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Medical Nutrition Therapy

Nutrition counseling, also known as Medical Nutrition Therapy, is an important part of health care. Medical Nutrition Therapy includes:

  • Performing a comprehensive nutrition assessment where we will discuss your eating and physical activity habits, medical history, and health-related goals
  • Determining a nutrition diagnosis based on the assessment
  • Collaboratively developing an evidence-based nutrition intervention for you to put into practice at home
  • Monitoring and evaluating your progress towards your goals over the following visits

Effectively managing any disease requires a coordinated team effort that includes registered dietitians. Many medical conditions are either caused or worsened by unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles. Working with a registered dietitian to modify your eating habits, behavior, and lifestyle can improve both your health and quality of life. As a registered dietitian, my goal is to provide evidence-based nutrition education and counseling that will allow you to form health and eating habits that will last a lifetime.While nutrition counseling is beneficial for anyone who wants to form healthier eating habits, Medical Nutrition Therapy is particularly helpful for the following conditions:


According to the American Heart Association, everyone over the age of 2 can benefit from diet and lifestyle changes to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). If you have already been diagnosed with CVD, Medical Nutrition Therapy will help you manage your disease and prevent further complications. At Fueling Fitness, we will give you an individualized meal plan for a “heart healthy diet” along with guidance about overall food selection to help you manage your CVD and prevent further complications. Through diet, exercise, and weight reduction, you will reach your heart health goals.


Nutrition therapy is integral to diabetes care and management at any level. According to the American Diabetes Association, Medical Nutrition Therapy can help prevent diabetes, manage existing diabetes, and slow or prevent the development of complications from diabetes. Good blood sugar control requires a balance of food, exercise, and (with Type 1 and sometimes Type 2 Diabetes) medication. When managing diabetes, it’s crucial to have a good understanding of the carbohydrates you eat and learn about a “consistent carbohydrate” diet. The timing of your meals, what you eat, and the amount you eat all affect your blood sugar. When we work together, we will discuss the “consistent carbohydrate” diet in relation to your calorie needs. We will determine how much carbohydrate, protein, and fat you need to eat each day and create a plan for eating about the same amount of carbohydrates at every meal. Although protein and fat don’t impact your blood sugar as significantly as carbohydrates, it’s important to make sure you are eating the right amounts to stay healthy without exceeding your calorie needs. This information will help you develop the skills and knowledge to manage your diabetes throughout your life.

Gastrointestinal Disease

Nutrition is important in the management of GI disorders because your intestinal tract digests and absorbs the nutrients in everything you eat. Not only are GI disorders uncomfortable, but they can also damage your digestive tract and prevent you from digesting and absorbing nutrients properly. This often results in an increased need for particular nutrients. Therapy for your GI disorder will be very individualized, focusing on correcting your nutrient deficiencies. Depending on your specific needs, you may have to adjust the texture of foods or the timing of meals, or remove some foods that may not agree with you. When we work together we will discuss strategies to meet your needs for all nutrients in the way that will best manage your GI disorder.

Weight Management

At Fueling Fitness we offer evidence-based nutrition education and counseling to help you achieve your personal weight goals. A healthy eating plan includes a variety of foods, a balance of choices from different food groups, and moderation in the foods you eat. There are no good or bad foods, and there is no one food that can give you all the nutrients your body needs. You will learn about a sustainable, sensible approach to weight management. We will develop personalized strategies that will allow you to maintain your weight loss long-term, including self-monitoring of food choices, behavior modification to shift some of your habits around eating, and physical activity that you enjoy.

Women’s Health

A woman’s body goes through many transitions. Your nutrient needs vary from one lifecycle to the next. Whether you are a woman in your childbearing years, pregnant, breastfeeding, or experiencing the affects of menopause, we will help you develop strategies to meet your nutrition needs in order to better manage your health and well-being.

Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating ~ anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, unspecified feeding or eating disorder

Eating disorders are mental and physical illnesses that can affect any person, at any point in their life. Full recovery is possible, and made more likely with early identification and appropriate treatment. At any level of care, eating disorder treatment requires a team of professionals that includes a physician, a therapist, family members, possibly a psychiatrist, and a registered dietitian.

At Fueling Fitness, we provide non-judgmental care for all of our clients with concerns related to their eating and relationship with food. During the initial phases of recovery, following a meal plan is necessary to ensure that you are getting all of the energy and nutrients your body needs to promote healing. We will collaboratively create this meal plan and work together to increase the variety in your diet, challenge any food fears, and disrupt any disordered eating behaviors. We recognize that recovery is not a linear process. Throughout each stage of recovery, we keep an open conversation that allows you to learn from any setbacks you encounter and cultivate the self-compassion that will foster long-term healing.

As with any disease, it is vital that the method of treatment matches the severity of the illness. During the course of recovery, the treatment team may decide that the outpatient level of care is not sufficient to meet your needs. If this is the case, we will maintain close communication with each member of the treatment team and support you to find the treatment facility that will best move you closer to recovery. When you step down from a higher level of care, we work with you to adjust your meal plan to fit with your lifestyle and establish a new treatment team at home.

Sports Nutrition Counseling

Sports nutrition involves eating the right combinations of food at the right times. Many questions often arise around sports nutrition:

  • What can I eat to avoid stomach distress?
  • What do I eat before I go to the gym?
  • What is the difference between all the sport and energy bars and drinks?
  • What should I feed my children before their practices and games?

You Can’t Exercise Your Way Out of a Bad Diet

Sound nutrition is essential for high quality sport training and competition. Athletic Success depends not only on proper training, but also on adequate nutrition for growth and development and a strong immune system. Dietary carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water all influence your athletic performance. It is crucial to be aware of your needs for each and ensure that you are meeting those needs. It is also important to have a clear understanding of the possible benefits and harmful side effects of dietary supplements and ergogenic aids used in hopes to improve performance. Nutrition plays a critical role in maximizing energy, delaying fatigue, rebuilding muscle and preventing dehydration and over-hydration. Whether you are a competitive athlete, a casual exerciser, a fitness enthusiast, or someone who is thinking about getting more exercise, proper nutrition will improve your workout. What you eat before, during and after exercise is critical, and your overall diet needs to be balanced and healthy for consistent results. Let us help you fuel your body so you can feel your best and perform at your optimal potential.

Metabolic Assessment

“Estimated energy needs should be based on resting metabolic rate (RMR). If possible, RMR should be measured.”

American Dietetic Association Position on Weight Management (2009)

Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the rate at which a person burns calories while at rest. Between 70 and 80% of all calories are burned under resting conditions. Knowledge of metabolic rate is vital to nutritional assessment, weight loss planning, and care of various medical conditions.

A simple 10 minute metabolic test accurately pinpoints how many calories a person burns and calculates how many calories should be consumed to maintain, lose, or gain weight.

How is the Metabolic Test performed:

Patient Prepartation

  • No exercise the day of testing
  • Fast 4 hours prior to appointment o Avoid stimulants, such as caffeine


  • Patient sits or reclines in a comfortable position.
  • The patient breathes into a mouthpiece.
  • A nose clip ensures that all the exhaled air is analyzed.
  • After 8-10 minutes, the device will beep, indicating the test is finished.
  • RMR results are visible on the screen and are printed out to aid in patient education.

Speaking Engagements

Looking for an interactive and energetic presentation on a nutrition topic? Marcia Bristow MS RDN CSSD CD can deliver it for you. With expertise in many nutrition topics, Marcia’s enthusiasm is contagious. She engages and enlightens her audience revealing the connection between nutrition, digestion, energy, performance and health. Her professional presentations have been heard in corporate settings, schools, and at sport related camps, and wellness fairs. Marcia can suggest nutrition topics to present or is happy to present specially designed topics to fit your needs.

Food and Exercise Journaling

Research has long highlighted that people who keep a record of what they eat and drink and how active they are – known by health professionals as ‘self monitoring’ – are better able to maintain diet and lifestyle changes.

When you work with us, you will have the opportunity to keep a food and exercise journal that we will then review in order to provide you concrete suggestions to meet your energy and nutrient needs. We will look at your entire meal pattern, not just the number of calories you’re logging, and discuss strategies that will work best for you as an individual.