I want to start by just saying, thank you so much for everything Mary, you made an enormous impact on me and my life. Mary Battista is amazing and what an experience I had during her 3-month health coaching program. What an exceptional health coach she is! She is so knowledgeable, caring, passionate, and caters every meeting to how I was feeling or looking for each time. I have been a yo-yo when it comes to trying new diets and food plans, so I was really hoping when I started with Mary that it would be different and I would walk away with different results and feelings. Indeed, it was. Taking the journey with Mary and Prairie Health Companion was one of the best things I have ever done for myself! I now have so many tools that I learned from Mary that I can refer to and apply in many areas of my life, as well as making good and healthy food decisions for my family. I cannot wait to attend Mary’s cooking classes and continue to gain knowledge and new menu ideas! I would recommend Mary to anyone and everyone!!
I had been a yo-yo dieter for many years and was finding it harder to lose the weight as I was getting older. The same methods that worked for me in the past were no longer working for me today. What I needed was to find a method for losing and then maintaining that weight that was permanent, without feeling like I was on a permanent diet. At the time I started working with Mary, I was also going through some professional and personal issues that had caused me to lose my confidence, which compounded my health and wellness problems.
Mary and I dealt with all of my issues gradually over the next 6 months. First by teaching a proper diet, portions, and what foods are important for a balanced diet. This included a tour of a health food store that was packed with information on all the different types of foods available and what you should be looking for in packaged food ingredients. She also teaches several different cooking classes which was very beneficial to us novice cooks to learn how to prepare healthy meals. Next, we spent some time on exercise and their importance and helped me to formulate a proper exercise routine that was not only good for my health but also aided in my weight loss. Lastly, we spent a lot of time discussing the importance of taking time out for myself to reduce stress and provided many examples of different ways in which this can be accomplished.
Working with Mary was worth every penny and the best investment I could have made for myself. I will be reaping the rewards for many years to come.
I was diagnosed 2 years ago with Rheumatoid arthritis. I was on and off different medications including a small dose of prednisone. I wanted to find a health coach to help me with a more natural way of dealing with inflammation. Mary has helped me along my journey with making healthy choices and helping me reduce sugar in my diet which causes inflammation. I am excited to report I have not taken prednisone in three months and my inflammation has really decreased. I am more aware of what I eat and read labels and have introduced more greens. I have made gradual changes in my diet which give me more energy. Mary's kind and calm approach have made me really think about mind, body,and soul. My goal was to feel better, more energy so someday I can enjoy grandchildren and get right down on the floor with them. I feel so much better. I just want to say Thank you, Mary.
Mary Kay Bailey
As a lifelong yo-yo dieter always looking for the next magic bullet, I wondered what I would really gain from these sessions. First, they were by phone as I live 600+ miles away from Eden Prairie, MN. Also, I wasn't ready for any big changes, but I embarked on this journey at the invitation of a loved one. Working with Mary changed her life in many positive ways, and she thought it might just work for me.
Mary's approach drew me in. She was nonjudgmental (especially important for someone with self-esteem issues) and knowledgeable not only with statistics and facts, but with stories and anecdotes that were interesting and helped me remember WHY something was important. She was positive, and we took baby steps.
I did make it clear that exercising would not become a part of my life, I just did not have the time working 50-60 hours per week. Period.
Fast forward: I learned about mindful eating, portion size, meditation, the importance of The Slight Edge, and what is important to me... ME! I make better choices every day. I have lost 20 lbs., I do strength training 3 times per week and cardio on the other days. AND I LOVE IT! It helps with stress, and I feel strong. I look forward to getting off my blood pressure meds at my next physician's appointment.
One of my favorite things about Mary is that I can reach out with some questions or ideas and she is right there to answer me honestly. I also reached out between sessions with small non-scale victories that I knew she would genuinely love to hear and celebrate right along with me.
I would recommend Mary as a coach without hesitation.
Thanks for showing me how to change my life.
I was in dire need of a complete diet and exercise overhaul when a friend mentioned that she had been seeing Mary. I immediately contacted her and embarked on a 6 month program that has transformed me, physically and emotionally. I lost 30 pounds and 10 inches, curbed my sugar addiction, and gained confidence and self esteem that had been missing for some time. Mary’s approach is holistic and touches on all aspects of a healthy lifestyle. Each meeting focused on a different subject, and there was always something to take home that directly related to the topic for the day - food samples, fabulous recipes, an inspiring book or CD, and on and on. I felt empowered after each session, knowing I was able to set and keep goals to help me along. Mary’s encouragement and cheerful attitude is infectious, and I truly looked forward to every meeting with her.
I just signed up for the 6 month maintenance program, and plan to take more of Mary’s wonderful cooking classes. I’m so looking forward to continuing with my healthy, new lifestyle. I feel like a new person!
Mary and I began our adventure to get me in shape and live a healthier lifestyle over three years ago, and I am happy to say I have lost 58 pounds, lost 8 inches in my waist and my BMI is now at the lean level at 22. I truly believe I have been able to keep this momentum going over the years due to attaining my goals and continuing my program maintenance with Mary. I have had my struggles, good months and bad months, but I kept moving forward and had a "never give up attitude". I now feel AMAZING, I have reached my weight goals, and I will continue to see Mary to set different goals which will keep me on this healthy track for years and years to come. One of my personal goals was to wear a 2-piece bathing suit again and now I am. At 56 years old with four active grandchildren, I am in the best shape of my life, and I know that program maintenance was the key to my success.
Where do I begin! I love to eat. I love to entertain. I grew up eating and preparing three square meals a day each consisting of meat, veggies and potatoes. These foods said “comfort” to me. Over the years, I had improved the quality of my food choices, added more veggies, took vegan and low-sugar cooking classes, reduced my portions but my additional 20 pounds prevailed. When I asked Mary for help I knew I was in the right place. Her holistic approach allowed me to focus on all of me; mind, body and soul in a way that was less overwhelming than ever before. Making meaningful and manageable changes in my food choices that had eluded me. Every bi-weekly visit, Mary created an opportunity to focus on one new piece of the food puzzle. These bite sized pieces of learning culminated into an incredible library of tools, each tool building on the last so that today I feel ready for food and life challenges that will inevitably show up. My confidence has skyrocketed in every aspect of my life.
Her approach is calming, clear, creative and compassionate; never pushing, always praising successes I saw and didn’t see. Mary’s program has allowed me to lose the weight, incorporate physical activities I WANT to do, eat foods that truly nourish and fuel me. I sleep better, am more alert, have more vitality and am a smarter consumer and cook. My definition of comfort has been transformed and I could not be more thrilled. Mary’s program is a gift you will never regret giving yourself.
With utmost gratitude,
I was really hoping when I started this journey with Mary that it would be different than the other ways I have tried to lose weight, and it was. It was beyond my expectations. It gave me so many new tools, new ideas, new recipes and new confidence in myself. I feel like this was what I was waiting for, a life long way to eat healthy. Being in the health profession, I knew what I should do, but I didn't know HOW to do it. Now I know how to do it, and I can teach others some of the new things I learned. I know that my family will continue to eat new good and healthy foods. Excited to continue going to some of Mary's cooking classes in the future.
I am a sixty-year-old woman who has benefitted greatly by Mary Battista's health coaching program. I have a beautiful family and many wonderful friends but life circumstances (I am a 10 year breast cancer survivor and my husband of 38 years whom I love dearly, shocked me by leaving me earlier this year). My coping mechanisms were sugar, and being an inactive couch potato. Those two things numbed me. On top of this I was an insomniac. I knew I had to heal and find healthy solutions to the sugar and inactivity but I could not motivate myself or take steps to get out of this downward spiral. That is, until a close friend recommended Mary's health coaching sessions to me. I thought why not give it a try? What have I got to lose? Am I ever glad I found Mary. Mary is a true gem. She is gentle, humble, kind, warm and encouraging. On top of this, Mary is an expert in nutrition, healthy cooking (she even gives cooking lessons in her own kitchen. Who knew I would learn to love bulgur and amaranth from these wonderful lessons?) Mary is an expert fitness coach as well. Mary is so warm and encouraging and helped me find healthy alternatives, all doable, in small short little steps. Those short little steps became bigger steps and gradually changed my eating and my inactivity and traded worry and anxiety for healing-through Mary's tools she gave me at various sessions-- books, great recipes, teas, notebooks, too many to list here...plus cognitive coping skills for dealing with the stressors of life instead of sugar and helping me find ways to get out of the house and on my feet in a way that was fun and enjoyable to me. She customized and tailored everything for me. Mary has nice gifts at each coaching session to help me put into action what we have been working on in a particular session. Mary is extremely organized, detailed oriented, understanding, empathetic, and goal driven. I have turned my life around in a matter of months as I worked with Mary to reach my fullest potential to heal and enjoy life again. I would highly recommend Mary to anyone who is dealing with any overwhelming issue that is preventing you from experiencing the most out of life. If you are looking for a coach to help you reach unattained goals, or fresh perspectives on your life that may help you become unstuck in the doldrums, I recommend Mary Battista. You will love her!
I'm grateful for the moments you created, they were more than just a coaching session.
Your warm intelligent coaching style allowed me to grow and evolve into the person I said I wanted to be. Sessions were personalized and allowed all my senses to expand: hot tea, chilled infused water, perhaps a small food sample to taste or take home and recipes, articles, books and so much more. After each session I felt rejuvenated as if I left a spa of the mind and body ready to embrace my new goals. I would highly recommend Prairie Health Companion to my family and friends if you want a guide to good health.
Mary Chapa RN, V.P. Strategic Development Fairview Services
After seven years of gaining weight and using food to help ease depression after my husband died, I discovered Prairie Health Companion. I knew it was time to do something drastic in my life. I couldn’t continue on the same destructive path. My health was declining; I was borderline diabetic, had gastric reflux and suffered with sleep apnea.
When I first began the program last summer, I weighed in at 220 lbs. Even though I was an educated woman and was a nurse before I had children, I required someone to walk with me while I was drastically changing and improving my lifestyle. Mary Battista is very knowledgeable in health and the human spirit. She has educated me a great deal about nutrition, healthy cooking and exercise. The accountability has been invaluable to set and meet my own goals. Mary is truly an encourager and uses only positive strategies to assist people in meeting their personal goals.
I have lost nearly 70 lbs since last summer. My energy and confidence has been renewed. I now enjoy many activities that I had previously given up due to my lack of energy. I truly have a new outlook on my health and life. I would wholeheartedly recommend Mary Battista’s Prairie Health Companion to anyone who desires to improve their overall health.
Thank you, Mary
I highly recommend Mary’s Veggie Amour cooking class. The content of the class is informative and inspiring. She prepares various delicious recipes (very efficiently!) while you watch, sample food, ask questions and have fun. Mary has a wealth of knowledge which she shares as she cooks. We learned useful technique tips on chopping, helpful hints on stretching food into follow-up meals, nutritional information and menu ideas. A truly worthwhile evening. Best part: the recipes are quick and easy and very delicious.
There were several issues I needed to address when I began the program, which included insomnia, digestion problems, and lack of confidence. I am also a 5 year breast cancer thrivor. Mary and I worked together on creating purposeful plans to tackle each of my problem areas. This is what I loved most about Mary's program. She used her gentle guidance in formulating plans for me to take home and live them. I wasn't only following her plan, it was our plan. She always checked in with me to ask my opinion.
Mary takes a holistic approach to teaching healthy living and ways to overcome our roadblocks. And she definitely "walks her talk." Inspiring! The Lord brought her to me just in time. She is a blessing!
Mary is an exceptional life and health coach. We learned so much and had a lot of fun during our six-month coaching session. Mary provides the latest in health, nutrition and fitness information and research from the leading experts in their specific fields. Plus her approach is encouraging and positive, she made it easy to achieve our goals. Not only did we achieve our goals, we incorporated many new practices and good habits into our daily lives.
Lisa Fay and Greg Cardinal
I began working with Mary when my weight continued to creep upwards as I become older. Mary taught me the importance of nutrition, including a plant-based diet. She didn't put any "rules" into place, but rather guided me to make daily decisions that were right for me. I never felt like I was on a diet, but rather making sustainable lifelong changes. Mary is truly a positive force...when my weight loss slowed, she cheered me on and believed in me. It made a huge difference. Working with Mary was life-changing and was one of the best things I have done for myself!
After completing the 6-month program with Prairie Health Companion, I can honestly say that I have an arsenal of successful tools in my possession that are the foundation of my new healthy lifestyle. I have tools to guide my food choices towards more healthy whole foods that nourish me and give me energy. I am managing stress using my new tools in ways that keep me on an even keel even when life gets crazy and spirals out control. I am using new tools to create the conditions that allow me to get a good night sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. I have tools to guide me to the appropriate exercise needed to maintain good health and prevent disease. I feel better informed at the grocery store because of the tools I learned at Mary’s natural food store tour. And I feel more confident about healthy cooking after attending a couple of her cooking classes. Overall, I feel positive about the journey I’m on now that I have a solid foundation and the confidence to move forward.
When I began my journey with Mary, I felt “beaten down”, like a failure, and OLD. My M.D. had said to me and I quote: “If you do not lose weight you will be dead within the year.” I had been overweight or obese for most of my adult life and had attempted every known diet to man! AT that time I was 77 years old, still working part-time teaching students to be certified nursing assistants, had several chronic illness problems and was very tired!
Mary, with her knowledge and upbeat personality, taught me numerous things about life:
1) She taught me how to change my attitude from negative to positive
2) She taught me how to cook with oils, herbs, and spices rather than butter, salt, and pepper.
3) She taught me how to shop for groceries buying only healthy foods.
4) She taught me how to make vegetables tasty as I only liked lettuce, carrots, corn and peas
5) She taught me how to relax and lower my stress level.
6) She taught me to prepare and eat a variety of foods to help boost my metabolism.
7) She taught me some exercises to keep my muscles active and keep my body mobile!
8) She taught me the importance of drinking water and how much one should drink
9) She taught me the principles of Mindful Eating
Every session I had with Mary was an inspiration to me. She gave me a gift each time which I have either read or eaten every single give-away! Taking me to Lake Winds was an eyeopener on “how to grocery shop.” Also, having the opportunity to cook with Mary demonstrated the “how to” of the many recipes she shared with me. In the past my kitchen always had candy and pastries available for my family members. To their benefit, they no longer can find these items in my home.
My weight loss was slower than I anticipated (only 19 pounds); however, with the knowledge and the increased energy I now feel, I believe I can sustain this lifestyle and only feel better and better as the weight gradually comes off.
I would highly recommend Mary Battista as a personal health coach to Anyone!!!! She is wonderful!!
This is my true testimonial!!!
“I highly recommend Mary’s appetizers and small plates class. The recipes we prepared are not only great-tasting, healthy alternatives to the usual appetizer fare for taking to parties or hosting your own get-together, but several of the items have become staples in our house for healthy snacks on a daily basis, making our journey to better health easier”.
I am so happy that I chose to work with Mary and place intentional focus on my health and well-being. With her guidance, I was able to jump start a healthy lifestyle that I will be able to maintain going forward. Her coaching style required me to take an honest look at my behaviors, and the barriers I had created that were preventing me from achieving my goals. The healthy habits I developed during the past six-months that are here to stay. Mary’s expertise, shared both in coaching sessions and through session materials, is extensive. She is passionate about her work and helping clients achieve their full potential. Her positive, encouraging demeanor helped motivate me throughout the six-month program. Thank you for helping me navigate a path to health and wellness!
“Enlisting Mary Battista, owner of Prairie Health Companion, to be my health coach was the best investment that I've made in myself for many years. The paybacks are tangible and sustainable”.
“ I now understand that good health involves more than dieting and aerobic exercise. Each meeting has a "topic" to discuss and Mary shares handouts, recipes and literature at each session. The bi-monthly sessions consist of a private, thoughtful discussion around a comfortable table. The 6- month program with Prairie Health Companion was tailored to my specific needs and was a perfect length of time to help me cement and re-affirm the positive changes. In addition to being a positive influence and non-judgmental, Mary is energetic, approachable and exudes enthusiasm. I heartily recommend this program”.
Dr. Jennifer Scott
Just wanted to drop you a note letting you know what an important part
you have played changing my wife’s self image and outlook. Just the way
you present yourself, your positive attitude, and outlook is leaving an
enormous positive impression on my wife, which has overflowed onto our
I can speak for all of us when I say we are very grateful for meeting
you and how you have showed my wife and us the way to a healthier and more
fulfilling life through education of food choices and better eating
habits that we will continue to process the rest of our lives. Thank you”.
“For over twenty years I suffered from chronic insomnia and acid reflux disease. After a long journey of medications and doctors’ opinions, I decided to take a different path to wellness through proper nutrition and exercise. With Prairie Health Companion as my guide, I can now fall asleep within an hour and I have weaned myself off of acid reflux meds. With Mary Battista’s 6-month program, I have lost 9 pounds from of my 5’ 1” frame leaving me with a BMI of 22 and…within just a couple of months, my cholesterol went from 256 to 160. Next year I will celebrate my 60th birthday and I must say, I really feel more like 30. As far as the ‘happiness’ portion of Prairie Health’s Companion’s tagline is concerned, I have more focus and energy to complete daily tasks and even my family has noticed the positive change in my lifestyle.
Thanks again, Mary, for all you have done”.
I feel so much happier after being coached by Mary. I actually feel different in every cell of my body. I started the coaching program to get off my cholesterol meds and not have to be so strict with myself with eating. I had started to limit so much of my food intake so i could stay slim, keep my cholesterol low. But it made me crabby and i know it wasn't sustainable. I also knew that something was missing from my lifestyle and i was intrigued that Mary was a Holistic health coach. (As a dancer and educated person I know how to keep my weight low but I was lacking joy around food).
That something was what Mary was teaching:
A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE IN FOOD, EXERCISE, SPIRITUALITY, RELAXATION, BREATHING THE OUTDOOR AIR AND GETTING SUNSHINE... her foundation was building on the primary needs of life ... not just what you eat ... but by your relationships, your job, your family, your finances... I learned that if your basic needs are out of whack then your eating and exercise can be too. It was hugely helpful to do the homework Mary gave you because you learned so much about your self and it was actually fun to do!
I also LOVED the cooking class. I wanted to eat Kale and Quinoa but i had NO IDEA how to prepare it. And Mary was so pleasant and made it all so easy that I was then inspired to also cook.
The six months have flown by and I am more knowledgeable about all aspects of health and my family likes the new eating too.
I would highly recommend Mary Battista as a holistic health coach. My expectations were exceeded i am staying on as a maintenance plan as i never want to stop learning all that Mary has to share.
AND ... Mary is always friendly and welcomes you into her warm and cozy healthy office!
Sarah Linner Quie
Founder/Director of Prairie School of Dance
“Thank you again for the many wonderful sessions with you. I am so grateful for your coaching and how you share such valuable tools and information in a very caring and enriching way. You offered so many life-enhancing ideas. I continue to page through my notes to revisit information and new opportunities. Just this weekend we enjoyed several home prepared, healthy meals. I noticed the amazing transformation in our pantry and how our refrigerator is abundant with fresh fruits and vegetables. Your recipes are the go-to for all meal planning. Thank you for the nutritional piece, but also motivating me to explore more exercise and the spiritual side of health."
"Living a healthy lifestyle is a choice. Mary took me on a 6- month journey and taught me, among other things, the basics of healthy eating, the importance of reading food labels, and the necessity of scheduling exercise into my day. I know how good I feel when I choose to eat a healthy meal and I know how out of sorts I feel when I choose not exercise. Mary showed me how to make gradual changes in my lifestyle until they became second nature, and she did it with incredible passion, enthusiasm and caring."
"My time spent with Mary was a wonderful experience. She was so supportive and excited about what she was helping me accomplish. I have always been a label reader and enjoy cooking. Mary helped me understand what was important to watch for and through new recipes; I was able to add some new surprises to my family meals that were not only great tasting, but also good for all of us. By adding variety to exercise, and sharing the importance of balance in all aspects of my life, along with great recipes, I feel I have and extra lift to my step, and from the hair on my head to the nails on my toes, I feel my body has a healthy glow, thanks to what I learned in the weeks I spent with Mary."
“After a recent physical, my doctor told me that my cholesterol was high, and I needed to lose a lot of weight. I first went to see a dietician. I was miserable! We tried several diet plans but I did not do well counting calories and hated the weekly weigh in. I was so frustrated that I finally called Mary. There began my new journey of physical and spiritual healing. I had been struggling with sugar crashing, overeating, and night eating, suffering from low energy, and putting dangerous food chemicals and additives in my body. I had wonderful results!! No more unstable blood sugars, more energy, sleeping better, my skin improved, my fingernails began to grow, my nagging cough was gone, and my craving for sugar and junk food turned into a craving for dark, leafy greens. It took practice and I’m still not perfect, but 40 pounds lighter, I feel rejuvenated! Mary spends time with you to find out what works for you. She stresses that there is no time limit on this. I don’t feel guilty or like a failure when things don’t go well. I have learned to look at what I could do better next time and to focus on all the things I am doing well. Mary is committed to helping you achieve your goals and will stick by you until you do. I have learned so much and now will begin the maintenance program to continue the learning process. It’s a beautiful journey to take: from a wounded to a healing soul”.
“I highly recommend Mary's 6 -month health coaching program. In that time we covered so much information in an organized and applicable manner.
From healthy eating, exercise, healthy shopping, relaxation, gratitude, etc. The best thing about Mary is her great science background. She does such a wonderful job of explaining the scientific reasoning behind everything that she teaches. In addition her approach is to make her students aware of all of the information so we can make educated choices on our own. I came away with a wealth of knowledge and a large binder of information and recipes that I keep with my cookbooks for handy reference at all times!
It is an extremely worthwhile program and she is outstanding!”
“We were fortunate to work with Mary as a couple with a focus on allergies and weight loss. After six months of her personalized attention and instruction, we have experienced better health, better eating habits, and discovered new and delicious foods. As a result of Mary’s coaching we have experienced increased energy, fewer illnesses, and an overall better lifestyle. Most of all we have enjoyed working with Mary because she is passionate, caring and enthusiastic about improving the health of the people she works with. We have recommended Mary to many family and friends who have benefited from her coaching. We appreciate you very much Mary!!”
Dick Howard, President of the Fairview Foundation
Chris Howard retired Minneapolis Attorney
Mary has been a motivation in my life over the past 6 months. She has taught and encouraged me in the value of my health as well as my whole being. The knowledge she has of foods and healthy lifestyle choices has made a substantial change in my life.
I have learned how to cook for myself and my family using all new food choices and products she has introduced me to. Most of all, I feel great, and I’ve lost weight. I know this is something I will do for the rest of my life. I am happy!
"My experience with Prairie Health Companion has been transformational. I was ready to take charge of my health and noticed a friend my age whose skin and hair looked amazing ... I asked what she was doing and she told me about Mary. With Mary's coaching, I am now more conscious and conscientious about the choices I make ... choices about feeding my body & my soul, choices about whole foods & exercise. In the last year I have lost almost 35 lbs and I feel great!"
Kim Granger | Director, Events & Media Center - CRV | Boston Scientific
I remember the first time I met Dick Howard for a breakfast meeting and curiously asked him why he was eating a salad for breakfast. He began to share with me that he had a health coach named Mary Battista and that she was guiding he and his wife on a terrific journey of health. He shared your website with me and I visited your site. WOW was I impressed with the integrative approach to health and well-being.
Well six months later I am a BELIEVER and A LIVING testimony of your compassionate instructions and guidance.
I felt our sessions were very personalized to my direct health care concerns and challenges. I believe our experience together was a integrated mind, body and spirit exercise. My mind was engaged with learning about whole foods that were fulfilling and tasty, sustainable agriculture, CSA’s, the organic lifestyle and personal inventories. My spirit loved being intentional around gratitude, mindful breathing, calming down techniques and being introduced to meditation. My body enjoys working out 5-6 times a week and staying active.
Mary you cared about me and I look forward to a maintenance program so I can keep up to date with the latest research in regards to integrative health.
You have illuminated the light from within me. The light has always been present; it just needed a little air from you to shine more brightly!
My family, co-workers and community thank you!!
President, Park Nicollet Foundation
Vice President, Community Relations
I thought I was living healthfully...until I met Mary! Wow, did I ever learn a lot on her six-month program! All day long Mary is a little 'ear worm' in my head, reminding me to drink water, eat mindfully, breath deeply, exercise, etc. I have established a healthy routine that has stuck with me and encourages me to grow and continue to learn. Mary is a gem and makes it so easy to follow and maintain. I only wish I had done this years ago! Thank you, Mary!
Judy Rauenhorst Mahoney
President, Teach Me Inc.
Six months ago I transitioned to a new life in a new city without my family and friends. At the same time I enlisted your help as my Holistic Health Coach after seeing your website and reading about all that health coaching could offer me. I was concerned that the distance between us would be an obstacle, and I was so happy that you were willing to work with me via Skype. Every Wednesday morning, bright and very early, your cheerful, positive face appeared on my computer screen. It was as if we were in the same room, and there was no distance between Pittsburgh, PA and Eden Prairie, MN. Every step of the way you encouraged me, taught me how to focus on the positive and educated me about nutrition and good food choices.
You listened when I needed it, and inspired me to keep taking those baby steps in a positive direction. You stressed that a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong journey, and there are no time limits. You kept me focused on the small steps and the things I did well. I can still hear you saying “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch but by the yard it’s too hard!”
A few of the most dramatic changes for me? Weight loss, free from caffeine addiction, sleeping through the night (which I have not done for years until now), learning to drink water, free from addiction to diet sodas, and more emphasis on a plant based diet. My blood pressure was borderline high and is now within normal limits. I started taking Yoga for the first time in my life, practice deep breathing as a stress management tool, and continue to work on meditating to decompress after a stressful day. Journaling in the morning is a regular part of my routine. A Kale Smoothie is my breakfast of choice. Whole Foods is my favorite grocery store because I know it is better for me if I choose organic foods to put in my body. I have learned to cook more and enjoy the wonders of adding new spices to my foods and trying new things. When I get off track, I know that warm lemon water; exercise, deep breathing and meditation will get me back into a healthy routine. You introduced inspirational reading materials (Slight Edge, Blue Zones) that have me walking instead of taking my car, taking stairs instead of escalators and taking every opportunity to work exercise into a regular part of my daily life.
In my heart of hearts I know that my work with you is the main reason I have survived this huge transition to a new city and a new focus on my career. Thank you; thank you for following your passion by becoming a health coach. You are an inspiration to me and to any who have the opportunity to know and work with you.
Nancy Newton, PT
University of Pittsburgh, School of Nursing
I found Mary’s Health program to be very beneficial in numerous ways. Though I did lose weight (>20 lbs), this wasn’t the only focus. Mary is about health in a more global sense; healthy eating, activity and a healthy mind and spirit. She made me realize how out of balance I was and helped me get closer to my goal of a more balanced life. Along the way I felt very supported and cared about. Mary really wanted me to succeed. She accommodated my hectic schedule and gave me personalized tips and recipes. I would recommend this program to anyone who wants to get serious about, not just losing weight, but becoming a healthier person.
What a great six months! I’ve been buying foods I never noticed in the stores before, zeroing in on healthy whole foods, making homemade soups and salads that are only found in the best restaurants, and actually eating all heart-healthy meals! It’s been wonderful, and guess what? I’m 27 pounds lighter.
Mary, thank you for introducing me to a new way of eating and living. In addition to eating healthier, I’m working exercise and meditation into my days. I feel more alert and energetic.
I’m truly sorry to see our six months come to an end. I loved our bi-monthly conferences. I learned so much. I’m at my target weight, and I truly believe I can keep this healthy life style. Many thanks for all your guidance. When someone says, “You look like you lost some weight”, my response is, “I owe it all to Mary!”
Active Senior Citizen
I thought I was beyond help as I approached my mid-fifties and had been steadily gaining weight for the past eight years. I had been actively trying for the past two years to lose the excess weight with more exercise and limiting my food intake. Nothing seemed to work. My physician said this was a normal for a woman my age, but if I was really serious about doing something I should contact Mary Battista.
6 months seemed like a long time to commit to something that seemed both a "luxury" and a "risk" but it was necessary to instill good habits to which there is no shortcut. Working with Mary was the best decision I could have made.
I lost twenty pounds in a healthy, sustainable program that was actually fun, and interesting. Mary was truly a companion, coming alongside me sharing her knowledge in nutrition, exercise, and life coaching. She is passionate about health and the people she serves. She went above and beyond my expectations.
Time spent with Mary was fun, interesting, positive, and painless! Her recipes, cooking class, co-op tour and food samples, were great ways to try new foods and take the costly guess work out of navigating the whole foods world on my own. I feel empowered to move on my own as her program equipped me with life-long habits and inspiration. Thank you, Mary, for teaching me about gratefulness and slowing down to make the most of each day.
I met Mary at a coaching seminar last fall 2012. We both were gathering up our continuing education credits for our exercise certifications. When I saw Mary-I thought-I want what she's having! Mary caught my eye because of her vibrant health, sweet smile and warm personality. We exchanged business cards and I knew I would sign up to be a client. So, from November 2012 to May 2013 I met with Mary twice a month. We worked together to set up my goals-everything from nutrition, exercise/weight training, and meditation to breaking out of my social isolation due to chronic fatigue.
Winter is my most vulnerable time of the year. The lack of sunlight & shorter days usually brings me down. But staying on track with Mary carried me through those long months with more grace and aplomb.
I think my greatest accomplishment was being able to stay steady with my meditation practice-it underlines all of the other health behaviors for me. I liked that Mary was able to accept me as the person I am; not to change me, but to help me change my behaviors and life-style habits.
I did not need to loose weight, but I needed to change my body composition to add more muscle. I did not need to learn about organic/clean eating, I needed to implement what I already knew. Mary met me where I was! She has the knack and talent to coach a wide variety of clients with a compassionate heart.
When you meet Mary-you will want what she has and you will sign up for her coaching sessions because YOU are worth it!
Go for it-you will be pleased with your results!
Amy Amberg, ACSM Clinical Exercise Specialist at Allina Health
My investment in Mary’s program is honestly the smartest contribution to my retirement plan I’ve ever made! I highly recommend Mary as a holistic health coach. I participated in her six-month program and with her help achieved the following:
- Control my blood pressure with diet and exercise. No more pills.
- Control my acid reflux with diet. No more pills.
- Discontinued consumption of coffee. No more addiction.
- Gained knowledge, power and desire to sustain a healthier lifestyle long term
- Gained a better understanding of the complexities of my mind, body, spirit and how to utilize and take advantage of my individuality
- Better grasp of the abundance of information/resources available to us
- Awareness of the evils that lurk in the food industry
- How to have fun grocery shopping
- Tools to calm myself in stressful situations
- How to arm myself with helpful foods for long and stressful days
- Clearer skin
- Clearer mind
- More positive attitude
- More calm and peaceful outlook overall
- Excitement for my retirement years
- Respect and appreciation for my choices
- Respect and appreciation for others
Mary’s teaching style is superb and, even in the group setting, very individualized. She is always professional and sensitive and respectful. She genuinely cares and sincerely wants you to succeed. Her vast knowledge is remarkable and always interesting; presented in an articulate and understandable way. The fabulous and fun takeaway gifts after each session was an added bonus!
Eden Prairie, MN
Prairie Health Companion was a wonderful, healthy journey for us. We joined the program together, and we shared in the experience.
Positive changes: Both of us lost weight and inches during six months. Walking has become very important in our lifestyle.
Benefits of program: We both were introduced to new foods Learned to prepare and eat healthier meals. We drink much more water than we have before.
On-going support and education: Mary is a wealth of knowledge regarding our mind and body, as well as what latest information is available on many health-related issues. Information regarding how various foods and drinks affect our bodies is so very important. Literature and recipes provided were very easy to understand. We continue to reference them after our six-month program
Really enjoyed the cooking class - being introduced to new green leafy vegetables, different types of rice and seasonings. Made preparation of meals fun. Was fun to do together.
Value of program: Excellent. Knowing what medical costs are in today’s world, this program is invaluable.
Thank you Mary,
Bruce and Terry Hutchins
I am an individual who seems to have been on a diet my entire life – a never ending battle wrestling with my weight, my waistline, and trying to do the right things for a long and healthy life. We all know the adage about “eating less and exercising more”, but to most of us that never sounds very exciting or intriguing.
A year ago through the recommendation of my cardiologist, I met Mary Battista and became acquainted with Prairie Health Companion. I found that it’s not only about eating less and counting calories, but eating right and living right. It’s not only about taking the time to exercise for good cardiovascular health, but also taking the time for those deep breaths during the day to maintain our composure, help our heart rate, count our blessing, and take the time to smell the roses.
Mary is truly a unique individual. Certainly her vast knowledge of the things that will help us live a healthier lifestyle are all things that we can learn from her. It’s more than what we eat, but where we shop; it’s more than measuring the amount we eat, it’s taking the time to actually enjoy the flavors. It’s more than that we exercise, but doing the right exercises.
Mary is someone who is always upbeat and more than a coach, she’s also the cheerleader. She is not just there to educate and advise, it’s apparent that she truly cares about each of her clients and their well being. I recognize I will always be confronted with temptation and frustration in trying to live a healthy lifestyle; but with Mary as my coach and cheerleader, I know my goals are achievable and my strategy to live a healthier lifestyle sound so I will enjoy the blessings I am so fortunate to have for many years to come.
Chairman and CEO
Liberty Diversified International
I had the privilege of working with Mary last winter and I can’t say enough about the experience. I went into the program with a very small set of goals and expectations and thought I was knowledgeable in the area of food and healthy living. I thought all I needed was some motivation. From the first visit, it was clear that Mary’s knowledge was incredibly deep and I was in for a ride.
I gained such a wealth of knowledge from what to eat, how to cook, how to exercise, how to grocery shop, how to relax, how to breathe, what to read…all things I arrogantly thought I knew but didn’t. I did not lose weight I maintained it, but got more energy. Mary helped me think through other pieces of a healthy life and was instrumental in helping me through a job change. My husband got the benefit of the program as well. We cook together and when we are talking about what to cook he says, “let’s make a Mary recipe.” I still find myself referring to hand outs and information I learned during the process, including the other night when a question came up about potassium levels in food and the benefits of that. The program touches on everything!
I think the best part of the program for me was to learn how sustainable and do-able a healthy life is and how good it feels and all of that credit goes to Mary. She is supportive and inspiring, she is knowledgable and a resource for years to come, I hope. I plan to continue to work with her and am extending my time over the next nine months. What a gift to give yourself – your own personal coach to walk you through the steps to a healthier life.
The overall sense of well-being has become my new normal that sticks like glue—no going back!! I am so comfortable with my new SUSTAINABLE habits. I now feel poorly when I revert back to a day when I don’t keep health my priority. Mary’s compassionate and responsive nature kept me motivated throughout the entire six months--not just on the days we met. Mary frequently provided me with quality data from respected medical sources to back up her recommendations. I was never an obese person. Nonetheless, I managed to lose 35 pounds, concentrate more fully, and gain a greater sense of balance with Mary’s sound advice on better eating, exercise & rest. There is no better investment than nurturing one’s self. I am very grateful to have been a part of Mary’s six -month program.