Amy’s Road to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (+ Recipe)

5 Reviews / 4.2 Average
Amy recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! We are super proud of her accomplishment and thought others might be interested in her story
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This is a guest post by our blog team member, Amy, who recently graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition! We are super proud of her accomplishment and thought others might be interested in her story (including what she plans to do with her brand new Holistic Health Coach certification). A big congrats to Amy!

Amy’s Story

I have had a fairly contentious relationship with food for much of my life. As a child I was overweight and ate a lot of standard American junk food. As a teenager, I would often hear, “You have such a pretty face” which only left me wondering what was so bad about the rest of me. I went on a “doctor” supervised diet my sophomore year in high school which led to rapid weight loss as well as to boyfriends, which I had never really had before. And so began a 15 year struggle with various eating disorders; anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive exercise, which culminated with a stay in a treatment center when I was 28. While there, I interacted with many young girls not far from death who had so much to offer this world, but all their energy, creativity, and life-force was going toward this one thing…as was mine. At that point, I knew that I needed to heal my relationship with food so I could one day help others heal theirs.

Taylor Family on 100 Days of #RealFood

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In my thirties, I finally realized that food was not the enemy, but I was focused very much on eating no or low fat. During this time, I also became a wife and a mom. I was now feeding a family, and convenience was “king.” Then came my forties when I began to really take notice that much of what I was eating was leaving me feeling listless, foggy, bloated, and nauseous, and my younger son had also developed a problem with eczema. I realized how terribly disconnected we had become from the food that we were eating everyday. I knew it was time to transform my family’s eating habits.

Throughout my years of research, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) (sample the course here) would often pop up on my radar. It always intrigued me, but I already had a graduate degree in telecommunications and didn’t think I could, as a mom, ever find the energy to go back to school or change my career. However, a deep desire to help others end their struggles with food and find a path to wellness, coupled with a bit of serendipity (a job with 100 Days of Real Food and a conversation with a successful local health coach), helped me decide to take the plunge. Fast forward barely a year later, and I am an IIN graduate!

Getting Started With IIN

While finding myself a student again was a bit daunting, it was evident from the arrival of the beautiful welcome package, that IIN was committed to helping me be successful. My tuition covered everything I would need. The first few weeks were about getting acclimated, and I found myself anxiously awaiting the more pithy content. That content quickly came in the form of week-long modules (lectures, video, and powerpoint) which covered:

  • Holistic Wellness
  • Bio-Individuality
  • Primary Foods (Achieving Balance)
  • Whole Foods
  • 150+ Dietary Theories
  • Food Politics
  • Cooking Basics
  • Coaching Skills
  • All Aspects Of Setting Up A Business And Launching A Meaningful Career

The first half of the program consisted of nutrition education, and the second half was business training. Once the ball was rolling, school simply became a part of my routine, and with the flexibility the course offers I never had any trouble fitting it in or meeting the requirements. IIN’s comprehensive resources, library, templates, and marketing materials eliminated so much of the creative guess work I would have had to have done on my own, which equated to a huge time savings!

In a nutshell, IIN is a flexible, online year-long program that provides holistic nutrition education and business training. There are no prerequisites required and you end up with a national certification and college credits.

Accomplishments By Graduation

As with most things in life, you get out of it about as much as you are willing to put into it – so for me, IIN’s program was satisfying and enriching from start to finish. In the space of one year, I became a Certified Holistic Health Coach and started a coaching business, Spunky Avocado, with my business partner as well as a beautifully functioning website and blog. IIN was there to help me every step of the way, providing support and even hand holding whenever and wherever it was needed. One of their tag lines is: “Could one conversation change your life?” Well, I can honestly say that it certainly changed mine. If you have any interest in a career in holistic health and wellness or if you just want to gain the wisdom for yourself and your family, I highly recommend the Institute For Integrative Nutrition.

Special IIN Offer

If you’ve been in my shoes – relating to any part of my story – I highly recommend looking into IIN. In conjunction with my story and since they are an affiliate partner, they’ve generously offered readers of 100 Days of Real Food extensive savings on tuition if you sign up by May 9, 2014.

Update: Although this deal has expired, if you speak with IIN we suggest you mention 100 Days of Real Food and ask if there are any current promotions you might be able to take advantage of. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

Institute for Integrative Nutrition

I thought about it for so many years and am so glad that I finally took the plunge! If you have any questions about the program or my new health coaching business I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Layered Jar Salad Recipe

On a another note, the other half of Spunky Avocado (Niki) and I are delivering our favorite mason jar salad to a friend who recently had her third baby. We figure she could use a break. This salad packs a nutritious punch and a lot of great flavor. We thought we would share it with you, too. Enjoy!

amy's IIN photo

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

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107 thoughts on “Amy’s Road to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (+ Recipe)”

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  1. Hey Amy!! We have quite a few similarities to our story. I am very encouraged by your story. Thank you! Just to clarify, is the “if you sign up by…” date says may 2014. (hoping that’s a typo 😁!!)

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. The date on that one is correct but they are always running new promotions for new students. ;)

  2. peachyperspective

    What a great gift idea! Once this is packaged and sealed, how long should I expect it to last in the jar and still taste good?

  3. Is that one really big mason jar or do you split this into several jars?? I just can’t imagine getting all that into a mason jar. Sounds delicious tho! Can’t wait to try it.

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi Jenny. Sorry for my earlier confusion. I’ve answered a lot of questions today! That jar is a large jar. You could certainly make several small salads, too, in smaller mason jars. :) ~Amy

  4. Hi Amy
    Thanks for sharing your story, IIN has just recently intrigued me aswell. I have had my own floral business for 8 years and was stressed as working mom of 2. I have closed the doors to my business to take some time off for health and normalcy and to enjoy the kids, family and day to day. I am interested in cooking well and health as i know it has helped me through my own personal health issues, I am very interested in this course, but am a visual learner, hands on, and was never the best in school. Do you think this course could still work for me.
    thanks for your time,

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Pauline. Most of the lectures include visuals. What is so great about the program is that it works, I think, for any learning style because what you get out of it is what you are willing to put in. You can do it at your own pace, walk away form a lecture when it is overwhelming your brain and then return when you are ready. There are coaching circles that you participate in that are very helpful, too. I think it is invaluable information whether you plan to make a career of it or just put it to practice in your own life. :) I hope that helps. Enjoy your family! ~Amy

  5. 5 stars
    Hi Amy,

    I loved your post. It was very honest, and you followed your heart, which I do not think enough people do. I also used to struggle with personal health issues, which involved ten year battle that I honestly could not bear for another day since it involved intense pain. By the time I realized the source of my issues (I am much better now!), I had learned SO MUCH regarding food and ingredients, as well as immune support.

    I recently started a blog as well to help others, since I needed an outlet for this. I think I was driving my friends a little crazy, since they all have issues in one form or another, and I always had so much to say, things for them to do and try. I could not shut up about it and they could not shut me up either. :) It has become a healthy obsession of sorts. I love that with this newfound “hobby” as my husband calls it (sigh….but I love him) that I have stepped into this world of amazing people like yourself and Lisa, that truly just want to help others and teach TRUE, simple health. It is awesome. I look forward to following your blog and page and wish you the best!

    Love the look of that recipe! Going to had to try that one.

    Elena, Wholesome Style

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Thank you, Elana. So glad you were able to find your way to wellness and can share your story to help others! I know what you mean about not being able to shut up about it. :) We have to assume that if we shout it from the roof tops enough, people will listen, right? Wishing you the very best with your blog. ~Amy

  6. Thanks for sharing your story about your struggles with food and how you have managed to turn your health around. It is wonderful that you were able to go back to school and become certified in nutrition. My wife and I began our quest to a healthier lifestyle about 2 ½ years ago, when my father was battling cancer. What we learned through our research and studying, was that the food we consume is directly related to our health. We learned that cancer is a preventable disease, in most cases, and that by learning to eat the right foods, many diseases can be avoided. We continue to study, research and learn more about health and food. My wife, Angela, recently started a blog,, dedicated to helping parents feed their families healthier foods and teaching parents what we have learned along our journey. We hope that through our efforts, others will be encouraged. Thanks for sharing your story and good luck with your coaching business. PS – Angela made the salad in a jar for dinner and for my lunch – I loved it.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Thanks for sharing, Brad. It is going to take all of us working collectively to educate others (about the vital role of whole food nutrition in health outcomes)to turn this country’s eating habits around. Glad to have you and your wife as part of “the team”! Best of luck with the blog. I now know how much work it is to have one of your own. PS- I I could eat that salad every day. :) ~Amy

  7. Thank you for sharing your story and yummy recipe Amy! So glad you are healthy and happy now! I don’t really understand the negative comments. I think it is wonderful what you are doing! I am a Certified Health Coach through Dr. Sears and also a Juice Plus Representative. It is a wonderful and fulfilling job to help others in their health journey! Keep up the great work and thanks again for sharing! 😊

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Thanks, Diane. I was a Dr. Sears devotee when my kids were little and I have a friend here in Charlotte who went through the program. I really like their materials and message. What a great way to help families get on the right track! Best of luck in all you do. ~Amy

  8. Why are people being so harsh with their comments? This is a post sharing HER journey. We all have choices if we want to even read each post. If you aren’t interested in the content of a day, please just skip it. Other people may be interested in this route and this will plug them into something they really wanted to do already.

    Please remember when you comment that if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face the same way, be polite enough not say it online either. Comments are still directed at a real person, with real feelings. I’ve already had one favorite blogger quit because they were tired of having to put up emotional defenses to endure the blunt comments. It’s their blogs, they have the choice to write anything they want on it.

  9. Very disappointed with this advertisement! If you do a quick search on the Internet you will find out that the school mentioned above, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is a huge scam.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      With all due respect, Marie, you can go online and find information to support or negate your beliefs about almost anything. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but as a graduate (and an intelligent woman) who has moved her career and life in a direction that brings me great satisfaction, I can assure you, it is not a scam. I should also add, I am very grateful that comments such as yours did not keep me from reaching my own conclusions and taking the risks that have propelled me forward. Wishing you well. ~Amy

  10. Hi Amy,
    Great post! I would love to know more about your son’s issue with eczema. Has it been remedied? We eat probably about 90% real foods but my son’s eczema is hard to get a handle on. He has multiple food allergies as well, and the two usually go hand in hand. Anyway, just curious if you had any luck getting rid of your son’s eczema.
    Thanks so much,

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Lindsey. We had already given up most processed foods and then eliminated gluten and dairy. His skin issues did resolve. We have not, however, continued to be gluten and dairy free though we are very careful about the quality of foods we choose. We’ve not been able to yet pinpoint a particular allergy though dairy clearly has an impact on his digestion. It’s very difficult to keep him away from cheese. :) ~Amy

  11. I would just like to say that I LOVE this website. What Lisa (and her staff) do every day has changed the way my husband and I eat. For that, I am thankful. I appreciate her continuing to post tips and recipes that allow me to continue on my “real food” journey. Lisa also has to make a living and I am thrilled that she gets sponsors and “affiliates” to support her blog. To me, that means that she’ll be able to keep doing this – thus helping me and all of you! I get the impression that Lisa wouldn’t associate with an affiliate/sponsor that she didn’t believe in their product/service. That being said, we are all different and we all have choices. Read the blog/article, do your research and make the best decision for YOU.

    Carry on, Lisa (and Amy)! Thank you for what you are doing!

  12. 5 stars
    Congratulations Amy! I learned about 100 Days of Real Food from my dear friend & Charlotte Today contributor, Brooke Thomas, and I just love what you all are doing over here (I am also finding Jason’s Pro Blog School website to be a tremendous help too!)

    Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your story. I would love to do an interview with you to feature on our own website, Clean Cuisine.

    My husband, Andy Larson, M.D. is a bariatric surgeon and the medical expert behind our website/ book and a lot of his patients frequently ask about health coaching, something I just don’t have the free time to offer them. It would be great to be able to provide his patients and our readers the name of a health coach, especially one who has struggled with some of the issues you mentioned in your story.

    On a personal note, I radically changed my own diet and my relationship with food in 1998 when I was 22-years old after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (I was having terrible symptoms, wearing a catheter and having a difficult time walking up the stairs at the time I was diagnosed.) But Andy and I firmly believe in “farm before pharm” and changing my plate really did change my fate. I just celebrated my 38th birthday and I truly feel better now than I did when I graduated from high school!

    My husband also changed his diet to support me (he just celebrated his 41st birthday) and we have since raised our incredibly healthy 13-year old son, Blake, on whole foods (“real food”) ever since he was weaned. The thing is, nobody in our family feels like they are deprived or on a “diet”—in fact, we feel just the opposite; we feel like we are privileged to eat this way because real food tastes so amazing!

    Right this very minute our son happens to be on an overnight school field trip to the Florida Keys (we live in south Florida) and I just got a text from him saying he was so disappointed that the bus took the kids to McDonalds for lunch. He said he just couldn’t eat there because the food is so gross and that he can’t wait to come home so he can eat some “real food”. And yet sadly, so many people feel deprived if we tell them not to go to McDonalds!

    As the past President of the Palm Beach County Medical Society and the Medical Director of JFK Medical Center’s Bariatric Wellness and Surgical Institute, Andy frequently lectures to other physicians on the major role nutrition plays in so many inflammatory conditions, but the vast majority of doctors just are not up on nutrition and they don’t give it the attention it truly deservers. I am confident there will be a big role for health coaching (in partnership with family medicine doctors) in the near future and I think you have a tremendous opportunity to really help people change their lives.

    Anyway, we are in the middle of totally redoing our website and I have to go to NY tomorrow for a presentation but things will slow down for me in a few weeks and it would be great to touch base with you then if you think you might be up for an interview?

    P.S. The layered salad looks delish ;)

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Thank you, Ivy, for sharing so much. What an inspiration! Yes, I think most people are in the dark about how foods can promote inflammation within our bodies and that inflammation promotes disease. There is so much mis-education out there. I would love to talk more in depth with you. I will email you with my personal contact information. Enjoy NY. ~Amy

  13. Amy, your story was so inspirational! The first step to a fulfilling life is thinking about what we’re putting into our bodies. Just like you said about your classes at INN, you get out what you put in. Everyone should have the kind of training you received at IIN. At Cayisa, we also value food education, starting with the basics…community gardens! You should check out our cause at under “Seed for Seed.” Seed for Seed helps foster learning gardens, sustainable farming, and reforestation across America. Thank you so much for this post! The layered salad jar looks delicious. What a fun and healthy gift!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Thank you, Lauren! I went to the Seed for Seed website. Love it. If it weren’t for our Suburban Smackdown Challenge (buying nothing new for 6 months) that we just began at Spunky Avocado, I’d totally support you by purchasing a bracelet. :) What a compassionate and sustainable business model! I’ll keep it in mind for Christmas gifts. ~Amy

  14. 2 stars
    I was really looking forward to hearing another story of someone’s journey to real food. We all love a little inspiration, and to compare our stories to our own. I have to say I was disappointed I clicked on the link to read this article. “Amy’s Road to Real Food” read more like an advertisement for the schooling, rather than sharing information about the actual real food journey, improvements, thoughts,struggles, and triumphs. I am happy Amy found her career track and feels fulfilled… but besides her new job as a coach and blogger, how did transitioning to real food go for her and her family? What about her son’s eczema? How about her weight issues? etc…. Perhaps the title should have been “Working at Real Food inspires Amy to find her dream career.”

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Cam. This post was very much about my honest experiences and impressions of IIN’s program. I would love for countless others to be able to have the same experience and gain the same knowledge whether they intend to be health coaches or not. I’m very happy to share more details of my personal story anytime. Be well. ~Amy

      1. I actually agree with everything that Can said. I was disappointed with this article. It seemed very much like an advertisement. I thought it was going to be like the earlier article by the other team member who shared her story. This article just reminds me that 100 days does offer so much to its readers but it still is just one of the many websites trying to get you to buy something….

  15. It is important to distinguish here that anyone can be a health coach with or without a $5k certification simply by watching a ton of educational vids, & documentaries which is pretty much the jist of this program.

    I am convinced most of the grads make more money on promoting the program than actually working in the field. I also have heard from MANY people that if they want to have a nutrition practice this is not the program for it – they are not even near prepared because it is mostly theory & business. So what do they do? Go back to school and spend another 2k on an in-depth nutrition certification. Yikes! The pyramid scheme selling, and paid recommendations turns me off personally.

    I do agree that the more people promoting a healthy lifestyle the better, but the price of this program vs what grads get out of it is nothing short of insane. You can be a full fledged and qualified Holistic Nutrition Coach or Holistic Nutritionist for half their tuition fee and a be WAY more educated (they also mind/body/spirit focused).

    Simply Google “nutrition coach” and check out some of the other quality in-depth programs before getting caught up in the profit fueled hype of this way overpriced one.

    The fact that half a health program is business is a red flag in of itself – explains the passive aggressive selling tactics, I can’t help but notice the grads sell in the same way they sell their program via the cycle of emails they send out that are exactly the same each time – anyone on the mailing list will understand this. Limited ‘one time special offer’ (that isn’t one time at all), almost sold out, then sold out, then more seats. Then comes a payment plan that has ‘never been offered before’ (but has) then its almost sold out, then sold out, then more spots. And…the cycle repeats. I can’t help but wonder if this is more about marketing than health?

  16. Hi! First of all I am so excited to see people even having this conversation. Secondly, I’d like to address a few things I picked up from the comments. I am a Naturopathic Doctor, Master Herbalist, Certified Nutritionist and I hold several other holistic certifications. That being said, for none of those things am I even able to obtain a license in the state I practice nor would I want to. With a license comes censure and dictation about how and what I can tell my clients. That same stricture is what keeps an allopathic doctor many times from sending you for the test they really feel you need or giving you the advice they truly know is right because they are bound by legal red tape. Insurance companies often won’t pay for the test or medication or regime that would actually help you. I would also say that while I agree with one commenter that the process of obtaining a license is helpful for accountability there are just as many “licensed” professionals who give out incorrect information or purposefully hurt people as there are “certified” people who do the same. It comes down to the integrity of the person and a license does not guarantee that. I know several IIN graduates and while I find their taglines a tad “salespitchy” Overall, I think these are wonderful, enthusiastic individuals who offer much more help than any harm. How could someone be harmed by removing toxins, chemicals and over processed, dead food from their diet? I use Certified Health Coaches as the cheerleaders for what I do. After I look at clinical findings and lab results, health history and the whole person I develop an action plan. For some clients this is daunting. Holistic health is such a foreign concept to them and all they know is that what they have been doing isn’t working. They are sick and tired and feel defeated. I can’t go home with them and spend hours going through their pantry and refrigerator and the farmers market and whole food store. But a health coach can and often does, they are the hand holders that help people adapt to a new lifestyle of health. You could call them the nurses of the holistic world. They hold your hand, check your nutritional pulse and explain what gluten free is and how to do it. They tell you how to cook kale and quinoa and how to pronounce it. They cheer you and and get down to the nitty gritty of how to put into action what someone like me is telling you to do. They teach you that health is not about deprivation or losing the sweetness in life- it’s just a little tweaking. People are craving and clamoring for this information. I meet women every single day who say the same thing- “I’m tired, I don’t feel good, I just keep gaining weight, the doctor just says I’m getting older” – And that’s not in my office that’s at soccer games, grocery stores, etc. It starts with food and health coaches are an amazing resource. They are the personal trainers of the food world- custom tailored food for your body type, blood type, etc. The price tag is a concern but this particular program does award college credits which may make a big difference and the business training many have found to be invaluable. So depending on what you want to do with the education this may or may not be the program for you. you can obtain a holistic nutritional certificate alone other places for less. However, I haven’t found any other school offering this particular multi-media delivery system and the credits. Most distance programs are book only. Again, glad to see the discussion in the first place, we are changing the face of food in this country with our conscious buying choices.

    1. Hi Kristy,

      I appreciate your well-articulated, thoughtful, and kind response and commend your commitment to your own health and to that of others. I also agree that this is a conversation worth having! I just wanted to comment on a couple of your points.

      With regard to discussion of how a license limits services offered, I would agree but only to the extent that a license limits the provision of services that fall out of the purview of one’s training, knowledge, education, etc. and/or services that have no sound scientific and/or theoretical support. I have had physicians recommend that I explore alternative services or look into services not covered by insurance, for example, and as long as such recommendations are reasonable and the physician is not offering to provide the services her/himself, I would not expect him or her to face censure.

      While on the topic of censure, I would argue that the potential for censure is the very thing that protects the public. Yes, while I agree that licensed professionals can offer erroneous or even harmful information to the public, just as a “certified” professional can, there is a system in place whereby the licensed practitioner can be held legally and ethically responsible for her/his actions. I am not certain if there is the same accountability in place for non-licensed individuals.

      While I am sure that the majority of IIN grads or other holistic practitioners are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, helpful, etc., I do not agree that no harm could come of their services. As a psychologist working with people with eating disorders, I have met many, many individuals who have been harmed by erroneous nutritional information, which has, in a number of cases, been dispensed by “certified” practitioners. To be clear, these practitioners may have never intended to harm others and may not have known they were doing so, but the harm can be real and significant.

      None of this is to, in any way, suggest that there is not a void in the nutrition/medical/therapy industry that could be filled by alternative, integrative, or holistic health. But if my cosmetologist, plumber, medical assistant, personal trainer, contractor (the list goes on) has to have a license in order to offer services to the public at a cost, so should my nutrition coach. Of course, this is just my opinion, which I respectfully am asserting.

  17. This post got a great conversation going! I am amazed to read about all these people that are familiar with IIN. Im curious as to how many people are local…(Charlotte) What fun!
    I started the IIN program in January. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! I look forward to coaching clients within the next month as it is very exciting to see people feel better by what they put in their mouth! Awesome!!
    Amy, Congratulations on your completion of the program!

  18. Amy, congratulations on your achievements! Its very inspiring to read! I have a question – with your new certification from IIN can you now start seeing clients and working as a health coach or is additional education (degrees, certifications, etc) required to actually start working in this field? This is something I have been interested in for a long time and IIN keeps coming up on my radar…maybe its a sign ;)

  19. Hi Amy, Thank-you for sharing your journey with food, nutrition, and wellness. Congratulations on your IIN certification and the launch of your own business! I am currently on my own journey with dietary changes. I hope to better my overall health and started seeing some improvements after just a week. The advice, guidance, and recipes from sites like this have made my journey easier because all of the information is in one place. I completely agree that anything holistic or integrative fills a big void that traditional medicine and nutrition miss. I feel much better taking this approach than I have on any prior traditional plan. Thanks again for sharing and am happy you have found balance in your life.

  20. 5 stars
    I am so excited to try this recipe!! What a great one to make bulk of to have on hand in the fridge! This may be a silly question, but what size of mason jar do you need for this? Thank you for sharing your story!


    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Liz. You are welcome! You can do this in any size wide mouthed jar from small side salad size (pint), to a dinner or lunch salad size (quart), to a family size (two-quart). I used the two-quart for this one because it was intended to be a meal for more than one person. Due to the avocado in this particular salad, it is best eaten the same day. Leave the avocado out to add later if you plan to refrigerate for longer. ~Amy

  21. Hello! Congratulations! I am actually getting ready to start the IIN program in May. I am so excited! I am a pharmacist, but, unfortunately, the way healthcare works right now, I am not able to help people in the way that I truly want to. I feel making this change in my career path will better enable me to truly help people.

  22. Hi Amy & Lisa,

    Thanks for the post! I am a graduate of IIN from June 2014 and I loved the program. I was struggling to make sense of all of the information that is out there about food and this program really helped me with learning about what mattered to me and understanding more about what matters to others and why.

    I am not practicing as a Health Coach because as I was going through the program and learned more about taking care of myself I was able to find a job that was better suited for me. I work with The Tapping Solution on the Marketing Team.

    I do not plan to do coaching at this time because I found an industry that I love and a product that I believe in that provides me with a “regular” paycheck and hours. I want to use my certification for advocating for better food at my daughter’s schools as she grows up (she is just 3 now) and to feed my family more nourishing whole foods.

    You don’t come out of IIN with a line of people waiting to hire you, it is important to understand that they will teach you to start your own business and provide you with all the tools you need to be successful. BUT if you aren’t a self starter or don’t have the stomach to go into business for yourself then it might not be for you.

    That being said I do not regret one penny that I spent at IIN and going to the live events are so nourishing to your soul, it is something that I love and am really happy that I did for myself. Best of luck to anyone who is interested!

  23. I know someone who suffers from severe eczema and I was curious as to how much switching to real food helped your son. Did it just alleviate symptoms or is his eczema completely gone?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Krista. After eliminating most processed fooods, we also eliminated dairy and gluten. He hasn’t had another flair up, though we are not at this time completely gluten or dairy free. We are, however, much more cautious about the overall quality of what we consume. There are many food allergens thought to contribute to eczema. ~Amy

  24. Audra Kassebaum

    What kind of degree do you come out of this program with. I am already an associates degree RN and looking into going for a Bachelor’s degree, but want to focus on health and nutrition instead of medicine. Thank you, Audra

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Audra. You come out with a certification. IIN has relationships with more than one Bachelors’s degree programs but you will need to check on the specifics with a counselor. ~Amy

  25. Hi everyone! My name is Blair and I work at IIN. I’m so excited to see many of you are interested in our program. I also see that there is a lot of curiosity around how much the course costs and why it’s not visible on the website. To answer you, we’re open about the cost of the program; it’s not a secret. $5995 is the total :) It’s not in big bold letters on our website, because we like to have the opportunity to educate people about what we offer, and the value of the Health Coach Training Program before getting to the cost. It helps frame the true value. I think we can all agree that price oftentimes makes us immediately decide to take one action or another before really understanding what that thing is all about. I hope this is helpful!

  26. I have no affiliation with 100days (other than being an avid reader of the blog!) and am an IIN grad. I thought IIN was a fantastic experience. Whether you want to learn more just for your own personal development or to benefit your family, or to start a career in the health/nutrition industry, I highly recommend it.

  27. I have been following your blog for quite a while as well as your husband’s and Pat Flynn’s whom was recommended by your husband. After reading the comments and content of this post, and your husband’s opinion on your placement of the disclosure, I might suggest adjusting placement for things like this that are not as simple as the smaller product recommendations I normally see here.
    Also, per the FTC’s report on affiliate disclosures, the disclosure should probably come before the recipe listed, especially since the recipe is quite long. Just a suggestion as some responses appear quite upset by this, though individual research should be their most important decision making step.

    1. Hi Nichole – Glad to have you as a reader! In this case we actually did disclose that IIN is an affiliate partner in the post itself. I’m a bit surprised by some of the comments…I meant the post is titled “Amy’s Road to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition” after all, so obviously that is what it is about. It’s a discussion that we felt would resonate with our readers, and we also wanted to support our team member Amy with her new health coaching business at Spunky Avocado. – Jason

      1. Hello Jason,
        As some comments have stated they don’t fully understand “affiliate link”, and just to double check the actual definition of “affiliate”, I did look it up before replying. The definition did not disclose a commission and that is the concern of many of the comments on this. That is what my suggestion was concerning.

  28. Amy,
    Congratulations on your achievement and bringing this profession to light. Thank you very much for taking questions. I am curious about the lessons. About 20 years ago, I was diagnosed with food intolerances and have generally practiced a real food diet since. I do not agree with the guidelines of the USDA. I read and research almost daily about nutrition, holistic health, gardening and foraging. I love learning. But, being self taught, I wonder how much value this school has to offer, especially when most of the teachers I can google and see TedTalks or read their books. Could you provide your thoughts on how effective the lessons are? I’m not one that needs a title to distribute information. I essentially already counsel friends and family for free. However, I know if I were to make a career change, a title would be necessary for paying clients. Are you able to bill insurance as a holistic health coach? I’m trying to get the feel of who my clients would be if I moved forward and did this. All the best to you!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Naomi. You sound very much like me prior to entering the program. I’m a Ted Talk addict, for sure. I also did years of research and decided it was time to put some kind of credential behind it. What is great about the lectures and the materials that go along with them is that you can listen/watch them over and over as well as delve into the materials at whatever depth you choose. It is very much driven by your own desire to learn. Some lectures are broad brush while others, like Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s, go into much greater detail. Unfortunately, insurance is unlike to cover health coaching much like it doesn’t cover a naturopathic and most forms of alternative or preventative care. Best of luck. ~Amy

      1. Thank you very much for your response. I am participating in an open house webinar today to see if it’s a good fit now or to think about it for a later date. Again, I appreciate your honesty and enthusiam with your article and bringing light to this opportunity.Warm regards, Naomi

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Rachel. I suppose this salad could be frozen, if you leave out the lettuce, but I’m not certain that the texture would be what you want. This family sized salad was assembled as a gift to be eaten the same day. The salad can be poured into a salad bowel by the recipient and the layers will stay fairly intact. Mason jar salads in various sizes can be assembled on a Sunday and feed you through the week. They are great to carry to work. Ingredients which are soft and more perishable (avocado, eggs, chicken, tomato, etc) should not be added until the day you eat the salad. Hope that helps. ~Amy

  29. Congratulations, Amy! Even though some of their practices (not publishing tuition information and commission scheme) make it seem a bit fishy, going by the curriculum it does sound like a great program. A question, do people typically do this full-time to complete this in a year? Or is it possible to do it while working a corporate job?

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Simone. Thanks. :) Most people who do this have jobs and many have families. It is very very flexible and you can work it around almost any schedule. ~Amy

  30. Congratulations!! I just recently graduated from IIN as well. I’m wondering if maybe we were in the same graduating class? I graduated in February of this year. It really is a great program! Best wishes to you in the future, thank you for sharing your story!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Jen. Thanks and your welcome. Congrats to you, too! Did you start in March last year?

  31. Hi Amy! Congratulations on all of your accomplishments! I wanted to ask you about your son’s eczema. Have you been able to get that under control through a certain diet? I have had eczema since I was pregnant with my second child, almost 5 years. I switched to real foods and even all organic foods and am still unable to get it under control. I’d greatly appreciate your knowledge and understanding in this matter.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Natasha. Thank you!! His eczema improved when we completely cut back on all things processed. We have also limited both dairy and gluten. We have not been perfect with it but are much more careful about the quality of our choices. Many people do find that eczema improves with an elimination diet. ~Amy

    2. I have 2 girls that are now adults and they had eczema when they were younger, the elimination diet was helpful to us and we discovered that they both break out from tomatoes, and one has problems with strawberries. After several years of horrid problems with eczema, they have been problem free for the last 14 years.

    3. My daughter had really bad eczema as an infant due to her food allergies. If she is exposed to an offending food, she flares up. You may try to determine if a certain food seems to trigger it. She is allergic to corn (among other things), so not only eating corn but also using skin products containing corn or just smelling popcorn in the air causes her to react. I would encourage allergy testing if you see any relationship between something you eat and your eczema. Good luck to you!

    4. I’m sure gluten is a big trigger for it. I had to cut out gluten for an autoimmune disease, and I am drastically better.

  32. I am enrolled in the IIN course right now. The tuition was $5000 including an iPad that is used for the course. I am only in my second month, but I am loving the program, and I am glad I decided to take it. I have two friends who went through the program several years ago and I have been interested in it ever since. I was warned by my friends that there were some negative reviews online, but most of them relate to an employment law issue…not with the program itself. There are also some reviews claiming the certification from IIN wrongly gives students (and students’ future clients) the impression that they are just as qualified as dietitians and more formally trained healthcare providers. To the contrary, IIN makes it extremely clear during the course that a holistic health certification from IIN is meant to fill a void in the health industry and supplement what is available through doctors, dietitians,etc. It serves a different purpose. It basically teaches wellness, and also the idea that you can even prevent and sometimes reverse certain illnesses (particularly some of the chronic diseases such as diabetics) by changing how you eat, drink, move and think. So while there is a huge focus on nutrition, it also focuses on other aspects of health — such as, the importance of sleep, stress reduction, etc. if you are in a horrible relationship, for instance, it doesn’t matter how much broccoli you eat. You will not be healthy and happy until other stresses in your life are also addressed. That it is why it is called holistic since it is focused on the whole person. So it is similar to a physical trainer, guiding and supporting and teaching, but for wellness in general not just at the gym/exercise. There is a huge amount of really wonderful information available through this program. For now, I am just taking it for myself and to improve my own family’s health, and I have been very happy with it so far. You should know, though, that my friend received a referral fee when I told them she had recommended the course to me when I signed up. My friend told me this ahead of time…that is my only concern with this post. If 100 days of real food is getting a fee for anyone that signs up through this site, I would have perhaps disclosed that. Otherwise I have only good things to say about the program so far. Hope that helps!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Courtney! Thank you so much for sharing your experience and so accurately explaining IIN’s purpose! It’s focus on prevention and empowering individuals to seek out their own path to wellness is by far the very best part of IIN’s legacy. There are referral rewards through their Ambassador program, which is a lovely incentive for grads to spread the word about all the good IIN is doing all over the world. The more people doing this work the better. The more people feeling empowered to make better and informed choices about their everyday health and wellness, the better we become collectively! :) ~Amy

      1. Hi Amy,
        Yes, I agree with you 100%! The world would certainly be a much happier, healthier place if everyone knew what IIN teaches!

    2. Courtney – Thanks for sharing your story and I just want to add that our relationship with IIN was disclosed in the post where it says, “and since they are an affiliate partner.” When we reached out to them to ask for a discount for our readers we learned about their referral program. Amy decided to get their certification long before that. I hope that helps.

      1. I am not familiar with the term “affiliate partner”, but I assume that it means you are receiving a commission for everybody signing up through your site. IIN does not disclose their “regular” fees, so how are readers supposed to know whether 1000 $ off (of what?) is actually a good deal or not.

        I am happy for Amy that she found the program a good investment for herself, her personal development and maybe her future career. But to me, the whole thing sounds extremely fishy and I would think twice before signing up.

      2. Critical Reader – At the bottom of every single post we have a disclosure that reads “Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!”
        And I agree about thinking twice before signing up for anything that’s such a big commitment and also possibly a career change. As Amy mentions in the post above she saw IIN pop up for years during her research before she gave it a go.

      3. Hi Critial Reader – I work at IIN and I’d love to clarify for you. The cost of the program is $5995, and 100 Days of Real Food Readers can save up to $1000 off tuition. That brings the cost down to $4995. The breakdown of the savings is $500 up front discount, and another $500 off if tuition is paid in full at the time of enrollment. If the $4995 isn’t doable, we have payment plans as low as $299 per month. And those payment plans include the initial $500 savings. I hope that’s helpful to everyone :)

      4. Thank you, Blair for the clarification. It basically means that the “special offer” through Lisa’s site does not save you anything. Courtney states above that she is paying 5000. You are now offering $5995 minus 1000. Hm.

        @Lisa. Thanks for the clarification.

      5. In response to critical readers last comment…I also had a special deal though with $1000 off (which brought it down from $5995 to about $4995). That was offered around Christmas time.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Angie. Thanks for commenting! I completely understand your concerns. I shared them, actually, as I did a lot of research before making this decision. I love nutrition science and I even briefly entertained going back to get a dietetics degree. In the end, that was not the right path for me. I do not feel that the USDA food pyramid is what I should be presenting to everyone as the very best model for wellness. I believe it is somewhat flawed and influenced by a myriad of factors. IIN teaches bio-individuality, which means that no one diet fits the bill for everyone. IIN also covers a lot of information that conventional dietetics/nutrition might not. So again, that is why I chose this path. Courtney (see comment below) also addressed this very eloquently while I was sleeping. :) Feel free to ask more questions. ~Amy

    2. Angie, not to be negative towards dieticians, but conventional dieticians focus on the sum of the nutrients of foods rather than the foods themselves. So as long as a food has the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, fat, sodium, etc, it is considered healthy even if it is a highly processed food from a factory. Holistic nutrition focuses on whole foods and eating a variety to get all the necessary nutrients. I would highly recommend reading Michael Pollan’s book “In Defense of Food” which will change the way you look at food.

      1. Thanks for your comment, Lisa, but that’s not at all been my experience with RDs. All the ones I’ve known or worked with have been really aware of the benefits of reducing processed and hyper palatable foods. The thing that worries me about IIN is the lack of licensure (by a regulatory body and achieved only through rigorous examination). As a licensed psychologist, I am absolutely aware of the critical need for rigorous licensure processes in order to protect the public from erroneous information. I am not saying IIN grads possess erroneous information or lack knowledge or training, but they do seem to lack credentials that allow for quality control. A certificate, by my understanding, is not a substitution for a license.

      2. The link below provides an example of what can happen when practitioners lack Dept. of Education recognized education and/or nationally or state-recognized licensure. Correct me if misinformed, but many IIN grads get certified by the Association of Drugless Practitioners, which is discussed towards the end of the linked article. I hope I’m wrong, so please, please correct me if IIN leads to other forms of licensure. Sorry to be critical, and again, I hope I’m misinformed.

  33. Anyone who is interested in IIN should Google “Institute for Integrative Nutrition reviews”. There is a lot of information out there that will give you a good idea of what the program is like. There was enough on the first page of the Google results for me to reach my own conclusions. For those that are asking about tuition, I read some reviews from about 2 years ago that said the program costs $5,000.

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Claire! Thank you so much. Let me know what you think of that salad. I had almost the same thing for dinner last night…to much of it! :) ~Amy

  34. If someone actually finds out how much tuition is (as in dollar sign with numbers), will they post it? Why all the evasiveness?

    1. Hey Andrea, my mom is taking this course and I am not certain of the exact amount but to give you a ball park it was in the $4000 range and she was getting a good price before the prices went up substantially. I would love to do the course myself one day and think it’s fairly priced.

    2. Andrea,
      I just spoke to a representative over there. The tuition is $5,995 without this offer. If you already have a device that can accept their app, then you can refuse the IPad Mini for an additional $300 savings to this offer that Amy posted.

  35. I believe in nutitional health, and just looked at the link to see if I”d be interested. My hesitation is that there are several “New Age” leaders that are on the teacher list, such as Deepak Chopra. I wonder if you have to take classes from all of them. I am interested in nutrition, and don’t need it mixed up with New Age spirituality. Also, I don’t think it is right that they don’t post the tuition. They make you talk to someone to find out the cost and that to me is a red flag..

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Amber. The scope of what is covered is vast. There may be modules that really spark your interest which will inspire you to spend a lot of time on them. There may be others that you know you will not be incorporating into your own practice, that you will then listen to and move on. IIN’s focus is on nutrition and wellness, as well as keeping”primary foods”in balance. Primary foods are all the things that nourish one’s life which are not food: relationships, creativity, finances, physical activity, career, etc. :) Spirituality is part of that but looks very different to every individual. Mine is found in nature. Yours might be in a church or a science lab. I understand the hesitation as I also do not just jump into things…and it was certainly the right choice for me. Take a close look at the entire list of doctors, speakers, authors, advocates, etc. who offer their time as IIN teachers, as they are all renowned in their fields and share incredible knowledge and experience with each IIN student. ~Amy

  36. WOW! I have been on the fence about this program for a long time and I subscribe to their emails. The husband doesn’t think we can afford it/is afraid it’s a scam. Can you tell me a little about the overall tuition cost? Thanks!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Nikki. Believe me, I was a bit of a skeptic, too. It takes me awhile to feel like I have fully vetted an opportunity before making a decision. :) I so encourage you to reserve your spot here and then chat with one of IIN’s counselors to get the down-low on this year’s tuition cost. They will also give you a thorough overview of the course in its entirety and will answer absolutely any questions you and your husband might have. If you explore the website, you will see a very diverse group of people who have gone in many different successful directions with their careers! ~Amy

    2. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      I should also say, that when I signed up, it was through a special offer that was not as nice as this one and did not include an i-pad. ;)