About Us

Your POP Team & Coaches

Introducing the POP family! Our team of coaches, while all unique and talented in their own way, share one thing in common: success is driven by understanding the individual. The coach-client relationship is paramount in creating a transformational experience and helping you achieve your goals in the most sustainable way possible. We’ve put together an incredible team that truly values communication and understanding your individual needs. Our personality-based approach has led to thousands of success stories and it all starts with this group right here.

Meet the Neurotype Training Team!

Mike Millner

Amy

Coach April

Coach Ed

Coach Trisha

Coach Dani

Coach Taylor

Coach Cristin

Coach Melanie

Coach Leah

Coach Liz

Coach Ashley

Mike Millner

Founder of POP

Mike Millner has been a high-level nutrition coach for almost 10 years. He has a gift for understanding the psychological and physiological needs of his clients, which has led to thousands of success stories. His personality-based approach with an emphasis on mindset has been featured in Thibarmy.com, Nutritional Coaching Institute, Ever Forward Radio, True Transformation, and many others.

Mike has a gift for understanding the psychological and physiological needs of his clients, which has led to thousands of success stories.

Mike believes the most important thing is connecting with you and understanding where you’re at in your journey. Personally, he has been on every end of the spectrum when it comes to dieting and everywhere in between. He’s been ashamed, insecure, overweight, orthorexic, skinny fat, and finally embarrassed to step foot in the gym. But he’s come out the other side into a place of balance, harmony, and good health.

Mike’s goal is to help as many people as possible to navigate through life as a healthy individual in a way that’s sustainable and enjoyable. As Mike would tell you – your personality is the key.

Coach April

Certifications: ISSN, Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health

Discovering a passion for fitness, nutrition, gut healing, and helping people, April Blackford became a health coach 9 years ago and has never looked back. April wants to live in a world where she is helping her clients feel their best, both physically and mentally. In her past life, April worked in law as a paralegal for 14 years. Fitness and nutrition became her passion 15 years ago. She started as a part-time side gig helping people that quickly became her passion and full-time focus. April took her paralegal skills as someone who pays close attention to detail and persists in researching to discover the source of a problem and combined it with great communications skills and a passion for helping people become their best selves inside and out to become the coach she is today.
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April holds nutrition certifications from ISSN, NC Level 1, Neurotyping, and a focus on Gut and Hormone health.

April became intrigued and fascinated by all things having to do with the gut, when she discovered it as a potential source of problems for many of her clients that continued to have difficulty with their weight and their body image. She has helped countless clients through their health and digestive issues, and has lovingly been dubbed, “the poop whisperer”. While it can be difficult to share personal health issues, she has a way of using humor, straight talk, and sometimes a little tough love so that each client feels comfortable to open up and in turn, able to reach their full potential.

When she is not coaching, you can find April practicing what she preaches and engaging in self -care, which for her is taking walks while listening to true crime podcasts or lifting heavy things. April prefers sun and beach destinations over cold mountainous ones, dark chocolate over milk chocolate, and keeps a never-ending stash of non-dairy ice cream in her freezer.

April is a happily married hockey mom with two daughters and a son. She is also a grandma to one grandson who lovingly calls her Gigi, and a dog mom to three fur babies.

Coach Ed

Certifications: Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health

Ed Pace has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and always loved training, but struggled with dieting. He tried all diets and nothing ever stuck. About 6 years ago, Ed found out about flexible dieting and it changed his life. While studying in for pre-requisites for med school, Ed fell in love with nutrition and wanting to pay it forward, went ahead and reached out to some CEOs of nutrition companies to see if I could become a coach. He landed a job, which turned into a career and it’s been nothing short of rewarding. Ed is fully invested in helping every single person he works with. Ed loves to be able to pay forward everything that he has learned from courses to coaches to all of his certifications.

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About a year ago, Ed moved to Florida from Pennsylvania so he wouldn’t have to deal with winters and to be close to some family who also relocated here. Ed loves living a healthy and active lifestyle. If he is not out and about, he is spending time at home with my girlfriend and beagles probably having some pizza, Mexican, or sushi!

Coach Trisha

Certifications: Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health

Coach Trish has been coaching for POP since October 2019 and in the nutrition coaching space since 2017. She went to Virginia Tech a very long time ago for Nutrition and Dietetics. Trish worked in wellness and fitness for several years after college before getting into pharmaceutical sales and then staying home with her kids. Trish has loved the evolution of nutrition and fitness since her college years and loves sharing POP’s message of a personalized client approach. Trish loves the opportunity to work with amazing clients and learn from amazing coaches here!!

Trish lives in Apex North Carolina which is about 20 minutes outside Raleigh. She is married with 3 kids. Trish has a one-year-old chocolate lab, Finn, who she is obsessed with:) She is a Neurotype 2A and fits that to a “T”!! Trish LOVES variety in her workouts!!

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She grew up playing field hockey in Virginia and in college discovered group exercise classes. As a young mom, Trish got really into running and triathlons and spent 10 years focusing on that. After completing her second Half-Ironman she was ready for something new and she wanted her weekends back;) Trish focused on strength training for a few years and more recently got into CrossFit after realizing she wanted to combine the strength and endurance components. Trish is really enjoying learning new skills and improving others. Trish’s biggest love after family and fitness is reading!! She recently discovered Audible and on weekends you can find her and Finn walking their awesome greenways and trails as she listens to a book:)

Coach Dani

Certifications: Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health, ACE CPT, NASM CES, StrongFirst Level 1 Kettlebell, ACE Group Fitness

Coach Dani is a personal trainer and NICU RN with a special interest in powerlifting, kettlebells, and helping others improve their relationship with food and their body image.

A lot of what drew Dani to coaching was her own experience dealing with and recovering from an eating disorder. Dani first went to school to become a registered nurse and realized she really had a love for disease prevention, exercise science, and overall health and wellness. She felt like a lot of the nutrition approaches and protocols that were out there were unsustainable or didn’t deal with the root cause of a particular behavior.

When not chatting with nutrition clients, Dani is typically teaching dance or fitness classes, working part-time at the hospital, or hanging out with her family. Dani is married to a school teacher and has three kiddos, a boxer/pit mix, and a bearded dragon.

Dani’s favorite foods are definitely oatmeal, different kinds of nut butters, and super dark chocolate. Dani would also eat sushi/sashimi pretty much every day if she could!

Coach Taylor

Certifications: Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health

Taylor became a Nutrition Coach to pay it forward. It was through her own experiences of negative self-talk, binge, restrict, shame, guilt, frustration, hunger (hangry), punishment, helplessness, hopelessness, stress, and struggle, in an attempt to “have her perfect body”, that she recognized that she needed a coach to help through these battles. That coach changed my life. So, Taylor’s mission became stopping other people who have health & fitness goals from going through any & all of that. Taylor pursued her PN Level 1 Certification and fell in love with helping people turn their lives around. At POP you are so much more than numbers, we value the ENTIRE PERSON and your ENTIRE LIFE and Taylor is thankful to be part of this amazing team.

One thing that you should know about Taylor is that she believes with her whole heart, that peanut butter is the single greatest, most delicious food there is. If you disagree, it may be hard for you and her to get along 🙂

Coach Cristin

Certifications: Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health

Cristin, a Philadelphia native, is a creative through and through. She holds her BA in Creative Writing and spent more than ten years as a professional dancer and singer in the tristate area. Cristin found a love for fitness in 2015 and began working with the North Jersey-based female empowerment and fitness brand Jane DO, where she is still a head trainer. But don’t worry, Cristin gets to flex her creative muscles as the sole copywriter and marketing content contributor for Jane DO as well. She enjoys acting and writing in her spare time, when she isn’t wrestling her 100lb Dogo Argentino puppy or eating Built Bars.

Cristin’s love for nutrition began in 2018 when she began looking for more than a one-size-fits-all approach to her own diet and lifestyle. She became a nutrition coach under NCI and has been coaching with the POP family ever since. Fun Fact- Cristin and Mike were high school classmates and have continued to remain friends over the years.

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“Being healthy isn’t just about what you eat or what you do in the gym. It’s ultimately about how you see yourself, how much you trust who you are, and how much confidence and self- love you have.”

Coach Melanie

Certifications: Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health

Melanie has been a coach with Peak Optimization Performance since October 2018. Prior to becoming a coach, she worked with Mike as a client for 3 years on her own nutrition and health goals. Melanie continues to work with both nutrition and training coaches because she believes so deeply in the benefits of having a coach, and in the overall benefits of good nutrition on every aspect of health. Melanie loves working with all client types – from those that have never tracked a macro and need to start with a habits-based approach, to those who start off with a macro-based plan. Most of all, Melanie prides herself on the fact that she has never spent a single Sunday meal-prepping, and leads a very busy life – all while building and maintaining a physique she is proud of.

She loves to share her tips and tricks with busy clients for super quick, easy ways to get in all the protein and veggies, and to maintain a social life while working toward health and physique goals! In her free time, Melanie loves to spend time with her family – 3 kids (2 girls and 1 boy), 2 dogs, and her two best friends – her sister, Amy, and of course, Coach Mike.

Coach Leah

Certifications: Neurotyping, NCI Level 1, NCI Hormone Specialist, NCI Mindset Specialist, NCI Masterclasses: Gut Health and Thyroid Health

There’s nothing in the world of personal fitness or nutrition that Leah hasn’t researched or tried. She got her start getting a personal training certification 18 years ago. Since then, it’s been everything you can think of, including yoga, the Bar Method, vegetarianism, weight training, gymnastics, spinning, judo, veganism, paleo eating, CrossFit, and a few more. Leah has distilled all of this experience into a guided experience for people to find what will work best for them. There is no one-size-fits-all plan.

Leah started working for Mike/POP in October 2018 and has certifications in
Precision Nutrition Level 1 and Level 2, Nutrition Coaching Institute, Flexible Dieting Certified, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Gymnastics, CrossFit Weightlifting, and Hypertrophy Training.

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Although she considers herself a Pacific NW girl, Leah lives just outside Santa Barbara, CA with her husband, son (6) and akita. While she loves the sun, she misses the rain dearly!

Amy

Admin for POP & The Muscle Feed

Amy was a dancer her entire life and has a BFA in Dance from Temple University in Philadelphia. After graduating, Amy took over her moms dance studio and performed with a local dance company in the Philly area. During this time, she and her twin sister, and coach, Melanie, also got more into strength training, and being interested in fitness and nutrition.

After realizing that teaching dance was not where her passion was, getting married and starting a family, Amy got into taking and then teaching Group Fitness classes. It was an obvious progression from dance to fitness. She became a certified Group Exercise instructor, Zumba instructor, Personal Trainer, Barre instructor, Schwinn cycling instructor, Level 1 Kettle Bell certified, and a Les Mills Body Pump, and Body Flow instructor. Teaching allowed Amy to raise her two sons, contribute the household, and still do what she loved – to perform- just in a bit of a different setting 🙂

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In 2016, while working in a corporate fitness setting, Amy met Mike through Melanie and he became her much needed, nutrition coach.

In 2018 Amy started coaching for POP and then in April 2019, as POP began to grow, she and Mike decided she was best suited to be the POP admin.

In the years from 2016 until now, that Mike was Amy’s coach, she was finally able to progress and attain goals she had basically given up on. Even through the loss of her husband in 2017.

Amy works for Mike, all of the coaches at POP, and for every client and person that comes through POP because she is committed to helping to get the message out in this saturated world of misinformation when it comes to nutrition and fitness.

Coach Liz

Certifications: Neurotyping Specialist, NCI Level 1 and 2 (exam submitted – pending), NCI Gut Health, NCI Thyroid Masterclass, NCI Mindset Specialist

Liz is a 2A, so she has done/been many things! Liz has two bachelor’s degrees, one in Biochemistry and the other in Molecular Biology. She also has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science. Liz grew up playing softball, soccer, and ice hockey and continues to play all of them recreationally. Ice hockey is her favorite! She will likely play it until she can’t walk. Liz also enjoys obstacle course racing, CrossFit, Olympic weight lifting, biking, hiking, and any and all board/card games. Liz has always been competitive and athletic but struggled much of her life because she never felt like she looked like an athlete. She also went through a big dietary change when she got diagnosed with celiac disease and gained quite a bit of weight as her gut was healing. This made her super interested in gut health and was much of the reason that she started becoming interested in learning about proper nutrition and exercise. Liz later became a coach to help her parents reach their health goals. They were her very first clients. Liz watched them diet her entire life and get frustrated every time they would lose weight just to put it back on. Helping them through their journey lit a fire in Liz and showed her her true passion. Now that Liz has kids of her own she is determined to set an example for them and to teach them how to take care of themselves physically and mentally. Liz wants them to have a mom who is kind, happy, fulfilled, and an example of someone who goes after what she wants. Liz is committed to betterment as a lifelong process and a forever goal, and truly enjoys helping others reach their full potential. Liz is honored to be a part of the POP coaching team!

Coach Ashley

Certifications: Neurotyping Specialist, PN Level 1

Ashley has explored several careers from social work and real estate to event planning. At the end of the day, they all helped her do what she loves to do best – help people! Ashley has been interested in health and fitness from a very young age. She played varsity hockey and had a love for running. Seeing her dedication, her friends have often reached out to her looking for help with their fitness goals. After wanting to improve her physique through weight lifting, Ashley pursued a coach to help her learn how to fuel herself properly. She learned that she had so much to unlearn from years of being exposed to diet culture. After experiencing how great it feels to be well fed and rested, she decided she wanted to share this passion with others as a nutrition coach. Ashley’s greatest desire is to help people repair their relationship with food and find food freedom. She loves the idea of creating an individualized plan and helping empower people based on their personalities. She has had the best success herself using a flexible approach to food. Her values align perfectly with POP’s mission and is thrilled to be apart of this team!
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Ashley is from North Dakota and loves spending time with her husband and two dogs. To know Ashley is to know she LOVES food. Being a 3/2B Neurotype, she loves a plan, thinks pizza is life, is very empathetic, is a lifelong learner, and loves to help people and animals! She serves on the board for her local animal shelter and enjoys helping save animals. She spends most of her free time being active, listening to crime podcasts, planning her next trip, and likely her next meal.

Interested in 1:1 Coaching?

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