true – but the new science of the microbiome is showing us again and again – that if we can harness the power of the microbiome with specific strains of bacteria, we can improve numerous aspects of mental wellness and physical health – including helping people lose weight naturally.