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 of 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?

Because I decided not to become a dietitian, I made sure that I secured the best best graduate level education available in the country, that I have the same licensure as dietitians in the state where I practice, and that I am in good standing. Additionally, at this time, I am enrolled in a doctoral program of clinical nutrition and should become a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition by 2017.

I am very experienced in functional nutrition, gut nutrition, functional medicine nutrition and medical nutrition therapy. I am a functional medicine nutritionist. Over the years I have helped over a thousand people get their life back.

My academic education includes:

My nutrition credentials:

  • Doctor of Clinical (Functional) Nutrition (DCN)-  the very first ever cohort of this pioneering doctoral program, paving the way for the concept of “functional nutrition”! Maryland University of Integrative Health – created by Dr Liz Lipski, PhD herself.
  • 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 an organization that historically was financially involved in food industry, and I was not willing to abide by standards and regulations I disagreed with. 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.

My goal has always been to work with individual patients towards their healing, combining the best in research and in ancient traditions, working towards the healing of the whole person. RD training would not have provided me with the training needed for my goals. I have been committed to my profession and the continued education in the field, so I can be the best Functional Nutritionist for my patients.

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.

My business, Holistic Nutrition Naturally LLC, is a registered corporation in Maryland, in good standing since inception (Business Entity Search:

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 telephone. If you prefer Skype, 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 as Skype. 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.

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 be able to get needed help where they live. This form of consulting has worked well for many patients and may work for you as well.

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. 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. 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 will invoices if insurance says it will reimburse you.

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 3 hours before we even sit together and the first two sessions are two solid hours each. This type of work, and especially phone consultations, is not covered by insurance at this time. Unfortunately, many of the most helpful and beneficial health-related services are not covered by insurance either. When I had a serious medical condition, I made a decision to pay a few thousand dollars in cash in order to get the right help and as a result, many years later, my 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. I do understand the value of good  service when it relates to health. And I do understand the financial challenges that come with paying out of pocket because I have been there myself, more than once. 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.

Local patients may be partially reimbursed for sessions in person in our clinic after the program is completed. However, I cannot guarantee that, and I have a limited availability to see patients in person. This is something we would discuss more at our Intro Session.

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. 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 session.  That is part of the initial patient assessment in my clinical Program. A better service for that need is Intro Session

Suggested websites for your supplement needs and education:

Emersonecologics zip code 21209 and access code 654321


Watch the videos and read more about proper supplementation

Why aren't the prices listed on your website?

Fees for clinical medical nutrition therapy vary according to the length of a Program we decide on, which depends on the complexity and severity of your health ailments, and that I will not know until we talk together during our Intro Session. The price for this service is listed.

If you are seeking a quick answer to a burning question, but you have no interest in becoming a patient, we do provide a single-session service for that purpose with the price listed. Click here for details: Ask Kasia. There is a list of examples of issues I can resolve for you with this service. I really enjoy providing this service and hope I can help you with it.

If you are trying to assess if my services are a good match for you because you have an ongoing ailment, then that is a commitment of at least 2 months. That is the shortest Program I can offer simply because it takes time and work together to get you better, figure out the root causes of your health challenges, and amend them. Chronic disease does not happen over time. If you have more than one health challenge, we may need a 6-Month Program or more. I am afraid there is no magic pill that offers a quick resolution in just one session. That said, nutrition is very powerful and sometimes one recommendation alone I make can make a profound difference. In short,  if you are looking for a clinical nutritionist for your health challenges, your next step is to schedule an Intro Session. Please read more details by clicking on it. This gives me a chance to hear more about your clinical issues, and I can suggest the right Program and pricing. There are also more details about this session on this page Start Here.


We decided to sign up for the fall detox. It was amazing! I loved it all and was transformed from the experience.~ Beth