Nutritional Therapy Association | FAQ

I am so excited to share this blog post with you all! I am asked daily on Instagram about the Nutritional Therapy Association and what exactly it means to be a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. In this blog post I’m going to answer some of the most common questions I get asked about the program and provide you with my own personal insight!

What is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?

I am a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). The NTA teaches graduates to help and coach clients tap into their body’s own “innate intelligence” and support the foundations of health. These foundations are a properly prepared, nutrient-dense diet, digestion, blood sugar regulation, fatty acid balance, mineral balance and hydration. In order to support those foundations, we make certain diet and lifestyle recommendations. Above all, we support clients in their journey towards optimal health and longevity. Each NTP will have their own style of coaching, but above all we take a holistic approach that focuses on the importance of real, whole foods paired with a well-balanced lifestyle in order to restore health.

Why did I choose to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner?

As an athlete my entire life, I’ve always been interested in nutrition. It wasn’t until my senior year of college that I really decided I wanted to pursue a career in the field. However, at that time I was already about to graduate with a degree in sociology. Although I learned so much through my sociology degree, I knew I needed to go back to school in order to pursue the career I truly wanted for myself. At first, I was very overwhelmed by all of the different programs out there. I considered becoming an Registered Dietician, but the thought of getting an education sponsored by The USDA, FDA, Monsanto, Coke and Pepsi just felt so wrong to me. I wanted to find a program that aligned with my own values. I narrowed it down to IIN, Bauman College and the NTA. The reason I chose the NTA over others was because I felt like it was the perfect combination of real food nutrition and anatomy and physiology. In addition, I loved that it was a hybrid between online and in-person.

I also spoke to a bunch of NTP’s I found through social media, and they all spoke so highly about the program. As a result, I made the decision to enroll in the program the September after graduating from Boston College. Best decision i’ve ever made!

What do I specialize in?

This is a difficult question for me to answer because I work with clients with a wide range of health goals. To give you a better idea, i’m currently working with clients working through digestive issues, hormonal imbalance, PMS, acne and skin issues, autoimmune disease, weight management, food intolerances/sensitivities and helping women break free from disordered eating. No matter what my clients individual goals are, I always prioritize real, whole foods, stress management, lifestyle, mindset and one’s relationship with food.

I believe i’m a valuable NTP because even if your issues are unrelated to food- i’m all ears. I often coach my clients through their fears, insecurities and individual stressors holding them back in reaching their health goals. I am a great listener and I provide a non-judgmental space.

I am increasingly passionate about helping women break free from dieting and teaching them to feel empowered in their bodies. This work is near and dear to my heart because I struggled a disordered relationship with food and my body for years. Nothing brings me more pride and joy than helping women live a healthy, well nourished and balanced life free from restriction, calorie counting, tracking and obsession.

What is the NTP program like? 

I attended the Nutritional therapy practitioner program is a 9 month, online AND in-person course that takes you through everything you need to know about supporting the body through real, whole food nutrition. The NTP program also has 3 in person workshop weekends that are required. I attended at the Boston, Massachusetts venue, but they offer workshop locations all around the country, so chances are there will be one in or near your area!

The weekend workshops were my favorite aspect of the program. You get the opportunity to connect with classmates who share your passion, group leaders who are past graduates and your instructors who are a wealth of knowledge. I went home from each workshop feeling so full of new knowledge and inspiration.

Can I do the program while working a full-time job?

Definitely! I only worked part time during the program, but so many of my classmates worked full time and were able to manage the workload just fine. It’s very important that you create a plan and designate certain days or hours of the days dedicated to your studies so that you don’t fall behind. The NTA recommends that students should budget at least 15-20 hours per week for studying, assignments, and conference calls. I recommend ordering the books ahead of time and beginning the required reading before the class starts. If you are passionate about health and nutrition like I am, you will look forward to this time as the course material is fascinating.

Will the NTA prepare me to start my own nutrition business? What else can I do with my credentials?

NTP graduates go on to use their credential in a number of different ways. Many NTP’s, like myself, start their own businesses or private practice. However, others join existing practices with acupuncturists, chiropractors and other holistic minded practitioners, write books, start blogs, get involved in corporate wellness, create their own courses, etc. Some graduates don’t use their credential professionally, but instead use the skills they learn to help improve their own health, as well as the health of their family and friends.

I knew that I wanted to start my own practice upon graduating. Only working part time was really helpful for me during the program because I was able to build my blog during those nine months. My goal was to graduate with a large enough following so that I could launch my services to my online followers. I am really glad I did this because I feel I am able to reach so many more clients having an online practice.

Did you feel confident working with clients once you completed the program?

Yes! I was definitely nervous working with my fist few clients, but I felt so equipped with knowledge and I couldn’t wait to start helping people improve their health. Part of the course work is having a few practice clients that you work with in order to get comfortable with the process. This was extremely helpful!

What’s your favorite part about being an NTP?

My favorite part about being an NTP is connecting with my clients! I jump out of bed every morning because I have the opportunity to help my clients improve their health and live a life they love. There is no better feeling for me than when a client tells me how much our work together has changed their life. I believe it is my greatest purpose to inspire others in their journey towards a healthy, happy life.

 

I hope this Q + A was helpful for you!  If you have more questions for me, please post them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. If you have a more personal question to ask and don’t want to post it publicly, feel free to contact me and we can chat!

To learn more about the NTA and view upcoming sessions to enroll- visit the NTA website here.

If you decide you to enroll with the Nutritional Therapy Association, remember to write down Lexi Borr as your referral on your application!

Eating Healthy on a Budget

A few years ago, I began cooking the majority of my food at home. During that time, I also began studying nutrition and learning about the importance of food quality. I was eating well and feeling great, but I quickly realized that I was spending a crazy amount of money on my food and it was unsustainable. I was buying all of the things! Kombucha, probiotic coconut yogurt, protein bars, supplements, fancy sauerkraut, all the paleo baking flours, nut butters, grain-free chips, sprouted hummus and 100% organic produce. I had to transition away from these specialty products, shop smarter and simplify my life.

My commitment to healthy food did not change, but the way I shopped changed dramatically. Today, I stick to buying whole foods and stay away from packaged foods (even if they are healthy) the majority of the time. I shop at the farmers market for my meat, eggs and produce and pick up anything else throughout the week at a local co-op. However, each week I have room in my budget for one or two of these “speciality items”. Last week it was a Simple Mills almond flour pizza crust, and it was totally worth it! But I try to limit those purchases because they definitely add up over time. When I stick to just vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts and seeds my weekly bill is so much more manageable!

I’ve learned a lot of money-saving tips throughout the past year. Here are the best ways I’ve learned to save money when grocery shopping, from always bringing a list to always buying certain items in bulk or even frozen! 

MY TOP TIPS FOR EATING HEALTHY ON A BUDGET:

  1. Scope out the grocery stores in your area.
    • Certain grocery stores will be better for certain things. Visit the stores in your area and find what makes the most economical sense. Create a game plan. For example, I like Trader Joe’s  for oils, spices, nut butters, canned goods and frozen produce. Costco is great for large quantities of things like coconut oil or avocado oil. Whole Foods is best for specialty items, fresh produce and quality meat. If you are lucky enough to have options in your area, you may have to make a few stops at different stores to find the best deals! Thrive Market is also a great option!
  2. Stay away from the inner aisles.
    • The inner aisles of grocery stores are not only where all the more expensive packaged foods are, but it’s also where all the processed food is found. Even in the healthiest of grocery stores like Whole Foods, I try to just shop around the perimeter of the grocery store (fresh produce + meat) and avoid the center aisles for the most part.
  3. Plan ahead and take a list with you.
    • Spontaneous grocery trips usually result in a bunch of items you don’t actually need. Create a plan of what you need before heading into the store! Even if my list just has a few items, it helps keep me stay on track and not wander aimlessly around the grocery store. Also, an important aspect of bringing a list with you is so that you don’t forget any items you do actually need!
  4. Visit your Farmers Market.
    • Do a quick google search and find the farmers market in your area. When you shop at the Farmer’s market you are getting what is in season, local and abundant. These items will be less expensive, fresh and extremely nutrient-dense! Pro tip: become friends with your farmers! They always cut the regulars a deal and throw an extra zucchini in your bag for being a great customer. Or, go to the farmers market right before closing time- most farmers are trying to get rid of the produce at that point in the day. If the farmers are close enough, it’s worth visiting their actual farm. It’s a great experience to understand where your food comes from and the farmers will definitely appreciate it!
  5. Stay away from pre-packaged, plastic vegetables.
    • Buy the head of kale instead of the packaged kale, the whole cauliflower rather than the pre-riced one. Grocery stores understand that people are busy and stressed, so they carry a lot of pre-cut fruits and veggies for convenience purposes. While convenient, this is definitely not the most price-friendly option. You’re paying for the prep work and packaging and it’s usually almost double the price. Yes, it takes more time to do it yourself at home but you’ll save money and the process of washing, cutting and drying your kale can be quite rewarding!
  6. Avoid food waste and use the entire food.
    • Have you ever chopped broccoli into florets and tossed out the stems and scraps? I love to save the stems and scraps, throw them into the food processor and make riced broccoli to toss in a salad, stir fry, or store and freeze for those nights I have no fresh produce in the fridge for dinner. Every few weeks I love to roast an entire chicken, and I always save the bones and scraps to make a bone broth! When I cook lamb meatballs, I always save the drippings, store it in a mini mason jar and use it as a cooking oil! All of these little things avoid food waste and save money over time. It’s also just a great habit to use the entire plant or animal when cooking it!
  7. Don’t eat 100% organic produce.
    • Yup, I said it! We can only do our best, and organic produce is much more expensive. Maybe one day we’ll be able to afford all organic produce, but for now I am content being mindful about what I choose to buy organic and what I buy conventional. For example, produce like bananas, avocado, lemons, melon, onion, mango and pineapple have a thick outer layer of skin and require much less pesticides, so I don’t buy them organic. Produce like berries, spinach, apples, tomatoes and peppers require much more pesticides, so I always buy organic. Since it can get expensive to buy organic blueberries at Whole Foods in the winter time (when they’re out of season), I usually only buy blueberries in the summertime when they are in season, organic and abundant. Or, I opt for frozen organic blueberries in the wintertime. There’s no way i’m spending $6 on out of season, sour blueberries in January! If you want to learn more about what to buy organic, and what to buy conventional check out the 2018 “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean 15”.
  8. Buy in Bulk.
    • It always pays off to buy pantry staples in bulk If you know that you are going to end up buying it again in the future. A few things I buy in bulk are oils, nuts, seeds, grains, dried beans (instead of canned), frozen meats and even frozen organic fruits and vegetables. This is where Costco, and other online marketplaces come in handy!
  1. Buy Frozen seafood.
    •  Most “fresh” seafood at grocery stores is previously frozen anyway. To save some money, buy frozen unless you have a connection to fresh fish through a fisherman, or live in a fishing community. It will be less expensive and be there for you for a random weeknight when there’s nothing in the fridge. I buy all of my seafood from a company called Sizzlefish, and absolutely love it. Another great delivery service for seafood is Vital Choice.
  2. Make things yourself you’d normally buy made.
    • Sauerkraut, ghee, pickled vegetables and bone broth are a few of my favorite items to make myself. A jar of sauerkraut at the store can cost up to $15, and I can create the same thing at home for $2. Youtube is an amazing resource and I’ve taught myself so much through watching cooking tutorials. Don’t be intimidated to experiment and make some of these pricey items yourself!
  3. Stay away from paleo baking.
    • I love baking and I definitely still do it from time to time. But, almond flour, maple syrup, honey and cacao powder are not cheap items. Keep baking to a minimum or watch your grocery bill skyrocket!

I hope this list was helpful for you, and feel free to share some of your own tips below!