Course Descriptions

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Natural Nutrition Program - CSNN Toronto

Course Descriptions

Curriculum is continually updated to include cutting edge science and new practical tools. For more information, request a brochure here.

In addition to the curriculum, students must complete the necessary amount of Practicals and Live Case Studies.

Module 1

NN101A - 21 Hours

This course offers a foundational overview of natural nutrition. This course explains the role of macronutrients, micronutrients, and the importance of water to overall health. It introduces the importance of proper digestion, absorption, and elimination to one’s health, and how certain dietary habits undermine the digestive process. It looks at the nutrient-nutrient interactions and the nutrient-drug interactions. This course also includes one of the main root issues in the development of disease – inflammation and the specific nutrients to help reduce a chronic inflammatory process.

Topics covered include:

  • Metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins & lipids
  • Vitamins & minerals – sources, functions, health benefits, supplementation, toxicity
  • Function of the digestive system and why it might need support
  • Comparison of diets from around the world, including both plant-based and omnivore options
  • Common environmental pollutants, how they affect us and our planet, and steps that may be taken to reduce them

NN101B - 15 Hours

With a quality, whole foods diet, consumed during each phase of our lifecycle, overall health can be supported. This course identifies specific components of various diets that support health and discusses the changing nutritional needs of various age groups during growth and development. Students also learn about specific health imbalances such as cardiovascular disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, digestive disorders, metabolic disorders, and bone and joint health, and the nutrition to help these health disorders. Students will also learn about the exposure of environmental and nutritional toxins, the related health risks, and the basic guidelines and benefits of detoxification.

Topics covered include:

  • Key components of a healthy diet
  • Nutrition through life stages – infancy through senior years, plus pregnancy and menopause
  • How stress & nutrition affect athletic performance and sexual vitality
  • Specific imbalances such as weight gain, immune function, bowel ecology, allergies, and more
  • Environmental & nutritional toxicity, water & fiber as detoxifiers

NN102 - 30 Hours

Anatomy and Physiology gives a general overview of the twelve body systems, explaining the structure and shape of the body and its parts as well as the relationship among them. This course covers the physiological processes by which these body systems operate. Students learn the unique structure and function of the five senses plus learn about the microbiome and how microbes connect to the other body systems, even acting as an endocrine organ.

Topics covered include:

  • Structure, components & function of all bodily systems
  • Digestive products of fats, proteins & carbohydrates, role of enzymes in digestive, role played by villi in absorption
  • The four distinct events of respiration and how they are regulated by the body, effects of environment on respiration

NN103A - 30 Hours

Nutritional Symptomatology is a valuable science used to assess nutritional deficiencies and imbalances. This course will address nutritional imbalances as they affect the body systems. Students will be introduced to the effective use of assessment tools to identify nutritional imbalances, explore the nutritional measures recommended to rebalance the body and help reduce the risk of illness, and write client case study reports in a professional manner.

Topics covered include:

  • Function of all body systems (digestive, intestinal, nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, endocrine, urinary, reproductive, skeletal), how they are interdependent
  • How to recognize dysfunction in each
  • Nutritional support for each system and organ
  • Importance of enzymes and stomach acid and when elimination diets or food combining would be beneficial
  • Role of beneficial gut bacteria
  • Effects of chronic stress
  • Why cholesterol is essential to life, different forms of cholesterol and their risk of contributing to cardiovascular disease
  • Importance of exercise to good health
  • Legal aspects of nutritional practice
  • Introduction to Case Studies

Module 2

NN103B - 10.5 Hours

This course introduces students to Motivational Interviewing (MI)—an approach to support clients in achieving positive behaviour change when addressing their health challenges. This course presents the background philosophy and components of Motivational Interviewing and outlines techniques to apply the principles when conducting holistic nutritional consultations. Students will receive resources and practice opportunities for integrating MI into the practice of holistic nutrition.

Topics covered include:

  • Rationale, guiding principles, and spirit of motivational interviewing
  • Communication styles and skills
  • Effective listening

NN104A - 18 Hours

The stress of modern-day life has led to an epidemic of hormonal imbalances resulting in low energy, mood issues and carrying extra weight. This course explains the connection between the body’s different hormones, certain health issues and the steps needed to reset the body’s hormones to get back to feeling vibrant and joyful.

Topics covered include:

  • Function of hormones of the endocrine system, how to keep hormones in balance
  • Effect of chronic stress on hormone balance and the impact on health and vitality
  • Specific hormone imbalances such as hypo- and hyper-thyroid, insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome

NN105A - 18 Hours

This course provides comprehensive evidence that nutrition plays an important role in maintaining optimal mental health and is a major component to address many common mental health problems. This course introduces key factors that influence mental health such as chrononutrition, blood sugar, food sensitivities, inflammation, and methylation. Students also learn the relationship between the microbiome-gut-brain axis and the critical role it plays in brain development, behavior, and mental health throughout life.

Topics covered include:

  • The human microbiome and how it affects mental health
  • The effects of impaired protein digestion, inflammation, and blood sugar on mental health
  • Eating disorders
  • Nutritional factors in mood disorders
  • Food allergies and chemical sensitivities and their effect on mental health

NN105B - 15 Hours

This course teaches about the connections between physical disease and emotional, psychological and/or spiritual themes. This course will help to understand how patterns in our life can affect us, not only on an emotional level but also a physical one, and that recognizing and healing those patterns can lead to better health. Students also learn how to integrate these themes into a nutritional practice and how to evolve their own personal spiritual journey.

Topics covered include:

  • Ancient traditions and early mind-body medicine
  • Four realms: body, mind, emotions, spirit
  • Gene theory, epigenetics, placebo effect, nocebo effect
  • Energy of emotions, chakras
  • Client-Practitioner relationship
  • Intuitive eating

NN106 - 12 Hours

This course provides students with the information necessary to seek gainful employment or to legally set-up, market and conduct a thriving private practice. It helps them identify personal and career goals and to understand the laws, regulations and codes that govern this industry.

Topics covered include:

  • Giving nutritional advice legally
  • Self-assess professional skills and values
  • Explore potential career paths

Module 3

NN107A - 21 Hours

This course teaches the basic understanding of chemical processes that underlie biological functions, starting with atomic structure, chemical symbols, and the periodic table, and culminating in genetics and epigenetics. It explores the chemistry of living things; the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins, the biochemical processes of various functions of the human body, including radicals, antioxidants, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular replication, and the new science of epigenetics that shows how lifestyle and diet can change genetic expression.

Topics covered include:

  • Composition of matter
  • Structure & function of lipids, proteins, enzymes
  • Epigenetics: how genes may be switched on or off
  • Psychoneuroimmunology: the difference between personality and behaviour, how personality can be a factor in disease development
  • How epigenetics influences the practice of holistic nutrition

NN109 - 27 Hours

The Pathology and Nutrition course presents common pathological disorders and conditions that systematically stress their body systems, discuss underlying causes, and recommend nutritional strategies where appropriate. Students are able to describe the categories of pathologies and their effects on the major organ systems. They can translate pathological terms into common language and recognize specific pathologies from case histories and make nutritional recommendations based on their assessment.

Topics covered include:

  • Signs and symptoms for over 75 different health issues
  • Use of diet, minerals, vitamins and other supplements to support the body and help it balance these issues

NN110A - 12 Hours

The Lifecycle Nutrition - Pediatrics course presents information on how to conceive and raise a healthy child in today’s world – a world in which our children’s health is declining at an alarming rate. Children’s nutritional needs and challenges differ from adults and require a unique approach. Students learn dietary, supplementation, and lifestyle recommendations from pre-conception, through pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding to raising healthy school-age children. This course also discusses ways to naturally manage allergies and food sensitivities, to establishing a healthy intestinal microbiome, healthy weight, the picky eater, the GAPS protocol and much more.

Topics covered include:

  • Key food and dietary guidelines, including vegetarian guidelines, for pre-conception and pregnancy
  • Optimal amounts and types of exercise during pregnancy and the benefits of exercise for mother and baby
  • Dietary advice for dealing with morning sickness, improving glucose tolerance and reducing swelling during pregnancy
  • Dietary and supplemental guidelines for breastfeeding mothers, natural remedies for potential breastfeeding problems
  • When breastfeeding may not be the best choice and guidelines for choosing formula
  • Introduction of solid foods, baby-led weaning, and homemade baby food

NN110B - 12 Hours

The Lifecycle Nutrition - Sports Nutrition course provides scientifically based information on the relationship between nutrition and sports performance. It covers topics such as how food is used for energy, the importance of each macronutrient (carbohydrates, protein, and fat) in fueling an athlete, proper hydration, sports supplements, and ergogenic aids, as well as how to calculate optimal caloric and macronutrient requirements specific to individual athletes and their goals. In addition, recommendations for plant-based, younger, and master athletes to the competitive athlete. Students also learn how gut health impacts performance and the importance of nutrition for recovery.

Topics covered include:

  • The three energy systems used to fuel activity, the type of fuel used by each system and the type of exercise to activate each system
  • Pros and cons of high-carb vs. low-carb diets and why carbohydrate periodization may be beneficial to some athletes
  • Role of protein in sports nutrition, how to calculate individual protein requirements
  • Dangers of low-fat diets, how to calculate individual fat requirements
  • Fluid requirements before, during and after exercise
  • Nutritional adjustments athletes need to make during pregnancy
  • How age affects fitness levels and how to adjust caloric, macronutrient and micronutrient requirements for older athletes
  • Nutritional strategies for maximizing muscle and liver glycogen stores, hydration, and stable blood sugar levels before and during competition

NN110C - 9 Hours

This course presents well researched information emphasizing three tools known to promote longevity and health: (1) a simple, wholesome diet, (2) a daily exercise routine, and (3) the cultivation of strong, loving personal relationships. This course also provides key factors related to cognitive decline as we age and specific nutrition to support cognitive function.

Topics covered include:

  • How attitudes and perceptions of aging affect longevity
  • Cultures, diets and lifestyles that promote healthy aging and prevent premature aging
  • Benefits of exercise and loving, positive relationships with respect to promoting longevity and healthy aging
  • Key factors in the prevention of dementia

Module 4

NN111 - 12 Hours

This course provides insight into the environmental effects of the current profit-driven, corporate, industrial system of food production. Understand the links between corporate industrial agriculture, traditional mixed farming, the microbiome of the soil, and health. This course discusses topics such as food security, GMOs, hidden costs of producing cheap food and sustainability with our food chain when feeding the world’s population. Students also learn the impact of having a carbon footprint and how Regenerative Agriculture and carbon sinks can reduce this footprint. 

Topics covered include:

  • Why and how the nutrient content and diversity of our food has declined over the last 50years and the possible consequences of this decline
  • Identify some of the many additives, adulterants and poisons in our foods and their possible effects
  • Negative effects that industrial farming has on our environment
  • How to regain control of our food supply

NN112 - 15 Hours

Globally, allergies are greatly on the increase. This course will present ‘the allergy epidemic’ as our bodies’ response to living in a polluted environment and a world full of processed fast food; and provide tools to strengthen the body’s immune and digestive systems in order to reduce the risk of developing allergies and transform health.

Topics covered include:

  • How allergies can impact health
  • Environmental factors that have led to the worldwide increase in allergies
  • The benefits of an elimination diet, how to execute it, and effectively re-introducing foods after
  • The importance of sound nutrition in balancing immunity

NN114 - 10.5 Hours

This course teaches students (1) the importance of being evidence-based and science-driven, (2) how to find research, (3) how to read, critique, and ultimately understand research and (4) how to apply research and communicate it to clients and the public in a credible and approachable way.

Topics covered include:

  • Identifying relevant and appropriate sources of research
  • Learning to critique scientific research articles

NN115 - 14 Hours

This general interest course is designed to (1) introduce the properties of commonly used plants and herbs in the kitchen; (2) discuss common culinary herbs for general use and health issues, and how herbs can be incorporated for prevention of health disorders; (3) learn about harvesting, herbal making techniques, and the importance of sustainable practices for the health of our planet; (4) explain how to prepare teas and infusions for common use.

Topics covered include:

  • How herbal medicine may be used to stimulate the self-recovery process
  • Constituents, medicinal actions and applications of plants
  • Cautions or concerns when using plants
  • How to prepare infusions, decoctions, herbal vinegars, steams herbal baths, poultices and more

Additional Requirements:

In addition to regular classroom instruction of the courses above, each student must complete a minimum of 50 hours of mandatory practicals, out of approximately 100 hours offered to students. Students must also complete 10 live case studies in order to successfully complete the program.


The main focus of practicals is case study work, including follow-up case studies. Practical work is completed under the supervision of a qualified Holistic Nutrition professional through the presentation of case studies, role-playing, group studies, and lectures by guest speakers.

For more information and sample topics, please visit the Practicals page.

Live Case Studies

This is the clinical component of the Natural Nutrition Program. These are real-life case studies, using comprehensive intake forms to examine all internal and external factors affecting a person’s nutritional health and wellbeing.

For more information, please visit the Case Studies page.

Contact Information

CSNN Metro Toronto

150 Eglinton Avenue East – Suite 302 (Yonge & Eglinton)
Toronto, Ontario
M4P 1E8  Canada

Tel: (416) 482-3772

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