What can I expect from nutrition counseling?
Initial sessions will be an opportunity for you to share your story: your health history, eating habits, and challenges you're currently facing with food or health. I'll then create an individual meal plan for you, if needed. We'll discuss treatment approaches and what to expect in follow-up sessions. Nutrition counseling will provide you with any of the following:
Guidance through eating challenges, support in meeting specific nutrition, health or weight goals, nutrition education, coaching through behavioral changes related to nutrition, meal planning based on individualized calorie and macronutrient levels, tips for eating out, recipes, help with body image, and exercise implementation.
Eating disorder treatment will be approached in different ways depending on your symptoms and goals. Although meal plans are often helpful initially, they're not always necessary. I believe in a non-diet approach with an ultimate goal of intuitive eating. I teach you to reconnect with your physiological signals of hunger and satiety and help establish trust in your body.
Your body has not failed you. Your thinking has.
How is a registered dietitian different from a nutritionist?
A registered dietitian has received a minimum of a bachelor's degree by an accredited university, has completed a post-graduate dietetic internship (which includes community, clinical, and management rotations), has successfully passed the national credentialing boards, and maintains at least 75 units of continuing education hours every five years. One cannot call themselves a "registered dietitian" unless they have earned these credentials. The title of "nutritionist" can be used by anyone while the title of "RD" as a legal definition.
How long are the sessions?
For eating disorder treatment, please allow 1.5 to 2 hours for the initial assessment and 50 minutes for follow-up sessions. For medical nutrition therapy, the initial consultation will take 1 to 1.5 hours and follow-ups can be scheduled for either 30 or 50 minute sessions as needed.
How often do you see clients?
This really depends on each individual's treatment issue and stage of recovery. If you're suffering from an eating disorder, I initially recommend at least one (1) weekly nutrition therapy session and often recommend psychotherapy simultaneously. As you progress in your recovery, the frequency may be decreased to bi-weekly and eventually monthly. For medical nutrition therapy, such as diabetes education, food allergies, and general wellness, the initial consultation is usually followed by one or more follow-ups.
Do you take insurance?
I am currently a CenCal (our local Medi-Cal) provider but otherwise do not take insurance. If you would like to bill your insurance, I will provide you with a superbill at the end of our sessions, which you can then submit to your insurance company for reimbursement. Please be advised that nutrition therapy is often not well covered or has exclusions and limited visits placed on it. Call your insurance company first if this is a concern. Payment will be expected at the time of each session. Cash, check, and credit cards are accepted. If you choose to pay with a credit card, please allow a few additional minutes at the beginning of each session for authorization purposes.
If you are a CenCal member, I'll need your member ID number before our first session in order to check eligibility.
What happens if I have to cancel an appointment?
In the unfortunate event that you have to cancel an appointment, please give at least 24 hours notice by phone in order for me to offer that slot to another client. If you are unable to attend in-person, you may also choose to have the session over the phone. If you do not give a 24-hour notice, please be advised that you'll be charged for the full session price. I'm committed to you and your treatment and your commitment and participation is equally important.
What do I need to bring to my first session?
If you have your recent lab results, please bring a copy to your first session. If you normally keep a food journal or log, you may choose to bring this along. A list of treatment providers, such as physician, therapist, or psychiatrist, that you currently see with phone numbers is often helpful as well.