Health Coach Starts a Family Juicing Business

At Integrative Nutrition, we are honored to play a role in helping you discover your passion for healthy living. Each student takes a different path after graduation, and today we are shining our spotlight on 2012 graduate Jessica Geier. 

Jessica’s interest in health and nutrition began when her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. She channeled her nurturing spirit by preparing nutritious, healing meals to help her grandmother through treatment. Jessica has since paired her education from the Health Coach Training Program with her father’s entrepreneurial background, and together they created a fulfilling new business in Neptune, New Jersey! 

What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?

IINsider’s Digest: Why We Should Still Eat Organic, Food Insecurity on the Rise and more…

Consumer Reports joins in the chorus of dissenters rallying against a recent Stanford University study which suggests that organic foodstuffs might not be worth the higher price tag. Marion Nestle also reiterates her pro-organic stance, while Civil Eats points out why eating organic is socially responsible - it's good for other people's health.

The USDA reports that record numbers of American households demonstrated food insecurity in 2011. Within those homes, 1-in-3 reported "very low food security," totaling 5.7% of the US population. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette)

Incidentally, Panera Cares, a pay-what-you-wish version of the national sandwich chain, is raising awareness about food insecurity and learning that charity may, in fact, be profitable. (NPR)

Holistic Beauty, Inside and Out with Rachael Pontillo

This week, I am thrilled to present the Health Leadership Award to an exceptional 2012 graduate of the Health Coach Training Program, Rachael Pontillo. When her personal health transformation led her to realize the connection between inner and outer beauty, Rachael took a chance, followed her passion and has since established a flourishing health coaching practice. She is an amazing example of how to “dive in” when opportunity calls, and I could not be more excited by her success.

More Than Skin-Deep
I was already a holistic aesthetician and wrote regularly about natural skincare “from the inside out and outside in” when I enrolled at IIN. Simultaneously, I was making serious diet and lifestyle changes to lose excess weight I had gained after my second pregnancy (I was up to 200 pounds.) Once I switched to a plant-based diet, among other changes, I quickly began to lose weight. As a happy little side effect, my acne (which I had been dealing with since age 10) cleared up completely. I was able to stop using expensive acne prescriptions and switch 100% to all-natural skincare products. Once I witnessed the connection between nutrition and beauty on my own skin, I knew I needed to start educating others about the gut-brain-skin connection. 

Cultivating Confidence
Despite my personal transformation, I did not feel I had the authority to write and educate about nutrition without having had any formal education.

The Secret to Exercising Regularly: Enjoy It!

Do you hit the gym each morning to keep osteoporosis at bay? Do you hop on your bike instead of getting into your car to go to work, hoping you’ll avoid heart disease somewhere down the line?

In a recent article in the New York Times, researchers suggest that people will not commit to exercise if its benefits are distant or theoretical. “Feeling happy and less stressed is more motivating than not getting heart disease or cancer, maybe, someday in the future,” said research investigator Michelle L. Segar.

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Work

Beyond being an unofficial end of summer celebration, Labor Day is also the time when we reflect upon the contributions we’ve made to the world via our professional endeavors.

So how are you feeling about your work? Are you fulfilled and enthusiastic about being back at the office tomorrow, or considering a change to something more enjoyable? Either way, we’ve got some great tips to help you thrive in the workplace.  Don’t let another year go by without taking the next step in creating the career of your dreams!

How Gary Appelsies Became a Champion for Children’s Health

The Integrative Nutrition Health Leadership Award celebrates the successes of exceptional graduates of the school. This week I am thrilled to present Gary Appelsies, a recent graduate, with this honor. Gary excelled during his year in the program, establishing his business, making lasting friendships, and supporting his classmates. Always a positive influence and dedicated to his mission to be an advocate for children’s health, Gary exemplifies what it means to be a true health leader in the world today.

IINspired to Educate Others About Health and Wellbeing

After culinary school, not wanting to work as a chef in a restaurant, I knew I wanted to educate people through food. I began to look at how people socialized around food and noticed that when people gather at someone’s home they always gather in the kitchen. Fast food, junk food, and quick fix diets just did not cut it.

Two Friends Cheer Each Other Towards Achieving Their Dreams

At Integrative Nutrition, some of our most successful students are those who enrolled with a support buddy. From a friend or sibling to a spouse or a parent, having someone to encourage you and hold you accountable can make all the difference!

Here’s an inspiring example about the power of pairs. We interviewed these two friends (and current co-workers), Zia Burleigh and Kelly Dollinger, Class of 2013, who are cheering each other towards reaching their biggest goals.

What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?

Zia: Prior to enrolling at IIN, we were both increasingly frustrated with our corporate jobs, recognizing that the work lacked in purpose for the lives we ultimately want to create.

IINsider’s Digest: Antibiotics & Weight Gain, Unscrambling the Egg Debate, and More!

The use of antibiotics tops the headlines this week as the New York Times reports that the FDA won’t stop antibiotic use in factory farming at least for another five years. Farmers have long known that antibiotics fatten up livestock, and new research suggests that the effect is same on humans. In other news, IIN visiting teacher Dr. David Katz debunks the claim that eggs are as unhealthy as smoking, and the EWG offers a shopping guide for 100 cheap and healthy foods.

Cartoon Stickers May Sway Kids’ Food Choices

Researchers have found that children are more likely to choose an apple over a cookie if the apple is branded with an Elmo sticker. Seeing as cartoon characters are already heavily used in junk food advertising, should we use kid-friendly stickers on fruits and vegetables to encourage healthy eating? Read more.

Get Antibiotics Off the Farm
New York Times

Despite a federal judge’s ruling that the FDA must ban the widespread use of antibiotics in factory farming – a dangerous practice that breeds drug-resistant superbugs – the timetable gives the FDA more than five years to complete the process. Read more.

Is Your Problem Gluten? Or Faddish Eating?
US News and World Report

Faddish eating aside, researchers have found that more people truly are getting sick from gluten. It’s still unclear why, but scientists suggest it’s because people are eating more processed wheat products than ever before, and wheat today is bred to have higher gluten content. Read more.

Integrative Nutrition Reviews: Clean Plates App

Welcome to the latest installment of Integrative Nutrition Reviews, where we consider books, movies, and other media related to health, food, and personal wellness. Want to suggest something for us to review? Post it in the comments!

In 2009, IIN graduate Jared Koch created the essential restaurant guide for health-conscious New Yorkers, Clean Plates NYC. Since then, Clean Plates has turned into a spirited movement, supporting chefs and other food purveyors offering healthy, local, sustainable food.

Clean Plates is now available in updated print versions for 2012 – Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. 

If you are digitally inclined, on the go, or visiting one of these cities* for the first time, be sure to download the free Clean Plates App

The App is feature-rich and user-friendly.

The first time you load the App, you have the option to subscribe to Clean Plates’ email updates, which feature not only restaurants, but also valuable nutrition and wellness content. 


Health Coach with a Heart for College Students

College is a period of radical independence, as students transition from their teens into adulthood. Taking on new responsibilities and an unfamiliar schedule (often in an unfamiliar city) can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared or guided.

Lisa Bok, 2012 IIN graduate from Hamden, Connecticut, learned firsthand about the challenges that college students face on a daily basis. Her experience and her passion for education led to the development of a holistic health seminar for incoming college freshman – in short, the tips she wishes she had known at their age!

What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?

Prior to IIN, I was teaching elementary students at an inner city school. I was also offering health advice to my friends and family. From helping friends with day-to-day dietary suggestions, to supporting my family through major health transitions, I realized my true calling was to educate people.

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