Nutritional Counsellor Course
The global health industry is gigantic. More and more people are seeking help to find more balance in their lives and guidance to greater wellbeing. This provides abundant opportunities for developing a successful business that changes people's lives.
Play your part in the revolution - lead yourself and others to greater health.
Many graduates will work for themselves, creating their own wellness business. Other graduates may work alongside other health professionals to bring in the nutritional aspect to clients. There may also be a wide range of other opportunities in a variety of different contexts, such as working for an online nutrition website, working as a freelance wellbeing journalist, health coaching at a gym or fitness centre, developing an online business offering products or services, working in a health food shop or cafe...
There are ample opportunities in this growing industry, it is just a matter of having the imagination and attitude to create your dream.
An important question you may have in your mind is - "what will I be qualified for when I finish this course". The answer to that is interesting. As it currently stands in Australia, the nutrition industry is not government regulated. This means that, technically, whilst there are specific requirements to be a Dietician, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. Obviously, to provide suitable care for your clients, it is important to have an appropriate level of skills and knowledge in nutrition.
This course will allow students to work as a nutritional counsellor or health coach to provide general nutritional advice to improve fitness and wellbeing through diet, students will NOT be qualified to diagnose or advise others on medical or health problems. Importantly, graduates are also able to apply for professional indemnity insurance through OAMPS
, and join the Complementary Medicine Association
, and the Association for Coaching
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Note that each module in the Certificate In Nutritional Counselling is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.
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Sample Course Notes
Human Nutrition III
Detoxification is a concept applied widely in natural medicine. It is based on the premise that the body accumulates a variety of different toxic compounds (both natural and unnatural) over time, and that these compounds will eventually reach a critical level if they are allowed to increase their concentration in the bodies tissues, unchecked.
Detoxification is the process of reducing the concentration of toxins which have been accumulating in the body, bringing those antagonistic compounds back to a level which the body is able to more easily cope with. The net result should be greater vitality and a stronger constitution, hence less likelihood of disease or any other problem.
Detoxification is claimed to be affected by various different techniques, including:
· Water therapies
· Herbal treatments
· Stimulating Bowel or Urine Movement
During a cleansing period, there should be differences in the normal functioning of the body. There may be some discomfort, and it is normal to experience increased bowel or urine movements. If discomfort persists or increases however, the intensity of the treatment should be reduced or curtailed.
METHODS OF DETOXIFICATION
Several methods of detoxification are currently available. These include fasting, specific diets, colon therapy, vitamin therapy, chelation therapy, and hyperthermia. As a word of caution - all long-term fasts require medical supervision as well as prior assessment as to levels of nutrients, to ensure that deficiency does not occur. Weekend fasts are safe for most people, although it is still wise to seek advice from a professional experienced in detoxification.
The easiest, most inexpensive, and effective, methods of detoxification are fasting and specific dietary regimens. Keep in mind that the goal is to achieve a healthier way of eating, not weight loss, or to rid the body of all bacteria. In fact, "the good bacteria," known as probiotics, or commensal bacteria (which is also known as ‘flora’) is necessary in order to remain in good health. Recent research has shown that bacteria plays an important role in digestion, as well as immune function in the body, and without these bacteria body functioning is sub-optimal.
Several methods of detoxification are currently available. These include fasting, specific diets, colon therapy, vitamin therapy, chelation therapy, and hyperthermia. As a word of caution - all long-term fasts require medical supervision as well as prior assessment as to levels of nutrients, to insure that deficiency does not occur. If you plan to make detoxification part of your dietary regime, do so with professional guidance. If you are planning on offering it as a service within nutrition or other complementary medicine service, be sure you are familiar with all aspects of the particular methods you plan to advise on.
Some methods of detox include:
Water and juice fast: Most experts recommend beginners to do one or the other in alternation over a few separate weekends. A water only fast starting Friday evening and ending Sunday morning (or just all day Saturday, as an alternative) should be broken with a day of raw foods (fruit/salad only, plus water), not with a heavy meal. Make sure that not less than four and not more than eight pints of water are consumed during the fast.
Weekend mono-diet: This consists of a full weekend of relying on a single food such as grapes, apples, pears (best choice if you have a history of allergy problems), brown rice, millet, or even potatoes (boiled only).
Vitamin C therapy: Exposure to various toxins, like lead or benzene, will deplete your vitamin C stores. Evidence also suggests that vitamin C deficiency hampers the body's own detoxification process.
Chelation therapy: A synthetic amino acid known as EDTA (ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) is administered intravenously and binds to various toxic metals in the blood. The toxins are then flushed from the body through the kidneys. Used primarily to treat cases of lead poisoning, many doctors have found that EDTA can remove the calcium and plaque present in the walls of arteries in atheroscelerosis. This therapy has yet to receive FDA approval as a treatment for heart disease.
Many experts advise that not eating for a period will have the effect of detoxifying the digestive system. It is not uncommon for a one day fast to be prescribed once every 1-4 weeks. During the fasting period, water should still be drunk. Nothing should be added to water though. A modified fast may involve taking in a limited type of food or clear broths.
The practise of fasting has been around for thousands of years primarily as an act of religious observance. These most typically take the form of 25hr fasts or, for Muslims the entire month of Ramadan, or Baha’i for the month of Ala where fasting occurs from dawn til dusk (approximately) with no food or fluid taken in those hours. Some Buddhist sects also fast, eating only until midday and then fasting until the following morning. For some Christians, a partial fast of forty days is observed during the period of lent. The 40hr famine is held in many parts of the world, to give young people an insight into the suffering of those who lack regular access to food. In all cases a healthy individual should suffer no ill effects of fasting and in general feel more vital, alert and healthy for the practise.
Medically, fasts may be used for diagnostic purposes (blood sugar observance) or in preparation for surgery or diagnostic procedures. For example, it is necessary to fast and drink a medical electrolyte fluid prior to colonoscopy to ensure the bowel is entirely empty or to fast prior to anaesthesia. Fasting should be under the supervision of a medical professional if you are diabetic, have heart problems, kidney problems or any other major health concerns. There is some scientific evidence to suggest that temporary dietary restriction or dietary modification can improve health, combat chronic diseases and perhaps even increase longevity.
Whether this is more to do with people not taking in excessive nutrients as they do in most western diets, or due to the period of rest given to the gastro-intestinal tract, or a detoxification of the tissues is not yet clear. In general, shorter, more regular fasts are more effective than long term dietary restrictions. Certainly a person should go no more than a day without fluids.
Side-effects and symptoms
When fasting you can expect to suffer some mild symptoms that will resolve when you conclude your fast. These include:
· Dark coloured, strong smelling urine
· “Fuzzy” tongue
· Bad breath
· Skin rash
In people prone to migraine, fasts with no fluid should be avoided. If symptoms become severe, the fast should be finished. Symptoms can be reduced by some pre-fast preparation:
· Reduce or cease intake of caffeine
· Drink plenty of water
· Gradually restrict heavy, more difficult to digest foods prior to the fast
· Eat a healthy, easily digestible meal prior to the fast
· Do not undertake strenuous activity immediately prior to, or during your fast
As a life-coach, you will often find that the barriers that you must help a client overcome to achieve wellbeing in all aspects of a balanced life are not big or life-shattering problems. Much of the time, the fundamental problems are poor habits, lack of self-discipline, or lack of focus. Therefore, your main work will be helping clients decide on their life aims, make plans, set specific, achievable goals with realistic time frames, and develop the self-discipline and habits that will enable them to achieve those goals.
Aims, plans and goals are not the same thing: aims point the client in a direction; goals are the specific targets (often several) that will take them to those aims; and plans are the maps for getting them there.
It is important to recognise that although some people seem to sail through life, most of us encounter difficulties along the way. If we are deterred by these difficulties, then we are less likely to go on to achieve our ambitions. If we remain ambitious we are more likely to go on to achieve our goals in life.
VALUES, AIMS AND GOALS
Our goals are often informed by our values which can be the silent and sometimes unacknowledged motivators behind our actions. What is important to us and what we choose to prioritise in our lives over and above others, lets us know about what we value.
Values may include:
• keeping healthy and fit
• being financially secure
• having good friends
• enjoying a fulfilling career or work life
• helping others
• having quality time with your loved ones
Life-coaches often help a client become aware of their values and thus prompt them to work out their aims and then define their goals. For example, a client’s aim may be to become fitter and healthier, but the goal would define the amount of time physical activity is to be performed per day, how, when and where, with whom and the cost allowed. A specific plan may include choosing a personal trainer, developing a time log, determining a time limit.
When mapping a plan, consideration must be given to obstacles a client may experience in achieving their goal.
When setting goals, it is necessary to define short term goals, medium term goals and long term goals.
For instance, a short term goal might be to achieve
30 minutes of physical activity a day. A medium term goal might be to finish a course of study within a year, and a long term goal may involve building relationships with at least 4 close friends within the next five years. Goals however, can span a person’s life-time and may include setting an age for retirement or deciding what you will be doing when in your 90’s
Types of Goals
Goals may be either performance goals or learning goals. Where people focus on learning goals they attempt to do better at any task that they attempt.
They tend to view things as a continuous process of self-improvement. When people set themselves performance goals they tend to view the value of a task in terms of whether or not it had a favourable outcome. They do not take into account any learning or personal development that may arise from attempting the task.
Furthermore, those that set themselves learning goals do not show any decline in performance on tasks where they may have ended up with repeated failures. They will still undertake these tasks with a high level of motivation. Contrarily those who have performance goals will display a marked deterioration in their behaviour when they undertake tasks and are unsuccessful. They tend to give up.
Therefore, having learning goals, and a belief in intelligence as a set of acquired skills, tends to make people more likely to be successful at long-term tasks. The coach can work with the client to ensure that they are focusing on learning goals as opposed to performance goals.
In order to help your client achieve their goals you will also need to assist them in drawing up workable plans. It is wise to set up a time frame for the completion of each part of the plan. For example if someone is wishing to change career, then you may set targets that reflect all the different tasks they will need to fulfil to attain their career change. It might be that they start by finding out what qualifications and experience are required. Next they find out if they need to undertake further study and what the different options are. Don’t set targets that are going to prove very difficult to achieve. Many life coaches also set their clients homework to complete between sessions. This could be doing some voluntary work in their chosen field or contacting someone within the field and speaking to them one to one, or simply attempting to do something that they have a problem with. The coach and client can then discuss the outcome of the homework assignment to see how well they have performed. Feedback should be positive and encouraging.
The client needs to evolve a clear idea of where they see themselves in so many years hence. It may be that the client knows exactly what they want but they do not know what to do in order to get there, or that they have a vague idea what they want and need to discuss it in order to clarify things. Whatever their needs it is the coach’s job to help their clients meet their aspirations. It must be stressed that the coach is not there to tell the client what to do, but to assist the client in reaching their own decisions about how best to achieve what they want.
If you consider that the client is setting themselves far too high expectations or that they are planning to try and achieve too much too soon, then you can advise them to slow down and set them more realistic targets.
STEPS FOR SUCCESSFUL GOAL ACHIEVEMENT
- Identify and write down your goals.
- Make sure your goal is specific and measurable – that it includes how, when, where.
- Give your goal a time-frame and a deadline – you may need to establish separate deadlines for sub-goals if your goal is long-term.
- Break your goal into achievable sub-goals and write down actions needed to achieve them. An action plan includes specific tasks to be done, who will do them and by what date.
- Get agreement from others who are needed to achieve these goals. They should know what is expected or required of them, how the task is to be accomplished, and when it must be accomplished before they give their agreement and cooperation.
- Consider any internal or external obstacles to goal achievement and take steps to overcome, eliminate or reduce those obstacles.
- Review your goals regularly – re-evaluate them as needed and modify goals if they are not realistic or able to be achieved in the deadline.
EFFORT AND ATTRIBUTION
Modern theories of achievement motivation have focused on the idea that attributions about effort and achievement will reflect how much effort people are prepared to put into succeeding. If individuals attribute failure to a lack of ability, then they are far less likely to put in the effort to succeed in the future because they will consider that their effort will not bring them greater success.
However, if people attribute their failure to some other cause such as lack of effort, then they are more likely to put in more effort on a similar task in the future, and will be more likely to succeed in the long run.
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