I'm not one for nostalgia, but admit I felt some last night. I was at the Integrative Nutrition fall gathering in New York City. It was here that hundreds of sharply-dressed holistic health counselors came together, to reconnect, munch on carrot sticks, and introduce others to this world-class education.
You see it was at this school, three years ago, that my life changed. I came into the school a lost soul. I didn't know much about what I wanted to do with the education. All that I was certain about was I wanted to quit my job - a corporate marketing gig that was lucrative, but left me unfulfilled.
I had flown in from San Francisco months before enrolling to attend one of the school's orientation sessions. I heard about Integrative Nutrition from a friend and thought it was worth checking out. Little did I know I'd be signing up before the end of orientation. I had grown interested in natural foods and holistic health in the Bay Area, and there was something about the school that 'clicked' with me. And after a year of searching for my next act, I knew this would be it.
The signs were all there. I had met Dr Andrew Weil at a conference on holistic health in British Columbia months before the orientation. It was literally the first time in my life where I liked every single person in the room (good luck finding that in the corporate world). And guess who would be teaching at Integrative Nutrition? Yes, Andrew Weil himself, as well as Deepak Chopra, Paul Pitchford and a host of others I admired.
But perhaps the biggest draw for me, was the founder of the school, Joshua Rosenthal. To this day he remains one of the most inspiring people in my life - a visionary who 'gets it.'
I was reminded of this last night, when I stood listening to Joshua's remarks. He spoke about a recent visit to Bonobo's, a raw foods cafe in Midtown. It was there he was served by two individuals, one natively from Bosnia and the other Croatia - two countries that were recently engaged in a civil war. Thousands of miles from their homeland, these two were able to come together over warm coconut chai and raw nutmeat patties. And it was no coincidence. They believe the world would be far more peaceful if we ate differently - as modern factory farming and industrialized meat production have lead to aggressive behavior. It was remarks and stories like this that drew me to the school - beliefs that cannot be proven by science, but still need to be heard. I knew we were dealing with more than food here.
Joshua likes to say that Integrative Nutrition is not only a school, but also a movement. I've seen countless graduates go out and do amazing things with the education. Some have written books, others have created natural food products (like an agave-sweetned ketchup, flax crackers, or energy bars). Most though go out and become holistic health professionals or complement their existing health-related work. Regardless, everyone leaves with an amazing experience - either improving their own health or finding a new career that energizes them. Some lucky individuals manage to do both!
I could really go on singing the praises of this school. However, I must stop. (I think I've exceeded my 300-word blogging limit.) If you think you might be interested in learning more about Integrative Nutrition, I'd be happy to answer any and all questions. Either post a comment here or email me.
If you are interested in enrolling, Integrative Nutrition is offering a $500 scholarship. Just mention my name when you enroll.