Catherine Barnhoorn IIN Health Coach

Do you want to become a health coach?

I have been asked by many people about my experience of studying Health Coaching through The Institute for Integrative Nutrition®(IIN).


Here is the long and short of it…


I simply cannot recommend IIN highly enough!


And yes, I am an Ambassador which means I earn a referral fee for anyone who signs up through me – but I am an Ambassador because I truly believe in the school and the course. (Please read my affiliate disclosure here.)


For me, it was nothing short of revolutionary, life changing – and most importantly, life affirming.



IIN’s next class starts (and last one for 2021) on 8th November 2021. As an Ambassador I can gift you a 30% tuition discount – simply mention my name (Catherine Barnhoorn) to the Admissions Team.

Please contact me for more information.

How I came to study at IIN

As with most things in my life, I came to study at IIN in a back-to-front way – most people sign up because they want a new career, and one as a health coach. After qualifying, many graduates branch out into starting food product lines, hosting nutrition / wellness workshops, becoming public speakers or writing books.


I did it the other way around. I had already been researching and writing my book ‘Mila’s Meals: The Beginning & The Basics’ for some 2 and a half years before I enrolled at IIN. My motivation for studying through them was not to be a health coach. I felt that my book would have more credibility if it was written by someone other than “just-a-mom” – someone who had a nutrition qualification of some sorts behind their name.


I looked into other nutrition qualifications and courses, but decided against them because:


  • I didn’t want to spend 4 years studying (I have already spent 6 years of my life in tertiary education and time was of the essence);
  • I didn’t have the money required to study a 4-year nutritionist degree;
  • and, it would be money wasted anyway, as I didn’t want to be a nutritionist – I just wanted to be able to share my knowledge and my beliefs (and have people believe me!)

So why did I decide on IIN?

You are qualified in a year!


If you already have a career and need to continue to earn a living while studying, the workload (15 hours/week), the online learning environment, and the 12 months it takes to qualify is perfectly suited to this.



IIN have introduced a 6-month accelerated course!

Sample Class FB Post

The teacher list is like the Who’s Who of functional, mind-body health & wellness!


You have access to the most innovative, highly respected, forward thinking, wellness / spiritual / medical / integrative practitioners on a GLOBAL level.


The lecturers include (to name a few):

Deepak Chopra

Mind-body expert and bestselling author
“Integrative Nutrition offers a comprehensive holistic approach to not just nutrition but lifestyle management.”

Dr. Oz

Cardiothoracic surgeon, author, and star of The Dr. Oz Show

Arianna Huffington

Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post
“Integrative Nutrition gives its students great tools to improve their wellbeing and thrive in their day-to-day lives.”

Dr. Andrew Weil

Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine

Marion Nestle

Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University

Dr. David Katz

Director of Yale Prevention Research Center
“Integrative Nutrition trains students how to give good advice about nutrition, how to deliver it well, and how to make it stick.”

David Wolfe

World authority on raw food nutrition

Dr. Mark Hyman

Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine
“Health Coaches can provide the instruction, the tools, the information, and the facilitation of behavior change that leads to the creation of health instead of the suppression of symptoms or disease.”

Dr. Bernie Siegel

Expert in healing and patient empowerment

Dr. Frank Lipman

Founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center
“The success rate at my practice is so much higher now that we have Health Coaches. I see Health Coaches as an essential part of the progression to ‘good medicine.’”

Julia Cameron

Author of The Artist’s Way

Dr. Christine Northrup

Women’s health and wellness expert and bestselling author

In depth and holistic nutritional education.


While a nutrition degree might focus solely on food, IIN has developed the concept of Primary & Secondary Food. Essentially Primary food is nourishment that doesn’t appear on your dinner plate.


The four core primary foods for adults are: exercise, spirituality, career and relationships.


The premise is that when these areas of your life are in balance, food is secondary. 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.” They are, essentially soul food.


This concept was revolutionary in my own personal health journey and I can now see why it is a vital part of any discussion about nutrition. You can eat kale until you turn green, but if your Primary Food plate is empty, chances are you will not experience vibrant health.


And then there is the nutrition/dietary information – the course delves into over 100 dietary theories! You are guided through all of them and given an additional year-long access to the nutrition library to allow you enough time for all the information to be explored and absorbed.

You will be Health Coached!


Your year at IIN will be a personally life changing one – I can guarantee it.


You are essentially health coached while studying to be a health coach! It is very clever how they do it – you don’t actually know is happening until it is. You LIVE this education – it is not simply cerebral. This alone, is worth the tuition fees!

A global network


A Facebook group is set up for you and your classmates and this is where you will meet and interact with like-minded people from all over the world. This is a golden opportunity – especially for us in South Africa, I feel. To be part of a global community/network is like a golden ticket! I have no doubt the connections you make through this school will benefit you professionally.

Amazing support


You may feel that learning online in a school that is based on the other side of the world could be isolating. This is not the case at all – in fact I felt more connected to my classmates in IIN from across the world than I did to those I sat next to for 3 years at The University of Cape Town (UCT)!


Or you may feel that you need to “see it to believe it”. Trust me, it is a real school, with real people! The student support offered by the school admin staff is immediate, and effective.

Growing opportunities


Health Coaches are growing community – a necessity in response to the current state of ill-health and medical care and, a new field in South Africa for which demand will grow.


It is a qualification that will no doubt offer you many opportunities. From one-on-one coaching, corporate wellness to online programs, healthy food products, skincare lines, and books – the list of what you can do with this qualification is a long one!


And us Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches are in good company… Chef Pete Evans is one!

Pete Evans is an internationally renowned and household chef, restaurateur, author and television presenter. His passion for food and a healthy lifestyle inspires individuals and families around the world.

Other IIN grads doing great things:

Purely Elizabeth Whole Foods

Elizabeth (class of ’09) created a healthy line of granola, oatmeal, and mixes that is now sold at Whole Foods, Target, Wegmans, Fresh Market, and other major grocery stores.

I Quit Sugar

Sarah (class of ’11) is an Australian journalist and TV personality who created the New York Times bestseller I Quit Sugar and the online 8-week program.

Launch Your Dreambook


As a graduate of IIN you are also given the opportunity to enroll in their Launch Your Dreambook course (which I did while studying the health coaching course).


This 6-month course takes you on a step-by-step journey to self-publishing a book. While I was already far down the line with writing my book when I did this course, the information and support in getting book published was invaluable.


There are many IIN graduates who are now successful, published authors.


I’m proud to say that these are some of my classmates:

Click on the book covers to view them on Amazon.

And besides being a published author leads to many other opportunities such as speaking engagements etc.

Do you have doubts? These were some of mine…


But I don’t want to be a coach or need a business education?


It was not my intention to be a health coach so I thought that perhaps the coaching aspect of the course may be a “waste of time”. I had similar thoughts about the business curriculum of the course since I am an experienced marketer and have run my own business before. But I was wrong about all this!




The coaching part of the curriculum essentially trains you on how to deliver your knowledge. This part was invaluable to me.


I had most of the nutrition knowledge already after 2.5 years of research for my book, but the coaching curriculum showed me how to deliver this knowledge. There is no point knowing something, if you can’t effectively communicate it to others.


It also made me a better mother and friend 🙂 The coaching skills you are taught will benefit you personally as you use them in all your relationships – personal and professional.




The business skills and financial management part of the curriculum are invaluable and can be applied to ANY business you are involved in or choose to set up. From basic and essential “How To”, to more holistic matters such as creating a positive relationship with money and learning how to honour and value your offering. Again – invaluable learning!

IIN Health Coaching Program

Is the course credible?


Yes – absolutely! Ivanka Trump and Venus Williams even work with Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches 🙂 And Dr Frank Lipman (Founder of The Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in New York and  integrative medical doctor to the who’s who of Hollywood) employs a team of Health Coaches – and only IIN Health Coaches!


IIN is licensed by the New York State Department of Education. IIN has also developed educational partnerships with several American colleges and universities so our graduates can use their IIN certification to get their bachelor’s or master’s degree.  Some of the partnerships include: Goddard College, Excelsior College, SUNY Purchase, and Maryland University of Integrated Health.


After graduating you can also take the International Association for Health Coaches exam which will certify you to work as a Health Coach anywhere in the world (which I have done). The IAHC would not offer this to graduates from a school without credibility.

Now is not the right time?


Ah “the right time”. When is the right time?


This was my perfectly timed plan… finish writing my book by December 2013, then study at IIN, then work part-time while raising my children (with little to no life drama forecasted or anticipated).


This is what really happened… I was writing my book while being a full time mom to Mila all of 2013 ready to meet my self-imposed deadline. In November 2013 I had a miscarriage and stopped working on the book for 3 months. I started writing again but in April 2014 I got divorced. I took a break from the book for a few months again, then picked up where I left off but in September 2014 my friend and sister-in-law was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer – she passed in April of 2015.


This made me realize that there is no such thing as “the right time” – there is only now!


Between March 2015 and March 2016, I enrolled in IIN’s March 2015 Health Coach course, I enrolled into the Launch Your Dreambook course, I continued writing my book and published it in December 2015. I graduated from IIN as a health coach in March 2016.


While it might seem like madness to enroll in two courses while grieving and writing a book – those courses are what pulled me through a very challenging time. The timing was in fact… perfect!


I’ll say it again – there is no such thing as the right time – there is only now.

But… I am not a full-time Health Coach. Why you ask?


Since graduating, I have been approached by many people asking me to be their Health Coach. Imagine that?! Potential clients approaching you with no marketing effort whatsoever!


I graduated from IIN in March 2016, but, as a single mom to a young child and a self-published author my time and energy has been taken up largely by these two priorities. My non-negotiable is to be fully present and available for my daughter (while earning a living to support us). It wasn’t until 2020 that I felt I could commit the time and energy to a full day of clients and give them the level of care I want to and I feel they deserve. Well then – 2020 didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned thanks to the global pandemic and it’s curveballs!


But thats the beauty of this qualification from IIN – it opens so many doors to such a variety of income-earning opportunities.


This is something I have been so incredibly grateful for during this crazy time we live in! I have gone from opening a health coaching practice, to coaching online via zoom, to moving back into the corporate world where I consult as a Brand & Nutrition Strategist for Functional Food Brands and their conscious consumers! (You can follow me on LinkedIn to keep track of my professional movements.)

I can sum it up like this…


  • My year at IIN was an incredibly uplifting and empowering experience.
  • I have absolutely no regrets.
  • It was money very well spent.
  • I am using what I learned at IIN everyday, and in all that I do.


(I actually miss the weekly lectures!)

Interested? What next?


As an Ambassador, I can offer you a HUGE tuition discount. Please email me if you would like more information on this.


If you are interested in IIN, I suggest signing up to receive the IIN newsletters – they also announce discounted fees every now and then and this is what finally pushed me to enroll sooner than I was planning to.


By clicking on any of the images below for more info, you can subscribe to the mailing list and I will be  marked as your referral – this qualifies you for the Ambassador tuition discount.


If you phone to enroll or to ask for more information, mention “Ambassador Savings Offer” along with my name you to qualify for the discounts.

IIN curriculumn guide
IIN sample class

Prospective Students Webinars

IIN regularly host prospective student webinars featuring some of their Lecturers. You can sign up for these here.

HCTP Webinar FB Post
This is my story of how I came to IIN, my experience of IIN and what has happened since I graduated. I am sharing the stage with Rebecca – IIN’s global admissions representative. She shares more on IIN and the health coaching program.

Please let me know if you have any other questions?




    Catherine Barnhoorn

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


    • Sharmila

      03.07.2017 at 22:12 Reply

      Wow. Very inspiring. Good luck and Lots of love and light in all that you venture in. I love the name Mila ❤️

    • Carolyn Augustus

      15.07.2017 at 13:12 Reply

      I need a health coach cause I tend to skip meals and just eat on the run.

    • Zoë

      15.07.2017 at 13:49 Reply

      You show such strength to push through tough times and are such a great example of perseverance.

    • Sharmon Reddington

      15.07.2017 at 14:31 Reply

      Your Recipes are absolutely stunning LOVE

    • Rozan Hamilton-Nixon

      15.07.2017 at 14:54 Reply

      Great info!

    • Lizanne

      15.07.2017 at 14:55 Reply

      I’d love to be a health coach, but I don’t currently have time or money to study 🙁

    • Marijke Crafford

      15.07.2017 at 15:37 Reply

      Oh my goodness, what a great idea! Would love to do this, first for my own family and to reach my own health goals and then later to help others!

    • Liza

      15.07.2017 at 15:43 Reply

      Would love to do this course. Please send me more details

    • Lizelle

      15.07.2017 at 17:02 Reply

      Love your easy to follow recipes… Can’t wait to start my clean/raw eating again

    • Hanneke Barlow

      15.07.2017 at 17:53 Reply

      Mila’s Meals changed the way I think about food in the most incredible way, so much so that one day when the littlies are a little older I would definitely consider a course like this!

      • Catherine Barnhoorn

        17.07.2017 at 11:54 Reply

        I’m so glad we could be a valuable part of your motherhood and health journey. ♡

    • Danielle gair

      15.07.2017 at 19:22 Reply

      Sounds pretty cool! Love your recipes too


      15.07.2017 at 23:43 Reply

      A good friend told me about this site and I can now see why. Inspiring indeed can’t wait to try out the recipes!!!

    • Natasha Raymond

      16.07.2017 at 06:41 Reply

      I love the recipe book. I purchased mine from bub hub broadacres. I want to have the knowledge and skills to provide my baby with the best possible nutrition. Outside of breastfeeding.

    • Karlien Pretorius

      16.07.2017 at 06:52 Reply

      You and little Mila are an inspiration to us. I am yet to try more of your recipes! Thank you for sharing it with us. ♡

    • thea lennox

      16.07.2017 at 19:18 Reply

      Wow so awesome

    • Debbie

      17.07.2017 at 08:52 Reply

      I’m not sure i would want to be a health coach but could definately benfit from seeing one! My second child is 5 months old, we are starting solids and I need to start attempting to loose my ‘baby weight’. It would be wonderful to get some guidance x

    • Debbie Knighton-Fitt

      17.07.2017 at 09:10 Reply

      What an inspirational journey – I have walked a similar one myself and am moving more and more toward a vegan lifestyle which, if you had asked me years ago, I would have fallen down laughing. Thank you for sharing this with us! I am so inspired!

    • Tania Brewis

      17.07.2017 at 11:16 Reply

      Love all your recipes and blog!!

    • Anonymous

      17.07.2017 at 11:39 Reply

      Thanks, Catherine. I’ve been inspired by your story to only feed my child the best of the best.

      Looking forward to exploring all that your book has to offer!

    • Anonymous

      17.07.2017 at 11:41 Reply

      I would love to become a health coach – perhaps in a few more years when I have a bit more time on my hands.

      Samantha Herbst

    • Yolika Muscat

      17.07.2017 at 15:11 Reply

      Having a health coach is very good for affirmation and to keep you on track. I think a definite need for anyone!

    • Amy Swartz

      17.07.2017 at 23:10 Reply

      Such an awesome read

    • Michelle Van Rooyen

      18.07.2017 at 09:23 Reply

      Love your blog, it’s quite educational, Love the variety of recipes. I definitely need a coach

    • Leigh-Anne Swart

      18.07.2017 at 11:43 Reply

      We meaning my daughter and I really need to be more healthy so we need one but not sure I can afford it.

    • Yvette Hamilton

      18.07.2017 at 11:46 Reply

      I’ll be totally honest, i’m not a very good cook BUT I am LOVING your easy step by step recipes, thank you <3

    • salim yusuf

      18.07.2017 at 12:30 Reply

      Really Inspiring!

    • Nooreen Agherdien

      18.07.2017 at 15:46 Reply

      I love how so many universities are introducing more courses which are the alternative of medicine such as dietetics having someone direct you and help u understand what is good for your body instead following the next of latest craze.

    • Melissa de la Croix

      19.07.2017 at 10:03 Reply

      I would love to become a health coach. Maybe branch my blog out to include health. Definitely need to consider it. You are such an inspiration!!

    • Shaaista Mahomed

      19.07.2017 at 10:41 Reply

      I would love to become a health coach, it sounds like something i could be great at. I wanted to become a dietitian/nutritionist but never went down that route in University. This seems like simpler route. I have recently discovered that both my kids have certain allergies and intolerance.

      Love what you doing.

    • kamilah francis

      20.07.2017 at 11:19 Reply

      Awesome giveaway,love the healthy meals.My little Mila needs some of that juices too.The book is invaluable!

    • Thercia Khoza

      21.07.2017 at 22:48 Reply

      I love the good and positive spirit you possess. You are so full of life and oomph. 8 am so inspired by you good words. Thank you for sharing.

    • Angela Hausner

      25.07.2017 at 23:32 Reply

      I’ve been toying with doing a nutrition course of sorts next year once my littlest has spread his fledgling wings. Will read up more on this one… looks interesting. I’m sold on a gluten and sugar free & organic, whole food lifestyle! Implementing it in varying degrees of success with my two fussy eaters. Buts it’s our base!

    • Shantel Govender

      27.07.2017 at 22:33 Reply

      I definitely require a health coach , I have some bad eating habbits. Learning the tecniques of simple healthy cooking will be great .

    • Kerry West

      28.07.2017 at 09:08 Reply

      Thank you so much for all of your inspiration Catherine! The work you are doing is phenomenal! I have been searching for a nutrition course for almost 2 years, and truly believe that this is the vert best one on offer. It is so very much more than just a course, it is a lifestyle change and encompasses almost every aspect of health, not just the food that you eat! Highly recommended! Although it is very pricey, I am saving up towards it as I believe what I will learn will serve me for the rest of my life and help teach me the best health habits and practices possible.

    • Casey Esteves

      04.08.2017 at 19:00 Reply

      I’ve been changing my life and that of my family to a more natural lifestyle. Slowly I’ve been implementing small changes with food and health. It can be overwhelming at times since there is so much ‘bad’ to eliminate from our lives. Next on my list is your book which is recommended so often. I would like to research more on health coaching not as a business venture but to keep myself and my family’s health in check, and maybe educating people as I go along. I love your recipes and honestly find what you do to be inspiring.

    • Fareedha Khan

      08.08.2017 at 15:42 Reply

      This is such an amazing blog.

    • Nicole A

      10.08.2017 at 14:52 Reply

      I don’t know if I’d want to be a health coach but I definitely think that the course would be awesome to do for my own knowledge and for implementing in my own family. Good to know there are online places like this

    • Elet

      11.08.2017 at 05:42 Reply

      Hay there C,
      Please email me the details about the course. Been looking into different courses and thia one sounds legit.


      P.s. LOVE YOUR BOOK. Well done!!!

    • Mary Bosman

      11.08.2017 at 06:39 Reply

      Would love a health coach so that I can ensure I am eating the right foods and to ensure I don’t skip meals

    • Leigh Walker

      11.08.2017 at 07:14 Reply

      My three year old hates eating breakfast and I hate sending him to school on an empty tummy so would love to be able to make him nutritious juices every morning.

    • Aimee Gavin

      11.08.2017 at 08:18 Reply

      I also have a 3 month old little Mila..looking forward to introduce her to the world of food. Love the cookbook and the juicer will be great for my toddler,Matthew. Keep up the awesome work!

    • Sharon Buckland

      12.08.2017 at 04:48 Reply

      I need to join asap. Wow im impressed. Ive tried making gluten free bread and what a hard rock i made lol.

    • Sharon Buckland

      12.08.2017 at 04:50 Reply

      I need to join asap. I tried making gluten free bread and i came out with a rock lol

    • Claire

      12.08.2017 at 06:52 Reply

      Something to consider to really help my family fully adopt a new lifestyle!

    • Victoria York

      12.08.2017 at 08:58 Reply

      I would love to be a health coach, even if it means just coaching my family 🙂 Money is always an issue, so hopefully the first step will be to finally get my hands on your book 😉

    • sasha

      14.08.2017 at 19:22 Reply

      wow <3

    • Yusra

      14.08.2017 at 20:17 Reply

      You’re such an inspiration to many mothers who are striving to raise well-balanced, contented children, thank you:) diet is so often overlooked yet has a contributing factor to many health problems in children including allergies, eczema, irritability and poor concentration

    • Anusha Naidoo

      14.08.2017 at 21:14 Reply

      Thank you absolutely interesting and informative, well written article. Has inspired and motivated me.
      A wonderful giveaway thank you
      Best wishes and blessings

    • Sonja van Zyl

      15.08.2017 at 08:59 Reply

      This must be the best recipe book I have seen on the market for healthy eating and getting the nutrition the body needs and making it delicious and fun as well. Thank you. I follow your posts like a hawk and my baby gurl just loves your recipes.

    • Cathy Badenhorst

      15.08.2017 at 14:04 Reply

      great Blog post! I really think it is beneficial that I get a health coach as I do tend to be fairly inconsistent when it comes to eating healthy meals or sticking to a health plan. I need the support and encouragement as well.

    • Riétte van Tonder

      15.08.2017 at 22:28 Reply

      I think everyone can benefit from having a health coach!

    • Bernice Vermaak

      16.08.2017 at 13:18 Reply

      I would Love to become a Health Coach. As nutrition is always something Ive been interested in. Im a stay at home mom. Twins go to school & would be perfect route to study.
      But I also need a Health Coatch. As i dont have a Gall bladder anymore could only eat sertain foods & takes me longer to lose weight. Been eating a Mostly Vegetarian based diet till Nov’16, I ended up in hospital with Kidneystones. So most things I could eat on my Gallblader food list I cant eat now on my Kidneystone food list. As I have to follow a Low Oxalated diet. Been keeping my pain and stones at bay. By drinking . SlowMagMagnesium once daily aswell as Braggs ACV 3times daily.
      Inbetween that being on on monthly pillz didnt work I had the Mirena inplanted. In a year and a hal my weight just climb uncontrollabley, my skin got very very bad. And went from thick gorgeous hair, to thin straw hair. Went for test to show doctor it couldnt be anything els.Eventualy had taken out. They said would take 2yrs for hormones to normalize and everything to get beter. Finaly new baby hairs grew back. Now my hair is much thicker till shoulder length and from there till my middel back you can see the major differince in thickness. Skin beter get flairups now and then. And weight lost alot over the past 3yrs of the weight i picked up with that “Thing”. So still have a distance to go.
      So I would be a Challenge for any Coach

    • Miscka VD Westhuizen

      16.08.2017 at 21:10 Reply

      Love Love Love your recipes! Thank you for your insperation xxx

    • Suzanne Engela

      16.08.2017 at 23:12 Reply

      Love your blog and milameals thank you for sharing ❤

    • Anonymous

      17.08.2017 at 16:26 Reply

      WOW I am so glad i found this love Milameals xxx Thank you

    • Shaiyah

      19.10.2017 at 10:04 Reply

      Hi I would like to enroll for IIN but it’s expensive as hell. R80 000 for a year of study actually equates to 4 years worth of tuition fees in South Africa… I really want this though. Are there any bursary or any other aid programmes?

      • Catherine Barnhoorn

        26.03.2019 at 14:46 Reply

        Hi Shaiyah, IIN has introduced a bursary program and they regularly offer discounts on tuition if you are on their mailing list. Please send me an email if you would like more info. x

    • Heidi Mitchell

      27.12.2018 at 07:16 Reply

      Hi Catherine,
      Would love to sign up to do the integrative nutrition coaching course this coming year.
      Please can u let me know how to enrol.
      Kind regards.
      Heidi Mitchell

    • Pingback:Do you want to be a Health Coach? Part 2 - Mila's Meals

      09.04.2020 at 17:50 Reply

      […] 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 […]

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