If you are considering embarking on your own health coach training, here’s my own story of how I went about it, that will hopefully inspire you on your own journey.

The start of my journey to health coaching

Like many people, my passion to understand what activities lead to health or disease started with my own health issues in my late teens.

Having suffered from eczema and asthma since childhood, i was fed up with taking steroid creams that burned my skin.

I was sick to death of using a sinus nasal spray which tickled my nose and made my eyes water.

However at that time, I’d never even considered that there may be an alternative until a friend mentioned that I may be intolerant to dairy.

Well, it turned out that they were right. Like a miracle, after I stopped eating dairy, my skin and asthma cleared up and have never returned.

However, this experience also made me realise just how much I didn’t know and motivated me to continue to study and learn about food and nutrition; reading several books per month; listening to audio interviews and watching leading gurus speak in person and on video.

A world of knowledge opened up

A world of knowledge opened up and as I learnt, I applied my learning, experimenting with different nutritional theories and approaches to health.

However, the more I read, the more confused I became as there were and are so many sources of conflicting information; new ‘independent’ studies, sponsored by companies with ulterior motives; peer pressure galore and a host of different nutritional theories that continued to appear packaged as the ‘silver bullet diet’.

Well, a couple of theories captured my imagination – the low fat theory was a key one during most of the 90s and early naughties, then I stumbled across the Raw Foods Theory, which though quite restrictive and not for everyone, made sense to me and has been the basis of my diet since 2007. Over the years, I have certainly refined and optimised as my knowledge has grown.

The Institute of Integrative Nutrition

My interest in nutrition, food and health naturally led me to helping others and I was keen to train more, but study options were limited to full or part-time study which just didn’t fit in with my lifestyle and commitments.

In 2009., I studied the Raw Foods Certificate with the Body Mind Institute which gave me a broader perspective, and after that I stumbled upon the idea of becoming a health coach.

There were a number of options, but then one day, I was running in Perth, Australia, whilst listening to an interview with a health coach who studied at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York, the largest Nutrition school in the world. I’d never heard of them, but made a note and kept it in my ‘future box’ until the point that I would be ready to make studying to be a health coach a priority.

Sure enough, that time came approximately 6 months later and I joined IIN’s October 2012 cohort and graduated 12 months later.

It was a significant financial layout and time commitment and I was worried that I’d pay the money and not find the time to study as I had a full-time job as well as a young family. However, it turned out to be a fantastic decision which has enriched my life significantly.

In many ways, it was the ideal course for me as:

  1. It was very flexible. I loved the way the IIN deliver their modules online so that I could fit it into my own time plan
  2. The structure of the programme helps prevent you from feeling overwhelmed, as only one module is released each week which only takes about three hours to go through. As I had minimum time during the week, I got into the habit of listening to the modules whilst getting ready in the mornings, then printed off the handouts and then made time to revise before the tests. This worked well for me.
  3. The community via Facebook and the IIN are extremely active, sharing ideas on the content as well as general health issues. You never feel isolated and it’s easy to find students and graduates in your local area as I’ve done in London. We have a great London Healthcoach Mastermind group that meets on the first Wednesday of every month in Central London.
  4. There’s also an IIN live conference that takes placed in different locations around the world. I was invited to one in NYC, but wasn’t to attend in person, but watched via a live web link.
  5. The content, particularly the nutritional information is really good in the main. Obviously some speakers are better than others, but it’s inspiring to hear the thought leaders speak directly. You study 100 different nutritional theories from the leaders in the field. There’s also marketing, business and coaching content and practical tools to help you set up your practice, find customers and manage your time effectively.
  6. Post graduation, you get to attend the 6 month immersion programme which focuses completely on the business and coaching side of things, helping you break through the natural fear moments and inspire you with confidence.

Overall, i’d say that doing health coach training with the IIN is a valuable and life-chaning experience and different students are motivated by different reasons for starting. Some are keen to grow a thriving heart-felt business in the health and wellness space; whilst others simply want to learn more about nutrition and health to help themselves and their families move towards healthier version of themselves.

To find out more about becoming a health coach, visit IIN

Get your free Health Coach starter guide