Patient Testimonials

A selection of testimonials from Menu for Change patients:

“I also wanted you to know how great I think Menu for Change is. I’m going to tell you it has not been easy for me to change my paradigm and begin to really think about food, what I eat, when I eat, how often I eat, why I’m choosing to eat, what I’m choosing to eat……especially when it’s dark chocolate covered almonds. I have never done this before and so I will tell you, this in itself has caused some stress. It has been worth it. I love the fact that I have not been stamped into a one size fits all program. And I like the chance to play sleuth and think about all this new stuff and figure out why I do some of the crazy self defeating things I do and possibly come up with ways to do it better. And I love having others with all this expertise helping me along this more healthy path. I’m so happy you have Kira and Tracey working with you. Kira and Tracey are non judgmental which works so well with me. They come up with great ideas to keep me moving forward and when they give me an idea and I sort of balk they don’t press it. I thought the support group was fascinating last evening. I’m still processing the experience. I am loving the monthly meetings you have set up (glycemic index and sleep). More info for me to process and put into my changing thought. I’m very much looking forward to the visit to the markets which I’m sure are going to give me more ideas for healthy cooking. I know, I’ve just sort of gone on and on in this email. I still need to tell you one more thing before I end, I love that this program is not all about weight. Instead it’s all about getting healthy and feeling good every day. And that is such an uplifting thought. I just wanted to say thank you!” (BH)

“Wonderful website!! Easy to navigate and straightforward information about the program. I look forward to checking out the weekly tips and recipes. Every element of this program reflects your passion and care about your patients and their health and wellbeing. I consider myself very fortunate to collaborate with you on improving my overall health!!”  (AM)

“I’ve been needing to lose weight and get in better shape for years. The MFC program was just the kick-start that I needed. I know what I should eat and shouldn’t eat to be healthy (although it never hurts to have that reinforced). What has helped me the most is ways to deal with the stress and emotional eating when I just want to grab that cookie or bag of chips. Getting the tools and support to make these changes is helping me make progress toward my new healthier lifestyle goal. The support groups are also a great help. Just talking to people who are struggling with the same issues helps in not feeling alone.”  (JS)

“I was considering the 20/20 program offered through Microsoft/the Pro Sports Club — it was going to be a $6k investment out of my own pocket (with Microsoft covering more than double that amount), but as I started doing research about the program, I found that everyone I had met had lost 50+ lbs in the first 3-4 months, but had put all the ALL THE WEIGHT BACK ON within a year… this was validated when I went I went to an official seminar, and the presenter stated publicly that 48% of participants would put the weight back on. I also thought the program was too rigid for me — and extreme. I just didn’t think it would fit into my life, and I frankly didn’t have the time or desire to spend so much time at the Pro Club.

The MFC program is exactly the opposite — slow weight loss, behavioral change, highly personalized, flexible…. I was truly amazed when I got on the scale after my first three months, and lost over 11 lbs. For me, the biggest difference has been my energy level. I stopped working out for the past four years, and since I started the program, I am now working out 2-3X per week and doing 6000 steps each day. What’s also amazing to me is how I have modified my eating, just little changes every day that the nutritionist suggested have gone such a long way. I love to eat, but learning better portion control, to eat more vegetables and whole grains has been a great learning process. I’m still enjoying the foods I always have, but in a different way. And I’m not dependent on some application to track everything I’m doing on my phone (like so many programs) — I have learned what to do on my own! But the most incredible part is that I have lost weight and made these changes while going through some major life/medical events — I was going through fertility treatments for three months and still lost weight!

What’s more, the program has really made me look at my life — far beyond the weight loss, which is a symptom, to look at the real causes of what has driven me to gain weight, to stop working out. Because of the program, I’m considering a career change — to leave Microsoft after 12 years, and do something that really makes me happy, to work in an environment which isn’t so toxic to my health. This program is absolutely awesome — the flexibility has been so great. I will absolutely continue for another six months, and reach my weight and more importantly, life goals!”  (KP)

“I am almost at the four month mark with Menu for Change. The ideal and very personalized support I receive from my coaches is nothing like any other plan I’ve tried in the past. Dr. Baumgaertel and her team have put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into providing me with a variety of tools to help along the way. I’m achieving weight loss success in a way that can last a lifetime. Best of all, I am learning so much about smart choices and what works best for me. At the end of a stressful day I used to crave crackers or chips. Now, I actually look forward to a nice juicy apple!”  (TR)

“I just love this program. The most beneficial to me is the positive approach taken and I’ve learned so much about nutrition from Tracey that I didn’t know. I’m disappointed that I haven’t been able to incorporate physical activity due to my schedule yet, but I look forward to doing so in January. The support group is great too, but unfortunately it is just so hard to make it due to my schedule and distance from home. Love the program!”  (SS)

“I am now at my one month mark in my year long commitment to the Menu for Change program. I can’t thank you enough for putting together such a great team! I am constantly aware of making better choices to become a healthier me. Its not a diet but a new lifelong healthier me that I am striving to achieve and I know I will! If you had presented me with just a diet I don’t think I would have been interested – I’ve been there done that LOL. With the support of all three of you I can discuss nutrition in general and specifically related to my personal health. I can figure out what might be the issues that trigger poor eating, what to do naturally that will be of benefit and most of all I know my blood work is going to be better, my energy will be up and I will be a happier healthier person. This really is a lifelong change that I am excited about. Thanks again. I’m looking forward to what else the Menu for Change has to offer in the months to come, so glad to be included in the start of such a wonderful program.” (SN)

“Thanks Dr. B., I’m in for the long haul! This program gives me the support and education on this journey and understanding when I don’t “get it” the first time so I don’t feel the restriction or need to be less than honest that I have felt on every other program I have ever been involved in. Having the non judgmental support I feel from you, Dr. Kira and Tracey is an incredibly freeing experience for me. I really know you’re in my corner. Something extremely wonderful and new for me to experience it. I cannot tell you how grateful I am.”  (BH)

“I am highly affirming of your pilot program. I can say that it is effective, not only for getting healthy and losing weight, but for making new, thoughtful, healthful habits that I believe will replace old, unhelpful habits for the rest of my life. What I can say most strongly is that it feels sustainable to me, because I see myself differently and I see my day to day life in a new way. So, I don’t want the program to end, but when I’m no longer part of it I believe the habits and learnings from it will stay with me. Thank you for your innovative work and compassionate medical practice.”  (SM)

“Joining this program has made such a positive change in my life the past 3 months. I haven’t lost a lot of weight, but I feel so much better – more energy, better sleeping, better digestion, more happiness, and most of all the thrill of being in a program that is truly helpful. I’d like to be part of this program the remainder of my life!

Dr. Kira and Tracey are great at teaching me how to develop good eating habits. They are both supportive, personable, and fun to meet with. They share in my concerns, missteps, and successes; you chose well when you hired them. I’ve been alternating meeting with one of them nearly every week and this has been critical in keeping the MFC goals as the first priority in my busy life. This has been the primary reason for my success to date. Allowing ‘unlimited’ interaction with them is a part of the program that must be maintained as it expands.

MFC is so different from other ‘weight loss programs’ in which I have participated. It’s not a cookie-cutter program with a glossy book, pre-designed menus, and skinny people telling you to ‘just say no’ to food. Together with Kira and Tracey, we customize MFC for my problems and lifestyle; suggestions/solutions are offered for my particular issues. The flexibility of the program is critical for participants to choose the activities and their frequency (mtg Tracey, Kira lectures, walks, etc) that will help them the most. As the program expands it would be helpful to have have the staff help identify resources about exercise classes that would be appropriate for the participant. Thanks for putting together a great program.”  (KS)

“Menu for Change has offered me an opportunity to collaborate with three knowledgeable health professionals to create a personalized program for nutritional and physical health change that accommodates my energy, physical ability, and pace. Dr. Baumgaertel, Kira, and Tracey offer education, as well as practical and realistic suggestions in a non-judgmental, supportive, and caring manner that also pays attention to how I will implement and hold myself accountable to make and sustain change. The steps I have taken during the early weeks of the MFC program have been small and incremental but have led to a growing groundswell of motivation and commitment to care for myself in ways that extend beyond food selection and weight loss” (AM)

“Since starting the Menu for Change program, I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and healthy eating. Tracey and Kira have given me many ideas and recipes to incorporate the foods I like into a healthy diet. Additionally, I’m learning how the importance of getting adequate sleep,drinking plenty of water, and being mindful about what I eat has on losing weight. The individual attention and support I receive is truly wonderful!” (TR)

“Menu For Change only just started, but already I notice a difference in the way I feel and eat. Dr. Baumgaertel, Dr. Kira, and Tracey are a great team. I feel like I have unlimited support from all of them. It’s like I have a group of personal cheerleaders. I don’t feel as if I’m being judged if I make a mistake, but they will help steer me to make better decisions. This program is greatly improving my health and life!” (KW)

“When I first heard about the new Menu for Change weight management program, I admit I was somewhat skeptical. How was this going to be any different from the diets to lose weight I had tried in the past? Usually they would work for a while, but the weight would always return. Recent medical tests revealed I had elevated cholesterol and blood pressure as well as a propensity for diabetes. I finally decided that I should get serious about improving my health as a whole and enroll in Menu for Change.

Menu for Change is not a diet but a blueprint for getting healthy. During meetings with the health coaches, we have developed a specific plan for me based on my goals. So far, it has included nutritional information, exercise information and much encouragement. Options I can add later, if I wish, include monthly lectures on health topics, grocery store trips, counseling, and personal training, as well as hypnotism and acupuncture.

After only three weeks, I’m already seeing results through eating more mindfully and adding more exercise to my life. This is not a fast weight loss program, but a slow and steady improvement in healthy living over time. I look forward to my weekly meetings with the coaches and I’m starting to feel more optimistic about my health as I age.

Thank you, Dr. Baumgaertel and the Menu for Change team!” (CJ)

“This program has changed my life – as simple as that!” (RJ)

Colleague endorsements

“Menu for Change has been incredibly successful for my patients. The end result is global health with overall wellness as the destination, not just weight loss. By addressing nutrition, psychological influences and exercise, the program achieves a health transformation.” Chris Pepin, MD

“I love the Menu For Change program for its innovative approach to whole-person health. Dr. Baumgaertel and her team provide all the resources you need to make meaningful, lasting change.” -Peter M. Doyle, PhD

“The Menu for Change program is an incredibly innovative and thoughtful approach to weight management. This program balances the need for lifestyle changes with a non-judgmental stance towards weight and health.” Alexia Spanos, Ph.D.

“I’m impressed with the results I’ve seen because of the MFC program. These patients are achieving significant health benefits and love it.”  (F. Ames Smith, MD)

“The Menu for Change Program empowers the individual to learn about healthy eating and lifestyle to achieve optimal body weight. It is not a diet. It is not calorie deprivation. It is fueling your body, regulating your metabolism and learning the importance of moving. It is for anyone who wants a long, healthy life.” (KH)

“My patients say – “I’ve never had such a comprehensive approach to helping me lose weight. It’s not just about the pounds lost, it’s so much more. I really believe I will be successful this time because I’m changing my whole lifestyle, not just going on a diet again.” (Robert Goode, MD)

“I have known and worked with Dr. Baumgaertel for over 11 years. We have had many patients in common, and I have always found her to be an outstanding clinician with a splendid personality. She started the Menu for Change program a bit over a year ago as a multidisciplinary approach to better health and weight management. I have referred several patients, and I also had the opportunity to attend the anniversary celebration. Patients raved about the results, and you could feel the enthusiasm for the program in the room. This was a healthy potluck gathering, and the creativity and delicious flavors of the dishes were truly impressive. I could see that patients had embraced a healthier lifestyle and seemed very proud of their efforts. I fully endorse Dr. Baumgaertel and her Menu for Change program.” (Juan de la Ossa MD)

“I am delighted to recommend my patients to the Menu for Change program. It provides a comprehensive experience that is invaluable in promoting sustainable weight loss through an education in healthy eating, stress management and unique approaches to activity that are tailored for each individual. Patients are given tools that empower them toward their health goals, and beyond.” (Milah Frownfelter, MD)

“I’ve had 3 of my patients work with the MFC program and they have all made terrific progress in achieving their weight loss goals. They’ve given me very positive feedback and have enjoyed working with the multi-disciplinary team tremendously.” (SMH)