What is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist?
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDNs) are food and nutrition experts who have met the following criteria to earn the RDN credential:
Completed a minimum bachelor’s degree accredited or approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Completed an ACEND-accredited supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency, or a foodservice corporation. Typically, a practice program will run 6 to 12 months in length.
Passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR).
Completed continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
What is a Registered Dietitian (RD) versus a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)?
Nothing. They are the same and the credentials can be used interchangeably.
Remember: Every Registered Dietitian is a nutritionist, but not every nutritionist is a Registered Dietitian.
Are you a personal trainer?
No. A personal trainer is someone who has earned a certification for creating and delivering safe and effective exercise programs for apparently healthy individuals and groups or those with medical clearance to exercise. Some RDs are also certified as personal trainers but I am not.
Can I use an app such as MyNetDiary or MyFitnessPal instead of a Registered Dietitian?
Apps are great tools for providing general nutrition guidance and self-monitoring.
It is safe to say that the general population have many other health considerations that affect nutrition recommendations such as medication use and preexisting health conditions. In these cases, general nutrition recommendations are not as effective (and in some cases can be harmful) as individualized recommendations based on your current health status and personal goals.
Self-monitoring and awareness are crucial for long-term success. No, you do NOT have to count calories or macros for the rest of your life! However, I have found that food-intake awareness is commonly out of tune for most people.
I will use MyNetDiary as a tool during our process together to create an awareness of what you are currently eating. It also allows me to give you direct feedback and suggestions. If you are old school—no worries! Writing down what you eat on a piece of paper is a great self-monitoring tool as well.
Encouraging self-monitoring also provides you with a tool for long-term success after our visit is over.
Isn’t it all about the macros?
No, it is not just about the macros. Macronutrient distribution looks very different for each individual. For example, an obese individual who weighs 200 pounds and wants to lose fat versus a 200-pound individual at a healthy weight who wants to gain muscle mass does not have the same macronutrient distribution. This is also why using a health app has limitations unless you know your individual specific goals.
Do you recommend intermittent fasting or a keto diet?
As a Registered Dietitian, I do not recommend “diets”. We will discuss any current eating patterns and diet conceptions you have, consider your stated nutrition goals, and discuss whether or not your current eating patterns are conducive to meeting your goals. If they are, then we can discuss how to modify or improve as necessary and likewise, if they are not, then we can discuss your openness to change and what might be a better strategy.
Do you recommend dietary supplements?
Yes, however the FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed. This alone can result in many harmful reactions, especially when an individual is taking medications or has certain medical conditions. I offer individual professional-grade supplement recommendations through Fullscript – a dispensary who validates supplements for their potency and ensures that temperature-sensitive products are stored and shipped according to manufacturer’s specifications.
Please note I only offer this to clients who I have evaluated through an initial nutrition consultation or sports nutrition consultation. This is for your protection as well as my protection as a healthcare professional. In addition, it is your responsibility to report any vitamin or supplement use to your physician especially in the event that your health status has changed.
You said you are a structured and organized person. Can your plan work for me even if I am not?
Absolutely! Nutrition is not a “my way or the highway” or a “one size fits all”. After discussing your goals and evaluating your intake information, I will provide you with a structured meal plan that includes overarching bullet points that allow flexibility and modifications while setting a framework. In addition, if you sign up for a Session Plan this allows us to modify and tweak your plan until we find what works best for you. Depending on how often we meet and how committed you are to making changes, this process can take a varying amount of time. Some people say, “Just tell me what to eat, how much, and when” while others say, “I can’t handle monotony!” Through a Session Plan we can work through these obstacles and find a balance that works for you.
Can you help me lose weight by [insert date or event]?
We have all been there—Spring Break is on the horizon, my cousin’s wedding is coming up with family I haven’t seen in years, or we’re about to go on a cruise (right after the Christmas holiday feast…or the COVID-19 pandemic)!
What I love about this is the MOTIVATION to make changes but, unfortunately, I am not here to offer quick weight loss fixes or magical muscle gains overnight. I absolutely want to work with motivated individuals – who are looking for long-term sustainable strategies to improve their overall health and wellness.
Why don’t you accept insurance?
I want to provide my clients with the most comprehensive assessment and planning that is appropriate for each individual. I did not want to be limited to who I can see based on diagnosis code and how much time is allowed as determined by the insurance company. This allows for a better experience for you as well as for me as your practitioner.
How does this process work?
First, I recommend we begin with a phone call so we can get to know each other, discuss your goals, health history and what you would like from me. If you decide to proceed then we can discuss which plan would best suit your needs and you can book an appointment online or over the phone.
Next, you will receive some documents to review, sign and complete. If you select an initial nutrition consultation or sports nutrition consultation, one of the documents you will receive is a detailed intake questionnaire.
From your intake questionnaire, our phone conversation, and any additional communication thereafter I will create an individual nutrition plan tailored to your specific goals and needs.
Finally, we will meet in person or virtually to discuss your plan and answer any additional questions you may have. If there is something you do not like then we can make a one-time modification. Additional modifications will require a follow-up or Session Plan.
Why choose a Session Plan?
Nutrition and a healthy lifestyle is a journey – not a destination. Unfortunately, we do not wake up one morning and “arrive” at a healthy lifestyle. Like that, it is difficult to make long-term sustainable changes with just one initial consultation. I will give you the tools you need to be able to do it on your own, but often times it is after several visits and many more questions that we are able to get to a sweet spot where you are you comfortable and confident to make those changes on your own. Because a healthy lifestyle is a journey, it is prudent to revisit your nutrition goals after your health status has changed, for example after losing a lot of weight or achieving the desired amount of muscle gain.