Testimonials

I wanted to share some inspirational stories with you about some of my clients who I believe are remarkable; some even surprising and miraculous! I wish I could include them all but I focused on the ones who have fully embraced the concept of making incremental lifestyle changes that are sustainable, and did not look upon this book as a diet to be followed but an opportunity to start making better choices for improved health, wellbeing, and quality of life. The photographs are not labeled “before” and “after,” because when it comes to lifestyle changes there is no after, we are all ongoing work in progress. The goal is to be as fit and healthy as possible throughout the many phases of our lives. It is evident they started their journey in different places and have made tremendous progress that will last them a lifetime; maintaining their health when they encounter crisis, and making progress as they can. Their ages range from their late 20s through mid-60s and they demonstrate how it is never too late to raise your personal wellness bar. If you think you can, you most certainly will succeed.

Ana Castro - 3/25/2012

Upon entering my 50's I assumed it was my lot in life to be over-weight. Granted I was only 20-22 pounds over-weight, however it was on me and I was not happy about it. I dreaded shopping, photos and going out on special occasions. I was not physically comfortable with how I looked. I truly felt like I was wearing a fat suit!

I was tired, fatigued (again I attributed it to my age) I thought only exercise and sleep were the answer. I had hot flashes, night sweats and migraine headaches regularly. I hated getting older and longed to be at a healthy weight, fit and energized again. I didn't want to excuse myself from achieving this simply because of my age.

Patty the owner of the hair salon I go to was getting smaller with every appointment I went to; looking healthy and happy too! I commented to Wendy my stylist and she said Patty was eating clean. I took that to mean healthy foods. Then a few months later Wendy began shrinking too! Okay what is going on? Whatever these guys are doing; I wanted in on it!

Wendy told me about Booty Camp and AABS. She gave me Toni's BITE ME! Change Your Life One Bite at a Time to read, I devoured it, and asked, "How do I sign up for this life change?"

I decided to do three things; first I scheduled a one-on-one appointment with Toni. I found out I was lacking protein as well as a balance of healthy carbs and fats in my meals. I joined Saturday Booty Club, their outdoor personalized training program! Since my work schedule didn't allow me to attend weekday Booty Club I worked out on my own three other days, making it a 4-day a week work out. I was determined to get out of my slump and fat suit; therefore I was faithful to eating clean and exercising regularly. Additionally I signed up for the next BITE ME Challenge and I acquired more knowledge about nutrition, reading labels with understanding when grocery shopping and meal planning. It's all in Toni's book, everything I needed to know.

Secondly I stopped eating without a goal or purpose. Since Toni had already done all the work by providing recipes and meal plans in her BITE ME! book, which contained the ingredients to produce a proper balance of proteins, good carbs and healthy fats, all I had to do was decide what to eat. I had to go to the grocery store anyway so I made my list and bought accordingly. I was able to accomplish my goal and maintain my weight. During the BITE ME Challenge I even had to increase my daily calories to keep from losing weight so fast! I feel great and am happy with my results. The night sweats; hot flashes and headaches are almost completely gone too. Losing weight became easy, so I continued to journal my meals for a month after to be sure I maintained my weight. I finally had the tools I needed to reach my desired weight and health goals.

Lastly my long-term goal is to stay the course and keep what I achieved. I continue to eat clean and have periodic hydrostatic body fat tests (body dunks) to track my fat ratio to lean mass in poundage. This is really the only way to know how much fat your body is carrying; I want stay in a healthy rage. The information in Toni's book is invaluable; a realistic and sustainable life change that I continue today. Her recipes are delicious and have been helpful in teaching me how to make my own favorite meals "clean". My husband is so proud of my dedication and achievement; he says I'm his hero. He joined in on the healthy eating and has lost 15 pounds without trying. Now, if I could get him to the Booty Club!

BEFORE
AFTER
AFTER

Richard Morse--65, Fremont, CA

A few words from Richard:

"You are what you eat," so eat healthy and clean. "BITE ME!" is more than a book of fantastic recipes; it is a book that will help you make a life style change to eating healthy clean foods that taste good and are good for you. I began my lifestyle change at age 63 and a very unhealthy 315 lb. Initially I began using a low carbohydrate diet that was high in protein and fat. I was so out of shape that a 100 yard walk would have me out of breath, my hamstring muscles would burn. The low carbohydrate diet is not healthy or sustainable for long periods of time. After months on the low carbohydrate diet I lost weight but my body fat was a very unhealthy 31.3%.

I watched in disbelief as my good friend and coworker, Heather Buchholz continued to lose weight eating clean healthy foods from the BITE ME! book; fresh fruits, vegetables and interesting foods that I couldn't touch on my low carbohydrate diet. After months of toughing it out on the low carb diet eating food that tasted like particleboard, I was ready for a change in diet.

Heather introduced me to Toni and the BITE ME! book in November 2009. Toni asked me, “What is your daily calorie intake?” I had no idea; other than I was obviously burning more calories that I was consuming or I would not be losing weight. Toni encouraged me to get a calorie-monitoring armband so that I could monitor and determine the daily amount of calorie intake vs. the daily amount of calories burned. I got the armband and continue to use it daily.

I have lost 130 lb. and my body fat has been reduced to 24.7%. My blood pressure has been reduced from 120/80 to 103/58 and my total cholesterol has been reduced to 87 from 115, and I am completely off my blood pressure and cholesterol medications.

BITE ME! is not a fad diet that requires purchasing special foods from a single source; BITE ME! is a life style change that is sustainable because the foods taste good and the ingredients can be purchased from many high quality food suppliers. I don't leave home without my insulated cooler of BITE ME! Staples: Apple Carrot Bran Muffins, Apple Protein Bars, PB2. The BITE ME! Anti-Oxidant Three-Berry Protein Smoothie is a daily favorite and is my substitute for unhealthy ice cream.

Today I am in the best shape I have been since college, I walk or hike about 15 miles per week, I work out twice a week with a personal trainer and eat all my food from the Bite Me book. My goal is to reduce my weight to 190 lb. and body fat to under 20% (healthy for a 35 year old, great for a 65 year old). Get started with healthy life style by using the BITE ME! book and an exercise plan.

Chris Wagemann -- 47, San Jose, CA

My weight loss journey started when I realized I weighed in at 148lbs and something had to give and fast. That was truly the heaviest I had ever weighed. I had nowhere else to turn, and I had heard many success stories from people who had joined Jenny Craig. I decided I would go for it! With that program I begin my journey and in its entirety I lost about 15 lbs. For someone of my height at 5”0 tall that is a HUGE loss, and I was excited, yet with the weighs-ins starting to stay the same, I wanted more! The summer came and went and my weight was going up and down. I then started an exercise class and my weight eventually hit a plateau again at 130, and I was still doing the Jenny Craig plan. I was now working out six times a week pretty religiously. I knew it wasn’t my work out activity, so next to that it had to be my eating. One of the girls told us about a book called “BITE ME!” and brought a copy in to give some of us a tutorial of what it consisted of. She said it was clean eating and I had watched her shrink by eating out of this book first hand. I had her forward me the link. I checked it out and decided to purchase it and give it a try. This day completely changed my life and I haven’t looked back since.

I started in early January weighing in at 129.6 lbs. It has been about two and half months so far and by eating out of this book I am proud to say I am currently at 116 pounds and I have lost many inches also. I have my high school waste line back; who wouldn’t want that? I feel amazing and I look amazing. I am that get-up-and-go kind of woman now; nothing can hold me back. On top of looking good, I feel the best I have ever felt. My skin is glowing and radiant, and my clothes fit me the way I have always wanted them to.

I never thought I would lose these last 10 lbs. But with the right information and help from some friends, I have done it!

Laurina Lanham

Age 27, San Jose, CA

At the age of 27 I found myself in a place that I was not comfortable with but I had no idea how to get over the hurdles that plagued me. I consider myself an athlete; I ran track, played volleyball and remained active throughout high school and well into my college years. My health was never something I worried about, until this past year. I slowly noticed my health deteriorating and my body was failing me. I tried to work out on a daily basis but my body was no longer recovering as quickly as it once had and I developed so many aches and pains that the only place I found comfort was on the couch. I began to develop migraines and experienced once a week, sometimes once a day. I knew a change needed to be made; I was tired of being tired I was in dire need of a reality check. I relied too heavily on migraine pills that made me too drowsy to work out, and I found myself sleeping when I should have been living. I did not want to rely on medicine anymore when the real problem was my lifestyle. After looking in the mirror at myself, I realized that I was standing in my own way and it was vital that I do something to get my health back.

I was introduced to BITE ME! at a time where I could not have been more receptive to change. I studied this book, made my daily menus, did my shopping and cooked my food. A week into the book I started noticing a difference in my energy levels and I became much more aware of what I was putting into my body. I began paying attention to nutrition labels and what once seemed so foreign to me was suddenly clear. I soon realized that I was only paying attention to calories and Trans fat; I never thought to look at protein-to-carb ratio or saturated fat. I took inventory in my kitchen and threw out anything that did not fit the guidelines of the book; I did not want to be tempted. If I was going to do this for real I had to throw all excuses out and be honest with myself about what was really contributing to my health. By the second week of the book my friends and family began to notice a change, several people told m that my moods were better and they were right! I felt better and my attitude began to transform. I felt better in those first two weeks than I felt in the last year. I had the tools for taking back my health and I was stunned at the results.

My clean eating habits continue; this is not a diet, it’s a lifestyle. I refer to the BITE ME! book on a daily basis. This was the change that needed to be made. Within the first week I did not have a single migraine; in fact I have not had a migraine since adapting the clean eating to my daily routine. As it turned out, prior to starting BITE ME!, my doctor informed me that the reason I was experiencing fatigue and migraines was due to a lack of sleep, anemia, and I was on my way to becoming pre-diabetic. It came as no surprise to me that after the eight weeks my fatigue turned to energy, and my migraines are non-existent. By taking on the principles of BITE ME! eating six small meals a day every two to three hours I was able to recharge my metabolism and retrain my body.

I am currently in the process of completing my graduate degree and I work full time, if I do not take care of my health and eat clean I will burn out. I know, because prior to finding this book I did exactly that. I cannot expect my body to perform at its best if I am not fueling it with the best. I was in need of a lifestyle makeover and this book did just that, it changed my life for good. All the unhealthy food I was putting into my body no longer appeals to me; I plan my meals out and remember the clean eating principles so that I can always make good decisions. I am in the best physical shape I have ever been in and I continue to push myself to the next level because I know that I can do it.

I truly believe that this book saved my health. I started it at 136 lbs, unhealthy and close being diagnosed as pre diabetic. I lost 30 pounds, four dress sizes and tested at 20% body fat; my health is the best it has ever been and the best part is that I made the change. With the tools in this book I was able to build a better life for myself and I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to be introduced to a wonderful group of women who continue to inspire and motivate me and I say “BITE ME!” to anyone who tries to pull me backwards. This book transformed me, and given the chance, it can do the same for you!

Debbie McCarrick-Olsen

Age 54, San Jose, CA

I have always been very conscious about eating right and exercise has been a top priority in my life. I was finding that my hard work was just not giving me the results I thought I should have, given all the hours I logged in at the gym and constantly dieting. I decided to sign up with Adam (an unbelievable personal trainer) who was the caveat I needed to tweak things just enough to see and feel a difference. He in turn introduced me to Toni who had a big influence on my diet. It wasn’t that I was eating poorly but the reaction of certain foods in my body were not allowing me to see positive results in fact I was working harder and gaining weight and feeling worse than ever. Being in my menopause years, I had sleepless nights and daytime and nighttime sweats or hot flashes—about one to two every hour. I had discussed hormone therapy with my doctor, which was a last resort.

Most importantly Toni really gave me a handle on my clean eating. I really boosted up the protein. I was eating more than ever but my choices were much different. No white bread, no white rice, no white potato. Instead I really kept an eye on my calories and all those hidden things we do from day to day, which really add up. I went to whole wheat, brown rice and sweet potato and learned about the benefits of fiber and flax seed. Since my passion is cooking I discovered great ways to cook fish and chicken. My refrigerator is stacked with veggies and fruit.

I went from 145 pounds and exercising five to six times per week to 130 exercising with the same exercise regimen. I have the occasional hot flash but am sleeping pretty much through the night. I am no longer feeling that bloated feeling and I am regular like clockwork—something that has never happened in my life.

Since I am Italian and grew up with pasta, bread and wine I think it is really important not to deprive yourself. I am cooking mostly with whole-wheat pasta. Occasionally if I eat the “old way” I quickly remember why I made new choices. Everything comes back like a freight train; 5 pounds just like that, no sleeping and a permanent fan attached to my head.

I am so grateful for the information given to me, and although I feel it is always a work in progress…learning new things about exercising and diet has really brought me to my “HAPPY PLACE.”

Susan Lewis

Age 49, Pleasanton, CA

I was always a fat child, but never gave it much thought until I got a little older and had to shop in the "husky" department at Sears. I felt humiliated and that is probably when I first became aware that I was fat. I never really liked exercise and of course loved all things fattening, especially sweets. It was not until I was in the 7th grade that I began my relationship with dieting. I had been asked to be in my Aunt's wedding, and in order to be a junior brides-maid, I had to fit into a borrowed size 5 dress. I decided to start to count my calories and limit myself to 1000 calories a day. I wrote down everything I ate and stuck to my 1000 calories diligently. Some days that would mean I ate a Snickers bar, 5 Oreos and ice cream, but it was still 1000 calories and I fit into the dress. So, needless to say, I stuck with that method for a long time...like 30 years! When I got pregnant, I knew I had to eat healthier and found I worried less about calories, a little and more about nutrition, but once the baby was born, I was right back to my old habits and that is pretty much how I have maintained my weight my whole life. As I begin to age and get a little wiser, I have gotten more concerned about my overall health, but still want to be slender and fit.

About two years ago, I met Toni at a party and was attracted to her immediately. She looked how I would like to look and I was so curious to find out how she did it. We spoke a lot about eating and exercise habits and what I loved about her instantly is she was a genuine person and had some of the same struggles I did. She suggested I keep a food log for three days and then send her what I ate…an honest account. That was a little challenging because I was embarrassed to send her what my honest account was, but I wanted to make some changes, so felt I needed to start there.

She was super supportive and did not criticize, but instead told me how I could make little changes to improve. She suggested the body bug program to log my food, which also broke down the nutrients I needed so I could see where I was deficient. Toni made me much more aware of how important it is to make nutritional choices that really make a difference in the way you feel. I find I am much more aware of balancing proteins and adding more fruits and veggies to my diet and I find I can actually eat more. I have also been so motivated by the changes I've seen in my body and my energy levels that I have increased by exercise, which motivates me to eat better, which motivates me to exercise more and helps to create a more positive cycle of wellness overall. I still have a sweet tooth and definitely slip up every once in a while, but now I notice that I really don't feel good when I do that and get excited about feeling healthy. It is definitely worth it.

Victoria Pearce-Kelso

Age 50, San Jose, CA

When I started Toni’s Booty Club four months ago, I was turning 50, was 40 pounds overweight and sedentary. I have anxiety and depression issues, which were getting worse. I had not worked out for about five years, and could not seem to find the will power or commitment to do it.

The first day was exciting but tough, they were genuinely interested in understanding me and what my issues were; they helped me adjust the workout to meet my ability level. I was the slowest and least in shape person there, but it did not seem to matter. Everyone was encouraging me, including the other members in the class. I needed a support system, people to count on me, and professionals to map out my work out. I noticed right away that my strength had increased; simple things like getting out of a deep chair and bending over were becoming easy. I had no idea how much I wasn’t able to do until I started doing them again.

My energy and self-esteem increased. The depression and anxiety has decreased significantly. I lost 10 pounds without even changing my diet and inches started to come off, my fat layer was starting to disappear. Recently I started to eat healthy and dropped five more pounds in two weeks. I feel so much better; I never want to go back to the way I felt before. The Booty Club is always different; I never know what to expect so the time flies by. I don’t know how they do it but the work out hits every part of my body, while increasing my stamina. Booty Club is truly an amazing work out and it's FUN! Without the supportive team I would have given up long ago! It would have been impossible for me to get this overall work out at the gym. Booty Club has changed my life!

Update: Victoria joined the BITE ME! Challenge recently and lost an additional 12 pounds in eight weeks through eating clean. Since joining the Booty Club, she has reduced her overall body fat by 18% in a seven month period, a tremendous accomplishment!

Peter Pravettoni

Age 52, Lewisville, Texas

I started with Toni in July of 2008 I weighed 232 lbs, my cholesterol and Triglycerides were very high and I was border-line diabetic. With advice from Toni on clean eating and a workout routine to fit my age and physical limitations I was able to lose 30 lbs in four months and to the surprise of my doctor my blood work was all excellent. Toni took care and paid constant attention to my workouts and nutritional intake on a daily basis. We did this almost exclusively over the Internet with a few phone calls here and there. I am a musician and need to be on stage and look, feel, and perform at a high level and this system has helped me to achieve my goals; I would recommend this to anyone.

Soledad Quiroz, Age 32

San Jose, CA

“I was inspired by a front page story about Toni’s wellness journey in our local paper and was curious how she had accomplished so many things after suffering so many health issues. I contacted her and met with her for the first time. Immediately it seemed like we connected on so many levels. Every time I thought of losing weight it seemed that it was such a sacrifice to give up so many good tasting foods and starving. Not so after talking to Toni. She had talked about eating high quality foods, eating clean, and best of all eating frequently. She had suggested seeing a doctor and taking blood work as a place to start, so I could identify potential medical issues right away.

Before I met her, all I did was juggle work and family; I was stressed all the time and ate on the run, mostly fast food. I knew I had to change some of my bad habits. I started as Toni suggested at the doctor’s office and was caught off-guard at how many health issues I was faced with. At only 32, I was anemic, had a chronic sinus infection, fibroids in my uterus, high cholesterol, border-line diabetes, low blood pressure, and of course over-weight. The doctor was really concerned about all these issues but he was most concerned about my weight and the high cholesterol since that could be life threatening—especially given the amount of stress that I was dealing with on a day to day basis. I was what he called "a walking time bomb".

My grandmother just passed away February 14, 2010 and with her, a big part of our selves was lost as we were so close to her. This really changed my way of thinking. Did I want to ignore my health issues and leave my loved ones in pain because of my poor bad habits? Worst of all did I want my kids to learn these nasty habits?

I finally made the decision and started making baby steps towards better lifestyle changes. I try to make simple modifications in my eating habits and try not to eat out as much. Toni came to our restaurant and created a dish that became the foundation of my understanding to healthy clean food. I slowly began to feel an improvement in my health.

Mostly importantly, I lost 10 pounds and was able to get pregnant after years of trying and the doctor had told me it was going to be close to impossible.

Today I see many small changes in my family and my kids. We see the doctor more regularly for check-ups, I read food labels, cook with less oil, focus on eating clean, and am now aware of bad habits. The best part of this is my family now knows the direct consequences of eating poorly, which is bad health!”

Soledad, and her husband Adrian, have made a brave commitment by stepping out of their comfort zones and learning how to prepare and bring healthy options to the community. Soledad took the initiative to get blood work and understand her wellness benchmark, is now four months pregnant and has become a healthier role model for her family as well!”

 

 
 
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