Health Coaching & IIN
I see that you went through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to get certified as a health coach. I am wondering what you thought of this program?
I really enjoyed going through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition program and I found the program to be very valuable. I often get asked if I find that was worth the price of the tuition and my response is always YES! In this 10 month long program I learned about diets and theories that I would have never learned if I was simply researching on my own. The program is comprised of weekly modules that are in the form of power point slides and videos, optional weekly quizzes, 4 tests, conducting 6 health histories, and participating in 4 coaching circles over the phone. Through these forms of education and participation I found that I was provided with just enough accountability and deadlines to stay on track while still maintaining a sense of independence and freedom to complete things on my own time.
Did IIN help you in jump-starting your business?
IIN definitely played a role in helping me discover the route in which I wanted my business to go. In the program I learned how to follow a specific protocol on how to find clients, enroll clients in a 6 month program, and how to re-enroll clients once they finish those first 6 months working with me. By learning about this way of working with clients I became more clear on which aspects of this plan I wanted to include in my own health coaching practice and which aspects I wanted to change or leave out completely. But the great part about IIN is that they encourage you to find what works best for you individually! In general, IIN provides a significant amount of information about building a health coaching business from scratch. They teach about marketing, budgeting, building confidence, self-growth, consistency, and many more important business matters. If you’re looking for overall support and guidance in starting your own business, I highly recommend IIN.
I want to go through a health-coaching program but I'm not sure if it's worth it just to have a certification?
From what I know about this career path, having neither a college degree nor a certification is required to work with individuals in a client – health coach relationship. The majority of universities do not offer a Health Coaching degree but there is an alternative way to gain knowledge in the area and that to get certified. A certification will provide many people (potential clients) with the reassurance that you know what you are talking about as a coach. A coaching program such as The Institute For Integrative Nutrition will provide you with education on how to get started with health coaching, what questions to ask your clients, what forms you should have your clients fill out prior to working together, how to set realistic rates for your services, and more. To summarize, it will benefit both the coach and the clients if one has acquired a health coaching certification before going out and coaching anyone and anywhere.
Are you able to fully support yourself through health coaching? Or do you work another job as well?
My “job” does not just consist of health coaching; in fact, I haven’t been coaching more than a couple of people each month. I am currently working on many projects and have multiple forms of income. I make money from retreats, YouTube, sponsored videos, self care guides & programs that I sell on my website (7-Day Juice Cleanse, Self Love E-book, Beginner's Guide to Veganism, Learn To Lift), Raw Alignment Apparel, health coaching, affiliate commission (via recommended items such as my favorite kitchen products and my favorite books), and most likely a few other things that are slipping my mind at the moment. I love doing a variety of things because it keeps me excited and passionate about my “work”. I think of what I’m doing as more of play than work. I have fun with it all, and I think that’s a really key puzzle piece when it comes to being successful. But the cool thing is… you could take any of those “jobs” that I listed, and put all of your energy into one or two and generate enough income to financially provide for yourself. I choose to do a variety of things, but that is not necessary. Health coaching alone is extremely profitable and fulfilling.
Do you think the cost of the program is worth it in the long run?
Yes. After going through years of a Health Coaching program at the University I used to attend, I did not learn even half of the things that I learned during the IIN program (which is less than 1 year long). I experienced some MAJOR epiphanies while watching the presentations in IIN. Many of the things that I learned in IIN play a vital role in my life today.
Was it difficult learning about other dietary theories that didn't align with your own beliefs?
Yeah it was. Sometimes it was fun and I really enjoyed it but sometimes I just didn’t want to finish watching that specific video. I think that it is ok and perfectly normal to feel that way. The majority of the presentations and lectures in IIN did align with my beliefs so I did not feel ripped off or bummed out that some of them didn’t. When I experiences some inner turmoil during a video teaching about a certain dietary theory I tried my best to listen with an open mind. When it comes down to it, I just want to have as much knowledge as I can so that I can better help my current and future clients. If this means learning about something that I don’t agree with so that I can better understand where a client is coming from, then it’s totally worth it.
Do you only coach individuals who are transitioning into becoming vegan, or anyone with any diet?
I work with individuals with a variety of different diets. But since I speak passionately about veganism and raw veganism on social media, I find that most of my clients want to work with me because they seek guidance in transitioning to a plant based (or raw) diet. I have no bias though. Of course I love working with individuals wanting to eat compassionately. But if I can help a client eliminate pain (physical or emotional), even if that just means helping them get away from processed fast food, it is a step in the right direction and could mean the world to them to get my help (regardless of if they are willing to eat vegan or not).