FAQ

What is a functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner?

A functional diagnostic nutrition practitioner (or FDN-P, for short!) is a trained professional who employs functional lab work in a systematic health restoration program where the goal is to find and correct the root causes of bodily malfunction and health complaints. FDN® involves a process of investigating, analyzing, and continuous course correction until optimal function of the body is achieved. FDNs build health by addressing the causal factors of disease, instead of merely attempting to silence the symptoms.

Why is lab work used? Can’t I just change my diet and take a few supplements instead?

Functional lab work is at the heart of the FDN® approach to health. By utilizing non-invasive laboratory tests, I can obtain accurate, black-and-white data which allows me to identify the specific areas in your body that need to be addressed. Many times these imbalances are hidden and can only be discovered through lab testing.

Labs focus on the areas of the hormones, immune system, digestion, detoxification, food sensitivities and nutrients, making the program comprehensive. Subsequent retesting and symptom surveys allow the FDN® practitioner to chart improvement as the client progresses through the program

How are you different from a registered dietitian?

A dietitian evaluates your overall diet and then creates a plan to get nutrients from your food according to USDA dietary guidelines. While most dietitians dwell on calories, carbs, fats, proteins, restrictions and lists of good and bad foods, I will work with you to help you create a plan that is flexible and based on the concept of bio-individuality.

Who would be a good fit to work with you?

  • Women who have a desire to optimize their health through nutrition and lifestyle changes.
  • Women who feel fatigued, overwhelmed and confused about how to age gracefully.
  • Women who are willing to work to find natural solutions to their health challenges rather than popping pills to suppress symptoms.
  • Women who are willing to think for themselves, yet take direction from me.
  • Women who are willing to invest in the necessary lab work to help determine root cause

In short, I work best with people who are motivated to learn about holistic health and want to be able to apply the principle of vitalism to their lives. They want to make changes but don’t know how and where to start. They are willing to invest in themselves, both financially and time-wise.

Who would not be a good fit to work with you?

  • Someone who expects immediate results and is not willing to be patient while we figure out the best plan.
  • Someone who is unwilling to do any lab tests or take any supplements.
  • Someone who does not believe that food, nutritional supplements and appropriate movement can help their situation.
  • Someone who is solely focused on their weight and only wants to count calories.

Will my insurance pay for your services?

Unfortunately, the answer for most will be no. With functional health coaching you are looking at what is called elective care.

Sadly, you can’t rely on your health insurance for your health. If you do, you will be limited to what type of care you will receive, i.e. medications and surgery.

Insurance is important for emergency crisis care. Although it’s a necessary part of most people’s lives, insurance is not going to pay for true wellness care. For health optimization, insurance is pointless.

Functional health coaching helps you to take control of your health, and be responsible for the type of care and testing that you want. Relying on an industry that is not designed to heal is setting yourself up to stay sick and stuck.

It’s unfortunate, because I realize how much money you are probably paying in health insurance, and maybe someday the health insurance industry will be different, but for now, this is just the way it is. I strongly encourage you not to let the dictates of your insurance company determine the best plan of care for you.

What is vitalism?

About 100 years ago, a debate raged in scientific circles regarding the nature of life and its creation/creator. In this struggle, two very different and opposing positions contested for recognition as being the “truth”: mechanism vs. vitalism. Mechanism believed that the universe was a giant machine, set into place by mere chance and sheer accident (read: no design nor purpose), and therefore nothing that could not be examined, measured or explained in that context was superstition and not valid. The vitalistic folks believed that there was a special quality to life beyond what can be seen and measured. This is a major divide between conventional and alternative health care. The mechanistic approach views the body as a mere purposeless conglomerate of chemical and mechanical functions. Since mechanism believes there is no creator, an “enlightened source,” such as the human mind, must intervene to find and fix any problem. The vitalistic approach treats the organism as a unique entity created for a purpose. Since something/someone made it, we must respect that it has been endowed with the potential to heal itself. One group says, “We’ve got to fix it.” The other group says, “We want to help it.” As your health coach, I believe you have the ability within yourself to enjoy abundant health. I will be your guide during your program to help you feel great and gain better health.

How can I find out more?

Book a 20 minute complimentary consultation right here.

I don’t live in your area, can you still work with me?

Yes, I sure can. I work with people all over the USA. We can work via phone or Zoom (like Skype, but better).

What is a first visit with you like?

Prior to your first meeting with me, I will send you a 3 page health discovery form to fill out. I will need that back prior to our first meeting
During our initial meeting, we will discuss your form, along with your current health complaints, wellness goals, nutrition, and any current medications and supplements you are taking. These are in-depth discussions, so you are urged to spend some time prior to our meetings making a list of questions, concerns, and observations concerning your health. I consider all information pertinent to your health, so the more detailed you can be the better.

Based on our discussions, I will recommend certain functional lab testing, which may include saliva, urine, blood, or stool samples. Most lab samples are very easy to obtain and are completed in the convenience of your own home. The lab results will provide us with a current and thorough assessment of how various systems in your body are functioning. After I get the results back, we go into action mode and start implementing changes based on those lab results.

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Maria sees local clients at

Riverwalk Chiropractic and Physical Therapy Center
665 Martinsville Road
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

However, you don't need to be local to work with Maria. Due to the magic of technology, Maria works with clients all over the world.
Contact us

(908) 340-6569