For me, nutrition is everything and inspires every product I create at Purely Elizabeth. I received my certification as a Holistic Nutrition Counselor back in 2007 from IIN and that experience was truly what turned my nutrition interest from a hobby to a career.

Today we sit down with Joshua Rosenthal, the founder of IIN, to talk nutrition, education, and nutritious living tips.

  1. Tell us about how you came to found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

When I was in college studying counseling, I noticed one of my classmates had a bottle of Coca-Cola. Something clicked in my head, here we are, learning how to help people, and yet we’re ingesting these foods that are scrambling messages in our brains. It was at that moment that I realized that food changes everything. How could I not have learned this in school, in a Masters Degree Program on Counseling?

I set out on a journey to travel the world and discover “what’s truly true”. When I returned, I started teaching classes on nutrition, which, over time, blossomed into our Health Coach Training Program. We are now 100,000 Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches strong with graduates in over 140 countries. We are a force for good.

  1. What is unique about IIN?

There are two things that are unique about IIN: our community and our core concepts.

Our community is very diverse. Health is a bipartisan issue, and there are students from all backgrounds who come to the school to study health coaching. At the center of our community is a desire to serve and empower. Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches focus on helping clients find their own answers. Health Coaches do not believe they know the right answer for everyone, but rather that their clients will come up with a better answer than they could have ever thought of themselves.

Our core concepts include primary food, bio-individuality, deconstructing cravings, the magic of mirroring, and more. Primary food focuses on the idea that health is holistic. It’s not just about the food on your plate, but about the things in your life that nourish your heart and soul, such as love, relationship, career, spirituality, etc. When any of these are out of balance, your health will be impacted. Bio-individuality is the belief that there is no one diet that works for everyone. Each body has its own unique needs, based on age, nutritional and medical history, ancestry, blood type, vocation and more. There’s more but that’s all I can cover here.

  1. What is your background in nutrition?

When I started the school, I was focused heavily on macrobiotics, which I studied under Michio Kushi and many senior teachers. Over the course of my life, I studied and followed many different diets, until I ultimately realized that there is no one perfect diet. Our bodies each have unique nutritional needs, and those needs vary over the course of a lifetime.

In the Health Coach Training Program, we teach 100 different dietary theories and bring in the world’s leading experts in health, wellness, and nutrition, to educate students on different approaches so they can better serve their clients. After graduation, they can say they studied with people like Deepak Chopra, Andrew Weil, David Wolfe, etc. which is very impressive to clients and employers.

  1. What, if any, kind of diet do you follow?

In general, I do not believe in diets. Your body’s nutritional needs will vary over time. I do my best to listen to my body and feed it accordingly. Lately, I have found that a high fat, high protein, low carb diet has been working best for my particular needs. But honestly, I don’t eat very much. Thirty years ago, a wise person told me, it’s not so much what you eat, it’s how much you eat. I didn’t grasp the wisdom of that concept until many years later.

  1. How have you seen the public perception and habits surrounding health and holistic nutrition change over the past 10 years?

25 years ago, when I started there was no such thing as a “health coach” and very few people were interested in holistic health. In the past 10 years, the industry has bloomed, as holistic health and health coaching have become more mainstream. Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches are now featured in news outlets, TV shows, popular magazines, and more. I can’t name names, but many famous people take our program.

Just this spring, the US Senate passed a bill unanimously recognizing the importance of Health Coaches in improving the health and wellness of people in the US. I am happy to see the field finally getting the recognition it deserves! And we’re just getting started!

  1. How do you predict it changing in the future? Is health just a fad?

Hahaha… This trend will grow and accelerate. People are starting to take their health into their own hands. People are sick and tired of high medical costs and professionals who don’t know the first thing about healthy diets and exercise.

  1. What are 3 trendy health foods that you’re digging right now?

I love fresh juices. It wakes me up like nothing else. I’m also big on water and liquids, as much as I can get. It’s so simple. I’m also having a bit of a love affair with berries. It’s an important part of my daily diet.

  1. What advice do you have for those interested in nutrition and making a career out of it?

Become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. The US Department of Labor predicts this field will have a huge increase of the coming years. It’s easily the best way to get started in the field and start helping people sooner rather than later.

If I could add, I would just caution future Health Coaches to pay attention to where they’re getting their certification. It’s really important for any health professional to have solid qualifications and learn from a reputable organization, so just do your research first!

If you’re considering Nutrition School, I DEFINITELY recommend IIN. I am so thankful for my time there. If you are an alumni or student, I’d love to connect. Follow us on social and sign up for our newsletter. We’d love to be friends.