[Transcript] – How To Become A Health Coach.

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Podcast From:  https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/lifestyle-podcasts/how-to-become-a-health-coach/

[00:00] Introduction/About Maria Marlowe

[08:37] Becoming A Registered Dietitian

[11:32] Health Coaches & Nutritionists

[14:36] On Online Programs for Registered Dietitian

[21:52] A Day in the Life of Maria Marlowe

[26:15] How Much Money It Takes To Become a Health Coach

[31:20] On the Institute For Integrative Nutrition

[37:50] End of the Podcast

Ben:  Hey folks, it's Ben Greenfield here, and I get asked a lot by you guys riding into the show and calling in about how you can actually get to the point where you're in a position, kind of like I'm doing where you can help people to have better health, and probably the number one most common question I get when it comes to that line of questioning is how you can help people when it comes to the eating part, the nutrition part, and really even if you don't have the resources to say attend medical school and become a physician, we still live in the this era where you could become a personal trainer, a nutritionist, a dietitian, a health coach and still be able to help lots of people achieve better health.  So rather than just me sitting in front of the microphone, and droning onto you about how to get health certifications or how to become a nutritionist or something along those lines.  I actually decided to bring somebody on who is living a life right now as a health coach and who's really a wealth of information when it comes to this stuff.

Her name is Maria Marlowe from mariamarlowe.com, and she is certified through something called the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, which is the world's largest nutrition school.  She graduated at the top of her class from Fordham University with a degree in Finance and Marketing, and after he landed a position in Finance when she graduated.  She moved on pretty quickly and started instead, kind of pursuing a passion for the healing power of food, so she attended the National Gourmet Institute to learn raw food prep.  She became a certified health coach through integrative nutrition, and now she's all over the place.  She's been in Shape Magazine, in the New York Press, on Well and Good New York City.  She's working towards her Master's Degree now in Human Nutrition.  She lives in New York, and she's going to fill us in today on everything that went into her journey and how she became a health coach, some of the differences between things like being a nutritionist and being a registered dietitian, what a typical day in her life looks like and much more.  So Maria, thanks for coming on the call.

Maria:  Thanks for having me, Ben.

Ben:  So I'm curious, it sounds like you actually started off with a pretty god job in Finance after graduating in a pretty good position.  So tell me a little bit more about what compels you to not work in Finance.

Maria:  Definitely, so I went to college and sort of decided to do what everyone was doing.  Go into finance, get a good job, make a lot of money, and then I did that and I was at this job, and I just kind of felt like I wasn't doing anything to make the world any better.  It was very boring, and I just felt there were so many problems in the world like I needed to be doing something else that had a real purpose.  So I had on my own, on the side.  Starting on college, just got really interested into nutrition because I had my own health problems, my skin was terrible for years.  I had all different sorts of health issues, and I met someone.

Ben:  Like eczema and stuff like that?

Maria:  Well I had acne, I had really bad acne where I didn't even want to go out of the house, and I was diagnosed with precancerous cells, when I was seventeen.  So here I am thinking oh my god, I'm not going to make it 'til I'm thirty.  What am I going to do?  And so that's when I kind of was like alright, what's going on with my body?  At the time, I had went to tons of different doctors and dermatologist for my skin, and they're always prescribing me creams and pills and they wanted to give me Accutane and looks like the side effect is suicide, so I was like no thank you.

Ben:  [laughs] Yeah, that's just a little side effect.

Maria:  Yeah, no biggie.  So I was like what's going on with my body?  Nobody can help me, I'm going to help myself, so I started doing research and what I found was that all of my ailments really ended up going back to food and what I was eating, and at the time I was eating absolute junk food.  That's all I was eating.  I didn't know what a vegetable was, or I did but I wasn't going to eat it, and I just decided you know what?  Let me see if I change my diet, if my problems subside, and lo and behold, they did.  So I sort of became obsessed with the power of food, and up until that point, I had thought food only affects your weight, right? ‘Cause that's what we grow up thinking, you know? Calories in, calories out, but it turns out food affects everything.  So it affects your skin, it affects your mood, your energy levels, and it even affects your risk for illness disease and cancer.  So once I learned that, I kind of became this walking encyclopedia of food, and I would tell everybody what each food would do for them, and if they had a specific problem you want to avoid in certain foods.

Ben:  You were that person that nobody wanted to go to Cheesecake Factory with?

Maria:  Right, exactly.  You know it's funny, like at first, you know I'd be the one like oh no, don't eat that, don't eat that, but then people started coming to me like oh, I have this issue, you know?  Is there something I could do for it, you know?  So people came around, but yeah.  So I kind of did this on the side as my own little hobby.  I was always researching it, and when I left finance, I said you know what? This is something I'm so passionate about.  I've been living and breathing it for how many years.  Let me see if I can turn this into my career, and then that's how I was introduced to Integrative Nutrition and then kind of just fell down the rabbit hole that way.

Ben:  So did you just quit your job and have nothing or had you started down the road of educating yourself to become a health coach, and you decided that was what you were going to pursue full time and then you quit?

Maria:  Alright, to be perfectly honest, I just quit.  At that time, I didn't really know what I was going to do, I just knew that I hated finance, and I felt like every time I walked into that office, I was dying a little bit inside.  So I quit, and I just kind of went with, you know?  There's that quote, it's like jump and then that will appear.  I just knew, a hundred and ten percent in my body that I was not meant to be in that office, and I knew I was going to figure out what I was supposed to do.  So I left, but you know, on the same token all throughout college, I had worked for various different marketing agencies, so I knew I'd be able to freelance with them.  So I didn't have another set nine-to-five waiting in the wings, but I knew that I'd be making substantial income from freelance marketing projects.

Ben:  Yeah, gotcha.  So at that point, you said you started studying at this, did you go right off the bat into the Institute for Integrative Nutrition? Is that the one you started into?

Maria:  Yes, well I mean I had looked at my options.  I loved school.  I went to Fordham, I had a double degree, and I'm going back for my Master's now, but I had looked at the options of going into Nutrition, whether I wanted to become an R.D., which is a Registered Dietitian, and I felt based on my research that becoming a health coach was more in line what I had discovered on my own, a more holistic way of looking at nutrition as opposed to sort of just like the food pyramid or the my play which is the direction that the Registered Dietitian goes.

Ben:  Yeah, and I certainly want to delve into that a little bit.  So what exactly is a health coach? Is that an actual recognized term, or is that just kind of a catch-all phrase? How does that work?

Maria:  Yeah, so a health coach is anyone who basically helps, motivates and teaches and guides someone to live their healthiest life.  Now I'm a certified health coach, so Integrative Nutrition is the certifying body.  There are maybe a couple other certifying institutions, but as far as I know, Integrative Nutrition is the biggest one and most well-known health coach certification program, and it's different from a registered dietitian.  So to become a registered dietitian, you need a Master's Degree, it's more clinical.

Ben:  To become a registered dietitian, do you need a Master's Degree in anything, or do you just need a Master's Degree in a Health or Nutrition related field?

Maria:  In like a nutrition or science related, science field.  It's more clinical, and it's totally a great way to go, but it can take for me someone who already graduated in a non-science related field.  It's going to take me two years to do prerequisites, two years for the Master's, and then time to do when you do the rotation where you're actually working?  So for me, I kind of wanted to jump in a lot sooner than that, than four or five or six years, so that's why I chose Integrated Nutrition because it was a one year certification program and I knew it would give me everything that I needed to start my business, and then I could add if I wanted to add more qualifications down the line.

Ben:  Now to be fair, if you wanted to work in a clinical environment and if you had wanted to work with folks too, to manage something like say diabetes, for example, or help folks with the nutrition protocol for cancer or something like that, you would've needed to have gotten a registered dietitian, or had to become an R.D., right?

Maria:  Exactly, that's a great thing to bring up.  So I had asked myself what do I want my life to look like, you know? I like working for myself, personally, so I knew that I wanted to work for myself and I just wanted to help people get healthy.  If you want to work in a clinical setting, if you want to work at a hospital and really work with people with diabetes or people with specific issues where you're really doing a specific diet for them, then you probably want to go to the R.D. route, but for me, I wanted something where my life was a bit flexible, and I'm more just teaching people healthy habits.  Usually people come to me more for weight loss, for energy issues.  Things like that as opposed to cancer.

Ben:  Right, gotcha.  Now what about the difference between say being a health coach or getting a certification from this Institute for Integrative Nutrition and being a nutritionist? Like what's the difference between health coach and nutritionist because I think I understand what you're saying as far as the Registered Dietitian is concerned, but what about nutritionists?  Is that the same as being a health coach or is that different?

Maria:  It depends what state you're in actually.  So it goes differently by every state, and they have different requirements.  So for nutritionists, you can do.  So Integrative Nutrition, it was a real place in New York City where people attended class live, but now it's completely online so it's called a distance learning school.  To become a nutritionist, you can also do a distance learning program as well, so they do have online programs for nutritionists, and again, that's something that's going to vary by state, as of what the exact requirements are for that.  It's pretty similar, I think the main glaring difference that I see is that a health coach is more holistic in a sense that it's not just food.  So food plays a huge role in our training and what we teach people to eat healthy, but we also examine why are you overeating? Is it stress that's causing you to overeat, and if so, how do we reduce your stress? So we look at other aspects of your life.  They're not necessarily on your plate, but still affect your health and your wellness.

Ben:  Okay, gotcha.  So in terms of being a health coach, it took you how many months to actually go through this certification?

Maria:  It’s twelve months.

Ben:  Okay, and during those twelve months, what kind of things did you learn? What kind of classes did you take?

Maria:  It was great.  What I loved about Integrative Nutrition is that they have really the best minds in nutrition, teaching you, and everything is up to date.  So we had Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Walter Willet who's the head of the Harvard School of Public Medicine, Dr. Fermin's one of my favorite doctors.  So each week, they would release a different module, and it would be on a specific object.

Ben:  So by the way, were you starting to step online, or did you need to actually go to where you had a facility in New York City?

Maria:  Mine was online, I was in one of the first online programs.  If you do it on your iPad or you just log on online, there's videos.  You go through all the videos, there's handouts and things to read.  There's also suggestions for further reading and further studies and more documentaries and things to delve into certain topics more deeply, but in general, each week, they would release, open a module and it's videos that you watch and listen to.

Ben:  Okay, gotcha.  Now I'm curious, as you're going through a process like that, do you ever have second thoughts about whether or not you're going to be able to take all this in-the-cloud, online, internet-y type of stuff and somehow be able to actually work with folks one-on-one? Like face-to-face in the “real world”? Are you getting experiences like that as you go through a health coach certification or as you go through something like this Integrative Nutrition protocol?

Maria:  So that was one of my biggest fears really, or my biggest doubt was this is online program.  How is this going to translate when I'm actually with someone face-to-face, so what I thought was great was that they really encourage you.  They put you in groups, like online groups with other students in the same class as you, and that way, you get to know each other.  They really encourage you to practice with each other, so I remember one of the first things you do is a health history and finding out about people's background, and you have to do five or ten of them.  You know I just kept doing them with all different people to get the practice, to meet people and really know what it would be like to be with someone, one-on-one.

Ben:  Okay, gotcha.  Now during the course of this education, I know that if you go online and you get certified as a nutritionist through many organizations, let's use me as an example.  I got certified as a sports nutritionist through the ISSN, and the diet that they recommend really is the food permit or the food plate now would be.  When you're going through something like Integrative Nutrition, are they focusing on one particular diet that you would use with all your clients? Like the Paleo diet or the vegan diet? I mean is there a real bent there that you found? How exactly does that work, how do you decide what kind of diet you're going to use and does that fit into the education process at all?

Maria:  So they really teach you about all different types of diets, so you're pretty well versed in everything across the board.  The biggest thing that they teach is that everybody's body is different.  Our biochemistry is different, our tastes, our preferences.  All these things are different, and that's why one person's allergic to peanuts, and one person can eat them all day long, right? Everybody can't have the same diet, so they really teach listening to your body and understanding the subtle signals that are going to tell you what food's good for you and what food is bad for you.  So it's not one set diet, I mean there are general principles for sure.  I mean it definitely promotes a plant-based diet.  It’s not saying you have to be a hundred percent vegan, but they definitely extol their virtues of eating a diet rich in nutrients and vegetables and plant products.

Ben:  Okay, so when you graduate, you're not basically walking out of there and having the Paleo diet in your back pocket and just giving that to everyone who you come across as a fix-all?

Maria:  Exactly, yeah.

Ben:  Yeah, and that's one of the things that sometimes concerns me frankly about a lot of health coaches and nutritionists out there.  I don't know if you've noticed this, but it seems like it's one of those things where when you got a hammer, all the world looks like a nail and it's the vegan diet fixes everything or eliminating grains fixes everything, and you're more looking at things from a holistic standpoint?

Maria:  Right, exactly.  Yeah, I think it's very dangerous to make assumptions like that, like there's only one diet that's going to cure everything? You know it may work for some people, and it may not work for others.  The other interesting thing which IIN brings up is that what you're eating when you're fifteen is going to be different than when you're twenty-five and when you're forty-five than when you're ninety-five, right?  So you're body's going to need different things at different points in your life, so just because you've eaten one certain way and it's been really great for you for so long.  Again when you start to see signs and symptoms in your body that you're low energy again or you're having problem or whatever it is, then it's time to look at your diet and say, “You know what? Maybe my body's changed a little bit.  Maybe I need to change what I'm eating as well.”

Ben:  What are examples, in terms of the titles of actual classes that you would take, just to give people kind of an idea of the curriculum, do you remember any of the names of classes?

Maria:  Well it's a little different, so it's not like when you go to a college class you're in, Chem 101 for the whole semester.  So each class, there's tons of different videos that're different.  Basically the experts would come in and teach their philosophies.  So for example, Marion Nestle, she is a food activist.

Ben:  I've actually had her on the podcast, she wrote “Food Politics” right?

Maria:  Yeah, she's great.  So she can comes in and talks about food and politics.  Then you have Walter Willet, so he comes in.  He's been taught a variety of different things, so he teaches like Harvard has their own version of my plate.  So they disagree with the USDA version of my plate, so they're created their own.  So he'd talk about that.  Dr. Weil came in and was talking about botanical and mushrooms, and each expert talks about their expertise, so there's that big nutrition component.  Then you also have a business component to it as well.

Ben:  That's actually what I wanted to ask you as well because I get that a lot from people who are pretty educated with nutrition or with diet or with exercise, but they don't know how to run a business.  So where does that fit in? How do you want to go do that?

Maria:  Yeah, so this is another thing that really separate Integrative Nutrition from the other health coaching programs I think is that they give you a great background in business.  So the first year, there is some business classes and modules in there, but you also actually get a free second year, an entire year worth of just straight business education.  So they really teach you how to set up an online business, how to get your name out there, how to market yourself because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter what you're doing.  Whether you're a dentist, you're a dog walker, whatever you are, you need to market yourself if you want to have your own business.  So they really set you up with a great framework.  They do give you a website, I personally didn't use the website they gave me.  I went and made my own, but they give you business cards.  They tell you what you should be doing as far as networking and what you should be saying and where you should be going and who you want to be meeting.  So they really give you basically the framework for setting up a real business.

Ben:  Okay, gotcha.  I'm curious, and I think probably a lot of other people may want to know this too, what an actual day in the life of a health coach looks like.  What are you doing when you wake up in the morning? If you're just Skyping with people all day long or if you're out there meeting with people at coffee shops in New York City? What exactly are you doing when it comes to your job, and just walk us though a typical day in the life of Maria?

Maria:  That's so funny that you asked that question because I actually shot a video that's a day in the life of a health coach, but I'll walk you through it.

Ben:  And that's actually one of the ways that I found you and wanted to interview you for this, and I'm going to embed that video for folks to watch it because I did want to find somebody who was able to talk about a day in their life, and you've actually had a video out there about a day in the life, so walk us through this.

Maria:  There you go, okay.  So I get up, and even though I'm the boss and it's my own business, but I keep a very strict schedule.  I keep my hours, and I get up, I leave myself about half an hour to an hour to do e-mails and get back to people, but then during the day, I'm either Skyping clients.  I prefer doing video calls just because I feel like if you're not there in person, it just makes it that much more personal when you see each other.  So I spend a good chunk of the day doing the Skype calls or I do local people I do have come to my apartment actually, and I do the session here.  I also write a weekly newsletter and blog, so I save one day a week.  I have a couple of hours where I'm doing recipes for the blog, testing that, photographing them.  In the evenings, I teach group health coaching programs.  So that's a lot of fun, and I actually just rent a space and go there and speak.  I also have teamed and partnered up with a few different fitness studios, and I'll go there and I'll host talks about nutrition and wellness, and that's a great way to get new clients actually, and then that's it.  I mean that's pretty much what I do in any given day.

Ben:  Now when you're, for example like Skyping with someone, is that a video Skype session where you are teaching people cooking or are you more talking about just day-to-day management of their health and answering questions that they have and things like that?

Maria:  Good question, so it's a video call, and what it is, so I've sort of developed my own little curriculum from working with people, and I use that as sort of a baseline but it's very interactive.  So when a client starts with me, I'll have them fill out this in-depth questionnaire, and based on that, based on what their goals are and where they currently are and what they're eating, I basically figured out okay, what do we need to work on first? What's the most important stuff that we need to change and how do we do it painlessly? So each session will talk about a specific topic, whether it's vegetables or grains or meat or fat or sugar, all these different things.  I explain everything, and then at the end of the session, I'll give between one and three maximum tips or advice for them, something for them to put into play in their life in between our sessions.

So I try to make it as easy as possible, and basically what that does is that helps them build habits, step by step by step.  Whereas if you go to an R.D. right, or a nutritionist, I know with and R.D. typically what they'll do is they'll have you fill out that questionnaire.  The next time you come back, they'll give you a set.  Eat this, don't eat this, and then in your follow-up sessions, it's kind of just a check in where you're not really learning anything new necessarily, but with a health coach, our whole goal is really to educate people on why you should be eating certain things and maybe avoiding other things.  So each session, they're learning something new, they're getting a new step or a new habit to add to their routine or help them get rid of a bad habit, and then yes.  So that's basically how it runs.

Ben:  Gotcha, okay.  So now for the tough, squirmy, uncomfortable questions.  How much does it actually cost for you to become a health coach?

Maria:  That's a good question, I think the tuition now is, I mean it was five thousand when I did it, and I feel like it may have went up.  I would say it is five to six thousand dollars for the year.

Ben:  That's for the whole year?

Maria:  That's for the whole year, plus you get like I mentioned.  You get the free second year which is just the business train.

Ben:  Okay, so the whole first year, you're just learning about health and nutrition and everything like that.  You're paying five, six thousand dollars, something like that? And I'll put a like to Integrative Nutrition.  It looks like they have a pretty good page for it, and it describes how it goes, but the second year, you don't pay anything and it's just all business after that?

Maria:  Yes, there is some business in the first year.  There's definitely some business in the first year, but the second year is dedicated solely to, and that's optional.  I mean to be honest, I didn't actually do the second year, but I know there's a lot of people that did.  I felt like what I learned in year one was sufficient enough for me, and then I was just busy and I didn't really have time to do year two.

Ben:  And you have a degree in Finance which probably helps?

Maria:  Yeah, well exactly.  I have a degree in Finance and Marketing, so I kind of already knew the business aspect of it, but yeah.  I mean they do have scholarships from time to time, but I think all in all, it's a pretty reasonable thing.  I mean I made my money back, my tuition back within really just a few months of badgering.

Ben:  That was the second question I was going to ask you, it was like are you having the moonlight here as a line cook? Is this working out?

Maria:  Yeah, so I told you I left finance and then I was freelancing.  Once I found Integrative Nutrition and then I knew it was a one year program, I decided to take a full time job.  So I took a full time job and I was working full-time while I did the program, and then after I graduated the program, I quit probably within a few months of graduating because I actually started working as a health coach.  You can start working at about the six-month point, so I put my website up.  I started blogging, putting my name out there, writing for different publications, and because of that, I started getting clients.  People I didn't even know were reaching out to me and wanted to be my client.  So yeah, so I was able to quit a few months after I graduated.  That being said, I was and I took a serious pay cut, I'm not going to lie.  That first year that I left, I just knew I was so passionate about it.  I was like, “I know I'm going to be able to make it back,” and year two, I'm par with what I was making in a full-time desk job.

Ben:  Yeah, I love it, and actually that same thing happened to me.  I got a really well-paying job out of college in sales, in medical sales for hip and knee surgical sales for a company called BioMed, and I quit after three or four moths 'cause I hated it and went to work as a personal trainer, and it was like about two to three months of being pretty uncomfortable, but I was so passionate about it.  And within literally, it was about three months.  I had eight or nine clients a day that I was working with, and so I think one thing that it really comes down to is before people jump in and decide they want to become a health coach or go through a program like this, you got to make sure you're really passionate about it.  It sounds like a lot of our listeners who are nutrition nerds and who are kind of into this stuff anyways, this would be right at their alley.  Now that's kind of another question that have though.  Personal trainers, people who are fitness nerds really into exercise have a good knowledge of exercise but really want to bring in the nutrition component.  Did you have a lot of classmates like that?

Maria:  Oh definitely, there's tons of personal trainers that do the program because it does.  It adds an extra component, that extra add-on.  I mean if you're already getting personal training client, that's two things that you can offer them instead of just one.

Ben:  Yeah, and are you doing much of that? Are you a personal trainer, or do you find the exercise component at all?

Maria:  It's so funny when I was in college, I'm a big fan of group fitness classes like the bar classes and all that stuff, and I got all the stuff to be certified and then I never did it, and now I actually wish I would have done it and I almost want to get certified as a personal trainer, but it's not really in my game plan right now.  I'm kind of busy with everything, so actually what I'm doing is I'm working with another personal trainer.  We kind of tag team.

Ben:  So you got like a team of people, and you can refer other folks out for the skills that you're not comfortable doing?

Maria:  Exactly, yeah.  So for fitness, I advise people definitely to work out, but that's about the extent of it.  I'll send it to somebody else for that.

Ben:  Right, okay.  Cool, so this Institute for Integrative Nutrition.  I want to give my two cents here, because I'm actually looking over your guy's list of instructors right now, Christiane Northrup, John Douillard, Sally Fallon, Andrew Weil, David Wolfe.  I mean these are people who I wouldn't consider to be diet in the wool nutritionists when it comes to preaching what I think probably the FDA would prefer to be preached from a nutrition standpoint.  It seems like there's a holistic bend to this.  Is that what you experience, or am I just seeing this based of the people who are listed here on the site.

Maria:  Yeah, very observant there, and this was a big reason again why I decided not to become an R.D., so to become a Registered Dietitian, you basically have to be certified by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  So they set the curriculum, and they're basically the ones that if you pass everything, you become an R.D., so the biggest and the most loyal sponsor of the A.N.D. is actually the National Cattlemen's Association.  So then there's other companies.

Ben:  The National Cattlemen's Association?

Maria:  Yes, as in the beef producers of America.  Conagra Foods, Kellogg's, General Mills and the National Dairy Council are their other top sponsors of this Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Now this just kind of screams conflict of interest to me.  Plus I learned that Registered Dietitians, you need to continue medication classes every couple of years, and they can take classes from Coca-Cola.  They can take them from Pepsi Coke, from Kraft, from Nestle, and I'm sorry but I don't want my nutrition information to come from Coca-Cola, call me crazy.  So because of that, that's another big separation between a health coach and an R.D. but yes.  So in Integrative Nutrition, you have people who are taking a much more holistic standpoint.  Like for example, Dr. Weil, he actually studied botany, and he talks all about plants, and I was at a very interesting lecture with him and surprisingly, it was sponsored by Pfizer, and he's talking about nowadays, we're basically taking the active ingredient of a plant or basically getting rid of everything else and just boiling it down to his active ingredient and that's our medicine.  Whereas back in the day, we were consuming the whole plant and that was our medicine.  So really talking about how we kind of got skewed in what's health care and food and medicine and all of these things.

Ben:  Yeah, I'm a total learning nerd when it comes to nutrition, and I kind of want to go through this course now as I'm looking at it.  It looks like if I click on the button here, and I'll put a link for the folks on the show notes to this, but it looks like you can actually take a free, looks like one of David Wolfe's courses.  You can actually take it for free, so you can go through a sample course on there.  That's kind of cool, okay cool.

Ben:  Well I will certainly put a link to this and also over to your website, Maria.  But before I let you go when it comes to being a health coach, do you have any last tips or tricks or advice that you would give to folks who are interested in doing this?

Maria:  Yeah, I mean if you're passionate about nutrition and wellness, and you want to get paid and make a living out of doing something you love, right? If this is your passion, I think Integrative Nutrition is a great first step for that, and I think just realizing if this is what you want to do, set your goals and just do it.  Just pedal to the medal.  There's no need to wait.  The faster you start means that faster you're doing what you want to do.

Ben:  Yeah, and of course the other benefits to doing health coaching via Skype and online is, you can if you want, do it from the beach in Thailand.

Maria:  That was a big draw.  It's actually funny I live in Brooklyn right now.  I lived in Manhattan, and then I recently moved to Brooklyn and I have a lot of clients that are still in Manhattan, and they don't want to come over the bridge to Brooklyn, so I Skype them even though they're about fifteen to twenty minutes away from me.  But I realized even if someone lives next door, it's much better to Skype because you can obviously do it from anywhere.

Ben:  It is, and actually, so I have this coffee shop by my house that I do some of my health and nutrition consults at, and a lot of times, what happens is you wind up driving in, doing the consult.  Usually, it's a lot of time.  You're standing in line in the coffee shop, getting a drink, finally sitting down, doing the consults.  Working online is actually far more efficient, I think for both the person getting the advice and the person giving the advice.  To me I'm a big fan of kind of like having a home office or having a laptop-based office for a lot of this stuff 'cause really, you taking the advice that you've learned in the trenches, and bringing that to a level where you can disseminate that in an easy-to-understand way to somebody and change their life, and you don't necessarily have to have an office to be doing that.

Maria:  Definitely, and yes.  I mean doing it online or even via the phone, it's just way more efficient, again, for everybody.

Ben:  Cool.  Well I know that for all of the people who have asked me lots of questions about how to become a health coach and talk about exercise and nutrition and things like that to folks, hopefully they got a lot of their questions answered on this one, and I'm really happy about this whole Institute For Integrative Nutrition thing because I didn't know something like that existed, and it's very cool to see that now.  Somebody's kind of doing it the right way when it comes to nutrition education, so I'm excited.

Maria, thank you so much for coming on the call.

Maria:  Thank you for having me, Ben.

Ben:  Alright folks, well this is Ben Greenfield and Maria Marlowe, and I will create show notes for this episode.  I'll put them over at bengreenfieldfitness/healthcoach, bengreenfieldfitness.com/healthcoach if you want to go check out some of the resources and Maria's video and the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and everything else that we talked about.  Have a great week.



I am often asked how somebody actually gets to the point where they can help people have better health – particularly when it comes to the eating part.

After all, even if you don't have the resources to attend medical school and become a physician, we still live in an era where you can become a personal trainer, nutritionist, dietitian, or health coach and still be able to help lots of people achieve better health, live longer and feel better.

So in today's podcast, I interview Maria Marlowe (pictured right), who is certified through the “Institute for Integrative Nutrition“, which is the world's largest nutrition school.

Maria graduated at the top of her class, summa cum laude, from Fordham University with a BS in Finance and Marketing. After landing a coveted finance position after graduation, she quickly decided that industry wasn’t for her, and pursued her passion for the healing power of food.

She attended the Natural Gourmet Institute to learn raw food preparation, and became a Certified Health Coach through Integrative Nutrition. She is a regular contributor to The Daily Love, Wellness Today, and Mind Body Green, and has been featured in Shape, Well & Good NYC, and New York Press. She is currently working towards her Masters in Human Nutrition and resides in New York.

In this interview, you'll learn:

-What a health coach is…

-How to become a health coach…

-How being a health coach is different than being a nutritionist or an RD…

-What a typical day in the life of a health coach looks like (including the video below)…

-How much it costs to become a health coach…

-How much money a health coach makes…

-And much more!

Do you have questions, comments or feedback about how to become a health coach? Leave your thoughts below, and be sure to check out the Institute for Integrative Nutrition!

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