Frequently Asked Questions
Please review the frequently asked questions below. If you don’t find the answers to your questions, feel free to contact us via email or set up a FREE phone consultation.
Scheduling & Visits
How Do I Get Started?
There are two ways to get started and you may start with either option:.
1. Complimentary Consultation Call: In this INTRO call, we discuss your health struggles, difficulties and goals. Then Julie will share our philosophy and structure for how we can best help you achieve your goals. This is an opportunity to see if we are a good fit. There is no “One-Size-Fits-All” program because every person is unique and this will help us determine the best course of action for you. We will dive into the specifics of your condition in the Intake Case Analysis.
2. Full Functional Nutrition Intake Case Analysis: See the FAQ for “What Can I Expect in the Initial Intake Case Analysis” for a summary regarding this important 90-minute session.
What is Your Cancellation Policy?
There is a 24-hour cancellation policy for all appointments with Fortitude Functional Nutrition.
Failure to provide 24-hours notice when changing or canceling appointment times, along with missed appointments, will result in being charged as follows:
– At least 24‐hour notice cancellation = No charge
– Less than 24‐hour notice cancellation = 50% of appointment cost
– Missed appointment (no show) including phone and virtual = Full cost of appointment
There is no guarantee of immediate re-booking. Rescheduling your appointment will be dependent upon availability.
Do You Offer Phone & Virtual Appointments?
Yes! In fact, Julie has worked virtually with clients all over the world and it is becoming a more common approach to providing care and support. Many clients find it more convenient, as their time becomes filled with more commitments. Our virtual service is HIPAA compliant than can be done from the comfort of your home…
Some advantages of working together remotely:
- As a client you are able to connect with a higher qualified practitioner that may not be in your area.
- Most functional labs kits that can be delivered to your doorstep and performed at home.
- Appointment times are more flexible.
- You can continue getting support even while traveling, one of the biggest reasons that clients regress in their protocols.
- You do not lose the relationship you have built, even if you or your practitioner moves to a different location.
- Since you don’t have to travel, it saves you time, gas, hotel, and eating out expenses. This is especially important for people who live in more remote areas or are just not feeling well enough to travel.
What Can I Expect in the Initial Intake Case Analysis?
Prior to the appointment, you’ll complete a comprehensive online questionnaire and register in our private portal where you can send us copies of completed labs. This should be completed at least 24 hours prior, which allows Julie to be prepared for you when you arrive. This important 90-minute session is an in-depth exploration to understand your entire story, health history and the factors leading up to your current health condition. We analyze your patterns, correlations and triggers which may range from specific foods, habits and environmental exposures. Then we start to identify insufficiencies, imbalances and altered physiological signs. A personalized roadmap with initial action steps will be created for you to get you on the right path. Tailored short-term and long-term goals will be initially established to build on with your follow-up sessions.
How Many Appointments Can I Expect?
The number of appointments an individual requires is different for everyone. Follow-up is crucial for success as the path to great health is never a straight line. We need to gather and incorporate new information, monitor for progress, and make adjustments to your plan to make sure you continue moving in the right direction. This also depends on your goals and your body – the complexities of imbalances and how quickly your body responds. Some clients feel better in a few sessions, for others it takes months or years.
Remember that your health challenges likely took years to develop, so unraveling and healing old problems can take time. Appointments also provide you support, guidance, education, coaching and accountability that is essential for making significant and lasting changes. Because of the dynamic aspect of functional nutrition, the number of appointments cannot always be predicted until after at least the initial visit. For this reason, Fortitude Functional Nutrition offers value packages to support you for months at a time.
What Results Can I Expect?
Results will vary, but results are seen by ALL clients that comply with recommendations that are suggested in making the necessary nutrition and lifestyle changes.
How Long Does the Process Take To Get Better ?
There are many factors involved in determining how long it will take for an individual to obtain optimal health, such as your level of participation and commitment, your individual health issues, and your current state of vitality. It’s important to understand that it’s not reasonable to expect to undo decades of damage in just a few weeks. We do not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach, because we’re all unique individuals with different histories, abilities, lifestyles, and needs. This means the healing process will be as unique as you and we like to allow it to unfold naturally as your body permits. No matter how long it takes, we are here to support you throughout your journey.
Email, Phone & Texting Etiquette
Once we are working together one-on-one you will be set up with a HIPAA compliant and secure private portal for necessary communication.
- Check-In Call Phone Meetings: In addition to regular appointments, we offer convenient, 15-minute increments. If you are embarking on a new way of eating, these calls are important to have every few weeks.
- Email Consulting: If you prefer email instead, we offer Q&A via email. This encompasses time in reading and responding to messages. Therefore, if an email question or request is deemed to be too complicated or involved for a response via email, the client be asked to schedule a phone, virtual or in-person visit, instead of responding via email.
- Texting: While we appreciate seamless communication with clients, we prefer to use the private portal, email and the phone over text messaging unless it’s an emergency.
Can We Continue Working Together When the Program is Over?
Yes! While we endeavor to provide you with everything you need to become liberated from the “symptom-management” system. Many clients come to realize that a healthy mind, body, and spirit is priceless, and as such they find comfort and value in continuing with our ongoing support. Whether you choose to adopt a proactive approach to maintain your health, or if you require additional support after your program is complete, we make it easy and affordable for you with a few options. Our goal is to provide the right amount of support to facilitate your goals.
Billing & Insurance
Health Insurance Options
The cost of any services provided by Fortitude Functional Nutrition will be billed to you directly.
To be recognized by health insurance companies as a healthcare provider, an individual must have a National Provider Identification (NPI) number, which Julie Olson obtained with her credentials. However, we do not accept insurance or directly bill health insurance. But, your medical insurance may provide you a partial reimbursement for our services, especially if a doctor writes a medical necessity referral. If nutrition services were prescribed by your doctor, you may be able to use your FSA or HSA card for services; check with your provider.
Food and lifestyle recommendations have the power to change your health outcomes. You need to ask yourself, “Am I Worth the Investment?” If requested, we can provide a billing statement for nutrition consulting services that includes your diagnosis code(s) from medical doctors or other licensed providers. You can submit this statement to your insurer for possible or partial reimbursement. We cannot assist you with claim resolution for our services. Our services are out-of-pocket expenses due in full or via payment plans.
What About Lab Testing?
- Some lab tests ordered by Fortitude Functional Nutrition can be billed directly to your health insurance.
- Some lab tests we offer as part of our functional nutrition testing program may not be covered by insurance and in these cases you will be charged a fee for a particular test by the lab or through Fortitude Functional Nutrition.
- The specific tests ordered will be personalized to you based on your initial intake evaluation and may include blood, saliva, urine, or stool testing.
- We will make every effort to make you fully aware of any additional lab fees that may be incurred and to give you the opportunity to choose which lab tests you feel comfortable paying for.
- You are under no obligation to purchase any specialty testing.
- Should any lab results indicate you may need further testing, you will be directed to continue your care with your primary care physician or a relevant specialist, or should you choose you may continue to work with Fortitude Functional Nutrition.
- At home test kits: these kits come with its own pre-paid mailer, which you drop off at the appropriate carrier or call for pick-up at your home.
- If your particular insurance company only pays for blood work done at a particular lab facility like LabCorp or Kaiser, you must inform us of this in advance of having blood work done. Most insurance plans cover labs done by major national labs – however, Fortitude Functional Nutrition often uses labs because of their favorable pricing policies for clients including Vibrant America and Meridian Laboratories.
What Are Your Fees?
See Programs & Services.
What Forms of Payment do You Accept?
We accept cash, check, Venmo, Paypal and all major credit cards. Payment in full is expected at time of visit unless you have opted for a payment plan.
What About Prescriptions from My Doctor?
Foremost, Julie Olson is not a medical doctor, nor does she claim to diagnose, nor treat diseases. Julie at Fortitude Functional Nutrition cannot prescribe or give any advice regarding prescription medications. We can counsel you about food, nutrition, and any other lifestyle components that contribute to your health and well-being. We can communicate with your physician about alternative approaches to decrease and perhaps ultimately replace your prescriptions, but it will be at your doctor’s discretion.
Is Lab Testing Necessary for your Program?
Labs are a vital part of the process in uncovering hidden malfunctions, discovering healing opportunities, and getting to the root cause of your health issues. Without the data and information that labs provide us, we would be doing some guess work. Therefore, we highly encourage lab testing.
How Much do Labs Cost?
We will determine which lab test(s) will be necessary during our Initial Intake Case Analysis appointment which will depend upon the information discussed at that time. On average, you can expect to spend between $250-1000 for initial testing. In some cases, follow-up testing may be advisable to monitor. Regardless of how much you pay in lab fees, we’ve made every effort to ensure that you’re receiving direct-lab wholesale pricing.
Do You Offer a Family Discount?
Yes! We offer a 5% discount for each immediate family member (spouse and children).
General & Nutrition
What Can Julie do for You as a Functional Nutritionist?
As a functional nutrition practitioner, Julie spends more time with clients, listening to their histories, struggles and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle choices, including food, exercise, stress management and emotional well-being.
On a deeper level, functional nutrition determines how the biochemistry of the body interacts with nutrients, hormones, and vitamins, identifying deficiencies and surpluses, as well as addressing chemical processes in the body that may be defective or under/over-functioning.
Functional nutrition is highly personalized. It identifies specific factors that are contributing to a given collection of symptoms. As we dig deeper, functional nutrition has testing to identify issues unique to the individual client. The human body is an extraordinarily complex system. By addressing it with functional nutrition, we are essentially putting the body in a place where it can now help repair itself.
What Does It Mean to be “Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition® (BCHN)”?
Holistic Nutrition Professionals’ Distinguishing Features:
What are Your Areas of Expertise?
Fortitude Functional Nutrition specializes in gut health because good health starts in the gut. This is where the majority of imbalances begin including food allergies, sensitivities and intolerances; gluten sensitivity and celiac; autoimmune; metabolic (pre-diabetes and diabetes); weight loss and weight gain; skin issues; detoxification; nutrient deficiencies; and chronic fatigue. We refer clients needing specialized help in prenatal nutrition, Lyme disease, oncology, and advanced geriatric concerns to trusted experts who specialize in these areas.
What’s the Difference Between Functional Nutrition vs. Conventional Nutrition (traditional dietetics/dietitians)?
To understand the differences, let’s review a case study:
We have a 35-year-old, overweight female with irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety,
reflux, and excess belly fat. Her goal is to lose weight and improve digestion. Below,
we have summarized the key differences in her experience working with the average
conventional nutritionist (or registered dietitian RD) and a functional nutritionist:
Conventional Nutrition Recommendations:
- Develop a plan or give a generic diet sheet, based on symptoms: Start on a lowfat, low-calorie diet. Count calories – emphasis is on quantity.
- Eat less meat, sugar, fat and sodium. Eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes, fat free dairy and grains. Some processed/fortified foods may be recommended to achieve vitamins and mineral recommendations.
- Increase exercise to burn 500 extra calories per day.
Functional Nutrition Recommendations:
Before creating a plan, the functional nutritionist digs deeper to find “what is causing these symptoms?”
- Are there food sensitivities, intolerances or allergies, environmental toxins, nutrient deficiencies or imbalances in the timing and pairing of foods?
- Does this person have insulin resistance, gut dysbiosis, difficulties detoxifying, depressed thyroid function, high cortisol levels and adrenal stress?
- What are their sleep patterns and is there a negative relationship with food covering up deeper emotional issues?
- Further evaluate lifestyle and health history for clues of root causes
Functional Nutritionist recommendations include:
- Develop a nutrition and lifestyle plan based on what is causing the imbalance, NOT based on the symptoms alone. Every client’s plan will be different with emphasis on quality.
- a. Address relationship to food
- b. Discuss lifestyle factors that are influencing health – such as exercise, stress, quality of sleep, personal and work relationships and more.
- Recommend functional medicine testing to understand what is going on at the cellular and genetic level (see resources tab for full list of tests).
- Suggest targeted supplements based on medical history and test results.
- Re-evaluate and adjust the plan based on new information and test results.
- Continue monitoring and adjusting the plan, based on the client’s response.
Why Are You Not a Registered Dietitian (RD)?
During Julie’s schooling, she took some classes in the registered dietitian (RD) program and attended some of the American Dietetic Association meetings (now called Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics). Much of dietetics training is based on government guidelines, is outdated, and Julie disagrees with their overall philosophy. Nor was she impressed that McDonalds sponsored their meetings that she attended. Because of Julie’s personal choice and commitment to her belief system, she will never become a Registered Dietitian.
What Types of Clients do you Work With?
Many of my clients have seen numerous other conventional practitioners without any success and seek me out as a functional medicine and nutrition practitioner. Clients have told me they picked my practice because it’s not as expensive or based on a monthly membership fee like many others. It’s interesting how many of my clients come in with a long list of foods tested as being intolerant from another practitioner and they are so frustrated about what to eat nor understand why they tested as intolerant to so many healthy foods.
What is the Functional Nutrition Partnership?
It engages both the client and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. Working with a nutritionist who is trained in functional medicine & nutrition requires the client to be more involved with their healthcare process. While we provide the recommendations and tools to make changes for optimal health, you take the responsibility to modify your habits. You are in the driver’s seat, while we help to navigate. Think of Fortitude Functional Nutrition as your blueprint or GPS or map (for those who travel old school).
Are We a Good Match if I Know Alot About Nutrition and Don’t Want to Start at the Beginning?
Coming to Fortitude Functional Nutrition with the majority of the “puzzle pieces” already figured out is a fabulous place to be. We will take you from intermediate to advance by linking up the RIGHT pieces and helping you simplify + streamline your daily protocol. We’ll also embellish what you already know by bringing to the table a fresh perspective on how to tweak and refine what you are already doing well.
How Are Supplements (Nutraceuticals) Selected?
These are Fortitude Functional Nutrition’s guidelines when discerning the quality of supplements:
- Is the manufacturing GMP-Certified (Good Manufacturing Practices)
- Are products certified according to industry standards according to one or more of the following:
- 1. NPA (National Products Association)
- 2. NNFA (Nutritional Foods Association)
- 3. NSF (National Sanitary Foundation)
- 4. FDA Dietary Supplement GMP
- Does the company perform safety reviews and safety studies?
- Do double-blind, placebo-controlled trials on humans exist?
- Is there human efficacy data?
- Are the protein powders FDA-approved medical foods or functional foods?
- Do credentialed nutritionists or functional medicine practitioners sell the product?
- Are there procedures to monitor the quality of both raw materials and finished products?
How Are Your Supplements Different Than Those Available at a Drug Store?
There is a pretty big difference. The supplement industry is unregulated so anyone can package anything and sell it with a claim, meanwhile it may not have the stated ingredients in the package at all. Practitioners use manufacturers that provide us with lab assays that verify the potency, purity, and efficacy of the product. This is valued in our industry since practitioners are in the business of helping their patients bring their health back in to balance or assisting in the healing process, not selling supplements.
Can I Save on Supplements If I Order Through Fortitude Functional Nutrition?
Yes, you will save 15% on all supplements when you sign-up for follow-up appointments or a package. Plus, we use a professional online dispensary, which deliver the supplements directly to your door-step usually without shipping charges.