The Institute for Integrative Nutrition


By Nancy Smorch

I wanted to take a moment and share with you a bit about another journey I’ve recently set sail on.

Experimenting with food and changing the way I eat has made such a big impact on my health that I wanted to find a way to help others improve their health as well, and have a chance to experience the same joys of living a healthier lifestyle.

I did some research and really thought about how I could help others. In doing so, I came across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  After looking through their website and reading about what many of their graduates were doing, I really felt that this program resonated with me.

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition trains you to become a Certified Health Coach.  What I really loved about the program, aside from it’s emphasis on learning about the (over 100) diets out there, was that they want students to focus on all areas of life, not just food. That means they want people to consider other important factors in health and happiness, like relationships, exercise, spirituality, and career. They also highlight and acknowledge bio-individuality (meaning that what works for one person may not work for another), among other things. I found this view empowering.

At the Institute, they really work with their students to break through their own barriers and fears.  They give their students a ton of tools and guidance to succeed in whatever they decide to do with their Health Coaching Certificate.

What really makes them stand apart, for me anyway, is how they encourage you to start going out and making a difference.  They don’t create people who remain dependent on them, but turn out individuals who can succeed on their own, in the hopes of making the world a healthier place.

I’m only in week 4 of the program, but so far, I love the content, and I also love that I’m seeing changes already in myself by going through this program and becoming more mindful of a number of things.  The Institute has a great way of presenting, inspiring, and motivating.

Check out their site! Even if you’re not interested in becoming a Health Coach, it’s exciting to see and feel the movement that they are creating by training people to get out and help others take charge of their health, and, in the process, they're shaping the future of healthcare.

Here’s a peek at a couple of things I have been exposed to that have already changed my life and the way I think:

The idea of “crowding out” foods - rather than forcing yourself to eliminate certain foods (i.e. ice cream or sugar or junk food), “crowd them out” by adding more of other things like fruits and vegetables or water.  Often, when people add in what their body really needs (i.e. whole fresh foods), the desire for the other foods starts to go away.

The other thing that has changed the way I think is their concept of “Primary Foods”.  Primary foods, according to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, are relationships, exercise, career, and spirituality.  Secondary Foods are actually the foods you eat.  You need balance in all areas of your life.  If you are just focusing on the actual food you eat, but your relationships at work or home aren’t healthy, then chances are your overall health is compromised.  And, you can eat all of the right foods, but if you are unhappy in your career, again, your health will most likely suffer.  Have you ever seen people who eat total crap, yet are healthy and happy?  More than likely, it’s because they have balance in their Primary Foods area.  And, have you seen people who eat meticulously, making sure everything they put in their mouth is healthy, yet they look sick, low energy or unhappy?  Chances are, they are deficient in one or more areas of their Primary Foods.

Anyway, I’m having a ball and loving the energy of the whole program (which is a big thing for me!).

Thanks for letting me share :)