Additional Information About Individual Nutrition Counseling Services

Registered Dietitians (RD), or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN), are food and nutrition experts who interpret evidence-based nutrition recommendations and guidelines into digestible and practical information to the public in various settings, including but not limited to hospitals, schools, community centers, grocery stores, and private practices.

Registered Dietitians are trained professionals who have completed required academic coursework, an accredited, supervised dietetic internship program, and passed a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

Registered Dietitians are required to complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain our dietetic credential registration on an ongoing basis.

As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, my main priority is to have an ethical and integrity-based foundation as a human being and in my professional endeavors. The world of food and nutrition is ever-changing and evolving, and therefore continuing education is essential. My strong work ethic, combined with encompassing core principles and values to learn, grow and inspire moves me to enhance my nutrition and wellness education skills through the professional memberships I’m associated with and among other avenues of career interest.

You don’t need to be vegan to schedule a nutrition counseling appointment with me. However, I specialize in vegan nutrition, so I have studied and experienced this way of living for many years, and it is what I’m passionate about.

If you want to shift to a plant-rich lifestyle by adding more plant foods to your diet and moving toward eating less animal-based foods, I would be honored to support you along this exciting health and wellness path in a way that works best for you!

If you’re looking for guidance on a keto or paleo-eating style, I’m likely not the nutrition counselor you’re looking for. Eating patterns that restrict foods do not resonate with my health and wellness philosophy.

You may wonder, “isn’t a vegan eating pattern restrictive, though?” My answer, simply put is, it doesn’t have to be!

In my experience, with the abundance of plant foods and vegan-friendly options available today, my food choices have expanded and allowed me to find more creativity with meals since becoming vegan, and that’s what I’m so excited to teach others on a similar path about!

So whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian and have the goal to increase plant-rich foods in your diet, please feel free to reach out to learn more about my nutrition services offered and how I may support you!

A referral from your healthcare provider is not required (with an exception).

While having a referral can be helpful, especially if there is relevant medical history that would support your dietary and wellness goals, it is not a requirement to have a referral from your healthcare provider.

*Exception: If you request to have a Superbill or itemized receipt of services to submit to your insurance provider for potential reimbursement, then a referral from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider is required, along with any pertinent ICD-10 diagnosis codes (medical diagnoses) listed from your referring provider, since Registered Dietitians cannot make medical diagnoses.

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ answer here! To keep things as simple and transparent as possible, this is totally up to each person and what is right for them and their health and wellness goals.

If you’re looking for more general guidance on shifting to a plant-rich diet, you may find that a couple of consultations are all you need. However, if you have more specific, individualized health and wellness goals and are looking for more accountability, you may be interested in a nutrition counseling follow-up consultation bundle.

My intention is to provide clients with the educational resources and support while they work towards their goals and desired habit and lifestyle changes. Of course, it’s up to you to decide what that looks like for you!

My nutrition field specialties are rooted in overall health and wellness promotion and community and public health nutrition, with a focus on vegan and plant-based nutrition education, including heart-healthy eating habits, mindfulness-based eating, vegan/vegetarian nutrient needs, and nutrition throughout adult life stages.

Nutrition is personal, which is why there are so many areas of nutrition specialties and expertise.

To keep my work as transparent as possible, and to ensure you’re getting the personalized support you need, there are several nutrition field specialties that I do not work with in my private practice:

  • I work with adults (at least 18 years of age or older) in my virtual nutrition private practice, so for individuals looking for nutritional support for children or adolescents, it would be recommended to refer to a Registered Dietitian specializing in pediatric nutrition.
  • For individuals seeking nutritional support with diagnosed type 1 or type 2 diabetes, or gestational diabetes, it would be recommended to refer to a Registered Dietitian who is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist.

  • Individuals seeking nutritional support in Chronic Kidney Disease would be recommended to refer to a Registered Dietitian specializing in renal nutrition.

  • Individuals seeking nutritional support with eating disorders would be recommended to refer to a Registered Dietitian specializing in eating disorder recovery.

Please Note: Melinda Benz LLC nutrition services do not include weight loss plans or meal plans – Melinda’s client-centered approach is around the ‘whole picture’ of wellness, not weight-or number-focused or no “quick fixes,” instead, the goal is to provide nutrition education with a holistic viewpoint for sustainable habit changes and to collaborate around daily meal planning tools so you can feel confident in making informed dietary choices that make the most sense for your lifestyle.

*To best support you, a referral to another Registered Dietitian or recommendation to speak with your healthcare provider regarding a specific nutritional concern may be made as necessary by Melinda Benz, RDN.

Always consult your healthcare provider regarding any health questions or concerns.

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