Are you passionate about the ways diet can impact health? Do you find yourself frequently talking about how elements like sleep, stress, and energy levels are interconnected? Have you improved your own health issues with the help of lifestyle changes? Then holistic nutrition and wellness might be a career path for you!
Once you’ve determined that you want a career that involves helping others improve their health, it’s time to figure out which holistic nutrition and wellness career is right for you. We’re going to introduce you to some careers in this field and also provide some helpful details like job outlook and potential education requirements.
1. Holistic Nutritionist
If you’d like to help others improve their diets from a holistic perspective, this could be the career for you. While dietitians work to help patients address specific dietary concerns like iron deficiency or low caloric intake, holistic nutritionists help clients look at their diets from a larger perspective.
What’s the Difference Between a Dietitian and Nutritionist?
That’s right, there are differences between dietitians and nutritionists!
Registered dietitians (RDs) must complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree accredited by the Dietetics’ Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, complete an approved dietetic internship, and pass an exam administered by Commission on Dietetic Registration, then become certified in their state. RDs can then diagnose and treat nutritional conditions as well as dispense nutritional advice.
When it comes to the term nutritionist, licensure and regulations vary between states. In some states, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist and provide nutrition counseling while in other states, only those who have completed higher education in nutrition can provide this type of counseling.
They may help educate their clients about food and nutrition concepts such as nutrient intake, macronutrient content of foods, meal preparation, and specialty diets like plant-based and gluten-free. In short, they help their clients to develop a healthier diet rather than address a certain nutritional problem.
“Food is the on-ramp. Food is the gateway. Clients come to see me because they want to lose weight, or because they’re fatigued, or they’re dealing with some chronic illness, or their hormones are out of balance. Then we end up having this deep philosophical, spiritual conversation. Body, mind, and spirit.”*
Julie Pelaez, Board-Certified Holistic Health Coach
Nutrition coaches can choose to work with a wide variety of individuals or focus on a particular population such as endurance athletes or postpartum mothers.
The requirements to become a nutrition coach varies state to state, so check the specific regulations in your area. That said, obtaining education and training can help prove to your clients you’re knowledgeable about and invested in your work. Escoffier’s Holistic Nutrition and Wellness program can provide a foundation to help you get started in this career.
2. Health and Wellness Coach
As any holistic health practitioner knows, the various facets of health are interconnected. Financial stressors can impact eating patterns, and eating patterns can impact energy levels. That means that health professionals who look solely at diet may not have the complete picture they need to help others make meaningful lifestyle changes.
That’s where health and wellness coaches come in. These professionals work with clients to help them determine and define their wellness goals. These goals may involve losing weight, increasing cardiovascular health, or maintaining healthy habits while working through a big life transition like a new job or having a child.
No matter what field of wellness coaching you’re interested in, you may likely be able to find clients who are looking for your services. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that health education specialists and community health workers will see a 12% increase between 2021–2031.
Even if you already consider yourself a health guru, it can help to have the experience to back up your claims. Enrolling in a program like Escoffier’s Holistic Nutrition and Wellness program can help introduce you to new information and show future clients you take your coaching role seriously.
3. Private Chef
Even if others know how to eat well, finding the time and energy to prepare healthy meals can be challenging. A recent survey conducted by the Cleveland Clinic found that 23% of respondents reported that a lack of time prevented them from eating a healthy meal. This could mean that the demand for personal chefs may continue to grow.
Private or personal chefs can help prepare healthy meals for busy people so they can maintain their current schedules without sacrificing nutritious meals. As a health-focused private chef, you can focus on creating balanced meals for families, high-calorie plant-based dishes for vegan athletes, or sugar-free meals for diabetics.
Not only may health-focused chefs need an understanding of nutrition and culinary skills, but they may also need to be able to market their business, track income and expenses, and communicate with customers. That’s why Escoffier covers business aspects in their Culinary Arts, Pastry Arts, Plant-Based Culinary Arts, Holistic Nutrition and Wellness, and Food Entrepreneurship curricula.
4. Recipe Developer
While no one diet is the magic bullet to a healthy life, some people find that following plant-based, gluten-free, and low-sugar diets can have a positive impact on their health. The trouble is that it’s not always easy to find recipes or products that fit these dietary guidelines.
Recipe developers may work with all sorts of foods and brands, which means there’s plenty of work within the health and wellness space. Health-based meal kit companies, culinary magazines, and vegan restaurant chains are just a few examples of places where health-focused recipe developers can find jobs.
When it comes to experience, qualifications will vary depending on the specific role. However, companies that are hiring recipe developers may prefer that candidates have an understanding of the culinary world as well as hands-on work creating and cooking recipes.
5. Food Influencer
If you’re passionate about healthy products and creating a healthy lifestyle, you may be able to use this passion to encourage others. Food influencers can create a wide range of content mediums, which means that it’s up to you whether you create blog posts, YouTube videos, or Instagram reels.
Food influencers working within the realms of holistic wellness may utilize their knowledge of the culinary world to post nutrition-packed recipes, introduce ways followers can reduce their daily stress, or highlight products that can make it easier to live a healthy life—think items like functional mushrooms.
You don’t need any specific education or credentials to pursue a career as a health and wellness influencer. However, having an education in nutrition or wellness can help you obtain and grow your readers’ trust.
Explore Your Passions with Holistic Nutrition and Wellness
If you’re unsure which career to pursue, consider what inspires you. As Dr. Amy Sapola says, “Find something you’re super-passionate about and do that, because the world really needs more passionate people. I think if you’re passionate about it, you’re going to do your absolute best.”*
Once you determine what drives you, it’s time to put in the work to turn your passion into a career. Enrolling in a Holistic Nutrition and Wellness program can provide you with the skills you need to help make a difference and establish a new path. Escoffier’s program covers topics including culinary fundamentals, menu design, special diets, and coaching techniques, which means students can graduate from the program prepared to take the next step to become holistic professionals.
Want to learn more about culinary careers? Check out these articles next:
- The Essential Guide to Careers in the Food Industry
- 5 Alternative Careers Out of Culinary School
- How to Become a Chef: The Complete Guide
*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors, such as geographical region or previous experience.