As most of you know, I have started my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Program in February! I have been loving the process thus far and feel like the work is truly aligned with what I want to do in terms of nutrition with clients down the road! Preaching a real, whole foods diet and focusing on the bio individuality of each client is right up my alley!
Before we dive in, let me give you the story behind how this blog was created. I had an essay assignment and COMPLETELY misread the question, which was to describe how improper digestion of fats can wreak havoc on your immune system (which is very fascinating by the way) and instead looked at the directions that told me to implement what I’ve learned so far. Somehow in my brain I interpreted the directions as the full assignment question and summarized everything I’ve learned so far in each module…. So lucky you, my (almost) fail is your gain! You get to witness first hand that I am not perfect AND you get to read the completely incorrect essay I almost submitted! 🙂
The Nutritional Therapy Practitioner work I have completed thus far has been fascinating! I have learned about the evolution of the modern diet, the basics of nutrition, what the client consultation process will be like, anatomy and physiology and digestion and elimination! Consider the information below a little teaser summary of the complex topics I have gotten to learn. If any of these topics jump out at you as something you’d like to learn more about LET ME KNOW! I will happily make a separate blog post to dive deeper into the topic!
The evolution of the modern diet module explained how we got to where we are today in terms of nutrition. We once ate fresh food that came from the earth and now our diet consists of highly processed “food” that is making us sick and tired. When big corporations popped up in the 1800-1900’s they were finding the sweat spot, literally, of sugar and fat to keep us addicted to products like soda and processed goods. Our population began to increase so making an abundance of cheaper food that can be brought to as many individuals became a priority over quality. An example of that would be repurposing some of the chemicals used to make bombs in WW2 for pesticides in our soil.. yum.
The basics of nutrition module was just that, basics of nutrition and how certain macronutrients (proteins, fats, carbs) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) effect our bodies. There needs to be a balance in both of these macro and micro nutrients in order to sustain optimal health, however, many individuals who are on the current standard American diet are missing out on healthy fats and vital vitamins and minerals from fresh plant sources and instead are turning to processed oils and refined carbohydrates to fuel their bodies. In the long term this diet can cause tremendous health problems! The best way to avoid these health issues? Eat fresh, real food, preferably organic fruits and vegetables, as well as meats like grass fed beef, pasture raised chickens, or wild caught fish. Eating this way hinders the risk of overly processed items, fruits and veggies sprayed with harmful pesticides, and consumption of meats that have been treated poorly with injection of hormones and fed an improper diet. (Yes, it is important to consider what the food you eat has eaten! Would you want to eat the meat of a cow that was pumped with antibiotics and hormones? Chances are, if you’re not paying attention, thats EXACTLY what you’re eating.)
The one module that was most unique to me was the client consultation process. As a personal trainer I get to go through my own type of consultation process, however the one that the Nutritional Therapy Association has to offer is one that goes into detail to really get to know the person as an individual and tailor a plan that works for them! Through techniques such as motivational interviewing, certain documents like the Nutrition Assessment Questionnaire and muscle testing NTP’s are able to solve the puzzle of what you may be missing in your diet. I have been able to fill out some forms myself and in doing so learned a little bit about some of the areas of opportunity that I can improve on in terms of my own health.
To take the module of the client consultation process a step further came the anatomy and physiology module. This module went into a detailed description of different systems in the body and how those structures work. Cells, chemistry, biology, organic chemistry, I felt like I was back in college re-learning all these fascinating topics again! On the basis of nutrition it is important to understand how the body functions when tailoring nutritional habits to individuals with specific needs.
To dive even deeper into that physiology was the digestion and elimination module. This one might have been one of my other favorites (although its really hard to choose just one!) I got to read about the general system of the digestion process as well as signs and symptoms that may arise from improper digestion. Not only that, but I also got to understand why stomach acid is so good for you! Did you know that majority of the people complaining of heartburn actually need more acid, not an anti-acid? I can go on and on, but remember, this is just a teaser!
This process so far has been exciting and eyeopening and I am looking forward to gaining more knowledge as I go, but for now, time to learn more about blood sugar regulation 🙂