How to Launch into the Holistic Nutrition Field
Sometimes it can be difficult for students in the holistic health and nutrition fields to figure out what prospects will be available when they graduate. Although we are witnessing a growth trend in the overall wellness industry, states remain slow to adopt laws enabling holistic nutrition professionals to practice in their own right. Per the Center for Nutrition Advocacy, 13 states are currently in a red status, meaning unless you are a registered dietician, you are not eligible to get licensed to practice nutrition consulting in that state.
Want to see where your state stands? ACHS recently released a free white paper, Nutrition State Law Disclosures. It’s extremely important to know the laws in your state, particularly here in the lovely red state of Tennessee, but I must say – “Don’t let it stop you from educating others!”
There are so many ways to get started doing what you love.* For example, volunteering with a local nonprofit can be a great way to ease into a role that closely aligns with your professional goals. Not only does volunteering serve a good purpose in your community, it gives you experience, builds your skills, and often fosters meaningful relationships.
Here in Tennessee, we have a great organization called The Heimerdinger Foundation (THF), which serves cancer patients undergoing treatment by providing them with healthy, organic meals for 12 weeks free of charge. As a client liaison, I get the honor of meeting with the new clients, explaining the Meals 4 Health and Healing program in detail, answering any questions they have and remaining in contact with them throughout the process.
If you are interested in this or a similar type of opportunity, I bet you can find something in your local nonprofit listings. THF’s Meals 4 Health and Healing program is modeled after Ceres Community Project in Sonoma, California.
Other ways you may connect with your holistic health community is by looking up current members of your local holistic chamber of commerce or attending a meeting with a group like the Nashville Holistic Association. You never know who you might meet – a mentor, partner, or like-minded colleague or friend.
One of my favorite ways to stay connected in holistic nutrition is by visiting my local farmers market. Nashville has a thriving scene of well-established and aspiring farmers and crafters. These people love to share favorite recipes, tell you about sustainable growing practices, and sometimes need extra help harvesting their crops. If you’ve been wanting to learn how to start your own indoor or outdoor garden, volunteering at a local farm could provide that kick start!
It does seem that opportunities are all around us. Rather than forcing a professional path, I am paving my way day-by-day as doors continue to open and trusting that all will work out with divine timing. Given that I am somewhat new to the Nashville area, it is taking time to fully assess my surroundings. Each state is at a different point when it comes to knowledge and acceptance of holistic nutrition, so figuring out where your niche will be is not always clear at first. Until the dust completely settles, I’ll be enjoying the journey.
You can also get involved within the ACHS community. Did you know that ACHS will be hosting a Holistic Health Business Building Workshop and Graduation from October 26-27? Learn more here.
What are your ideas for making your big debut into the fascinating field of holistic nutrition, health, and wellness? How does your state stack up against the rest? Any ideas for advocacy efforts you’d like to share? Please let me know in the comments below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a guest blogger and student of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.
* Graduate results may vary. An ACHS education does not guarantee employment.
Center for Nutrition Advocacy (2017). [Map Illustration; Find Out More About the Laws in Your State]. Retrieved from http://www.nutritionadvocacy.org
Global Wellness Institute (2016). Statistics & Facts. [Graph Illustration, Global Wellness Economy: $3.7 Trillion in 2015]. Retrieved from https://www.globalwellnessinstitute.org/press-room/statistics-and-facts/