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FAQ

FAQs

Working with a Nutritionist

If your question is not answered below, please give us a call on 07 3343 1602; Michelle who is charge of bookings will do her best to assist you.

Please note: if its not a question that Michelle can answer, its probably relating to your health in which case we will need to meet you and discuss your case personally so we can offer the best and safest advice.

Is it possible for me to talk to a Nutritionist over the phone before making an appointment?

The very capable and lovely Michelle is our receptionist and highly organised bookings manager. She is able to answer questions like how to find us, what our fees are, whether we accept private health etc. However, she can not answer specific nutrition related questions nor give individualized nutrition advice over the phone. And nor can we. Its both unprofessional and dangerous for us to offer advice over the phone without speaking to you at length and understanding your health and situation first. This is why we allow 70 minutes for the initial consultation.

We spend a lot of time providing information for no charge via this website and our blogs, our podcast, the Metabolic Balance(R) page (https://www.thebalancednutritionist.com.au/metabolic-balance/) and this FAQ page. If your question is not answered at any of these then its likely its very specific and individual and therefore we need to see you properly for an appointment.

Nicole and Katie work long hours consulting to cater for everyone’s availability and are not available on the phone. Michelle can communicate with us if she can not answer a question herself, but again, its best to simply book an appointment and do things thoroughly and properly. That is what we are all about.

Note: we are also unable to provide referrals for pathology testing before siting you and consulting with you properly. It is not legal or within our professional standards to order blood tests when we have not sited the client.

Where is your clinic

The Balanced Nutritionist is at 1 / 69 Secam Street Mansfield. Travel down Secam Street, past Hugo Place. We are on the right hand side of the road if you are travelling from Wecker Road. Look for the sign ‘Step into Health’ we are inside that building.

Do you have a parking area?

Yes, we have 2 dedicated parks signed ‘Step into Health’ and free street parking.

What are your fees for new clients?

These are all outlined in ‘what to expect’ which you should read before booking.

Why do you take a booking deposit for new clients?

To protect our time and ensure we are not waiting for ‘no shows’ when we could be seeing clients on the waiting list. The booking deposit is refundable provided you give us 48 hours notice for changes or cancellations. The booking fee is deducted from your bill at the end of your initial consultation – you simply pay the balance. If you do not want to book online and provide your credit card details you may call Michelle 0n 07 3343 1602 and she can provide you with our bank details. However, we can no longer hold appointments for new clients without a deposit.

I am interested in the Metabolic Balance® program, where can I get more information.

Read more about the program here. And google away – MB is available in over 35 countries around the world, do not just take our word for it that it is amazing. A food plan created just for you based only on you… compiled by Drs and Nutritionists and well supported by us. It truly is fantastic. To determine whether the program may be a good option for you, we do take a comprehensive health history so you will need to book in for a consultation.

What Bloods do I need before I see you?

None really. Please just bring yourself and be willing to share about yourself and your health. Even if you are certain you want to do the MB program we will not provide referrals in advance for blood tests (it is not legal to do this without seeing a client first) and we need to see where you are at right now and work out where we will start to get you healthy and happy once again.

I don’t live locally… can we still work with you?

Yes. We have clients all over Australia and in NZ. Simply book in as a SKYPE / ZOOM consultation and we will contact you to organize logistics before the appointment time.

My partner and I both want to come and see you… do we book in separately?

You will need to book separately for an initial fact finding appointment.

It’s likely we can do ongoing appointments together, the fee for this is $169 for you both and we do allow a little extra time (70 minutes).

Do you accept patient care plan / DVA gold card discounts / pensioner rates?

We are privately billing nutritionists so we are not able to provide you with our services under a Medicare care plan – you will need to see a Dietitian for this or see us privately.

And again, we are privately billing nutritionists and in an effort to keep our fees reasonable across the board we do not offer any other discounts.

What should I bring to an appointment?

You should bring copies of your most recent blood tests if you have these. We have a Medway portal which permits QML tests to be uploaded directly to us. Blood results provide another piece of the puzzle as far as your health is concerned. Any other recent testing such as endoscopy / colonoscopy results may be useful as sometimes you won’t remember these details when we are sitting down talking.

You should also bring a full list of any current medication – it’s critical we see this as we need to ensure that no recommended supplementation contraindicates this medication and even ensure that dietary changes account for this medication too. This is professional and safe practice.

Please bring a photo of the label (or the bottle itself) of any vitamins / minerals / natural supplements you are taking too.

I’ve read about ‘what to expect,’ can I just book a quick 1 off appointment with you?

Yes you can of course. However, most of our clients aren’t ‘simple clients.’ Many of our clients are taking multiple medications and / or have 1 or multiple serious medication conditions and / or have had deteriorating health for many years and / or have seen many professionals over the years without results. We do not have a miracle cure and we believe in gradual but consistent progress back towards health.

On the other hand, sometimes we see people who just want to confirm they are on the right track  or who just need some sensible guidance. We won’t waste your time. If I don’t feel there is any need for subsequent consultations we will be upfront and honest about this and farewell a healthier you on the way out.

Can I take notes in a consultation?

Sure.

I am interested in the MB program but I would like to do it with a practitioner near me. Are there other trained practitioners?

Yes, definitely. To find your nearest practitioner go to this website and enter EITHER your postcode OR your nearest CITY and the nearest practitioner will be returned to you.

If there is no one then we can do this program via Skype / Zoom so book in an initial with us.

Are you covered by private health funds?

Some. About 50% of funds cover nutrition. We can’t keep up – funds change their policies and we often don’t find out for 6 months. Please check with your individual fund and ask if you are covered for ‘Nutrition’ if getting a rebate is important to you. Medibank Private is definitely covered – many of the smaller funds also cover nutrition. Note that rebates on extras now are generally small – you may only get $10 – $20 back on our services.

Are you covered by Medicare?

No. Medicare do not rebate for Nutritionist services so you cannot come to us for a consultation under a chronic health plan referred by a GP. We are ‘nutritionists’ not ‘dietitians.’

Are you the same as a dietitian?

No. We are degree qualified, evidence based nutritional medicine practitioner otherwise called Nutritionists. We both hold a Bachelor of Health Science.

Nutrition is very much an evidence based practice but at the same time it is holistic. Physical, mental and spiritual health should be considered in everyone’s treatment plan. Unlike a dietitian, we do not base out recommendations on the current Australian guidelines or Australian government recommendations – we do believe that nutrition may be different for every person depending on their disease state, activity level, genome, genetic background and ethnicity and therefore we can make varied recommendations. We can formulate quite different treatment options for different clients.

What are your qualifications:

Katie King: Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) registration – AN14116 (registration). Certified Metabolic Balance® coach

Nicole Bence: Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) registration – AN13520N. Certified Metabolic Balance® coach

Do we like Paleo?

Paleo – just like intermittent fasting, autoimmune diets, gluten free diets, low FODMAP plans, vegetarian eating styles – has its place and may be appropriate for some individuals depending on the symptoms, presentation and diagnosis. It may be appropriate for a short time or a long time. Again, individuality. Everyone is different. We have seen clients who have suffered from a variety of complaints for many years so experimenting with various styles of eating and some initial drastic changes is often what is called for.

In our experience, as people ‘get better’ the diet can become more varied again and doesn’t require a ‘label.’ We like to work towards everyone being able to tolerate a large number of ‘wholefoods.’ Our main priority is REAL FOOD EATING.

What is the difference between a Nutritionist and a Naturopath?

A Nutritionist generally only works with nutritional medicine in the form of vitamins, minerals and nutraceuticals. We don’t use a lot of herbal medicine which a naturopath may choose first. Nutritionists will also prioritize changes to the diet of an individual (even if they are slow, sustainable changes) as correcting diet and lifestyle are paramount to restoring health.

The actual format of a nutritionist and naturopath visit are similar – health history, followed by treatment aims, nutritional and lifestyle recommendations and supplements where necessary. The ‘tools’ we choose may be slightly different – i.e. a nutritionist will focus more on dietary advice and nutrient supplementation not herbal medicine. Here at The Balanced Nutritionist we absolutely believe that having a ‘real food diet’ is the core of health and the first building block.

Can you order blood tests?

Yes. We can order most blood tests and will if necessary. However, these tests will be at a cost to you as Medicare will not cover them. We only order further testing if it is absolutely necessary.

Do you use any other testing?

Yes – we have a VLA body composition tool in clinic which tells us body fat and muscle percentage amongst other things. This is included in weight loss consultation (an additional $10.)

We can order a whole host of other functional medicine testing including DUTCH Hormone testing and Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis (this is different to a fecal PCR you may have done through your GP). We have also used neurotransmitter testing (you can read about Katie’s experience here) and can organize allergy / intolerance testing and a whole host of other tests if required.

Generally, comprehensive testing is not required. We can tell a lot about what is going on and what to do, by asking you lots of questions. This means you don’t spend lots of money on the testing – you can spend your energy on the solution!

What do you treat the most?

There’s not much we haven’t seen in clinic over the years including some incredibly rare conditions. Typically, when people come into our clinic they are tired, exhausted, unsure what’s wrong and with no idea what to eat.

You can hear more about what we treat and our thoughts on food and health by tuning into The Nourished Wrap, our podcast.

For complex conditions, particularly autoimmune related and also for chronic health conditions, its highly likely we may recommend a Metabolic Balance® plan at some stage.

You can read more about what we treat under experience.

I am a student… can I come and observe?

We are open to this. But please consider that mentoring takes time and energy. We have done it before and it was rewarding. However, please consider what value you can add to us before connecting – this relationship goes both ways.

Do you do calorie controlled plans for weight loss?

No. The concept that we are all going to require exactly the same amount of food everyday is a little strange… each day our physical, mental and bodily demands are different…. we all have an innate sixth sense built into us called appetite, We truly believe we need to learn how to listen to our bodies once again…. therefore our nutritional recommendations are not calorie controlled. They are wholefood focused.

Our answer to finding a healthy weight for life is a Metabolic Balance® program.

Why do you have a dispensary of herbal and nutritional supplements?

Because what we have access to is quite frankly incomparable to what they sell in chemists and supermarkets. Therapeutically dosed supplementation properly formulated gets results – cheap vitamins laden with fillers do not. Please see our blog post on supplementation here.

Do you accept veteran gold cards?

No unfortunately we do not. As we are privately billing nutritionists we are unable to offer veteran gold card discounts. If you are hoping to utilize a veteran gold card, it may be better to speak to your GP and receive a referral to a dietitian.

Do you believe in food as medicine?

We believe that a diet mostly of whole foods, real foods, movement, reasonably manged stress, happiness, family and friends…. would prevent  a lot of conditions.

You can read more about our food philosophy here.

What methods of payment do you accept?

Our preferred method of payment is by credit or debit card. Our payment system integrates fully with our booking system – both payments and bookings are processed through a medical software program called Halaxy.

Credit card information that is entered at time of deposit is encrypted and we can not view your credit card information. The system does store card information, but again, the information is encrypted and we are unable to see the details.

This allows us to smoothly process the amount owing at the end of a consultation as quickly as possible. Which means more time for important things like your health and health goals and more streamlined processes for us.
If you would prefer to pay by cash or manual direct deposit you can do so. Our preference is to receive payment on the day of the appointment.