About one month ago, I completed my health coaching training through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. My coursework is finished, my final passed, and my certificate is on the way!
As I look at my experience with IIN over the past year, I have to take a moment of reflection to see how far I've come. When I started IIN, I was still in college, mostly unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. Now, a year later, I've learned so much about how to coach people and, more importantly, how to help people. And for that, I am forever grateful.
IIN taught me how to listen. That seems kind of silly - you went through a year-long program to learn how to listen? But it's true - IIN taught me how to listen to my clients (or whomever I'm talking to) with attentive ears, listening for where to ask the probing questions. Listening for where more detail and discussion was needed. I've never been the greatest listener; I'm always listening to reply, not listening to listen. But after this year, I can say that I'm on the way towards intuitive listening with my clients, friends, and myself too.
IIN also taught me a lot about running a business, and how to work with clients. This is what I really wanted from IIN - the business aspects. I had a business minor in college, but this course taught me more about being accountable and how to help and coach clients effectively.
IIN put me in situations I would have never been before, talking to people from across the globe! I conversed with girls from Spain, Florida, and New York. We talked about the differences in our cultures and health, and what the the factors are that lead to those differences. We talked about our stories and our struggles. We talked as if we had known each other our entire lives. It was fascinating to share my story and hear the stories of others - it really helped put my life and journey into perspective.
But, IIN didn't teach me as much as I had planned about nutrition. The word "nutrition" may be in the name of the school, but I didn't feel that we covered that truly important aspects of nutrition in detail. But, then again, I had a ton of knowledge about real food nutrition before the course began, thanks to my own studies and Practical Paleo, so I certain that that made a difference in my learning as well!
Although my time at IIN may be over, I know that I'll never stop learning. Nutrition and health is an ever evolving science, and it's only right that I continue my learning for the health of my clients and myself as well! Currently, I'm enrolled in the beta group of the Balanced Bites Master Class, a class created by Diane Sanfilippo (the author of Practical Paleo, The 21 Day Sugar Detox, and more!) and Liz Wolfe (the author of Eat the Yolks). This class is exactly what I was looking for with regards to learning more about nutrition and health. There are nine modules covering a variety of topics including fats, proteins, carbs, blood sugar regulation, digestive health, inflammation, and cholesterol. I have learned so much in these past few weeks since starting this course than I have in a long time! It was well worth the investment, and I can't wait to finish in just a few short weeks!
With that, I will say that my journey with IIN as ended, but my pursuit for knowledge and health has only just begun. I have a long life ahead, and I can't wait to continue to learn, grow, and share.