Before I started working as a holistic health coach, I studied at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It’s just about 1 year since I graduated today, and I’ve gotten loads of questions about the school since then. So I thought – why not write a little bit about it.
IIN is an online school, where you study for 12 months to become a integrative nutrition health coach. The course is divided into modules, which each are 1 week long. One module has to be finished before you can jump over to the next one. At the end of each module there’s a quiz and a forum to chat with other students. Then there’s 4 online exams, one every quarter.
What I think is really cool is that every single IIN graduate is so different. We have the same curriculum – but we take what we want from it, mix it with our own personality and experience, and end up very unique. About 1/3 of the curriculum is coaching based I’d say – teaching you how to do one-on-one coaching. But several graduates ends up doing something else. Some of them develop a rawfood brand, start a restaurant, work with kids in school or collect all the information just to use it for their own health – just to mention a few other things. Every one-on-one coach is also very different.
Before starting the school I signed up for a program with another beautiful health coach from IIN – and although I learned a lot from her, our style of coaching is very different. I also have a friend who just graduated, and when she talks about coaching it seems like she’d go for other clients than I currently do. She would probably coach more about food and transitioning to a plant based diet, while I talk very little about that and more about mindset-shifts.
Would you say the level of knowledge is sufficient?
This kind of coaching is based on the theory that you as a client already know what you need to do to be healthier and happier. It’s about the importance of sharing what’s going on in your mind with someone (the coach), discovering your inner voice, start trusting it, and go for it. It’s about having someone to hold you accountable when making lasting changes in your life. A coach will never give you a diet or regime to follow – because we’re taught that “one persons food is another persons poison”, and the same with exercise and everything else. Everyone is different, it’s about finding your right way. That being said we do learn over 100 different diets – and it’s up to you as a student how deep you want to dive into each of them.
I definitely found the knowledge I got from IIN sufficient to start coaching. It’s very simple – you just need to have a basic understanding of health, food etc. and genuinely care for people. Then you have to trust your intuition as a coach.
How much time did you spend studying a week?
I spent about 8 hours a week, but keep in mind I took a lot of notes. Like, a lot. The course can, in my opinion, be done beside a full time job. The curriculum is also super interesting, so I didn’t mind spending my weekends studying. (There’s a lot of cool people guesting their lectures! Such as Gabby Bernstein, David Wolfe etc.)
Do any europeans do the program?
YES. People from all over the world are doing the program. Not many people in Norway though! I think I’m the first one my age who’s coaching (and then I found 2 women in their 30-40’s online).
Do you think they go enough in depth with the topic of each diet and different techniques?
Both yes and no. It’s over 100 diets – it wouldn’t be possible, neither interesting, to go in depth on all of them. The great thing tho, is that they always give you extra material that you can read if you want to learn more than you’re asked to. They also go in depth on what’s considered the most important ones! The goal is not to end up as an expert of every single diet out there – but you do indeed get a good overview so that you know what your clients are talking about if they bring up a diet or a kind of holistic technique.
Any worries about becoming a health coach in Norway?
I’ve never worried about it, because I know that this is what I want to do (and I believe you can do whatever you set your mind to). But I mean, since very few people in Norway knows what a health coach is, it can be hard to market and find clients. I didn’t see that as a problem at all though – just a fun challenge. I also do online coaching, so I can have clients from all over the world. Honestly I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.
When did you start getting clients?
The same month I graduated! Some people start coaching while studying, but that wasn’t something I wanted to do.
Can one make a living out of health coaching – have it as your only income?
Yes! Of course! The beautiful thing about having your own company (which many people will have to go for I assume) is that you decide on the prices and amount of clients. You can also do group coaching – which gives you a higher hourly wage.
What do you think about their pushy advertisement?
Hahaha, America ❤︎ That’s all I have to say really. They would never get away with this kind of advertisement in Norway – but I just ignored it and trusted what other people said about the good value they got from the course.
Please let me know if you have any questions – I’ll keep updating this article!