The fact that I’m even writing this post makes me super excited and hopeful for the future of our country and its health crisis. I completed the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner program through the Nutritional Therapy Association only 2 months ago and I have already gotten SO many emails from others interested in doing the program themselves. You know what that means?? The ‘food as medicine’ concept is growing rapidly! And, people are realizing there’s another route to lasting health than just the next prescription to mask the symptoms. This makes me want to jump for joy!
Because I have gotten such an overwhelming amount of requests, I thought it best for both myself and YOU to dedicate a whole blog post to my thoughts about the program, so you can decide if it’s right for you. Below are answers to the most common questions I get about the NTP program.
Note: THe next NTP classes start soon!
Don’t wait on your passion…
And, don’t forget to let them know that Shawn Mynar of Well Belly sent you!
What is Nutritional Therapy?
Very briefly, the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification programs were designed by The Nutritional Therapy Association to bring to light the concept that most of today’s health struggles are brought on by the modern diet. By placing an emphasis on teaching our client’s to eat real, whole, properly prepared, nutrient-dense foods, we are able to reverse many health conditions and allow people to live happier and healthier. In addition, NTP’s also focus on other very important pillars to ensure our client’s have a well-rounded, balanced plan. These include digestion, blood sugar regulation, fatty acid balance, hydration, and mineral balance. The Functional Evaluation used by NTP’s is yet another tool we have to be able to more accurately pinpoint and support our client’s health concerns. To find a more complex definition of what we do and believe, head to the NTA website.
Why did I choose to be an NTP?
After finding true health with my own personal autoimmune disease and digestion issues with a holistic approach, I knew I had to spread that message as fast and as far as I could. I wanted this to be my life mission and knew the best way to do that was to learn more about it. I did quite a bit of research on various programs out there, but the NTP program really stood out for me. I immediately fell in love with the course curriculum once I saw everything that would be covered over the 9 month period. It seemed that every single module (15 total) were concepts that I had a deep desire to learn more about. I was already fascinated by all of the topics we would be covering in the course! The others I looked at didn’t seem nearly as comprehensive as the NTP program and I was quickly sold.
I also liked the fact that it seemed really intensive and extensive. Like I wouldn’t be able to just float through the course, pass, and come out having learned nothing. Because these topics were so important to me, I wanted to really LEARN and APPLY them. I wanted to be challenged.
Lastly, I liked the layout of the class and knew it would fit in with my life. While I would be dedicating a significant portion of my week to this course, I was able to do it flexibly and when it fit with my schedule. I was also looking forward to the 3 workshop weekends where we could meet and learn in person! (Spoiler alert: they were SO fun!)
Do I recommend it?
Yes! Definitely. It was a life-changing 9 months with a wealth of knowledge that I couldn’t and wouldn’t have gotten from anywhere else. Not only that, but it was a time of tremendous self exploration and realization into my own health concerns. I’ve always loved being a student and reading, highlighting, studying, and taking notes. But this program really took it to another level because I was truly 100% interested in everything we were discussing. I was reading books and listening to lectures on topics I genuinely wanted to learn about. Writing essays were easy because I had retained the information I had studied and had obvious thoughts to base my answers. My idea of class time and homework had become very different from when I was in college!
The course itself was very well-organized and while jam-packed full of work, it was broken down into manageable chunks. The instructors all have a ridiculous amount of knowledge and passion around the topics and provide a ton of support along the way. There is also an obvious sense of community and camaraderie amongst the fellow classmates. It truly felt like one big happy family, especially after spending the 3 workshop weekends together!
After completing this program, I am now left with both a sense of accomplishment and drive. I am proud to say that I completed the NTP program and am now committed to helping as many people as I can in this new role. I feel fully equipped with all of the knowledge and skills I need to do so, and I’m confident that YOU will too after your completion of the program!
How much time did I spend studying each week?
I would say in total, each week averaged about 15-20 hours per week when factoring in reading the required books, listening to the lectures, and conference call time. Because I don’t work a typical 9-5, it was fairly easy for me to carve out time to get everything done and not fall behind. There were many people in my class that had full-time jobs and families, but were still able to complete the course curriculum. But, I will say that didn’t happen without some effort and organization. Be prepared to spend your evenings and weekends studying if you are someone with a 9-5 job. Luckily, it can all be done when it fits with your schedule, but stick as close to the syllabus as possible because falling behind will only cause more stress.
How do I plan to put my NTP certification into practice?
The knowledge and skills I attained through the NTA are the driving force behind my blog, my podcast, and social media accounts. I started sharing the knowledge I was gaining on all of these platforms as soon as I began the program. It was a great way not only for me to spread the REAL FOOD word, but also drive home the lessons I was learning for myself.
In August 2015, I opened the virtual doors to my one-on-one Nutritional Therapy practice and immediately began taking clients that needed serious help. While I had planned on most of my clients being local, I quickly realized that there is too big of a market for those of us in the holistic health fields to confine my services to such a small area. So, with the help of Skype, I now take clients all across the globe! It has been nothing short of an amazing and rewarding career move and I am so thankful that I made that decision to become an NTP!
What other ways are there to use your certification?
The options are pretty much up to you and your imagination as to how you put your certification into practice. Or, if you put it into practice at all! Some people enjoy taking the class just to expand on their knowledge in regards to their own health or that of a family member. Others team up with other holistic-minded practitioners in their area, like chiropractors, acupuncturists, personal trainers, naturopaths, etc. to offer nutrition services to the already that client base. Others become writers, speakers, or teachers. It really depends on YOUR passion, YOUR skill set, and YOUR personality. I very much have an entrepreneurial spirit and the thought of working under somebody else takes the fire out of it for me. So, I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work for myself and build my own practice. But, that’s not the best route for everyone and especially if you’ve never had your own business. While there is a module on business basics in the NTP program, I highly recommend you start thinking and learning now about running your own business if that is your dream.
Is it worth the investment?
For me, it was worth the investment within the first week of class. As soon as I saw how in-depth the lessons were and how much knowledge both my lead instructor — Cathy Eason — and assistant instructor — Dana Brown — had surrounding every single topic and question covered, I knew the amount paid was nothing compared to the life-changing experience I was embarking on. Although, going back to the last point, I think it really helped that I already knew what I wanted to do with my certification upon completion. So, throughout the course, I could visualize what the end product would look like for me and how the program was leading me on that path. It was easy for me to acknowledge that without it, I wouldn’t realize my dreams and passion. And, of course, that made it worth every single dime.
Gimme the short answer.
Do it! If you have a passion or even just a curiosity about the concept that food can be our greatest form of medicine or our worst kind of poison, do it! You will not regret it. This is an expanding field and will only continue as more and more people realize how great they can actually feel with some simple changes to their diets and lifestyle. The more people we get on board to educate, the quicker we begin to turn around the staggering health statistics in our society today. Yes, I do HIGHLY recommend that you go into it with a vision and goal of how you plan to use your newfound knowledge, even if it’s just to understand your own families’ health. Just have a plan! And it’s OK if it changes midway through. But, in my opinion, everything just has a bigger, better meaning when there is an end goal attached.
I’m super excited to continue on with the NTA and now be in the roll of Group Leader for the first ever Denver class this fall! In just a few weeks, I will be starting the course over, this time as a helper and guide to the incoming students. I cannot wait to be a part of this class and continue to learn from the organization. If you would like to be a part of this class too, you still have a few weeks to sign up! Even if you don’t live in the area, Denver is a great place to visit for the workshop weekends and you get to hang out with me! Double win!