1. What is the difference between a Dietitian and a Nutritionist?

The key difference between an 'Accredited Practising Dietitian' and a 'Nutritionist' is that, an 'Accredited Practising Dietitian' has undertaken additional studies in medical nutrition therapy, dietetics and food service management. 

Our Dietitians have at least 4-6 years of university study in biochemistry, physiology, nutrition, dietetics and medical nutrition therapy, and are Accredited Nutritionists AND Accredited Practising Dietitians.

Accredited Practising Dietitians are regarded as nutrition experts because they have the medical knowledge, understanding and clinical training to assess a person's diet and  lifestyle in order to treat a range of conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, coeliac disease, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and weight management (both overweight and underweight). 

Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) is the only national credential recognized by the Australian government, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) and most private health funds as the standard for nutritional services in Australia. This is the reason why only an Accredited Practising Dietitian will be able to offer a rebate under Medicare or DVA, for nutrition consultations. 

Nutritionists who are inadequately qualified cannot register with either Medicare or DVA. Some Nutritionists have no formal training in nutrition or may only have completed a very basic diploma or certificate, so be very cautious if your Nutritionist does not state his or her qualifications.   

All Accredited Practising Dietitians are also nutritionists, however not all nutritionists are sufficiently qualified to call themselves Accredited Practising Dietitians. 

2. But I've heard that some Dietitians and Nutritionists have been corrupted by the multinational food corporations?

We guarantee that the Dietitians and Nutritionists at Coffs Coast Nutrition provide information that is honest and unbiased. We have no 'hidden agenda'.      

3. Advertising under "Dietitians" and "Nutritionists" in the Yellow Pages:

Unfortunately some people who advertise under "Dietitians" or "Nutritionists" in Local Search and Yellow Pages are not accredited and may have only very basic nutrition qualifications. This is particularly relevant to online listings.                                                                     

4.  I’ve tried lots of diets.  Why will seeing the team at Coffs Coast Nutrition be different?

The Dietitians at Coffs Coast Nutrition focus on treating the whole person, rather than simply the symptoms. We take the time to listen to what you have to say, in order to find the cause of your ill-health and provide safe, effective solutions.    

If you want to be healthier or improve your energy levels or sporting performance or find out what foods are contributing to IBS symptoms or lose / gain weight you will benefit from an individualized approach and specialized advice. Our Dietitians can tailor an eating plan that provides the ideal balance of protein, carbohydrate and fats for you, and that takes into account any relevant food intolerances or medical conditions. We believe that there is no one way of eating that suits everyone. Some people prefer a lower carb, higher protein diet, while others function better when they eat a few more carbs. It is also very important to get the right amount of 'good' fats in our diet. We will work with you to set realistic and achievable goals which will enable you to reach your desired weight and/or better-manage a medical condition.  

5. Do you offer personal training and group exercise sessions?

Yes. We specialize in one-on-one personal training and couples training in the comfort of our studio gym. Outdoor sessions are also available, and have been popular during the COVID pandemic.   

6. Do you offer health and wellness coaching?

Yes. Our health and wellness coaching services include a comprehensive assessment, plus sessions on stress management, nutrition and mood, sleep quality, mindful eating, healthy snacking and much more.

6. Do you have appointments available after hours?

Yes, a limited number of appointments are offered. 

7. What happens at the initial consultation?

Your first consultation will take approximately 1 hour. We find that most people prefer a 1 hour initial consultation as this allows time for personalized treatment and support. Our Dietitians will collect information relating to your medical history, symptoms, stress levels, sleep, environmental factors, weight history, diet and activity levels, as well as your goals and expectations.  This enables us to provide individually tailored advice.     

8. How often do I need to have an appointment?

We generally prefer to arrange a follow-up appointment 2 – 4 weeks after your initial appointment in order to review your progress, answer any questions that you may have and keep you motivated. Some people prefer to attend on a weekly basis, while others would rather an appointment every 6 weeks or so, or you may simply want some basic information which can be obtained in a total of one or two sessions. The choice is yours. 

9. Do you have a cancellation policy?

Our Dietitians allocate up to an hour for each appointment to enable you to have quality one-on-one time. We do not double book appointment slots. Clients are therefore kindly asked to keep appointments, unless an emergency occurs. We request at least 24 hours notice for all cancellations or rescheduling of appointments.

A fee of $55:00 (initial consults) or $35:00 (review consults) will be charged for missed appointments or appointments that are cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours notice. The aim is not to make profits from cancellation fees, rather to make sure that those appointment times are kept available for others who need them, and in order that you respect your dietitian's time.

It is understandable that in some circumstances, short notice may occasionally be unavoidable, and discretion will be exercised in such cases.

10. How can I pay?

Fees are payable at least 1-2 days prior to telehealth consults. If you have an in-person appointment at Coffs Coast Nutrition, you will need to pay at the time of your appointment. We accept bank transfer, credit card and cash.

11. Can I claim a rebate with Medicare?

If you have a valid Medicare / Enhanced Primary Care (EPC) referral from your GP, you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate. Please note that not all referrals from GPs are Medicare / EPC referrals. To find out if you are eligible, you will need to speak with your GP as Medicare rebates are only available for certain conditions & circumstances.

You will be required to pay for the initial nutrition consultation, however we have Medicare Easy Claim facilities which mean that your rebate of $54:60 can be transferred straight into your account for you. 

12. Can I claim a rebate with my private health fund?

Rebates are available for both face-to-face and telehealth (phone and Zoom) from most private health funds (some funds provide rebates of 80-100% of the cost of the visit), however this depends on your level of cover. Check with your fund for details.

13. Do you see Veterans Affairs (DVA) recipients?

Yes. There is no charge for this service, provided you are a gold card holder and provide a DVA referral (eg D904) from your doctor.

14. Do I need a referral?

No, a referral is not essential - unless you wish to be seen under Medicare, DVA or Workers Comp. 

15. Are home visits available?

Yes.  Home visits are available to DVA recipients in the Coffs Harbour, Sawtell, Urunga and Woolgoolga areas at no charge. We can also arrange home visits to non-DVA clients for an additional fee.

16. Are telehealth (phone and  zoom / video) consultations available?

Yes.  We offer nutrition assessments and advice via both phone and Zoom. These appointments have been very popular  due to the fact that they are so convenient for our clients. Appointments need to be arranged in advance and payment must be received at least 1-2 days prior to your appointment. 

17. Are group sessions available?


18. Is wheelchair access available?

Yes. Please enter via the tiled path situated to the right of the building.

Ph: (02) 6652 7529 (leave a message) or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

10 Reasons to choose Coffs Coast Nutrition

1. Personalized advice tailored to YOU.

2. Heaps of support & motivation.

3. Nutrition advice: in person & via telehealth    (phone & zoom).

4. Health & wellness programs.  

5. Experts in IBS & the low FODMAP diet.

6. Nutrition therapy for medical conditions.

7. Sports nutrition for optimal performance. 

8. Personal training for all fitness levels.

9. Private studio gym & outdoor sessions. 

10. Medicare & health fund rebates.