Thanks to Nicole, I found out how I could take courses and get my own diploma to be a Certified Holistic Nutritionist myself. I am now halfway through that process and hope to complete my final exam by January 2012. Yay!
Over the past few years, I’ve been writing this health blog and learned piles and piles of stuff about nutrition and general well-being from the information you share with me (thank you, Bag Lady, for informing me way back when that the trans fats in dairy products is naturally-occurring!) as well as the information that I’ve researched on my own. I have whole shelves on my bookcases dedicated to health and nutrition. Between all of that and being a health columnist for a newspaper for a couple years, I’ve become the go-to for close friends and family when they have nutrition questions. And I love it.
So, when a good friend of mine whom I’ve known since high school (she was also a bridesmaid in the bridal party I was part of earlier this year) – we’ll call her Red – asked me to do a real nutrition consult with her, I was all over it!
This was really exciting because it gave me a chance to organize myself and decide how my consults will be set up in the future, when I’m properly certified. It also gives me the opportunity to have a little test-run of potential obstacles I might run into when I’m giving consults in the future. Plus, I was delighted to be able to help Red make a few changes to her diet, since nutrition is such an important component of good health.
Before the nutrition consult
Before we had the consult, I emailed Red a quick questionnaire to fill out, and I also asked her to complete a three-day food diary. She emailed the completed versions back to me the day before our consult so that I could go over them and do some research based on the information that she gave me.
During the nutrition consult
We had the consult at my place, which was convenient for me since it allowed me to type things into my computer and pull out any of my nutrition books if I needed them. I think that I will conduct most consults at the houses my clients live in rather than my house, but it worked out well to have it at my place for the first time.
When she arrived, I was prepared: I had carefully looked at her answers to the questionnaire and the way that she had eaten over the course of those three days, and I had a whole list of questions to ask her to learn more about her current health habits and to determine the most important changes we needed to make.
For our purposes, we decided to focus on a few main areas to work on. That way it could be done in manageable steps. I gave her a little bit of “homework” to do – simple changes to try out – and I also gave her a few handouts to take home which would be useful resources.
After the nutrition consult
The consult took about an hour in total. We agreed to meet again in about 10 days to go over the changes she made and to reassess her diet and lifestyle.
Overall, I’m feeling really good about the whole situation. For one thing, Red is already in pretty good health – she just needs to clean up her diet a little bit, and I think that she’ll be able to make some of those changes without it causing any major problems. Also she’s just an all-around awesome friend so she’s the perfect person to be my first client
But for another, I feel really good about it because I love this type of work. I loved getting the food diary and questionnaire back from Red and being able to go pinpoint the issues; I loved researching in my nutrition textbooks; I love being able to help someone eat a bit better and become healthier in general. I am so excited for the day when I receive my diploma and can start doing nutrition consults for more people than just friends and family. It’s so nice to love what you do.
Have you ever had a nutrition consult? Is there something else that YOU would want from a nutrition consult (other than what I’ve mentioned above)? And do you love your job? Share in the comments section below!