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How to Find Your Spirituality

Photo Credit: Marina de la Torre, Class of 2011

It's a big weekend for two major world religions - a time for celebration, family, and most of all, spirituality.

At Integrative Nutrition, our curriculum teaches that spirituality is a vital part of a person's primary food that sustains his or her soul. Even if you don't practice in the Christian or Judaic faith, this weekend might be a good time to reconnect, or maybe get in touch for the first time, with your own spirituality.

Spirituality doesn't have to be elaborate. It can be as simple as a hike in the woods or a park, appreciating the beauty of nature. Perhaps quiet meditation or yoga can bring light into your soul. Most of the time, our minds are running at a mile a minute, and for some, a serene setting and a little focus is all they need to connect to their spirituality.

Leading an Exceptional Life with Antonella Palazio

Antonella Palazio, a 2010 graduate who lives in Miami, Florida, focuses on educating people and getting them motivated to experiment and eat wholesome clean foods through her practice. But more than that, she believes food is simply one layer to pull back in discovering who we are. By sharing the basics of nutrition, she helps people link the “whys” and “hows” of changing food patterns. She chooses to use the word “how” over “what” one eats, because it favors the holistic mindset – that it is not just about food. “It entails the whole dimension of who we are, why we are here, and how to enrich our journey in our spiritual evolution,” said Antonella. “Food plays one of the many layers of our lives, and this became very clear in my own life through the Health Coach Training Program.”

What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?

I had a desire to learn more about food than why we just eat to live. I had only heard of the dietician profession offered by universities that required a long, extended program. For me, discovering IIN represented a learning sabbatical. The scope of information became extensive and went beyond the traditional perspective to the holistic approach.

IINsider’s Digest: Walter Willett on red meat, Vegans bash Starbucks, and Chocolate eaters have lower BMI

The IINsider’s Digest gathers all of the hottest nutrition headlines from around the web in one place. This week, two Integrative Nutrition graduates are making the headlines: Heng Ou’s food delivery service for new moms, MotherBees, is featured in the Los Angeles Times, while Elizabeth Stein’s Purely Elizabeth ancient grain products are in the Miami Herald. IIN visiting teacher Michael Jacobson speaks out about beetle coloring in Starbucks’ Frappuccinos, and IIN visiting teacher Dr. Walter Willett answers questions about the study that found red meat unhealthy

Five Questions: Dr. Walter Willett on red meat
Featuring IIN Visiting Teacher Dr. Walter Willett
The Los Angeles Times

Earlier this month, Willett and colleagues, who have studied the link between diet and health for decades, published a study that followed more than 100,000 people over more than 20 years — and found that the amount of red meat they ate was linked to a rise in risk of premature death. Read more.

Vegans bash Starbucks for beetle coloring in frappuccinos
Featuring IIN Visiting Teacher Michael Jacobson, PhD
USA Today

 Starbucks has the vegan community seeing red over what it recently began using to color its Strawberry Frappuccinos: beetles. That’s beetles as in ground up cochineal beetles – mostly found in Mexico and South America. Read more. 

Elite Eight: Perfect Smoothie Bracket Challenge

It's getting down to the Best of the Best in our Perfect Smoothie Bracket Challenge, which means we're only one vote away from our ultimate four-ingredient smoothie!

Last week, we had an Epic Vote in which we pitted sixteen popular smoothie ingredients against each other to determine YOUR favorites. Here are our winners...

  • Bases: Coconut Water v. Almond Milk. Winner: Coconut Water!
  • Bases: Fruit Juice v. Yogurt. Winner: Yogurt!
  • Vegetables: Spinach v. Cucumber. Winner: Spinach!
  • Vegetables: Seaweed v Carrot. Winner: Carrot!
  • Add-ins: Flax Seeds v. Chia Seeds. Winner: Chia Seeds!
  • Add-ins: Maca v. Cacao. Winner: Cacao!
  • Fruits: Mango v. Banana. Winner: Banana!
  • Fruits: Avocado v. Berries. Winner: Berries!

Christian Yoga, Muslim Zumba? Finding Balance When Religion & Exercise Clash

What happens when one’s religious beliefs clash with making healthy lifestyle choices?

If there’s one thing that most religions around the world agree upon, it’s the importance of respecting one’s body. Ranging from the Christian tenet that the body is a temple created in the image of God to the Buddhist belief that a healthy body enables us to live longer in order to benefit others, most religious practices emphasize that caring for your health can in fact be a spiritual act.

As an essential source of primary food, spirituality not only offers a sense of community and comfort, but it also often explicitly rejects unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, excessive drinking, and overeating. Many studies show that religious people enjoy greater emotional and physical health than those who are nonreligious.

Yet clashes between religion and healthy behaviors can and do arise. A recent MSNBC article highlighted the conflict that some devout Christians feel towards yoga. Despite the exercise’s well-known physical, mental, and emotional benefits, there are concerns that yoga poses, interpreted as offerings to Hindu gods, are incompatible with Christianity.

Epic Vote: Perfect Smoothie Bracket Challenge

We're getting so close to the Perfect Smoothie! This round of voting is epic, because we're facing off sixteen ingredients all at once! But first, the winners of last week's challenges...

  • Bases: Cow's Milk v Yogurt. Winner: Yogurt!
  • Vegetables: Carrot v. Beet. Winner: Carrot!
  • Add-ins: Cacao v Wheat Germ. Winner: Cacao!
  • Fruits: Grapes v Berries. Winner: Berries!

Here's our updated bracket:

How One Bilingual Health Coach is Rocking the Ripple Effect

We’re on a mission to improve health and happiness throughout the entire world and we love to hear about students who are sharing what they’ve learned with international communities.

Nicole Fox, a 2011 graduate from Doral, Florida and a member of the South Florida Health Coaches, is a bilingual Health Coach who is using her ability to speak fluent Spanish to its full potential. She identified a need for health coaching within the Spanish-speaking community and is bringing all she learned in the Health Coach Training Program to people who otherwise may never have found guidance for their health struggles. From cooking classes to corporate lectures – and even a segment on a national TV show – here is someone who is truly spreading the ripple effect!

Spring IINto a Clean Mind, Body, and Home

Happy first official day of spring! Today, we celebrate the new season and the vernal equinox. (Scientifically speaking, that’s when the earth’s axis is parallel to the sun instead of tipped towards or away from it, and it only happens twice a year!) 

Traditionally, spring is associated with new life and fresh beginnings—blossoming trees and plants, brighter weather, and a sense of renewed spirit and energy after the cold, long winter. So, what does the start of the season mean for us? It’s a great time for mental and physical spring cleaning.

For some ideas on how you can detox as the weather warms up, listen to Spring into a Clean Mind, Body, and Home, a pre-recorded webinar with Julia Argenti, Health Coach and founder of Lemons & Loafers, a popular food and fashion blog.

Fill out the form below to get your Health Coach Starter Guide (including an excerpt from our nutrition book)

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