Patient Testimonials

The following are patient testimonials, sharing their stories facing everything from weight loss struggles to autoimmune conditions to diabetes.


It’s challenging to even know where to begin to articulate what an impact the fabulous Hannah Epstein has made on me, in just a short few months.

As someone with a health education background and an interest in health and fitness, I was confident I knew all there was to know, so seeing a nutritionist would surely be a waste of time….was I ever wrong!

I came to Hannah with an unhealthy relationship with the numbers on the scale and a few autoimmune issues. I was someone who was working out all of the time and was seeing little or no change on the scale. Hannah immediately helped me refocus my priority to calming down the inflammation in my body by shifting nutrition and the fuel that I was putting in.

My appointments with her are some of the most beneficial hours that I have spent in this wellness journey. They are filled with brainstorming doable meal plans, supplement suggestions, challenges for me to take on, and amazing encouragement.

Hannah has rekindled a spark in me, as I was starting to doubt whether I would ever be able to reach my goals. In the past three months – I’ve significantly reduced my biologic medication, the brain fog is lifting, I sleep better, my clothes fit better….and yes, even that number on the scale is moving in the right direction. I’m forever grateful that my path has crossed with Hannah.

– Lisa Marlow, New Castle

I have been going to Maple Leaf Nutrition for about 5 Years now. Hannah took me under her arms straight out of an eating disorder recovery center. She taught me what healthy looks like internally for my specific needs and goals in life.

Not only has Hannah been a life saver for me in recovery from Anorexia Nervosa, but she has also helped my sister and I find out our food allergies/sensitivities.

Hannah Epstein is an incredible nutritionist who has helped my family and I out in many different ways. She is very intelligent and has a great spirit. She loves what she does and treats everyone with such kindness. I HIGHLY recommend Hannah Epstein to any and all ages!

– Bronte Pitzele, Kirkland

My mom is 87. She started seeing Hannah in January 2013. Her diabetes was out of control and I was afraid she would have a stroke or other disabling illness.

She was overweight with very limited mobility and lots of food allergies/limitations.

Hannah helped her change her eating habits in a very supportive way and I am thrilled to report that over nine months mom’s A1C went from 7.9 to 6.5, her insulin dose went from 68 to 24 units, she’s lost 20 pounds, and her kidney function is now normal.

On top of this she is eating healthy, nutritious food and having fun trying new recipes. We both love Hannah – she always has great ideas, is extremely knowledgeable, and always supportive.

She has showed us its never too late to improve your health!

– Sherilynn Casey – Olympia, WA


Maple Leaf Nutrition/Actual Wellness has changed my life. I know that sounds drastic but really, it did. I finally made the decision to make an appointment when I was at a very low point in my life.

I had tried everything I had researched online or read in magazines to lose weight. I was working out like a mad-woman and eating what calories my research had told me to.

But still, I was puffy, bloated and all around, miserable. I was low on energy, always felt tired, and mostly..I was always HUNGRY!!

I went to the appointment not hopeful but telling myself that if I didn’t go, and if things didn’t change then I would regret it.

Hannah helped me see food in a different light. I walked out of the meeting feeling a sense of “I can do that”. Instead of dreading meals now…I actually get excited to eat. It took a couple months but I have consistently kept off the weight. I feel healthy and I have a certain confidence I had lost over the years.

– A. Guevara, Seattle, WA


“I feel better than I have in YEARS – maybe ever… It is thanks to you. I really appreciate the knowledge that you shared with me and I am actually hungry for more. I have lost about 30 pounds and am still breast-feeding. I look and feel great!”

– A. Vega, Olympia, WA


“Hannah’s guidance has changed my life. I was diagnosed with (CFS) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome before meeting Hannah. I had been through many doctors and a few nutritionists to find a way to battle the fatigue and other symptoms. With Hannah’s help, improvements began. I found out that many foods I had been eating regularly were the foods I had allergies or sensitivities to. I was given a customized plan for my deficiencies and supplements to help heal my body from the inside out. My CFS symptoms have diminished dramatically. Hannah’s passion for helping others feel their best is evident in the results her clients receive. As a Personal Trainer I recommend Hannah to all of my clients.”

– Suzanne Cox, Olympia, WA


“I had a heart attack at the age of 47 and knew I had to make some serious lifestyle changes if I wanted to be around to meet my future grandchildren. I joined a well-known weight loss group twice, and even though I’d lose weight, I seemed to put it all back on when I quit. I never really changed my eating habits; I reduced the calories but still I was basically eating all carbs. Then a friend told me about Hannah’s nutrition group and I decided I’d check it out. “Looking great” hadn’t been a motivator for me in years, but, as it turned out, learning all about the “whys” was. Why you should and shouldn’t eat certain foods, why your body reacts to certain foods and why I was feeling so tired all the time. I learned so much and made so many changes in those 12 weeks that I took the session again, because I wanted to make sure I retained it all. I wound up losing 15 lbs but the best part for me was having more energy and not having “brain fog” anymore! Plus I made some really great friends!”

– Joan Young, Lacey, WA


“So, here I was at 70 (wise beyond my years), knowing full well that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Or so I thought. But my much wiser daughter of course knew better and nagged, hassled and harassed me unmercifully until I went to see her mighty fine nutritionist, Hannah Epstein.

But in truth, I was ready for some major changes in my life.

Diabetes, blood pressure issues and osteopenia were only part of my medical picture. Also looming large were high cholesterol and triglycerides which I could no longer control with meds because of their severe side effects on me. Add to all this a lot of excess weight and low energy and there is the depressing picture of where I was 6 weeks ago (July 20, 2011).

Enter Hannah and her fabulous food plan. Within 4 days, I dropped the first diabetic med (Actos) and the blood sugar numbers continued to drop. One week later, I cut the Metformin in half and within 2 weeks of starting the program, stopped it completely. My numbers were so low, a diabetic friend was sure my monitor was no longer working properly. My blood pressure is dropping and that will be the next (and last) of my meds to go! Yay! And oh, before I forget…down 19 pounds in 6 weeks. Double Yay!!

Was it hard? I won’t deny it. The first couple of days I wandered around my kitchen in a daze, trying to put it all together in both my head and my hands. But it didn’t take long to adjust because I was both truly motivated and seeing actual results. At this point (6 weeks later), I hardly have to think about what I am going to do for meals. I make sure I have lots of what I need on had, prepared and ready to go.

Here are just a few numbers from my most recent lab tests (3-month diabetic lab work taken after only one month on this food program) compared to the previous tests in May:

  • Total cholesterol dropped from 288 to 244.
  • Triglycerides dropped from 289 to 139.
  • Alc (3 month blood sugar levels) dropped from 6.6 to 6.1.

I think one of the main reasons for success on this program is because I simply didn’t have any other options. Perhaps if I could have taken medicine for the cholesterol and triglyceride issues I might never have discovered how wonderful just “plain old food” can affect health. Thank you, Hannah! I will always be grateful for your counsel and guidance. Looking forward to our next visit when I’ll have about 4 months of this plan under my belt (which, incidentally, should be a couple sizes smaller by then)!”

– B. Davis, Olympia, WA


“I literally could not get out of bed since December 2008. I was in pain, depressed and saw no light and had little hope. At the insistence of a very, very good friend, she recommended (for a long time and finally insisted) that I see Hannah Epstein. In June 2009 I did. Why didn’t I see her sooner?

I had seen too many doctors promising a lot and delivering a little.

Hannah worked with “me,” not a protocol but truly found out about me and my lifestyle and worked out a program that was easy and worked for me. I immediately started to feel better. Hope….light. It is September 17, 2009 and I am back to work, I know how “my” body works and what to do when it isn’t working the way I need it to. Hannah figured out a very complex puzzle in a short amount of time and I’m happy to announce I was proposed to by my boyfriend and because I now feel like I can actually be a good partner I felt good about saying yes. I have a new life ahead of me. A good one, that I’m excited about. I couldn’t say that in December.

I can’t recommend or thank Hannah Epstein enough, serious!”

– Jeralyn Faulhaber, Olympia, WA


“To anyone out there who suffers from an autoimmune disease. I am not even certain of how to present my testimonial, because my health has improved so drastically in such a short time!

I began seeing Hannah not quite one month ago. I had been diagnosed with a “curiously angry onset”( as my Rheumatologist described it ) of Rheumatoid Arthritis in April of 2015. My quality of life as a healthy, active 52 year old woman became, overnight, a painful daily struggle to walk, drive, use my hands without extreme pain and discomfort. We have two disabled dogs that need my help, but I couldn’t use my hands! It was a complete blindside, giving me no chance to get used to the idea that my life, because RA is a progressive and incurable autoimmune disease, would ever become normal again.

I started my journey with RA with steroids and Methotrexate, common drug treatments for the disease, quickly moving on to bi-weekly injections of Humira in addition to the other medications. While my side effects were not significant, neither was my relief! I had been in constant contact with my Rheumatologist, with visits every 5 weeks, and to their surprise, nothing was having significant effect. I subsequently was unable to continue my daily exercise routines, or really any exercise at all. As sufferers of RA know, you HAVE to move your body to keep your joints movin, but my joints wouldn’t move!

One long winter later, I decided to take a look at better nutrition. I found Hannah on her website, and noted she had experience in dealing with autoimmune diseases. I was in the next day!

First of all, Hannah is a warm, personable caregiver, who is so easy to communicate with, exactly what I needed to help me tackle this awful disease. Having a great sense of humor and the flexibility to understand your lifestyle, she did indeed start helping me tackle!

It has been 3 weeks….I don’t know how to describe my experience except to say LIFE CHANGING!! My energy is sky high, I have almost NO pain in the joints that just 3 weeks ago were immobile. The plan that Hannah presented to me is easy, give up some things, add others, feel better! Not to say that giving up some things is always easy, but my body tells me for sure, that I do not need Gluten, dairy, or red meat, and I will tell you, MY BODY IS REALLY SURE! There are tons of food options for us autoimmune sufferers, you just have to be a little bit more creative, and I have found the “sacrifice” not much of a sacrifice at all.

If you are unsure about seeing a nutritionist, if you want to decide to take responsibility for your body instead of letting medication do most of the work, please don’t hesitate to contact Hannah. I am in awe at the concept that I can control my disease through food, and I refuse to let my disease control me. I have never had to take on something like this, and I am so grateful I found a “partner in crime” in Hannah. We are continuing to fine tune my diet, and I feel so lucky that I have the support to do it. My husband is shocked, he says I look completely different than I did a month ago, and now he is following the plan. I am back at the gym, running with my dogs, and swimming every day.

Thanks to Hannah and the crew, including Dr. Easter for everything!”

– Monica J.- Issaquah, WA


“Hannah Epstein, Dr. Gage, and The Leptin Diet changed my life!

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember, so when a very dear friend of mine asked me to join her for an introduction to the class “It’s Not Fate” taught by Dr. Gage and Hannah Epstein, I was VERY skeptical but gave it shot anyway.

I have pretty much tried everything to lose weight, some of which I am not proud of and needless to say have wasted THOUSANDS of dollars. I am happy to report that I lost 42lbs during my time in the class (which included the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays!) This is something I would have never thought I would be saying to anyone!

I just figured that I was going to be overweight and unhappy for the rest of my life until Hannah and Dr. Gage came along.

I have tried all the fad diets, pills, and exercise programs out there, frantically reading all of the customer reviews and hoping for a quick fix, but they all ended in disappointment and more weight.

I can tell you from experience that this program DOES work! And it was the easiest thing I have ever done.

Not only have I lost more weight than I would have ever dreamed of, but I learned how my body works, and knowledge is power. I am confident that with the information I took away from this class I will continue to lose weight and reach my final goal.

I have also dramatically reduced my cholesterol, and my hormones are finally balancing out and working with me instead of against me (I have hypothyroidism). Every doctor I have seen has wanted to put me on cholesterol medications and synthetic hormones to bring my numbers back in range. But after 12 weeks with Hannah none of it was necessary.

Hannah’s approach to fixing the problem instead of masking them with medications is hard to find these day’s with the prescription happy approach of western medicine (my opinion of course).

I also suffered from chronic heart burn no matter what I did or took to prevent it. A couple personal nutrition session’s with Hannah later and no more heartburn! I can’t recommend Hannah and The Leptin Diet enough and I will forever be in her debt.

Although she would never say I owed her a thing, because Hannah truly cares about all of her clients and educating people so they can have a better quality of life. I had such wonderful experience with her class and also made a great friend in the process.

Good Luck to Everyone and Thank You Hannah!”

– Natalie Zucati, Chehalis, WA


Tammy’s Story

Tammy’s friend Lysa needed help. Lysa was studying to become a Reiki Master and she wanted to practice with someone. “Sure, I will help you out”, said Tammy. In their first session, Lysa conducted a thorough assessment. At the end of the session Lysa sat down with Tammy. “I sense a lot of pain – specifically emotional pain. It feels like it is related to family.” Tammy had physical pain in her back due to a bulging disc. She had no idea that she had emotions that needed to be processed but Lysa’s words resonated. Tammy said, “As you speak it’s as if you are opening a door to the inner work I need to do. I feel like it is bringing everything out into the open.”

It had been a challenging few years. Tammy’s mother had had a stroke and was now living with Tammy and her husband. Her parents had also divorced during this time and her Mother-in-law had passed away after a short but difficult battle with Stage 4 lung cancer. By working with Lysa, Tammy felt she was getting connected with stuff to heal those pieces of herself that were compromised. Tammy told Lysa, “I eat as my stress reliever, if I am depressed, I eat. Eating makes me feel better.” The added weight however, was only putting more stress on her back and making her condition worse.

One day Tammy was at work and she noticed her co-worker, Rebecca. Tammy walked up to her and said, Wow! You look awesome. How are you doing this?” Rebecca said, “I met this amazing nutritionist, Hannah, and she has me on a personalized nutrition plan.” Tammy thought for a moment, “If I did that I could be healthier, look good, lose weight and heal my back. Tammy told Rebecca, “You look so great and I need to do something. Do you have a card for Hannah? I want to call and see if she can help me” Rebecca was so excited for Tammy. She passed along a card and Tammy went back to her desk and made the call immediately. She knew she was ready.

At their first appointment, Hannah started by listening to Tammy’s goals and getting a sense of her story. Tammy said, “I need to lose about 50 pounds to take some of the stress off my back.” I have been in pain for a long time and I am done being in pain. Hannah told Tammy, “Every client is different and I will work with you to tailor your plan to meet your individual needs.” With that in mind they went over the kinds of foods that would work for Tammy. By the end of the session they had created a plan Tammy could take with her and begin implementing.

On Sundays Tammy made meals for the whole week so that she knew what she was having for lunch each day. Being prepared, knowing what she was going to have for breakfast, knowing what she was having for dinner proved to be very important for her success.

For the first few months Tammy focused on nutrition and did not workout. She wanted to get the hang of what she was doing before incorporating exercise. She kept a mental journal of what she was eating and how much. She also met regularly with Hannah to ensure she stuck with the plan. After a few months of working with Hannah, she decided it was time to workout. Her main goal was to build her core strength and make sure her bulging disk healed. She decided to join a gym and get some professional assistance.

Tammy walked into the gym and said, “I want to join your gym and I want a personal trainer. This is specifically what I want. I want to be able to build my core muscles. If I can’t do a certain exercise then I want the trainer to find an exercise I can do. I want someone who will be tough on me.” She joined the gym that day and began working out with a personal trainer. She did the personal training for about 2 months. She felt it was kind of expensive but it was worth learning how to do the exercises correctly so she didn’t injure herself.

In the first few months of working with Hannah, Tammy had steadily began to lose weight. Once she started to exercise the weight started dropping off even faster. In reflecting on the experience Tammy says, “As long as you listen to what Hannah says you are going to be successful.” She is the expert. She knows what she is talking about. She really works with you. She helps you find the things you like to eat, the things that are healthy.”

Tammy reflected on her journey, “This is the first time ever that I have been this driven and this successful. I have tried every diet plan there is and I have tried all kinds of stuff and I have always given up at some point. The emotional work that I did prior to beginning with Hannah really helped. Healing myself inside first before starting my weight loss journey helped me be ready to take the next step. I didn’t recognize how powerful working from the inside out would be for me. I didn’t realize it would be so important for the rest of my journey.”

Within 6 months Tammy had reached her goal weight, losing 47 pounds. “Hannah gave me the one-on-one I needed to talk about and troubleshoot my specific issues.” Tammy still sees Hannah to makes sure that she is on track. Tammy says, “It is a lifestyle change. A lifestyle change that I have had to do and my family has to do. My family is very, very proud of my weight loss. I have been overweight for a while. Now my mom says, you are so skinny.”

“Healing myself inside first before starting my weight loss journey helped me be ready to take the next step. I didn’t recognize how powerful working from the inside out would be for me.”

– T. Lee, Olympia, WA