Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

+ How do I know if nutrition counseling is right for me?

Our wide-range of services allow us to meet the needs of working professionals, athletes, or overwhelmed individuals looking to live a healthier lifestyle. Many individuals who have been diagnosed with a disease like diabetes or cardiovascular seek nutrition counseling to help manage their condition. If you find yourself wondering how to eat healthier or how to navigate the grocery store then nutrition counseling may be a good match.

+ Why should I choose Compass Nutrition?

As a practice we value and look at the whole person. Food is only part of the equation that makes you unique. There are other factors like physical activity, coping patterns, lifestyle and culture that effect leading a healthy lifestyle. We base our nutrition plan recommendations on your foundation as a person.

+ What is the difference between a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist?

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are food and nutrition experts. An RDN's expertise includes explaining the role of food and nutrition in your health and counseling clients that may have chronic diseases such as Diabetes, Celiac Disease and/or cardiovascular disease. RDNs have met academic and professional requirements including:

  • Completed a Didactic Program in Dietetics approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education and have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

  • Coursework includes but not limited to: biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, biochemist-ry, microbiology, general nutrition, lifecycle nutrition, clinical nutrition assessment and planning, and medical nutrition therapy.

  • Completed a dietetic residency program at an accredited, supervised dietetic residency program.

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

  • Must maintain and complete continuing professional education requirements that includes a minimum of 75 continuing education credits every 5 years.

  • How many times will I need to meet with you?

Nutrition counseling is a very individualized process. Depending on your needs, goals and/or insurance we may see you weekly, monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or yearly. On average, we see patients 3 to 4 times per year.

+ How do I schedule an appointment?

You can schedule an appointment online, or you can contact us directly.

+ Do you work with children?

Yes, we enjoy working with children. We see children starting at the age of 13 years old. All children under the age of 18 require guardian consent and supervision for nutrition services during the appointment.

+ Can I bring my spouse, family member or significant other to my appointment?

Compass Nutrition welcomes spouses, family members, or significant others to attend consultations, if the patient receiving medical nutrition therapy agrees upon it. A spouse, family member, or significant other offers a great support system, which can enhance your likeliness to succeed. Our goal is to maximize our time together to achieve the best understanding and success; therefore, we limit whom you can bring to your appointment to one other person.

+ Do I need a referral?

Some patients are referred by physicians and others come on their own. Some insurance companies require a physician referral to use the nutrition coverage on your plan. If you are using insurance you can use this Insurance Script to know exactly what is expected.

+ How do I find out if my insurance will cover my nutrition appointment?

Please call your insurance provider. The phone number is on the back of your insurance card. We know dealing with insurance companies can be confusing and frustrating therefore please use this Insurance Script as a guide to ask the appropriate questions.

+ What can I expect from my first visit?

During our first visit, your diet, medical, family and lifestyle history will be evaluated. Your visit will also include measuring your body fat percentage, water volume and blood pressure. You will leave with nutrition recommendations.

+ What should I bring to my first appointment?

Please bring copies of any lab work you have had drawn in the past 6 months and your insurance card.

+ Do you customize recommendations for each person?

Absolutely! Nutrition recommendations are based on a variety of factors that include anthropometrics, activity level, age, gender and goals. These individualized recommendations are based on the information provided by the initial visit forms and adjusted during follow-up visits.

+ Can we do our counseling sessions over the phone?

Phone appointments are available for patients who are paying out of pocket and live in New York or New Jersey. Insurance companies will not cover phone sessions, which is why an out of pocket payment is required.

+ Do you accept credit card payments?

Yes, we do! We accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa.

+ Are Weight Loss Programs tax deductible*?

In 2002, the IRS ruled that obesity is a disease. Therefore, some of the costs of obesity treatment qualify as tax-deductible medical expense. As a result individuals may pay for them with pre-tax dollars from medical flexible spending accounts and Health Care Spending Accounts.

*Please be advised that we are not qualified to give financial, tax, or accounting advice. Please contact your tax advisor to discuss any questions you may have about deducting the costs of your nutrition counselling.

+ I see a lot of nutritionists selling nutritional supplements. What should I know about these supplements?

We are a big proponent of eating well-balanced meals and reducing the need for supplements. However, there are certain situations where vitamins and minerals are needed. Since the supplement industry is not well regulated it is wise to know the research that can be found in medical or nutrition journals. Look for the USP label. It is a voluntary testing and auditing program that helps dietary manufacturers insure the quality of their products for consumers. To see a complete list of USP Verified Products.

Patient Resources


Although each person needs his/her own diet, here are some basic healthy eating tips that work for almost everyone:
• Eat more fruits and vegetables because they will fill you up before they fill you out.
• Eat whole foods (whole grains, nuts, low-fat dairy, lean meats, produce).
• Try to drink water as much as possible.

Here are two easy tofollow shopping guides to get you started: 
Compass Nutrition Shopping Guide
My Plate Planner - NYC Health

Office of Dietary Supplements(NIH)
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Compass Nutrition