Functional Nutrition Frequently Asked Questions

what are functional nutrition and functional medicine?

Functional Nutrition is an exciting “new” emerging field in nutrition that is rooted in Functional Medicine. I am a doctor of clinical functional nutrition. Under the guidance and leadership of Dr Liz Lipski, we were a small cohort of 7  actually creating a working definition of Functional Nutrition! Needless to say I am thrilled to be in this pioneering movement. I said “new” just because I have always practiced nutrition according to functional principles. Now it is becoming an official field in nutrition. And much needed too!

Functional Medicine in a paradigm shift in medicine of the 21st century that is patient-centered and is much needed, and I am proud to have training in this field as a nutritionist and use the FM tools to help my patients better and faster. Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) is the leader in FM and here is how they describe what FM is, how it is different and why we need it.

Why should I choose your services?

I have a high commitment level to the nutrition profession and to my patients and I have worked one on one with patients for a decade. I have helped over a thousand patients, one at a time, recover, and reclaim their health, or at least improve the quality of their lives. I also offer something that not many clinicians have, which we consider luxury, but which I consider a necessity: time. I study each case, hours at a time. The cost of the Program factors that time in, so I can afford it. I get to work with some very complex cases, patients that have gone from doctor to doctor and are still not improving. It takes work and time behind the scenes to create a completely customized therapy protocol, do investigative work to find root causes of the medical challenges, choose the proper functional labs, do appropriate empirical trials of foods and supplements, and then measure, monitor and adjust our progress. You deserve this time and I am committed to providing it in order to help you.

I will never forget the moment when one very ill patient asked me to please study his case regardless of cost, and time was the one thing I could not give him – I was so busy with all my patients. My heart really sank and that is when I started to  investigate other clinical business models. I was looking for ways that would allow me the needed time. The solution I found is twofold: I am now limiting the number of patients  working with  me at any given time. I am also factoring in the time outside of the consults into the patient’s Program. I think now you understand why. There is really no other way for me to provide the type of service you are looking for that I feel I need to provide that would also allow me the energy and focus without a burn-out, so common in our field.

What are your qualifications?

My academic education includes:

My nutrition credentials:

  • Licensed in Washington State as a Certified Nutritionist (CN) since 2005 and in Maryland as a Licensed Nutritionist since 2006. This is the legal requirement in WA to practice nutrition there.
  • Licensed Nutritionist (LDN) since 2006, in good standing. This is exactly the same license dietitians in Maryland are required to have. Any person practicing nutrition in Maryland has to have this license. The only 2 ways to get it is as an RD or Certified Nutrition Specialist.
  • Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), which is a stringent process that provides an alternative to being a Registered Dietitian. CNS requires minimum of master degree in nutrition and a clinical board exam. CNS is acknowledged as a requirement for licensure in a number of states in the US and was originally started to give medical doctors accreditation for additional training in nutrition.
  • Trained under Dr Liz Lipski, PhD in her Advanced Nutrition Forum for Nutrition Professionals 
  • Trained with Institute of Functional Medicine (IFM), which is an ongoing process.

Why are you not a dietitian?

I am not a registered dietitian (RD) and never will be out of personal choice and commitment to my belief system. I had that option during my graduate program and I walked away from it because I refused to pay dues to American Dietetic Association as i do not agree with their philosophy. Instead, I chose the best available forward-looking, clinical nutrition training in the country. I also made sure to have all needed licensure as a nutritionist to be legally at least equal to RDs, which took a few extra years of additional focused clinical work and board exams – and as soon as I moved to Maryland, I became a Certified Nutrition Specialist for that reason, still current and in good standing. CNS allowed me to get licensed in Maryland just like a dietitian would. I have also maintained the needed licensure as a Certified Nutritionist in the State of Washington.

My well-rounded approach to wellness stems from the fact that originally I moved to Seattle to become a naturopathic doctor. I switched majors at the last minute, just before I enrolled, and chose Masters program in clinical nutrition instead. My school of choice, Bastyr University, has been a pioneer in natural science-based medicine and has been called “the Harvard of Natural Medicine”. Their graduate clinical nutrition program is the best in the country and is highly regarded. During my schooling at Bastyr University, I had exposure to best science and best long-standing natural medicine traditions such as Integrative Medicine, Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), Functional Medicine, Food as Medicine, Ayurveda, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The training included an intensive clinical practice with patients, graduate level nutritional supplements, and hands-on whole food culinary classes, to name the few. None of the above is part of dietetic training.

My business, Holistic Nutrition Naturally LLC, is a registered corporation in Maryland, in good standing since inception (Business Entity Search: http://sdat.resiusa.org/ucc-charter/Pages/CharterSearch/default.aspx

Why do you only see patients virtually? Will that even work for me?

Please review this answer to see if virtual services CAN work for you.

Office Visits are via teleconferencing – we will consult via Vsee, which is an alternative to Skype that is more appropriate for health providers and their patients. It is free and as easy to use.  It requires an Adobe Reader.

My clinic is virtual because more and more ill people have traveled form distance to see me, and I found that I could do as effective work to help them without them having to go through a stress of travel, especially DC/Baltimore commute traffic, or even worse, having to take a day off from work.

You may not be aware that medicine and medical nutrition therapy are going virtual and gaining popularity and many of my patients will tell you that they are glad I provide this service as otherwise, they would not have access to this type of service locally or due to being too ill and weak. This form of consulting has worked well for many patients and may work for you as well. In the last year in particular, more of my patients get a degree of reimbursement for my services. Telemedicine is becoming accepted.

Here are some advantages of virtual nutrition therapy:

  • As a patient, you are no longer limited to the clinicians in your locality. I get many calls from patients that struggle to find the support they need where they live.
  • You may need lab work that is not available locally. Clinicians in virtual practice provide many functional labs – many involve a take-home kit that can be drop shipped to you and some tests can be performed at home, so you do not need to seek a lab at a distant location.
  • You do not have to travel, which saves you time, gas, hotel, and eating out expenses.  This is especially important for people who live in more remote areas or are just not feeling well enough to travel a distance.
  • Appointment times can be more flexible.
  • You can continue getting my support even while traveling, one of the biggest risk times for ‘falling off the wagon’.
  • You do not lose the relationship you have built with the clinician even when you move to a different city or if the clinician does.

What conditions are you successful with?

I have worked with a LOT of medical conditions. I have a high success rate and my goal is to change lives. In some very complex cases, If I cannot help solve the problem, I can at least improve one’s quality of life. Click here to view the conditions I work with to see if you think I can help you.

Why are your email and phone number not listed on the website?

I am unable to answer everyone’s inquiries at this time. That is why we made sure that the website can answer as many questions as I suspect you may have even if  some information is repeated in a few places. If after browsing through it you feel that my services may match your needs, I do have a 45-minute Intro Session that you can reserve. You may not know it, but nutrition work takes time and involves a longer-time commitment both from me and from you. That is why we have this intro process in place – we both want to make sure I am a good fit for what you need. If I think I cannot help you or what you need is not within my scope of practice, this is my opportunity to give you resources you need e.g. an appropriate referral. To learn more about Intro Session read the page Get Started, or book your Intro Session now.

Are your services covered by ANY insurance?

I have to be honest and upfront with you – if you are seeking a service that is covered by medical insurance, we are not a good match. I am afraid my Programs are out of pocket expenses due in full or via payment plans or Paypal Credit. That said, in the last year more and more of my patients get REIMBURSED later to a different degree for my out-of pocket services, e.g. 60%, or if their doctors write a medical necessity referral.  Please ask your insurance if they reimburse for teleconferencing of nutritional counseling/medical nutrition therapy. Just know that the services are out of pockets. As a courtesy, I provide you withe the invoices if insurance says it will reimburse you. At this time, other than a possibility of a partial reimbursement, insurance does not cover this type of service.

When I had a serious medical condition and was a teacher of a very modest salary, I made a decision to pay a few thousand dollars out of pocket  in order to get the right help and as a result, 20 years later, that medical issue is still fixed today. When my family member was very ill, in one year alone, I paid almost 10K in medical cost, and I did that also to get the best help needed and never regretted it even though it was very challenging to do. When our doctor refused to test my thyroid properly, I had to pay out of pocket to get the needed test myself. I do understand the value of good  service when it relates to health. But I do also understand the financial challenges that come with paying out of pocket because I have been there myself, more than once.

We use Paypal because it is secure but because it also offers Paypal Credit, a 6-month payment plan with a no-interest rate. I can only take a few new patients at a time as my work includes consultation as well as hours of work before and after each session. I prep about 4-5 hours before we even sit together and the first two sessions are two solid hours each. If you are not sure if you can or cannot work with me, I would still encourage you to browse more on this website and schedule the Intro Session. I can perhaps at least give you some referrals and needed resources to move forward.

If we use lab testing, many labs are either reasonable in price or have an affordable co-pay  that I can help you run by your insurance, depending on the insurance you have.

Click here for more details on prices and related policies.

Can I use my flex plan?

It depends which Merchant Service I use. At least one of them accepts it.

Can you help me pick the right supplements? How do I contact you?

Yes. The right supplement for the right reason can do a world of good to support a compromised person. I have extensive training and experience in supplements and will be happy to guide you towards the most optimal supplementation for your current lifestyle and age-related needs. Ask Kasia is a perfect service to help you with these needs. However, if you have complex medical conditions and are on medications as well, I cannot include that medical nutrition therapy aspect in my supplement recommendations at this particular session.  That is part of the initial patient assessment in my clinical one on one Programs. A better service for that need is Intro Session

Suggested websites for your supplement needs and education:

Fullscript

Nutrametrix

Watch the videos and read more about proper supplementation

Why aren't the prices listed on your website?

Our fees for clinical medical nutrition therapy continue to evolve as the Programs do. Current Program fees and payment options are discussed at Intro Session. To learn more about it: Start Here.

 

Kasia Kines’ detox program is changing my life.~ Mary R.