1) What health issues and conditions can nutrition play a role in?
Ellipse Health Dietitians can formulate personalised nutritional interventions targeted at improving management of a wide range of health conditions, including but not limited to:
overweight and obesity
hypertension (high blood pressure)
dyslipidaemia (high triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol)
insulin resistance and the Metabolic Syndrome
diabetes (type 1, type 2, pre-diabetes and gestational diabetes)
polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron, B12, vitamin D)
osteopaenia or osteoporosis (low bone mineral density)
sarcopaenia (muscle wasting)
inflammatory bowel diseases (e.g., Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, Coeliac disease)
irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
food intolerances and sensitivities
chronic pain (e.g., migraines, arthritis)
anxiety and depression
Other non-specific health issues that we have had success in improving with diet include:
low energy or fatigue
poor exercise recovery
dizziness on standing
poor sleep and restless legs
weight loss resistance
skin issues (dryness, acne, poor wound healing)
dry and brittle nails
body aches and pains
2) How many diet sessions will I need to achieve my goals?
Because everyone is so unique, we can't say exactly how many sessions you will need to achieve your individual health goals. However, we generally recommend patients expect to schedule in 4-6 review consultations over the course of 6 months after the initial consult. The review consultations are where we get the opportunity to really dive into the “how to” of your diet and supplement interventions, and give you the structure, strategies, advice and resources you need to address all your nutritional priorities and reach your goals. You can read more about what to expect during the initial consult here (click on the initial consult service).
3) What process do you follow in your consultations?
As dietitians, we practice something called Medical Nutrition Therapy. This process allows us to assess our patients in a comprehensive way that leads us to identifying their top 4-8 nutritional priorities. These nutritional priorities are the main diet-related "barriers" or problems preventing the individual from reaching their health goals. We then develop personalised diet, supplement and educational interventions that are targeted at addressing these nutritional priorities. As you may expect, these nutritional priorities will differ from person to person - and the strategies to address these priorities also differ from person to person. Ellipse Health Dietitians put a lot of emphasis on personalised nutrition.
4) Will I receive everything I need upfront after the initial consult?
Because of the comprehensive and individualised approach that we take, there is absolutely no way that we can give every single piece of information needed to help you reach your goals upfront. The review consultations are where we really get into the nitty gritty of things and help you start to unpack and address your nutritional priorities. We generally recommend that you book in 4-6 review consultations over about 6 months so that we can deliver the appropriate education, advice, strategies and resources that are necessary for you to begin seeing progress in your outcomes. We also need multiple review sessions with you to understand whether the previous strategies we provided are effective and/or whether your nutritional priorities have changed.
5) What do I do if I am struggling and feel like I need more support?
The beauty of working with an Ellipse Health Dietitian is that the process is patient-led. So, if you feel that you need more structure or specific advice, you can simply just let us know and we can tailor our approach to best suit you. For example, if you feel that you would benefit from a meal plan, all you need to do is ask and we can develop one for you. Otherwise, if you need more strategies for what you can buy at the shops, for example - that’s fine - we can do that for you too! However, please understand that we cannot work tirelessly between consults to give you everything you need. There may be additional costs associated with your requests, and we will discuss these with you if relevant. In general, the best thing you can if you are struggling and need more support is to book in a review consultation with your dietitian so that you can let us know exactly what you need. This gives us dedicate time (either 30, 45 or 60 minutes) to hear out what has and hasn't been working for you, and provide you with more structure, advice and support to help ensure you are moving in the right direction. As with any lifestyle change, we cannot expect to reach our goals overnight. Review consultations are important for reviewing and tweaking your dietary approach.
6) What are some good resources I can refer to between consults with my dietitian?
We have a blog which has some great articles for you to read. We also have a library of videos and recipes that you may find useful. Another great resource is our automated Food Freedom Program - which is particularly useful for those who are looking for a long-term sustainable solution to their diet in that they are committed to improving their relationship with food. This is such an important aspect of dietary change that is relevant for weight loss, disordered eating, digestive issues, inflammatory conditions, diabetes, autoimmunity, and much more. There may be some overlap in the information you receive in this program and with your Ellipse Health Dietitian - but that's okay, because sometimes we need a reminder for what to do and why to do it. This helps us form sustainable habits as we better understand why and what we are doing. You can move through the Food Freedom program at your own pace and you can go through it multiple times if you wish. You may also wish to follow our team on instagram and see what useful tips they are posting there.
7) Do you see children (under 16 yo)?
Generally, no. However, in special circumstances, we may agree to assist you (as the parents) in improving your own nutrition- and health-related knowledge so that you can feel more confident about managing your child's nutrition and health.
8) Why are your prices more expensive than a standard dietitian based at a medical practice?
Our pricing structure is carefully developed and regularly reviewed to reflect the value we provide in our premium nutrition and dietetic services offered to all new and existing Ellipse Health clients. Ellipse Health dietitians do a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure you are receiving the highest quality care possible. Our services are based on the latest scientific evidence, and we regularly update our methods and educational resources to reflect the ever-growing field of nutritional research. Jessica Turton, Ellipse Health's lead dietitian, was an invited speaker at the American Diabetes Association 2020 Conference and spoke to an international audience of academics and healthcare practitioners on the role of low-carbohydrates diets and nutritional ketosis in obesity and diabetes. Jessica and her team of dietitians here at Ellipse Health are at the forefront of translating the most rigorous aspects of nutritional science into effective clinical practice. We have great confidence in the efficacy of our services and have no doubt they you will leave each session feeling motivated, confident and empowered to continue moving forward toward your health goals. If you are experiencing financial hardship and would like to be considered for discounted sessions, please email email@example.com to explain your situation and we will do our best to accomodate you.
9) Can I claim a rebate from Medicare or my Private Health Fund?
Yes, as we are Accredited Practising Dietitians (APDs), we are recognised by both Medicare and Private Health Insurers in Australia. However, you need to meet certain eligibility requirements to be able to claim a Medicare rebate. If you have been given a Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP or TCA) by your GP, then you will be eligible for a rebate of ~$55 for up to five sessions with a dietitian. If you are not sure about whether you have a CDMP in place or are eligible to have one, please consult with your GP. If you have private health insurance, please check with your insurer to see if you are covered for nutrition and dietetics. In any case, you will need to pay for your appointment with Ellipse Health in full and then claim your rebate from Medicare or your private health fund using the itemised receipt we provide to you.
10) What is your core nutrition philosophy?
Our core philosophy when it comes to diet and nutrition is to go back to basics. Our society has overcomplicated nutrition to the point where no one truly knows what they should or shouldn’t be eating. The fundamental reason that we eat food is to get energy, proteins, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. Our individual requirements for energy and nutrients vary depending on our stage of life, activity levels, stress, medical conditions, medications, and many other factors. We teach our patients this foundational knowledge of human nutrition and metabolism to help them create their own unique dietary plan. We encourage them to eat more of the foods that contain the energy and nutrients they need, and less of the foods that don’t. We also teach them how to understand what their body's signals mean and how to interpret their own blood tests. These skills enable them to monitor, evaluate, and adjust their unique dietary plan throughout the different stages of life. These basic principles of nutrition can be applied to everyone, no matter how simple or complex an individual’s circumstances.
11) Do you follow a specific framework or template when developing your dietary plans?
The framework we use in our practice for developing dietary plans is as follows:
#1 Prioritise quality proteins including animal-based protein foods that are high in essential micronutrients
#2 Fuel with fats from natural sources to meet your energy demands, including a combination of dietary fat and stored body fat
#3 Control carbohydrates according to individual tolerance, preference, and energy requirements
#4 Eat mostly whole/minimally-processed foods and minimise your intake of ultra processed foods
12) Why do you always talk so much about the importance of protein?
Protein is not just important, it is an essential component of our diets. Proteins are the building blocks of our body and form our muscles, connective tissue, bones, hair, skin, nails, digestive enzymes, hormones, immune cells, and more! Protein foods are also highly satiating and help to prevent hunger, cravings, and low energy. This is why we teach our patients to prioritise protein with every meal. In addition, animal-based protein foods are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The inclusion of foods such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy help us to meet our fundamental nutrient requirements for essential micronutrients such as iron, vitamin B12, zinc, omega-3 fats, calcium and so much more. Most people coming to our practice have at least one nutrient deficiency. This means that their diet is not meeting their fundamental nutritional requirements. Nutrient deficiencies can lead to or exacerbate a whole host of health issues including low energy or fatigue, headaches or migraines, brain fog, weight loss resistance, anxiety, depressed mood, poor sleep, skin issues, hair loss, body aches and pains, and poor exercise recovery. In severe cases, nutrient deficiencies can also contribute to chronic diseases such as osteoporosis (brittle bones), sarcopenia (muscle wasting), gum disease, autoimmune conditions, neurological disorders, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
13) Do you use diet labels in your practice (e.g., Vegan, Paleo, Mediterranean, Keto, low FODMAP, etc.)?
The way we work in our clinic is highly individualised such that we perform thorough assessments on every single patient and work in collaboration with them to develop diet and supplement protocols that are going to be effective for their specific health goals. We don’t like to focus on diet labels or apply a one-size-fits-all approach to every patient. Our goal is to support our patients in achieving a nutritionally adequate diet that they enjoy and want to sustain longterm - one that helps them achieve resolution of their symptoms while minimising their risk/improving their management of chronic disease. We focus on dietary plans that provide patients with their essential nutrients that humans need to survive and thrive - these are essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. So long as our patients are meeting their individual nutritional requirements, they feel good, their clinical outcomes are optimised, and they are enjoying what they are doing - then we are happy - and so are they!
14) My doctor wants me to follow a low-carbohydrate diet, can you help with this?
We can assist you in meeting your health and nutritional goals no matter what dietary approach you are following or wish to follow. When it comes to low-carbohydrate nutrition, Ellipse Health Dietitians are highly experienced and knowledgeable. Lead dietitian and founder, Jessica Turton, is completing her PhD investigating the efficacy of low-carbohydrate diets for diabetes management. Jessica authored a scientific paper in the journal of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (DOM) titled 'An evidence-based approach to developing low-carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes: a systematic review". Jessica has presented at many Low Carb Down Under conferences and her videos are here. She also co-authored an eBook called Getting Started with Low-Carb. The Ellipse Health team are considered experts in the field of low-carbohydrate nutrition.