It’s extremely weird that I haven’t written this post yet. I could have written it anytime over the last 4 years and I’m just writing it now, because a lot of people have been requesting it lately.
The most frequent email into my inbox is usually someone with questions about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the holistic nutrition program I graduated from and got my Health Coach Certification from.
Because I get so many questions about it, I figured I’d write a more comprehensive review on my blog. (But don’t be afraid to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about it too!)
It feels particularly special to write this tonight. I’ve been feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude for my life these days. Since I graduated from IIN, I’ve created a career and lifestyle that make me so insanely happy, where I get to share and help people every day (I’m still working on some of the details and enhancements of it, but it’s been pretty awesome so far), I’m moving into a great little apartment of my own in a couple of weeks (which I actually got approved for with my own financial information – a big deal when you’re in NYC and self-employed!), I’ve been able to meet, connect with, and learn from some of the most inspiring people in the wellness world, I’ve had endless travel opportunities connected to health/nutrition/wellness, the people I spend the majority of my time with absolutely amaze me to no end…and tomorrow I’m leaving to travel across the world with the coolest guy I know. Pinch me please. (Or follow me on instagram). Of course, nothing is ever PERFECT, and there are always difficult times – but life ain’t bad, and I can always trace my success back to the day I decided to enroll at IIN.
I’m not trying to brag about my life — I’ve worked hard for it. I am trying to tell you that you CAN create your dream lifestyle. Really. In 2010, right before I enrolled at IIN, I was singing a different tune, working at a 9-5, putting together PowerPoint presentations every day about pharmaceutical drugs. Yup.
I’m going to give you my IIN experience, the questions I get asked most frequently over email, as well as the honest pros and cons of this program.
Some of the basics:
What is The Institute for Integrative Nutrition?
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) is a holistic nutrition program (it’s actually the world’s largest nutrition school). It started in 1992 as a small classroom of students and has grown to have over 50,000 grads worldwide. It’s a balance of nutrition/wellness/lifestyle classes as well as business classes on how to start a business as a Health Coach, begin a career in the wellness world, or incorporate health coaching into your current career/lifestyle.
What is a Health Coach, anyway?
Here’s a great resource for learning more about health coaching: What’s It Like To Be A Health Coach?
Is the course all online? Can you take it from anywhere?
Yes – the course is all digital, you listen to classes and have access to videos as well. You can take the course from anywhere. If you’re curious about how that all works, you can try a sample class here.
How long does it take?
The course takes 1 year. By the end of that year, you’ll be a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. You can also get credits towards continuing education — learn more about that here.
How many hours per week do you need to dedicate to it?
When I went through the program, I was at a full-time job. I dedicated a couple of hours on a weeknight, and a couple of hours on a weekend morning each week. I would also listen to classes while cooking, commuting, etc. It was very doable!
How much does it cost?
You can email me directly at email@example.com and I’ll hook you up with the specific numbers and tuition savings info, but I can tell you this — it’s WAY cheaper now than it was when I enrolled! It’s actually about $3,000 cheaper now than it was when I went. I honestly would have paid double what I paid, though, for the way it changed the course of my career and life. (And as a bonus, I always have a special savings offer available for you, especially if you email me directly, so don’t worry about that).
Why do you always seem to have tuition discounts available?
I have tuition discounts available because I’m an IIN Ambassador – I’m part of a group of graduates who have stayed SUPER connected with the school/community since graduation, are passionate about the program and want to help spread the word to other people – essentially creating a “ripple effect” of health and wellness superheroes. 😉
How much money can you make as a Health Coach?
Everyone charges differently, but definitely $100+ per hour for one on one coaching. I charged less when I first started out, but once you get the hang of it you’ll learn to value your offerings in a way that feels really good to you. At IIN they’ll give you pricing recommendations and help you figure out what’s best for you.
Does the school focus on one dietary theory (is it vegetarian or vegan)?
No. You’ll learn about veganism, and you’ll learn about how to eat meat and animal products in a healthy way, too. You’ll learn the upsides and downsides to all sorts of diets, and how each can be healing or harming based on a person’s individual situation. When I first enrolled at IIN I was a strict vegan, and by the time I got through the program I experimented more with my own diet and was able to coach people who did and did not eat animal products, in a healthy way that was suited for their own unique needs.
Why did you choose IIN over other Health Coaching programs?
IIN was the only Health Coaching program I had ever heard of. I didn’t look into any other programs because I didn’t have to — anyone who I respected or looked up to in the nutrition/wellness world either graduated from there, or was a teacher there. When I found IIN, I was in an advertising job I wasn’t happy with, and I was feverishly researching nutrition and wellness information online all the time. IIN’s teachers were all the people I was already spending my free time researching — I figured, why not get a more formal education, be more credible, become certified and able to start my own business?! I just knew it was the right program for me. Read more — The Random Reason I Went To Nutrition School. You’ll read in that post that my reason for enrolling didn’t have anything to do with Health Coaching — but once I graduated, I felt so ready to get started that I found some coaching clients and was able to leave my full time job pretty shortly after. You might also enjoy reading How I Got Started Blogging As A Business.
What kinds of career paths can you take after graduating from IIN?
People do all kinds of different things! A lot of people do become full-time health coaches (with 1 on 1 clients, group clients, etc), and people write books, create healthy products, open restaurants, teach workshops, launch online digital courses, create cooking shows, work at wellness centers…you name it. It can be done.
What was your career path after graduating from IIN?
I started seeing health coaching clients while I was still in the IIN program, and I built up my client base while still working at my full time job. At the same time, I built up my blog with more health and wellness content. Shortly after, I was able to leave my job and focus on coaching and blogging full time. Through connections I made from the IIN program, I was able to take on a part-time health coaching job with Dr. Frank Lipman at the Eleven Eleven Wellness center in Manhattan. Today, I don’t do any private one on one coaching, I focus on my blog and coaching patients at Dr. Lipman’s office.
What are the biggest benefits you received as a result of IIN?
There’s no way I can adequately express all of the benefits I’ve received, but let’s start here.
- I completely changed careers
- I built the blog of my dreams
- I improved my own health and lifestyle incredibly
- I met (and continue to meet) the most supportive, inspiring community of IIN grads and students
- I got connected with some of my best friends who are now my family
- I am actually an entrepreneur — when a few years ago I couldn’t IMAGINE that I’d have this life!!!
- I work from anywhere, I have freedom, I travel ALL the time, I completely design it all.
I’ve been building my dream lifestyle for the past 4 years and I honestly do have IIN to thank. Has it been easy?! OF COURSE NOT. It’s been a LOT of work. I’ve HUSTLED for it! A ton of late late nights, doubts, great money months, not great money months. It’s been a rollercoaster, but in my experience, it’s been worth it – and I feel way more alive being in the ups and downs of following my dreams than being in a 9-5 corporate lifestyle that was draining my vitality.
What are some “cons”, or things people should absolutely know before enrolling?
You MUST be self-motivated and able to create discipline for yourself – if you want to excel in this course and beyond. Although IIN gives you everything you need to succeed in a wellness career, you need to be able to motivate yourself and discipline yourself to create time for the classes, and schedule in time to work on your business or career moves. They will teach you how to be a coach, market yourself and find clients, but YOU have to go do the work. The work looks different for everybody.
You MUST be ready to hustle. This is not a free meal ticket to a comfortable, steady job (although, of course, you can definitely find a steady job in the wellness world if you are looking for one). This program is a ticket to enhancing your life and gaining entrepreneurial skills, and you will have to do the recommended work to become successful at it. Anyone who has EVER done anything entrepreneurial will tell you – there are big big ups and big big downs. Some of my best friends who are IIN grads and I have spent weeks sleeping on each other’s couches during hard times, but we’ve also spent other weeks traveling to incredible places around the world and spending our workdays at the spa. The ups and downs are worth it.
You MUST to be ready for a SERIOUS journey of self-exploration, and it may not always be sunshine and daisies. IIN will challenge you to find your strengths, to figure out what you aren’t happy with in your life, to pinpoint exactly what isn’t working for you — and you might end up radically changing something. People tend to completely overhaul their diets, their lifestyle, sometimes their relationships…it will make you question things you thought were totally true for a long time.
This is NOT a traditional nutritionist/dietitian degree. This is a holistic program, which means it encompasses mind/body/spirit wellness topics, and it treats everyone as an individual. It does not teach nutritional principles based on the FDA or USDA guidelines, it teaches you many different dietary theories, as well as how non-food aspects in our lives have an effect on our health and happiness, and how you can apply this to different people based on their conditions. If you are looking for a traditional nutritionist degree, this is not the program for you.
This might NOT be the last nutrition program you take. IIN goes pretty in depth with an incredible amount of content, but if you want to become an expert in a specific area (i.e. hormonal health, ayurveda, becoming a healthy chef, etc) and really become the “go-to” person in your field, you may very likely decide to embark on further learning after the program. IIN is a fantastic foundation for you to figure out exactly where you want to focus, and then you can take it from there.
What I really got out of it was clarity. It’s not the end of the line when it comes to learning – it was my foundation, my jumping off point. I didn’t know what I wanted to do in health and wellness when I enrolled, and by the time I graduated, I was much more clear on how to turn it into a career.
Ok, I think I answered most of the questions I usually get, but please! Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a question in the comments below – I am happy to help! I know this isn’t an easy decision (it wasn’t for me either) so I understand where you’re at. I think deep down, it’s an intuitive thing — you just know whether or not this program is right for you.
If you already know you’re ready to enroll, you can email me directly for access to my tuition discount. More of an online enrollment type of person? Me too. You can get the enrollment process started online here.
Doesn’t today feel like such a ripe and perfect day for changing your life? I think so. I got chills just writing this blog. It’s a really exciting time for you, if you’re considering enrolling.
Curious on how it works? Get a sample class.
Want more info on how you can save money on tuition? Get it now.
Hit me up in the comments and let me know if I left out a question you want answered. I truly love sharing this with you guys, as it’s been absolutely MONUMENTAL in shaping my life as it is today.