“Nutrition is the most powerful tool functional medicine practitioners have at their disposal. Indeed, an appropriate dietary program can account for up to 80% of an individual’s success. Thus, for most of us, getting our diet properly “dialed in,” may be more effective than any other single intervention!
In our clinic, because we tend to see patients with complex, chronic conditions, we often use highly-personalized, multi-layered diets that address different health aspects at the same time. Understanding what foods to include and which to avoid, and at the same time maintaining a nutritionally-balanced diet, can be a challenging task. Focused, ongoing support for implementing your individualized dietary prescription is essential.
Our Functional Nutritionists are trained and experienced in Functional Medicine through our clinic and the Institute for Functional Medicine. Whether you are working with one of our Nutrition Team as part of your integrated care program, or whether you are taking advantage of our Functional Nutrition Packages and nutrition-only consultations, our goal is to deliver the most advanced care possible in a way that meets your health goals and lets you live your life to the full.
Nutrition consultations are available via phone or video conference, accessible wherever you are.
We look forward to working with you” – Romilly
All patients working with the clinic doctors will meet with the nutritionist for an hour as a part of their initial plan. Follow-up nutrition appointments are scheduled as-needed.
Working with one of our trained and skilled nutritionists, you will get the following benefits:
- Advanced Functional Nutrition
- Qualified nutritionists with advanced training from the Institute for Functional Medicine
- Functional laboratory assessment options
- Understand the root cause of your health issues
- Learn safe and effective ways to restore and optimize health
- Correct implementation of therapeutic diets
- Prevent or correct nutrient imbalances
- Practical tools and motivational support
- Recipes and guides
We can help you make your therapeutic plan nutritious and do-able. You will receive personalized help in achieving your goals, such as:
- Understanding how diet and lifestyle can affect your current symptoms
- Personalized Food Plans that combine all aspects of your dietary prescription into a simple set of guidelines to follow
- Nutritional intake evaluations to ensure you’re receiving a healthy, balanced diet
- Setting goals and tracking progress
- Meal plans, recipes and shopping tips that fit your diet, personal preferences and lifestyle
- Alternative, nutritious foods to replace the foods you love but can no longer have
- Guidance on when and how to reintroduce foods into your diet
- Ideas that will work with children or a busy lifestyle
- Recommendations for further reading and recipe books
- What to do when you have food cravings
- How to reduce your exposure to toxins in food
- What foods to buy organic and how to choose safe meats and fish
- How to avoid genetically modified foods
- How to avoid gastrointestinal upsets from foods and/or supplements
- Overcoming plateaus in your progress
- How to enjoy food in a way that supports health!
NEW Functional Nutrition Packages (Access Available Remotely)
Therapeutic Diets & Lifestyle Plans
We are versed in correct implementation of many therapeutic diet and lifestyle plans for adults and children. Specialized laboratory diagnostics are often used as part of an overall approach to identifying the correct approach for each individual.
We are experienced in supporting many chronic conditions, and draw on various therapeutic diets, often in combination, to create carefully-customized plans that target your specific needs.
Conditions we support include:
- Autism Spectrum
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Chronic Fatigue
- Gut Dysfunction
- Hormone Imbalance
- Kidney Disease
- Insulin Resistance and Blood Sugar Imbalance
- SIBO (Small-Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)
- Weight-loss and Weight-loss Resistance
Experienced in many different dietary tools, including:
- Individualized hypoallergenic diets
- Elimination diets
- Gluten and casein-free diets
- Cross-reaction elimination diets
- Anti-inflammatory diets
- Low carbohydrate diets
- Grain/legume-free diets
- Gut-repair diets
- Low FODMAPs
- Anti-yeast protocols
- Specific Carbohydrate Diets
- Low histamine
- Low lectin
- Low prolamine
- Low nickel
- Low oxalate/salicylate
- Calorie restricted ketogenic diet (Based on Dr. Tom Seyfried’s research)
Our clinic is well-versed in the implementation of therapeutic diets for children.
Our Nutrition Team
Lara Zakaria RPh MSc CNS CN CDN is a Nutritionist, specializing in Functional Medicine. She uses scientific evidence as well as positive psychology to inspire patients to use whole food, herbs and lifestyle modification to achieve their health goals.
NEW! Functional Nutrition Packages
Do you have a specific issue you want to address with our nutrition team? Then our Functional Nutrition Packages are for you. Whether it is weight loss, hormone balancing, happy bellies or nutrition optimization, our experienced nutrition team can help.
This isn’t your bog-standard nutrition care package – all of our Functional Nutritionists are trained and experienced in Functional Medicine through our clinic and the Institute for Functional Medicine. Your nutritionist will help you uncover the root causes of your issues, using detailed histories and functional laboratory testing (included in your package), and create a highly-tailored Functional Medicine plan just for you. Follow-up consultations are included too. Our nutrition team also has the benefit of ready access to Functional Medicine physicians during weekly Clinical Grand Rounds, to consult on your case should that be needed.
To find out more about each Functional Nutrition Package select from the options below.
NOTE that lab testing is included in all packages (with the exception of weight loss)
What clients say
In January, I began with Dr. Fitzgerald, Romilly, and Rhonda. My symptoms were Hypersensitivity to foods, weight gain which I have not been able to lose for over 10 years, extreme fatigue, autoimmune of the thyroid, and that was only some of my issues! After extensive blood work, I was placed on a very restrictive food plan. When I continued to have severe reactions, the plan became even more restrictive. I chose to send weekly food journals to Romilly in order for her to discern the cause of the reactions. However, by making these journals after every meal, I began to see where problems were and sometimes was able to correct issues almost immediately. It is now 6 months since I began and I am slowly able to re-introduce some foods without problems, my weight loss has cooperated, and my energy is almost back to normal.
From my experience, I would like to share some steps I took which helped in the process.
- Please give Dr. Fitzgerald and Romilly the chance to help you, by helping yourself. Follow what they recommend (food, supplements, etc.) ! You are paying for their advise, so following it is a good use of your hard earned money!
- Keep a food journal, even if it is not requested. You will begin to notice similarities in intake and body response. I have really begun to learn my body through this process and thought in the past that I knew my body well. (I simply jotted down on a paper what I ate and put it on my computer when I had time….or print out a journal and jot it down as you go)
- If you cheat (or deviate as Romilly prefers), be honest with yourself and with them. They will not reprimand, but deviating from the plan, and your response to that deviation, is as important as staying true to the recommendations. (Just try to keep your deviations at a minimum)
- Be patient. (Easier said than done) There is light at the end of the tunnel. I see mine! It may take a long time, but just remember, it took a long time to get where you were when you sought treatment.
- Keep positive. Does it seem like a LONG time until you will be healed? Let me ask you, what is a few months (6, 18, 24) compared to the rest of your life?
I live in a very small town with minimal organic items available and NO clean meats. I have to drive 2 hours to get proper selections. The foods that were on my approved list could be typed in 2 columns on a piece of paper, not categories, but actual items. Even with the limitations, I was able to stick with the restrictions. When I thought I had ‘had enough’, I would remind myself the positive changes I had seen in body, emotions, mindset, every area. Knowing I did not want to go backward, I would be encouraged to continue on.
Dr. Fitzgerald, Romilly, and Rhonda are knowledgeable, thorough, caring, and encouraging. I feel so blessed to have found their clinic from Texas. This is the best investment I have made in my health.
70 Year Old Female Breast Cancer Survivor With Toxic Metal Exposure and Osteoporosis: I have seen a few naturopaths over the years, but Dr. Fitzgerald stands out in that she has provided the most comprehensive analysis of the underlying causes of my health concerns. Her education and interest in the laboratory sciences is evident as she analyses specialty lab results and explains in an understandable way. I highly recommend her as an analytical problem solver.
The approach to my healthcare is unique and specific to me. Like DNA and fingerprints are unique, so are my healthcare needs. I wanted to find the root cause for my health concerns, to treat the primary cause and not the symptoms. Dr. Fitzgerald’s approach is radically different. She is tuned in to me. She responds to me within 24 hours. The intimacy of working with Dr. K is different than the yearly physical.
I went to Weight Watchers for 3 years and did not/could not reach my goal. My starting weight [with Dr. Fitzgerald] was 205 pounds and my current weight is 171 pounds. Since working with Dr. Fitzgerald, I have achieved my goal weight and have maintained it so far. I am now off all medications [statin, antihistamine, antihypertensive, aspirin]. My quality of life is improving. I want to live a long time and be healthy and energetic. I enjoy relationships with my family and friends and want to see my grandchildren have grandchildren. Most people do not know how sick they are. I have a little story to share: A frog put in a pot of boiling water will jump out. If you put in a cool pot and the heat is slowly turned up, changes aren’t noticeable and the frog boils… Slow acclimation and degeneration of health”
I am on a journey. Meet me in 6 months. J
TL, 43 year old male athlete presenting with gastrointestinal pain, maldigestion and malabsorption. Dr. Fitzgerald employed the powerful tools of laboratory science to quickly diagnose my health problems. That is to say, ‘a problem recognized is half solved.’ This developed into a functional medicine treatment plan that afforded speedy healing. Ultimately, a chronic health problem has been reversed, improving the quality of my life! Dr Fitzgerald is both a practitioner and a scientist. She is passionate about both healing and educating her patients. The patient is always involved in the healing process, not simply a number. I would recommend the services of Dr. Fitzgerald with my whole heart. Her approach to the healing of the whole person is evident in every aspect of her expertise.
I had been to twenty different doctors before I was referred to Dr. Fitzgerald by my pain physician!! Dr Fitzgerald has helped me more than any other doctor in my life, and I am 68. I appreciate her systematic approach to diagnosis and her respect for my not wanting pharmaceuticals. She has truly pays attention and asks many good questions. Her treatment protocol relieved most of my chronic pain. I wish more doctors integrated the approach Dr. Fitzgerald takes. The description of her practice says it all: Evidenced-based integrative medicine!! If you are at the end of your rope, call her. [ST’s Current weight loss: 28 pounds]
Dr. Kara Fitzgerald is truly one in a million. I feel extremely fortunate to have met her and think of her as a blessing in my life. She has helped shed light on my very, very rare immune disorder in a way that no other specialist in Integrative medicine, or any other physician has ever come close to and I have knocked on many doors for answers and help through my years of suffering. She has literally helped turn my life around and has helped me derail a disease process that in traditional textbooks is chronic and terminal. Dr. Fitzgerald has saved my life and because of her I can help others. She is a mentor, a dear colleague, and a true healer and her compassion, intelligence, and knowledge surpass most. I have her in my heart and mind every day and can never thank her enough.
When I met Dr. Kara, I was crippled by an inflammatory disease. I had seen three physicians previously who could not help me. That was in late 2009. I am now back to living a healthy & wholesome lifestyle! I have been able to stop steroids. I know for sure if I stayed with my rheumatologist, I might still be on steroids with all the side effects. I am too young for that!
Dr Fitzgerald thinks and acts “outside of the box” of western medicine. She actually listens to her patients and respects us as unique individuals who need help and direction. She is kind, smart, attentive and determined & committed to helping her patients return to wellness without the risky “modern” medications
Now, I can exercise regularly without discomfort and look forward to the retirement time that I worked so hard for. Dr. Kara’s mantra was “stay the course,” I did, and so far, SO GOOD! Thank you, Dr. Kara, keep up your caring for others like me…. [note: this individual’s eczema also resolved during the course of her care, and has stayed in remission]
UPDATE: I am happy to tell you that I am doing quite well. Even my fingernails finally look lady-like. That took forever (you did tell me they would get back and you were right). I just wanted to reassure you that I am well at the age of 66 and feeling like it’s just a number, because I am keeping up with those young ‘uns three times a week at my exercise class ( “bootcamp” ) which I’ve been going to for the past 2 1/2 yrs. I have not experienced any semblance of polymyalgia since seeing you and another great thing for me is the eczema on my hands which was so horrible for a few years is 95% better.
So wonderful not to have 2-3 band-aids on my hands and fingers at a time. I hope I’m not jinxing myself, but I so wanted to share my wellness with you since you are a big reason for it. I felt it was important to stay in touch with you and again want to thank you for your past support in my “staying the course.” I feel so fortunate that our lives crossed.
Our son suffered from an in-utero stroke and was recently diagnosed with autism. Since birth we have taken him to dozens of doctors. He’s been through several different Neurologists, GI, Physiatrist, Orthopedist, Developmental Pediatrician and Hematologists.
We had him in Occupational, Physical, Speech and Aqua therapy, almost daily. Needless to say, we did everything possible to learn more about how we can help speed up his recovery process and give him all the resources available! Every physician was telling us that there is nothing else, medically, that can be done to help Nick. We were told that he will heal on his own time and that we should continue with his vigorous therapies. We didn’t want to accept the “waiting” for our son be reach his potential so we researched DAN doctors. That’s where we came across Dr Kara Fitzgerald. We started the evaluation process with Dr Fitzgerald only a few months ago.
After a comprehensive work up and evaluation, we found he had certain food sensitivities and was lacking vitamins in his body. A diet modification plan was put into place as well as some supplementation. He has made AMAZING progress. Most significantly, his speech has improved remarkably.
Currently he is using full sentences and initiating conversations, just to talk! His temperament has mellowed out quite a bit and he hasn’t had a tantrum in months. He is excelling in his Kindergarten program and his teacher wants to start transitioning him into a “typical” Kindergarten class room. All because we were lucky enough to find Dr Fitzgerald, we are getting to see our REAL son; the silly, vocal, lively, kind-hearted 5 year old boy. We look forward to our sons continued progress in the care of Dr Fitzgerald and we are hopeful that one day he may even lose his autistic diagnosis!
53 Year Old Female With Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Gluten Intolerance: At one point before starting with Dr. Fitzgerald, I was unable to get out of bed for three weeks running. I was scared! I was exhausted! The most valuable aspect [of treatment] has been full recovery from CFS. Dr. Fitzgerald has a functional approach that is unusual in the medical community. I am just so grateful for the help & support returning from chronic fatigue syndrome to health!
I was diagnosed with both osteoarthritis and psoriatic arthritis, and had a positive outcome and good pain relief with methotrexate, Celebrex and Dilaudid. A year and one half into receiving narcotic pain medication and physical therapy at ADPTC* with significantly positive outcomes, the suggestion was made that I try something new—naturopathic medication—that is what brought me to my state today. Although the initial clinical screening [with laboratory testing] was expensive, it was the convincer. I would never have believed otherwise that the level of vitamins and nutrients in my body were so low!
I have been able to reduce the number and frequency of my medications substantially. Some have been eliminated. Others are at a very low level. I expect further reductions this summer. I have much less morning arthritic pain and pain in the evening, even after a day of high activity and work stress.
Since I began an integrative approach, my pain level and overall feeling of wellness has changed dramatically for the better. Not only has the pain subsided substantially, but I have more energy and fewer food cravings the entire day! I can actually feel the positive effect after drinking my smoothie in the morning. My diet has changed in ways I never would have imagined. Clinical tests showed a yeast infection, high mercury levels in my blood stream, an allergic reaction to milk products, and a low level of nutrients across the board. I have dealt with these results through a systematic change in diet and a comprehensive set of nutritional supplements to deal with nutritional and vitamin deficiencies.
Before [experiencing] this paradigm shift in nutrition, I wouldn’t have thought I could reverse the trajectory of my health. Now I believe I can. A targeted and specific program of nutrition and supplements can make a big difference in the way you feel and the way you score on metabolic tests.
I have regained much of the vigor of my early adult life. The focus of our health care system should be the preventive health care practices we trumpet, but we never seem to be able to launch. Hopefully, health care reform will place more emphasis on preventive measures making it less necessary for desperate people to seek traditional medical treatments for severe illness.
This approach works! However, it requires a great deal of personal discipline to change traditional eating habits.” (Total weight loss at this writing: 64lbs)
*Advanced Diagnostic Pain Treatment Centers, Dr Fitzgerald’s former clinic www.adptc.com
I was on a high level of pain medicine, including fentanyl and other medications for a total of 6 prescriptions [for fibromyalgia, inflammatory arthritis, degenerative joint disease]. Since working with Dr. Fitzgerald and ADPTC*, I have stopped taking all pain medication, and medicine for cholesterol, blood pressure and prostate. My pain level was 7/10, [with medication] today it is 2/10 [without medication].
Previously, I tried to improve my health. I weighed 230 pounds and got down to 165 pounds making changes on my own. But I had health issues that were not resolved. I realized that I was still unhealthy, even though I had lost much weight.
My quality of life has significantly increased/improved since seeing Dr. Fitzgerald. Now I take supplements and eat healthy food instead of the 6 prescriptions I used to take. I have been able to maintain my weight and improve my overall health.” -WC, 56yo male diagnosed with fibromyalgia, inflammatory arthritis, degenerative joint disease
*Advanced Diagnostic Pain Treatment Centers, Dr Fitzgerald’s former clinic www.adptc.com
My pain doctor suggested I consult with Dr. Fitzgerald. Brilliant! Working with her, we discovered that my sensitivity to gluten was responsible for the fatigue and “yucky” feelings. The mild, but lingering discomfort not controlled by pain medication dissipated entirely. Through nutritional supplementation and homeopathic remedies, my energy level is through the roof! The insomnia I’ve suffered with for decades is in the past. The lethargy and brain fog that were part of my life for the past several years are gone. I am doing so well that my pain doctor has decreased the dosage on one of my medications. I continue to feel well, even with the decrease. We will continue to reduce the pain medications…. I am loving the positive domino effect: The pain is gone, my energy has returned, insomnia is controlled and my mood is once again upbeat. I practice yoga, enjoy long walks, train with weights….the dominos continue to fall. Note: DG lost 17 pounds.