How I Saw A Nutritionist for Practically Free, What I Learned & Tips for When You Go

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I find myself having a lot of conversations about food lately.  This isn’t entirely unusual, as it is one of my favorite subjects, but specifically I’ve been thinking about how confusing nutrition has become.  Between diets touting bullet-proof coffee, weight loss plans which sell processed foods, and confusing food packaging there are a lot of mixed messages when it comes to what’s best for our health.

Though I’ve always had an interest in nutrition I also have a a not so desirable habit of avoiding situations where I don’t know what to expect, so I’d never actually taken the time to visit a dietician.  Where does one find a dietician? How much does it cost? What can I expect at my visit? Curiosity got the best of me when I found out I could visit a nutritionist at MARTIN’S.

Here’s what I learned:

1. It’s not expensive. Turns out, you can see a registered dietician for almost free.  It may sound swanky to have a personal consultation with a nutritionist but really there’s no need for insurance, no need for tons of cash.  Visiting a nutritionist at MARTIN’S costs $20 for a one time consultation, but you receive a $20 gift card to MARTIN’S at your visit.  I don’t know many people who don’t need groceries, so this chalks up to a practically free visit in my book.

2. You can start with the basics. Labels confuse you? Serving sizes confusing? What’s good fat, bad fat and is there such a thing as in-between fat? You’re not alone if you’re confused by nutrition labels.  A MARTIN’S nutritionist has the advantage of being able to take you right out on the floor of the grocery store to talk labels and serving sizes of your favorite brands. No judgement coming from them, they’ll start wherever you are.

3. Good eaters can still learn something. Although I like to think I’ve got a better-than-average handle on nutrition, and I’m a pretty healthy eater, I still had holes in my diet (specifically calcium) that I didn’t think about until my nutritionist pointed them out to me.  I also learned that I should be incorporating a little more vitamin c to my morning breakfast as that helps me absorb the iron in the eggs.  I also realized I had slacked in reading nutrition labels, something I had done more diligently in the past. Even if you’re doing pretty well, a free(ish) visit with a professional might help you round out your diet a little better.

4. Good food is really pretty simple.  Somewhere down the line health seemed to get complicated. There are tons of fads out there and not just ones that raise eyebrows (like cricket flour for example).  It can feel very overwhelming.  A visit to a MARTIN’S Nutritionist won’t result in a new regimen of Cricket-Flour-Kale-Wheatgrass-Goji-Berry-Quinoa-Smoothies with a side of essential oils and gluten free, fermented sauerkraut… (sorry to disappoint). It’s not going to require you to spend a ton, or eat anything weird.  It’s good basic nutrition, small changes and healthier choices which can make a big impact on your health.

Here are a few tips for when you go:

1.  Come in with a goal.  Perhaps you hope to lose weight, have more energy, or just find out where you’re lacking and what you’re doing right. The personalized consultation is just that- personalized, a MARTIN’S nutritionist’s only agenda is to help you achieve your personal goals whatever those might be.

2. Track your eating the week before.  You don’t need to get too detailed, but keep an eye out for what you’ve been eating during the week, this will help your nutritionist get a better handle on where to start making better choices.  Same thing with any supplements you might be taking.

3. Write down a couple questions. Just like being at the doctor, you tend to forget your questions once you get there… then you find yourself during the week thinking “I should have asked about that” of course, you can schedule as many appointments as you’d like (and you’ll keep getting those gift cards) but you can make the most of your appointment if you don’t forget to ask about those specifics.

4. Don’t forget the children.  Sure, you might have a nice well rounded salad on the daily… But kids (and sometimes spouses) are notoriously picky eaters.  The MARTIN’S Nutritionists are armed with a few tricks of the trade to help you introduce new foods into their diet, they’ll help you find better alternatives to their pre-packaged favorites, tips on trying new things or meet with the kids for a kid-friendly lesson.

Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s some delicious lemon yogurt calling me…


Not ready to go it alone? Martin’s hosts classes for both kids and adults which you can learn about here.
Interested in making an appointment with a nutritionist at MARTIN’S?

Caroline Roessler, MS, RDN is in-store nutritionist for MARTIN’S in Midlothian VA call 804-794-7074 for an appointment.

Valerie Pulley, RDN is the in-store nutritionist at MARTIN’S in Short Pump on John Rolfe Parkway and Glen Allen. call 804-364-3644

Like this article? Check out these

Are Your Eating Habits a Mess? Here Are 14 Ways To Get On The Right Track

7 lessons I Learned from Going Gluten Free for One Month

Heart Health for the Whole Family


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