Published on 28th November 2018


We find out why barrister Katie Shore decided to retrain as a nutritional therapist after working in criminal justice for more than a decade. Whilst studying for ION’s Nutritional Therapy Diploma, Katie also currently leads the Department for Education’s school food and childhood obesity policy team, which was set up to improve the quality of school food across the country.


Why are you making the move from lawyer to nutritional therapist?

“I’ve always been interested in food and would spend a lot of my time in the kitchen with my mum and grandma when I was small. So when I started thinking about a career change away from law, food seemed the obvious choice. I’ve been told that to find out what you really should be doing for a career you should ask yourself ‘what is the first section you are drawn to in a bookshop’ and for me that was always the cooking and health sections. After researching various careers in food – and disregarding chef or food critic – nutritional therapy seemed the right choice for me. The idea of helping people to feel their best and achieve their goals through food and lifestyle seemed a perfect fit. I had gone into law wanting to help people but as I became demotivated by a lot of the changes that were being made to the profession, I knew I wanted to do something where I could really make a difference. As soon as I went to an ION open day and heard about the functional medicine approach something clicked and I knew I wanted to pursue this route.”


Have you always been conscious about healthy eating?

“I wish I could say yes, but sadly not. Despite being brought up surrounded by home-cooked healthy meals, when I was left to my own devices at university I was often found mixing up terrible concoctions of pasta, cream cheese and chicken nuggets or buying lots of fried chicken after one too many lemonades on a night out. It was only after graduating from law school and venturing into the real world that I realised the convenience food I had relied on was making me feel terrible and was costing a fortune. So I slowly started to get back into cooking, as much as my schedule allowed, and it was like a light had been switched back on.”


What is the best part of the course so far? 

“So many things, but in particular finding a group of like-minded people – students and faculty staff – who are passionate about the value of nutritional therapy. They are what keep me motivated when the assignments are tough and my time is stretched. Being surrounded by such enthusiasm, passion and support make it all worthwhile. Plus, I have discovered how much I love biochemistry – not something I thought I would ever say from someone who scored a D on her A-Level biology!”


Have you changed your eating habits since starting the course?

“Yes! I thought I had a pretty healthy and balanced diet, but undertaking the food diary analysis assignment for our Clinical Analysis module highlighted a few blind spots – especially in relation to a daily chocolate habit that had started to creep in. Now I’m much more mindful when I make food choices and try to eat a variety of foods. The course has made me realise what a creature of habit I used to be so I’m consciously trying to create healthier habits rather than fall back into the same patterns when I’m tired after a long week at work. I’m enjoying experimenting with new recipes and try to cook as much as I can now.”


What’s the most surprising thing you have learnt on the course? 

“How amazing the human body is. This might sound blindly obvious, but learning in depth about anatomy and physiology from a functional perspective has changed the way I think about dysfunction and disease. The body’s resilience and ability to adapt to ensure that it simply keeps functioning is incredible. It’s given me a new found respect for my own body and its capabilities – knowing what I know now, it’s changed the way I view food and I feel I owe my past self an apology for the terrible way I used to treat it!”


Favourite quick, go-to meal?   

“I love batch cooking at weekends and freezing portions of food ready for the week ahead, so quick and simple is most days for me. It would have to be a soup – squash is a favourite this time of year – topped with mixed seeds and a side of smashed avocado and feta on rye toast. It takes five minutes start to finish and usually stops me from reaching for the chocolate.”


What do you want to do once qualified?

“I love the idea of having a few different jobs related to nutritional therapy, because I’m often bored doing the same things over and over. Having my own clinic will be a priority for me but I also would like to do some writing, hosting events about nutrition, and maybe even lecturing one day. I’m yet to know what I want to specialise in so perhaps I should work on my niche first – oh, and passing the course!”


If you’re looking for a career change in 2019 and would like to find out more about ION’s Nutritional Therapy Diploma Course visit or sign up to one of our upcoming open events:

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