FAQs About Elite Nutrition and Performance

What is a Registered Dietitian?

Registered dietitian nutritionists — RDNs — are the food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. RDNs use their nutrition expertise to help individuals make unique, positive lifestyle changes. RDNs are advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are individuals who have

  • completed the minimum of a Baccalaureate degree granted by a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, or foreign equivalent;
  • met current minimum academic requirements (Didactic Program in Dietetics) as approved by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics;
  • completed a supervised practice program accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics;
  • successfully completed the Registration Examination for Dietitians;
  • complete at least 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years
  • obtained licensure in each state to practice
What is a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics?

A Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, or CSSD, is a registered dietitian who has specialized experience in sports dietetics. Being Board Certified as a Specialist in Sports Dietetics designates specific knowledge, skills, and expertise for competency in sports dietetics practice.

Sports Dietitians are experienced registered dietitians who apply evidence-based nutrition knowledge in exercise and sports. They assess, educate, and counsel athletes and active individuals. They design, implement, and manage safe and effective nutrition strategies that enhance lifelong health, fitness, and optimal performance.

Minimum requirements for the CSSD specialty certification are established and approved by the Commission on Dietetic Registration. In order to be eligible to become a Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Current Registered Dietitian (RD) status by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  • Maintenance of the RD status, for a minimum of two years from the original examination date (by the date of the specialty examination).
  • Initial Certification: Documentation of 1,500 hours of specialty practice experience as an RD within the past five years (by the date the application is due).
  • Recertification: Documentation of 1,000 hours of specialty practice experience as an RD within the past five years by the date the application is due
Why should I see a dietitian/nutritionist? Can’t I just see my doctor?

Registered dietitians nutritionists are the food and nutrition experts. Unfortunately, medical doctors are not required to take any nutrition courses as part of their training. Few if any doctors even take a single nutrition course. Now that is not to say that your doctor doesn’t know anything about food and nutrition. However, this is just simply not their area of expertise. You wouldn’t see a mechanic when you are sick…you would see a doctor that specializes in what you need help with!

What’s the difference between you and the personal trainer & nutritionist at my local gym?

Personal trainers are NOT dietitians or nutritionists. In the past year the Commission on Dietetic Registration has adopted the term “nutritionist” in addition to registered dietitian. That means legally no person can refer to himself or herself as a “nutritionist” without having met the requirements for becoming a registered dietitian. If you are unsure if someone is in fact a dietitian, you can perform a search here. Personal trainers are not legally permitted to give out nutrition information (above what is common knowledge), meal plans or perform medical nutrition therapy (nutrition advice for medical conditions). Personal trainers must adhere to a scope of practice; just like any other profession. This scope of practice allows them to give out exercise advice but not nutrition advice beyond common knowledge. A good example is a trainer is allowed to tell their client “fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals” but not “you need to eat no more than 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables per day.” Personal trainers can be a great asset in making healthy changes but should not be giving out individualized diet advice.

What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?

Due to recent changes they are now synonymous. In years past, the term nutritionist had little value because anyone could call himself or herself a nutritionist. In fact, your dog could be a nutritionist! This actually happened…an online nutrition certification program actually grated a person’s pet a nutritionist certification! This happened because educational, work and board exam requirements were not required! Be careful whom you work with. If you are not sure if someone is a dietitian, check here.

Do you accept my insurance?

We do not file with health insurance. However, we will provide a superbill with the medical coding on it upon request. You may also pay with a health spending account, flexible spending account or health savings account.

Can I pay with my Heath Spending/Savings Account (HSA) or Flexible Spending Account?


Do I need a referral from my doctor?


What ages of clients do you typically work with?

Generally 10-70 years old. However, this is a case-by-case basis.

Do I have to sign up for a program? Can’t I just meet with you for a single session?

No. We offer one-time sessions if you are not ready to commit to a longer program. However, this is generally not recommended since years of behaviors are generally not undone in one day. We will discuss your options with you during your FREE No Obligation Consultation and provide you with our recommendation. Sometimes a single session is recommended, it just depends on your goals and specific situation.

I have a lot of medical conditions and problems I need help with. Can you help me?

Of course, that’s what dietitians are for! We generally work with clients with the following conditions: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol/hyperlipidemia, gluten intolerance/Celiac disease, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), eating disorders and disordered eating, vitamin and mineral deficiencies (i.e. iron), obesity, PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome). If you do not see your specific condition listed it doesn’t mean we don’t work with you. Please contact us to find out.

I’m not an athlete at all. In fact, I’ve never worked out a day in my life! Can you help me?

Yes! We believe everyone is and has the potential to be an elite athlete; even if that is not your immediate goal! We work with individuals from just getting started to all-star athletes. Your first step is to set up a FREE No Obligation Consultation so we can meet and find out if we are a good fit for you. We will then map out a plan to help you reach your goals; whatever they may be!

I am interested in having someone speak to my team/organization. Do you do that?

Yes, please check out our Speaking and Events page for more information or call us at 803-200-2506.

I really need some help with my diet but I can’t afford to work with anyone right now. Are there any options for me?

Yes! We have an online store that we are continually adding to. We offer webinars, cookbooks, guides, and online programs for a very small fee. In addition, we regularly post free nutrition advice, exercises, and workouts. Sign up for our newsletter to get them delivered right to your inbox and “Like” us on Facebook!

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