Today we’re featuring dietitian and new mom, Audrey Fleck, MS, RDN, LDN, CFSP, of Functional Origins! Audrey blends training in functional medicine with her certification as a Food and Spirit Practitioner (CFSP) to create individualized nutrition plans tailored toward the whole self - body, mind, and soul. Read more about her niche in integrative and functional nutrition!
Why did you get started in nutrition / become an RDN?
I had a personal interest in nutrition in my teens. I remember reading different nutrition-related books and enjoyed learning about how different foods had different health effects (both negative and positive). I also felt called to help people take charge of their health through good nutrition who were struggling with weight and chronic health problems.
Tell us more about your private practice. What makes your niche special?
I specialize in an integrative and functional medicine approach towards nutrition. I seek to help my clients "figure out" answers to their health problems through the use of specialized testing (like advanced stool testing and micronutrient testing), then personalizing client diets based on diet assessment and testing, and using high-quality dietary supplements when indicated. I do not have a "one size fits all" approach and really work together with my clients to find out what works best for them individually. I also use mindfulness and encourage behavioral change through counseling since most of my clients have been unsuccessful with nutrition and lifestyle changes in the past (sometimes over the course of their life). I motivate my clients to adopt an "eat to live" mentality and believe in changing their diet permanently rather than just temporarily for long-term success.
Who is your ideal client?
An ideal client is someone who is ready to make a change and is a "sponge," ready to soak up everything I have to offer! (which is a lot!)
Why did you decide to accept insurance?
Accepting insurance really opens up the door to allow all people to access my services who might not be able to afford it without their insurance.
What advice would you give another RDN who is thinking about accepting insurance?
Although there are some hoops to jump through in order to accept insurance as well as the learning curves related to billing, it is worth it. Healthy Bytes has really taken the stress off billing insurance and following up on unpaid claims. It has made my work a lot easier.
What change do you hope to see or are excited about in the field of nutrition and dietetics?
I am excited to see many RDs taking on a "food as medicine" approach and seeking out integrative nutrition therapy methods that are not taught within the didactic program to become an RD. I hope in the future that dietetics programs can adopt or create a learning path towards becoming an integrative/functional RD within the didactic program.
What’s your favorite piece of advice you have received?
LOVE what you do. If you are passionate about your job, you will be successful in it.
Anything else you’d like to add?
If your current position is not fulfilling, start making a plan to open up doors. Work then becomes play!