For the last few months, I've been seriously considering a career change toward diet and nutrition counseling. I joke that already do some pro-bono work as I'm the go-to gal in my friends and family for questions about living gluten-free (I have for a year now full-time and three years part-time). Now I'm really getting into paleo nutrition and thinking about going back to school, studying and making it what I get paid to do.
However, I want to hear from folks who might be doing it now. I'm slightly concerned that my love for paleo will go over like a lead balloon (much like doing poly sci as a libertarian. Yikes!) Has anyone done anything similar to this? Any tips, tricks or suggestions you could give to someone in the planning stages like me? I'm sure a lot of it would depend on my future career plans. I'm more likely to be a coach or freelancer than work with a specific doctor or medical group (I'm a virtual assistant now and love the work style of owning my own business).
All your help is much appreciated!! Hope you have a great day!
I know a couple people that were in the business. One had a MS in nutrition the other had a BS. Both had "good" jobs for the business. Notice my use of past tense. Neither of them stayed in the industry very long. First, just to get the degree you must endure hours and hours of the conventional dogma of the SAD diet. 2nd, good luck trying to implement any of your "radical" ideas about food. If people don't see a couple starches on their plate, watch out. Third and lastly, the pay was horrible. Both of these people left the industry. One went on to medical school. The other went on to become the asst. strength coach at a Big 12 football team. You can certainly go the way of Robb Wolf and/or look into a Crossfit nutrition certification. The problem is, you will have little industry credibility. I have no idea what type of liability you might incur for giving nutritional advice. With all that said. A fairly common recipe seems to be: 1. Start a blog with lots of photos. 2. Get a good following. 3. People will start to contact you asking if you can help them lose weight and etc. Help those people out. 4. Get letters of testimony and before and after pics. Good luck.
The term 'Nutritionist' has many different classifications here in California. I highly advise seeking out a (4) year accredited university, with programs in Human Nutrition or Food Science. I elected not to go the Dietetics-route, instead opting for clinical nutrition licensing. I also study and hope to complete my PhD in Nutrigenomics--the study of nutrients and DNA.
I've been in private practice for the past (8) years and can honestly say that it doesn't fit the bill for most licensed nutritionists / dieticians. Business experience is a must.
Yours In Health,
Stella Metsovas B.S., CCN
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