You know how sometimes in life things seem to happen for a reason? When stuff just falls into place and you realize that you are exactly where you want to be and it happened at just the right time? I've been wanting to tell my story about how I became a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner for a while... and well, today is a slow day, so I better get with it.
Changing my diet to a more ancestral approach of eating four years ago, led to me looking for a job in this world of nutrition. I became the Operations Manager for fastpaleo.com and LOVED my work. I co-edited the FastPaleo Top100 ecookbooks, did customer service, and I wrote my own blog. But as much as I loved that work, I also realized that I simply wanted to be able to speak with more authority on the subject of nutrition. I wanted to be my own boss. Heck, who doesn't, right? I looked into a bunch of different schools when I started my research. I wanted a school, that taught what I intuitively believed already: that an ancestral approach to nutrition AND life was the way to go! And this is where the Nutritional Therapy Association came in a school that bases its teachings on the principles of Weston A. Price.
The NTA offers 9 months certification classes to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner or a Nutritional Therapy Consultant. While most of the course work is the same, the NTP program includes Functional Evaluations. Functional Evaluations are a hands-on approach of lingual-neuro reflexes to discover whether any of a person's organs are in stress. It will allow the practitioner to make specific recommendations on how to supplement properly in addition to one's healthy lifestyle changes.
While I am generally quite skeptical of such things, I decided to go for the NTP class to have the options to use Functional Evaluations if I wanted to.
Let's talk a bit about the course curriculum. It is divided into 15 modules with an impressive required reading list! Check out the course outline and reading list HERE! While I already had a pretty decent understanding of why I should be eating this way, the course dives into anatomy and physiology, and explains exactly what happens inside the body, when you eat right or wrong. You'll learn all about why fats are important, why sugars are harmful, and what the ideal ratio of macronutrients should be. Each module builds on the previous one, and by module 12 (and after many, many hours of work) you feel like you are ready to take on the world.
Speaking of work, please do understand that this course is a real commitment. I worked a minimum of 20 hours per week to fulfill the required reading and homework. Homework consists of listening to the videos and audio, answering questions, reading the books on the required reading list, and writing short book reviews! Having said that, my class consisted of people from all walks of life: housewives, full-time employees, business owners, and university students, and ALL OF THEM graduated. This is of course partly due to the dedication and commitment by students, but the teachers and teacher assistants will do their very best to help every single person to graduate! My teacher was Cathy Eason, and I am not exaggerating when I say that this woman is a walking, talking dictionary. She had answers to every question in class.
Class? I know what you think. This is supposed to be a distance course! Well yes, it is. You do your work at home whenever YOU can. But, there are three long weekends of classroom time. These weekends serve to talk about modules in depth, learn the Functional Evaluations, learn everything about the client consultation process (be ready for some role playing), and of course for your exams. Halfway through the course you'll have midterms, and at the end there is a final exam, both written and practical. I loved these classroom times for a number of reasons!
1. I loved my classmates! All of them! The group dynamic was amazing, and I still miss them dearly.
2. Bouncing ideas off each other, discussing things we didn't understand, getting our questions answered was just priceless.
3. Functional Evaluations!
Okay, I have to say here, that I am about as skeptical as they come. Functional Evaluations sounded like woo-woo to me. But then I experienced them in a classroom of over 40 people, and I experienced them on myself. And I was blown away by how effective these Functional Evaluations were... and still are. I use them regularly to understand how to recommend the best possible supplementation to my clients. Heck, I even use them on myself!
Today, I work as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and freelance writer for The Alternative Daily. I have presented at paleoFX in Texas, I teach classes and workshops to individuals and groups, and currently I am working on a big project that I am not quite ready to reveal yet, but that has me jumping up and down with joy! I am not working full time, because I also have a family and I homeschool my kids. So, this flexibility really works for me!
Should you do it? Well, YES!! Not only will you learn a ton of really amazing information, you will also join a tribe of like minded people who will become your friends for life! Several people in my class simply joined because of their desire to heal their bodies from the inside out, and I believe they were successful in doing so.
I love my work! This is what I wanted to be when I grow up! :)