Frequently Asked Questions

Because you want to know a few things before you start. 

Practical Questions: Logistics

From Polices to Allergies


Is your location ADA accessible?

My southside location requires navigating stairs.  I anticipate offering limited hours at an ADA accessible location soon– please inquire.

Is there parking?

Yes, there is parking.  You will receive directions after making your appointment.

I have environmental sensitivities to scents, cleaners, etc.  Will I encounter them?

At this point, both locations where I meet clients may have some possible triggers.  I recommend contacting me with more details.  A home visit may work best to accommodate your needs.

I am allergic to pets.

Please let me know if it is a severe allergy.  My dog occasionally comes to work with me at one location– additional cleaning or another location may be more appropriate.

Online Services
What do you offer online?

Beginning in October 2018, I will be offering individual nutritional counseling.  Interested?  Contact me to sign up.

What do I need to do online counseling?

You must have access to high speed internet capable of supporting streaming.  You also need a device that has a webcam and audio capabilities.

What about workshops?

At this point, workshops and group sessions are only in person.  Send in your contact information to join my mailing list for future online workshops.

What is your cancellation policy?

Cancellations must be received 24 hours in advance.  All cancellations received later than 24 hours prior to the appointment will be charged the appointment fee.

What is your late arrival policy?

Arrivals later than 10 minutes late may be asked to reschedule if they have an appointment less than 30 minutes long.  Late arrivals will have their appointment end at the originally scheduled time, without refund.  This policy is to avoid delaying the person after you.

How do you protect my privacy?

I comply with privacy rules and regulations (HIPPA)– your private information is stored securely.  Please note that e-mail is not secure– do not send sensitive health information via e-mail or website forms.

Do I need to see my doctor first?

I do not require a referral.  I do recommend that you discuss certain topics with your PCP prior to trying certain diets.  In general, I recommend that all clients see that PCP annually or as recommended by their health care team.  If you have bloodwork from the past year, I recommend bringing it.

Do you offer phone or web-based meetings?

At this point, I meet with clients in person.  However, if you are an existing client, we can discuss using telephone-based counseling for follow-up appointments.  Please note your health insurance is very unlikely to accept this form of service (either for application to your deductible or for reimbursement).

Do you take my health insurance plan?

In short, no. I accept cash, check, or credit card payments.

Can I get reimbursed by my insurance company?

Maybe. I can provide you with the paperwork you will need to submit. This is called a “superbill.”

You will likely need to confirm with your insurance company what your coverage is for nutrition counseling, if you need a physician referral, and if pre-authorization is required. I am an out-of-network provider. I can provide you with the codes needed if you are doing this.

Why don’t you accept health insurance?

As a one-person practice, I have chosen to keep my rates reasonable for clients who lack insurance coverage and/or have high deductibles. Part of this is minimizing overhead–such as billing and coding staff.

How can I pay?

I accept cash, check, or credit/debit card payments.

Can I buy someone a gift certificate?

You can!  I suggest making sure the person would be interested.  People who receive gift certificates can also use them for culinary nutrition consultations or grocery store tours, if preferred.

What if I need nutrition counseling but can’t afford it?

There are several options.  I may be able to provide a payment plan, if needed.  Cornell Cooperative Extension provides some general nutrition education to the public for free. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier also has dietitians on staff who provide some services for low income adults and families.

Scope of Practice

Can you help me?


Am I who you see?

Do you see older adults?

Yes, regularly.  Adults of all ages come.

Can you help with lactation and nursing issues?

I don’t specialize in this– so I’d recommend finding an IBCLC (lactation consultant) for the best use of your time and money.

Do you see kids?

Occasionally.  Parents may come in if they are concerned about younger kids and picky eating.  Teens may come in if they are looking for sports nutrition consultations.

Can you help with kids with developmental disorders or an autism spectrum disorder?

Talk to me about your situation– I can provide an assessment and nutritional counseling (including working with selective eaters and optimizing diet choices for nutrition goals).  I help with management of gastrointestinal disorders through nutrition, and many children with autism struggle with some GI discomfort. I do not coordinate enteral and parenteral feeding but can make recommendations if initiation may be appropriate.

I suggest that anyone with a sensory disorder or high level of environmental sensitivity consider a home visit to minimize stress.


Topics and Conditions
Are there any conditions you do not provide support for?

Give me a call if you are concerned.  I am a general practitioner who sees a variety of conditions but not all.  For example, I refer patients with active anorexia nervosa or bulimia to the Nutrition Clinic as I cannot provide the extent of support needed for recovery.

What are some reasons people come to see you?

Some people come to just work on eating a little better– changing some habits.  Others come because of a family health history (like breast cancer or heart disease) or a diagnosis. For example, some common concerns include inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel disease, food sensitivities, celiac disease, pre-diabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety/depression, and more.

Do you promote a particular diet?

I don’t. If you have a specific condition, like celiac disease, I work with you to follow medical recommendations.

Do you offer elimination diets?

For patients with suspected food sensitivities, I do.  These are short-term programs designed to find what is causing discomfort.  A popular option is low FODMAPs but I have also worked with people to find sensitivities to yeast and specific preservatives.

I just want to lose weight.

“Just”– you’ve struggled with this, haven’t you? I work with people to reset their eating– figuring out what feels good to them.  Learning to recognize hunger, satiation, and pleasure is key. If you’ve gained weight because you’re eating mindlessly, from stress, or out of habit, or struggling to manage food provisioning we might make some changes that lead to weight changes.  However, “dieting” is not an approach I take with clients. Research suggests that repeated diets tend to lead to weight gain.

What to Expect
What is my first appointment like?

We review your health history, goals for our session(s), and how you eat now. I review any labwork available.  If you are physically active, we look at what you do.  I ask a lot of questions– what you know, what you think, how you feel, what challenges you experience, what helps you.  Sometimes, I give you handouts or talk about a specific topic. We end the appointment by setting goals.

What sort of counseling models do you use?

Mostly, I use either motivation interviewing techniques or cognitive behavioral therapy approaches. For some clients, I may pull in other approaches.



Stephanie Bostic, PhD RD

I entered nutrition because I loved food.  I still do, don’t worry– no deprivation.  This also means the Health At Every Size (HAES) ® movement has influenced my approach.



One author I recommend starting with is Ellyn Satter, whether you have children or not.  From her, you can learn about “competent eating” or how we eat as small children before society disrupts our understanding of what our body’s needs are.


Contact Us

Write or call. I’m here to answer your questions.

(304) 377-9357


Balance: Food and Nutrition

Don't Miss Out!

Don't Miss Out!

Join my mailing list to hear about the latest workshops, events, and tips!

Not too much. Not too little. Just right, written for you.

Your information will not be shared or sold. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Thank you for subscribing!