Frequently Asked Questions
What is a functional nutritionist? How do I know functional nutrition is right for me?
Functional nutritionists are clinical nutritionists that are trained under the functional medicine philosophy, which is all about getting to the root cause of a condition or disease. Although not required, we do recommended that you schedule a complementary discovery call to determine if functional nutrition and our practice is right for you, or if you might benefit more from another modality.
What is the difference between a clinical / functional nutritionist and a registered dietician?
The clinical nutritionist (CN) generally maintains a philosophy that emphasizes wellness and optimal health, and is more likely to include a combination of dietary modulation, life-style modifications, the use of nutritional supplements, and often other adjunctive modalities such as the limited use of herbs. Clinical Nutritionists may also utilize functional nutritional laboratory testing, not for the purposes of disease diagnosis, but to establish optimal versus sub-optimal levels of function in the body related to nutritional status.
On the other hand, in general, the registered dietician (RD) often comes from a much more conservative perspective and focuses mainly on dietetics and food intake modulation to meet the needs of people who may be suffering from specific diseases, such as diabetes, kidney disease, etc. The RD may rarely utilize nutritional supplementation, but have been traditionally resistant to the aggressive use of nutrient supplementation.
What can I expect from my first consultation with a functional nutritionist?
Prior to your first consultation, you will be asked to complete an intake form, a food journal, and to submit any recent biochemistry results (blood work, etc.). We will then review these documents during your first visit. This includes a review of your medical history, nutrition history, and any labs that you may have provided. This information, along with our detailed discussions, will be used to help us determine the best nutritional approach for you. The initial consultation and all subsequent follow-up visits last approximately 60 minutes per session.
How long will it take to receive my nutrition plan?
Clients that choose the Maintenance Plan are generally looking for tips to break through to the next level of wellness and / or access to pharmaceutical-grade supplements. Nutritional protocols under the Maintenance Plan are generally less complex compared with clients choosing the Extended Plan, and could be expected within 1~2 weeks of our consultation together.
Clients that choose the Extended Plan usually have more complex information to research and sort out and it may require two visits (the initial consultation and one follow-up visit) before we have all of the information required to formulate phase 1 of a quality nutritional protocol. All-in-all it will take approximately 3~4 weeks before you receive your phase 1 nutrition plan.
What is your background in nutrition?
What are some of the primary reasons that people would see a functional nutritionist?
People could benefit from seeing a functional nutritionist for many diverse reasons. Some people see us because they would like to lose weight or feel healthier. Others may be experiencing symptoms such as headache, fatigue, bloating, or constipation and can't figure out the source. Yet others may have a specific diagnosis that may benefit from dietary and nutritional modifications. We work with each client individually and tailor a plan that will help them to feel better!
What type of clients do you work with?
At TFN, our long-term vision is to help as many people as possible to achieve and maintain optimal health. We work with people of all ages. However, depending on our schedule, there may be times that we have to connect you with another practice within our circle of practitioners. We would only refer you to the best in the business, other practitioners that have a similar philosophy around health and wellness and whom we would trust with our own families.
What types of nutrition services do you offer?
Currently, we offer 2 distinct plans within our menu of services--the Maintenance and Extended Plans.
Where do you offer your nutrition services? Can I have my nutrition consultations online?
Generally, consultations are online. Occasionally a client may prefer to meet in person. Depending on our scheduling and availability, we may be able to accommodate if you are in the local area. However, keep in mind that TFN does not have a brick-and-mortar (physical) location. Areas that may qualify for a meetup would include the general region of Southwest Florida (Fort Myers, Naples, Venice, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, North Port, Lehigh Acres, Estero, Bonita Springs, and Marco Island).
Do you accept insurance?
TFN does not accept insurance, bill insurance, or prepare HCFA forms for office visits. We can provide you with an itemized bill of services for you to submit to your insurance company for potential reimbursement, if your insurance offers out-of-network benefits for nutritional services. If you have an HSA or FSA credit card, you can feel free to try paying with this first.
How do you accept payment?
TFN primarily accepts online payments (credit / debit cards) but we will also accept cash and checks if you are close enough to the Fort Myers and Lee County area. We may consider cryptocurrencies on a case-by-case basis (you can inquire more about this when you schedule your free 20-minute consultation.
Do I need a referral from my physician?
You do not need a referral to schedule a visit with us.
What is your cancellation policy?
Currently, there is no charge for cancellation, but we do appreciate at least a 24 hour notice if you are planning to cancel or reschedule.
I'm interested! What are the next steps?
The first step would be to schedule your free 20-minute consultation with Michael, so that we can discuss your goals and ensure that our practice will be the right fit for you. You can also message us with your contact info down below.