Do you want to become a health coach? - Mila's Meals
My experience of studying Health Coaching through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I simply cannot recommend it highly enough!
health coach, health coaching, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, IIN
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Catherine Barnhoorn IIN Health Coach

Do you want to become a 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 (and their second with the all-new curriculum) starts on 18 July 2022.

As an Ambassador I can gift you 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! (or even 6 months!)


If you already have a career and need to continue to earn a living while studying, the workload (5-8 hours/week), the online learning environment, and the 12 months it takes to qualify is perfectly suited to this.


The 6 -month accelerated program would require a time investment of 10-16 hours / week.

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


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


IIN’s lecturers include (to name a few):

Deepak Chopra, MD

Founder of The Chopra Foundation, Pioneer in Integrative Medicine and Personal Transformation


Mind-body connection and consciousness
“Integrative Nutrition offers a comprehensive holistic approach to not just nutrition but lifestyle management.”
Deanna Minich

Deanna Minich, PhD

Health Educator, Researcher, and Author


Colourful food as medicine
Dr Andrew Weil

Andrew Weil, MD

Leader and Pioneer in Integrative Medicine and Bestselling Author


The fundamentals of preventive health and medicine

Mark Hyman, MD

Physician, Founder and Medical Director of  The UltraWellness Center


Why the world needs Health Coaches; Food addiction
“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.”
Gabby Bernstein

Gabby Bernstein

Motivational Speaker, Life Coach, and Bestselling Author


Mindful publicity, Manifestation

Frank Lipman, MD

Functional Medicine Pioneer and Founder of The Eleven Eleven Wellness Center


The differences between traditional and alternative medicine
“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.’”
Dr Terry Wahls

Terry Wahls, MD

Physician and Clinical Professor of Medicine


Therapeutic approaches to autoimmune disease
Sahara Rose

Sahara Rose

Ayurveda Expert and Bestselling Author


The principles of Ayurveda
Michelle Maldonado

Michelle Maldonado

Mindful Leadership and Human Potential Expert


Presence and empathy in coaching
Will Cole

Will Cole, IFMCP, DNM, DC

Functional Medicine Expert


Intuitive fasting; Plant-based ketogenic diet
Cynthia James

Cynthia James, MA

Transformational Coach, Inspirational Leader, and Award-Winning Author


Body awareness and processing emotions
Dr Zach Bush

Zach Bush, MD

Board-Certified Physician and Microbiome Expert


Your body and gut microbiome

With more than 95 world-class educators who are the leading physicians, researchers, and wellness experts at the forefront of the health revolution, you receive a holistic health education that cannot be matched.

Get the full list of IIN’s teachers in the curriculum guide.


In-depth and holistic nutrition, coaching AND business education.


The IIN curriculum is broken down into seven categories: physical health, nutrition, mental and emotional health, primary food, spirituality, coaching, and business.



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.


IIN’s core primary foods for adults are:


  1. Movement
  2. Spirituality
  3. Life purpose
  4. Environment
  5. Relationships/connection


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 150 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.


The combination of Primary and Secondary Food is what makes IIN’s approach INTEGRATIVE nutrition!


IIN Health Coaching Curriculum


IIN Business Curriculum

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!


The IIN Health Coaching Program helps you connect to yourself and your needs – a deeply personal transformation that helps you gain clarity, align with your purpose, reach your potential, and feel better in body, mind, and soul.

A global community


IIN has trained the most Health Coaches in the world — over 155,000 Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches in 175 countries!

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 is like a golden ticket! I have no doubt the connections you make through this school will benefit you professionally, as they have me.

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. Especially since we are currently ranked as The Unhealthiest Country in the World!


Here are some examples of the careers and opportunities you can pursue with your IIN Health Coaching certificate:


  • Build a private coaching business with ultimate work-life balance
  • Become a social media wellness influencer
  • Work alongside doctors, dieticians, and other medical professionals
  • Create a blog with brand partnerships
  • Lead wellness-focused retreats all over the world
  • Open a health-focused restaurant or meal delivery service
  • Create a corporate wellness practice
  • Become a published author
  • Get involved in local health advocacy
  • Develop healthy food, beauty, fitness, or self-care products


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.

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 (like me 🙂 )


Mila's Meals award-winning book

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.

Speciality Courses


As science discovers new things and certain states of ill-health become more prevalent and require our attention, IIN keeps adding more learning opportunities. They have the following Advanced and Speciality Courses available:


  • Hormone Health Course

  • Gut Health Course

  • Emotional Eating Course

  • Whole Person Health Course

  • Detox Your Life Course

Become Board Certified


Once you graduate as an IIN Health Coach you can become board certified through the the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC), a recognised industry leader, to set yourself apart as a Health Coach. To prepare you for this exam, IIN offers the Coaching Intensive Practicum 2.0 course. You will be taught advanced coaching skills while completing your education requirements to sit for the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) certifying exam.

Find out more about IIN’s Continued Learning opportunities

IIN Health Coaching Program

Is the course credible?


Yes – absolutely! Miranda Kerr, Alicia Silverstone, Bobbi Brown, Emily Didonato, Nina Agdal all studied through IIN and Venus Williams even works with an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach 🙂

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’s Educational Partnerships and Affiliations

IIN is licensed by the New York State Education Department and affiliated with one of the largest university systems in the United States – The State University of New York (SUNY) – as well as other institutions that accept IIN’s Health Coach Training Program to be applied towards relevant degree programs. They’ve have earned recognition by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaching (NBHWC) as an approved program provider, as well as recognition by other organisations that allow graduates of IIN to apply for membership.


Colleges & Universities Where IIN Graduates Can Pursue Higher Education with their IIN Certificate

IIN is strategically partnered with institutions that provide a variety of educational pathways for our graduates, including continuing education as well as bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees! Each institution offers unique opportunities for IIN graduates to further their health and wellness education that can be tailored to each individual.


Some of the partnerships include: Goddard College, Excelsior College, SUNY Purchase, and Maryland University of Integrated Health.

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 partnering with Integrative Medical Doctors to support their clients with meal plans, 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 30% tuition discount.


Please email me if you would like more information on this. Or simply mention my name (Catherine Barnhoorn) and “Ambassador Savings Offer” to the IIN admissions representative to qualify.


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.

IIN health coaching program sample class
IIN Health Coaching Program Overview
Enrol in IIN Health Coaching Program
IIN free webinars

Prospective Students Webinars

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

Please let me know if you have any other questions?




Health Coaching making Headlines

New York Times Logo

“We Could All Use A Health Coach”

– New York Times

“Health coaches give patients the tools they need to improve their own care and well-being, but they aren’t widely available.”

Well + Good Logo

“Interested in Health Coaching? Here’s What It Takes”

– Well + Good

“Holistic health coaches look at the whole picture (meaning besides food) to help clients with other issues, such as time management, anxiety, and stress.”

Town & Country Logo

“Why A Health Coach Is 2020’s Spiritual Guru
Health is wealth, after all.”

– Town & Country

“If 2019 was the year that made spiritual enlightenment the new status symbol, then 2020 is the year that the nutritional health coach becomes the new guru for the upper crust—and the ultimate luxury. With the wellness movement on the rise, and self-care as fashionable as ever, routines are turning inward towards the ultimate temple: the body and its internal function. Enter: the health coach.”

Forbes Logo

“Here’s The Major Celebrity Career Change You Can Do Too”

– Forbes

“Miranda Kerr, Alicia Silverstone, Bobbi Brown, Emily Didonato, Nina Agdal all studied at IIN alongside well-known teachers such as Deepak Chopra, Dr. Oz, and Gabby Bernstein. As the leading nutrition school, IIN is on a mission to redefine wellness by educating and training the next generation of holistic health coach and entrepreneurs.”

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.
    Catherine Barnhoorn

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

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