Last week I got an email questions from someone on my email list (if you’re not an email friend...you should be! SIGN UP HERE) asking for more info on my training to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
That question made me realize that I haven’t ever talked much about the series of events that led me down the path of becoming an NTP and talking about poop with people I don't know on the internet, so that’s what I’ll go into detail about today.
FROM REAL ESTATE TO REAL FOOD?
In early 2015 I found out about the Nutritional Therapy Association through an instagram hashtag (seriously) and did a little research….and I was totally floored that a resource like this even existed.
It was like someone pried open my brain and determined exactly what kind of information I was seeking from Google and Pinterest and was desperately trying to piece together for myself, and then packaged it all up in a course…I was amazed.
I wasn’t looking at doing anything as an NTP as a career choice. I have been a real estate broker for 12+ years and have never had any desire to go back to school, so imagine my surprise when all of a sudden some more schooling seemed like a good plan.
At that time, I just really wanted to understand human nutrition and health in a way that I could make better choices for my household regarding what we ate.
I had no idea that enrolling in the NTP program through the Nutritional Therapy Association would ignite a fire inside me and I would uncover a new passion to teach other women who were struggling with their health about the power of a few diet and lifestyle tweaks.
I am still pretty amazed that I am teaching anyone about anything when it comes to food, because I have spent the majority of my life battling it (and losing).
At the time that I decided to enroll in the NTP program, I was really at a crossroads: My thyroid was under-functioning, I was having a hard time losing the extra weight I was carrying around, and I was miserably tired and confused about how to feed my family.
Are carbs scary or necessary? Do I buy fat free or eat more fat? What is gluten? Are spendy protein shakes the answer? Oh shit, I forgot to log my macros....AHHHHHH!!!
Needless to say, I really just wanted to understand how to listen to my own body and let it tell me what the hell it needed, and I wanted to be able to pass that information on to my children instead of the skewed food reality that we had been living in.
9 MONTHS OF IMMERSION + 3 WORKSHOP WEEKENDS
The Nutritional Therapy Association is one of a few different institutes that teaches holistic nutrition and natural health, but I was the most impressed with their curriculum because it incorporated a "hands on" component that I couldn't find anywhere else.
What is holistic nutrition? Let me paraphrase: It means eating real food that would have been around 200 years ago and wasn't made in a factory. Pretty revolutionary stuff.
In all, the course amounted to 9 months of online education (video lessons) with bi-weekly live calls, a group forum online, and 3 in-person workshop weekends. The required reading was totally inspiring, and I found that the mix of independent study and group collaboration was perfect for a part-time student.
The material is extensive, but is presented in an engaging way that I found was really easy to retain, (and totally mind-blowing at the same time) and the functional evaluation techniques are unlike anything I ever thought I would be capable of doing.
You learn palpation techniques (aka the functional evaluation) to use on clients to determine their specific nutrient and system imbalances, which it is completely amazing stuff that I would NEVER have thought I would be capable of mastering.
Like I said, I had 3 in-person workshop weekends that I flew to Denver for, which is when the functional evaluation protocols are taught, and I found that experience alone to be solid gold.
It was absolutely amazing to spend 3 days with total strangers that had a similar interest in nutrition, but completely diverse spectrum of life experiences and backgrounds. In fact, one of those weekends birthed an amazing friendship with the one and only Amie, my NTP bestie! (How can you not end up bonding with a total stranger that you share an AirBnB with?) For total introverts, we sure put on a brave face and came out of our shells that weekend!
Sidebar: Can you be a really bubbly and outgoing introvert? I think that’s a thing….and if so, that’s what I am: A pretty outgoing and chatty person when I have to be that would actually prefer to be recharging my batteries in peace and quiet. Ok, glad that’s been clarified.
NEW PASSION + PURPOSE UNCOVERED
At the end of the course, which was a little over 9 months long, Amie and I were saying things like "We should start a podcast!" “We should create online programs for people to do on their own schedules…” and other nonsense that we had ZERO idea how to do (seriously, we are the most tech-challenged duo ever), but we said it enough times that within 6 months we actually figured it out and made it happen. Funny how that works, isn't it?
And now? I get to fuse my passion for cutting through all the diet and nutrition bullshit and teach other totally exhausted boss babes like me about how to take charge of their own health and happiness....and thanks to the inter webs, I can work with women anywhere! It's the best. job. ever.
are you thinking of a career in nutrition?
Are you shopping around for programs like the NTP course at the Nutritional Therapy Association? I would HIGHLY recommend it, if you are! The NTA is so top notch…I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Enrollment for the September sessions is open until the end of August, and there are venues all over the United States and Australia. The winter sessions begin in February and begin enrollment at the end of 2017, including the Minneapolis venue, which I am hoping to be accepted as a group leader for. (I am so excited to get out amongst my tribe again!!)