Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner Online Diploma

Program Courses – What’s this?

Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner Diploma (HNWP)

The Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner diploma program at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts is for individuals who are motivated to lead healthier lives and inspire others to do the same through a career in nutrition coaching and education.

As you progress through this program, you will master foundational and advanced holistic nutrition topics, life coaching fundamentals, stress management tools, entrepreneurial business development, professional communications, and marketing. Additionally, you will choose from one of three exciting concentrations:

Start Dates

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Enrollment completion deadline is 1 week prior to program start date

Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner Diploma - Southwest Institute of Healing Arts - Online Education

We see the indisputable value in the timeless words of Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine when he said “Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.” Thus, with nutrition as the basis for optimal health, the Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner diploma program provides you with a comprehensive, scientific education of holistic nutrition and how it contributes to the prevention of illness and the promotion of healthy living. At the core of this program exists both an awareness and appreciation of the mind-body-spirit connection. We recognize that the nutritional value of food taken into the body is essential for completing the circuit between all aspects of our being.

Consisting of 755 hours of academics, theory, and practice, the core program objectives are modeled after the published educational standards of the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP). Additionally, SWIHA is in the process of applying for NANP’s full program endorsement. While enrolled, students may apply for Student Membership with the NANP. Upon completion, students may apply for Professional Membership, the first step in qualifying for the Holistic Nutrition Board Certification Examination.

You’ll begin in our Holistic Nutrition Foundation sequence of courses, where you will:

  • Examine the core principles and concepts of holistic nutrition
  • Acquire a comprehensive understanding of various macronutrients and micronutrients, the role they play in the body, and the best food sources to achieve optimal health.
  • You will learn to break the diet mentality and replace it with healthy eating behaviors.
  • Evaluate the most common dietary systems throughout the world, assessing their pros/cons.
  • Explore whole and raw food principles, including nutrition perspectives and theories, simple cooking techniques, and easy-to-prepare recipes, allow you to develop greater ease, confidence, and efficiency in the kitchen.
  • Learn to integrate and apply these essential, holistic nutrition principles in a client coaching setting by assessing and coaching clients with dynamic health goals.

In the Advanced Holistic Nutrition series of courses, you will:

  • Learn nutritional support for optimal organ function and body systems, the structure and function of the human body as a living organism and the relationship of its parts.
  • Develop a general concept of biochemistry in its various phases.
  • Discuss mental illnesses with a focus on the evaluation of signs and symptoms with medical testing and holistic nutritional treatments.
  • Explore comprehensive approaches to health and well-being for all stages of the lifecycle.
  • Maximize athletic performance and endurance through nutrition.
  • A detailed learning of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes, bioflavonoids, deficiencies, therapeutic dosages, adverse reactions, and toxicity also takes place.
  • Explore the foundations of botanical medicine, herbs and their properties, actions, medicinal uses, and contraindications.

In addition, you will learn to help clients establish long term health success by broadening your application of assessment skills and expanding your scope of practice through group coaching, understanding the domains of learning in the formulation of goals and objectives, and by developing advanced nutritional reference tools through applied research.

healthy meals Picture

The Nutrition Research Applications capstone course is the apex of your holistic nutrition education. This class offers you unique opportunities to not only begin your review of the Board Certification exam process, but also select a special topic of nutrition research that most resonates with you. You will learn and apply the different types of research study protocols and designs, statistical research, and the null hypothesis. Client selection techniques, principles of deductive and inductive reasoning, and common pitfalls in research studies are examined. This will help you solidify the information learned in previous nutritional classes, serve as a great review for the Board Certification exam, and will become an invaluable service tool in your future practice.

We are fully committed to your success!

So much so that we built our 100-hour Holistic Entrepreneur Certificate of Excellence right into this program! Each phase of developing a successful practice is discussed, with emphases on creating a Marketing Plan designed to produce immediate and sustainable income. We coach you through the stages of entrepreneurship and help you create an action-plan for success. You will learn the skills to speak and write about your services and offerings with confidence, as well as how to effectively use social media and Webinars to build both awareness and success.

Choose Your Concentration

Option 1: Fitness Nutrition Educator

Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner Diploma - Fitness Nutrition Educator - Online Education

In partnership with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), SWIHA’s Fitness Nutrition Educator focus, in combination with your prior nutrition coursework, will prepare you to pass their Fitness Nutrition and Behavioral Change Specialist certifications. NASM is a global leader in providing evidence-based certifications and advanced specializations for fitness professionals.

NASM logo swiha

This concentration will provide you with the essential knowledge and skills regarding energy balance, caloric needs, physical activity, metabolism, and food choices. You will learn how to describe and apply widely-accepted nutritional guidelines to enhance anaerobic and aerobic athletic performance, including meal composition and timing. You will learn the influences that drive food choices, analyzing nutritional guidelines and dietary systems for planning and exploring the laws of thermodynamics and the role of the calorie in weight management.

Additionally, you will identify and leverage current and emerging technologies to catalog daily caloric consumption, calculate caloric totals for each macronutrient, and analyze these results with published norms. You will complete a thorough review of nutrients and the role they play in maximizing athletic performance. You will explore metabolism, energy breakdown, energy balance, biosynthesis and storage, body composition, functional foods, and eating disorders. You will gain the understanding, abilities, and expertise needed to help motivate clients to change their health and fitness related behaviors.

You will learn how to recognize motivational triggers and discover your clients’ greatest barriers to change. In addition, you’ll apply the proper intervention techniques that suit your clients’ personality, and identify their aptitude to create necessary changes. You will create programs that can yield quicker, more effective results, and help to raise client retention for your practice. By the end of this course, you will have gained the ability to thoroughly assess and apply behavior change methods in a forward-thinking approach, with tools geared toward real world application.

This concentration is designed for and includes the NASM Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) and Behavioral Change Specialist (BCS) certification examinations.

Option 2: Natural Foods Culinary Specialist*

Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner Diploma - Natural Foods Culinary Specialist - Online Education

Awaken your inner chef and enhance your practice by preparing delicious healthy meals for clients or educating them to do the same! In the Natural Food Culinary Specialist concentration, you will learn therapeutic meal planning, preparation, and cooking techniques for clients with exclusive needs and special considerations. This concentration will build upon the fundamental skills you developed in your earlier examination of raw and whole foods cooking. You will expand your knowledge to include culinary mathematics, professional safety and sanitation, basic to advance cooking techniques, seasonal cooking, cooking trends, natural dietary approaches, and meal and menu planning.

You will learn measurements, equivalents, conversions, quantities, and food costs. You will research food safety and sanitization requirements in your local area and prepare to pass the Food Service Worker test. You will prepare recipes create meals and menu plans that reflect the dietary approach that most inspires your natural cooking practice. You will gain knowledge in the stages of food production and the “farm-to-table” movement of cooking local food and providing it to local customers. You will learn food preservation techniques including fermenting, pickling, and canning, and how to market and sell your preserved foods. You will prepare meals using healing foods that take into account special considerations, such as detoxification, soy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, digestive wellness, and food allergies and sensitivities. You will learn to prepare meals by distinguished food types, such as:

  • Vegetables, fruits, and sea vegetables
  • Salads
  • Beans, soy foods, seitan, soups and stews
  • Poultry, fish, meat, and eggs
  • Whole grains, grain products and healthy breads
  • Oils, herbs, seasonings, condiments, nuts & seeds, sauces
  • Appetizers, party foods, garnish, beverages, and desserts

Further, you will research and explore menu items from different world cuisines and prepare dishes that include these world flavor profiles. Finally, you will create innovative, delicious, and a visually appealing menu for a culinary showcase, small-scale special event to showcase and celebrate all that you have learned.

Option 3: Urban Farming

Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner Diploma - Urban Farming - Online Education

Urban Farming has become a growing and substantial part of the U.S. food economy. It localizes food sources for community, helping to reduce the miles food needs to travel, and providing people with access to healthy food they may otherwise have not been able to afford. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that “around 15% of the world’s food is now grown in urban areas” (MRSC, 2015). Whether you are interested in growing your own food to deepen your relationship to the Earth and its bounty, if you yearn to start your own business growing organic produce and teaching others to do so, or if you want to better your community by coordinating and designing their urban farm sites, this program will help you get your hands dirty, and your plate full.

With an emphasis on Spirit, service, and transformation, our Certificate of Excellence in Urban Farming will teach you how to spread what you learn throughout your community, and increase the number of people taking back control of their food production, moving our communities closer to real sustainability. This program delves deeply into vital topics, including: sustainability and conscious living, how to design and plant an urban farm or garden, the ethics and practicalities of selling your produce, as well as a hands-on urban farming externship that we assist you in coordinating.

Enjoy a small school environment fused with university-quality curriculum and learning tools.

As an online student, you will experience the power of CanvasTM by Instructure, a revolutionary, yet simplistically elegant learning management platform. You will explore a variety of in-class resources, including vibrant presentations, exciting video lectures and demonstrations, webinars, informative readings, and more from a personal computer, iPhone, iPad, or Android device with a reliable Internet connection.**

We welcome you to join this unique and enlightened community. This is your invitation to walk your destined path toward your purpose. This is where you belong.

* Please be aware that this concentration may require additional food and equipment costs.

**Use of the Canvas mobile app is supplementary and a means to review digital content; however, students are required to have a personal computer to be able to fully complete coursework.

Canvas mobile app supports iOS 7 and newer and Android 2.3 and newer.


MRSC. (2015, January 22). Urban agriculture – Community gardening. Retrieved from http://mrsc.org/Home/Explore-Topics/Parks-and-Recreation/Recreation-and-Other-Programs/Urban-Agriculture-Community-Gardening.aspx

Are you ready to do Big things in the world?

We will never sell or share your information with anyone.

I hereby give my express consent for Southwest Institute of Healing Arts to contact me by phone, email, mail, and/or text message.

Tuition Assistance

SWIHA is a nationally-accredited college approved by the United States Department of Education. Students enrolled in programs of 600 hours or more may qualify for Federal Student Aid in the form of Pell grants and student loans. Students may be eligible for Federal financial aid for Yoga-integrated programs and both the 600 & 800 hour YTT diploma programs. Title IV Financial Aid is available to those who qualify.

SWIHA offers a 10% concession on tuition for Certificates of Excellence that are paid with cash in-full at the time of enrollment **
* Application fees, books, materials, and supplies to be paid for separately and not included in the concession toward the total cost of tuition.
** Not to be combined with any other offer or scholarship.

Are you ready to do Big things in the world?

We will never sell or share your information with anyone.

I hereby give my express consent for Southwest Institute of Healing Arts to contact me by phone, email, mail, and/or text message.


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