It's been about a year since I completed my health coaching course through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and this post is long overdue. I'm often asked by others about my opinion of the course and if I think it's a good program.
The answer is....maybe.
Personally, I was absolutely wowed by the course. It was exactly what I was looking for and I loved every minute of it. It changed my life and has allowed me to create this beautiful passion-fuelled life I now live. It has helped me heal myself, connected me with like-minded individuals all around the world and has enabled me to inspire people to live their life to their fullest.
But whether IIN is a good choice for you, depends on YOU and what you’re after. Let’s have a closer look:
What is IIN?
IIN is a 1-year long online program designed for people who are passionate about health and wellness. It is broken down into weekly modules (which you can work through in your own time) in which you will learn about nutrition, healthy lifestyle choices, mind and body connections, coaching and business skills. The course aims to empower you to transform your personal life and in turn help others transform their lives too.
A common question I get is whether it provides you with enough education and tools to work in the field of health, and this is a bit tricky because it completely depends on how you want to use it. Personally, I wanted to a) deepen my knowledge on nutrition and wellbeing b) continue on the self-development journey that I was on c) gain coaching tools and techniques to help others who are struggling with food and body image issues. For the latter, I knew that I didn’t need a 4-year nutrition degree. Yes, I wanted to help people eat healthy and do the right things for their body, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work with people where food wasn’t REALLY the issue. IIN seemed to be the perfect fit. It would take one year, I could complete it while working 80% on the side, it had an incredibly holistic approach teaching you over 100 different dietary theories + mind/body connection, and the cost was reasonable.
What is a Health Coach?
A Health Coach is certified to help clients upgrade their overall wellbeing through diet and lifestyle changes. You will help your clients develop a deeper understanding of the foods and lifestyle choices that work best for them and implement changes that improve their energy and health. You don’t medicate or prescribe. You educate and inspire.
Let’s be clear: in no way does the course qualify anyone to become a nutritionist. Of course you study nutritional theories, but not in the same depths that you would when completing a university degree. The qualification does not teach you the detailed biochemistry, for example. In that regard, I find the fact that IIN describes themselves as the world’s largest “nutrition school” a bit deceiving at first, if you don’t do further research.
But…let’s put it like this. Many people know what we should and shouldn’t eat. If it were that simple, we wouldn’t have a health crisis and exuberating statistics around eating disorders and emotional eating. Oftentimes knowledge is not power and people need concrete help in implementing positive change. And that’s where a health coach can really help. At IIN, you learn how to really listen to people. How to ask the right questions and find the root causes of certain issues.
If you have a complicated health issue or medical condition, you would go to a clinical Dietician or Nutritionist. But if you are looking for day-to-day support, accountability and a general lifestyle overhaul that includes diet, exercise, mindset, learning to take care of yourself etc, then a health coach will be your partner in crime.
Who teaches the classes?
About half of the program is taught by Joshua Rosenthal, the founder and director of IIN. Then there’s many amazing speakers who are at the forefront of the health and wellness field. Some of them include Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Deepak Chopra, David Wolfe, Dr. Mark Hyman, Joy Bauer and many more.
What kinds of career paths can you take after graduating from IIN?
People do all kinds of different things. Some are full-time clients (online coaching, face-to-face coaching, group coaching), some write books, create healthy products, teach workshops, launch online courses, work at wellness centers alongside nutritionists and doctors…you name it. Some of the most well-known graduates are Melissa Ambrosini and Sarah Wilson from I Quit Sugar, to name a few.
How many hours per week do you need to dedicate to it?
When I went through the program, I was working 80% and dedicating the rest of the time towards IIN and my blog. I dedicated a couple of hours on a weeknight, and a couple of hours on a weekend morning each week. I also loved listening to lectures while cooking, commuting etc, though I often re-listened to them afterward to take notes. I know of people who do IIN while working full-time with kids and I know of people who don’t work at all and do the course; either way it’s totally doable.
How much does it cost?
Want a big saving on your IIN tuition fees? Head here or click the banner below to get all the details and take the first step to becoming a certified health coach with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
They also offer incredible enrollment savings every now and then, so if you're interested to learn more about them, just let me know and I’ll tell you all about it!”
I want to go vegan – is the course right for me?
One of the greatest things about IIN is it’s focus on bio-individuality. One man’s food might be another man’s poison. That means, rather than preaching one particular way of diet, the program encourages you to experiment with different dietary philosophies and find something that works for you. They show you the pro’s and con’s of everything, but in the end you need to know what suits you best. I know of students who were meat-eaters before doing the program and became full-fletched vegans, but I also know students who were vegan and started eating animal products during the program again. For me personally, the program taught me to be less strict on myself and trust my intuition again. I've learnt to listen to my hunger feelings, deconstruct my cravings and actually give my body what it needs. You can read a bit more about my search for the perfect diet here, as IIN has helped me tremendously in that regard.
Full disclosure: Already during the program, I became an ambassador for IIN. It’s been a very organic process, simply because I rant on about how much I loved the program to everyone who doesn’t run for the hills. That means that I receive a monetary reward when people I recommend (via this blog or in-person) enroll at IIN. If you do want to enroll and to use me as a referral, here’s a link that you can use to save some $$ from the enrollment fee.