My Path to Becoming a Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner – Month 4
This post continues to share my journey of becoming a Nutritional Therapist with the Nutritional Therapy Association, covering Month 4, January. To read more about how I came to selecting this program and to read about Month 1 of the program, see my first post. To read about months 2 and 3, read my second post.
After our first workshop weekend and the holiday break, we hit the ground running at the start of January. We dove straight into Mineral Balance and then Hydration, the final two modules focused on the foundations. The foundations being, Digestion, Blood Sugar Regular Regulation, Fatty Acids, Mineral Balance and Hydration and of course, a properly prepared nutrient-dense, whole food diet. It was nice to finish with hydration, really honing in the classic “last but not least” cliché.
As we have continued to submerge ourselves into the content with the Nutritional Therapy Program, especially the foundations, I am continuing to connect deeply with the NTA’s individualistic approach to nutrition. Honoring that we are all bio-chemical individuals, means that there is no one catch-all diet, plan or protocol for every person. We are all very different. There are certainly constants and research that suggests specific nutritional approaches to be ideal, such as the avoidance of refined sugars, processed foods, hydrogenate oils, etc. As my intuition has always directed me to suggesting that people “nourish their own individuality”, this program really supports my personal approach. It feels good to feel validated and to continue to hone my skills in approaching food, nutrition, and overall health and wellness in this manner. I love that this program teaches a very foundational and functional approach to nutrition, not relying solely on on specific diet or slapping supplements on symptoms, especially those associated with the consequences, as a bandaid! This approach is not just how I live my own life, it is what I feel called to encourage others to do as well! I want to help people find their inner guiding voice and couple that with an arsenal of nutritional knowledge, to be able to intuitively navigate their way towards healing.
I am also continuously grateful for the virtual platform that the NTA program is built on. I have discovered, that I learn so much more effectively when I am able to take in the content at my own speed, when it fits best into my life, vs. the structure of a timed class-setting. I also love that in addition to a virtual class setting, with multiple platforms to reach out to each other, there are three times throughout the program where we gather to have in-person workshop weekends, where we can connect with our fellow students, instructors and previous students, which really gives me something to look forward to.
Month 4 (January) Recap:
Module 7 Mineral Balance
Module 8 Hydration
Module 9 Endocrine Issues
Module I am Currently Studying:
Starting: Module 12 Nutritional Detoxification
Favorite Book: Staying Healthy with Nutrition – Elson M. Hass
This book isn’t exclusively specific to the modules covered in month 4, rather we have used this book as a resource throughout the entire NTP program. What an seriously incredible source of information. It’s like the bible of nutrition. Acting as encyclopedia of nutritional research of sorts, this book is a guide for navigating the various systems of the body, discussing specific nutrients, plans and approaches, etc. The following select sections of the book, we have spent a good deal of time, as part of our curriculum. Part One of this book addresses, as the NTA’s program does, the pillars or as they refer to it, the building blocks of nutrition, providing a detailed analysis and coverage of these integral pieces to everyone’s health and vitality. Water, carbohydrates , proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals, with an additional chapter on special supplements. The book continues into Part Two evaluating foods and diets, discussing major food groups, including the final chapter on the environment, the dangers of pollutants, food safety, food processing, food additives and more. Part Four of the book contains specific nutritional and lifestyle therapies for enhancing all stages of life and suggests treatments for common conditions and diseases such as aging, menopause, bone loss, weight loss, and cancer by focusing on Nutritional Applications. This book is a must, the ultimate handbook, for anyone seeking to make better choices and enhance their knowledge of nutrition, food, health and wellness. I have found myself turning to this book not just for educational research, but often for personal inquiries, as well.
Biggest Lesson: Water is the most common nutritional deficiency in the American population.
I really loved spending time in Module 8, digging deep into the role that hydration plays in our overall health and vitality, learning about dehydration, chronic and acute, the roles that electrolytes play and more. It’s hard to believe that water could possibly be the biggest deficiency that plagues our modern culture, especially as it is such a simple fix. That said, it’s absolutely plausible, when you stop and observe the world around you and the choices being made by many in it. For some, soft drinks, coffee and fruit juices take a front seat to “boring ‘ol water”. Water is often forgotten, overlooked and taken for granted, but our bodies NEED this vital nutrient. We quite literally cannot function without it, no matter what your dietary or lifestyle choices dictate. It’s crazy to think that we can live up to 8 weeks without food, but we couldn’t last but a few days without water. 55-60% of our total body mass is water. Lack of water can be attributed to so much more than dry skin, headaches and dry mouth, water regulates our body temperature, cushions joints, transports nutrients, flushes toxins, empowers our body’s natural healing processes and so much more. To put the utmost importance on the idea that hydration plays the most crucial role our health and vitality I leave you with this quote that says it all, “Chronic cellular dehydration of the body is THE primary etiology of painful degenerative disease.” – F. Batmanghelidj, M.D
Biggest Struggle: I found the module covering the endocrine system content to be a tad dense. It’s A LOT to cover, and this particular module spanned two weeks, rather than one. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, my only major struggle in month 4, was the speed at which the program moves. I would love to slow down and really dig deeply into course content. I may not feel that way if this program was my only responsibility, but 20+ hours of school on top of everything else, can be a challenge. Month 5, the month I am currently in, is just as dense as I continue to move through the curriculum and simultaneously prepare for mid-terms at the start of March. However, after our second workshop weekend, we are on term break for nearly 1 month. Which is a blessing, not for the sake of time off, but I plan to take the opportunity to revisit some of the content that I felt rushed through, that maybe didn’t resonate as fully with me, and review it. I also plan to complete work with sample clients and construct my community outreach project, which I will be sharing right here on Tasty Yummies, so stay tuned for that.
As part of my scholarship with the Nutritional Therapy Association, I will be sharing my personal experiences of the NTP program with you here on Tasty Yummies each month. All of the content, words, ideas and opinions are my own.