IIN Review: I’m a dentist — now I’m a health coach, too.

Posted on April 29, 2021

This is my personal review of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I went there after I was already practicing dentistry, and it ended up being a life saver. This is my personal experience, but it definitely applies to anyone who is thinking about studying there.

If you are passionate about seeing people embrace a healthier, more holistic lifestyle while earning a living, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition may already be on your radar. It certainly should be.

Disclaimer: I may earn a commission from links in this article. This doesn’t change my opinions on IIN. It only helps me continue to write these handy articles that anyone can read for free.

What is the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)?

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition is an online school for health and nutrition coaches. It’s the “world’s largest nutrition school,” only providing online course options for convenience. (It was certainly convenient for me.)

The goal of IIN is to help students understand how diet is the key to overall health, both for themselves and their future clients and patients.

The IIN program is for people looking for a new career, or simply those digging into health and wellness through the power of healthy eating.

However, you’ll soon learn that nutrition is incredibly multifaceted, something that really spoke to me. It’s not just about what you eat, but a fully integrated healthy lifestyle.

At the end of IIN’s health coach training program, you will be a Certified IIN Health Coach, which is different from a dietitian or nutritionist.

You will not receive accreditation in the same way that you will be at a university. This is a different kind of journey, based on health coach certification and a holistic approach.

An IIN health coach is a supportive authority on wellness. Typically, they make personalized recommendations that help clients move toward their individualized health goals.

My Journey to Becoming a Health Coach

About 2 years ago, I was attending a conference on holistic dentistry in central Oregon. Little did I know, it would enrich my life in more ways than I expected.

One of the sessions I attended featured Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, a fantastic herbalist and functional medicine doctor who works with Dr. Andrew Weil. She gave a captivating presentation about how functional nutrition relates to oral health.

We chatted afterward, and during our conversation, she recommended IIN. 

At the time, I’d been interested in going for my Master’s degree in nutrition, but this felt like an even better option.

Not only did that choice permeate my thinking and open me up to understanding diet and overall health; it also changed the course of my career.

Almost a year into my IIN journey, a global pandemic struck. I graduated just one week after my office closed due to COVID. It was an extremely uncertain season. I didn’t know if our dental practice would ever open again. We were considered non-essential.

It dawned on me: Maybe I’ll get into health coaching?

With that thought, I started Happi Health a week after my office closed. I immediately began working as an online health coach. This was only possible because I had the certificate from IIN. Talk about serendipity!

Who teaches classes at IIN?

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition boasts dynamic speakers and leaders I’ve admired for years.

Over 85 different famous lecturers like Deepak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil teach classes at IIN, as well as the founder of the program, Joshua Rosenthal.

How much weekly time will it take to get my certification?

How long does the Institute for Integrative Nutrition take to complete? The Institute for Integrative Nutrition takes either 6 months or 1 year to complete. It depends on whether you attend part-time or full-time.

As a parent who also runs my own business, I felt that enrolling in the 6-month program would be too much. However, I felt the one-year option was perfect for my lifestyle. I often listened to lectures while driving and did coursework after I got home from work.

For me, it took about 10 hours per week to complete lectures and coursework then get my certification — having an existing science background was a big help! 

Many students find that it’s closer to 20 hours each week. The weekly time depends on how much you study and use supplemental material.

Career Options After the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

The global pandemic gave everyone time to sit and reflect on their career paths. Many realized that clocking in for a 9-5 each day wasn’t very fulfilling.

For me, IIN has allowed me to confidently offer health coaching to new and existing patients in addition to my existing dental services. It let me see a future where, despite the uncertainty of “in-person” dental practice, I could still work with people to achieve the healthiest versions of themselves.

Plus, it gave me a chance to expand what I offer and give solid, evidence-based nutrition advice.

IIN attempts to guide grads into their own health coaching practice, but it gives students a good base of knowledge for other endeavors as well.

Other IIN graduates have gone on to write books, run seminars and retreats, enhance their training or yoga business, and even become inspirational speakers.

How much does IIN cost?

What does IIN cost? The current cost of IIN is $6,795 USD, with both a year-long and 6-month option.

Personally, the price felt reasonable with my existing career and manageable even though I’m still an active mom. Under $7,000 for a course that could shape your career is a great deal!

What I Liked Best About IIN

  • Well-prioritized. IIN talks about the importance of primary food (such as your community, sense of purpose, friends, relationships, mindset) as foundational, before what’s on your fork.
  • Organized. All the supplementary materials automatically come with the course.
  • Flexible. Since the course is online, there’s a lot of leeway to listen in your car or catch up on the weekends.
  • Tech-savvy. IIN offers excellent support in getting your website and social media branding up. No failure to launch issues here.
  • Supportive. Facebook groups and other support groups provide a wealth of knowledge, new friends, and coaching circles in your area.
  • Personal. They require you to complete 6 health coaching sessions with your friends and family, breaking you out of your shell and making the information come alive in your own circles.
  • Very inclusive. IIN has no dog in the fight, catering to different dietary options (carnivore, vegan, Paleo, and more). The program covers all the eating styles as well as people’s bio-individuality.
  • Interactive. IIN requires students to attend live coaching sessions required (in EST) where students coach each other with a guide.
  • Fits many people. IIN is a welcoming, open-minded program that accounts for different dietary theories, each person’s biochemistry, and various lifestyles and belief systems. Less judging, more learning!

IIN might not be right for you if…

  • While being an Integrative Nutrition health coach is a wonderful experience for me, it’s not for everyone. The IIN program may not be right for you if you are:
    • Someone who learns by reading. Since the course is mostly video, this may not be the educational style for students who prefer to read when learning.
    • Others-motivated. Since you complete your coursework at your individual pace, people who are self-motivated are more likely to succeed.
    • An international student. The live sessions and some supplementary materials are geared toward students in the USA — both in time zone and in cultural discussions.

    IIN is a welcoming, open-minded program that accounts for different dietary theories, each person’s biochemistry, and various lifestyles and belief systems. Less judging, more learning!

My Institute for Integrative Nutrition Review: Was it worth the cost?

  • What are the benefits of becoming a holistic health coach? The benefits of becoming a holistic health coach include inspiring clients to change their health and lives and helping clients to achieve their personal wellness goals and an overall healthier life.

    Is IIN worth the money? For me, IIN was worth the money and more. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

    Even with my dental background, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition helped me connect more dots between functional medicine, healthy eating, and the everyday life choices that lead to wellness.

    If this is the right next step for you, I encourage you to enroll today, or even sign up to take your free sample class. Your best days and a new career are just ahead of you!

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