For all intents and purposes, especially legal ones, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner is equivalent to a health coach. We are certified by The Nutritional Therapy Association.
In some states, they may practice under titles such as a holistic nutritionist, but I prefer to keep things simple, and I’m cool with NTP and/or health coach. Every state is different, for example in Florida, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner’s can’t really practice at all because the laws are very strict on this sort of thing, only Dietitians may give nutrition advice. In Virginia, where I live and my LLC is registered, I can work practice without limitation. Not sure why it varies so much state per state, but usually in places where Functional Medicine Doctors, chiropractors, and homeopathic practitioners have more leeway, so do NTP’s.
Part of our training is also knowing when we need to refer clients to other types of practitioners! We all work to have a trusted network of nutritionists, doctors and functional medicine practitioners at hand for our clients. It’s all about resources and community.
So what do we do? We help clients achieve their health goals by suggesting whole food, nutrient dense foods, lifestlye changes and supplements when needed.
The Nutritional Therapy Curriculum
Over the course of nine months, and about 20 hours a week of course work, and 4 in-person, 4 day workshops of hands-on practice, we learn about the foundations of health and how to bring them into balance.
Digestion | Mineral Balance | Hydration | Fatty Acid Balance | Blood Sugar Regulation
The Nutritional Therapy Association teaches a holistic approach to nutrition, relying heavily on the body’s innate wisdom, on the fact that our bodies are constantly striving to achieve homeostasis, and as such, by properly nourishing it, we can do just that!
While the approach is holistic, it is also founded in science. Each foundation chapter walks you through the biochemical process of digestion, blood sugar regulation, mineral balance, the endocrine system, the immune system and more. The modules were broken down into 1) How The System Should Work 2) Why Dysfunction Happens 3) How To Bring Balance via Real Food and Support.
We believe that when the foundations are out of balance it can cause consequences. These consequences are expressed by the body with vitamin deficiencies, hormone imbalance, adrenal fatigue, inflammation, and immune system dysfunction. Through a series of interviews, food and mood journals, and the Nutritional Analysis Questionnaire we can discover where your deficiencies are. Many NTPs see clients in person also preform the Functional Evaluation, which is a physical of sorts. While I trained in this, my practice will be solely online because it’s where I operate.
We are NOT doctors, nurses or dietitians. We don’t diagnose or treat disease. But we can work WITH YOU, helping you make choices that can resolve chronic issues you are dealing with. A common side effect of a proper diet with proper digestion is just that… true health!
How Does This Differ From A Classical Nutritional Education
Think of it like this… when you have issues you have not been able to resolve by working with conventional health practitioner’s… which is A LOT OF US HERE, we seek ALTERNATIVE solutions.
Think of NTP’s as an alternative to traditional dietitians who are more about weight loss or Standard American Diet (SAD). The curriculum is very paleo-friendly and promotes a fat-burning metabolic state. It has a lot of science and a little bit of w00-w00.
My favorite thing about the program was the unwavering, and constant reminder that EVERY PERSON AND EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT. This is not a one size fits all approach. Nutritional Therapy Practitioners have trained to asses each person on a case by case basis and provide personalized recommendations for their food choices, but also with the emotional support that goes into this.
This is a certificate program, not a college degree. I looked at several master’s programs and could not find something which would support the kind of real food first, un-diet approach I was looking for. I looked into several online health coaching and nutrition programs, and time and time again the NTA’s message resonated with me. There are thousands of working Nutritional Therapy Practitioners all over the country with thriving businesses and helping so many people.
Why Did I Choose The NTA?
Check out the Nutritional Therapy Association Website.
Many bloggers who share their personal stories online, much like I started, and helped people just by sharing my story… and that alone helped a lot of people. I wanted to further my education because the inquires I was getting were shifting from questions about recipes or my story to questions about people’s specific situation. Here’s the thing with that… there are a lot of liability issues with people giving out nutrition advice online.
In Facebook Groups and Instagram threads, you see some pretty serious stuff going down. While I’m all about folks taking control of their health, and this guerilla-style rebellion against that status quo… we need to remember, you can’t get good, useful, safe advice online from a stranger that doesn’t know your medical history or all the details of your situation.
My BA in Anthropology, my 6 years as a restaurant chef, 3 years doing research and healing my own body is a lot of experience with ancestral health and food… but I wanted more and this course is just what I needed! I gave me amazing tools to help others, beyond what I have already been doing through this blog and my published books.
I wanted to be able to help others, to help you beyond the blanket statements of try AIP, try paleo, try a Whole30, eat clean. I wanted to connect with folks one on one. So I chose the NTA for their whole foods, ancestral health approach. I chose the NTA for the hundreds of practitioners that I know, love and respect who also did the program: Shawn Mynar, Beth Manos Brickey (Tasty Yumies), Allison Marras (Food by Mars), Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt (Autoimmune Wellness), Steph Gaudreau, Christina Rice…. and the list goes on!
The NTP program was $5,000 plus the cost of the books and materials. The reading list is comprehensive and I’ll list them below because even if you don’t do the program for yourself, you can learn a lot from these amazing books.
NTP Reading List
If you don’t want to work with an NTP, NTC or me (link here)… READ! READ! READ! Education yourself and empower yourself to take charge of your health. Knowledge is power folks!