As many of you know, I studied last year to change careers and become a health coach. All while running around after a busy 2 year old, growing a human, starting Stacey Clare and enjoying life. Exhausting, right?
Well, not really.
I wanted to share with you a mum’s review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) course but keep in mind that I'm just one person with one opinion. Make your own decision, as you know what is best for you.
What's good about it:
- It's via correspondence. This is great because it means you choose when to listen to lectures. Being a busy mum, that's brilliant. Sometimes it was in the car and other times it was on my son’s daycare day, which to be honest, is the day I tend to knock over most of the study. On average, it took me about 8-15 hours a week but that's because I did a lot of extra reading/research on the lecture subjects. If you want to just do the course, allow 4-8 hours a week.
- You can start the course when it suits you. There is an intake most months of the year, so you choose when works for you. It goes for a year with 1 or 2 weeks off. Yep, they don't break for Christmas or anything.
- You can catch-up when you need to. You have access to the curriculum for the whole year, so if you have a few busy weeks the content is still there for you to catch-up on. That's good because life sometimes just gets in the way.
- The curriculum is varied. One week you'll learn about a high-protein diet from a leading expert and the next you'll learn about how protein is not the answer to ultimate health, a high-carb diet is. Catch my drift? The sometimes opposing theories ties into the school’s core beliefs (and one that I LOVE) of bio-individuality, i.e. we are all different and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. The best thing you can do is learn it all so you can draw your own conclusions and help as many people as possible. Along with the nutrition information, they'll also teach you about setting up a business, counselling techniques, how to have a healthy mind and a lot about alternative therapies.
- You'll be constantly learning. Yes, there will be some lectures you won't enjoy but I'd say most you will (well I did anyway). There's always a snippet to write down or something to take away.
- It's a well recognised course. Although the role of a health coach isn't widely understood, the course is well regarded in the health industry. Heck, IIN is the biggest nutrition school in the world. Sarah Wilson, Miranda Kerr and Pete Evans are all graduates and sing the school’s praises.
- There's support. The school prides itself on support and there are email chains, Facebook groups and constant meet-ups you can join in on if you please. It's your choice how much you want to interact but it's definitely not isolating like studying via correspondence can often be.
- The career options are endless. One option is to become a health coach but the ideas are limitless. In my course, there were a few mums wanting to do it to help their family’s health, another that started a catering business and wanted the nutritional knowledge to add to it, a few that were personal trainers and wanted to add their knowledge to their business. And then there was me, that started it to learn for my family’s health but has now turned it into a blog and business, sharing my love of writing recipes, cooking and one-on-one health coaching for clients. My ultimate dream is to write a cookbook or host a cooking show while still working one-on-one, helping people to feel better.
What could be improved:
- There are no breaks. This is good and bad I guess but it appears that even in some pretty extreme circumstances (like having a baby), they won't let you take a break. You will have to stop and restart the course from the very start again. Lesson here – hope that life doesn't get in the way and be really sure you can commit to it.
- It doesn't delve into ‘hard core’ nutrition. I have a real love of how the body works, having been on the health path for a few years now, and I have a taste to learn more. You won't get that here – you’ll need to do a nutrition degree and you know, I'm totally cool with that. This gave me the taster and let me think about whether I could realistically fit in a uni degree or more importantly, whether I need to. I'm a big believer that study needs experience. I'm ex-advertising and when there, I much preferred to employ a kid out of college that wanted to learn than one out of uni, without a care in the world, who thought they simply deserved the job.
- You'll only get out of it what you put in. I had plenty of class mates that would say, oh I didn't learn enough, I didn't get this or that from that lecture and so often they are right . BUT it's like everything you get out of it as much as you put in. I had a very good understanding of health and nutrition before even starting this course and wanted to learn more so I could help people
Is it right for you?
Well only you know the answer. I would ask you to consider this... I did the course because I wanted to change careers as well as take my health to a new level. If your reason is just the later and you're strapped of time and not overly interested in learning how to set up your own business, you just want to feel great, than I think you actually just need a Health Coach (which is what I do). This isn't a sell, this is being honest and saying a good health coach will teach you why changes are needed for your OWN health, help you implement them and hold you accountable for the changes. In all honesty, that's what 80% of people need.
Want to get your study on? Discount time!
At the moment, the school is offering $1,500 off the course. There is a catch though – you do have to quote my name – Stacey Clare. I'm an honest girl, so I’ll admit that I do get a referral fee. It's about a tenth of your discount but it really does work in your favour. If you'd like to know more or would like me to pass you on to the school so you can claim the discount, shoot me an email here.
Tell me, have you studied? How did you balance it with babes? Have you heard of IIN? What's your opinion on the course? I'd love you to let me know in the comments below.