Meeting with Your Registered Dietitian

What to expect at your first session

80% of our new patients are seeing an RD for the first time, and we want you to feel 100% comfortable! Here are some helpful tips for what to expect from your first session and how to prepare.


The first session is an opportunity for you and your RD to get to know each other. Your RD will introduce themselves and share their plan for the session, which may include a review of general Culina Health protocols, to give you a sense of how we operate and work together. You’ll also have a chance to share why you decided to book your first nutrition counseling session.

Intake form review

Your RD will review your intake form with you, using it as a jumping off point for you to tell your story and for your RD to ask more in-depth questions. They may also ask you to provide an example of what a typical day of eating might look like for you, to understand your current intake and dietary preferences.

Initial diet education

Your RD will provide education aligned with your reason(s) for your visit, or other topics that arise throughout the session. If you are very knowledgeable about a certain topic, the education may be more in-depth and science-focused. If you are newer to nutrition education, we’ll start with basic concepts and gradually progress from there.

Goal setting

You and your RD will work together to create a care plan and set short- and long-term goals, refine them, and develop strategies to attain them. Your RD will be there every step of the way to support you and offer pragmatic, evidence-based advice as you turn your goals into sustainable, manageable action.

Scheduling your next session

Your RD will figure out how many sessions are covered under your insurance or review your membership plan if you are not using insurance. From there, you can mutually decide how often to meet and schedule your follow-up session. 

Preparing for your virtual visit

Set up your space

Make sure you have a private, quiet space to take your meeting from where you won’t be too distracted.

Set up your tech

Download Zoom and get familiar with it! Activate your patient portal and download the Culina Health app – check your email for download instructions.

If you’re new to virtual health care provider sessions, here are a few things to do in advance of your first meeting with your Culina Health RD.

Submit your intake forms

Your intake forms allow your RD to come to your first meeting with an understanding of your background to better tailor your session. 

Reflect on your goals

Write down any questions you have for your RD and any further context or additional information you want to share. No question is off-limits!

After your first session

After your initial session, you’ll leave with some important takeaways, including your personal care plan, educational materials, goals, and info about how to communicate with your RD between sessions. 

Care plan 

Together, you and your RD will develop your personalized care plan based on your unique needs. To set you up for success, we typically focus on incremental, short-term wins that are easy to fit into your current life, which becomes a week-to-week action plan that leads you toward your big-picture goals. 

Educational materials

Your RD may send you educational materials related to the topics covered during your session so you can reference them between sessions and continue learning. Depending on the goals you identify, your dietitian may include recipes, meal ideas, grocery lists, and other recommendations that may be helpful.


Your care plan in the Culina Health app will outline the goals you establish during the initial session with your RD. You have the option to check in on your goals, edit them, and mark them as completed in the app to help you stay on track and share successes with your RD between sessions. 

Communication expectations

You can use the messaging feature on your Culina Health app to message your RD between sessions—for example, asking a question or sharing a success/challenge. Your RD will establish communication expectations, but you can generally expect a timely response. 

We’re proud to be your co-pilot on this journey, and committed to making the process approachable and rewarding. Your dietitian will help you identify where you can make small, sustainable tweaks to your routine and support you in achieving your goals not just for a few months, but for a lifetime.

- Elizabeth Tallerico, Culina Health VP of Care Delivery

Frequently Asked Questions

Have another question about your first visit that’s not answered above?

Visit our FAQ Page for more information on insurance, membership, our team, locations, referrals, and more!

Schedule your RD visit →

"After 9 months of working with my dietitian, I am 25 pounds lighter and have kept it off."

I wanted to lose weight, but more importantly, I wanted to figure out what works for me to maintain it. About 9 months after working with my dietitian, I am 25 pounds lighter and have kept it off for about 4 months - a really impressive achievement for me! I am also more active and don't feel like I am dieting or "watching what I eat" - this is just my lifestyle. I've most valued having my RD as a partner in my health.

Marina L.

“After trying paleo, Whole30, and Noom without success, I’ve now lost over 15 pounds with my dietitian, and my heartburn has stopped.”

My dietitian helped me figure out things like eating intentions when traveling, pre-workout meals, how to address high cholesterol, and determining a supplement routine, among other things. The one quality I most appreciate is her encouragement, reminders to give myself grace when facing challenges, and celebrating successes even when small. I feel much happier and healthier.

Kevyn D.

“To date I’ve dropped my A1C from a 9 to a 5.4 (and lost almost 60 lbs in the process)!”

When I first met my dietitian, I was struggling to keep my sugar levels in check and making bad decisions despite my best intentions. Yes, she was able to create a program that matched my goals but, more importantly, she was able to integrate good nutrition into my existing lifestyle rather than changing it completely. Working with my dietitian has truly changed my attitude toward nutrition. 

Suzanne H.

Contact us

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