I highly encourage anyone wanting the knowledge of the right way to loose weight to contact Sammy at the Dietitians of Palm Valley- you won’t regret it.
I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. You name it, I’ve tried it and as usual if the trick worked, it did not last long. Over the last few years I focused more on exercise and found out I actually enjoy it. I joined Orange Theory Fitness and although I lost some inches I was not seeing the results I wanted. I was confused why I was not loosing weight when I worked out at OTF twice a week and ran a minimum of 3 miles on the weekend and my diet was not terrible.
My husband suggested a nutritionist but since it was not my idea I promptly turned it down. Literally 1 week later Sammy was at my OTF location offering her services. After speaking with Sammy for 15 minutes I knew I wanted to try it and I had my first appointment scheduled the next week.
Sammy did not make feel like she was judging me for being overweight and she made me feel like she truly wanted to help me achieve my weight loss goals. I learned many things that first visit…. mainly not eating enough is just as bad as eating too much. I guess skipping breakfast and not eating lunch until 3:00 was a bad thing!
The snack and meal options were reasonable and were not items I do not like to eat which allowed me to keep on track and not give up. Within a month I was down 4 pounds and who knows how many inches- I just know my clothes fit much better and the compliments started to pour in.
Meeting every few weeks with Sammy gives me the accountability I need. She also encourages me to get out of comfort and try new foods that will add to the variety of my menu.
Michelle Sykes Jacksonville, FL
When I first walked into Sammy’s office on July 7, 2015 I weighed 266 pounds and had no energy. After speaking with Sammy and having her explain how and what I should eat, I am happy to say that I am now 185 pounds. Sammy explains everything to you so that you understand it. It wont be an overnight weight loss, it is a lifestyle change. Sammy makes the whole process fun and easy. Sammy’s help has changed my life for the better and I am forever grateful
Rich Kunz Nutley, NJ
After visiting with Mindy my athletic performance improved so much. Her help impacted me immediately, I received Asun player of the week and I felt so much better physically. Thanks Mindy!
Sammy Strausbaugh Dover, PA Jacksonville University Volleyball
Mindy and Sammy are two of the most life-changing people! I came back from college nearly 15 pounds heavier, and I knew I had to turn my life around. They guided me and reassured me that it was possible to be comfortable in my own skin again. Also, they get to know you and figure out how you can best achieve your goal. Now, I actually know how to eat and live well, and meeting with them changed my lifestyle forever.
Rachel Schwam Jacksonville, FL
For over ten years, I had been in and out of weight loss programs including most of the national chains. From using so many different programs and my lack of knowledge about nutrition, I had a negative view about food. It was the enemy; and, it would be much more so when I had officially been diagnosed with diabetes mellitus.
After working out with a personal trainer and having increased dietary needs from the increase in activity, I was introduced to Mindy early 2006. She was the first nutritionist to show me what each nutrient meant and how a balanced diet would be key to my success. By March 2006, my cholesterol and triglycerides were in check and my doctor was thrilled. I also showed weight loss after having plateau for a year and a half.
Mindy is unique in that she will take the time to answer any questions you have, and she is quick to respond. She will also go out of her way to give you reliable research on any nutritional areas that you wish to learn about.
My biggest gratitude to Mindy is in helping me to finally obtain a healthy attitude towards food. Food no longer controls me because my body now tells me exactly what I need. I am now a diet-controlled diabetic and have been for over a year and a half. She has also been critical in helping me understand how sports nutrition would be used to help me in fundraiser bike rides. Thank you cannot be said enough to Mindy’s expertise and motivational support.
Barbara Green Jacksonville, FL
I have been a professional golfer for 27 years and enjoyed a very competitive and active sporting youth including, baseball, tennis and hockey. As a consequence of this year round physical activity it was very difficult for me to put on (gain) any weight. I was 145 lbs. at my heaviest, but, as the saying goes “be careful what you wish for.”As my physical activities reduced and my metabolism slowed my wish came true and I grew to a record 210 lbs.
As my physical activities reduced and my metabolism slowed my wish came true and I grew to a record 210 lbs. I discussed ways to get rid of this unwanted weight and tried various diets with minimal success and significant hunger pangs. In December of 2008 I was introduced to Mindy Black through a friend who told me of Mindy’s background her success with others and that she could help me. We met for 3 sessions. The first session I gave Mindy my background and what I wanted to achieve going forward. She made suggestions to me of what I had to do to loose weight. The second session Mindy laid out my “Tummy Plan” of what to eat, when to eat and how much to eat at each meal time. The final session Mindy walked me through the grocery store explaining to me how to shop, what to look for, how to read a nutritional label and what to avoid.
These sessions were without a doubt the best money I ever invested for myself. Diligently following the “Tummy Plan” allowed me to go from 197 lbs. to 167 lbs. in just 3 months. My energy level is higher now and I am able to compete at a much higher level than I have in years. I have gone from a 38” to a 34” waist and from XL to medium shirts. The comments I hear from my family and friends have been uplifting and music to my ears. Besides I eat as much now as I was before-just proper choices and food I have always enjoyed. I cannot thank Mindy enough and have recommended her to friends and acquaintances and they have all had positive experiences as well. If you are serious about changing your physique do yourself a favor and contact Mindy. I am sure you will see the benefits.
Ken Tarling Canada
Thanks to Mindy. I’m sure I could not have lost 35 lbs and 18 inches without her. I got more insight at the lunch and learns, than I have in my almost 30 years of dieting. I’ve enjoyed the recipes and trying new foods; learning to fitness app you suggested and noticed that my carb intake % decreased about 15% since the beginning of this challenge. I attribute that to the knowledge I gained from you on what to eat and the drive to make it happen!
Three months ago, my blood work showed that I had hypo-thyroid and my BP was 142/89 (on medication) – low iron and something else was out of whack- it was recommended that I start Synthroid. I asked to do a repeat of the blood work because I was working with a nutritionist and exercising (drastic lifestyle change). Doc agreed and I repeated blood 2 weeks ago and went in this morning for the results. I have never seen Dr. G so excited at 8:45am. He said that I “fixed my metabolism”; my thyroid levels are PERFECT and my BP was down to 124/84. Not only do I not need to start Synthroid, but he recommended that in another 20 lbs! Trying to wean me off of the BP mediation. I could not be happier!!!!!You rock, Mindy. Thanks again!!!!!
Amy Seamon Jacksonville, FL
Sammy is great! Thank you for meeting with us and our son. He is super excited and began implementing your suggestions on day 1!! We went right from your office to Whole Foods! He has already gained 4 pounds if u can believe it – even while swimming and working out a ton!! Thanks again!
Tracy Grasher Ponte Vedra, FL
I really enjoyed Sammy’s enthusiasm and encouragement. I enjoyed the grocery store visit and all the ideas she had for healthy products. My experience working with Sammy taught me how to make healthy and delicious improvements in my eating plan, and inspired me to continue to work to achieve my goals. I always looked forward to our appointments and left with renewed enthusiasm!
Anna Ponte Vedra, FL
I worked with Sammy at Dietitians of Palm Valley and found her extremely encouraging, knowledgeable, and flexible. She keeps current with trends and the research. She shared relevant recipes, healthy products, and lifestyle adaptations to create behavior change. Sammy had a plan and fit it with our crazy lifestyle and challenges, through a move, a wedding, weird work schedules, and travel for vacation and conference. My view of health has changed since working with Dietitians of Palm Valley. Sammy taught me that it is a continuous, lifestyle process. I don’t get discouraged with a setback. It’s temporary. I can start again. I looked forward to seeing Sammy at each consultation!
St. Johns/Fruit Cove, FL
Before coming to Dietitians of Palm Valley, my husband and I started and failed multiple times at losing weight. We tried working out all of the time, counting calories, cutting out “bad foods” –but none of it gave us results, as after a month or two we’d get tired of whatever fad we were on and go back to our old habits.
This past summer we joined Orange Theory Fitness. They told us that as a member of the gym, we got a complimentary session with Dietitians of Palm Valley. I was against the idea–after all, I know what food is good and bad (yet I still failed to lose weight). We finally went and met with Sammy and after liking her philosophy of food…we invested in a program and started working with her.
It’s been 4 months and I am so happy that we made this decision! My husband has lost 27 pounds and I lost 10. The great thing? WE DIDN’T DIET! Sammy never told us we couldn’t eat any particular food, she never told us to deprive ourselves. With her help, we learned to eat better foods, how macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and fat) play a role in our bodies, and how to make better choices. We snacked more, ate smaller meals, but also had pizza, ice cream, AND chocolate!
Sammy didn’t give us a temporary diet to follow. Instead, she guided us to learn what it takes to eat healthy food and also taught us what makes certain foods healthier option versus not so much. I can’t say it enough…I never felt deprived or hungry. Never. With what we learned at Dietitians of Palm Valley, I am confident that my husband and I will continue this new healthy lifestyle.
Dietitians of Palm Valley don’t offer a quick fix–they offer a solid foundation of a lifestyle change that’s sustainable.
I heard about Dietitians of Palm Valley from our fitness studio. When I was only working out (and not eating right) my athletic performance had increased but I wasn’t able to get my extra weight off. I came to Sammy & Dietitians of Palm Valley for our initial consultation at 215 pounds with a goal to get down to 190 pounds. Now, after a little over 4-months I’m down to 188 pounds. The best part is that it hasn’t been that hard! I haven’t had to make drastic sacrifices or deprive myself. I still eat my favorite foods–perhaps more in moderation. I truly have learned that healthy eating and fueling your body isn’t all that bad.
My experience working with both Dietitians of Palm Valley and Orangetheory Fitness of Nocatee has been eye opening! I am blessed to have had great coaches supporting both my dietary health & fitness goals. Sammy from Dietitians of Palm Valley specifically addressed my goals related to weight loss and helped design a meal plan with both my work travel and busy lifestyle in mind. She also gave me resources for recipes to use and foods to buy at Publix to meet my goals. Orangetheory Fitness offered a baseline test/consult with Coach Jess that allowed me to see where I was physically – how much I could endure – to allow me to push myself more during my workouts. After 2-3 months with nutrition guidance (in addition to my fitness regimen) I’m 15 pounds down and feel so much stronger!Before working with Dietitians of Palm Valley, I thought I knew the right foods to eat, but didn’t realize that I wasn’t eating enough and how to pair certain foods together. I’ve learned that carbs are not the enemy– I have learned what type of carbs my body wants to consume in addition to proteins, especially after my workouts. Sammy even taught me how to enjoy cocktails (as a part of a healthy, balanced diet)! I know my goals are attainable with the support of both Sammy at DOPV and Coach Jess at OTF…I’m so grateful for the experience!Ponte Vedra, FL
My experience with Dietitians of Palm Valley was very helpful. I was going through some health problems that brought about a lot of food sensitivities. I lost over 10 pounds in a month as I struggled to find foods I could still eat. I was constantly tired and hungry, and had little energy to figure things out on my own. Sammy listened, asked questions that helped get to the root of the problem, and showed true compassion as she helped develop a plan and recipes that would help me maintain my weight and get the nutrition I needed to fight my health battles. She was a key part of the team that has helped me regain my health.
Tyler Wolford Ponte Vedra, FL
A couple of years ago, I was 283 lbs. and out of shape when I began trying to live a healthier lifestyle on my own. By the end of 2017, I had lost much of the excess weight but my progress had plateaued and I was frustrated. I contacted the Dietitians of Palm Valley and began meeting with Sammy on a regular basis. What followed was nothing short of life changing.
Sammy designed a nutrition plan based around my work and personal life schedule. This had been a challenge for me previously because I work nights and manage a team of over 50 employees. She worked out a plan of when I should eat with easy to prepare meal options based on my lifestyle.
My goal was to build muscle and lose fat and with Sammy’s guidance the results were dramatic! By using her nutrition plan with my workout schedule I’ve had to update my wardrobe. I am now buying smaller belts due to fat loss and the muscle gains have meant my jeans no longer look baggy and I’ve had to start wearing larger shirts due to an increase in upper body size.
You might think this experience is just about eating healthy, but it is so much more than that. Due to my previous weight, I was calorie-phobic and afraid of eating too much. Ironically, I wasn’t eating enough and it was affecting the very goals I was trying to attain. Sammy helped me understand how to see food in a different light. To use it as an energy source instead of trying to avoid it until you are starving.
My time with Sammy has changed both my physical appearance as well as my attitude towards healthy living for the better. It is an experience that I will keep with me the rest of my life and I will always be grateful for what she has done for me.
I loved working with Lauren. From the very beginning I could tell that our personalities clicked very well together. I thought I knew a thing or two about healthy eating from online posts, magazines, etc. Turns out I really didn’t know as much as I thought I did. Not only about eating, but about mindful eating and being aware of how I feel while I’m eating and just really listening to my body. Since I’ve worked with you I definitely eat all the veggies and always substitute out for a side salad to make sure I’m getting my veggies and because honest I prefer the salad.Lauren kept me accountable even when I didn’t want to be kept accountable because I still wasn’t making the right choices. Through using the Healthie app, emails, texts and our meetings I finally learned hot to prioritize food and be healthy. The improvements I’ve seen in my health and how I approach food is night and day. I’m no longer constantly beating myself up but rather speaking kindly to myself and being mindful.I wish Lauren and I could have worked together more, but I know that we met within the limits of my package. As you know everyone is different, when I walked in the first time I thought I needed a meal plan to get me though but what I really needed was a food coach and someone to coach me and inspire me to find my passion for wholesome foods. She did that.
I can’t wait to book more sessions with her in the fall / winter to help me through the holidays — as that time of year is always a challenge for me.Coming to Dietitians of Palm Valley and working with Lauren has been a life changer – for the better.Judy KantarJacksonville, FL
My time working with Lauren has been greatly beneficial. Throughout working together, Lauren was very attentive to my questions. Specifically, the implementation of their online meal-tracking app Healthie assisted me in regulating my portions sizes, as well as provided Lauren the opportunity to see timings of meals and exercise.
Thanks to working with Lauren, I now have an even deeper understanding of nutrition and the importance of snacking. Thinking back, snacking was definitely the main thing I needed to learn. Lauren taught me how to snack by showing me when they are needed and what to eat when snacking on the go!
Working with Lauren, I lost over 15 pounds in just 3 months, lost 6.7% body fat percentage, and gained about 10 pounds of muscle! I tracked my progress using a BOD POD (body composition assessment) and I continue to progress towards my goals. I highly recommend Lauren and the services provided by Dietitians of Palm Valley.
The services at Dietitians of Palm Valley were amazing and Sammy was always there when I needed her. She provided tons of nutrition information. All of the recipes that she provided were great. I now know how to eat healthy and have a balanced diet which includes meals AND snacks. Sammy was amazing–all of the information provided was so informational and helpful. Everything Dietitians of Palm Valley helped me be successful throughout this journey!
I have been an athlete for most of my life. After moving to the Jacksonville area, I had difficulty finding a new routine to sustain my health and fitness. Recently, I found myself in a hole of nutrition deficiencies. My days were a mental roller coaster; where dips felt like seconds from blacking out. I was at a point where jogging half a mile was impossible. No matter which diet, protein, or supplement plan I tried, my blood sugar and kidney functions were slowly getting worse and I was in the path of either becoming diabetic or having kidney failure before the age of 35.
When I first walked in and met Lauren Smith, I did not know what to expect; maybe another consultation where a plan is given to me on paper, with no steps how to start and sustain. After going over my history, feelings, and goals I wanted to accomplish Lauren was able to take me through the baby steps of nutrition and finding a balanced diet for my specific lifestyle. Starting from the nutrition education, reviewing my favorite types of meals, to tracking and communicating on the Healthie phone application, Lauren was there every step of the way; ensuring I was meeting my goals in every meal.
Lauren’s care, experience, motivation, and bright attitude of hope changed my life. I am now focused on balancing each meal with the food that I enjoy the most. I learned there is no right or perfect diet, protein, or supplement plan in the industry. Everyone is unique and how they maintain a balanced nutritional lifestyle is an individual choice.
After receiving help from Lauren, I am pleased to say that at a doctor visit my blood sugar was balanced and my kidney functions improved . Since then, I was able to find new routines to help sustain my new healthy lifestyle. My most favorite part of my time being a client was utilizing the Healthie App – this is what made the difference with my experiences with Lauren.
I am forever grateful to have met Lauren, who understood my history and gave me direction for the future. I could have not be happier or more appreciative. You are one of a kind in the industry, thank you so very much!
St. Johns, FL
I walked into Sammy’s office a few months back with almost 8 years work of data on a calorie/fitness tracking app, thinking I was going to “win” my consultation. What brought me in the door were on going struggles recovering from hard workouts, elevated cholesterol results, and a desire to learn more about how to fuel my body for life, athletics, and aging–as 40 is knocking on my front door.Within the first 30 minutes I was almost brought to tears as Sammy and I had a nice “get to know you” talk. She was so caring and asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of my life using an app to give myself “permission” to eat or if I wanted to learn how to listen to my body, recover more quickly, get stronger AND find extra mental energy. My response: Um, yes!!!!!Sammy and I have worked on things as basic and easy as drinking more water every day to more complex conversations around what to fuel with before, during, and after workouts to optimize fitness gains and recovery. It’s truly been life changing. I haven’t counted a calorie (ok, maybe in my head I’ve tripped up a TON of times, but nobody is perfect) on an app, I listen to my body, don’t feel guilty about eating, and have SO much more mental bandwidth and energy to devote to my career, family, friends and athletics! I’m excited to work with Sammy a few more months as I dive into a training cycle for a half Ironman with an entirely new, refreshingly easy and healthy approach to looking at food as fuel–which will always include a little of chocolate EVERY DAY!-StephanieJacksonville, FL
I tore my ACL early on in the season last year. Working with Whitney on my nutrition while I was recovering and rehabbing from this injury was such a difference maker for me. Putting together a plan with Whitney on what to eat and different supplements to help me through recovery gave me a huge edge and kept my recovery time to a minimum. Some of the supplements didn’t taste good, but Whitney helped me understand how they benefited me and my knee, so I did what I had to do to get back on the field and be the best athlete I can be!
-William Sweet, UNC Offensive Lineman
My husband and I both enjoyed working with Sammy from Dietitians of Palm Valley (DOPV); dealing with knowledgeable and personable dietitian professionals was instrumental in enjoying the services provided.
We learned how to become mindful about everything we put in our bodies. We learned how to listen to our bodies as well; our bodies provide immediate feedback – good or bad.
We see us being mindful about our nutrition as a lifestyle change versus “dieting”. We truly believe it makes a huge impact on our overall health. My husband is the perfect example of how making changes will ensure he doesn’t’ have to go on medication for the rest of his life.
The personal touch and clear explanations on “food” and how it’s a huge part of our life was indispensable. We believe what we learned will stick with us for the rest of our lives!
-Margie S., Jacksonville, FL
I happen to be sitting in Starbucks grading and found myself recognizing I was starting to get hungry. My deliberate thought was, I should eat, which in the past would have been, hmmmm… how can I eat the least to manage my calories. So, I ordered up a feta wrap, which as you know, has a nice mix of all the things that make a balanced meal. Before Dietitians of Palm Valley (DPV), I never tried the feta wrap at Starbucks. I actually never spent much time considering food of any kind at Starbucks and was really consuming way too much sugar in a couple hour work session at Starbucks.
Other ways my relationship with food has changed. I now see food as fuel and realize that high quality fuel leads to high quality energy. Balanced fuel leads to balanced energy, a key ingredient in the life of a busy working mom.
Blood sugar, blood sugar, blood sugar. This one in worth saying three times. Regulating blood sugar, along with managing hydration, have become my anchors, and I mean that. These together have offered benefits of alertness, satiety (if I can use that fancy word), and a feeling of general well being. I also think it has affected the fact that I no longer, or very seldom, eat much at night. I do eat, but I find myself looking for cheese squares or leftover dinner food rather than heading straight to the kids bag of Hershey chocolates and Reeses.
Sammy has heard me say this in our meetings together but, I feel a bit like a recovering addict when I say I have been operating fully hydrated, generally meeting my hydration goals each day, for a good couple of months now. I have also not craved a Coca Cola for several months. Cannot remember when I last had a Coke, even when taking the children to Chick-fil-A, which pretty much makes DPV magicians. Watching myself sail through Chick-fil-A with a group of young teenagers, not craving or ordering a thing for myself, is akin to an out of body experience…. : )
Lastly, for this this writing anyway, is the fact that I am seeing measured sustainable results. My hydration, alertness and satiety are trending up and my weight is trending down. My goal in coming to DPV was overall well being, feeding my family in a more healthy way, and achieving results that will stay the course. I think we’re on track for all of that thanks to the informed counseling and good judgement of DPV. If you want good sense nutrition counseling that will help not only you, but everyone around you, I highly recommend DPV.
I truly enjoyed my journey with Dietitians of Palm Valley (DOPV); I feel like Sammy and I really developed a good relationship. At times, this journey has been challenging for me and Sammy continued to be a great supporter and made me feel better about whatever I was going through.
Sammy asked me what I valued most about this process and two things really stick out to me. 1.) Having a better understanding of my body and what it needs and 2.) Recognizing my emotional relationship with food and how that impacts my body image. Honestly, I think any good dietitian can teach you #1. I’m very grateful to Sammy for helping me see #2. This process has really helped me change my outlook on food and my body because I realized how much our culture was influencing how I felt about myself. It also helped me to recognize ways that I was harming myself with my internal dialogue.
When I began with Sammy, my overall goals for working with a dietitian changed. I found out about DOPV through Orange Theory and I wanted to work on my diet so I could reach my weight loss goals. Walking away now, I really have NO interest in the number on the scale. I have done lots of diets throughout my life – fallen on and off the wagon with “healthy” eating and I realized I was just tired of the cycle. The pressure of sticking to a plan or staying under 1,200 calories a day is just gone and I couldn’t be happier.
Since I’ve been working with DOPV for the past year I’ve learned how to find balance in my life. I’ve developed a lot of healthier habits, better consistency, but most exciting for me is that I don’t feel like there is a wagon to get on and off of. It’s just me, fueling my body as best I can. Everyday is different and I’ve learned to adapt to that and just go with what I can do day-to-day. I used to try and ignore my hunger and now I listen to my body. The concept of Intuitive Eating was brand new to me, but I’m glad it’s something I can now explore and continue to grow on my food journey.
My final thought is about my two young daughters. When I began to really look at myself and my self-talk and my negativity surrounding my body it really opened my eyes to the impact I was having on my own self esteem and even my ability to be healthy. It started me thinking about what things I would inadvertently teach my girls. That was it for me – I had to do better! The last thing I want is for my girls to learn about diets or poor self-image from me! I’m supposed to be their example – so how do they have a shot in this world to be confident in who they are if I’m teaching them to criticize their own body. I want them to be healthy, learn about healthy foods and find balance in their lives so that they never even think about dieting and that starts with me.
Thank you Sammy for all your help and support! Love you girl!
-Andrea: Ponte Vedra, FL