Below are answers to Frequently Asked Questions about having a consultation.

Please save time by reading these before emailing with questions.

For FAQ about plant-based nutrition, see our Nutrition FAQ page.

Where are consultations conducted?

Face-to-face consultations are conducted in Boundary Street, West End in Brisbane, Australia.   The office is readily accessible by public transport and there is free parking at the rear.  If coming to West End is difficult for you, consultation are also available via skype or phone.

What is the cost of consultations?

Consultation costs are given on the Services page.

How do I book in for a consultation?

Please use our online booking service, accessible from the Bookings page.

Are Skype and phone consultations available for people living outside of Australia?

Yes, consultations can be provided to English-speaking people anywhere in the world.  Send us an email so we can book you in as the online booking system is confused by overseas phone numbers.

Will I get a rebate from my private health insurance fund?

If you have cover for dietitian's appointments you will be eligible for a rebate. You will need to check with your fund to find out how much the rebate payable is, annual limits etc.

Are there Medicare rebates on consultation fees?

Medicare rebates apply to dietitians' fees if the consultation is part of a Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP, also known as a "Care Plan"), which needs to be supplied by your G.P.  If your G.P. refers you with a CDMP you will be eligible for a Medicare rebate of $52.95 per visit for up to 5 visits per year.  You will need to pay the gap between my fee and the Medicare rebate. See Services for my fees.  Medicare rebates apply only to face-to-face consultations, and you need a current Australian Medicare card to be eligible.

I would just like an assessment of my nutrient intake. Can you do this?

Yes. All consultations include an assessment of your nutrient intake, based on the information you provide on your eating pattern.  If you would like a computerised assessment of your nutrient intake only (no consultation), you can order one on the Shop page.  Private health fund and Medicare rebates do not apply to an online nutrient analysis without a consultation.

I would like help with planning meals for my family. Can you help with this?

Yes, this can be done in a consultation. However, be aware that for individualised advice on a particular family member, a separate consultation for that family member will be required. (Everyone's nutrient needs are different, depending on their age, gender, size, activity level, health history and current health etc.)

Do you provide advice on taking vitamins and other supplements?

Yes. At your first consultation you will be asked you about any supplements you are currently taking (if any) and advice given on the suitability of these for you.  You will be advised on any supplements recommend (based on your nutrient needs, current intake etc), including the type and dose.  This information will be supplied in writing. We do not sell supplements but can advise of where to obtain the recommended supplements if required.

I'm new to plant-based eating. How can you help me?

Yes. I will help you make sure your plant-based eating is starting off on the right track, to make sure you get the maximum benefits from it and avoid any common pitfalls.  I will assess your nutrient and nutritional health needs and advise on how you can meet these.  I'll also provide advice on meal planning and food choices to help optimise your health, both now and for the future, as well as to ensure your diet is varied and interesting.  You will be able to ask me all your questions about plant-based eating and receive ongoing support and advice via follow-up consultations.

Do you provide advice on raising children on plant-based diets?

Yes. I can provide advice on optimising your child's plant-based diet from prior to conception, throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding, weaning and all the way through to adolescence and beyond.

I have health issues. Can you help me?

Many common and chronic health issues are diet-related.  A tailored plant-based meal plan can be used to treat, prevent and even reverse the following diet-related health issues:

  • obesity / overweight
  • diabetes (type 2 / adult onset)
  • angina
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • atherosclerosis
  • chronic constipation
  • irritable bowel syndrome

With some health issues (such as gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, depression etc) it may not be immediately apparent whether it is diet-related or not.  This will be assessed at your initial consultation, and further testing recommended if required.

Even if you have a health issue that is not directly diet-related, having your diet assessed and getting advice on improving it can in many cases help improve your overall health, putting your body in a better position to overcome any current or future health issues.

I feel low in energy. Can you help me?

This is a common complaint in our society and in many cases it is diet-related.  Often, even though we think our eating pattern is alright, we are actually not getting all the nutrients needed in adequate amounts, or in the right balance.  This can lead to a whole range of problems, the first of which is commonly fatigue.

Once I have assessed not only your nutrient intake but other factors (such as the timing of your meals) I can advise on changes recommended to help restore your energy levels and feeling of well-being. In some cases I will ask you to get further diagnostic tests done (such as blood tests) in order to help diagnose any potential health issues that may need treating.

I have food allergies or intolerances. Can you help me?

Yes. If you have identified food allergies or intolerances I can help you with meal planning to make sure you get all the nutrients you need while avoiding the identified foods.

If you have suspected food intolerances I can help you to identify them (via dietary manipulation) and then advise on appropriate meal planning.  (Note: I do not provide a food allergy/intolerance testing service.)

My doctor says I should eat meat and/or dairy products. What should I do?

Perhaps ask your doctor why, and bear in mind that most doctors have studied very little if any nutrition, so are actually not qualified to give nutrition advice. In over 20 years of practising as a dietitian I have never encountered a person or a condition that required the consumption of animal products.  However, proper planning is required (as with all diets) in order to thrive on a plant-based diet.  In a consultation I will devise a meal plan to suit you, (plus provide advice on supplementation) tailored to suit your nutrient and health needs.

I have been on a vegan diet for many years. What services can you offer?

When you come and see me for a consultation I will assess your current eating habits and nutritional health and advise on appropriate changes to improve your nutrient intake and health outcomes. I will provide advice on how to best meet your nutrient needs, including types and dosages of any supplements recommended.  I can also help you set nutrition and health goals and advise on how to achieve these, with ongoing support in follow-up consultations.

As plant-based nutrition is an emerging area of knowledge and new research is being published regularly, I can update you on this and advise on how to apply current research findings to your dietary practices.    I can also provide ideas on meal planning, food preparation and recipes to help keep your diet nutritious, varied and interesting.

Can you help me with my school/uni assignment on plant-based nutrition?

I'm sorry, but as I now get asked this several times a week, I can no longer provide help with this. However, feel free to use any information from my ebooks, provided you credit the information to my name and title (Amanda Benham, Accredited Practising Dietitian).