Want to Study Nutrition?

15 Aug 2014

I get asked quite often what nutrition programs I recommend, schools, websites and movies. I love that people are taking such an interest in health and making a change to their lifestyle.

With that, I wanted to share my experience about the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) because I’ve done many programs, day courses, monthly courses and my own research into what schools would be best for me. Through all this I’ve gotten certified in Everyday Nutrition by CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine in London), I have Raw Foods & Functional Sport Training certifications from ION (Institute of Optimum Nutrition in London) as well as now training to be a certified Health Coach from IIN. I thrive when I learn more and have also signed up for various online courses to increase my knowledge.

IIN was one of those programs I heard a lot about both on Instagram and through various people I know completing it. It took me about a year to sign up from the first time I heard about it, which is completely normal when you are entering a yearlong program. I was very inclined to do a nutrition degree, however that would mean going to classes full time, which was a nearly impossible feat when I travel so often. IIN ended up being the perfect fit because of this. Below I’ve outlined the pros and cons of IIN, as so many people asking.


  • It’s online. This means that you don’t need to attend classes and can fit it into your own time.
  • You join a HUGE community of people. You get to know all the fellow students (depending on how much or little you want to engage) through their Facebook group, peer-on-peer coaching sessions, and live conferences.
  • You listen to the top speakers in the world on health. This is a huge one, as most schools don’t have the support from all the top names in this community.
  • Live conferences you can only attend if you are studying. Going to see Mark Hyman, Dr. Oz, Deepak Chopra live is a pretty amazing thing. If you can’t attend the live conference they stream in on the web.
  • You learn how to become a health coach. IIN focuses on fast tracking you in the business side of things, which is great if this is what you want to do in life.
  • You learn how to create, run, and manage a business. Imagine doing something you love all day everyday- doesn’t seem like work, right? This is exactly what they teach you and how to make a very good living from it!
  • You can pay off your tuition with referrals. Each referral you get, the person gets an $800 discount and you get money for referring them. This is a win-win for both people.
  • The tests are open book. I like this because they want you to succeed, not fail like many teachers.
  • You have ample support. Not only from the school as any questions are answered, but from people going through the same thing as you. No longer will you feel like the black sheep within your friends and family, as there are thousands of people in your group just like you.
  • You will learn ALL the nutritional theories. There are so many conflicting advices on protein, dairy, fats and various subjects. IIN does a great job of presenting all of them, rather than saying one is the best.
  • Being a health coach. Without attending the program you might not know what this means- essentially you learn all the nutritional theories as well as the business side, and how to coach your clients on what’s best for them. You learn that food is not truly the end all to being healthy; instead you can coach someone through their issues in everyday life to help them succeed.
  • You will heal yourself. I’ve noticed that every person I’ve talked to at IIN has been able to heal their bodies, make lasting changes and this program is amazing if you are looking to better yourself and your health.


  • You will not get a degree. This is a huge turn off for people looking for the ‘real deal.’ Being a health coach is an amazing thing (and personally I think more valuable than just a dietician or nutritionist), however it can turn many off.
  • The time commitment. It is a one-year program which can seem daunting, as there are new modules each week, 4 tests a year and a lot of learning to be done!
  • The price. It’s not cheap, ranking at over $5,000 a year. This is an investment for you and ultimately the price will be high if you just want to learn a few things.
  • No on-campus lectures. This was a hard one for me, as I learn best when I’m around others. It can be a great thing if you don’t want to have specific time commitments or a drag if that’s what you want.
  • Learning the business side of coaching. Maybe all you want to do is learn about nutrition and don’t care about becoming a health coach. The program is business-heavy which can turn some off.
  • It’s easy to fall behind. Because there are new modules each week, if you have other things going on in life it can be quite easy to fall behind and catching up isn’t so fun.

Overall, I personally think that the program is HIGHLY worth investing in if you are looking to learn more, want a community and can handle the course being online. It is a truly one of a kind program, with amazing speakers each week and I’ve found that I’ve made so many new friends both locally and world wide.

Don’t forget to mention my name (for your discount and so I can pay my tuition hehe).

I hope this helps if you’ve been looking into the program. Would love to know your thoughts and if any of you completed IIN. Tweet me @nikkirsharp



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