Best takeaways from the Integrative Nutrition Conference

As you probably know if you’ve been following and reading for awhile, I am a proud Integrative Nutrition grad.  My health coach training was all done from Houston so I never made it to a Live NYC Conference until this past weekend.  I knew it would be amazing, but wow- it was incredible!

Waiting for the bus into NYC

Waiting for the bus into NYC

I have all sorts of blog posts ideas brewing so I can share some of the newest research and my “aha” moments with you, but here’s a quick peak at some of the highlights:

Mark Hyman, MD, functional medicine – (my personal favorite) spoke about why we (Americans) are fat, and why losing weight is not about will power.

The idea that weight loss is about balancing calories in vs calories out is outdated and false.”

[On food addiction] “Overweight and cocaine-addicted brains look the same.”

You can watch a great 2 minute clip of him here.


Rubin Naimin, PhD, Psychologist specializes in sleep.  He talked about the connection between sleep and diet.

Sleep impacts our eating, metabolism and weight.  Eating impacts our sleep and dreams.”

“We are dream deprived- this functions as our body’s chance to consolidate memory, learning and emotional healing.”


Lissa Rankin, MD, is also the founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute Training program.  She told some powerful examples about cases where diet has nothing to do with health.. our community, support, relationships, and hope can trump the lard and pizza, while chronic stress trumps all the kale and quinoa we might be eating.

“We have self-healing mechanisms, but they only function when the nervous system is in the parasympathetic response rather than the fight and flight response.”


Daphne Miller, MD, became fascinated by the idea that it’s not necessarily our food that is medicine, it’s the soil in which the food is grown.  When farmers go back to traditional growing methods, the vitamin content and immunity ability of the food drastically increases.

“It’s not about organic, it’s the question of microbial life.”

“There is a constant microbioal swap between ourselves and the soil.”

Kids with asthma have no diversity in their microbe environment.  It’s not about the hygiene [ie farm vs city] but it’s a matter of bio-diversity of microbes.”

Microbes in our gut are talking to the microbes in the environment.  Where your food is grown has everything to do with how well you can digest the food.”


Dr Oz, surgeon and best known from The Dr. Oz Show, shared his 5 simple tips for best health, plus updated research on cholesterol, belly fat and obesity.

Waist drives health issues.  Rather than weight, a better measure of health is belly fat.  Ideally, your waist measurement should be less than half of your height in inches.”


Plus there were IIN grads sharing inspiring stories, chefs, Mastin Kipp from the Daily Love, fantastic business advice from Marie Forleo, and coaching tips and tricks from IIN founder, Joshua Rosenthal.

IIN Live conference

I was thankful for the 40 minute bus ride home to start to digest everything I had heard and to piece together my next steps.  I come away from these kinds of events with so much passion and drive! I have goals for children’s health, school lunches, more honest labeling, an e-book idea, etc. and this conference pushed me to keep moving toward them, but to also realize they don’t all have to happen overnight.

I’m excited to share more from these speakers and doctors over the next few months.

Who would you be most excited to learn from?

Have you attended a conference where you came away incredibly touched and inspired?


49 thoughts on “Best takeaways from the Integrative Nutrition Conference

  1. Wow that sounds fascinating Laura! I would have absolutely loved to be there. I loved reading the information you did give us…MORE MORE MORE!!! I enjoy learning things like this, and I try to attend them when they are in my area, and especially when they are free. I would like to hear more about the sleep connection as I am such a bad sleeper!
    Tina Muir recently posted..3rd Place Finish at the Brooklyn Half MarathonMy Profile

  2. I find it so fascinating, too! I was typing notes as fast as I could for so many of the sessions. I already started a post on why calories in does NOT equal calories out- something I talk about with my clients, but haven’t written about here. And yes, the sleep piece was really interesting!
    Laura recently posted..Best takeaways from the IIN ConferenceMy Profile

  3. Interesting and thank you for sharing! The school lunch thing is something that upsets me quite a bit … and let me just say, it is a tricky thing to manage. My daughter happily took her lunch all through Kindergarten and 1st grade. I was able to pack healthy choices and control better what she was ingesting. By 2nd grade (this year), however, she began not eating the packed lunches. The lunchbox was coming home full and just a little nibbled on. We tried coming up with new ideas, working with her, figuring out new ideas for her eating, but in the end, she was just too intrigued at the process of going through the school lunch line and getting those items. I was frustrated for a while because I know the school lunch isn’t anywhere near the healthy quality of what I was packing. I had to take a deep breath and figure out how to proceed. What I ended up coming to, was the conclusion that the most important thing was first and foremost that she wasn’t starved during school, otherwise her education would suffer. I let her now eat every day the school lunch program and she’s never hungry anymore. However, I make up for any of the lack of proper nutrition when she is home. Her evening meal will probably have more fruits/veggie servings to make up for any lack of it during the school day, etc. To be fair, the school has been making improvements, but it’s still not up to par with what most of us “health-focused” moms would approve of. Sorry … got long-winded! I wish our schools would really get back to more whole food based eating programs *sigh*
    Christina recently posted..My running after age 40My Profile

  4. Wish I could have been there, especially for Dr. Rankin’s talk. I specialize in disordered eating, and you wouldn’t believe how much junky, non-supportive relationships play into food choices. So glad you were able to attend and learned so much! I’m excited to read more from all that’s brewing in your brain 🙂
    Jaclyn @ BumpSweat recently posted..The Simplest Exercise to Do While PregnantMy Profile

  5. This is great! I am really interested in pursuing integrative nutrition and learning more about food and how it affects our bodies. If I could choose to start again (sounds weird, because I’m 26, but I really don’t have the energy or money right now to go back for a third degree) I would focus on food and nutrition and overall health. Maybe one day.
    This post was really cool! I like the part about the brains – I always found the most interesting thing in classes at school to be comparison of brains (sounds weird) but you can really see the impact of alcohol or drugs or in this case even overeating in a brain. Our bodies are so cool!
    Amalia recently posted..How To: Reframe Negatives into PositivesMy Profile

  6. Sounds like a great conference! I had to hurry up and check my waist and I’m okay. Phew! I’ve been reading more and more about how it’s not just calories in vs. calories out but the types of foods your eating and the nutrients they pack. I can’t wait to read some more!
    Carla recently posted..Summer To Do List 2014My Profile

  7. I would love love love to hear more about what Dr. Mark Hyman had to say. I’ve never been to a conference for health, or for blogging – but everyone who goes always talks about the motivation they get from going. Maybe I need to save my pennies and plan for one next year.

    I look forward to reading all about what you learned.
    Jillian @ Baby Doodah! recently posted..An Open Letter to the Woman in the Car Next to MineMy Profile

  8. wow! I found all this information to be very interesting!I would have loved this conference! so interesting about addiction and overweight & cocaine looking the same inside. I would be interested in learning about why cancer has gone up in recent years, and plastics being heated since I use them so often for food for the kids. But mostly all of this info seems so interesting to me!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • I feel the same way! I wasn’t sure what I’d think of his talk, but he even acknowledged that his show often emphasizes the quick fix products, and while he believes that there is research behind them, he didn’t push that at all and talked to us about the research on healthy weight and helping people successfully make changes, which was really good.
      Laura recently posted..5 Favorite Spring Posts- Pin It PartyMy Profile

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