“What is a Nutritionist?”

The tricky thing about the word ‘Nutritionist’ is that it isn’t a legally protected term in Australia. Therefore, anybody can call themselves a Nutritionist, whether they have a university science degree or not. I encourage you to be a savvy consumer, and always check the credentials of any health professional you plan to see. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

University Qualified Nutritionists are health professionals with an in-depth understanding of the science of food, how nutrients behave in the body, and how this can affect our health.  To achieve this expertise we undertake studies in areas such as biochemistry, anatomy & physiology, biomedical science, culture & health behaviour, food processing, and research.

Nutritionists are therefore uniquely placed to contribute to global health and wellbeing through the provision of dietary advice and guidance to groups and individuals looking to improve their health, prolong wellbeing, and reduce risk of disease.

When choosing a Nutritionist in Perth, select one who holds full and current membership with a governing body that requires them to meet rigid education standards, abide by a Code of Ethics, and partake in Continuing Professional Development. Personally, I am a registered and practising member of the CMA (Complementary Medicine Association), which is recognised by the major health funds and the ATO. Please see below for further information about rebates, as you may be eligible.

“What’s the difference between a Nutritionist and a Dietitian, and who should I see?”

Dietitians are a clever bunch of individuals who have completed additional studies in nutrition, often a Master’s degree in Dietetics. Put simply, Dietitians are Nutritionists with additional knowledge and expertise. In my opinion, the major difference between Nutritionists and Dietitians is that Dietitians undertake studies in medical nutrition therapy, and complete clinical placements in hospital settings to consolidate this knowledge. So what is medical nutrition therapy? Basically it is the therapeutic treatment of medical conditions and disease through the use of food and dietary alterations.

I know this can be a bit confusing, but the take away message is that both University Qualified Nutritionists and Accredited Practising Dietitians have a role to play in the promotion of health and wellbeing.  So should you choose to see a nutritionist or dietitian in Perth?

If you are living with a disease or chronic medical condition such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune disease, an eating disorder or kidney disease, I would strongly encourage you to see your Doctor or a Dietitian for appropriate dietary care, as they are specialists in these areas of health.

If you are generally in good health but you are interested in improving your diet to: prevent disease and illness, feel more energetic, improve your mood, increase your ability to focus, manage your weight, eat appropriately for your life stage (e.g. during adolescence, pregnancy, breastfeeding), and/or understand your individual nutrient requirements, a University Qualified Nutritionist has the knowledge and expertise to help you achieve your goals.

As a Nutritionist I am also happy to talk to my clients about developing healthier eating behaviours through additional techniques such as mindful eating, deciphering food labels, appropriate cooking methods, food preparation and shopping, sourcing recipes etc. If you’re looking for someone who can help you with weight loss in Perth, get in touch with me here.

I will also mention that if you are living with a chronic health condition, it does not mean that we cannot work together. As long as you have already sought dietary advice from your Doctor or Dietitian, I would be delighted to help you implement their recommendations. For example, if you are required to increase your fibre intake and limit red meat consumption, we can work together to find practical ways to make these changes to your diet in a satisfying and sustainable way.

“What should I bring to my first appointment?”

Just your lovely self and any questions, concerns or niggling thoughts that are on your mind. This time is yours, and no area of nutrition is off limits! By the time our first appointment comes around, I will have everything else that I need, as I will send you a Welcome Packet upon your booking. This will include a questionnaire about yourself, your lifestyle and your health goals, and I will request that you complete it at least 48 hours prior to our appointment. I will also have you complete a 3-day food diary in advance, so that we have a solid starting point from which to make changes. If you are the type that likes to jot down notes or information, feel free to bring along a notepad and pen, but don’t worry about remembering everything as I will provide you with an Action Plan post-appointment detailing our main discussion points.

“How many appointments will I need?”

My Introductory Package for New Clients includes two appointments, so we will work together over at least two sessions. Additional follow-up appointments for existing clients can be purchased individually. The number of appointments you will need depends on many factors including: your health and weight loss goals, the degree of support you are looking for, your budget, your lifestyle etc. For some people, two visits may be all they need to get started on their own, while others may choose to work with me over a period of six months or a year. It is entirely up to you and your circumstances.

“Can I get a rebate through my private health fund?”

I am registered as a recognised provider (Nutritionist) with several of the major health funds including: HBF, Medibank Private, NIB, HCF, Grand United, CBHS, Australian Unity, Teachers Union Health, and AHM. If you hold private health insurance with any of these providers, I encourage you to contact them directly and confirm if you are covered for consults with a Nutritionist in Perth  (*be sure to ask specifically about seeing a ‘Nutritionist’ and not a ‘Dietitian’, as they are not the same and your cover may differ between the two).

“Where are you based for in-person consultations, and can I make an appointment over Skype?”

My office is located at 937 Wellington Street, West Perth, WA 6005 where I see clients between 9am and 5pm, Monday through Saturday. Appointments outside of these hours can easily be arranged upon request. Consultation via Skype can also be booked (with or without video – your choice).

If you’re looking for a wellness coach in Perth who understands your health goals, talk to me today.