By: Alison Marras
March 26, 2019
(updated March 14, 2023)
What’s inside: I compare my experience and credentials from two main schools, IIN and NTA as I have both certifications. I also mention my advanced level training as a Restorative Wellness Practitioner that I was able to apply for as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner.
After I completed my Health Coach certification and started practicing (more on that below), I was able to hone in more on the types of clients I loved working with. I started to crave some deeper-rooted scientific knowledge and wanted to work with clients dealing with Autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, and harness my health coach skills together with more scientific data-based training. I researched EVERY school out there, and realized what I really wanted was to be a Holistic Nutritionist. And to be Board Certified under NANP, it required me to attend a school that was approved. I kept finding myself really liking the NTA curriculum which is based on the Dr. Weston A. Price findings and traditionally prepared food, and a foundational root-cause type of approach. I was able to chat with a friend who attended the school and she gave glowing reviews so I was even more ready for it!
We learned about the foundations of health, how to test and address symptoms and were trained on protocols and supplements to help support the natural healing process. We had an onsite weekend which was highly valuable and it was a small class with a lot of attention from real professors. The exams (midterm and final) were very comprehensive and true proctored exams. There are required textbooks, projects, and assignments throughout the entire time, and I was devoting around 20hrs per week to school while working full-time and keeping up with the blog. It was challenging, but I loved it all so I was up for the challenge! For me, this education gave me an immense sense of confidence and structure to working with my clients. I’m able to speak to doctors and other practitioners on a more even playing field and educate my clients on their natural healing mechanisms to empower them.
One of the most amazing things about going the holistic route is you can really shape your own education and experience. It’s not as institutionalized, so you can do some soul-searching to determine what education you really want and how you want to work with people and tailor your learning to that. Sadly, some more of the traditional institutions and degrees are out of reach for so many and I didn’t find the curriculum to be something I agreed with or wanted to pay for. I am so grateful I found the NTA to give me the confidence and structure to practice and truly help others at a foundational, root-cause level.
Each year, NTA holds a conference with amazing speakers and there are also more events coming! If you’re curious if this could be right for you, I encourage you to attend a webinar to hear more about it! And as always, feel free to reach out to me if you have more questions. If you’d like to add me as a referral on your application, I’d be delighted!
One of the best things about the NTA is the amazing, tight-knit community, and the fact that I was able to help myself in my own healing journey on a deeper level through learning this curriculum. I no longer get overwhelmed by symptoms and have a strong system for prioritizing what area to begin with in order to heal at a deeper level and becoming an NTP has opened up new doors in the field for me.
Since the NTA, so many new doors have opened up for me and I’ve gone for additional training to add more to my practice (like gut testing), which wouldn’t have been possible without first becoming an NTP.
Bottom Line: NTA is the best online education to go DEEP into nutrition and come out feeling like an expert to be able to get your clients results in a structured, proven way. If you want to help others with issues like digestion, hormones, chronic illness, and more through food and lifestyle… you will have everything you need to get going. You’ll set clients up for the long-haul by passing on the knowledge you learn at the NTA. There are other schools out there, but none have the same type of curriculum, real live teacher support, and amazing community.
My first plunge into my career change as a holistic nutrition professional, started with me unsure of exactly what I wanted to do… but I was hungry to learn more and help others. I found my way to The Institute of Integrative Nutrition which opened up the whole world for me and was very reasonable to complete as I worked full-time. As for the content itself, you’ll learn a wide spectrum of valuable information such as:
Bottom Line: IIN has a huge online presence and community. They have expert speaker videos to help you learn a wide range of nutrition and wellness topics and it’s easy to follow and complete with minimal time/effort. It’s a great way to get your feet wet and become a health coach to help others make lifestyle changes to support their health. However, there is very little personal interaction or hands-on help and I found that if you want to be more specialized or go deeper in a topic, you will likely need to seek out more education.
What I usually say to those who ask… IIN goes wide, NTA goes deep. You have to decide what’s bests for your career/life goals as both could fit different needs!
I later added to my certifications by becoming a Restorative Wellness Practitioner, enabling me to run certain labs like GI-Map stool testing and more for my clients which has added a whole new level to my coaching! You can learn more about their program here and will need to already be a certified nutrition professional (like a NTP or similar), as this is an advanced level training.
Restorative Wellness Practitioner, 2019 | Restorative Wellness
Registered Yoga Teacher, 2019 | Three Sisters Yoga in New York City (You can read more about my experiences with YTT here.)
Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, 2018 | Nutritional Therapy Association (Affiliated with NANP)
Holistic Health Coach, 2016 | Institute for Integrative Nutrition
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