It seems like the next logical step in my evolution as a health and wellness professional.
I am passionate about health and nutrition, especially the power of real food to transform your health and life.
What Is Integrative Nutrition ®?
Integrative Nutrition ® the largest nutrition school in the world founded by Joshua Rosenthal, director and primary teacher. There are many things that make Institute for Integrative Nutrition ‘s (IIN) approach to nutrition unique. They include:
1. The concept of “primary food”
Joshua developed this concept when, as the owner of a health food store, he observed that many people who shopped at his store and ate healthily were not particularly healthy and many people who ate poorly, yet appeared to be thriving. He realized that good nutrition is about more than what you eat. You can consume all the green vegetables in the world but it won’t make up for the damage caused by spending your days doing unfulfilling work, being caught in an abusive relationship or lacking in meaningful personal and spiritual connections.
You need more than just “healthy food” to be healthy. The quality of the water you drink, the air you breathe, your exercise, your relationships, your happiness all matter too. IIN describes the food you eat as secondary food. Primary food includes your relationships, work, exercise, and spirituality.
2. Integration of more than 100 different dietary theories
The course includes more than 100 different dietary theories, from traditional to fads, with discussion of the pros and cons of each. The diets covered include macrobiotics, blood type theory, atkins, the zone, south beach, raw food, and sally fallon.
We are each bio-individuals with varying dietary requirements. There is no one perfect diet. One person’s medicine is another’s poison. The body has the inner wisdom to guide your choices when you learn to listen and trust it.
4. Crowding Out
It’s easier and more effective to “crowd out” major dietary offenders, such as overly processed junk food and soda, than it is to take them away. It’s really difficult and stressful to give up substances “cold turkey” and much easier and less stressful to add healthy foods that help mitigate our cravings.
5. Self Healing
The body has incredible healing abilities and is designed to find it’s own balance or homeostasis. If you give it half a chance, your body will heal by itself. The classic example is a cold. You can take medicine and it will go away in 7 days or take no medicine and it will be gone in a week! The medicine may make you feel better, but it really didn’t “cure” anything. Your immune system did that. Usually, the key is to slow down and let the body do its thing.
6. Deconstructing Cravings
Cravings should be deconstructed, not conquered. The body is brilliant and doesn’t make mistakes. It’s a sophisticated biocomputer that is always striving to find balance (homeostasis). Your lungs never forget to breathe, your heart never forgets to beat, your thermostat maintains 98.6 without you fiddling with it. When you crave something there is a reason. The magic comes from discovering why your body is craving what it is.
7. Universal Dietary Principles
The same set of simple diet and lifestyle recommendations will help everyone get well and fight disease. The body doesn’t heal itself selectively. There is one general way of eating that will help the whole you. These recommendations include:
- Eat less meat, sugar, dairy, and chemicalized food like substances. This is true for the vast majority of Americans. Of course, there are always exceptions. Strict emaciated vegans and/or raw foodists may actually need some meat. However, it is important to be non-dogmatic. There are lots of different approaches to eating that work for various people. It’s important to consider individual needs and let go of rigid thinking.
- Drink more water.
- Engage in exercise you find enjoyable.
- Slow down and practice self care. Most people are sleep deprived and moving so fast they forget to take care of themselves.
- Increase whole grains, sweet vegetables, and leafy greens.
- Cook as though your health depended on it.
- Have healthy relationships. Love is critical to a happy, healthy, nourished life.
- Find work you love or a way to love the work you have.
- Develop a spiritual practice that helps you connect with yourself.
The IIN Unique Approach to Education
Joshua has a MS in education so the IIN curriculum is given much thought and attention. The program takes the position that human beings are vast sources of universal intelligence requiring reawakening. The focus is to unlearn things that aren’t true, re-ignite that universal intelligence, and foster a passion for life long learning. The program includes a strong vocational component too and many students find the year to be life transforming.
My IIN Experience to Date
I’ve completed the first of 40 modules in the IIN program, and continue to be enthused by the approach and comprehensiveness of the program.
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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