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The Random Reason I Went To Nutrition School

by jenny sansouci on February 26, 2013

I talk to people pretty much daily about my nutrition school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It comes up in conversation all the time because it’s shaped my life in so many ways. It’s directly contributed to some of my greatest successes, most enriching personal and business relationships, and, well, this blog itself.

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) offers a curriculum of nutrition/wellness classes mixed with business building classes – a combination that ultimately trains people to become health coaches. The thing is, most people I talk to just assume that I wanted to be a health coach when I enrolled. I didn’t. Not at all, actually. I had absolutely no intention of doing any coaching.

At the time when I decided to enroll, I had already started a blog. It was nothing like Healthy Crush. It was just my random rants and feelings about all kinds of stuff (that blog still exists somewhere out there out there on the interweb, so if you really want to know my feelings about things like Fall Out Boy and riding the subway, feel free to search it out…ok, fine.)

Anyway, here’s the way it went down. As I got more interested in nutrition in general and started feverishly researching it on my own, some of my blog posts began to lean that way (“I just tried coconut water and it’s awesome!” “Wow, kombucha is rocking my world!”), things like that. Those were the posts that people kept telling me they loved. Hmm. Ok. I sensed a blog niche sprouting. As I went through a period of growth in my own life, I realized I wanted to create the causes and conditions for other people’s growth – by sharing more about what I was learning. Blogging was my vehicle. And when I came across an article about how to turn blogging into an actual business, I knew it was ON.

So when I heard about IIN, my reason for enrolling had nothing to do with health coaching at all. I just wanted more cool shit to blog about. I got excited just thinking about how many blogs I could probably write with all of the new information I’d be learning if I completed a nutrition school program. A holistic one, at that. I could barely contain myself. I enrolled, and fell asleep that night in a blissed-out bloggy dreamland.

At the end of the IIN program, I had gotten so much more than I bargained for. Of course, I had TONS to blog about, but I also had deep, extensive nutrition training (which thrilled me), I had new best friends, I made crazy cool business connections (and 3 years later, I continue to connect with some of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met), I had revamped my own diet and lifestyle, I was able to leave an unfulfilling 9-5 job, and I also DID start doing some health coaching (they teach you so much about building your own business that you could do it in your sleep once you’re done with the program). And, just as I had hoped, I began to build my dream online business.

I decided to write about this because I meet so many people who are interested in starting a business in the realm of health & wellness, or simply changing their own life for the better, but aren’t sold on the idea of actually being a “health coach,” so they don’t take that next step of getting the education. I’m telling you, with a health and wellness education you can do so many things – improve your own health, improve the health of your family and community, find passion in your life, connect with brilliant like-minded people, do work for a health-related company you believe in, build whatever type of business you’re dreaming of, (and if you have no clue what that is, by the end of the program you will). Check out what some of my friends have done with their IIN education.

As you can see, IIN is very close to my heart, and I can’t imagine that my life would would be filled with such boundless opportunity and connection if I hadn’t become part of that community. It rules. And Healthy Crush was birthed because of it. And now, also due to my IIN education, I’m working with Dr. Frank Lipman and learning awesome new things every day. So that rules, too.

Are you an IIN grad? What were your reasons for enrolling? I’d love to hear. Share in the comments!

Are you considering enrolling but have similar hesitations? I’ve been in your shoes, and it’s all good in the hood. Email me.

Like Healthy Crush? Get the play-by-play. Follow me on Instagram. Instagram
Do you love health, nutrition and wellness? Check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Holly February 26, 2013 at 8:20 pm

I healed several health issues with the support of an IIN grad. I always been looking for something I was passionate about and could help other people. Going to IIN and becoming a health coach full-time changed my life in so many wonderful ways that I couldn’t have imagined!


Nancy February 26, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Ever since a near fatal
Skiing accident, i have sought a way to give back. While coaching my husband back from a debilitating and chronic digestive issue, i learned about Joe Cross. His website ignited my passion and i noticed that IIn was a sponsor. I’ve always wanted a career that embraced my passions, talents, and skills – and always came up short.
My IIN education allows me to be true to all of whether i am coaching, blogging, building a coaches website or writing their marketing materials. Never before has it all come together.


Tracy Johnson February 27, 2013 at 7:16 am

I start with the IiN in May and can’t wait! Great to read about how beneficial the programme has been.


Anna @ Tough Lipstick February 28, 2013 at 5:58 am

Signed up for INN a few weeks ago and am thrilled to start! Thanks for sharing your experience with us!


Monica March 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm

of course I had to check out that old blog right away, seeing I have always admired your writing, all of it…. um, I must try the pineapple with hot sauce, Lol!! seriously. love you Jenny, keep doing what you do, inspiring us while you LIVE YOUR ART. IIN is on my ever so tangible dream list. (ps, do you still have access to that article about blogging for business?) xoxo


Lisa March 4, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways. I am so excited to follow in your footsteps and start my own IIN journey in a couple weeks! 🙂


Amber @ ExSoyCise March 9, 2013 at 9:20 am

I love this post! So inspiring! I have been enrolled since October and absolutely love it!! I can’t wait to read more of your blog! Xo


Tiffani March 11, 2013 at 5:33 am

I just recently graduated from IIN and while I’m not like most grads… I don’t have my business up and running at the moment… I still see IIN as one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I ignited my true passion for nutrition and wellness… I always knew it was there, I just never knew how strong it was! I honestly can’t get enough of it! I’m currently working as a night shift nurse at a peds hospital but am looking to get involved with the wellness program for my facility… they have health coaches- who knew?! Best of luck to all the new IIN students- I remember starting and being so excited just like all of you! Get ready for a truly life changing experience! 🙂


Heather Burk March 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm

Hi Jenny,
I had some serious experienlive inning on the hampster wheel and was feeling super stuck! As I had considered going back for my masters in nutrition and dietetics years ago, at that time, something just didn’t click with me and taking that route, so it didn’t happen! I couldn’t be more THRILLED that it didn’t because for some amazing reason I was lead to IIN! Perfect timing for me! I literally said one night “that’s it…get your shit together and start living your life like you want to..ya big sissy!” Then, I was straight bitch slapped in the face with the IIN website as I looked for nutrition schools late on night last year, and Jenny, I have to tell you that you were the last little kick in the booty it took that night for me to sign up immediately! After seeing your video of how Healthy Crush was born, I cried (ha! Seriously!) and then I felt so freaking inspired that I just went for it and haven’t been more sure of anything in my life!! So…YOU, my creative and adorbs IIN inspiration, are one of the main reasons I’m now an IIN grad! I’ve even found the ballzies to move from Pittsburgh to LA in a few weeks with just the wings on my back I received from IIN!! (Oooohh my goodness Becky!!!). “You can be your own spotlight!”…the song got me majorly 🙂

Thanks for being super cool and doing some really cool, inspiring and totally kick-ass stuff! Heather


Amanda May 16, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I am a little over half way through with IIN. I decided to sign up because I wanted a fulfilling career and I wanted to help people eat healthier. I had NO IDEA the amount of personal growth I would go through. I have changed so much for the better. I am a happier (and healthier) person now. I was not unhappy before, but I have learned so many ways to really take care of myself in ways that I was not doing before. I love IIN and will be forever grateful and indebted to the program. I have my website up and running, and am taking on clients! I love love LOVE doing this work and really making a difference. When I was in college I knew I wanted to help people but every avenue I tried (social work, marriage and family therapy) didn’t seem to be totally “it.” Neither of the careers I really considered had me really excited. When I found IIN, I realized this is what I wanted to do. This would SERIOUSLY change peoples lives. I cried when I signed up, and wrote the longest letter of thanks to my parents (they paid for it, hehe). I will never forget the day I signed up and I can honestly say that I know I will have a successful career, thanks to IIN!!


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