What is a Holistic Nutritionist/Holistic Nutritional Consultant?

Holistic Nutritionists and Holistic Nutritional Consultants Graduating from CSNN

Holistic nutritionists (or holistic nutritional consultants*) graduating from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition (CSNN) are dedicated professionals who educate individuals about the health benefits of natural nutrition. Holistic nutrition is a special combination of modern science and time-tested wisdom based on the philosophy that each person has unique nutritional requirements. These nutrition professionals recognize that the interactive mind-body-spirit factors are specific to each client and that each must be addressed in order for the client to feel and remain well.

The role of holistic nutritionists

Holistic nutritionists typically evaluate their client’s nutritional needs by identifying symptoms that indicate health imbalances. They then provide individualized health plans, which include nutrient-dense whole foods, lifestyle recommendations and/or natural source supplements in order to help bring the client’s health back to a state of equilibrium. Holistic nutritionists assess their clients’ health through one-on-one consultations and focused questionnaires and then provide health and lifestyle recommendations that are tailored to the individual’s needs.

Holistic nutritionists create individual meal plans and recipes for their clients, teach them to decode food labels to help them make optimal food choices, and provide them with food shopping advice and information. Some also provide cooking and food preparation lessons. They assess their client’s stress, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, sleep, relaxation and overall lifestyle practices. They monitor their clients’ progress towards their health goals. Most importantly, holistic nutritionists encourage self-responsibility by empowering clients through personalized education and information.

The knowledge and benefits offered by holistic nutritionists

Holistic nutritionists are conscientious and well informed about the connections between the environment, toxins, food production and preparation, and the resulting quality of food. They recommend whole foods that are natural, alive and good quality, and which support sustainable farming practices and a healthy environment. They may also recommend high-quality natural source vitamins and minerals available from health food stores. They encourage the use of non-toxic, environmentally friendly household and personal products.

Holistic nutritionists are educated on the functions of the digestive, immune and other whole-body systems. They are trained to recognize food intolerance and allergies, blood sugar fluctuations, and the multiple causes of inflammation, which are the source of many common health conditions. As such, holistic nutritionists are valuable resources for corporations. They can help reduce employee sick days and employee health care costs by addressing the effects of stress and preventing many common health ailments. By helping employees regain vitality and wellness, holistic nutritionists support a healthier and happier workforce that benefits all.

The differences between dieticians and holistic nutritionists

First and foremost, holistic nutritionists are educators in wellness and prevention. Their comprehensive training focuses on science, body functions and symptoms, whole foods and quality food production and processes, natural source supplements, healthy lifestyle practices, and the connections between the body, mind and spirit. Dieticians have a degree in dietetics.

Students at CSNN complete 17 courses and are assessed during each. Program requirements include preparing 14 extensive case studies, writing a comprehensive three-hour exam, and achieving a minimum overall average of 80% in order to successfully graduate. Holistic nutritionists and holistic nutritional consultants graduating from CSNN have a strict scope of practice and code of ethics, and work well with and alongside both allopathic and alternative health care practitioners.

*For the sake of concision, we will prioritize the use of the term holistic nutritionist in this article. However, in the Atlantic provinces of Canada, graduates are only allowed to refer to themselves as holistic nutritional consultants.

Code of Ethics for CSNN Graduates

The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition has as its mission the education of the individual in the principles of holistic health care and the principles of natural nutrition, to further the well-being of people and the healing of planet Earth. To this end, a graduate of CSNN as a Holistic Nutritionist/Holistic Nutritional Consultant agrees to:

1. Maintain an interest in the well-being of all human beings, regardless of colour, creed or nationality, and in the care of planet Earth.

2. Respect the right of his/her client as an individual in all respects, as to personal tastes, morals and social values.

3. Be non-judgmental as to the life values and experience of the client.

4. Treat the client under all circumstances with due concern for the dignity of the individual.

5. Respect the confidential nature of his/her relationship with the client and protect the confidentiality of assessments and recorded documents.

6. Guide and counsel his/her client in the best way to achieve optimal health through natural nutrition, but always respect the right and need for the client to make the final decision in all wellness plans.

7. Teach the client to accept responsibility for his/her own health choices and actions.

8. Accept full responsibility for the consequences of his/her own acts.

9. Provide professional services only in those areas in which s/he has competence and training.

10. Recognize the need to work co-operatively with other disciplines, holistic or allopathic, to best serve the client’s need, respecting the unique contribution of each discipline.

11. Respect differences of opinion and exercise tact and diplomacy in interpersonal relations.

12. Resolve to improve and maintain his/her professional competence in the field of natural nutrition and holistic health care.

-rev. June 2015


Holistic Nutritionist/Holistic Nutritional Consultant Scope of Practice

The services offered by a CSNN graduate as a holistic nutritionist/holistic nutritional consultant are grounded in the following principles:
1. Acknowledgement that each person is biochemically distinct and has unique nutritional needs;
2. Awareness of the meaning of holistic nutrition; the interrelationship of mind, body and spirit; and the importance of addressing these interactive factors which are unique to each individual;

3. Promotion of whole, locally grown and organic foods; sustainable farming practices; and the necessity of living in a non-toxic environment;

4. Understanding that prevention and self-responsibility are fundamental to any successful health care program;

5. Recognition that supplementation is not a substitute for wholesome, nutritious foods but that it may be helpful in recommended form, dose and frequency;

6. Respect for clients and for their wellness goals, personal tastes, morals, social, and life values;

7. Acceptance of the unique contribution of other health care providers, and the need to work co-operatively with them regardless whether they are of holistic or allopathic background.

8. The main services provided by a holistic nutritionist/holistic nutritional consultant include the following:
(a) Document client’s goals, needs, and plans;
(b) Evaluate client’s food selection, preparation and intake;
(c) Evaluate client’s lifestyle and overall feeling of well-being;
(d) Evaluate client’s use of dietary supplements;
(e) Identify client’s nutritional imbalance(s) and lifestyle habits;
(f) Work with other health care professionals, if applicable, in order to determine all nutritional and lifestyle-changing needs of the client, including referring client to other health care professionals as deemed appropriate;
(g) Support the progress of the client’s health goals by creating an individualized wellness program, which will include the use of whole, nutrient-dense foods; menu plans; natural source supplements*; and lifestyle modifications – including the use of non-toxic, environmentally friendly household/personal products;
(h) Provide further guidance to the client, if necessary, by explaining food labels, and by offering food preparation techniques and shopping tips;
(i) Guide the client in the implementation of a long term personal health plan, provide education when necessary, and offer ongoing assessments;
(j) Monitor the client’s personal health plan in order to reinforce participation in the achievement of the health goals;
(k) Act as a community educator to the public and to other health care professionals, developing curriculum, preparing manuals, writing articles, publishing books, and teaching;
(l) Promote health discussions in schools, workplaces, and community agencies;
(m) Bring holistic nutrition knowledge, principles, and philosophy to other professions.

*Please be advised that CSNN is referring to non-herbal supplements, as herbal supplements should only be recommended after all aspects of the herb, especially its contraindications, are researched. Since CSNN does not teach herbology or evaluate herbal recommendations, the onus is on the holistic nutritionist to either follow manufacturers’ instructions or get advice from an herbalist. Additionally, for non-herbal supplements holistic nutritionists should consult the manufacturer when recommending dosages higher than those recommended on the bottle.

-rev. June 2015