Fellow foodies…
From the minute I announced the fact that I was closing in on completing the course requirements for Certification in Plant-Based Nutrition via Cornell University, my email box and facebook messaging have been sizzling with questions about the course.

Perhaps your questions are among them. Actually, I’ve answered every single message that came my way (and if for some reason yours didn’t get answered, my sincere apologies and send it again, OK?)

I consider any quest to walk down this path of study and deepen ones understanding of the why’s and wherefore’s worthy of my complete attention and respect.

There is nothing that promises health, a trim energetic physique, and glowing vitality, when it comes to nutrition, as a whole-foods, plant -based diet.

So, I thought I’d put together a quick review of the course for future reference, by sharing my responses to some of these questions here and by also posting an outline of the course topics.

Here is a sampling of some of the questions I’ve received:

1)   Was the course relatively easy to complete? Were you able to do so in a timely manner?

2)  Did you feel the information you learned was fresh and interesting or did you feel you already knew a lot of it?

3) What did you like best about the program? What didn’t you like? What could they have improved on?

4)  How would you rate the program overall? Was it worth the time, energy and money?

5)  Please give me a general sense of your feeling and whether you would recommend it to me.

6)  Do you think this material would provide me enough info to teach/coach others about plant-based nutrition?

7)  It sounds like you are loving the e-program from Cornell. I just wanted to make sure you felt that there was a good return on your investment before I sign up.

And perhaps the juiciest question of all:

8)  Please answer one question for us in regard to your course:  What is the most important thing you learned?

Here are some of my responses

  • As you know, I’m such a geek about the topic of plant-based nutrition that there was familiar material yet lots of new content as well.
  • What did I like best about the program? Going through the course deepened my foundation for coaching and teaching others about a whole foods, plant-based diet. It also provided more current information, backed by research. Deciding whether or not to take this course might depend also on what you are looking to achieve if considering this course – personal or professional?  As an adjunct to my decades of experience and education in the health and physical education field, this course has been a valuable addition to my coaching practice.  Any professional health educator and coach should have additional degrees or certifications in the field of health education if wanting to be in the position of counseling or coaching others. For personal benefit, there is no question that this sequence of instruction will provide you with comprehensive, well organized material.
  • Breadth and depth were impressive. I would have improved the way the forums worked as they were mechanically challenging at times – and I’ve worked a lot of forums.  Yet this actually helped keep the required discussions and essay replies focused.
  • As I said, a decision to take this course depends on what you want to achieve.  There is lots of content regarding plant-based diet on the internet, yet with the course it is presented in logical sequence and in depth for use and includes some proprietary content.
  • Synthesis of content was required in many of the assignments.  For example, composing pertinent letters to legislators and media demanded a working knowledge of the topic(s).
  • Time investment. The full 3 courses that comprise the Plant-based Nutrition Certification are ‘officially’ equivalent to 19 hours of continuing education.  This translates to roughly 5 hours of time a week, depending on how much you engage with your instructor and classmates.  Module 3 was the lengthiest and had the most components, so that was the heaviest week in terms of time devoted.
  • I would also recommend the Plant-based Nutrition Course of Study at eCornell  for anyone who wants a good understanding of the history of our current dietary prejudices (protein, fat, supplements), as well as to deepen their practical, teaching and coaching practice of plant-based diet.

As for my work, I now have plenty of content for months of FitDream Fusion Inner Circle Membership Calls. As if I was running out of ideas.

I”ll respond to juicy #8 in a separate post.

Read part 2 of this series here:  Protein madness and special interests, aka the #1 thing I learned in plant-based nutrition school

For now, here’s an overview of the course with topics. And a list of the luminary lecturers:  T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, John McDougall,  Brendan Brazier, Jeff Novick, Hans Diehl, Pam Popper, Matt Lederman…


This program is also eligible for 19 AMA PRA Category 1 Continuing Medical Education credits.  Continuing Medical Education (CME) refers to a specific form of continuing education that helps those in the medical field maintain competence and learn about new and developing areas of their field.  Along with the CMEs you are able to earn 19 Nursing Contact hours and 19 Pharmacy CE hours.
Table of Contents

T. Colin Campbell Foundation & eCornell
TCC 501 Nutrition Fundamentals
all lectures by Dr. Colin Campbell
501 Lecture 1 State of Health
501 Lecture 2 Protein: A Revered Nutrient
501 Lecture 3 China Project
501 Lecture 4 Nutrition Fundamentals I
501 Lecture 5 Nutrition Fundamentals II
501 Lecture 6 Fat: A Less than Revered Nutrient

TCC 502 Diseases of Affluence
502 Lecture 1 Calories, Obesity, Diabetes- Dr. Colin Campbell
502 Lecture 2 Pleasure Trap-Dr. Doug Lisle
502 Lecture 3 Heart Disease-Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
502 Lecture 4 Diet and Cancer I- Dr. Colin Campbell
502 Lecture 5 Diet and Cancer II- Dr. Colin Campbell
502 Lecture 6 Diet and Cancer III- Dr. Colin Campbell
502 Lecture 7 Chronic Diseases- Dr. Colin Campbell
502 Lecture 8 Principles of Nutritional Health- Dr. Colin Campbell

TCC 503 Principles in Practice
503 Lecture 1 Nutrition in Public Schools- Dr. Antonia Dumas
503 Lecture 2 Nutrition in Medical Clinics- Dr. John McDougall
503 Lecture 3 503 Supplements- Dr. Matt Lederman
Lecture 4 503 Label Reading- Jeff Novick, RD
Lecture 5a 503 Environment Intro- Dr. Colin Campbell
Lecture 5b 503 Environment I- Dr. David Pimentel
Lecture 5c 503 Environment II- Dr. Bruce Monger
Lecture 6 503 Corporate Wellness Programs- Dr. Pam Popper
Lecture 7a 503 Elite Athletes I- Dr. Colin Campbell
Lecture 7b 503 Elite Athletes II- Brendan Brazier
Lecture 8 Health Policy -Dr. Colin Campbell

T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D.
Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry,
Cornell University
For more than forty years, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, the China Project, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. He has received more than seventy grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding and published more than 300 research papers. He is coauthor with Thomas M. Campbell II of the bestselling book, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health.


Have you completed this course?  Share your thoughts about same below in ‘Leave a Reply’  if so, and be sure to let me know if you have any more questions!

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