DIANA ROBINSON How Health Coaching Led to Improved Confidence and a Wedding!









I started health coaching with Mirabai for a variety of reasons: high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, A1C creeping up, and weight loss, which was definitely at the top of the list. I just didn’t feel well and had low energy all the time. However, I felt that getting my weight down and managing my other issues was a huge task, and I found myself looking at the “too big” picture. Mirabai suggested baby steps, smaller interim goals that didn’t overwhelm me, and it worked!
Mirabai worked with me to identify key problem areas and establish a step-by-step plan to reach my goals. I started with my head first. Mirabai helped me get in the frame of mind to make the plan work. She listened attentively and suggested short-term goals that would move me forward.
I’m a southern girl and I love to eat. I also enjoy wine. So, diet has always been the biggest challenge for me. But, Mirabai recognizes that we are all different and that not all diets or routines fit everyone. So, we refined my eating until it started to work for me. Little changes add up to bigger changes. I didn’t have to give up everything I love, just modify.
If I didn’t reach a goal for a while, Mirabai didn’t’ give up on me or make me feel bad about it.
Take diets and food tracking for instance. If it takes a long time to prepare food or track my meals, I won’t stick with it. But if one thing didn’t work or if I didn’t like something, Mirabai would help me come up with something else to try.
Making life changes is not a quick fix. It takes time and commitment, but once you get going it’s not as hard as you might think. I lost weight and became more active. My labs improved. My cholesterol got lower and my A1C went from 5.5 to 5.2. I also began to feel less stressed and I’m sleeping better.
I think health coaching helped me feel more confident in other areas of my life. One big result is that I got married! My husband proposed a few years ago and he kept waiting for me to plan a date. What a stress reducer it was to have the confidence to marry this wonderful man. I should have done it sooner. He has helped me with eating healthier and with exercise, which has made a big difference.
I count my blessings every day that I met Mirabai. Her approach to health is to work on the whole person a little at a time. I’ve learned a lot about myself while being coached by Mirabai.
She has been a real positive in my life.
I recommend health coaching for anyone who has health issues they want to get under control.
Diana Robinson
Property Management

More health and fitness information and at home exercise programs from Mirabai Holland, Health Coach, visit www.mirabaiholland.com

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How Health Coach Mirabai Helped Becky Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle










My initial wellness vision was to lose some weight to get healthier.

My Doctor recently prescribed a specialized diet to address some health issues, so I had to adapt to a new eating lifestyle. Mirabai has helped me every step of the way on modifying my diet and updating my old goals to new goals. With her help, I track my food on regular basis on MyFitnessPal so I can make sure I am adhering to a diet that is better for my health. My healthier eating has led to some great results! Following the diet prescribed by doctor, and with Mirabai’s help, I was able to lower my A1C and stop taking blood pressure medication.

She also helped me get on to a gentle regular exercise program. Together we designed a program to help me lose weight and reduce my stress. Then, when I had some orthopedic issues, Mirabai was there to help me adapt my exercises and helped me choose proper shoes for added stability.

Life changes are hard, but Mirabai is expert at helping with that. I found tracking on MyFitnessPal to be a nuisance at the beginning, but now I embrace it. With this tool, I can easily see if I am staying within my given parameters. And, during my sessions with Mirabai we spend time going over my food tracking to make sure I am staying on track and come up ways to make it easier to follow my special diet. It really helps me adhere to it knowing that Mirabai is reviewing my daily entries and holding me accountable.

I would highly recommend health coaching with Mirabai!

Mirabai and I are a good fit. She understands my needs and helps me make my changes my way.  She understands that one size does not fit all. Health coaching has made a real difference in my health and has improved my personal wellbeing.

Becky Roberts
Property Management

More health and fitness information and at home exercise programs from Mirabai Holland, Health Coach, visit www.mirabaiholland.com


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Health Coaching Helped Me Define What Was Important So I Could Live Healthier









Health Coaching with Mirabai helped me define what was important and pressing for me to change if I wanted to live healthier. She helped me organize my thoughts so I was able to identify goals and develop my wellness vision. Then we were able to try different things until we found methods that worked for me, and that I could live with. This was not a cookie cutter approach. We tailored a program for MY individual way of doing things.

Mirabai never gave up on me when I was having trouble sticking to one of my methods. There was never any negative feedback, only encouragement and acceptance. If one thing didn’t work, we would work together to find a different way to go that would help achieve, or when necessary, adapt my goals and find more effective ways to accomplish them.

For example, part of my wellness vision was to learn to manage my sugar cravings. One of my strategies was to start tracking my food and sugar using the My Fitness Pal app. It gave me an idea as to how much sugar I was consuming on a daily basis. With that information I was able to substitute some of the sugar choices for healthier treats. I changed from eating full fat gelato or ice cream to Chilly Cow Light ice cream. It has less fat, less sugar, fewer calories and still tastes good.

I made lots of small changes based on very defined goals and that helped me. Reducing portion sizes, being conscious of calories, learning about nutrients vs. junk, and what is ACTUALLY IN the foods I was eating helped me want to make, and stick with, healthier choices. It’s not that I never have any junk or comfort food. But now I don’t do it often. And, when I do I can limit myself, so I don’t undo all the good I’ve done.

I’ve gotten really good results with this technique and I credit health coaching with Mirabai for helping show me how. My A1C went from 5.7 Prediabetic to 5.2 Normal. My Fasting Glucose went from 106 to 98 Normal. My total cholesterol went down to the 180s. My Triglycerides went down to 77.

Also, I never feel like I’m alone in this. Mirabai gives me good support. She is available between sessions to answer questions and to offer advice when I need it. This is not just a job to her – she’s dedicated, and she has my best interests at heart. She has a depth and breadth of health information at her disposal. And if she doesn’t know the answer off the top of her head, she knows how to do medical research so she’s able to find the information, then sends me links to what she finds.

I would definitely recommend health coaching with Mirabai to anyone looking to make healthy lifestyle changes.

Eileen Hansen

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How a Tag-Team Approach Helped Mark Make Small But Significant Changes for His Health








My wife Sharon introduced me to health coaching. She’s works for the county and she’s been working with Mirabai for a while. I saw her health and stress level improve tremendously, so I was open to health coaching. I wanted to improve my health, so I don’t decline. I had an idea of what I needed to change, but Mirabai took my ideas and helped me find ways to make healthy changes without turning my life upside down. And the great thing is, I had a ready-made support team with Sharon and Mirabai.

Over the last several months Mirabai has worked with Sharon and I together because we share common goals. We combine our two sessions into one mega session so we get a lot of time with Mirabai to work on our goals.

Food is a good example. Sharon loves to cook and Mirabai has helped us both read food labels and make healthier choices. After a lot of discussion, we decided that a Mediterranean style diet worked best for both of us. I work in the grocery business, so now that we’re doing this together, I get a lot of texts from Sharon about what healthy stuff to bring home for dinner. Frozen foods are high profit items in the grocery business and some of them are very good, but you have to be careful and read those labels because a lot of them are processed and have all kinds of junk in them. We’ve put an emphasis on fresh food.

I’m 61 now and I’ve worked in groceries since I was 17. My job is physical. I’m lifting heavy boxes, 60-70 pounds off and on all day. When my 8-10-hour shift is over I really feel like having a beer or two. But it wasn’t good for my weight or my blood sugar. Diabetes runs in my family and between poor food choices and a couple of beers after work, my sugar was bordering on diabetic and my weight was up about 12 pounds. My blood pressure was high, too. Mirabai knew not to ask me to give up having a beer after a long day. She suggested I consciously cut down by an amount that I choose and not stop entirely. I was able to have one instead of two and eventually not do it every night. Not having a beer before I go to sleep actually helped me sleep better and wake up less lethargic.

Exercise, particularly stretching, has also helped me tremendously. I’m leaning over quite a bit at work and 40 years of that have taken a toll on my lower back. I’m on my feet a lot too and I’ve had issues with my knees. Mirabai suggested that stretching could help relieve both issues, so I tried it. Now I’m doing some back stretches even at work and I have less pain. Stretching with the latex band has given me some good relief for my knees too.

The combination of Mirabai’s coaching and Sharon’s support has helped me make a real difference in my health. I lost those 12 pounds, my BMI went from 26.4 to 25.7, my Blood Pressure went from 133/78 to 123/71, and my Glucose went from 112 to 96.

Mirabai, Sharon and I are a great tag team and our results prove it. If people are willing to change and have the right frame of mind, you can do it. I would recommend health coaching to help you find out how to focus on what you want to change and get it done.

Mark Tarman
YourChoice Member

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Chris Palmer Health Coach Testimonial: The Benefits Are Immeasurable:

Because of my experience with Mirabai, I believe everyone should have a Health Coach.  The benefits are immeasureable!  I made the decision to call a Health Coach when I learned that my A1C level was raised and I was pre-diabetic.  My cholesterol was in the 300s.  I had gained 25 pounds without even noticing.  I knew something needed to change and I couldn’t do it on my own.  I have been talking with Mirabai for over a year and it has been a very positive experience.  I call her my food cheerleader.  She has continued to boost my morale, give me the hope and the strength to continue my journey to a better, healthier eating life.  I have learned so-o much and learned better alternatives for my poorer choices that I used to make.  Knowledge is power. 

Even when I didn’t exactly keep to the plan, she never berated me.  She would point out the good things that I DID do.  “It’s baby steps”, she’d say.  “You’ve been thinking like this for a long time”.   I started doing things right, just a little bit a time.  It’s OK to fall off the plan, as long as you get back on the plan.  It hasn’t been easy.  It’s a way of thinking and I’ve been thinking wrong for a long time.  It’s been imbedded in my memory banks since childhood. 

Mirabai is very knowledgeable about a lot of varied topics that are very helpful.  She knows me now and she tries her very best to say what is best for me.  She knows I’m going to eat that chocolate at the pot luck, but she says that it’s OK.  I never feel bad about myself for not meeting my own expectations.

I have lost those 25 pounds, which was my goal. My A1C is now below the pre-diabetic numbers and my doctor told me to cut my cholesterol pills in half!  I feel good physically and I feel good about myself.  AND I look good!
Thanks Mirabai

Chris Palmer: Health Coaching Testimonial

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How Pam dropped 83 pounds, lowered her A1C, and reduced her blood pressure meds








How Pam dropped 83 pounds, lowered her A1C, and reduced her blood pressure meds

With the combination of lifestyle changes and Bariatric Surgery I went from 237lbs, size 22-24 clothes, to 154lbs. I have lost 83lbs and now I wear a small-medium. My A1-C went from 6.7 to 5.2. I am off my blood pressure meds completely, I rarely need pain meds for my fibromyalgia and I am about to start taking stand-up paddleboard lessons.
I carried that 237lbs for about 15 years. I tried weight loss programs and I would lose a little weight and gain it back. I finally decided to try the County’s Bariatric surgery program. I had to lose 10% of my body weight in order to participate. That meant I had to be 213lbs before I would be eligible and ready for the surgery. I decided I needed help so I contacted Mirabai Holland, to see if health coaching could make the difference.
Having her support and feedback on a regular basis helped me become more focused on what I wanted and needed to do. We would construct small doable goals that helped me be accountable because each session my health coach and I would discuss if I had been able to fulfill my goals. Mirabai would give me positive feedback when I completed them. During the times when I was struggling she would help me tweak or in some cases just make new goals that were redefined to help me stay in my comfort zone and still make progress.
It took me at about a year to get going. Old habits die hard.
Many of my family were very overweight and morbidly obese up to 500lbs. I had genetics and the habits learned from my family against me. There were lots of sugary treats, lots of fatty foods and few veggies and fruits. Plus inactivity. Their idea of exercise was bowling once a week.
My journey to better health would take 2 steps forward and 1 step back.
I told Mirabai I wanted to give up during the first few months and Mirabai said maybe try a little longer and showed me testimonials from people who had succeeded and felt good and got healthier and that there was no hurry, no time frame. It’s a marathon not a sprint. And so I continued because after talking with Mirabai I felt more hopeful.
Little by little I was able to change my eating habits. I substituted old favorite unhealthy foods for new favorite healthy foods.
We did several food recalls and I tracked my food on fitbit for a while. I started incorporating more lean protein into my diet, adding in boiled eggs and almonds for snacks. I worked on better breakfast choices like plain instant oatmeal putting in nuts, berries and apples instead of sugar. I started to eat salads at lunchtime. I started seeing results and feeling better.
When I felt ready I started an exercise program.
Mirabai told me I should ease in so I slowly increased my activity level.
She showed me how to perform exercises correctly and modified them to accommodate my orthopedic shoulder and knee issues. The program started before surgery with really easy movements that felt good to my body a few minutes every day plus counting steps (5000 a day and now anywhere between 12,000-20,0000).
Now after surgery I exercise every day, walking 30-45 minutes. I do the exercises Mirabai gave me, which are a combination strength, stretch and cardio, the three major components of fitness. We also developed specific strength exercises to firm up problem areas like my core, inner thighs and arms.
In addition, I worked with Allison Minardi who was very helpful.
She kept me on track with a combination of walking and personal training before and after my surgery.
I discussed with Mirabai that I was having trouble getting a good night sleep so we talked about getting a sleep study test and I found out I had sleep apnea and got a machine that help me sleep better. Once I got the sleep apnea machine and was sleeping better it help lessen my stress. As I lost weight, my sleep improved, and I was able to manage stress better at work and home.
I would recommend health coaching for anybody to improve their lifestyle, particularly those who have bad habits that have impacted their health for decades, because it helps to guide them in a direction that they didn’t know they could go before. Combination of support and resources from Mirabai was imperative.
In my spare time I volunteer at the Palma Sola Botanica Park where I take care the butterfly garden. I nourish caterpillars and help them stay healthy so they can transform into butterflies.
I can relate to that.

Pam Kanarr
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office

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How My Health Coach Helped Me Reduce Cholesterol, Lower My A1C, and Stabilize My Weight







I have been struggling with my weight for years and I was worried about its effect on my health – I felt it affecting my mobility (I have had knee surgery and two shoulder surgeries). Working with a dietitian, nurse, and my health coach helped me get my weight and health under control.

8 years ago I weighed 362lb. I knew I had to do something. My first goal was to lose15lb so I could button up my pants. So, I started to walk and watch my portion sizes, and I stopped drinking a gallon of sweet tea every day. That helped me lose 50lbs in a year.

Then a Manatee YourChoice nurse, Robyn, contacted me about my blood work which she had concerns about. She told me my blood work was in the red in all categories. At that time I was 312lb. I met with a dietitian and realized I was getting more calories in my evening snacking than I ate in the whole day. I continued working with Robyn and started working out more regularly in the gym. I lost another 70lbs, bringing my total to 120lbs. Right now I weigh 242lb and at 6’2” I look and feel good.

When I heard about Health Coaching with Mirabai Holland I thought she might be able to help me organize my programs, stabilize my weight yo-yoing and stay on track. It worked, and is still working.

Here’s one example.
When we started, I was frustrated because I kept going up and down in my weight by 10-15lbs. I ate pretty well most of the time but I gave myself a cheat day once a week. Problem is, that cheat day was bad enough to undo a whole week of good work. I was a little afraid that Mirabai would make me give up my cheat day. Instead she said “let’s make a list of the stuff you eat on your cheat day.”

I told her what I ate and what restaurants I was eating in. She went online and found all the foods and broke down the nutrients and calories for everything. I was totally shocked when I found out the amount of fat, salt, sugar and calories I was consuming. It was enough to make me rethink my cheat day choices. Once I did that I started losing weight again without giving up my cheat day. I eat and drink what I want to during the holidays and am still able to manage my weight.

We also talked about my labs. We kept a running comparison on the areas I needed to improve. My overall cholesterol wasn’t too bad but my HDL’s were still pretty low. Mirabai suggested that I try to add more cardio to my exercise program to help manage my cholesterol. We met at the gym and she helped me design what I could, and would, actually do.

My next set of labs showed a solid improvement in my HDLs, my LDLs went down, my Triglycerides were cut in half and my A1-C continues to go down and stay in the normal range.

I think the extra cardio also helped me stabilize my mood and reduce my stress – I always feel upbeat after my workouts. Mirabai also helped me stay active through my two shoulder surgeries. She modified my exercises so I didn’t have to sit around and do nothing while I was healing.

Above all, Mirabai has been a coach not a boss. She never tells me what to do; she gives suggestions and resources based on the goals that I want to achieve. She helps me stay motivated.

No matter what health issue comes up she helps me get the information and encouragement I need to deal with it in a positive way. I can remember how I felt when I was overweight and how much better I feel now and want to continue to feel that way even as I get older.

I want to tell anyone who is thinking about doing this, that you CAN do it!

No matter what happens – even if you fall off track you can get back on and reach your goals. It’s great to know there is help and support available. I would recommend health coaching to anyone who has health issues they need to improve.

Claude Jones
Utility Services Coordinator



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How Collaboration with her Health Coach Helped Sally Achieve her Goals









I started Health coaching because my A1C was 5.7 and I wanted to get it down. I was also concerned about my low bone mass, I wanted to lose weight, and do something about lowering my stress level. Health coaching with Mirabai helped me figure out what to do and put my goals into action.

First, to tackle my A1C, I started to add more fiber to my diet like eating more beans, and I cut back on my sugar by drinking less sweet alcoholic drinks. My A1-C went from 5.7 to 5.2.

I used food tracking to log my food mostly on a daily basis; and during my sessions with Mirabai we would go over all of my food and look not only at the calories but what nutrients were important and how to measure the different foods so that I was addressing my health needs.

We not only discussed the mechanics of what to do but we also created a way to make these changes express my inner creativity. For instance, I took photos of my food and took time to make the food on the plate look beautiful and appetizing. It was not just a routine, which can get boring; we made accountability fun.

Since I have low bone mass we looked at the amount of calcium that I needed to have on a daily basis and I combined eating calcium and vitamin D rich foods with taking half of the amount of a calcium supplement of 600mg. I was striving to have about 1200 mg of calcium a day due to my age.

We developed an exercise program together. I started to exercise on a more consistent basis and increased my exercise to 30 minutes of cardio three times a week and two days of strength training plus stretching morning and evening for about 15 minutes each time. I also started to do 5k’s once a month. Now, if don’t workout I really miss it and feel not as energetic both mentally and physically.

I also use Fitbit to help me track my exercise, walking and how many hours I sleep each night. I was getting 5-7 hours and it was not always restful. During one of my health coaching sessions, Mirabai encouraged me to change my schedule so I would get 8 hours of sleep, which made me feel physically better and able to be more productive at my job and at home. It made me able to cope better with stress.

I took notes every time I had a session with Mirabai as well as keep a journal of my thoughts and progress between sessions. This helped me stay on track. Putting it into writing, it put things in perspective. I could refer back to it and I could see what I was aiming for and not get lost along the way.

It was easy having the support from coaching with Mirabai to help me adapt and overcome issues that could have stopped me from continuing on this road of health and wellness.

It was hard sticking with it during a time when my health took a turn. But, I was able to work with Mirabai to adapt my short-term goals so that I didn’t have to completely reverse all the good habits and what we had accomplished. I just had to slow down and build up staying in my comfort zone. And Mirabai supported me and gave me the confidence I could do that.

Health coaching its not a quick fix because you are changing lifelong habits and behaviors that have taken many years to develop. And just because they feel familiar it doesn’t mean they are good for you. In order to change my behavior, it took time and patience. Now these changes don’t feel like changes; they are part of my every day life. And they serve as a strong foundation for future goals that I would like to accomplish.

As a health coach Mirabai was a perfect fit. Mirabai’s approach was to listen, to work around my schedule, to form goals for things I actually like and wanted to do, and to find pleasure in the process in changing my behavior to live a healthier and happier life.

I would recommend Health Coaching to anybody who needs to make a change in their behavior and put it into practice to help promote a better and healthier life for themselves.

Sally Cook
Building and Development Services

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John Reduced His Blood Pressure and Built Resiliency With Help From His Health Coach









When I started Health Coaching I was concerned about my blood pressure and my stress level.

I told Mirabai my concerns and she helped me set short and long-term goals I could live with. Instead of just telling me to do this or that, we came up with things I would actually do. My blood pressure was ranging between about 145/90 and 135/88, and that’s on meds. Mirabai helped me find a home blood pressure machine with a cuff that would fit my arm and give me a more accurate reading at home. To check myself, I started going to the nurse’s office once a week to check my pressure. It took over a year to get it stable and I’m still on meds but now my pressure is mostly around 128/79

To work on getting it to that normal range, I started logging my food and how much sodium I was eating. I was surprised by how much it was. I was eating on the go and not making the healthiest food choices. I started bringing a healthy lunch to work and cutting way down on the fast food and soda. I gradually cut my sodium down to the American Heart association guidelines of 1500 mg a day. I’m a power lifter and I work out all the time, but I wasn’t doing any cardio. So I added cardio to my routines. I built up from zero cardio to 30 minutes 3-4 days a week.

I’m a disciplined person but it was tough at first. Mirabai was a neutral, non-judgmental person I could rely on. It helped me to stay accountable to myself and keep my eye on my goals.

It wasn’t only about my blood pressure though, it was also the stress I was under. My Health Coach helped me minimize my stress. Sharing why I was feeling this stress and talking about it instead of keeping it inside helped me deal with it more effectively. It was like having an umbrella to protect me from the rain of my stress. Mirabai sent me a link to a meditation video I could do at my desk. She said “just try it and let me know what you think”. I’ve used it a lot and it does help.

As a coach, Mirabai was a perfect fit. I felt Mirabai had the expertise and experience I needed. I could trust her and rely on her to give me resources to help me make my changes much easier.

Setting and achieving goals spilled over into the rest of my life too. Formulating a plan and goals, and steps to achieve those goals, has helped me in my work and with other things.

I’ve achieved many of my goals but I still work with Mirabai on a less frequent schedule to help keep my maintenance on track. Currently I’m working with Mirabai to help combat some recent orthopedic issues. She’s helped me get the right tests and be my own advocate for the healing of this issue I’m rehabbing.

I recommend health coaching to anyone who is serious about their health and longevity, and wants that extra help with whatever they’re dealing with.

John Murrell
Manatee County Sheriff’s Office


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How Health Coaching Helped Judy Set Small Goals to Make Big Changes








We’ve all seen the athletic coaches on TV, crouched on the field, attention on the players, ready to leap up if needed, rushing out on the field, shouting encouragement and definitely being there for the athletes. The coaches are vital to the success of the individual players and the team.

I have had the good fortune to work with our Health Coach Mirabai Holland.

While it is totally believable to picture Mirabai wearing a cap out on the field ready to come to my aid, our meetings have been on the phone or at the Fitness Center.

My initial reasons for working with Mirabai were nutrition, exercise and weight loss. I knew I needed to exercise regularly, eat better and lose weight, but I was confused about how to do this. With Mirabai’s help, I learned to set small, achievable goals that I could integrate into my lifestyle.I am better able to break down large problems into these smaller parts and successfully deal with the problem one step at a time. Not only did this help me achieve my goals, but it also reduced my stress by making my problems manageable.

Some of my goals were to schedule regular workouts on my recumbent bicycle for a set number of days per week. Gradually, I built my time from 10-minute workouts to 45 minutes or more, and from an easy pace to one more challenging. I now bike an average of 45 minutes at a time 5-6 days a week. I no longer have to make myself do this. I just get up and hop on the bike with a book and start pedaling. Thanks to regular exercise, I have lost about 2 dress sizes.

Then, we tackled the Fit Nuts challenge and set up a program of exercise based on the skills at the beginning and end of the program. Mirabai worked with me and with her encouragement I was able to significantly improve my scores and it felt wonderful to meet this goals-I had lost both weight and inches and was more limber.

I enjoy making different soups and we made that into a goal as a way to integrate more vegetables into my diet. Starting the week with a big pot of soup also provided me with several dinners and lunches that were delicious, satisfying and healthy.

During our time working together, I never doubted Mirabai’s support. Whether I met my goals or not, she was never discouraging or disappointed in me. She always is confident in my ability to succeed and is willing and able to adjust the goals or even change to entirely new goals if that is what is best for me. She helps me feel confident about myself.

Mirabai continues to amaze me with the range of her knowledge. Her background in exercise, nutrition, movement, psychology and in the inner workings of the body is extensive and what she doesn’t know, she is enthusiastic about finding more about. It truly is a win/win situation to work with Mirabai. She not only has the skills and knowledge to be helpful but she is also a warm and caring individual whose support is unwavering and unconditional.

Judy Mullen  
Librarian, Braden River Library

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