In this post, I’m going to share my honest review of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, the program where I received my health coach certification in 2018.
This review will walk you through my story of why I decided to join, the pros and cons of the program, and how I used my health coach certification to start a successful business.
Integrative Nutrition Review
Why I decided To Join
It was the Fall of 2017, my daughter was a year and a half, and I was slowly recovering from postpartum depression, anxiety, and a stressful bout of purple crying that lasted for months.
At the time, I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was eating loads of sugar, fueling up on starbucks chai lattes, and fast food lunches while she napped in the car. I was tired, I was a stay at home mom, and I wanted something more. Before I had my daughter I was a self-employed bag designer selling bags on Etsy.
But now, reborn as a mom, I couldn’t bring myself to sit behind that sewing machine again. The thought of it made me cringe. I was over it and I craved something different – I wanted a new career but I didn’t know what that meant just yet.
In my twenties, I found a passion for healthy eating. I loved learning about holistic approaches to health and wellness. I took out cookbooks from the library and highly enjoyed looking at all the beautiful pictures and reading the creative recipes. But I had no idea how to put it all together.
And growing up my family wasn’t very healthy. Tons of sugary treats, processed foods, and very little vegetables. I wanted to change this for my own daughter but I knew I didn’t have the tools to do so.
I started doing some simple google research and came across the term “health coach”. I began looking at schools online that was teaching about health coaching. This is when I started to get excited about the possibilities of beginning a new career, one with health and nutrition in mind.
Starting something new is scary. I remember being terrified to talk to my loved ones about “starting over” after being so successful with my bag company. I started by sitting down with my husband and talking about the program, what it offers, and what it could do for me. We were currently living on one income – from my artist husband – so money was tight. But he was supportive and reassuring of my new dream and told me to go for it.
Now at this point, I was really focused on getting this done as fast as possible. So instead of enrolling in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I first joined a different program (I’m not going to name it here). This program really focused on getting a health coaching certification in 6 months – but being certified in 3 months. At the time, IIN was only offering a 1-year program.
So I decided to join the different program. Well, after about a week I knew this program wasn’t for me. I didn’t like the teaching style at all, it was basically videos with slides and a voice behind it. It wasn’t what I was looking for. I wanted the “classroom experience” and I wanted to see more variety in speakers. I wanted to hear from world-class nutrition experts. And my gut told me this wasn’t it. So I asked for a refund (which they gave me) and I did more research into schools, that’s when I found IIN.
At the time, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition offered a one year program only. I signed up for a phone call to speak with a health coach who could assist me with questions about the program. And then I enrolled. It was soo different than that first experience. I remember feeling excited to start something new, proud of myself for breaking through the fear of change, and totally intimidated – all at the same time. I am SO GLAD I made that switch.
The Reality Of Taking A Year-Long Online Health Coaching Program (With a Baby)
After the excitement wore off (which was probably after two weeks) then reality sunk in. This is a serious program (like any post-secondary schooling would be) with a lot of content and I had to figure out a way to study every single week all while still taking care of daughter full time.
At first, it was HARD. I fell behind in the classes often. But after about 6 weeks I found a routine that worked for me… As soon as my husband came home from work, I would pass my daughter off to him and head to the library for 1-2 hours to study. At the time this was my key to success. It was so hard for me to work at home without hearing my baby cry and needing to attend to her. At the library, I was able to take notes, and let the information fully sink in.
There is a lot of content that is provided to you each and every week. And at first, it can seem overwhelming, which is why it’s so important to create a consistent schedule for yourself. I’m all about consistent weekly schedules – even now! My current schedule looks very different than it did with a new baby, but consistency truly is the key to achieving your goals.
Supplies You’ll Need To Study At IIN
IIN does not send any content to you through the mail. So everything needs to be printed out at home. At first I was disappointed by this, but I can also appreciate the environmental aspect of it.
I recommend getting a good quality laserjet printer that only prints black ink (no color) to help save on printer costs. I’ve had this HP Laserjet printer for years and it is like a tank – hands down the best printer purchase so far.
Also, grab a stack of your favorite pens, highlighters, divider tabs, lined paper and two-inch binders to hold all the information you’re about to print out. I liked to store all printed content in my two-inch binders, and kept all my notes in a large spiral notebook.
How Much Does The Institute Of Integrative Nutrition Cost?
Ah yes, this is a popular question. Unfortunately I am not allowed to disclose the exact amount because I am part of there referral program. However, I can tell you that it’s an investment into your future, it’s one year long, packed to the brim with resources and content, and similiarly priced to the tradition post-secondary education would be.
You can learn how much it costs by speaking directly with an IIN health coach (this is how I learned the full price too), but the good thing is that they’ll also tell you about any bonuses and discounts they’re currently offering as well. You can save money if you pay in full, or you can use their payment plans. We were pretty broke at the time, with a new baby and living on a single income, so I definitely took advantage of the payment plan!
Is It Hard To Get Work After You Graduate?
I’ve seen some people online complain that health coaching didn’t work for them because they couldn’t find a job. And sure, that’s fine – it’s not for everyone. However, I also don’t think that people should expect a perfect career to be handed to them in their lap. That’s not realistic.
The truth is that it’s taken me years to build my business and really find the path that I excel at. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs. I’ve tried a few different “hats” that didn’t work for me. But that’s the reality of ANY business! Nothing happens overnight.
So if you’re willing to accept the reality of starting a new career, and be prepared to do the work, stick with it even when times get tough, then you will see success.
How Long Is The Institute Of Integrative Nutrition Program?
As of now, there are two tracks offered: a one year program and a six-month program. Each track has new modules opening up each week. I took the 1-year program and spent about 3-4 hours per week on each module. Inside each module are videos for you to watch on your own time, as well as printable worksheets to follow along.
How Do You Know If Becoming A Health Coach Is Right For You?
I really think that it’s an intuitive decision, like many other big choices we make in our lives. If you feel that in your heart this could be something incredible for you, then you should go for it. If you’re passionate about health and wellness and know that you want to make a career out of it, then Integrative Nutrition might be the perfect fit for you.
How Am I Using The Knowledge I’ve Learned From The Institute Of Integrative Nutrition?
After graduating the program, I became a certified integrative nutrition health coach. I am now able to coach clients on their health and wellness. For me, I decided that I wanted to use my education and turn it into a self-employed business. That’s when AndiAnne.com was born! Now I use my blog to share recipes, and I teach online courses to help moms with nutrition and wellness. I focus on helping moms because that’s where my passion lies.
On a personal side, the Integrative Nutrition program has helped me completely shift my mindset of what it means to be healthy. I no longer just focus on health being about food and exercise. Every single part of your life needs care and attention in order to fully thrive. Once I started paying attention to every aspect of my life, everything changed.
I’ve been able to help my family as well. My dad has severe MS and diabetes. I’ve been able to help him with diet and lifestyle changes that are helping him stabilize his blood sugar levels, sleep better, have better digestion and more. I’ve also created a healthy meal system in our home to keep my family eating nourishing food that provides them with long-lasting energy and food that heals to help build strong immune systems.
All in all, the program hasn’t just created a career for me, it’s completely shifted how I think about my life in general. I am truly grateful for the entire experience.
Is Becoming A Health Coach Worth It?
For me, yes. This certification sets me apart from the endless sea of recipe blogs online. I really focus the food philosophy I learned at IIN with what I create here at AndiAnne, and I know that people really gravitate to it.
Not only that, I have an incredible understanding of health and nutrition now that I didn’t have before. I am able to create online courses to help moms provide healthier meals at home. I wouldn’t be able to do this if I just started a recipe blog “for fun”.
From a personal perspective, I’ve been able to change my own diet and get healthier. My husband eats better and understands his own unique needs. And my daughter began her life eating a more balanced diet than most kids. So yes, I definitely believe enrolling in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition has been worth it for me.
This may or may not be the right program for you, but it is an incredible opportunity that has completely transformed my life. Sometimes the best decisions are the scariest ones. They are the ones where you really have to get out of your comfort zone and do something without knowing the outcome. That’s where the fear kicks in.
I wonder what life would look like for me today if I chose not to do the program. Would I have a successful blog? Would I be bringing in an income for my family, all while staying at home and taking care of my daughter? When I think of it that way, I’m so grateful decided to enroll that Fall day back in 2017.
I’ve always loved the quote “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today” and in this case, I’m so glad I made this choice.
Learn More About The Institute Of Integrative Nutrition program:
If you want to learn more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, then you can use the links below to grab the curriculum, sign up for a webinar and take a free class. And if you have any questions that I can help you with, feel free to send me an email.