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Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is nutrigenomics?

The relationship between food and human biochemistry is fascinating! The influence of nutrients on our DNA and gene expression is what is called nutritional genomics (or nutrigenomics). Just because you have a gene, does not mean it is expressing. Why does one person with a genetic SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) associated with a certain disease get it and another does not? The answer is epigenetics (or gene expression) and nutrigenomics. Taking into account your nutrition, yes, but also lifestyle, sleep, stress, movement/exercise, toxic exposures, inflammation and detoxification pathways, and so much more. Personalized medicine and precision nutrition is a growing field at the forefront of preventative healthcare. Link to figure at right.

  • Why do you use a gene report as the foundation of your approach to nutrition, health, wellness and sports performance?

Using a gene report helps take some of the guesswork out of nutrition, lifestyle and sports performance recommendations. Your genes don't lie. It gives us a direction to point the flashlight, to dig deeper, to confirm with additional lab testing, or to make specific, targeted nutritional recommendations. Read "How Nutrigenomics May Impact the Way You Eat," from the Cleveland Clinic. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists trained in the field of nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics have a unique opportunity to provide nutrition counseling and personalized nutrition interventions based on a client's gene report, and this report can be referenced forever.

  • How is a DNA test performed?

Most tests are completed using a simple, at-home cheek swab. Follow the directions in the package and mail it back to the lab. Results are typically available in 3-4 weeks.

  • What companies do you use for gene reports?

The two companies that we are most familiar with and comfortable using are 3x4 Genetics and MaxGen Labs. Click their links to view a sample report.

  • Is my DNA data private?

Root & Fruit Nutrition only uses genetic testing labs that keep patient DNA and information private. It is not sold for product development and marketing. See the DNA testing company websites for more information on their policies and procedures.

  • Can you use 23andMe or AncestryDNA genetic data since I already have this?

As a followup to the prior question, inexpensive DNA testing companies such as these often have low prices because they may sell your data to pharmaceutical companies who want to develop drugs to market back to you. Additionally, they may or may not have the evidence-based SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms, sometimes called mutations) necessary to make the most effective nutrition recommendations. Running raw data files through 3rd party interpretation software (which costs extra money) and combing through SNPs that may or may not be clinically relevant is not the best use of time and money, and privacy is not guaranteed once raw data is uploaded elsewhere. While some nutrigenomics practitioners may use your raw data, Root & Fruit Nutrition does not. We only use DNA testing companies that protect your privacy and produce reports that are clinically relevant and comprehensive.


  • What will I learn from my gene report?

You'll learn about various metabolic pathways that may contribute to inflammation, detoxification, methylation, athletic performance and recovery, hormone balance, mood & behavior, cardiovascular health, glucose & insulin response, weight gain/loss influence, or bone health, along with nutrient absorption and utilization, or susceptibility to food sensitivities, autoimmunity or other disease concerns.

  • What if I don't want to do a gene report in order to work with you?

Sarah does her best work when your gene report is part of the context for your health or sports performance, and the goals you want to achieve. Without it, there is a bit more trial-and-error involved. However, there are certain instances where a gene report may not be necessary. Fill out the "Contact Us" form or schedule a FREE 15-minute discovery call to inquire if a DNA test is needed in your situation. Otherwise, Sarah may be able to refer you to another dietitian or practitioner based on your needs.​​

  • Do you accept insurance?

Currently, no. Medicare only covers patients with diabetes, kidney disease on dialysis or post-transplant (within 36 months). It is just as disappointing to Registered Dietitian Nutritionists as it is to you that our U.S. healthcare system does not cover nutrition preventative care services. Call your legislators to push through or introduce nutrition-related bills to expand Medicare coverage, such as the Medical Nutrition Therapy Act of 2021 so that we are better able to help a wider variety of patients and clients. We do, however, accept HSA/FSA payments. We also offer a 3-6 month payment plan option, if needed.

  • What forms of payment do you accept?

Credit or debit is the easiest. If you have HSA or FSA funds, we accept those! We also offer a 3-month or 6-month payment plan option, if needed. You can make a payment through the Practice Better portal when you purchase a package, book a session or speaking engagement. If you want to utilize another form of payment, contact us to inquire. If finances are tight, it is possible that we have some scholarship funds available for you to receive nutrition services from Root & Fruit Nutrition.

  • What if I'm not sure if this is the right route I want to take or if we will be a good fit to work together?

We've all been there. It's hard to know if a practitioner will be able to provide the services you need or if you'll make a good team. We want you to feel comfortable with your decision to invest in your long term health by working with Root & Fruit Nutrition. Please schedule a FREE 15-minute discovery call with Sarah and we'll see if she will be able to help and if it is a good fit.

  • Do you have examples of recommendations you might make?

It depends on the client's needs and situation, which are highly individualized based on genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors. First and foremost, we cannot recommend and implement something that you are not ready to do, or that is not in your budget. During any given consultation, we might suggest 2 or 3 things to focus on, so as to not overwhelm you. This could include adding any kind of movement or exercise that you enjoy 2-3x per week to help with stress and insulin sensitivity. Or, it could be suggesting mold remediation in your home, or implementing a biofilm detoxification protocol for chronic infection (because chronic infections impact nutrition availability and nutrient status). It could be adding a specific food, like fatty fish for omega 3 fatty acids, at least 1x per week. We like to use a "food first" approach before recommending supplements. While it may be necessary to remove certain things from your diet or lifestyle to encourage healing, restriction and dieting often does not have long-term results. Having a healthy relationship with food and enjoying foods in moderation is typically a better approach.

  • How quickly will I see results?

It depends on the client's needs and situation.
Some may find relief from inflammation or improved exercise recovery within days of introducing an intervention. For others, it can take weeks or months to see changes in lab values or reactions to certain foods. It is important to have a relationship with a licensed physician if you are taking medications or undergoing treatments that require medical intervention. Root & Fruit Nutrition does not diagnose conditions and will not recommend starting or stopping a medication or treatment without permission from your physician. We can, however, have an interdisciplinary approach with your medical team. Generally speaking, an average of 3-6 months can be expected to start seeing results, if you are implementing our recommendations.

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