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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Turner

Becoming an NTP

My experience with selecting the Nutritional Therapy Association and completing the NTP certification.


After all of the work I had done with Western doctors, my holistic nutritionist was ultimately the one who was able to bring me out of the depths of chronic illness and heal me to be able to continue living my life, rather than just getting through the days. I credit her with why I am where I am today. I recall speaking to her about her start in the wellness world and the program she was accredited by - the Nutritional Therapy Association. I was hooked on wellness at this point and curious about the program. Knowing how intelligent and impactful my nutritionist was, I automatically knew the program would be of quality. After some deliberation, mainly about if I was healthy enough to pursue a 10-month long intense certification, I wanted to go for it.


Before taking the plunge, I made sure to do my due diligence in researching competing programs. (I knew I was biased…). So I looked into the others and ultimately found that the only viable competitor was the IIN, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. While it was in the same realm, I didn’t like the feel of the IIN as it felt more focused on starting a business rather than the science of nutrition and the importance of healing the world. *I want to make sure I clarify that I have no intention of offending those who attended the IIN, I am only stating what my impression and personal experience was. In fact, I continue to listen to blogs featuring graduates of the program and am incredibly impressed with them. Back to my story - I went with the NTA program and am incredibly happy with my choice. Right off the bat, the program dived deep into the science. From the start, it was clear that the Association, instructors, and students all cared deeply about healing the world and learning as much as they could. It was off to a great start! And then my health betrayed me and took a significant turn for the worse…


A month or two into the program, I found my energy completely tanked, my mental health the worst it had ever been, and my brain fog so cloudy that I sat at work all day and watched Netflix because I couldn’t do anything else. Even writing emails was a dangerous game because I had no way of knowing if they would make sense, even if I read them 10 times over. I started missing the deadlines for the course and ultimately had to drop out of the program. I was so ashamed and felt like a complete failure, so much so that I couldn’t talk about it without breaking into tears.


Then the pandemic hit and I was given a chance to reset. While I completely understand how horrible of a situation Covid-19 was and continues to be, a break from my life was exactly what I needed. I left a city I no longer loved, a job that was killing me, and a social group I felt no connection to. I moved back home with the parents, which of course had its ups and downs… (It’s both hilarious and terrifying how quickly we revert to our childhood tendencies) But I had the chance to completely focus on myself and my health. I was sleeping more, drinking less, doing yoga daily, meditating twice daily, eating and cooking healthy meals, spending time in nature, and taking the time to get to know myself independent of an environment not conducive to personal growth. My mental health was at an all-time high and now I needed a purpose to pursue. The NTA was kind enough to allow me to restart the program and give it another try. This is where the magic happened.


In the previous class I was in, I didn’t feel a connection to the instructors or classmates and didn’t join the live zoom sessions as I could just watch them later. I half-assed the assignments and dreaded doing the work. Let me tell you, though, the second time around was a completely different show. Right off the bat, I was fully engaged. In fact, I found it funny that every time we were split into groups and then had to present answers to questions, my group always nominated me to speak. I had gone from avoiding any interaction with my classmates to being one of the most vocal and engaged people in the class. And I loved it! Each of the modules (the “chapters”) taught me so much and I came to learn that the assignments were perfectly created to teach you how to apply your newfound knowledge to a real life situation, both client- and business-based. I distinctly remember during the digestion module the moment where everything suddenly clicked. After the comprehensive readings, I had to sit down and talk myself through the process of digestion, as there were so many components. When it clicked, my eyes opened up wide in excitement as I could now tell you step by step what was happening in your body, from the parasympathetic state beginning in your mind to the multiple roles of cholecystokinin to the importance of the microbiota in the large intestine, and everywhere in between. This was the moment I knew I was pursuing the right field - my excitement at understanding the content was rivaled by none, except perhaps finally getting my handstand in yoga…


I chose to write a review of the program as there weren’t many out there when I was making my decision. If you’re interested in pursuing a certification or career in nutrition/wellness, I am a huge advocate for the NTA programs. There are two options - a Nutritional Therapy Consultant or a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, the latter being the more rigorous program and the one I chose to enroll in. The site says that it should be treated as a part time job, devoting 20 hours per week to it. While this was true some weeks, if you are focused and intellectually capable (I don’t necessarily mean book-smart), it will take less time and will be enjoyable. Even if you are simply interested in learning more about nutrition and lifestyle impacts, I highly recommend this course. It really dives deep into the science, without overwhelming you with the technical jargon, and educates on how it applies to our current world and common situations. It even goes beyond the science of nutrition and includes instruction on motivational interviewing and business practices that can be utilized to have the most impact on the world. Additionally, it focuses on the importance of bio-individual evaluations and a gentle approach to correcting many of the misconceptions about nutrition these days encouraged by fad diets and endorsed products.


The course site states “The NTP program is a ten-month, instructor-led, and fully online program encompassing the NTA's foundational and bio-individual approach to functional, holistic nutrition. NTPs are equipped to support the body’s innate ability to heal by addressing the importance of nutrient-dense food, lifestyle choices, culinary wellness, client coaching, and how social and personal components influence health.” It lived up to all of my expectations and more.


Most important to me, the professors, staff, and fellow students are incredibly authentic individuals with a genuine desire to help heal the world. Every class and assignment left me with a feeling of positivity, optimism, and overall hopefulness. Prior to enrolling, and even up until about a month before graduation, I had no intention of pursuing being a practitioner full-time. I had it in my head that I wanted to stick to the corporate world and simply apply my knowledge to contribute to a wellness-focused brand. However, the program made me feel prepared and inspired to launch my own business so much so that I am currently studying to become board certified in holistic nutrition and have created Charlie Love Wellness to pursue this as my full time career.


I could go on for hours about each aspect of the course but decided it would be worth summarizing my emotional response to the program as well as stressing how much of the science I’ve learned. If you are interested in learning more about the program, I would love nothing more than to chat with you one on one and answer any questions you have! Free of charge of course - my life has been so positively impacted by this course that I simply want to encourage other like-minded individuals to pursue it.


So, without further ado, send me a message so we can chat! I’ve also included a link to the course site below as well as other affiliate links if you decide to take the plunge!


NTP Program Page:


May 2021 Program Application (My Affiliate Link):

*The May session is coming up soon, so if you’re interested, get your application in ASAP! (Registration is open until April 30th) And, as a thank you for using my affiliate link, I’d be more than happy to be a resource for you to reach out to as you progress through the program!


I’ve also included other links provided by the NTA to learn more about the course below:


Free Sample Course:


NTP Info Session Webinar:



Another fun link: The Career Quiz. Ironically, my quiz results told me I’d be best suited to work one-on-one with clients due to my empathetic nature and I didn’t believe it at the time. Well, clearly it was spot on! Check it out below!


I hope to hear from many of you soon and would love to connect with some more NTA graduates!


-Charlotte



 

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