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  • What are your qualifications?
    I am a Registered Dietitian and I qualified in 2011 from a Dietetics and Nutrition University in Athens. Since then, I completed two postgraduate nutrition degrees, one in the University of Glasgow, and the other in Leeds Becket University. As a dietitian, it is imperative that I continue to seek learning opportunities, to ensure that the advice I offer to my clients is evidence based, which means that I am using the most recent published guidelines. To achieve this, I read scientific papers published online, I attend specialist peer dietetic group meetings, or specialist nutrition conferences, or attend nutrition webinars. I am particularly interested in using You can read more about my academic an professional experience here.
  • What is a difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?
    Registered Dietitians (RDs) are the only qualified health professionals who assess and treat dietary problems (such as high cholesterol, eating disorders, diabetes etc.) for individuals and for wider public health groups. They can help both healthy and ill people. Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals who are regulated by law and use the most up-to-date scientific research on food, health and disease which they translate into practical guidance to enable people to make appropriate lifestyle and food choices. Only those registered with the Health ad Care Professionals Council (HCPC) are able to use the term Registered Dietitian (sometimes misspelled as Dietician which is still the same!). You can check the HCPC website here to find out if someone is registered. On the other hand, nutritionists are qualified to provide information about food and healthy eating. Their title is not protected by law which means that their academic background may vary from a short course to a reputable university degree. If they meet certain educational standards, they can register with the UK Voluntary Register of Nutritionists (UKVRN), which is run by the Association for Nutrition (AfN), and then they can use the title Registered Nutritionist. This is still not the same as a Registered Dietitian; for example they cannot advise on special diets and treat medical conditions. The British Dietetic Association has a brilliant summary which you can read over on their website.
  • What happens during the first appointment?
    The initial session is an opportunity for your Dietitian to get to know you and best understand your dietary history, current challenges and nutrition goals. You will have already completed a short questionnaire before the session, which can help your dietitian prepare for the session, or collate resources relevant to your needs. The questions you may be asked initially include ‘why are you interested in seeking dietetic advice’ and ‘your expectations of working together’. You will be asked questions about your medical history (for example, any clinical conditions, recent blood tests, physical symptoms etc), weight history, eating behaviours, dietary intake, daily activities and lifestyle. At the end of the consultation your Dietitian will provide recommendations and a treatment plan that would best work for you, which is the beauty of a person-centered approach.
  • What happens during the follow-up consultations?
    While the first appointment is more focused on information gathering and goal setting, during the follow up sessions we focus on reviewing your progress and supporting you with problem solving any challenges that may arise. Depending on your individual nutrition related goals, the sessions may include psychoeducation, common myth busting, food diary review, meal planning and building a toolbox of strategies to help you work towards your goals. If you are dealing with an eating disorder or disordered eating, this may also include behavioural experiments, challenging feared foods or supporting you with gradual weight restoration. Some clients will benefit from monitoring their food intake; this could be done on paper, on your phone, or using a food record app like Recovery Record, or Nourishly. With the exemption of specific clinical conditions where you may be asked to temporarily measure foods or check labels (for example food intolerances, or managing glucose levels for type 2 diabetes, managing lipid levels), Penny’s approach is focusing on helping people improve their relationship with food without using calorie or nutrient tracking. You will be supported to learn how to build balanced meals and snacks and achieve your nutrition long term.
  • Will I receive a meal plan?
    There are a lot of benefits in devising a meal plan guide or template, and some examples are listed below: Recovering from a low weight eating disorder and needing support for weight restoration. Recovering from bulimia nervosa or a binge eating disorder and needing practical, individualised examples, in order to meet your basic energy needs, regulate cravings, and blood glucose fluctuations. Transitioning from a restrictive diet or unstructured eating pattern, and needing practical examples on how to achieve a regular and adequate eating pattern including meals and snacks. Feeling uncertain about how to translate the nutrition guidance in practice, for example, how to spread your daily requirements in meals and snacks, and feeling more energetic. You are currently low in mood, low in energy, not able to enjoy perform well in sports, or other work/social physical activities, and need advice on how to best time your meals and snacks around your daily schedule. Training for a specific sports or event, such as a marathon, or hockey/netball, and needing guidance on how to fuel your body before exercise, how to recover after the training sessions. Transitioning from being at school and living with your family to being a student, or moving to another city, where you need to plan your meals more independently. A meal plan template can help you visualise how to spread your food intake with simple ingredients, quick meal prep, and/or under a certain budget. And many more reasons to think about! However, not everyone will benefit from a meal plan. You may need more practical ideas, for example list of recipes, meals combinations, snacks, or website references with good recipe collections. At the end of the day, receiving dietetic support will empower you with great tools to eventually plan your daily and weekly meals more independently, in a stress-free, time and cost effective way.
  • How long do I need to see you for in order to see an improvement?
    This really depends on what are the reasons you need to see a dietitian. If you were attending with a specific health concern in mind, such as high blood pressure, or optimal diet for type 2 diabetes, it may be easier to define length of treatment after the first assessment. Some people may need 1-3 sessions if they simply need evidenced based advice and tips that will help them improve their health and wellbeing. However, depending on what are your baseline food and lifestyle habits, you may need a slightly longer intervention to find solutions to potential barriers that come up, and a dietitian can be an great source of support for achieving long lasting changes. When someone is seeking support for disordered eating or an eating disorder, treatment may last longer, and it is generally recommended to completed at least 6 sessions before we review progress so far and re-assess goals. The treatment duration is very individualised, and it is important to give yourself permission to take things at your own pace. Finally, as you are working with your dietitian, you may discover other areas of your relationship with food that you want to improve, or your motivation level shifts and you are looking to include more changes within your recovery process.
  • Are the sessions confidential?
    Your booked sessions with your dietitian are a safe space, a protected time dedicated to exploring your relationship with food, and to support you through behavioural changes. What you share within the session is strictly confidential and will not be shared with anyone else. The only exceptions to this are: a) If your GP needs to be involved in the treatment process, for example arranging a blood test, or referring on another specialist service. You will be asked for your consent for any information to be shared, and especially for a letter to the GP, you will be shown a draft copy before this is shared. If during your session, it is identified that your life and safety is at risk or other people’s safety is at risk, then another professional may be contacted for ensuring the safety of you and others.
  • Are the sessions face to face or online?
    Good news, you have both options available! You can see Penny face to face by booking a session between 12 and 5pm every Thursday at the Studio 70, which is in the South Side of Glasgow. Get directions here. Alternatively, Penny is available Mondays, Thursdays and some Saturday mornings for virtual consultations via zoom. Check availability for sessions here. Some clients choose a mix of face to face and virtual sessions, in order to effectively manage their time around work, studying, childcare, or other day to day activities.
  • What is your cancellation and rescheduling policy?
    We understand life can get busy and that last minute responsibilities can crop up; we appreciate as much notice as you can provide us, so we can make this spot available to the next person waiting. If you need to reschedule or cancel, please email as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can text Penny at 0771540537 on a Monday to Friday between 9-5pm. A minimum of 24 hours notice is required to avoid fees and allows us the opportunity to fill the spot from our waitlist for another person who is waiting for assistance, just like you. Cancellation or reschedule requests made with 24 hours notice or less, including no-shows, will incur 100% of your scheduled consultation fee being charged. Nobody likes cancellation fees, including us! Please make contact as soon as you know you won’t be able to attend so we can avoid unnecessary fees and ensure other clients waiting can be seen too.
  • How much does the session cost?
    The initial consultation is £90 (60min), a follow up consultation is £70 (50min) or £50 (30min). You have the option to book in a session package of 1 initial session and two short follow ups with a 10% discount. Keep an eye on the website, as bundles and offers occasionally become available; your dietitian will let you know of any current offer if you are about to book a session as a new customer.
  • What does the cost of a consultation cover?
    The cost of a consultation covers a lot more than the time you have with your dietitian. It covers the preparation and planning before each session, resources and documentation after the session, liaising with other members of your healthcare team, research and more! All of these things take time and at the end of the day, it means that you are getting the best support available.
  • Do you offer in between session support?
    In general, most of your questions will be covered during the appointment, and this can ensure that we discuss this in detail. For any small questions, you can email in between sessions, and Penny will normally get back to you within 1-3 working days. Please keep in mind that this is not an emergency service, so do not use this service for urgent medical attention. If you feel you require more regular in between session support, you may benefit from a package that includes app coaching. This may be beneficial for building up your confidence around portioning foods in the initial stages of improving your relationship with food, or ensuring accountability when you are setting nutrition goals that you may find scary or challenging (for example including breakfast, or adding carbohydrates with your lunch, or challenging a fear food with your snack twice per week). Your dietitian can look through your food logs, thought records, and support with commenting on certain entries, in between your 1-2-1 sessions. You can discuss this option during your individual dietetic sessions.
  • What if I am not sure about making changes?
    First of all, thinking about meeting a dietitian is already a big step and well done for that! This is already placing you into the contemplation stage of change, and many clients start their health journey even if they are still unsure about implementing changes. The benefit of including a health professional into the decision-making process, is that they can provide evidence-based information and education about your condition and all this can help you make a decision. A dietetic session may also support you ‘putting the dots together’; for example, identifying how making certain dietary changes could help with your diagnosis of diabetes but also help you sleep better at night, and perform better at work! Or discovering that problems that you consider separate from one another are actually interlinked and are triggered by the same sources. Even if you complete a few sessions focusing on information gathering, or listing pros and cons to make the change, all this can still subconsciously and slowly lead to behavioural changes, when you feel ready to take action. Read more about the cycle of change here. In addition to this, you may feel quite scared about taking all these uncalculated risks on your own. Meeting with a dietitian and building a solid therapeutic relationship may help you realise that you take small but consistent steps towards health improvements, as you will have regular support to guide you every step of the way.
  • What age groups do you work with?
    Penny has several years of experience working with adults and young people aged from 12 years old and above. If you are under 18 years old, your parents or carers will be involved in part of the dietetic sessions, depending on the reasons for seeking dietetic support. As long as it is clinically safe, young people are still entitled to a confidential time with their dietitian, without the carers’ presence.
  • Still have questions?
    Feel free to book in a FREE discovery call or zoom meeting with Penny, who can answer all of your questions, or simply to see if you would be a good fit! Click here to book now.
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