Testimonials and Reviews for Our Nutritionists
I’ve been working with Grace now for just over two years. What started as a “help me heal my relationship with food” has turned into a deeper engagement as I discovered I had a brain tumor in 2017, then underwent surgery, and learned the interconnectedness with that and my food sensitivities. Grace has been an incredible supportive figure in my life and helped me rebuild a loving, healthy, and more carefree relationship with food. Nutrition + mental health = yes please!
Siona has been guiding me along my journey to health for over a year now. She is kind and patient and as much of a therapist as nutritionist. I came into the process with a lot of knowledge from previous attempts at weight loss, but it was her continuous encouragement and helping me to understand my own sabotages in many cases that really helped me get on the path to wellness. Everyone in the office has been wonderful to interact with and very helpful.
I feel that I’ve come a long way since I met Grace, and I’m confident that I can take the things I’ve learned and give it a go on my own. I want to say thank her, sincerely, for the help that she provided. I feel like a different person from when I first met Grace. My outlook on food and myself has completely changed, and I’m sure I wouldn’t have gotten to this place without her care and guidance. Thank you for helping me right a lifetime of wrongs and for helping me see my own value. I truly appreciate all that Grace has done for me.
I just can’t say enough how thankful I am for Grace at Starkel Nutrition. I’m having trouble articulating how much she helped – both for body image and chronic pain. Grace walked me through unpacking negative body image that so many of us have. Those deep sessions were really difficult, but they’ve stuck with me for the past 2 years and every day I appreciate that my brain has healthier patterns of thinking. I’m appreciating my strengths instead of looking for my weaknesses. (I wish that appreciation came naturally, but I needed a little help reframing my thinking).
My appointments at Starkel also helped me work through chronic stomach pain. I think that I had quite a bit of guilt associated with it – feeling bad complaining about hurting when I know that there’s other people in more pain. I also just assumed it was how I would be because years of trying to figure it out wasn’t helping at all. Grace helped me confront that pain, and made me realize that I can expect more out of my body. Together we worked through figuring out the cause vs. just treating the pain. It wasn’t easy to go through food testing, etc., but I feel like with gut health there’s no easy answer; you have to be willing to put in the hard work to learn more about how your system functions. I know I couldn’t have done it without her support. I was so thankful that when I had questions pop up or needed some support to get through a vacation when I was doing an elimination diet, Grace was quick to respond to emails with encouragement and suggestions. Before all of this process, I was feeling sick most days of the month. I am so incredibly thankful that now I only feel bad a few days of the month (I know that I’ll always have some gut issues but now I’m able to walk myself through those times and have tools to get through).
I have so much gratitude for how much your team has improved my quality of life – both in my mind and how I feel. It’s made me expect the same level of excellence in other specialists that I visit. Thank you for all of the support!
I have been working with Julie on a plan to lower my overall cholesterol level, improve my low energy levels, get a handle on mood swings and help with poor mental clarity (or foggy brain). By identifying food allergies with special blood tests she uses, within five months, my overall cholesterol dropped 26 points (LDL declined by 20%), my energy levels were noticeably better, my mood swings have all but gone away and the foggy brain -gone, and everything is continuing to improve too!!!
Julie is great to work with. I like to think of her as my coach or partner in health. She genuinely cares about your health and really wants to work with you to help you have optimal health and happiness. I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated working with her and am looking forward to continuing our path to great health together!!!
Julie came up with a plan of action for me after reviewing all of my medical records very carefully and interviewing me at length. I started with a cleanse and at times it was difficult for me. I wasn’t sure I could do it after having been so beaten down for so long by my poor health. But Julie was there every step of the way and continues to do so.
In the first few weeks I needed hour by hour help via phone and email, and Julie was always there making me feel like I was her only client. I had complete faith in her knowledge and abilities, and this says a lot given how disillusioned I had become with all health care practitioners.
She gave me the personalized attention that someone like me, who was so sick and had so many complicating factors, needed to start the healing process. I could not have received this kind of help and attention from a lesser person. I literally felt like I had an angel leading me out of my nightmare.
When I came to see Julie, I was angry. You might say I went to see her for couples counseling. My body and I were not getting along. I didn’t trust my body or understand it at all. Everything I did seemed to be the wrong thing. Finally, Julie Starkel dropped it on me…I was a genetic pre-diabetic. I had a healthy history of diabetes Type II in my family and I was starting to show the first symptoms of lethargic metabolism, easy weight gain and difficulty losing weight. She introduced me to an eating program that restricted so many of the foods most people eat…grains, dairy, carbs.
The transition was difficult. I remember driving down a suburban mall road that I pass everyday on the way to work and looking at all the restaurants and saying, I can’t eat there. I can’t eat there, seeing all my options as non-existent. Over time I learned every time I ate one of those forbidden foods, I quickly held on to water resulting in a 3-4 pound gain, and then my metabolism was quite sluggish and lazy, choosing to just pack on more weight rather than let it go. I didn’t have all the symptoms of low energy or stomach irritation. Most of my symptoms were related to the scale. It took time to recognize how much damage I was doing to my body by eating foods that caused it to run so sluggish.
There have been adjustments though for the good. I learned not to listen to what everyone else is doing, but rather what has worked for my body as a pre-diabetic. Instead of bemoaning what I can’t have, I take in all the ingredients on the menu and order from the ingredients rather than their pre-packaged meal designs in a restaurant. I am courteous to my wait staff, apologize for the difference in my ordering (which they always tell me is nothing compared to some other customers) and usually end up with a meal I like that is cheaper to boot! I have learned what my real priorities with food are.
I used to believe it was the actual food but have found it is certain themes: I love having bites so I don’t have to say no all the time. If I can just have a taste then I don’t feel left out or that I am missing out on the next great thing.
Of course, I have also learned not to take a bite of something that I have already tried because I have to accept that when I am trying to lose weight, one bite will kick me off my plan for 3 days. This helps me resist at critical times. This is especially important for me because I am a hobby baker and candy maker.
I love variety: I don’t mind if I have a small amount of food as long as I can have a little of everything. When my family went to England this summer, I went chocolate hunting everyday. We would go to a swanky chocolate shop and each person in the family picked out 1 or 2 pieces of chocolate that they wanted to try. We got 6-8 pieces.That night, we would then cut each piece into four tiny pieces and savor each new taste like a tasting party. By the time we had the chocolate we were away from the store so we enjoyed what was there rather than be tempted to buy more. I liked this because I got to try all that I wanted but didn’t pay the price on the scale a day later. All together we went to eleven different chocolate shops and two candy shops on the trip and I gained only 1 pound during that vacation.
I like knowledge: Before I would exercise harder if I ate more or ate 1000 calories to lose weight and get varied results. Now I know what foods make my body run the most efficiently and which foods will muck it up. I no longer think in terms of calories but rather think how my body will receive this food. I still exercise and keep aware of portions, but I know it is not the key to my good health. I now trust my body and I believe it trusts me.
I love the side effects: Although I do not suffer some of the symptoms of other pre-diabetics, I have gained some awesome side effects. Some shifts in my tastes have occurred. I now like water over a 30 year love affair with diet soda. It didn’t happen all of a sudden, I just realized over time its hold on me was much less, but really crazy was that I no longer really desired it either. Sure I have it now and then, but can take it or leave it now. I now enjoy eating the foods that are good for my body.
Don’t get me wrong, I have my moments, I splurge or fall off the wagon. What is interesting is I now desire mentally to return to the foods that make my body run well. I am not doing it out of fear of gaining weight but rather out of desiring those foods. So there you have it, I am not at the end of my journey because only time will grant me the gift of stability of my weight, but I will tell you my confidence to shape my destiny (and my a**) is much higher than I have experienced on any other program, diet or plan in my almost 20 years of weight management. I hope you will experience the peace I have found with my body. We are in love again.”