FAQ with Emmy


Q. What is a registered dietitian nutritionist?

A. Officially from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, A Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (aka Registered Dietitian, RD, or RDN) is an expert in food and nutrition who has met the following academic and professional requirements:

  • Earned a Bachelor's degree with course work approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' Accredidation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. Coursework includes: food and nutrition sciences, business, sociology, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology, and chemistry.

  • Completed an accredited, extensive supervised practice program with direct patient contact at a health care facility, community agency, or food service corporation (depending on the dietitian's interest and career goals).

  • Passed a rigorous national registration examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.

  • Completes continuing professional education requirements to maintain registration on an ongoing basis.

There is no difference between a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and a Registered Dietitian. However, there is a difference between a Dietitian and Nutritionist. Keep reading... 

Hey students! I'm always happy to sit down with you or any propsective RD/RDNs to answer any questions or chat about my experiences.


Q. what is the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist?

A. Every Registered Dietitian is a Nutritionist, but not every Nutritionist is a Registered Dietitian. While the title "Registered Dietitian" or "Registered Dietitian Nutritionist" is heavily regulated, there is very little regulation on using the term "nutritionist," "nutrition expert," "nutrition coach," "health coach," "wellness coach," and so on without any education or professional development requirements. While some states allow for the "certified or licensed nutritionist" title, only Registered Dietitians are allowed to practice medical nutrition therapy for acute and chronic diseases. While many nutritionists are very knowledgeable, experienced, and capable, RDs and RDNs have met the most rigorous requirements and are the established experts in food and nutrition. 

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Q. what kind of services do you provide and how much do they cost?

A. I provide individual counseling (both individual assessments and follow-up appointments), group classes, and grocery store tours. I go over all of my services and pricing info here. Services are available to all residents of Wisconsin and Illinois. If you are unable to meet in my office in downtown Madison, we can absolutely set up a virtual visit so we can talk over a secure video chat.


Q. Will you weigh me at my visit?

A. Only (and I mean only) if you'd like me to. I strongly believe weight is only one metric that can be used to track your progress. I also love exploring how someone feels, how their energy levels have changed, what their food journal looks like, or how confident they feel around food. Other than that, because I'm clinically trained, we may look at different labs or blood work ordered by your doctor to see how things are going. I'm also trained in taking body measurements, so we can do that too. How we track your progress toward your goals is totally in your hands, and I want to honor what makes you feel comfortable. 


Q. do you make meal plans?

A. I'd love to work together to come up with a plan of attack when it comes to meals and snacks (including specific ideas and recipes), but I don't offer specific meal-by-meal plans or recipe guides. I'll challenge you to ask: Is it realistic for you to follow a strict meal plan? Is it a sustainable practice? Will it cause more stress than relief? These questions may help you and I create a nutrition plan that comes about more organically and makes sense for you. I believe that following a plan that was made by someone else doesn't always inspire long-term behavioral and lifestyle change. Plus it's not likely sustainable to follow a strict plan forever, right?


Q. do you help with cleanses?

A. One of my goals with Real Good is to help my patients find realistic solutions for sustainable change when it comes to their health and wellness. In other words, I practice and preach what I call "realistic wellness." Because cleanses are often very restrictive (hello hangry!), I unfortunately do not promote them. Let's chat about another way to meet your goals! 

Q. I want to do the keto diet to lose weight - can you help with this?

A. Unfortunately, I have to stay true to my nutrition philosophy and safe practice standards on this one. I do not typically recommend a keto diet for weight loss as in fact it can have a less than desirable effect on things like heart and gut health. It’s also something I recommend to do only for specific diagnoses such as epilepsy and only under physician monitoring to measure urine ketones to avoid ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening complication. More than all of that, it’s just not sustainable for the long term, so why put yourself through it now? Instead, I tend to take a non-diet approach to nutrition and weight loss in that I'm not recommending any of the typical fad diets we see today (i.e. Whole 30, paleo, intermittent fasting, gluten free, etc). I focus more on sustainable strategies that are realistic for the long haul with my clients who are looking to lose weight and keep it off without extreme diet restrictions and rules (after all, 95% of all restrictive diets like keto fail after 1 year and up to 60% of people experience additional weight regained!). With that being said, let’s focus on creating a plan of attack together… something that actually makes sense for you and fits in your life!


Q. Can i talk to you in between our visits?

A. For sure! I think it's really important to stay connected between visits because it's all about that accountability. With the Meantime Support options that come included with your packages, you can send me messages through your Healthie portal to check in. Do you have an upcoming event or meal out and want to review the menu with me? Do you want to send me a picture of a dinner you made? Or maybe you want to celebrate a big win. Either way, think of me as someone you can count on between your sessions. But that someone is a trained and certified food and nutrition expert right at your fingertips!


Q. Do you accept insurance?

A. Soon! I'll keep you posted. For now, I accept payment in a few ways:

  • Cash or check at the time of your visit

  • Credit or debit card (which you will put on file to book your appointments)

  • FSA or HSA (if your goals of working together are related to a diagnosed medical condition, such as heart disease or diabetes)

    • All plans are different, so please check with yours to see if my services are covered or not. Typically, you will need to submit a Letter of Medical Necessity (LMN) from your doctor with a receipt of your services to your plan administration. This has to be completed by a physician and it must outline the specific medical diagnosis and how consulting a dietitian is necessary to treat it and how long treatment will last.

Q. What photographer do you use?

A. My wonderful sister Kat Bawden is the photographer that is responsible for all of my personal portraits. Isn’t she so great?! Check her out!