Becoming a Holistic Health Coach: My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 2024

Becoming a Holistic Health Coach: My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 2024

Explore my journey and honest review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and if I believe it’s the perfect choice for aspiring health coaches or not. I share my personal experience and insights.

Becoming a Holistic Health Coach: My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 2024

The Future of Health and Wellness

Health and wellness are no longer just buzzwords; they are becoming integral to our daily lives. People are waking up to the importance of holistic health, a trend that gained momentum during the lockdowns and has continued to grow ever since. The wellness market is booming, and the health and wellness coaching industry is projected to hit $3.83 billion in revenue in 2024. This industry spans various areas, from nutrition and fitness to mental health and mindfulness. The future of health and wellness is promising, focusing not only on physical health but also on mental well-being and sustainability. These practices offer numerous benefits, even in the workplace.

People are waking up to the importance of holistic health, making now an exciting time to explore a career in health coaching.

My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)

Becoming a Holistic Health Coach: My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 2024

My Journey into Health and Wellness – What Led me to IIN

My husband, John, and I initiated our health journey together several years ago. At the tender age of 13, John received a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis, an autoimmune condition with no known cure. Over the years, he endured relentless suffering, countless hospitalizations, and a myriad of medications, all without significant improvement.

Meanwhile, I faced my own health challenges: chronic stomach issues, debilitating fatigue, mood swings, and persistent feelings of depression and insecurity. Despite seeking medical advice, I was often dismissed with assurances that my symptoms were merely a part of growing up.

Determined to reclaim our health and vitality, we made the bold decision to overhaul our lifestyles, starting with our diets. Through a process of experimentation, we explored various dietary approaches, including veganism, vegetarianism, carnivory, gluten-free, and paleo diets. Despite the challenges, our perseverance paid off as we gradually discovered the profound impact of dietary changes on our overall well-being.

Today, John no longer relies on any medication to manage his Ulcerative Colitis, and I feel better than I ever have before. Together, we’ve achieved milestones that once seemed unattainable, such as traveling the world – feats that doctors once deemed impossible.

Our journey has taught us invaluable lessons about the power of lifestyle changes to transform our lives. Now, I’m passionate about sharing our experiences and insights to help others avoid common pitfalls on their path to wellness, which is what led me to become a certified health coach through IIN.

Why I Chose to Become a Health Coach (Through IIN)

  1. Career Flexibility: I sought a career that provided an alternative source of income and an opportunity to transition out of my unfulfilling corporate job.
  2. Holistic Approach: My passion for health and wellness grew into a desire for a more holistic approach that goes beyond basic nutrition and exercise, encompassing all aspects of well-being.
  3. Supportive Community: I wanted to be part of a community of like-minded individuals who are on similar paths.
  4. Personal Healing Journey: Witnessing my husband heal from Ulcerative Colitis through a functional medicine approach and a lifestyle overhaul inspired me. My own health transformation further fueled my desire to learn more and help others regain control over their health.
  5. Helping Others on Their Healing Journeys: I aspired to support others on their health journeys, offering guidance to help them achieve their wellness goals.
  6. Affordability: Financial constraints made it challenging to afford an expensive certification, especially with existing student loan debt. Fortunately, my union helped cover the cost of the program, making it a feasible option for me.

My Experience with IIN

I opted for the accelerated six-month program, though I recommend taking the full year if possible. The program is intensive, with new modules released every Monday, including lectures, handouts, discussion boards, and assignments. There are four tests throughout the program, and students must complete health histories and coaching circles for graduation.

IIN offers flexible, self-paced online courses, making it possible to balance work and study. I was able to work full-time while completing the program. The education I received was comprehensive, covering over 100 dietary theories and foundational knowledge of how the digestive system works, the biochemistry of food, and the impact of various aspects of life on health and wellness.

Why I chose IIN

After extensive research, I chose to pursue my Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching Certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Here’s why:

  1. Flexible Learning Options: IIN offers both a one-year and an accelerated six-month program. I chose the six-month option but recommend taking the full year if possible, as the amount of information is vast.
  2. Comprehensive Curriculum: The program covers over 100 dietary theories and includes lectures from more than 90 experts in integrative health, nutrition, functional medicine, and more.
  3. Academic Partnerships: IIN’s certification can be applied towards further education, offering credits towards bachelor’s, master’s, or even doctorate degrees at participating institutions.
  4. Hands-On Learning: The program includes practical components like Health Histories, where you discuss clients’ past and present health concerns, and Coaching Circles, which are small group calls led by experienced coaches.
  5. Career Support: Graduates can become National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coaches (NBC-HWC) or Certified International Health Coaches (CIHC), opening up numerous career opportunities.

IIN is the longest-running institution that offers training in health coaching, licensed by the New York State Department of Education. The curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure that the content is up-to-date and accurate. Additionally, as a state employee, my union helped cover the cost of the program, making it even more accessible

What I Loved About IIN

  • Comprehensive Education: Learning over 100 dietary theories and the biochemistry of food.
  • Holistic Perspective: Understanding the impact of various life areas (career, relationships, spirituality) on health.
  • Expert Instruction: Learning from the top health and wellness experts in fields such as integrative health, public health, nutrition, functional medicine, spirituality, and alternative healing modalities.
  • Flexible Learning: The self-paced, online format allowed me to balance studies with my job and side hustles.
  • Practical Skills: Developing coaching skills and learning to support clients effectively.
  • Supportive Community: Access to a like-minded community.

Areas for Improvement

  • Business Resources: More templates and resources for marketing and business development would be beneficial.
  • Access to Additional Courses: Offering discounts or access to other courses would enhance the value of the program. *** I just found out they actually offer discounts to IIN Alumni! *** July 2024
  • Mandatory Coaching Calls: While beneficial, the scheduled calls were challenging to manage while traveling in different time zones (they just happened to be during my month in Costa Rica bubbling around).
  • Not Having Lifetime Access to Material: Access to course materials is limited to the duration of the program, which can be restrictive for future reference and continuous learning. *** With their recent updates, I believe all their programs now give you Lifetime Access! *** July 2024

What I Gained from IIN

  • Opportunities for career advancement.
  • A foundation of knowledge in health and nutrition.
  • Connection with like-minded people.
  • Encouragement to experience life’s challenges as learning opportunities.
  • Participation in a positive global movement.

    Life After IIN

    I now teach yoga, coach clients, own multiple rental properties, and continue to work my corporate job, leaning more into coaching and yoga daily. Here are some struggles and joys I’ve encountered:

    Becoming a Holistic Health Coach: My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 2024 Alyx Braunius Health Coach and Yoga Oneonta NY


    • Imposter Syndrome: Doubting my abilities despite positive feedback and returning clients/students.
    • Client Expectations: Managing clients’ expectations for quick results can be challenging, as true health transformation takes time, dedication, self-love, and self-respect.
    • Social Media: Social media management is a job in itself. Navigating its demands and toxicity while staying true to oneself can be particularly challenging.
    • Judgment: Facing criticism from family and friends for choosing a holistic path, feeling outspoken.
    • Not knowing Everything
    • Not Knowing Everything: It’s important to recognize that as a health coach, I’m not expected to know everything. While I’ve found my niche in working with clients on gut health issues and autoimmune disorders, I sometimes struggle to say no to clients with other concerns. This often results in additional research and workload on my end.
    • Industry Realities: The yoga and wellness industry can sometimes be surprisingly toxic. I’ve observed that not everyone in this field practices what they preach. Instead of the supportive, non-judgmental atmosphere we are taught in both yoga & health coaching, there’s often a sense of competition, judgment, & know-it-all opinions. This was especially apparent during the pandemic, which was quite eye-opening. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, it’s crucial to stay open-minded, think critically, do what’s best for you, and above all, be kind.
    • Overwhelm & Burnout: You can still burnout doing what you love! Balancing multiple responsibilities can lead to burnout. Balancing multiple responsibilities, including teaching yoga, coaching clients, and a full-time job, can lead to burnout.


    • Personal Growth: Becoming my best self and inspiring others.
    • Community: Meeting amazing life-long friends through IIN, the online community, yoga, and wellness events, and even clients and students.
    • Passion: Finding a lifelong passion that serves as both a career and lifestyle.
    • Helping Others: Guiding others on their health journeys.

    More About the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Becoming a Health Coach

    IIN Coupon code Institute for Integrative Nutrition

    What Are Health Coaches?

    A Health Coach is a supportive mentor who helps clients achieve their wellness objectives. By providing tailored, one-on-one guidance, Health Coaches help clients identify the foods and lifestyle habits that are most beneficial for them. The role of a Health Coach extends beyond just diet and exercise; it encompasses all aspects of a person’s life, helping them achieve balance and wellness in every area.

    Healthy Livin Wellness Health Coaching in Upstate NY

    The Role of a Holistic Health Coach

    A Holistic Health Coach guides clients in living a healthy life, focusing on bio-individuality. This means recognizing that each person has unique dietary, lifestyle, emotional, and physical needs. Beyond diet, holistic health coaches look at goals related to relationships, career, spirituality, creativity, finances, physical activity, joy, education, home environment, and social life. The goal is to find balance in all areas of life.

    Becoming a Holistic Health Coach: My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 2024

    Why Become a Health Coach?

    Health Coaches are the future of healthcare. They work to make wellness more accessible and health resources more equitable. As a health coach, you’ll guide your clients to become happier and healthier by addressing their unique needs and goals. Health coaches often take a holistic approach to listening, which means truly understanding the whole person—mind, body, and spirit. This deep, empathetic listening helps in creating personalized plans that foster sustainable, long-term wellness. Your career in health coaching will empower individuals to achieve a balanced and fulfilling life.

    Key Aspects of an Integrative Wellness Coach’s Role

    • Assessment: Conducting a thorough assessment of the client’s physical, mental, and emotional health.
    • Goal Setting: Working with the client to define clear and achievable wellness goals.
    • Customized Plans: Creating a personalized wellness plan based on the assessment and goals.
    • Education: Providing information and education on various aspects of health and wellness.
    • Accountability: Offering ongoing support and motivation to help clients stay on track.
    • Holistic Approach: Considering the whole person and aiming to create balance in all aspects of life.
    • Preventive Health: Focusing on preventive measures to maintain health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
    IIN Coupon code Institute for Integrative Nutrition

    Why The World Needs Health Coaches

    The need for Health Coaches is more critical than ever:

    • Nearly 30% of the world’s population is overweight or obese.
    • Doctors receive little nutrition training in medical school.
    • 70% of deaths each year are caused by chronic conditions.
    • One in three American adults has high blood pressure.
    • Preventative health services are only used at 50% of the recommended rate.

    Health Coaches can work one-on-one with clients, lead corporate wellness programs, or integrate their offerings into other wellness offices. They are the future of healthcare, making wellness more accessible and health resources more equitable.

    How the IIN Program Works

    The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) offers a structured yet flexible learning experience. Here’s how it works:

    Weekly Modules: Every Monday, new modules are released. If you’re in the 6-month accelerated program, two modules will be available each week. These modules include new lectures, handouts, discussion boards, and assignments to help you apply what you’ve learned.

    Tests and Reviews: The program includes four tests, with one test administered after every ten modules. During test weeks, no new modules are released, giving you time to review the material and apply new concepts in practical ways.

    Health Histories: You will learn how to conduct Health Histories, which are essential for working with clients. This process involves discussing your client’s past and present health concerns and goals, getting to know them better, and determining if you are a good fit to work together. Completion of six Health Histories is required for graduation.

    Coaching Circles: Participation in Coaching Circles is also part of the program. You will need to attend at least four out of six of these small group calls. These circles provide an opportunity to connect with classmates and are led by an experienced Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who runs a successful coaching business.

    Institute for Integrative Nutrition

    Choosing the Right Health Coaching Program for YOU

    I am a thorough researcher, especially when making significant decisions. Just like I spent over a year researching yoga training, I carefully evaluated various health coaching programs before choosing IIN. Here’s what you should consider:

    • Curriculum and Content: Ensure the program covers a wide range of topics that interest you.
    • Flexibility: Look for programs that offer flexible schedules to fit your lifestyle.
    • Accreditation and Partnerships: Check if the program is accredited and if it offers pathways to further education.
    • Support and Community: A supportive network of mentors and peers can enhance your learning experience.

    Career Paths After Certification

    Once you’re certified, a multitude of exciting opportunities await:

    • Collaborate with Medical Professionals: Partner with doctors in their private practices to provide integrated care.
    • Enhance Your Existing Career: Use your health coaching knowledge to advance your current career in the health and wellness industry.
    • Join Wellness Centers: Become a health coach at wellness centers, spas, gyms, or health food stores.
    • Start Your Own Business: Open your own wellness centers, spas, gyms, or health food stores.
    • Develop New Products: Create and market your own products in the food, beauty, or supplement industries.
    • Create Media Content: Launch your own podcasts and TV shows to reach a wider audience.
    • Write Books: Author cookbooks, how-to guides, and self-help books to share your knowledge and experience.
    • And Much More!: The possibilities are endless as you explore different ways to make a positive impact on people’s lives.
    Becoming a Holistic Health Coach: My Honest Review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition 2024


    My experience with IIN opened up new career opportunities, helped me step out of my comfort zone, and provided a foundation of knowledge in health and nutrition. It connected me with a supportive community and showed me that positive change is possible.

    Becoming a Health Coach is not for everyone, but for those passionate about health and wellness, it offers a fulfilling career path. The Institute for Integrative Nutrition provides a comprehensive education and the tools needed to help others on their wellness journeys. If you’re considering a career in health coaching, IIN is a great place to start.

    For a 20% discount, use code: ALYXBRAUNIUS20 when you sign up at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Start your journey today and become part of the future of healthcare.

    For More Inspiration

    Health Coach Ally

    About Me

    I spent 5 weeks on a spiritual journey with my husband and immersed myself in the age-old traditions and rituals of yoga on Koh Phangan island in the Gulf of Thailand. Focusing on Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga. Completing my 200-Hr Yoga Teacher Training. Learn more about my experience here

    I then received my Integrative Nutrition Health coach training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I learned about more than one hundred dietary theories and studied a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. Drawing on this knowledge, I will help you create a completely personalized “roadmap to health” that suits your unique body, lifestyle, preferences, and goals. Learn more about my training

    Learn More About Me Here

    Yoga inspires me to live more mindfully in the present moment. It has taught me to be stronger, more flexible, fearless, and open, both mentally and physically, on and off the mat. Practicing various yoga techniques has helped me connect deeper with the body, mind, breath, and soul.

    @Ally__adventures or @healthylivinwellness
    Alyx B

    A Certified Yoga Instructor and wellness coach, who studied Environmental Sustainability and Animal Science. Lover of animals and tacos! And passionate about traveling, hiking, yoga, and the environment.

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