As a child of the 80’s and 90’s I certainly took note of all the various diet fads of the day. Low fat! No fat! Atkins! South Beach! The Zone! And it was confusing, really confusing. So much so, that I, at one point, had quite the extensive list of ‘No’ foods. (You can read more about that part of my life here: Preparing for Change, Mindfully.) You put all those diet fads together and it doesn’t leave you with much. Inevitably, I took a break from reading about nutrition and any notion of a nutrition education for quite some time.
Fast-forward several years and now in a new home with a new baby in tow, I started to dip my toes back into nutrition. With my daughter quickly learning to eat and wanting to provide her the best start possible, like many moms, I started to research food and nutrition.
I was fortunate to have a well-respected program about an hour away from where we were living at the time, and so up the highway I went to visit a class at the end of their program. Being that this was the final week of classes, the instructor allotted time for questions about anything. This was their last shot, so they took it. I sat listening to the questions, a bit surprised. This was the end of a 2-year program and they were asking, what I perceived, questions that should have long been answered. Sooo…back to the drawing board I went.
With that little divine intervention, I came upon the Nutritional Therapy Association. As soon as their packet for prospective students arrived, I popped that DVD into my player and listened to Gray Graham talk about bio-individuality and the need for a nutrient-dense, traditionally prepared, whole foods diet and I remember having this big exhale. This made so much sense. I listened to that DVD several times over, read everything I could and joined a live conference call to find out more.
To jump in, or not? This decision weighed heavy on my mind, I knew this would be life changing, but did I really want to change my life that much? I honestly had no idea what I was in for. But, something in my gut persisted. I kept thinking about what Gray Graham said, and frankly, I wanted to learn more.
Once I signed up, I ordered the large pile of books and dug in. That first term was intense. We covered a whole lot of territory, but it was so fascinating! I quickly got into a rhythm with studying and stuck to it. I honestly really enjoyed the reading even when it was blowing me away. This challenged every nutrition paradigm I thought I knew, in the best way possible.
In addition to learning a whole new way to think about food and nutrition, the NTA provides an incredible foundation to work as a practitioner. There is no, ‘where do I start?’, the answer is always, ‘start with the foundations’! This is something I cannot overstate, as this is unique to the NTA. We are given tools to assess each client’s position on a health roadmap and then a way to move them along on their journey to greater health. And this is what I instinctively knew was missing from that first program I went to visit. You leave the NTA well prepared to start educating and working with clients, right away.
At the time I took the program, they only offered the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner format. (Since then, they have added the Nutritional Therapy Consultant track.) This program is done online through videos and conference calls, plenty of reading, but also consisted of 3 workshop weekends. I loved having the flexibility of the online program but also having the accountability and inter-personal connection of the workshop weekends.
Far from being the end of my nutrition education, instead the NTA gave me an insatiable appetite to continue to learn more and that is a gift. Everything I continue to pursue and learn in nutrition, layers on beautifully to what I learned from the NTA. Without the foundation the NTA built for me, I would not have a structure from which to hang new knowledge and ideas and that structure is vital.
If nutrition is something you want to pursue, ask the NTA for more information. They have programs starting in September and January and they keep adding new locations. (Even in Canada and Australia!)
For me, this changed my world and my perspective in ways I never imagined, but it also brought me back to my center. Food is powerful. You just need the right tools to make it work for you. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Disclaimer: NTA offers a small referral bonus for students I send their way. But, I wouldn’t write about it if I didn’t believe in it whole-heartedly. If you do choose to enroll in the NTA program and submit my name as your referral, send me an email letting me know with your address and I will send you a small gift as my thank you.