“Let food by thy medicine, and let medicine by thy food”- Hippocrates
Many of you do know that I am obsessed with nutrition and the science behind it. What you may not know is that I was going to school to become a dietitian and was accepted into the San Diego State program for Nutrition but declined to go. This was a very big and hard decision for me since it was something I had wanted for so long and spent so much time and money going to school for. I knew that my calling was in the nutrition field but becoming a dietitian was not.
After taking multiple Nutrition classes taught by dietitians and speaking to them during office hours I came to the conclusion that going that route was not for me. Another 2 years at State school, with a year unpaid internship (most likely out of state) and then trying to find a job not in a hospital setting. And this is if I finished the program before 2020, If I didn’t finish by then I would also have to get my master’s degree as well. I know that doesn’t sound like too much to achieve but do you realize how expensive all this adds up to, and how deep in debt I would be in student loans, and that dietitians don’t start off making or ever achieving a 5-figure income, most have to work 2 jobs for a few years just to get by. And I knew going into the program that working in a hospital was not for me, I didn’t want to have a doctor be able to over-ride my diet recommendations for patients. Like how crazy is that! I’m the one who went through years of studying nutrition just to have a doctor, who by the way has probably only taken ONE semester of nutrition over ride my recommendations. Yes, you read that correct, doctors only need to take one semester of nutrition in their studies, and most doctors still believe that there is no correlation with diet and health. How ABSURD is that!! Even without graduating I have more knowledge in nutrition than most doctors. It has taken me years to wrap my mind around that.
But why not still become a dietitian to help change the world? After taking multiple courses and seeing what my program would be focusing on I started realizing that I felt something was missing in my studies, too much focus on calories and macronutrients, and diets focused on diseases and illnesses, when I felt there should be more focus on the quality of the foods we are ingesting and how we should look more into how our diets have evolved, and how we can let food help heal our bodies and support its natural functions. Also, I wanted to learn more of why we are having an epidemic of chronic diseases, fertility issues, and other deformities when our ancestors and third world countries don’t seem phased by these issues. How can we be so advanced yet have so many sick people? How can the government be so okay with putting chemicals into our food, yet pretend that they are not affecting our bodies in any way? I believe in prevention is our best health advocate and focusing on whole foods is the answer.
I do believe most dietitians want to change how our government controls the food industry and that they do want to get their clients healthy, but I also know that most dietitians just believe everything they were taught that was influenced by the government and the companies that influence their decisions. I personally follow a bunch of dietitians that have the same mindset as me and feel that “diets” are not a one size fit all and that our different bodies dictate needing different diets. After speaking to multiple teachers, it became clear that I wanted to go a more holistic route to learning about food, my teachers were very supportive of me becoming a Holistic Nutritionist, they even said we all must work together to change the world and listen to all knowledge. I feel I have more of a voice by becoming a Holistic Nutritionist and I will make more of an impact this way.
This began my search on becoming a holistic nutritionist and what program would give me the best knowledge and platform. Becoming a nutritionist is so exciting because you can have your own practice but just so you are aware you are legally not allowed to diagnose, treat pathological conditions, illnesses, injuries or diseases. But depending on your state legislature you are allowed to evaluate nutritional needs and make recommendations for dietary and lifestyle changes. Two sites to look at to find out what your legal rights are as a nutritionist in your state are http://www.holisticcouncil.com/california.html and http://nutritionadvocacy.org/
After finding out that California and Arizona do allow me to practice as a Nutritionist my search began. If you start googling how to become a nutritionist, or nutrition programs the results can be overwhelming. So, I started looking at what separates programs from each other. What credentials can be obtained. Becoming a holistic nutritionist can vary with “credentials,” I was looking for programs that were not just recognized by the organization that is offering them. I wanted to do a program that was set to a higher standard and was vetted by qualified professionals. That is when I found the NANP , National Association of Nutrition Professionals. The NANP organization has vetted many online and in person programs and schools and have come up with a standard for not only Nutritional Consultants but Natural Chefs as well. The program I chose not only was recommended on their website, but the program I chose once graduating allows me to sit for the board exam to be “Board Certified”. Being Board certified allows me to have more credibility, assurance for my clients, and validation (that it is not just a certificate program that my dog can get). The reason I went with a NANP accredited school over American Naturopathic Medical Certification Board (ANMCB) was the fact that the NANP accredited school requires post graduates to keep their title to do continuing education classes, and if you are board certified there are additional CE’s that need to be done. The science and studies on nutrition are ever changing and evolving and the only way to stay on top of it is to continue learning about it. To me that showed me that this company and group of professionals are legit. Starting to sound similar to requirements for dietitians, right?
So what program did I chose and why: I chose to go through the NTA program, Nutritional Therapy Association. The specific program I chose was to become a Nutritional Consultant, the difference between the Consultant and Practitioner programs are how you want to interact with clients, both courses offer the same education but differ on functional evaluations. Do you feel like having a more online based business, or meeting and using other methods to evaluate your clients? For me the NTC program spoke to me and going through the what courses and information I would be learning about, I knew it was the right match, the NTC program is fully online and a year program, whereas the NTP is a 9 month mostly online program with 3 hands on training sessions.
I can’t wait to share my knowledge from my courses and where it will take me. I hope you continue to follow my journey of becoming a Nutritional Consultant and hopefully how I change the world one vegetable at a time. It’s time for us to take the reins back on our lives and follow a path to balance and health
If you are considering becoming a nutritionist I highly recommend doing your own research and making sure you are getting the education that you are looking for. And as always please feel free to comment or message me with any questions or if you want to chat further.
Love and Light-
Navigating through a modern life in the holistic lane