I am 3 weeks into a program I wish I had signed up for 7 or so years ago when I first heard about it. Every year, multiple times per year, I have looked over the NTA site, studied it, and prayed about if it was the right timing for me. This year, the May program fit into our schedule, and so I am currently studying, and reading, and reading, and reading…..a TON!
Why did I choose to sign up? How do I count the ways?
#1 I believe that knowing how to nourish our bodies is immensely important.
First, I signed up because I am a knowledge seeker. I love to know more, and nutrition is a subject that is particularly fascinating to me. I already spend my free time reading medical studies and several health blogs. Why not follow a syllabus and read some time-tested books with the purpose of gaining a GREAT understanding of how to nourish this human body? I believe that knowing how to nourish these earthly temples that we live in is of great importance! If our bodies are healthy and functioning optimally, we are able to do what God calls us to with the energy He designed us to have.
#2 I am so disheartened by our medical system.
If it isn’t totally broken, I have found, our medical system does not want to fix it. We belong to a large HMO, and I have struggled so much lately with their total lack of care. Multiple times, we have faced this exact scenario:
- One of our family members has a symptom that may or may not be serious.
- The doctor tells us to wait it out to see if it gets better. (We pay our copay to hear that).
- We go back in to say “the issue is still going on” (Another copay).
- The doctor orders the cheapest, most basic, easiest-to-run test they possibly can.
- When the test result comes back as normal, we get an email (maybe) or the test results are posted online with no note from the doctor.
- No follow up care is provided.
- When we make another appointment for the same issue (and pay another copay), we are treated as if the doctor has no memory of what we’ve gone through, and we basically start over at step #1.
- No more testing is ordered unless we ask for it repeatedly. We will always face push-back when we ask for more testing, and then eventually, maybe the doctor will order 1 more test. If that test is normal, or even if it’s abnormal, we will be treated as if we are back at #1—no follow up care, just wait and see, it’s probably nothing…..
- We are left on our own to deal with whatever the symptom is, and possibly even with poor or scary and unexplained test results, without help from our medical “professionals.”
I am so done with this kind of treatment. I’m tired of basically having to tell the doctors, “um, hello, we’re here, and we still have ongoing health concerns….Do you care?” I’m not saying that we will avoid the doctors from here on out. I do believe, though, that we need to take a lot of our healthcare into our own hands and learn about our bodies for ourselves. I believe that there are many medical issues we face that can be solved by adequate nutrition. We will go to our doctors for the rest.
#3 Our HMO’s lab values are skewed and I want to bring our family’s lab values to optimal levels
Our particular large HMO tends to have lab values that are “within range” that are different from what I find online at well respected medical websites. Some of lab values we have seen in our family members seem “obviously” askew, but our doctors tend to say that they are normal, or within range, or, again “let’s wait and see, and re-check in 6 months.”
The good news is, already I am learning about some lab values to pay attention to, in the book Signs and Symptoms. I am learning about vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids for the various health conditions that plague our family. Most importantly, in Nourishing Traditions and Staying Healthy with Nutrition and the NTA videos, I am learning which FOODS will add these important macro and micro nutrients to our diet. Where my doctor and our medical system has fallen short in truly helping me THRIVE, I can learn to care for my own body and learn to live optimally. I have hope that we can live our best lives with the right knowledge–and by putting that knowledge into practice.
#4 Our doctors don’t teach us preventative care
My maternal grandmother and uncle died at the ages of 42 and 43 years old from sudden heart issues. When I was in my 20’s, right after my uncle died, I asked my doctor what I could do to prevent the same fate. The doctor was dumbfounded and had nothing to offer me. He told me to come back when I was closer to 40 to check my heart.
I am 40 years old now, and still, after asking this question of doctors over the years, they have nothing to offer me. What can I do–what lifestyle habits can I practice, what tests can we run, what supplements can I take–what can I do to keep myself from suddenly dying in 2 or 3 years?
I want to know about nutrition because I know that the fuel that I put into my body impacts my entire life. I want to learn about nutrition, because there is knowledge out there about keeping the cardiovascular system and every other body system functioning properly. The doctors whose hands we put our very health into actually know very little about nutrition. They may have been required to take 1 or 2 classes in nutrition, total. Most doctors have taken about 20 hours worth of nutrition training. Currently, I am studying about that much per week!
#5 I feel like the NTA’s program is SOLID.
I researched several programs and compared them. I considered the following factors: what sources do they quote, what books do they require students to read, who do they have teaching, and what organizations recognize the school as being legit? I liked the Nutritional Therapy Association for so many great reasons.
- They are recognized by the Weston Price Foundation, which I have a ton of respect for.
- The reading list is exciting to me! I felt like I needed a program that included physical books as part of the study. Videos alone wouldn’t give me something to hold, highlight, and to proudly set on my shelf as reference material. I love books, so this is a personal preference for me.
- They teach anatomy, which I believe is fundamentally important when learning about nutrition.
- The course load is impressive and takes about 20 to 25 hours of work each week. I know that this might turn some people away from the program, but I personally felt like I needed to learn a lot to consider myself a knowledgeable Nutrition Therapy Consultant.
- The program I signed up for is completely online. There were some courses offered that required 3 weekends (one each term over a year) of in-person training courses. With raising kids, homeschooling kids, and my kids’ activity schedules, I could not find a way to make 3 weekends work. I did not feel like I needed the functional testing portion that these weekend classes offered (at this time). For now, I simply wanted the core nutrition knowledge the program offered, and this was available in a completely online Nutritional Therapy Consultant program.
#6 I want to help my own adopted kids, and other adoptive families
Everyone who signs up for a program like this has their own “Why.” My personal “Why” is this: I have seen the impacts of poor nutrition, drug exposure and trauma on the lives of innocent adopted children and their well-meaning, loving adoptive families. I have witnessed children who scream for hours every day, children who damage possessions, homes, and who hurt people. I am friends with people who have needed to put their child (who they love!) in an institution–or, for the safety and well-being of the rest of their family, to send their adopted child to another family for good. I see SO MUCH BROKENNESS in so many families who are doing what God is calling them to do–to take in the orphans, to love them, to provide them a home.
I believe that there is HOPE. I know that nutrition does not solve everything, and that a child might maintain serious psychological issues and need to be institutionalized no matter what they are fed. Still, I believe that there are a great majority of cases where the child needs the right macro and micronutrients, to avoid foods that are triggering emotional outbursts and to follow a gut-healing protocol. And maybe most importantly, they need parents who are eating optimally who can stay calm and loving in the middle of crazy behavior. This is my big WHY, even more than maintaining my own health. I want to help these families transition their kids from McDonald’s chicken nuggets to a nutrient dense diet, and to supplements that will support these little brains who have handled more than their share of trauma. Already, in reading Staying Healthy with Nutrition, I have adjusted the vitamins and amino acids that one of my kids takes every day. I am learning SO much, and highlighting so many great facts for future reference.
#7 I love to write about nutrition, so I’d better know what I’m talking about!
Let’s not forget about this BLOG! I love to write here! I don’t ever want to lead you guys astray! In my den, I have this quote by Mark Twain that says “Be careful reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” Isn’t this true!? It’s not just misprints that we need to be careful about, but also well-meaning but misinformed health “gurus.” I want to be so extremely careful to give the right kind of health advice on this blog. When I write posts that give nutritional or health information, I spend hours and hours reading up on the subject before I post. I have about 45 draft posts that are not yet published, because they are subjects I feel like I need to learn more about, find studies about, and to make sure that I really know what I am talking about. SO, with that in mind, I am taking this NTC course for you, my reader. I want to provide you with the BEST knowledge out there, so I am soaking it all up…and because of this program I have lots of posts brewing in my head! It is inspiring!
There are so many good reasons to sign up for a nutrition program and to learn more about our health!
What about you, have you considered studying nutrition? Have you looked at the Nutritional Therapy Association?
P.S. I wrote this post because I am excited about this program, NOT to make money off of this post. I realized after I wrote it that for each person who signs up and mentions my name (Brenda Scott), I can make a little $. I want you to sign up for this program for your benefit, not my own, AND, if you sign up because you’re compelled to after reading my post, I wouldn’t mind being listed as the person who referred you! 🙂