Catherine Barnhoorn Health Coach

What is Integrative Nutrition? An Introduction from an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

Health coaching is one profession that is going to explode (even faster than it is already growing now) in the post-COVID-19 reality. It’s more clear than ever that staying healthy is our best defense, and that diet, lifestyle, and behaviour change are the most important steps we can take[/vc_column_text]


I wrote my first blog post “Do you want to be a health coach?” some 5 years ago. It is by far the most popular blog post on my website and more so in recent weeks.


I have also received a ton of emails from people asking about the IIN Health Coaching course in the past few days. So, I thought to follow my first blog post up with a second one.


The world is changing a lightning speed due to the Corona pandemic. This change is forced and uncomfortable but, for some people that I have spoken to, these forced circumstances are bringing about change that they have long been seeking.


How are you? Where are you at?


Do you suddenly need to earn an income from an online sphere?

Everybody is moving online where they can. Can you? Health coaching can be a 100% online business (I have only ever seen 3 clients “in person!”)


Have you been wanting to move into the health and wellness pace?

Optimizing health is now a priority for EVERYBODY


Do you want to learn more about how you can optimize you and your family’s health?

The time is Now!


In my first blog post on my experience of studying through IIN I said, “there is no such thing as “the right time” – there is only now!”


I can now amend that to saying…


The ‘right time’ is NOW!


The demand for Health Coaches (especially in today’s upside down world) is huge. Health coaching is one profession that is going to explode (even faster than it is already growing now) in the post-COVID-19 reality. It’s more clear than ever that staying healthy is our best defense, and that diet, lifestyle, and behaviour change are the most important steps we can take.


And… health coaching can be delivered 100 percent virtually.


As I watch this upside down / new world unfolding I am once again in awe of the teachings of IIN. Their core principles and concepts are EXACTLY what the world needs now. So much so that I have just had the privilege of spending the last few days pouring my brain into a document titled: “South African National Disaster Response – Covid-19… The Case for Integrative Nutrition in low-income communities.” It is part of a collaboration with integrative doctors in South Africa to form a document that is hopefully going to make its way to national government. I hope and pray it is read and actioned. If not, the collaboration will ensure that community leaders and role players receive it and we will support them in creating an action plan from it.


So let me say it again…


If you have been considering moving into the health and wellness space by becoming a health coach – the time is now! The world needs foot soldiers.


And besides the idealist “lets help the world” motivation… health coaching can be a 100% online business. It can be the income source you are needing in this new world.


What follows is a collection of my email responses to inquiries from the past few days.


(Thank you to those who have contacted me for encouraging/creating the content for this post.)

Sample Class FB Post


What is Integrative Nutrition? An Introduction


The  Institute for Integrative Nutrition have developed the concepts of Primary Food and Secondary Food.

IIN 12 steps

Integrative Nutrition – Primary Food


Essentially, primary food is nourishment that doesn’t appear on your dinner plate. Joshua Rosenthal (IIN’s founder, director and primary teacher), says that, “Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and, a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life.” The premise is that when these areas of your life are in balance, food is secondary.

``Our approach focuses on nutrition as well as lifestyle factors that create optimal health: relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality. These make up what we call “primary food,” all the things off your plate that nourish you and contribute to your overall health and wellbeing. You will encourage your clients to look at these aspects as a way to feed themselves in addition to food, and is key to your practice as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. `` - IIN

My take on Primary Food


  1. Healthy Relationships – this includes relationship with your SELF and your Community.
  2. Spiritual Practice – this is global – including all religions and spiritual practices. I define it as anything that connects you to Self and the Divine (however you name or define the divine). It is faith – it a greater being, purpose and meaning.
  3. Regular Physical Activity – exercise? I don’t go to the gym regularly or regularly attend yoga classes etc. But I do move my body A LOT – every day. So I prefer to call this Movement.
  4. Fulfilling Career – I expand this to Life Purpose (Ikigai). Because say, for example, my mom – she doesn’t get paid for her “work” as chief fundraiser for Hospice in Knysna. This is not so much a career as a purpose the… “What gets you up in the morning.”

This concept of Primary food is validated by various medical professionals and research and it will be crucial in dealing with the Covid-19 Pandemic and the consequences of social physical distancing.


Integrative Nutrition – Secondary Food


Food Changes Everything


The Integrative Nutrition Plate focuses on nourishing food and lifestyle choices. They emphasize the importance of local and organic produce, whole grains, vegetarian and high-quality animal proteins, healthy plant-based fats, and water. It serves as a general guideline for healthy eating but should be adapted and customized according to what works best for each person.




There’s no one way of eating that works for everyone – this is the core principle of Integrative Nutrition. But there are some fundamentals to proper nutrition that do apply to all. The most important being nutrient-dense food.

Can you see why IIN’s teachings are so relevant At This Time?



And you learn from the who’s who of integrative health and wellness!

IIN teachers

Experience IIN for yourself.


If you want to experience IIN for yourself or imagine a future as an IIN health coach – here are some amazing resources IIN has just released as part of their Upside Down / New World support initiative.

IIN Live – Transform Your Health Conference


Every year, IIN host world-renowned experts, change agents & thought leaders in the wellness space for a two-day, immersive conference, usually only available to students & graduates of the IIN Health Coach Training Program. But to support you at this time they are giving you access to the recordings of the all the talks – free of charge. You’ll get unlimited on-demand access for a year to the replay of  this inspiring & educational video lecture series which contain valuable information that you can apply now to improve your health physically, spiritually, and mentally.

You will get a glimpse of what its like to be an IIN student / alumni by watching this.


HCTP Webinar FB Post



IIN currently have regular free webinars with IIN Health Coaches and alumni telling their success stories.


Next webinar:

Spring Open House
March 30, 2021 at 2pm EST

Spring is a time for awakening, transforming, and becoming more vibrant.

Join us on Tuesday, March 30th at 2pm ET/ 11am PT to learn how IIN’s nutrition and health coaching program has transformed the lives of 100,000 students and graduates in 175 countries.


Support from the IIN Community of Health Experts


IIN have gathered free Primary Food resources from some incredible experts in their community, including Visiting Teachers, conference speakers, and more, to help you in whatever way you need right now… because #selfcare is the new healthcare!


Some of the resources available include:

– Frank Lipman MD – 30 ways to boost immunity right now,

– Patricia Moreno – founder of spiritual fitness is hosting free virtual workouts in addition to free conversations to connect with people all over the world.

– Sarrah Hollock – how to maximize feelings of connectedness during this challenging time.

– Andrew Weil, M.D. – three breathing exercises

– Gabby Bernstein – offers her 7 spiritual tools to relieve anxiety, including guided meditations


Take a look – I am sure there will be something that soothes you, guides you and supports you in this time.


Program Overview FB Post

IIN Program Overview


Health Coaches are the future of healthcare. Become a part of creating a ripple effect of health and happiness, changing the lives of others—and your life—for the better.

IIN curriculum

IIN Curriculum



Tuition Savings


As an ambassador for IIN I am able to offer you a BIG discount on tuition fees! (YAY!). Please email me if you are ready to enrol and would like more info on this.

Application Page FB Post

Shew – I can never keep it short!


Please let me know if you have any further questions?


Be Well,



Catherine Barnhoorn Health Coach
Catherine Barnhoorn

Mom to Mila, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and author of 'Mila's Meals: The Beginning & The Basics'.

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