Client Testimonials

Cheryl Proie, 
Total Transformation, June 2015

Dear Vanessa,

I want to write a short story about why I’m so excited about working with you and your program.  I have tried every manner of dieting there is, and I’ve never been successful with any of them because I have always felt like I was depriving myself by  dieting – which is what I was doing.  Over the years, I have always convinced myself that I did not have to diet because I was busy having a good time, enjoying food all over the world, including dessert every day, and did not want to feel deprived.

I always believed that, too, and never paid too much attention to my being overweight until I developed a serious health issue.  I never saw it coming either because I believed a lot of what I was doing was healthy for me and would counter-balance all of the bad things I was doing also.   I thought skim milk, lite yogurt, lean cuisine dinners and diet pepsi were okay for me because they were “diet” foods.

Your program has given me a new outlook on controlling my life-long weight issue because I no longer feel like I’m dieting.  I truly feel empowered to take control of my eating because you have taught us how to understand what it is we are eating from a metabolic standpoint as well as a from a psychological point of view.  Understanding this has given me an entire new outlook on what it is I am eating and what I need to eat to be healthy.

I really connected with our session about the critter brain and how we self-sabatoge without even realizing we are doing it.  Once I consciously started to pay attention to food labels and think about the foods you have explained are actually good for your body, I began to have conversations with my critter brain.  I started to talk myself out of eating certain things – like the cupcake I had for dessert every single day and the second portions of food I would eat until I felt completely stuffed – and one day I had a huge realization that I no longer had to have that conversation because I was capable of practicing my new habits without having a discussion about them.

The first time I realized this had happened was when I attended a charity function where the food and liquor was free ( oh my! ) and I had to face my first buffet line.  When I made the efforts to select the proteins instead of the carbs and fill my plate with veggies, I was proud of myself.  And I did not feel deprived!

At that same event, a second challenge came when an entire dessert plate filled with brownies and small cupcakes was placed at each dinner table.  I thought I was going to pass out; however, because I was filled with veggies and protein instead of the carbs I usually would have selected, I was able to resist that plate and not have one single brownie.  And they looked delicious!  I was so excited about my success, I was practically jumping for joy and couldn’t wait to share my triumph with you and our group.

The second time I realized I now had a new lifestyle balance and did not feel overwhelmed about choices was when a colleague brought chocolate cake and ice cream into the office to share for his birthday.  Without having the critter brain discussion, I politely said no, thank you, and left the room.  I didn’t even focus the rest of the day about going back into the break room to see if there was any cake left.  That genuinely has never happened to me.

I feel like my sugar cravings are no longer a part of my life and they certainly no longer control me.  Having protein at each meal every day has now become a new habit that I thoroughly enjoy, along with many new foods that I never thought about before but discovered I really like – quinoa, tofu, hummus and quite a few other really good for your body foods – are now part of my daily intake.

As a second benefit to feeling better, I have started to lose about one to one and a half pounds per week without feeling like I am dieting.  It may take a while to get to a better body weight, but that’s okay.  I feel better than I have in many years and I am looking forward to enjoying my new eating habits for a long time.  I am certain my health issues will clear up as well as I continue.  I could not be happier!

Sarah Buehler, 
Total Transformation, 2015

I spotted a flyer for a 4-week wellness workshop while shopping at my local organic health store. I registered for just one session, expecting to learn about healthy eating and super foods. After just my first hour with Vanessa, I immediately signed up for every open workshop that followed. Her vibrant and enthusiastic approach to women's health and wellness is both inspiring and creative. Her workshops are informative and interactive, leaving you feeling empowered, educated, and motivated to make positive changes for yourself and those around you. In addition to her extensive knowledge, Vanessa shares her own thoughts and personal experiences, creating a truly welcoming environment. 

If you're considering working with Vanessa, I encourage you to let go of any resistance you may be feeling and commit to her services - TODAY. You will not find a health coach more passionate or energetic about her work and you. My expectations have been absolutely exceeded. In addition to the wealth of knowledge she provides, Vanessa also offers participation in extra activities & exercises and access to special bonuses throughout her programs, tailored specifically to your needs as you grow as an individual and a group. She expresses true appreciation for each of her clients and celebrates each struggle and victory with you, keeping you focused and motivated each step of your wellness journey.  

I joined one of Vanessa's coaching groups expecting to take a small step towards healthier eating and have been completely transformed into a stronger, happier, more confident person physically, mentally, and emotionally. Her coaching has not only lead me to a better understanding of food and the effects of what we eat on our bodies, but she has taught me the positive effects that fun, adventure, and food freedom can create for my mental health, relationships, and everyday life. Vanessa has armed me with the tools I need to truly transform into the person I want to be. I have gained invaluable knowledge and become part of a beautiful community of women who share their unique experiences and support me in my wellness journey. Working with Vanessa has been one of the best decisions I've ever made for myself, and I feel so fortunate to call her my health coach!

Cathy Budash, 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

In February 2012, I wanted to lose weight and start a healthy way of eating.  Seaweed, Quinoa, Almond Milk, Kale, and different types of greens have become a part of my daily diet.   She gave me written material on each new subject. The material is not only in a binder for me to refer back to, but I have copied them and shared them with others so they may eat healthier.  We also discussed stress in my daily life and how meditation and relaxation exercises would help.  Body, mind, and spirit have to be in balance. She gave me a “Circle of Life” chart, when completed, makes you aware of what parts of your life are out of balance.

Vanessa also showed me how to manage my time by setting goals for myself.  It seemed like I didn’t have enough time or energy to work, come home, and start working on other projects. She suggested setting a few goals to be completed in a specific time period so it wouldn’t be so overwhelming.   I did this, and I opened doors that had been closed for a while and regained energy to do so.  Now after five months, I am ten pounds lighter, eating healthier, and ready to start a new beginning.

I say a big “thank you” to Vanessa, who is not only very knowledgeable in her job, but someone who takes a sincere interest in you as a person.  She made the sessions fun and I wish her all the best and much success in all of her endeavours.    


Karen Dudiak, 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

When I came to Vanessa I had no idea what the ensuing months would bring.  What a gift!  

I feel better, am eating much healthier, and have a healthier and more energetic lifestyle.  Thanks to Vanessa, I have an amazing variety of reference materials and recipes, and have introduced many new and healthy foods into my diet.  I have learned about different body types, and into which category I fall; as well as how to make the best accompanying food choices. I have also learned valuable coping mechanisms to help keep me in a healthy frame of mind, and with a positive outlook on life (most of the time, anyway).  

I am extremely thankful for Vanessa, her pleasant and nonjudgmental attitude and her invaluable advice.

Sharon Vuong

I loved coming to terms with what makes me happy and not feeling guilty for it. I am usually in a setting where the idea of a healthy lifestyle gets pushed aside for the sake of one's work, so I used to feel guilty about wanting to make time for exercise and eating healthy. I know that there are times when work has to take precedence, but I also now understand that I really should listen to that voice inside my head telling me that always putting work first is not sustainable for my productivity and overall well-being.

Carla Forgenie, 
Total Transformation, 2015

I have learned so much from Vanessa through her Sweat & Butter Sessions.   It amazes me every time we change something and we all are leery that it will work and then bam – she is right.  She really knows how to dig deep and find out what is really going on in our heads and behind what stops us from doing what we need to do.  It is definitely a life style change and I feel so much better since starting the program.  I have more energy, I look forward to trying new things (food and activities) and my husband even says my skin feels softer.  The way I eat and think about food has completely changed. I am constantly telling others how amazing these sessions have been.  It has been well worth the money and time that I have spent and would really like to move forward and continue to learn more from Vanessa.   She is full of such positive energy and she  makes you feel comfortable talking about any issue that needs to be discussed.  She encourages you to do your best but doesn’t make you feel bad if you “mess up.”   It has definitely provided me with better tools for healthy living.

Kendra Sayles

I was not eating as well as I could have, and tended to overeat as a way to attempt to calm very high anxiety and stress levels. I had just had an abdominal surgery and was struggling to get back into an exercise routine and knew that I needed to manage chronically high stress levels and chronic physical pain related to a major accident a few years prior. I also needed to enhance my overall sense of self-confidence and self-care. I was falling far short of ideal in many aspects of my life.

I have learned that I cannot give to others from a place of emptiness. I have come to understand that I must make taking care of myself and my own needs my priority, and that this does not reflect selfishness. The resources I have used in working with Vanessa at Sweat and Butter have been truly invaluable in helping to get my life more balanced in physical and emotional realms. I have seen the improvements in myself as I have progressed throughout the program, and now I feel like I can confidently fall back on some of the strategies that Vanessa has taught me to help find more balance in a high-stress lifestyle.

I almost never eat junk food anymore. I eat a very healthy and wholesome diet, and drink primarily water and tea. It feels so much better to eat this way, and I rarely crave junk food at all!!! The diet has not been hard at all to maintain, but rather my self-care needs have been a continual struggle for me against the weight of trying to complete 2 PhD tracks concurrently. Being said, Vanessa has helped me to see via multiple means that I have made some significant progress since starting the program, and we continue to work on my stress management and self-care. Vanessa also introduced me to Bikram Yoga, which helped my physical pain significantly. It is also an excellent tool for stress management, as is the deep breathing exercise I have learned. Meditation is also a great tool for me. My biggest problem at this stage is trying to make time for myself to attend to these needs, as with a very, very strong type A personality, I seem to have no issue accumulating more and more work/stress.

I had basically lost hope for myself in the physical and emotional realms of my life prior to beginning this program, and in working with Vanessa, I have realized that positive change and a more hopeful life is within my reach. I am so, so glad that I have been working with her, she really has changed my life!

This program is MUCH more holistic than a typical dieting regimen or life-improvement program. I have never been engaged in a program that works on the WHOLE person based on the circumstances going on in their life. Not only do you form a strong partnership with the coaches, but also a friendship. They are so encouraging and kind, and there is no judgment. They really understand that there are so many components to finding happiness and balance in life, that you can't ultimately meet true success by working on just a couple facets (i.e. just focusing on your diet/exercise, just focusing on relationships, etc.).

I feel more balanced all the way around, and am looking forward to continuing to work with the S&B team. I still have a lot of improvements to make, but I feel like I am (finally) on solid ground and pointed in the right direction. This truly has been a super-positive, life enhancing experience!!!

Kristen Boscarino

It was nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with some of the issues we discussed regarding attitudes towards food.

I really liked being given a challenge each week.  They were easy, small changes to make in my diet and I have found that by incorporating one small change each week, I was able to stick with it and have really noticed some positive changes.

I’ve noticed increased energy!  I've also noticed a decrease in cravings for "junk" - after adding leafy greens, whole grains, and healthy fats to my meals, I've really crowded out a lot of the junk I used to consume.