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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Studying Nutrition?
Created on: 03/06/13 06:34 PM Views: 3442 Replies: 16
Studying Nutrition?
Posted Wednesday, March 6, 2013 at 6:34 PM

I'd like to know what path I could start taking to get a degree in nutrition? The more I read and hear from all these wonderful doctors about whole-food plant-based eating, the more passionate I get about it and I want to get more involved. I have a BS already and love my job but I'd like to pursue this career as well because I want to make a difference in this world and this lifestyle has so many benefits in addition to health. Are there schools that offer nutrition programs online so I could take courses during my schedule and at my own pace? Also, are there nutrition programs that focus on whole-food plant-based diets?

- Amanda
Be the change you wish to see in the world...

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 3:21 AM

http://www.ecornell.com/certificate-programs/co-branded-programs-training/certificate-in-plant-based-nutrition/crt/TCCC01

I have interacted on-line with a couple people who have had this course and they seem very happy with it.

Vikki ~

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 6:40 AM

E-Cornell is indeed very informative. If you are looking to learn a lot, it's a great option.

If you are looking to get a standard degree in nutrition, because you want to be a "nutritionist" or a "dietitian," then there are a few options. Depending on what degree you have now, someone who majors or masters in nutrition will need to have all the basic science courses (biology, chemistry, anatomy, etc.) with labs, plus nutrition-specific courses. That takes at least 2 years, again, depending on previous schooling.

If you want to be a dietitian (RD), you have to take another subset of courses, apply for and complete an internship, and then take a certification exam. The benefit of becoming a dietitian is that you can legally practice as a nutritionist anywhere in the country.

The only accredited program that I know of (last I checked) where you can get a bachelors or masters in nutrition WITH an emphasis on whole-foods, plant-based diets is Bastyr University near Seattle. The accreditation is important if you want to take the dietitian track. This option is not without a high price tag, though.

I think often a more realistic option is to go to an accredited state or community college for all of the course work. Is it plant-based? No. But at a fraction of the cost, it might be worth a few eye rolls.

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 7:30 AM

You may find the information on the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's website interesting.

http://www.integrativenutrition.com/index.asp

Good Luck!
Frank

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 9:07 AM

One possibility, too, is to take the Food for Life training to do workshops and seminars on whole food plant based eating. It's a fairly short course (could be done on a two week vacation from work I think). Then, you'd work with them to set up workshops in places like community centers and whole food markets and such either as one time events or as a series (maybe once a week, once a month, etc). It's something that could be done while you "keep your day job". It's not a degreed position as a dietician or nutritionist but it might fit what you're wanting to do for now.

--DebR

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Susan Levin wrote:

If you are looking to get a standard degree in nutrition, because you want to be a "nutritionist" or a "dietitian," then there are a few options. Depending on what degree you have now, someone who majors or masters in nutrition will need to have all the basic science courses (biology, chemistry, anatomy, etc.) with labs, plus nutrition-specific courses. That takes at least 2 years, again, depending on previous schooling.

If you want to be a dietitian (RD), you have to take another subset of courses, apply for and complete an internship, and then take a certification exam. The benefit of becoming a dietitian is that you can legally practice as a nutritionist anywhere in the country.

What I would like to do is talk to people about nutrition, advise them on the benefits of a whole-food plant-based diet, and help walk them through how to set up an eating plan to change their lifestyle. Nutritionist or dietitian?

- Amanda
Be the change you wish to see in the world...

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 2:43 PM

This is really up to you and depends on what state you live. Most states make it difficult to legally give dietary recommendations unless you are a registered dietitian. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) probably won't rest until all states make it illegal unless you are an RD.

Regardless of how you feel about that, it's the reality we live in. Still, some states are holding strong and keeping a more liberal definition of nutritionist.

Here's a somewhat biased explanation of the difference (put out by the AND):

http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6713

Susan Levin, MS, RD
PCRM Director of Nutrition Education

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 7, 2013 at 5:23 PM

MiniVegan wrote:

I'd like to know what path I could start taking to get a degree in nutrition? The more I read and hear from all these wonderful doctors about whole-food plant-based eating, the more passionate I get about it and I want to get more involved. I have a BS already and love my job but I'd like to pursue this career as well because I want to make a difference in this world and this lifestyle has so many benefits in addition to health. Are there schools that offer nutrition programs online so I could take courses during my schedule and at my own pace? Also, are there nutrition programs that focus on whole-food plant-based diets?

Minivegan,

You've gotten some great advice here. As Susan says, it depends on what you want to 'do' with it. It's true that you cannot prescribe a specific menu to anyone without the RD credentials.

Yet there is a lot you can do with guiding people to better choices with other certifications. I too obtained the ecornell certificate as well as an Advanced Credentail in Fitnes Nutrition Specialist from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

I've written a couple of articles about the ecornell experience that you might find helpful. Here are the links just in case:

Protein madness and special interests, aka the #1 thing I learned in plant-based nutrition school

Plant-based Nutrition Certification Cornell University Q & A: Part 1

Hope this helps!
Lani

Lani Muelrath, M.A. CGFI, CPBN
Fit Quickies: The Plant-Based Fitness Book

www
RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Friday, March 8, 2013 at 10:51 AM

Thanks for all the information so quickly! I'll will look into the options and read the links. I know I'll have more questions as I research so have patience Smile

- Amanda
Be the change you wish to see in the world...

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM

It sounds like getting an RD to legally advise people is more extensive and pricey. Could I start this path by getting a standard degree in nutrition and then later on readily take some additional courses, labs, internships to get the RD? Lani, you mentioned that I could do guiding with other certifications. What other certifications and what careers would open up with them? The ECornell certification sounds great but I'm not sure what I could do with the certification since I don't have any other nutrition-based education.

I had also found this program a while ago, does anyone have any input on it?
http://www.baumancollege.org/programs/distance-learning

- Amanda
Be the change you wish to see in the world...

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 12:11 PM

MiniVegan,

Teaching the PCRM foods courses would be one way to go, where you have an established curriculum supported by a pb cert. Other careers in health and wellness beg for nutrition support, in my opinion - that's why I've joined up the food with the fitness. Take a look at your other interests and areas of expertise.

Lani

Lani Muelrath, M.A. CGFI, CPBN
Fit Quickies: The Plant-Based Fitness Book

www
RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 3:40 PM

A very good friend of mine became a "certified health coach" from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
http://www.integrativenutrition.com/
I also have a cousin going through the program right now. I plan on taking the course Jan of 2014 due to time constraints and money.

I like that they study all different types of diets, but the main focus in plant based. The founder truly wants the world to be a healthier place. It's worth looking into if you want to coach people on making better choices.

Good luck!

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 1:12 AM

goldilost wrote:

A very good friend of mine became a "certified health coach" from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
http://www.integrativenutrition.com/
I also have a cousin going through the program right now. I plan on taking the course Jan of 2014 due to time constraints and money.

I like that they study all different types of diets, but the main focus in plant based. The founder truly wants the world to be a healthier place. It's worth looking into if you want to coach people on making better choices.

Good luck!

Thanks! I'll check out that website too. I'm thinking of starting with the ecornell certification, seeing how that study goes, and go off from there. Not only do those courses sound very interesting, I think it'll give me a taste of studying nutrition and I can get a better idea of if this is a path I truly want to pursue. Thanks to all for the advice!!

- Amanda
Be the change you wish to see in the world...

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM

No advice, just wanted to say good luck Amanda.

This is what the world needs, more people educated about proper nutrition. You'll no doubt save many lives, wallets and a little bit of the environment, should you pursue this. Kudos! Smile

RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM

extra post weirdness

Edited 03/20/13 11:07 PM
RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 11:18 AM

sorry, triple post Question

Edited 03/20/13 11:08 PM
RE: Studying Nutrition?
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2013 at 5:07 PM

cricket wrote:

No advice, just wanted to say good luck Amanda.

This is what the world needs, more people educated about proper nutrition. You'll no doubt save many lives, wallets and a little bit of the environment, should you pursue this. Kudos! Smile

That is my goal! I'm planning on starting this in May once I move to my new place and have my tax return in.
Thanks Smile

- Amanda
Be the change you wish to see in the world...


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