It has been quite a year of change, and it all seems to be flying by so quickly I have to remind myself now and then to have a seat and take it all in. I’ll have a few hours to do that tomorrow as I fly to Las Vegas for my Nutritional Therapy Consultant workshop.
I’m just over two months into an intense and exciting holistic nutrition program to become a certified Nutritional Therapy Consultant via the Nutritional Therapy Association. In fact, class started just five days before our wedding back in February. I wasn’t kidding when I said that 2017 is full of transitions.
I feel so thrilled about this endeavor and I can’t wait to share what I’m learning.
Why Holistic Nutrition: In a Nutshell
Like many who choose this path, I was drawn to holistic nutrition because of a love for food, how it helped me heal (my gut issues, skin, and frequent anxiety), and my curiosity to learn more about how the body works – and thrives with a proper diet and lifestyle changes.
I am also frustrated with the abundance of misinformation when it comes to nutrition. I know most of the Instagram “experts” have good intentions, but if I see one more microwaved protein bar or low fat cooking spray my eyes are going to roll out of my head. I am also tired of the influence of Big Pharma on health in this country. (Did you know pharmaceutical advertising to consumers is illegal everywhere in the world except for the United States and New Zealand?) Don’t get me wrong, modern medicine is amazing and there is a time and a place for pharmaceutical drugs, but they shouldn’t be the answer for everything. (And to think I wanted to be a pharma sales rep when I chose health communication as my major in undergrad!)
I want to use my creativity and passion for food to show that nourishing options taste really good. I hope that, as a holistic nutritionist, I can help others be proactive in their health. I want to empower others to understand their symptoms, their bodies, and how even small diet and lifestyle changes can yield a more healthful, vibrant life in time. I especially want women to know there’s so much more to diet and wellbeing than a number on a scale.
How did I choose the Nutritional Therapy Association?
I discovered the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) last summer via their ad on Balanced Bites, one of my favorite podcasts. The NTA’s philosophy emphasizes real, nutrient-dense whole foods as a way to help clients find wellness that suits their bio-individual nutritional needs. They don’t peddle a one-sized-fits all diet that’s based on institutionalized nutritional dogma and instead use an investigative approach to discover what food and lifestyle changes will help clients be well. Everything resonated strongly with me and I need to know more.
I chose the Nutritional Therapy Consultant track over the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification because I wasn’t sure that I’d want to do a hands-on functional evaluation with clients and I figured if I change my mind I can pursue that certification later. Aside from the functional exam, the curriculum for both programs are the same, online-based, and 9 months in length.
Nutritional Therapy Practitioners and Consultants do not diagnose or treat disease. They use tools like a Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire, comprehensive consultation, and food journal analysis to find diet, supplementation, and lifestyle changes that can improve wellbeing.
The timing was felicitous for me. By the end of last summer I was feeling burned out and uninspired at work. I knew I needed to make a change, but it wasn’t easy moving from my comfort zone – I had a steady income, benefits, a community of coworkers I loved. I couldn’t stop thinking about the NTC course, so I set my sights on the Winter 2017 class. I had barely done more than secure a photographer and venue for our destination wedding that was less than six months away, but I didn’t want to wait another year to pursue this passion. I figured I would find a way to make it work. With the course start date shortly before the wedding I ordered a few of the required books in the fall to get a head start. I read in the evening after work and started my application for enrollment.
Then, I was unexpectedly laid off from my job just after the new year. I felt blindsided and upset, but I saw it as a sign (maybe a shove) toward this direction that lights me up. I also felt a bit of relief, because I didn’t know how I’d manage juggling a busy full-time job and studying 20 hours a week.
Within six weeks I lost my job, went back to school, and completed a Whole30. Am I forgetting anything? A career change is both exciting and scary, but great things don’t come from being comfortable and I feel stoked about this direction.
I initially created this site when I was looking for my first job out of college. Then I updated it intermittently with random content. It lacked direction and now it’s well overdue for an overhaul. (First and foremost, the name – but I don’t want that to hold me back from sharing content.) Now I want to share what I learn over the next several months here.
If you looked at this, thank you. Above all, thank you to Neil and my friends and family for the support and encouragement during this transition. I have a ton of reading ahead of me, but I’m eager to soak it all up.