There’s nothing especially remarkable about our stories. No close calls with death, no years in a wheelchair, no moment where the doctor told us we had months to live. But what we do have are relatable stories.
Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Ginny Mahar is the mom and recipe blogger formerly known as Hypothyroid Chef. After struggling with the residual symptoms of Hashimoto’s for years, she embarked on her own process of adopting a thyroid-specific diet and lifestyle. Within one year, she restored her vitality and cut her thyroid antibodies in half. Ginny is a passionate advocate of supporting others on their journeys toward better health. Thyroid Refresh is the support platform she wishes she had through the ongoing process of transforming herself from over-stressed and chronically-fatigued foodie to zenned-out and energized health nut. She is a Cordon Bleu trained chef, cooking instructor, writer, and entrepreneur. She lives with her husband, son, and terrier/lab mix, in beautiful western Montana.
- Wanted to be an astronaut as a kid, and went to Space Camp.
- Faked her eye exam in second grade so that she could wear glasses.
- Worked as a sea kayaking guide in Alaska.
- Spent her first semester of college in Berlin and speaks (very rusty) German.
Thyroid Refresh Co-founder Danna Bowman is the force of nature behind Thyroid Nation and Thyroid Nation Radio. Before her Hashimoto’s diagnosis, Danna was the owner of a successful event planning company, and a high-intensity Zumba dance instructor. One fateful day, her adrenals crashed, her energy evaporated, and she was forced to re-evaluate her high-stress lifestyle. She and her family relocated to the tranquility and “Pura Vida” of Costa Rica, where they lived as expatriates for 8 years. During that time, Danna leaned on her background in marketing and advertising to create Thyroid Nation, one of the most highly-trafficked websites for expert information on thyroid health. Danna, her husband, Travis, and their two children recently relocated to Colorado. Thanks to Danna’s vast network of connections, the team of experts behind Thyroid Refresh is an impressive force of love, light, and healing.
- She wanted to grow up to be one of the fabulous Solid Gold dancers.
- Bungee jumped for her 40th bday. Amazingly, she wasn’t scared at all, but it hurt.
- Used to wear a headband (like Olivia Newton John) as a high school cheerleader, and eventually got the nickname Headbandanna.
- Hates to cook, but can peel a mean orange.
We are works-in-progress, on a lifelong quest for optimal health.
One fateful spring day, while pondering our own thyroid challenges, we came up with an idea. What if we took the common-core recommendations for thyroid patients, and sculpted them into a community-based game, giving participants motivation, accountability, and much-needed support? The idea hit us like a lightning bolt, and even though it was completely out of our comfort zones, we felt the tremendous need to make thyroid-friendly living simple and attainable for regular people, like us. The potential to help so many people, facing the same challenges, inspired us to begin the process of building the online support system of our dreams. Doors opened, and what felt like a divine path was laid out before us. We made up our minds, and never looked back. Come what may, we were going to heed this call.
We put our foggy brains together and worked like mad, through autoimmune flares, financial ups and downs, personal challenges, and the unimaginable complexities of creating a membership site AND a custom web app. We felt like pioneers in new territory, creating something the thyroid world had never seen, featuring a library of top-shelf content, and a user experience to knock your socks off. It was not easy, but we had good help, most of all each other. Somehow we made it across the finish line.
Now, it’s finally here (eeeep!). We are so proud to welcome you to Thyroid Refresh and Thyroid30, our online home for thyroid patients, where we can empower, simplify, and thrive together.
Wherever you are at on your thyroid journey, you are welcome here.
Meet Our Team
One of our greatest assets is our core team of experts. We are so proud to feature their content, share their knowledge, and glean from their expertise. We can't wait for you to get to know them.
Mary Shomon, Thyroid ExpertResident Thyroid Expert
Mary Shomon is a patient advocate and New York Times bestselling author of 13 books on health. Mary has been researching, writing and teaching about thyroid disease, hormonal health, weight loss, and autoimmune disease for two decades. In addition to her books, you can find her writing at www.Verywell.com and www.HealthCentral.com, and catch her PBS Healthy Hormones television specials. Follow Mary on Facebook.
Katherine Watkins, FDNTransformational Health Coach
Katherine Watkins is a Transformational Health Coach from London, UK. She is a certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition (FDN) practitioner, a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York and a certified personal trainer (specializing in advanced clinical testing, detailed symptom profiling, mindset and emotional work). She is currently completing a life coaching certification from the Martha Beck Institute. When she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Katherine used her extensive knowledge and resources to naturally heal her underlying health imbalances. She now lives symptom-free and is passionate about helping others live similarly healthy, happy lives.
Adrienne Klein, CTNCTransformational Nutrition Coach
Adrienne Klein, CTNC is a Billy Joel fan and a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach. In that order. As an Autoimmune Hypothyroid patient of 20 years herself, she’s been through the blood, sweat and tears that is an autoimmune disease. After graduating from the Institute of Transformational Nutrition as a CTNC and certified in Digestive Health, Weight Loss and Autoimmune Disease, she now works with thyroid patients to eliminate or decrease symptoms that persist even with medication. Click here to visit The Thyroid Whisperer.
Nadia Ahrens, LICSWResident Psychotherapist
Nadia Ahrens, LICSW, is a psychotherapist and transformational coach in private practice. A graduate of Boston University and Columbia University, she’s been practicing the art of helping, teaching, and mentoring others for nearly twenty years. Nadia teaches Personal Transformation groups and retreats and is a trained clinical hypnotherapist. After enduring her own ‘transformational trauma,’ she believes that we can transform from anything and everything. We are all here to learn, grow, and evolve, into our best, shiniest selves. Nadia lives in Seattle with her husband and two surviving children. Join her on Facebook at Nadia Ahrens Therapy
Divania Timmal-JonesManaging Editor
Divania Timmal-Jones received a Journalism degree in 2012 from Rhodes University in South Africa. She then spent five years teaching English in South Korea and traveling the world. During this time, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Disease, after months of fatigue and hair loss alerted her to the fact that something was seriously wrong. Diet and lifestyle changes, suggested by doctors and online support groups, have helped her to take control of her health. She is thrilled to be part of the Thyroid Refresh team, and play a role in helping others manage their thyroid health. Divania currently lives in the US with her husband, Adam.
In addition to our core team, we feature top-shelf content from a diverse array of expert contributors.
Andrea Wool is the founder and creator of Autoimmune Strong, an online fitness membership service designed specifically for people with autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia and other types of chronic pain.
Anna Hunt is writer, yoga instructor, mother of three, and lover of healthy food. She’s the founder of Awareness Junkie, an online community paving the way for better health and personal transformation.
Brodie Welch, L.Ac., M.S.O.M.
Brodie Welch is an acupuncturist, herbalist, and Chinese Medicine expert who helps women restore vitality and balance to their lives.
Dr. Ben Lynch
Ben Lynch, ND, researches, writes and presents worldwide on the topic of MTHFR, methylation defects and genetic control.
Erin Switalski is the Executive Director for the non-profit Women’s Voices for the Earth, where her work has inspired unprecedented policy changes to reduce women’s exposure to chemicals.
Fern Olivia, Founder of Thyroid Yoga® and Ajai Alchemy, is a passionate, innovative, internationally recognized teacher, speaker and influencer on the power of integrative medicine, yoga, and holistic lifestyle practices.
Jill Grunewald, HNC, FMCHC
Jill Grunewald, HNC, FMCHC, Integrative Nutrition and Hormone Coach, is a thyroid health and autoimmunity specialist and co-author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook.
Lauren Chelec Cafritz
Lisa Markley, MS, RDN
Lisa Markley, MS, RDN is a dietitian, culinary nutrition expert, and co-author of The Essential Thyroid Cookbook: Over 100 Nourishing Recipes for Thriving with Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s.
A walking miracle, Maryann transformed herself from a wheelchair-bound life of chronic pain, to strong and radiant Posture Alignment Specialist. She is the creator of Realign Therapy.
Hashimoto’s warrior, Stacey Robbins uses her books, retreats, and workshops to empower women to live from what she calls their “Brave Soul Place.”
Suzanne’s very own, Cocolime Fitness creates modified, upbeat, and effective workouts specifically designed for people dealing with chronic health problems.
Teri Cochrane, CCP
Using cutting-edge science, nutritional counselor, Teri Cochrane, takes us ‘Beyond Nutrition’ to foster a deeper understanding of our complex, bio-individual needs.