slim down & happy up: frequently asked questions
Is this program just for women?
No, guys are welcome. It's just that most of my past program participants are women, hence the feminine choice of pronouns and such. But guys, come on down, you too can join in on the stress reduction and weight loss revolution we have going on here.
How are these "check-ins" different from your regular office visits?
The check-ins will be focused 45 minute sessions where we really process the material together. It is a time for me to hone the program to your unique needs and situation. We work through difficulties, finding solutions together. I will also be liberally giving out high-fives during this time.
I am more than happy to also provide Naturopathic medical care to you before, during or after the program, but as the check-ins will be targeted to ensuring program success, we must be efficient with our time and cannot devote the time necessary to address other unrelated medical concerns.
Part of the program's forms and waivers (to be given prior to program start) includes my strong recommendation to receive primary care from a physician during our work together.
Do I have to pay online?
The purchasing buttons take you to an online merchant service I use, PayPal. It allows the monthly registration fees to be scheduled over the three months of the program's duration.
If you do not want to use this type of system, please call and make other arrangements to pay in full at the beginning of the program (you can call in your credit card number). If I know you, I will take a personal check (hand delivered or mailed). For those I don't know, a cashier's check or money order will substitute. Oh, and cash is ok, too. Just call before you drop it by.
Are there any hidden costs? (Do I need any supplies, memberships or any other investments beyond the program cost?)
Nope. There are options for adding onto the program material-- but it's not necessary. For example, if you currently go to a gym or are interested in joining one, then you can follow some exercise recommendations that are just easier done with resistance equipment. Otherwise, your living room carpet will do (and I know we're all busy, so the actual exercise time is honed down to the absolute minimum).
The program contains many types of exercise recommendations, some being isometric and weight resistance- meaning using your body weight or using hand-held weights. Don't have weights? Find some soup cans or full water bottles (or small pets).
Exercise isn't appealing? Well if you can't tell, a key aspect of this whole program is how customized it gets for each participant so during our check-ins we will discuss how to really ensure your success. Whether that means scaling up or down the recommendations, I want this to work for you.
As for food, supplements and other items, there will be very specific food recommendations even including recipes and shopping lists. Buying your food is up to you of course. Food buying clubs are a great option to get high quality food in bulk at a reasonable price. Any nutrient and herbal supplementation recommendations in the program are just that- recommendations.
You're a doctor. Will you monitor and adjust my medications that may be affected during this process?
(blood pressure, diabetic, thyroid meds, etc.)
Well, am I your prescribing doctor? If I am, then we will continue our regularly scheduled return appointments throughout the program (at times separate than our arranged check-ins). If I am not, then you may continue care with that prescribing doctor, or transfer care to me (if you're a local participant)- which would mean addressing these concerns during normal office visits scheduled outside of our bi-monthly program check-ins.
Can I use my healthcare insurance for this?
Yes, but with a few disclaimers.
First, you must have the type of benefits that cover alternative medicine.
Then, I would bill you directly for the services rendered. Then you can take that information to your insurance (using a superbill that you would've requested from me), and collect any reimbursement your insurance provides you.
If you are wanting to use your insurance, then register and pay through the program page, then just notify me that you will be requesting a superbill, and one for each check-in will be obtained.
Also, if you have a health savings account, the may be an allowable cost as a weight loss program.
As above, I am more than happy to provide full-spectrum Naturopathic care to any participants before, during or after program participation- and for those office visits, I can bill insurance so long as you have alternative care benefits (see the insurance page for more info).
Is this ok if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Please let me know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before our first check-in. And concurrent care with your midwife or other pregnancy-specific healthcare provider is a must.
Should I be concerned about the dietary part if I'm vegetarian or vegan?
Concerned? Well, no, but I wouldn't say this dietary approach is inherently vegetarian- and/or vegan-friendly. Some dietary adaptations and customization can be done in office, particularly if your reasons for food avoidance are purely health-related (i.e. you're eating vegetarian purely for health reasons). I respect all dietary choices based on morals and beliefs. That said, this may feel very strict and limiting if you are a vegan, though for all participants I do by best to ensure that they are getting all the nutrition they need from following my dietary guidance.
How about if I have a ton of food sensitivities?
The dietary recommendations will be more "anti-inflammatory" in nature than the standard American diet, but that isn't saying much (about our nation's food preferences). As part of our check-ins, it is our time to customize the program to your needs. Along with my doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine, I have extensive work history in commercial food preparation for those who have unique dietary concerns for allergic, sensitive or moral reasons. I am flexible, but if you're intolerant to everything but white rice and carrots, I can only do so much.
What about if I'm really out of shape? Is this going to be too hard?
As above, I want all participants to have received primary medical care recently (ideally this year). When's the last time you've had a full physical exam? I want you to participate, but I want it to be safe for you to do so.
Ordinarily you hear that you should check with your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise plan, so I would like you to be approved to begin an exercise program, but diet approval is not necessary as I am a nutritional expert and I approve this program (of course).
I will use any means possible to make this program work for all physical fitness and ability levels (the clinic is ADA-compliant). If walking up a flight of stairs is where you need to start, then that's where we'll start. If you're a regular cross-fitter, then I will tailor this program to meet your abilities as well.
What if 12 weeks isn't enough?
Well, I sure hope you enjoy your time with me as you transform through this process of stress reduction and healthy weight maintenance. The timing on this program is set up so that we have adequate time to set a strong foundation of tools, knowledge and continued support so that at the end of the 12 weeks you will have a solid understanding and beginning to have some experience in the types of dietary and lifestyle changes that can best support your health.
To benefit from continued care with me, you may choose to continue on with standard office visits (if you're local), or opt for more streamlined 30 minute nutritional and lifestyle counseling appointments. By continuing on working together beyond the program material, we can continue optimizing your health, together.
The last option is to enroll in the 'slim down & happy up' program again. Although the material only changes a little each time, the check-ins are extremely personalized and focused, so may be a great investment of your time and money.
What is your refund/cancellation policy?
My policy is that you may sign up for your check-in appointments at any time and frequency during the 12 weeks of the program. I recommend every two weeks, and it's set up to run best that way, but I'm flexible- so you don't have to worry too much about missing a week while on vacation.
I've put countless hours into crafting this program to embody just the right balance of information, education, resources and recommendations in the most approachable manner, so I feel the end product is extremely valuable- and I hope you agree.
That said, if you truly feel that you are not getting the program costs' worth out of my guide and check-in appointments, I would like to hear that but will not issue refunds. If I am unable to fulfill my responsibilities to you (i.e. I get sick and cancel a check-in appointment or some other unforeseen serious circumstances), I hope you will be as flexible with me as I am with you. I ask that all participants respect and value my time as much as I do theirs.