2010 Integrative Nutrition graduate Jessica Idleman had an existing background and knowledge in health that supported her work as a nutritionist. What she was missing, however, was the ability to turn this expertise into a thriving business. Through new connections and a gained sense of confidence acquired in the Health Coach Training Program, Jessica found the direction she needed for her practice, Glow Nutrition, and catapulted into success. Now she’s sharing her knowledge and expertise in healthy cooking with members of her community in Springfield, MO, a place where health coaches are hard to come by and many people rely solely on counting calories to stay slim. Read more about what this grad is up to below!
What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?
I was working as a nutritionist doing essentially the same thing I am still doing. Integrative Nutrition helped me take my practice to the next level and solidify a business model.
What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?
I had been watching it for years online and then jumped when the distance-learning program was launched.
What happened since you enrolled in Integrative Nutrition's program?
I really got a clear vision of where my practice needed to go. I also became much more confident by having access to the online community at Integrative Nutrition and having so many resources available to me. The area I live in is less progressive than the coasts. I felt a lot of resistance here, even though there are signs that we are getting better all the time. There are not a lot of people in my area doing what I do and it was a real struggle for me to make connections. Joining IIN gave me the feeling that I was not alone out there and has allowed me to connect with like-minded professionals that have only helped propel my practice forward.
What did you learn at Integrative Nutrition?
So much! The business education has been a godsend. It was exactly what sold me on the school. But it has also helped me deepen my interest in other branches such as food industry, politics regarding it, Ayurveda, food energetics, etc. I have become more involved in my state and county legislation, become more active in sustainable manners, conscious eating, and everything related to the Integrative Nutrition mission statement.
What do you love about the school?
The thing that stands out and first comes to mind is the incredible support! From tech to immersion, I can't believe how warm everything about Integrative Nutrition is. Every IIN staff member I encountered at the 2011 Fall IINto Action Conference in New York City had a smile on their face and seemed so genuinely kind. I get the emails, so I know what kind of benefits are offered to employees. IIN really takes care of their own. It is so inspiring. And it trickles down. I get so many compliments on my attitude and that never would have happened in my former life working in marketing. There are many things to love about IIN, but the cradling support coupled with encouragement to spread your wings and fly is something I definitely treasure the most.
How has studying with an international Health Coach Training Program benefited you?
Again the connection I have been able to make with so many other professionals doing something just like or very similar to what I do. I know I have contacts! Even though I have never met them, I know I can count on them. I have already been able to make things happen because of it.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
Yes! This area is still submersed in the dietitian mentality (calories in equals calories out). Diet fads, doctors and pharmaceuticals rule the land. It has budged over the last 5 years and continues to do so. In my community of about 250,000, I believe I am the only IIN grad practicing.
What do you love about your work?
There is nothing like watching someone's mouth drop and eyes pop when they see some neat culinary trick or hear some nutritional fact that shakes them to their core. Discovering some long-kept secret in the category of food as medicine. For example, tempering extra virgin olive oil with ghee to stabilize it under high heat for sautéing, or cracking the code on how to make delicious kombucha with as much glucuronic acid as possible. Little victories like that give me some kind of natural high like you wouldn't believe. There is nothing like it. I also love to write but lost it many moons ago. I rediscovered it recently as I like to blog about the foods I explore.
Tell us about your practice.
My niche is in cooking. I go into peoples’ homes and help them implement a healthier lifestyle. I show them how to cook with as much nutritional integrity as possible. I teach them how to read labels, select and cook the healthiest version of their favorite foods, introduce them to new foods, superfoods, and take a holistic look at their day-to-day consumption. My practice is loosely based on the Integrative Nutrition format but I include hands-on training on cooking practices with their tools in their space, since everyone's situation is different. We also talk about detoxing the home, the pets, or the body if that's the client’s interest. Some will get pantry makeovers, some get health food store tours, but all of them receive an education that lasts a lifetime.
Connect with Jessica:
On her blog