Dietitian

Would you like to improve your eating habits or achieve a healthy weight?

Our dietitian can help!

About our Dietitian Services

Dietitians educate patients about the importance and value of nutrition in food and provide individualised advice, clear direction and support to individuals on their journey to achieving their personal goals.

Health conditions that may benefit from consultations with a dietitian include weight management, diabetes mellitus, diverticular disease, cardiovascular disease, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, mental health, osteoporosis, arthritis, nutrition support for the underweight/malnourished, renal disease, coeliac disease, nutrition support for the elderly, liver disease and nutrition during oncology.

What will happen at my initial consultation?

At the initial consultation our dietitian will get to know you in order to provide you with the most appropriate individualised advice. In order to do this, background information will be collected about your medical history, lifestyle habits and eating patterns with a strong focus on what will work for you, your lifestyle and your health and wellbeing goals. As well as this, recent blood tests that you may have had will be analysed and measurements will be taken such as height, weight and BMI. The initial consultation will take approximately 45 minutes.

How much will my appointment cost?

Initial consultation: $70
Review consultation: $60

Private Health: If you have private health insurance with ‘extras’ cover you may be eligible for a rebate. Rebate amounts vary widely and you will need to check with your fund if you are entitled.

Bulk Billed consultation: Available to clients who hold a current Enhanced Primary Health Care Plan (EPC) or an Eating Disorder Management Plan (EDMP) referral from their GP.

Telehealth appointments for COVID19: Dietetic patients are able to access telehealth phone consults so individuals can access services from the comfort of their own homes.  The Telehealth appointments can be bulk billed for patients who hold a current Enhanced Primary Health Care Plan (EPC) or if you have private insurance with ‘extras’ cover, you may be eligible for a rebate.

Do I need a referral to see the dietitian?


No referral is required to see our dietitian but if you would like to access rebates through Medicare or DVA we encourage you to speak to your GP to see if you are eligible.

How do I make an appointment?

To book an appointment, please call our Reception team on 07 5578 9000

Stephanie Blackwell is available for appointments on Tuesdays and Fridays at our Robina Town Centre practice. 

Dietitian’s Corner 

Portion Control

Portion control plays a very important role in weight management. The first step to understanding portion control is getting a handle on what a nutritionally complete plate looks like- half a plate of non starchy veg (basically all veg except corn, potato, turnips/parsnips), one quarter of the plate smart carbohydrates (wholegrains including brown rice, brown pasta’s ect) and one quarter of the plate lean protein.

Become familiar with the Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines, and learn to visualise what one serve is of each core food groups. Your hands can be a good measurement tool (see picture above). Correct serving sizes, especially of your smart carbohydrates, will prove pivotal to weight loss/maintenance. You can try serving your smart carbs last when dishing up, this can help avoid serving a larger serve as there should not be too much space left on your plate.

Mindful eating strategies are also helpful with portion control. Do you know it takes around 20 minutes for the food in your mouth to reach your stomach? Serve your food on a smaller plate and eat your meals in a non distracted environment. If cooking in bulk, serve your meal plus your left overs, and put your left overs away. Another good strategy is to serve up your vegetables first, followed by your protein and then by your smart carbohydrate, this method means there is less room on the plate to over serve the carbohydrate portion, which are usually the hardest to control. It’s important to spend time trying to get in touch with your hunger and satiety cues to avoid over eating.

You can never eat too many non starchy vegetables! Full of fibre to keep you feeling fuller for longer and low GI for slow releasing energy. If you do feel you need some more food after waiting 20 mins and using a smaller plate, reach for these.

Portion control is so important. If you would like to discuss other methods of portion control, or find a tailored approach that suits you, please book in with me at Robina Town Centre medical. Weight management is a passion of mine, so I would love to see you in clinic to assist you in reaching your health and weight management goals!

80:20 Approach to a healthy lifestyle

The 80:20 approach is both realistic and achievable in order to enable individuals to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle. The principles are as follows:

1. Aim to get things right most of the time

This is where the 80% value comes into the picture. We as humans are not perfect, and we are not meant to be. Everyday we cannot possibly consume the correct amount of the five food groups while eating a nutritionally adequate breakfast, lunch and dinner. This means you should not be too hard on yourself, as long as you are attempting to display healthy eating behaviours most of the time. When meals don’t occasionally match up to the eating guidelines and goals you have set with your dietitian, that is more than okay.

2. Aim for unprocessed foods as much as possible

This matches up to the Australian Guide to healthy eating. Again, if this is something that can be managed 80% of the time that is a positive result.

3. Recognise that exercise also plays a part in the weight loss journey

Exercise is essential however the food you consume is a bigger part of the equation. It is important to also acknowledge that a lot of the battle of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is in your head.

4. Implement mindful eating strategies

Try to eat only until you are around 80% full. It takes around 20 minutes for food to reach your stomach and for your satiety signals to be released to your brain. If you are trying to lose weight, try serving your meal on a smaller plate. Wait at least 20 minutes before having seconds if you are still hungry.

5. BE READY FOR CHANGE.

If you don’t think you are ready, that is okay. But to benefit as much as possible from food and nutrition advice, you must be willing and motivated to change.

6. Lastly, enjoy it all.

Learn to love all food, as every meal is an opportunity to nourish your body. If you learn to love the home cooked meals and to enjoy fresh veggies, it is then you will find you won’t need the 20% as much.

Stephanie Blackwell APD

Boosting your immune system

During this challenging and uncertain time, it is important we fuel our body with nourishing food and support our immune system as much as possible.  Below are some important points to keep in mind:

Eating for immunity

It is important to consume a well balanced diet and consume a range of foods from the five food groups in order to nourish your body.

1. Fruit and Vegetables

Ensure you are meeting your recommended serves of Fruit and Vegetables. Vitamin C is needed for growth and repair and Vitamin A has numerous roles in the immune system. Vitamin C is found in oranges, capsicum, strawberries and broccoli and Vitamin A can be found in sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin and spinach

2. Protein

Protein helps us to fight illness and keeps our body strong. High protein source foods include meat, fish, chicken, eggs, dairy, nuts, beans and legumes.

3. Iron

Iron is also important for our immune system and is found in meat, fish, chicken and eggs. Vitamin C is better absorbed by the body when paired with iron rich foods

4. Zinc

Zinc deficiency may reduce immunity. In order to ensure you are getting enough Zinc, consume foods like meat, oysters, milk and wheat bran. Zinc builds the immune system and helps to heal wounds effectively.

Other important tips to help support your immunity in conjunction with eating well: 

  • Keep hydrated and consume adequate fluids throughout the day
  • This is a time of uncertainty for our community and it is very understandable some people may be anxious and stressed. Try to implement some relaxation in your day to day life by listening to music, walking in the fresh air or reading a book. Research indicates that people less stressed have a stronger immune system.
  • Also remember to increase activity, get moving and ensure you are getting enough exercise.
  • Remember to practice social distancing and wash your hands
  • It is also a nice idea to check on your neighbour ☺

Stephanie Blackwell APD

IBS stands for irritable bowel syndrome

1 in 5 Australians experience some kind of IBS symptoms at one point in their lifetime. IBS symptoms are individualised from person to person, and different things can cause a flare up in different individuals. Above are some common triggers across the board.

In recent years, dietary management has been demonstrated as a key tool in the treatment
and management of IBS. A lot of patients with IBS relate their GI symptoms to specific
foods. In some instances, this can lead to food avoidance and restrictive diets. Restricting
certain food groups is not recommended without health professional support. For example
there is no quality evidence to support the elimination of dairy to improve IBS symptoms.
Cutting out dairy without relating it specifically to your symptoms can lead to avoidable
nutrient deficiencies like low calcium levels.

A good way to identify trigger foods is to fill out a food and symptom diary. This should be
done over the course of at least a week, noting quantity of food, time of the day and
severity of symptoms. This should provide you with a good indication of what foods set you
off in what amount.

If IBS symptoms persist, consult with your local dietitian. A low FODMAP diet is another
option for IBS treatment and management. The low FODMAP diet restricts intake of short
chain fermentable carbohydrates and works to slowly reintroduce them, with the overall
aim to improve dietary intake.

Adequate fluid intake, exercise and healthy eating habits are also a good defence against
IBS.

Stephanie Blackwell APD