Testimonials

Best Bay Area Nutritionist 2012 & 2013 by Bay Area A-List City Voter
Best Bay Area Nutritionist 2009 & 2010 San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate
Best San Francisco Nutritionist 2007/2008 & 2009/2010 by Citysearch

Denise Rene

denise
I lost thirty-two pounds with MV Nutrition and I am a true size six without undergarment tricks! I am 5’ 6” with a medium frame and my ideal weight should be between 130 to 149. Before I became a client of MV Nutrition I weighed 175 lbs and was a size twelve. I would never leave the house without wearing hot, constricting, uncomfortable and expensive under garments. I was fooling myself into thinking that I wasn’ t that big. The sad part was, earlier that same year I hit my “uh-oh” weight of 182. I tried to lose more weight on my own but was unsuccessful. I did join a high-tech gym and lost a few pounds. However, I cheated at the gym by not pushing myself very hard on the elliptical machine. I still had poor eating habits and the food I was eating had very little nutritional value. I was consuming a ton of cheese, butter, mystery calorie take-out Vietnamese food, frozen pepperoni pizzas, chocolate ice cream bars, and drinking champagne. I also loved to cook, but never measured how much olive oil, butter and cheese I was adding to my meals

When I decided to call MV Nutrition my nutritionist, Sarah Koszyk, helped me realize the choices I was making were mine. Sarah helped me decide to make healthy choices without feeling deprived. She gave me great suggestions in changing my meals to include a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables, and she encouraged me to try ones that I had never tried before. Who knew that I would love fennel? In addition to the bi-monthly half-hour counseling sessions I became extremely diligent in filling out my daily on-line food record. MV Nutrition has an amazing website that is customized to your weight loss plan. It includes how many servings of carbohydrates, how much lean protein, fats, fruits and vegetables you need each day and tells you what you have left to eat or if you have gone over in your portion allotment. This was a very important tool that helped me stay on track and kept me honest about what I was eating. Plus it has an activity feature that shows you which types of exercises burn the most calories. I really started to understand the consequences of the unhealthy choices I would sometimes make.

During my weight loss journey I learned how to eat and cook healthy, flavorful meals that are filling and very satisfying. Sarah also helped me discover my own unique exercise routine that I truly enjoy and have incorporated into my daily life. I have become a dance student at ODC’ s Rhythm and Motion fusion rhythm class which I take three times a week. This class is a high energy aerobic dance workout and students learn real dance moves that range from modern dance, jazz, hip-hop, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian. It’ s amazing! I also attend classes at the Bar Method three times a week. Thanks to MV Nutrition for helping me reach and maintain my weight loss goal. I encourage anyone who’ s been on the fence about seeing a nutritionist to call MV Nutrition to get healthy and stay healthy! My life is forever changed and I am so grateful for this experience!

Janet Gogna

janet
Having struggled with weight nearly my entire life, at age 45 I didn’t have the energy or desire to continue that struggle. I gained 120 lbs. over the next 9 years. When my doctor told me I required medication to reduce my cholesterol and that I was technically diabetic, I was scared straight — straight to MV Nutrition. Since then (September 2008), I’ve worked with Sarah Koszyk and, a year later, I’m happy to say I’ve lost 100 lbs! Sarah’s knowledge and compassion were instrumental in helping me reach that goal. Of course, I’ve had a few slips along the way, and under her counsel, I didn’t feel the usual guilt and was able to immediately return to making healthy choices. Sarah started me on a healthy eating plan so I’m now eating 5 to 6 small meals a day and I don’t ever feel deprived. MV’s on-line journal played an important role in aiding in my weight loss and will be a huge part of my maintenance program. I’m entering an exciting new phase of my life!! My weight is no longer preventing me from doing things I used to enjoy. In August 2009, I began training for a 100-mile bike ride with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team In Training. Sarah immediately changed my weight loss plan (I was 5 lbs. from my goal weight) to a sports nutrition plan that would keep my energy level sufficiently high to participate in an endurance sport. This winter, I’m returning to skiing, a sport I haven’t participated in in the last 10 years. And the ultimate recreational sport — clothes shopping — is high on my list of fun activities. The “icing on the cake” is that my kids are proud of my success. Sarah helped me understand that it really is all about healthy food choices and exercise, and if I can do it, anyone can. Sarah’s the consummate nutritionist– simply put, she’s AWESOME!!

Michael Mader

michael-m
About 12 months ago, in October of 2008, I sat on the edge of my bed one morning and painfully admitted to myself that I had become a pathetic physical mockery of what I used to be.

At my peak condition, when I was a nationally ranked rower in college, I weighed 215, had a phenomenal cardio capacity, and had about 11% body fat. 20 years later I weighed 260, had a bad back and knees, and couldn’t even play soccer with my 5 year old without taking a break every 3 minutes. My body fat was at a frightening 28%, and for all intents and purposes I had stopped exercising. I was depressed, had low energy, and was often in a poor mood. I got sick at the drop of the hat. Mostly I tried not to have my photo taken because I couldn’t bear to see what had happened to me.

As I sat on my bed that morning and admitted the truth, I resolved right then and there to make a change. That day, I stopped eating sweets. The following week I slowly started my workout routine again, building up to a pace of 3-4 workouts a week, with a good mix of cardio and weights. I felt better about myself, and I lost about 8 pounds in 2 weeks. By January of 2009, I had lost another 2, but no matter what I did, I couldn’t do any better.

I was stuck at 250, no matter how much I exercised. I was looking for ways to make progress beyond that barrier, and had the good fortune to get introduced to the Sarah at MV nutrition in April of 2009. In the next six months, I blasted through my target of 230 pounds, and by the end of October, I was down an astonishing 40 pounds, weighing in at 210 with a body fat of 18%.

I rowed in the Head of the Charles Regatta with my college team this year, my energy is way up, my family is delighted with my newfound positive attitude and good mood, and I haven’t gotten sick yet this year. My knee and back issues have disappeared.

So what changed? My workouts weren’t significantly different. It was all about the nutritional intake. I have learned that weight and fitness management are 90% about what I put in, and only 10% about my exercise.

I simply didn’t know what I was doing wrong nutritionally or how to keep track of my nutrition. Sarah gave me remarkably simple guidelines and educated me about how to stay within them. She gave me access to a phenomenal online program for keeping track of my eating, and then really helped me figure out what was realistic and doable given the constraints of my family and work obligations. She never pushed me, but always encouraged me and gave me highly relevant and useful guidance and advice.

I feel like I have a new lease on life. I am excited about work, my family, and my health in a way that I never have been before. I owe it all to Sarah and the folks at MV. (And to my wife Mariam who found them for me and gently encouraged me to try them! It’s the best decision I ever made.)

Reviews from Yelp

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DAVE M.

I lost 112.5 pounds in twelve months.

Not a typo.

In March of 2011 I was wearing 54″ jeans, and  5XL/6XL shirts.  By March of 2012, I was wearing 38″ pants, and XL t-shirts.  Sixteen inches of waistline.  Cholesterol and blood pressure have plummeted.

Here are just a few of the MANY lessons that Sarah Koszyk @ MV Nutrition taught me along the way:

  • portion control.  I can look at a piece of meat and tell you how many ounces it is. Now I recognize a single serving of pretty much anything, just by eyeballing it.
  • how to food shop.  I know what the important parts of the ingredient label are, and what the numbers mean for my health and for my weight loss.
  • how to eat out.  I hate cooking for one, I eat out a lot.  I was able to lose all this weight by eating the overwhelming majority of my lunches and dinners out.  I know how to make the smartest choices now.
  • how to navigate difficult eating situations like parties, family events, office free-for-alls, and holidays.
  • I was diagnosed with diverticulitis during my year and Sarah had a bunch of tips for me to help me navigate living with that condition.
  • how to spread my caloric intake properly across the day for optimal weight loss
  • how to raise my good cholesterol as my overall cholesterol plummeted due to weight loss and eating better.

And more!

I met with Sarah every other week, and on the in-between weeks still went in and met with the office assistant to have interim weigh-ins to keep me on track.  In my meetings with Sarah,  we talked about my food records and whatever I wanted to talk about, whatever was going on in my head in terms of food, eating, and weight loss.  Sometimes I had questions about how I should log something in the database.  Sometimes I had questions about eating this vs. eating that.  Sarah always had the answers.

She helped keep me from fretting too much when I had weeks where I gained weight, getting me to focus on the downward trend of my weight, instead of that week’s outlying data point.  If I overate or made other bad decisions that effected my results, Sarah was not judgemental about them.

I cannot stress the importance of accountability as part of my success.  I worked harder because someone else was looking at the numbers with me every week.

Eating Free is the sensible weight management program administered by MV Nutrition, developed by the company’s founder and owner Manuel Villacorta.  Changing my habits in order to “Eat Free” was difficult at first, but once I got the hang of it, it felt easy.  I was never hungry; it turns out you can eat quite a bit of food if you are eating the right foods.  In the first five weeks, I love 12 pounds.  My best week (#27) was a 12 pound loss; my best four week period (#19-22) had me losing 17 pounds. For the first 8.5 months, I averaged 10 pounds of loss per month (2.5 pounds per week) for a total of 85 pounds lost.

I was originally in pretty bad shape, physically and habits-wise. If I can do this, I assure you: anyone can.  As I tell people all the time: If I can lose 112.5 pounds by Eating Free, then you can probably lose 10 or 20 or 50 or more yourself.

 

SHANE W

This time last year I decided to sort my health out. I was at least 45 pounds overweight. At 35 it was time to sort things out.

Fast forward twelve months I am around 45 pounds lighter. This happened through discovering juicing and starting to run. I moved to SF from Europe in August and signed up with Marathon Matts running group. He recommended the services of MV Nutrition and Sarah came along to speak with us.

Juicing got me onto a healthy lifestyle yet I had no idea how to fuel for long runs. I decided to sign up with Sarah at MV. This was no easy decision. I was a 35 year old single guy and this initially felt like admitting defeat. Who wants to be taught how to eat? I certainly did not tell my friends I was seeing a nutritionist.

Sarah immediately put me at ease. She was sympathetic without being condescending. She listened to me and built a plan around my lifestyle.

The online part was good as were the meetings with Sarah. She never scolded or told me off, she guided me. Its almost like a pilot who has to make tweaks to his flight plan.

I am now only a few pounds off my goal weight and I completed the half marathon and am training for my second one in SF in February!

To you guys out there, dont feel shy. I know it took a lot for me to go to a dietician but it really paid off. I am getting a lot of compliments right now for being much slimmer, that outweighs the embarrassment I initially felt!

I really recommend Sarah at MV!

ANNA S

Sarah was great. Here is what I learned:

  • how to eat nutritious balanced vegetarian meals
  • how to eat in moderation
  • how to fuel before morning runs and before a longer race
  • how to plan for a nutritious vegetarian backpacking trip

The results:

  • I lost 25 pounds! (I weigh 127 now.)
  • 24 of those lost pounds were fat.

It took me over a year to lose those 25 pounds but it wasn’t painful and I’m confident that I can maintain this weight…and may continue to lose more still! Previously I had read things online, tried an online quick fix (that worked for only about a month, ha!), and exercised more…none of those worked for me. Sarah helped me change my daily food patterns in a way that I can keep for the rest of my life. Thanks!

RACHAEL F

At some point- you have to take responsibility for the foods you eat, the things you buy, and the effort you put into getting the body you want. I worked with Sarah K. and she helped me to assess my goals and gave me every tool I needed to reach them. Honestly eating healthy and making good choices for your body is common sense, but there are SO many choices in this world, especially for bad food. I was not overweight, but I work out like CRAZY and I figured it was time to match my effort towards fitness with my efforts towards nutrition, because honestly it is 80% of the puzzle. Sarah’s schedule worked great with mine, she never got frustrated when I sabatoged the tests by accident from dehydration (it is SO hard to drink as much water as you need) and she was always available when I needed a cheat sheet I forgot or to remind me to stay on track and think about the bigger picture. I have more knowledge now and more ways to guide others to a better way of eating for their own health and well being. Thank You SO much. All of my referrals are now coming your way 🙂

ANDREA C

What to eat, when to eat, how to eat — I’ve struggled with this as I get very busy during the day, skipping meals, grabbing a not-so-healthy snack in a pinch. Sarah helped me get through it without the nonsense of fad dieting. She and the folks at MV Nutrition are true professionals. Sarah really listens and talks through my time challenges to come up with workable solutions.

She’s friendly, sympathetic, and genuinely cares about getting you through your hurdles. She’s also honest, down-to-earth and doesn’t just throw information at you. We’ve gone through not only what to eat, but also strategies on how to tackle my schedule. She gives you real examples applicable to your life and schedule of how to apply the strategies throughout the day.

I’ve been seeing results and highly recommend Sarah and MV Nutrition to anyone looking for a true change in their eating habits and lifestyle.

JILL H

I chose to start working on my diet in order to feel better and eat healthier, If i lost weight along the way that would be an added bonus. I worked with Sarah and she changed my life!

I am not a fan of exercising and had been doing Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred expecting to lose weight, which I did not. I spoke to Sarah about learning about a healthy overall lifestyle. She taught me a lot about portion sizes, keys to weight loss, and how to read labels. Prior to working with Sarah I had little to no knowledge on healthy eating.

I consulted with Sarah after my difficulty in reducing my fat intake. Sarah confronted me in a firm yet gentle manner regarding my misperceptions of sugar. Sarah came up with a simple plan for me to reduce my fats by limiting my sugary treats to 3 times a week. This made all the difference for me. It is simple enough that I can apply it easily without reading labels or counting calories, which I love.

Since working with Sarah I have lost 13 pounds. I am sure that I have gained some through the holidays, but am confident it will go back down as I continue to eat healthy foods. I stopped exercising when I started working with Sarah and lost the weight anyway. I am really amazed! I did not think it would be possible to lose this weight in such an effortless manner!

Prior to working with Sarah I could not fit into a dress that I wore 7 years ago (even with Spanx)– Now the dress is roomy on me and my pants are falling off me!

I highly recommend Sarah!

FRANCISCA J

I am someone who has struggle with recent weight gain and emotional eating. After trying several fad diets where all I managed to do was lose some weight quickly and then gain back more, I have found Sarah’s advice & the MV Nutrition model the easiest to follow. In reality, it’s quiet simple and manageable especially as it is individualized. I think that’s especially important because no diet is one size fits all and to really lose weight you need to tailor what you eat to what you do and how your body burns calories. I especially like their online tracking feature, it makes it easy to see how you are eating and has taught me a lot about foods that I thought were healthy but were really loaded in calories. I have learned a lot about nutrition in the past few months that I would not have learned otherwise. If you want a complete, well-rounded approach to weight loss, then I recommend MV Nutrition.

LAURIE B

Sarah Koszyk at MV Nutrition is absolutely amazing!! I have been trying to lose weight with no success for over four years. I’ve been overtraining, under eating and basically running myself into the ground. After just 2 meetings with Sarah, she identified where I had gone wrong and immediately knew the correct prescription for my success, not only with my weight loss but also with living a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

She is extremely sensitive, super supportive, a great listener and is so knowledgeable about anything and everything! As you can imagine, after four years of unsuccessfully trying to lose weight, I had a lot of questions about why my program hadn’t worked for me. She was incredibly knowledgable about every single topic that I asked about.

Sarah taught me how to look at food as a friend, not an enemy. The food program she uses gives me the freedom to eat at a restaurant without guilt, and taught me how to create healthy and balanced meals that are satisfying. She is also well versed in all things exercise and sports related, and showed me that less is sometimes more! She helped me focus my workouts so that they were targeted and effective, instead of logging endless and ineffective hours on the treadmill.

Sarah has LITERALLY given me my life back. I only wish that I had found her earlier! I would give her 10 stars if I could. I am so grateful to her and can’t imagine continuing to live my life the way I’d been living it, had I not discovered her.

Thank you to Sarah and MV Nutrition!!

SHELLY C

I actually met with Sarah 6 months ago and have had tremendous success. Not only was she sensitive to the struggles I was going through, but she actually assisted me with my medical condition, POS. Sarah worked with me despite my hectic schedule. She help me get organized, stay active, assisted me with a responsible eating plan, and was always sensitive to my physical and emotional needs. I’m back on track now and look better than ever. Best of all….I feel GREAT.

Thanks Sarah!!!!!

JOHN B

MV Nutrition is amazing, especially Sarah. I’ve suffered from some pretty brutal IBS over the past few years, and over the course of 6-7 sessions made amazing progress. She completely transformed the way I looked and thought about food and really made a huge impact in my quality of life. She is super supportive and smart, not to mention a wonderful person as well. Highly recommended!

LAURIE

This review is for Sarah at MV Nutrition. She is the absolute best and has made my pregnancy so much easier!

I’ve struggled with my weight for years and have always been so nervous to get pregnant due to the changes that my body would go through. I’ve been journaling my experience in trying to get pregnant and now, being pregnant and I wrote down that Sarah is a miracle in my life. My husband and I agreed that if it weren’t for Sarah and her supporting me through this, I don’t know that I ever would have felt “safe” getting pregnant. One of the reasons that we haven’t already gotten pregnant was my issues with my body and with food and exercise. Sarah has literally changed me in that way, and has shown me how to re-prioritize my life and my goals without sacrificing my health. Seriously, I don’t think I can explain the impact that she has truly had on my life, and now my soon-to-be son’s life.

Sarah has seriously been unbelievable to me, and I just wanted to pass on my appreciation, although words can’t really do it justice 🙂

THANK YOU, SARAH, AT MV NUTRITION!!!!

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DANCING COOK 32

I lost ten pounds the first year and twenty pounds this year. I learned how to eat what I like and lose weight slowly which I’ve been able to keep off. Sarah is super nice and non-judgmental. Even when I had a tiny slip she gently pushed me to get back on track. She is a really great person, always upbeat. She has some terrific recipes too. I’m now a size 6 in designer jeans, when I started I was a “tight 12.” The on-line food diary is fast, easy and keeps you honest. MV Nutrition is worth the price.

MATTHEW Z

I came to MV weighing at 260 pounds, which was the most I had ever weighed. I had been traveling off and on for several years, and had just moved to San Francisco. After about 8 months of work, I have lost 20 pounds, and am halfway to my goal. I am consistently losing weight, and I’m actually glad that it’s taking time, because that makes me feel much more confident that this is not just a temporary thing, but a long-term change in my life. I have never been happier with myself physically, and I owe so much of it to Sarah and her help.

One thing I want to say is that when I started working with Sarah, even though it took me a little while to lose weight (which was my fault, because I was still traveling and not really sticking to the program we had agreed on 100%), I immediately started to feel so much better, because Sarah was teaching me healthy eating habits. My mood and attitude towards food changed right away: I immediately felt, and still feel so much more in control, and happy about eating. I’m never hungry, and have lost those terrible food cravings and that sense of being completely out of control in relation to food. It’s really an amazing blessing, and I am so grateful for it. And if I had stuck more to the program, I would have started losing weight right away! Once I did, the pounds started to come off, and it was actually really easy and felt good.

Sarah’s style is to be low-key and compassionate and to listen a lot, and then come up with good advice. She is thinking about what you are saying, and getting to know the particular circumstances of who you are. I think people who want to lose weight often feel bad about themselves (which is understandable, given how cruel our society is about fat and weight gain and all those sorts of issues). So part of us wants a drill sergeant, someone to tell us how bad we have been, and that we have to do some extreme thing to lose weight and get our acts together.

Well, if those things worked, none of us would be in a situation where we still need some other kind of help. Diets are mostly a scam: if you lose a lot of weight relatively quickly doing something weird, eating in a way that is not sustainable over the long-term (like drinking protein shakes or eating no carbs or starving yourself), not only will you put on all the weight when you go back to normal life, but also your metabolism will be all screwed up, which will cause you to put on MORE weight, and make it even hard to take that weight off the next time. It’s a terrible cycle, and I am one of the probably millions of people who have gone through it.

It’s hard to change behavior. It takes time and effort and thoughtfulness and compassion. I am really grateful to Sarah for sticking with me and our work together. I enjoy eating now, and I am never hungry (unless I skip meals or don’t eat enough, which is the opposite of what Sarah tells me to do!), and I have taken off 20 pounds in a way that is healthy and sustainable. I’m confident I will not only lose the next 20 pounds, but be able to keep it off permanently. Most important, I feel I have finally broken this awful cycle of dieting and overeating.

Ask yourself when reading these reviews if the people writing them sound reasonable. I can tell you that Sarah would NEVER tell anyone just to eat Lean Cuisines all the time, or drink protein shakes. It makes me wonder if this person ever met Sarah at all!

We all know on sites like Yelp sometimes people write crazy and mean things, and there is nothing anyone can do about it. It’s really hard to know who is reasonable and who isn’t: think about all the times in your life someone gets mad, and blames someone else when it’s really their own fault. On Yelp there’s no way to tell how fair or reasonable someone is. I’ll just say what people have written about Sarah is completely unfair, and that you should judge for yourself. She’s a terrific nutritionist, very thoughtful and compassionate, and interested in the particular circumstances you are in. She listens incredibly well, and has helped me enormously.

Anyway, I recommend Sarah incredibly highly. She’s a great person, and a terrific nutritionist. Go in and meet her and see for yourself. I feel so lucky and so much happier, and a lot of it is thanks to her and MV.

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