Is Gluten-Free The Only Goal?

26 Comments 03 January 2011

Hello 2011!!!

Are you excited about the new year ahead?

I’m so so so excited to tell you that I’ve enrolled in the program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition here in NYC! My classes start January 10th. If you aren’t familiar with IIN, it has been a leader in holistic nutrition education since 1992. There’s quite an impressive list of medical and holistic health practitioners that visit as guest teachers. Here are a few I’m especially excited to learn from:

Sally Fallon, Founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation and author of Nourishing Traditions
Andrew Weil MD, director of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona
Mark Hyman MD, author of Ultraprevention and Ultrametabolism
Walter Willet MD, Chair of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health

It seems like I keep bumping into interesting people that are IIN graduates and they just rave about the program, which has slowly piqued my interest in attending.

Some of you may have noticed over the years that I’ve become more and more interested in not only eating gluten-free, but in eating a healthy gluten-free diet. In the beginning all I cared about was if something was gluten-free, especially 14 years ago when it was even more of a challenge to eat this way. And I have to confess, my biggest focus was on sugary treats. Don’t believe me? Uh, in the past I’ve been known to make a run to Buttercup
Bakery just to order a container of Devil Dog icing and eat it with spoonfuls of peanut butter – mmm it tasted just like an Abba Zabba!

I know, I know!!! That’s straight out of a fictional Sugarholics Anonymous brochure, right?! But eventually I
crashed. Yup. I’ll have to fill you in another time on all of the juicy details of how a crappy gluten-free
diet affected my health and what miracle lifted me up and changed my life. To sum it up for now, I had to change my focus from sweets and processed foods to healthier options, ones that truly nourish me. The transformation I experienced was so powerful, that my gluten-free journey took on a whole new twist. Of course I still indulge on occasion, don’t worry, I’m never going to become a total treat prohibitionist on ya. My focus, though, has changed and I now get extra excited about food that is not only delicious, but truly nourishing.

So, this is why I’m personally interested in learning all about holistic nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I think it will be fun to learn all about major dietary theories ranging from Ayurveda to The Zone, glean out the best parts, put my gluten-free spin on them, and then share the knowledge with others.

And I know many of you want further assistance with either adopting a gluten-free diet or managing other additional health issues. I’m committed to learning more about healing through nutrition and I think it will be fun to share what I learn with you.

So, get ready! 2011 promises some fun, nourishing and tasty times ahead!

Love ya,


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Your Comments

26 Comments so far

  1. 1

    Congratulations Kelly! I will look forward to your blogs as a student of nutrition. It’s ALL about the food!

  2. 2
    Stephanie says:

    Congrats girl, this is SO great!!! Way to start out 2011 in a BIG way! 🙂

  3. 3

    Oh my gosh — I would love to take a class from Sally Fallon! I have been reading one of her books all weekend in fact. Kelly, I always feel like you and I are in sync. I am all about healthy gluten-free living these days and have been trying to learn more about how to eat the best for our bodies. It can be so overwhelming though, so hurry up and learn that stuff to tell me! 🙂

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    I get a little frustrated with a lot of GF blogs, because there seems to be so little “real” food emphasized.
    I LOVE the Weston A Price Foundation! As far as celiac/gluten-free and real healing – I’ve always found that the GAPS diet does amazing things for digestive healing of even the most extensive damage.
    I look forward to reading!

      Tyler Link says:

      I couldn’t agree more with both of you.

      This is a refreshing attitude. It seems many of our gluten-free friends are missing the forest for the trees, this is about being healthy and feeling great. I understand the dramatic change a gluten free diet brings, but why stop there? Why not minimize sugar intake as well and focus on eating whole foods.

      I’m definitely going to look into IIN as the names you listed are all people I respect and have learned from in the past. In fact, it was Dr. Hyman that helped me diagnosis myself as gluten intolerant with an elimination diet.

      Maybe I’ll see you in class 🙂

  5. 5

    Hey Kelly!

    You better make some room on your bookshelf for all the new stuff you’ll be learning!!

  6. 6
    Dana says:

    Love it!!! Congrats!!

  7. 7
    A says:

    So exciting, congrats! There’s truly a need in the market for gluten-free nutritious food. I can’t wait to hear about what you learn!

  8. 8
    kristen says:

    Neat! Congrats. Also, you familiar w/ this site: http://www.marksdailyapple.com? Good information re:, among other things, the GF/low-sugar lifestyle…

  9. 9
    Terry says:

    Fantastic! I can’t wait to see what you’ll be learning.

  10. 10

    Congratulations Kelly! I’ve heard great things about IIN 🙂

  11. 11
    Nancy says:

    Congrats, Kelly! I’m an IIN grad (class of 2006) and loved every minute of the course. A less-processed diet is definitely the healthy way to go. My motto regarding GF eating: “Gluten-free crap is still crap!”:)

  12. 12

    The school change my life, I know that it will yours as well.

  13. 13
    jeanne fico says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I have trying to accomplish the same thing with my diet in the past year. When I was first diagnosed and went to visit with Anne Lee, at the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia, she said she would never change the diet I had, except that I was now gluten-free. Since then I’ve been trying to maintain a healthy focus, and be GF. With a weight gain of 25 lbs due to my newly under-active thyroid, I’m in desperate need of more nutritional guidance. I’m eager for more info….

      Lillian says:


      I also have an underactive thyroid. It can be really difficult to manage. Make sure they don’t undermedicate you! They have a tendency to do that with thyroid meds for some reason. Also check out “www.stopthethyroidmadness.com It’s a good resource.

      Good luck!

  14. 14
    Evafitness says:

    Just found out I might be celiac but instead of testing I’m doing a trial celiac month. I am a healthy eater already accept for my sugar addiction. No lie my favorite celiac acceptable food is jelly bellys and I’ve found that if I don’t eat them every day I barely make it to 1000 cals in a day. I’m fit looking but exhausted!! Can’t wait to peruse your blog and read about your academic findings. I’m hoping to find some nutritional and sugar busting tips 🙂 Cheers!

  15. 15
    Lillian says:

    I feel you! A year and a half ago I realized that the gluten-free flour mixtures were no good for me either (which was kind of heartbreaking to tell you the truth). But since then I’ve been baking only grain-free (& cane sugar-free, and soy-free, and corn-free, and dairy-free) and I’ve noticed a HUGE change in my health. It’s been awesome.

  16. 16
    Sabrina Tempest says:

    Congrats! I can’t wait to see what you’ll learn!

  17. 17

    Kelly I wish you much success. It’s funny I’ve been talking with them and thinking about attending their virtual program too. I would love to chat offline with you about this.

  18. 18
    Lynda says:

    Congrats on IIN. I have researched it and I thought it looks good. I have seen negative information on it and apparently it will not lead to accepted nutritionist certification.

    I guess since it emphasizes more basic fundamental elements of eating and not the acceptable norms, having the education will allow someone to work for alternative health entities. I am saying all of this because I have wrestled with it.

    What are your thoughts on this?

      Kelly says:

      Lynda! Sorry, just noticed this! Yeah, I went back and forth too before enrolling. Although I was 95% confident about the program, there was a 5% fear of having been a sucker! BUT, now that I’ve been in the program, my fears have subsided. The last bit of fear was totally shot down when I went to an IIN conference with brilliant speakers/experts like the ones mentioned above and I actually met a woman that is celiac and a dietitian that is a student!!! I asked for her thoughts and opinion on the program and she went on and on about how much more powerful the holistic/integrative aspects of it were than what she learned as a dietitian. (If you are a dietitian reading this, I totally respect you and your profession and I’m just relating a message here. Peace!) There are also many medical doctors that have attended IIN in order to provide their patients with a proactive approach through diet and lifestyle instead of just prescribing drugs. There are a lot of alternative type granola head students, but there are a lot of super educated professionals that attend too. And of course, it isn’t for everybody. I’m thoroughly enjoying it and I’ve seen some crazy good results just with my practice clients! I think there is a place in our world for both nutritionists and holistic health counselors. And we all know that there is plenty of work to be done! Hope that helps a bit! Any questions…feel free to email me.


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Kelly Courson


Thanks for stopping by! I'm Kelly Courson and this is where I've shared my gluten-free finds since 2003. The world has been my gluten-free oyster for 14 years now and I love sharing what I've learned in order to help others adapt to a gluten-free diet. Have a look around and feel free to leave a comment. Connecting with people like you is what has kept me going this long! Seriously.

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