I’m going back to school! + My Journey with Food and Nutrition

I’m so excited to share something with you today that has been in the works for quite a while over here.

I’m going back to school! For the next 1.5 years I’ll be attending Bauman College out here in Berkeley, CA to become a Board Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant.

The school is part-time, and I will still fully be running my business as usual. I’m just becoming a ninja with time management and with the added commitments, I am really focusing on what is absolutely essential in my life and business.

So… why am I doing this program?

 

Here’s the whole story behind this decision!!

Let’s first look at how my relationship with food as evolved, and perhaps, how yours may be evolving as well.

As many of you know, I struggled with food and my body image for a decade throughout high school, college, and after college.

Finally healing from the painful diet / binge rollercoaster prompted me to start my business and help other women with their relationship with food, too.

I also had attended The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in 2010 before starting my business, which gave me a decent jumping off point for starting my business.

However, when I attended IIN, I was still struggling with food. I was still binge eating. I was still desperately trying to figure it all out. So while IIN provided a great nutrition education, I wasn’t in the place to receive all of the information. I did the bare minimum to get by and while I still got a lot out of it, I wasn’t ready to really be IN IT.

To be honest, learning more about “nutrition” was NOT even in my best interest at the time. I needed to think LESS about nutrition and and what I was or was not eating and MORE on the PSYCHOLOGY around my relationship with food.

This is a really really important point that I want to stress. In my experience working with thousands of women about their relationship with food, I have seen that when women are struggling with their relationship with food, knowing more about “nutrition” can actually cause more harm than good. It can cause them to deem foods “bad” or “good” based on what someone else says, it can make them feel even more obsessive about food decisions, and it can disconnect them even more from their own bodies and what is right for them.

Allowance is one of the MAIN, KEY principles of Intuitive Eating and healing your relationship with food. It is a crucial and absolutely necessary step. Yet if you dive into “nutrition” at the beginning of healing your relationship with food, it can keep you from truly going through the allowance phase and it can backfire.

When I was healing my relationship with food, more nutrition information was NOT good for me.

I needed to actually block a lot of that noise out and find my own inner guidance. I needed to learn how to listen to ME, not to any best-selling author or nutrition expert.

I needed to learn how to love my body and myself, regardless of what I ate or what I weighed.

I needed to learn how to handle my emotions so I didn’t always turn to food when I felt something uncomfortable.

THIS was my work for many years.

I first had to go through the allowance phase and the food freedom phase. I needed to let myself eat all the ice cream, all the peanut butter, all the pizza and see that I WAS OKAY. That nothing horrible happened. That I could love my body and myself as a pizza and bread and ice cream eating human (and ps. I always will be!).

I had to get to the point where a platter of warm cookies and a platter of cucumbers could both be on a table in front of me and I felt the same about both (aka the cookies didn’t trigger me and were just cookies).

I’ve now, thankfully, been at that point for years.

I have felt so much food freedom for a long time now, and naturally, my interests and relationship with my health started to evolve in recent years.

I have seen this with my clients and within myself: there are phases with Intuitive Eating.

First, you need to go through the allowance phase and truly prove to every bone in your body that you CAN eat what you want. You need to neutralize foods. You need to take food off their pedestal so that you feel normal and calm around ALL food. This is such a blissful, life changing step.

Once you feel calm and peaceful around food and you know that you CAN have what you want, the next natural phase is that you start to pay attention to how food makes you FEEL in your own body. You get to a point where you say “okay I know I CAN have all the cookies, but how do they actually make me feel? And how do I WANT to feel in this moment?” This is when we get over the allure of our “trigger foods” (since we have gone through the allowance phase already) and now we naturally start to make choices that feel good. Sometimes that means a giant chocolate chip cookie and sometimes it means a smoothie. No rules, just listening to our bodies and responding.

The next phase is more optimization around you want to feel. This continues, I think, for the rest of our lives. Once you get to a really easy relationship with food and cookies and cucumbers sitting in front of you both feel the same to you mentally, its then about wanting to feel your absolute best in your body.

That’s where I am at now, and where I have been for the past couple of years.

In the past couple years, I have felt this longing to know more about actual nutrition. Both for me and also for the people around me.

I know, intuitively, that food is medicine. That it impacts how we feel physically, emotionally and mentally. I have experimented a ton on myself and can clearly see the impact.

But I’ve been wanting, for a while now, to know more. To dig in. To understand it on a deeper level that I have been craving.

How did I know this was the right next step for me?

A few things kept leading me here…

  • I’ve had friends and family struggle with various health issues, as we all have. Nothing too major, thankfully, but just things here and there that have come up. Everytime something came up in conversation, I always knew a couple of basics to share with them that might help from a dietary perspective, but I noticed that a part of me kept longing to know more. I kept wanting to help the people I love in a deeper way and it felt like this hole that I needed to step into and fill.
  • I’ve been toying with this idea for about two years now and have casually looked into programs for a while. When something keeps coming up again and again, I know to listen to it.
  • This year I started seeing a Functional Medicine doctor out here in SF, just to learn more about my body and how to optimize my own health. The experience has been so interesting as I have used dietary changes / supplements to increase my own energy and heal some of my health issues (leaky gut / high estrogen – more to come on this). It’s been so eye opening to directly see how what I am putting in my body has helped me optimize how I feel and function.
  • I found Bauman College when I was still living in NY.  One night after deciding we were moving to SF, I was up late researching potential schools or programs in SF just for kicks, and I stumbled upon it. For the next 9 months or so, I couldn’t get it out of my head.
  • When I went to Bauman College to “shadow” a class about a month ago, I felt true butterflies in my stomach the entire time. The idea of being in an IN PERSON class (this was a non-negotiable for me, I did not want a virtual program) and actually getting to learn all this information that I had been yearning to learn for so long was so incredibly exciting.

I was hesitant to sign up because of the time commitment, but whenever I considered NOT signing up, I felt sad and like I would be passing up an amazing opportunity. I also felt like given where I am at in my life, it just seemed like the right time to commit to 1.5 years of this.

SO… here we are!! I am going back to school 🙂

Here’s a bit more about the program and what I will be learning…

The Nutrition Consultant Training Program provides students with in-depth knowledge of the foundations of whole-foods nutrition as it contributes to the prevention of illness and the promotion of optimal health. In the program, students study the fundamentals of nutrition: physiology, anatomy, macro- and micronutrient selection, and the effects of food on the body.

The program goes MUCH deeper into nutrition than my previous training and is very academic and science based.

I’ll be learning Digestive Physiology, Micro / Macro Nutrients, Liver Detoxification, Cancer Prevention, Hormonal Health, Gastrointestinal Health, Blood Sugar Regulation, Musculoskeletal Health, Immune and Autoimmune, Mental Health… and more!!

I have class every Tuesday in Berkeley and some Thursdays. I also have quite a bit of homework and interesting assignments each week!

So what does this mean for my business?

As of now, I am seeing Bauman as a personal endeavor. I want to learn this mostly for personal reasons right now, but maybe down the road I will incorporate it into my business. But for now, it’s going to just be a side thing I am doing and won’t be a part of my business.

So, from your perspective, nothing will really look different! I will still be doing my normal health and life coaching, running my courses, blogging and instagramming!

Of course I will share insights with you here and there if you’re interested, and I may even ask some of you to be my “test clients” for a few experiments that I have to do for school!

A few last thoughts…

I want to stress that there are PHASES to go through with our health and our relationship with food.

There is no way I could have gone to this program before I healed my relationship with food, my body and my self. I would have gone into it hoping it would provide me with a “weight loss answer” or for someone to “tell me the right way to eat” or as a way to fix myself or find some magical answer to my problems.

Now, I can go into it purely with curiosity and a desire to feel more EMPOWERED in my choices. However, I still fully know that I will always, always do what feels right to ME. I am not trying to fix or change any part of myself.

I’m so excited to be following the pull of my soul to learn. To expand on my knowledge in an area that I’m really passionate about.

But, to be honest, I’m also scared. I’m definitely unsure. Will this be right for me? Will I like it? Will it be too much?

I’m definitely taking a chance.

But if we don’t take chances and try new things, even when we’re unsure, then we’ll never know what could have come of something.

Is there something you’re yearning to learn? If you could pick one thing to learn about at this current time in your life, what would it be? What’s your soul craving?

I’d love to hear in the comments below!!!

And feel free to ask me ANY questions at all. I am an open book!

Thanks for being a part of every step of my journey.

I love you guys.

Love,

Jamie

 

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  1. Meg Higgins says:

    For once in my life the thing I want to learn isn’t an idea, but rather a physical skill. I am a terrible roller skater (right now) and I have joined a roller derby team. I am learning and getting better suuuuuuuuuper slowly. Derby is healing the parts of my soul that have been painful since I was a child and if I could pick one thing to learn about it would be continuing to learn to skate and then learn how to play so I can participate in the team on a high level. Everyone is super super supportive and I am proving every practice that I can show up for my team and for myself. So yeah, I’d like to continue to learn about skating and how to skate.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing Jamie. I have been secretly following you for a while and love your work. I discovered you just after I became a certified health coach through HCI and found your message about intuitive eating and body image so refreshing. Through more reading and research in my end AI have decided to become a body image coach as AI have done the deeper work on my end and feel like I need to share what AI have learned so other women can feel more empowered about their bodies. So thank you for putting your message out there. To answer your question, I would love to continue learning more about body trust, body kindness and body respect. Wishing you all the best with your studies! It all sounds very exciting! Xo

    • Hey Candice!! That is so amazing that you are becoming a body image coach. That work is endlessly NEEDED today. Cheering you on from here and thank you for cheering me on, too! xoxo!

  3. Nicole Cook says:

    Congratulations Jamie! Good luck. You have been such a source of inspiration for me and I look forward to hearing about your journey. Sending love and support your way!

    Respectfully,
    Nicole.

  4. Congratulations on your new venture! Cheering you on from Chicago!

  5. Welcome to the Bay Area and Congratulations on this new adventure! I’m also on this journey to whole health and I appreciate all that you are sharing and putting out into the world. I’d love to connect someday.

  6. So glad to read from you, Jamie. How was your holiday?
    What a great new chapter in your life. I am so happy for you! I am always yearning to learn more, especially in the health and nutrition department. I have been looking around for courses to become a certified Personal Trainer over the last few months. I don’t necessarily want to become one but I am so interested in the education that is behind it: how does our body function and what is it doing with all the energy (food) we put it in. I have made a rough outline of the next six months for me a couple of weeks ago and starting this course was one of the major items.
    Enjoy school!
    P.S. I am with you on the shopping for school items. It was definitely one of my favourite things to do for school. 🙂
    Cheers from London! xoxo

  7. Congratulations!!! I’m so happy that you found something that you are really, really interested in learning – I always admire your intuitive super powers and how good you are at listening to them to find what’s right for you. Definitely something I’m trying to tap into right now!

  8. Hi Jamie: I.graduated from Bauman College (at that time) as a Nutrition Educator. They had the Nutrition Consultant and Whole Foods chef course also at that time which was 14 years ago.

    I loved it and there was a lot of fun people in my class and yes a lot of homework. I’m sure you’re going to love it!

    • Dylan, that is so cool that you graduated from there too! Ahhh yay!! Thanks so much for the encouragement and I’d love to connect sometime! xo.

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