The Scoop on Biotin

Many individuals take Biotin, believing it will improve their hair, skin or nails. Although a good multivitamin will cover the daily need for 30 mcg of Biotin, many Biotin-specific supplements provide 1000 to 5000 mcg per dose.  Taking large mega-doses of any vitamin and mineral should not be done without your health care provider’s knowledge. This article describes how taking large doses of biotin can impact important thyroid testing results and even result in inappropriate medical treatment. Read up, and then remember to update your health care team on all supplements you take.

Book your Body Composition Test today



Ever heard the term “Skinny Fat”? It applies to individuals at a healthy weight (on the scale) but who have a high percentage of body fat. Being metabolically obese, even at normal weight, increases your risk of many health problems including diabetes and heart disease. Acceptable ranges of body fat percentage are <25% for men and < 31% for women. Get your body composition tested to see where your health lies are today.


Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

Ceviche is a seafood dish made from fresh raw fish and cured in lemon or lime juice. Over the course of a few hours the citrus juice will begin to “cook” the seafood without the use of a heat source.

Our Shrimp Ceviche recipe is a SHORTCUT version of the typical ceviche preparation and therefore calls for cooking and then immediately cooling the shrimp in an ice bath. In doing this preparation the seafood is not served raw and can be made within minutes rather than hours.


Shrimp Ceviche

6 – 8 servings

Author: Brenna Masi @ Healthy Steps


2 pounds raw shrimp, peed and deveined

2 Persian cumbers, chopped

15 cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters

2 avocados, diced

1 jalapeno, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 limes

1/8 cup cilantro

salt and pepper


Bring a small pot of water to boil. Add the raw, peed and deveined shrimp; boil for 2-3 minutes or until pink. Drain and transfer cooked shrimp to a bowl of cold ice water to stop the cooking process and let cool. Once the shrimp are cold, drain and place into a small bowl.

To the bowl of cooled shrimp add cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados, jalapeño, garlic, lime, cilantro, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Serve & enjoy!

Strawberries and Cream Frozen Yogurt Pops

Cool off this summer with a refreshingly sweet yet heathy treat.

2 cups (16 ounces) No-Sugar-Added Vanilla Greek Yogurt
2 cups chopped strawberries
(1/4 cup milk if needed)

Combine the yogurt and strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth. Thin out the mixture with a small amount of milk if needed. Pour into popsicle molds and insert sticks. Freeze overnight.

To unmold, briefly dip the mold in warm water. Enjoy!

Metabolic Hormones 101: GLP-1

Glucagon-like Peptide-1 (GLP-1) is secreted by intestinal cells in response to the presence of nutrients (from eating or drinking). GLP-1 has powerful impacts on our health and weight:
  • Helps keep blood sugars from getting too high
  • Promotes insulin sensitivity/limits insulin resistance
  • Slows the movement of food out of the stomach, increasing feelings of satiety/fullness
  • Inhibits feelings of hunger, decreasing food consumption
  • Decreases the pleasure/reward response to food (so ideally, once you have eaten enough, the food doesn’t taste as good as when you’re body needed the fuel)
As you can see, having appropriate amounts of GLP-1 is important to good health. Research shows that certain groups of people are more likely to have low GLP-1 levels, including individuals who are overweight or obese, and those with type 2 diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Here are some things that have been shown to increase GLP-1 levels (1):
  • losing weight through healthy eating and exercise
  • eating meals that are balanced to contain some healthy fat, protein, and fiber from whole foods
  • chewing food thoroughly
  • taking a good quality probiotic daily
There are also medical interventions that can have positive impact on GLP-1 function, including certain medications, and the bariatric surgeries Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass and Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy.

Metabolic Hormones 101: Adiponectin

Adiponectin is a hormone produced by our body’s fat cells and regulates carbohydrate and fat metabolism. High adiponectin levels have been linked in the research with healthier body weight as well as lower cardiovascular disease risk and inflammation. Since adiponectin decreases inflammatory damage and pain, and protects our hearts, we want adiponectin levels to be high. However, research has show that when an individual becomes resistant to the actions of insulin (read about insulin here) adiponectin levels will be lowered (1). Behavior changes that lower insulin resistance result in normalization of adiponectin levels, which therefore helps weight management, decreases inflammation, and lowers cardiovascular risk.
Here are some lifestyle choices you can make to decrease insulin resistance and normalize adiponectin levels:
  • Exercise most days of the week
  • Decrease and interrupt periods of sedentary time
  • Follow a healthy, low-glycemic meal plan and moderate your portions
  • Lose weight
If you’d like guidance or support around any of the above behavior changes, call to schedule an appointment today!

Metabolic Hormones 101: Insulin

Insulin is a hormone that regulates the usage and storage of the energy we get from food. Insulin is made by the beta cells of the pancreas and helps regulate blood sugar levels. When there’s a high amount of energy in the blood (for instance, after a meal), the pancreas releases more insulin.
Insulin then regulates the amount of energy in the blood by:
  • moving glucose into various cells (some of the energy will be used immediately, some will be moved to short term storage [glycogen] and the rest will be converted to fat for long-term storage in the fat cells).
  • suppressing lipolysis (the breakdown of stored fat)
So the more insulin, the more fat is stored and when insulin levels are high, the body cannot burn fat. As you can see, while regulating blood sugar levels is critical for good health and for best weight management, it too is helpful to keep insulin levels low. We can affect our insulin levels by moderating our intake of carbohydrate, avoiding high glycemic foods, managing our weight and exercising regularly.

Metabolic Hormones 101: Leptin

Leptin is our fullness hormone. It is produced by our fat cells to communicate to the body that we have adequate energy stored. Ideally, as we store more fat in the body, leptin levels increase, and we feel full from smaller portions of food. Unfortunately, decreased leptin sensitivity in obesity means that although leptin levels are high, the target cells resist the impact of leptin. This means we don’t get the increased feelings of fullness, and can continue to gain weight. Studies have found that avoiding high glycemic foods is important to improving leptin sensitivity.
Leptin levels decrease naturally when we lose fat. This makes it harder to maintain weight loss because it takes bigger portions of food to feel full. One very new area of research is studying administering leptin to patients who have already lost weight. Early findings indicate this could be an effective way to prevent regain after weight loss.(1)