My thoughts on the CNE (Culinary Nutrition Expert) program.

Hi friends! Happy Thursday. Apologies for the later post than usual – this week has been a little crazy with some big-life things happening. I’m excited to share with you as things progress, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a post that I’ve been meaning to write for a long time.  

As you all know, I’ve struggled with gut-health for the vast majority of my life. And while I’m on a path to normalcy by focusing on eating whole foods with limited preservatives, this process hasn’t been a walk in the park. I love writing about all things health and wellness, but I felt like I wanted even more education before writing about these topics on the blog. Last year, I did research for multiple programs, including IIN, CNE, and a Duke Coaching program as well. I ultimately landed on the CNE program so that I could ultimately focus on creating low-FODMAP // gut-healing meal plans for the blog. I’ve also taken a detailed FODMAP course through Monash University in the past and thought that these programs would pair together nicely.

Before we get in – these are my true opinions and I’m not being compensated in any way for this post!

What is the Academy of Culinary Nutrition? In their own words…

“The Academy of Culinary Nutrition is an online education destination with the primary mission of leading the way in providing resources and training for health, nutrition and culinary enthusiasts to become leaders and teachers in their respective communities.

The collective goal of the Academy and our Certified Experts is to create a positive global impact by teaching, sharing and living what we do best—creating, cooking, and eating the best food in the world, while giving back in the process.

In 2008, Meghan Telpner first began offering cooking classes in her loft-style kitchen in Toronto’s west-end neighborhood of Parkdale. Shortly afterwards, she launched the Culinary Nutrition Program, starting with just 12 students around her kitchen table.

As demand for her classes grew and the walls of her 600 square foot loft could expand no further, Meghan took the leap to online teaching and began transforming her live, in person classes into video-based courses for a global audience. Meghan gathered the best team she could find and began building the world’s first online school for culinary nutrition.”

If you’re considering the CNE program, I wanted to outline the things that I loved about the program, things I didn’t love, and whether or not I’d do it again.

What I loved:

Online Format: I really enjoyed the online format of this program because it meant that I could turn it on in the background while I was doing laundry, cleaning, or even while cooking for the week.

Meghan Telpner: Meghan is a breath of fresh air in the wellness industry. I think this industry can be tricky…there are SO many people who aren’t realistic and can verge on restrictive. That’s why I absolutely love Meghan Telpner. She’s so down to earth and realistic about the program and is a great teacher along the way.

Pace / Rigor: This course isn’t one that you can put on the backburner and blow off. You have to be completely on your game and plan ahead – which is why I loved it. The amount that you learn in twelve weeks is incredible and you’re constantly learning/trying something new. It pushed me outside of my comfort zone and there were definitely some moments that I was cooking in the kitchen (and didn’t want to be) but it was all completely worth it in the end.

Recipes included: I was nervous that the recipes included in the program would be ones that I wouldn’t normally eat, but I’m happy to say that there are definitely numerous ones that I tried that I would absolutely make again on my own (they are all gluten and diary free). Some of the ingredients were a little strange (I’ll get into that below), but overall I enjoyed that what I was cooking for “homework” usually served as meals for the upcoming week.

Applicable Coursework: There was a LOT of homework. I don’t mean this to be scary in any way…but I do want to be honest. BUT, despite the hours spent, I truly appreciated the value from each assignment completed. Each assignment had a critical purpose to develop us as coaches and nutritional experts. To be honest, if left to my own devices, I would have avoided some of this work because it required a LOT of research and planning. I’m grateful that this course pushed me to the best of my abilities!

Access to a Partner/Coach: I had mostly cooked by feel up until starting this course, so I hadn’t formally written a lot of recipes. I can’t begin to tell you how invaluable it was to have a partner throughout this course who could test my recipes and provide valuable feedback. In this course, you are also partnered with a coach to take you through the curriculum, who also provides feedback. It’s so important and valuable!

Module on Body/Skincare products: You know me and my passion for nontoxic beauty. I loved that CNE included a module on making some of your own skincare products at home. Really cool!

What I didn’t love

Pace/Rigor: For as much as we learned in the twelve weeks, it was definitely stressful to fit into daily life working a 9-5 job, working on the blog, and also running a wellness podcast full-time. BUT! It was all worth it.

Scheduling: I do love that they were very clear when large assignments were coming up so that you could get a head start on them; HOWEVER, I think that the time of year this course is run is challenging. The end of the year is busy for most with travel and holiday’s, which made planning SO important and honestly a little too stressful at times. I had to get multiple weeks ahead at certain points to make sure that I was on-schedule and meeting assignment deadlines (example – the mock workshop that you have to run with a group of friends/family).

Some recipes I didn’t enjoy: Some recipes were a little weird – one example of this was arame seaweed. I won’t be using that again, LOL. It was cool to experiment and try, but it would be great if all of the recipes were ones that I would continue to make in the future. You can’t win them all, though. 

So..Would I do it again?

Absolutely! Now that I am a certified culinary nutrition expert as well as have a FODMAP certification, I feel confident in my abilities to share gut-health information on my blog and with those who reach out to me on Instagram. I would highly recommend this course for anyone who is looking to improve their health and wellbeing, and also their authority to speak on these topics.

I would love to know if you have any questions about the program. Please leave a comment below!

Link to website if you’re interested: