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Considering a Career in Holistic Nutrition?

Due to the large volume of emails I receive from those considering a career in holistic nutrition I decided to write a little FAQ to help you out.
Mar 6, 2014 | Joy McCarthy

Hi everyone!

Due to the large volume of emails I receive from those considering a career in holistic nutrition and those who’ve graduated but not sure what to do next, I decided to write a little FAQ to help you out. While I would love to answer all your inquiries individually, I just don’t have enough hours in the day, so I sincerely hope this post helps you.

Why did you become a holistic nutritionist?

I became a nutritionist because it is my passion to educate others on the healing power of nutrients from food, supplements and the power of emotional well being. I suffered with my own health issues and was able to heal myself after years of taking the birth control pill and other prescription medications to manage my symptoms.

I realized through my own journey that the body has an innate desire to be well if you feed it right, treat it right and think good thoughts. My mission is to continue on educating as many people as I possibly can how they can have incredible joyous health.

Choosing a school: Why did you choose to study at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition (IHN)?

When I was choosing a school back in 2006, I did a lot of research so that I could feel confident I was making an informed decision. I looked at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and schools in the U.S.A. as well. I found that IHN was the most comprehensive school in North America.

One of the reasons I chose IHN was because of the holistic cooking class component and a work placement opportunity. I also went to as many open houses for both Toronto schools as I could, I asked questions, I talked to other nutritionists and after evaluating all the PROs and CONs of all schools, I made my decision with confidence to do my education at IHN. I loved my experience immensely — from the assignments and readings, to the homemade soup at lunch, the lovely admin staff and the knowledge I gained from instructors who impacted my life forever, I’m so grateful for my experience.

How do you become successful as a holistic nutritionist?

To become successful as a holistic nutritionist you need to be extremely motivated, ambitious, hard working, passionate about health and ready to educate the world. I’ve worked very hard to grow Joyous Health since I graduated in 2009 from consulting, teaching, speaking, writing, blogging, tweeting, to doing videos and more.

It is important to continually educate yourself as the information is constantly changing and updating. Canada's Food Guide may only be updated once every 25-30 years, but I believe you need to update your knowledge constantly and stay on top of trends and research to be the best possible nutritionist and healer you can be. I highly recommend that you learn how to market yourself and perhaps take a course on running a small business to help you be successful.

How do you market yourself?

Since the beginning, I’ve spent very little money in marketing. I utilize social media channels to promote my services and build my credibility by sharing information including articles, recipes and videos. In fact, you can find me on:

How do you make money being a holistic nutritionist?

There are so many ways to make a living, but personally, I have always focused on diversity because I believe it’s important to have more than one revenue stream. I really enjoy speaking, writing and consulting. Now we have products at joyous health and online programs so I make money in a variety of different areas (however, your potential revenue is not limited to these opportunities):

1. The Joyous Shop

2. Writing: My 3 cookbooks! 

3. Online programs and ebooks

4. Online Corporate Nutrition + Healthy Living seminars.

4. Sponsored posts and content. 

In the Joyous Health Business program, we have a whole module with several videos and additional resources dedicated to Making Money, so you can learn exactly how to monetize your passion, the various revenue streams (and how to optimize them) and how to price your products and services.

Can you make good money being a nutritionist?

Yes, definitely! The range in holistic nutrition is quite broad because it depends on whether your full-time focus is on nutrition or it’s a part-time career. Just like anything in life, if you put your mind towards it, you can do very well financially and achieve all that you desire.

How did you get started once you graduated from IHN?

I began doing free talks at local coffee shops and writing (a lot!). My first paid writing job was for an online wellness magazine. I wrote for them for a year and a half. This really helped to build my brand and get my name out there to potential clients looking for help. I initially got this opportunity after the online magazine found my blog. I had been blogging for nearly a year before I got my first paid opportunity.


I also started one-on-one consulting immediately. I posted my services on my website and then told everyone and anyone what I was doing and how I wanted to help others. I made key contacts and networked as much as possible so that I would have other expert practitioners in different areas refer their clients to me.

I partnered with a yoga instructor early on and we created the first yoga and holistic nutrition program in Toronto called Eat Well Feel Well. It has been a huge success for us and we’ve helped so many people change their lives. It has been extremely rewarding.

This is really the tip of the iceburg, but hopefully gives you a sense of how I started out. If you have any other questions about how you can build a purposeful, passion-filled business yourself, you can learn more over here.

I do hope this little FAQ helps you make a decision on a career in holistic nutrition. I wish you well on your journey and remember that anything you set your mind to, you CAN and WILL achieve. All the best in your future endeavours.

Warmest Wishes,

Joy McCarthy

Rainy   •   August 23, 2017

That was helpful, thanks :)

Rachel Molenda   •   August 24, 2017

Carlie B.   •   October 9, 2017

I can't believe I'm just now seeing this post. I'm so glad you wrote up this info! Thanks! :)


Nela   •   October 9, 2017

Very helpful!

Rachel Molenda   •   October 11, 2017

Kat   •   August 17, 2018

do you find there are enough jobs available in the field? I'm currently looking at schools

Rachel Molenda   •   August 17, 2018

Mrunali   •   February 19, 2021

Hi Joy! I am glad I took this program recently and started in 2021. I just took it as side gig but it’s inspiring me in so many ways. Hopefully I will be able to work with you in future.

Joy McCarthy   •   February 20, 2021

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