Few factors are as important to health maintenance and disease resolution as is good nutrition.

A holistic approach to health will always involve nutritional interventions.

In this course, we'll address foundational, universal principles of nutrition which can apply to any diet type, while identifying particular diet adjustments that can help with common troubles. 

We'll also look at herbs as nutritive in their own right - as providers of mineral, vitamin, and phytonutrient compounds that can bolster a diet that's otherwise lacking.


You'll learn:

  • what does "healthy diet" mean, and why is it different for different people
  • practical ways to eat healthy in a world filled with processed foods
  • how food impacts our health, especially in terms of systemic inflammation
  • how to make sustainable changes to your eating habits
  • how to handle food allergies and sensitivities without going bananas


And especially: 

  • how can we blend dietary changes and herbalism to help a person become more resilient and vibrant?


This course includes 17+ hours of video instruction, as well as PDF handouts, quizzes and homework assignments, and more - plus weekly Q&A discussions where you can talk directly with Ryn and Katja.

Nourishment is healing.

It's not easy to change how we eat, but the rewards can be great. Understanding how to begin and what to focus on will simplify the problem and clarify your path forward.

Get started now

Course curriculum

  • 1

    Introduction (12:07)

  • 2

    Real Food (38:40)

    • Why Food Matters

    • Why Food Matters [audio]

    • What is Real Food?

    • What Is Real Food? [audio]

    • Quick Guide: Real Food

  • 3

    Cravings are a Language (31:13)

    • Cravings

    • Cravings [audio]

    • The Bitter Taste

    • The Bitter Taste [audio]

    • Blessed Bitters, by jim mcdonald

    • Action Prompt: Bitters before your meals

    • Quick Guide: Cravings Are A Language

    • Cravings Quiz

  • 4

    Traditional Nutrition (78:11)

    • How far back is "traditional"?

    • How far back is "traditional"? [audio]

    • The Archaeological Study on Herder/Gardners vs. Agriculturalists

    • The Middle Ages to the Green Revolution

    • The Middle Ages to the Green Revolution [audio]

    • Nutritional Anthropology

    • Nutritional Anthropology [audio]

    • The murky science of what is "good" for you

    • Quick Guide: Traditional Nutrition

    • Traditional Nutrition Quiz

  • 5

    What should I eat? (314:39)

    • Avoiding Food Dogma

      FREE PREVIEW
    • Intro & Fats, part 1

      FREE PREVIEW
    • Intro & Fats, part 1 [audio]

    • Fats, part 2

    • Fats, part 2 [audio]

    • Meats and Protein

    • Meats and Protein [audio]

    • What about the studies that say meat is bad for you?

    • Full Study Text: Meat and All-Cause Mortality

    • Meat and calcium

    • Can meat be sustainable?

    • Cows and Climate Change

    • Fish and other Animal Proteins

    • Fish and other Animal Proteins [audio]

    • Offal: It's Not Awful!

    • Bone Broth Demystified

    • Humans are omnivores

    • The UC Davis article

    • Mushrooms

    • Mushrooms [audio]

    • Plant Foods

    • Plant Foods [audio]

    • Grain-Free Granola!

    • Seaweed as Food and Medicine

    • An Open Letter on the topic of Invasive Seaweeds

    • Fermented Foods

    • Fermented Foods [audio]

    • Grains and Beans

    • Grains and Beans [audio]

    • The Archaeological Study on Herder/Gardners vs. Agriculturalists

    • Processed Foods

    • Processed Foods [audio]

    • Ultra-Processed Foods Increase Cancer Risk

    • Refined Sugar

    • Refined Sugar [audio]

    • WHO sugar intake guidelines

    • Muffin Madness!

    • Paleo Pumpkin Muffins!

    • Organic, Conventional, and GMO

    • Organic, Conventional, and GMO [audio]

    • Refined Salt

    • Refined Salt [audio]

    • Vitamin-enriched Products

    • Vitamin-enriched Products [audio]

    • Small Farms can Feed the World

    • Super-local eating

    • An update on invasive seaweeds

    • Quick Guide: What Should I Eat?

    • What To Eat Quiz

  • 6

    Good Food on a Budget (65:45)

  • 7

    Pathologies of Malnutrition (58:02)

    • Malnutrition part 1

    • Malnutrition part 1 [audio]

    • Ultra-Processed Foods Increase Cancer Risk

    • Malnutrition part 2

    • Malnutrition part 2 [audio]

    • Malnutrition part 3

    • Malnutrition part 3 [audio]

    • Gluten Free/Dairy Free Substitutes

    • Quick Guide: Pathologies of Malnutrition

    • Pathologies of Malnutrition Quiz

  • 8

    Making Changes (111:49)

    • Making Changes to your Diet

    • Making Changes to Your Diet [audio]

    • But my diet is "healthy"/"normal"/etc...

    • Food Change Worksheet

      FREE PREVIEW
    • Worksheet Example

    • Succeeding with Diet Changes

    • Succeeding With Diet Changes [audio]

    • Symptom Chart

    • Symptom Chart Example

    • Another Food/Health Journal Method

    • Some good tracking apps

    • "Spice it like you mean it!"

    • "Spice it like you mean it!" [audio]

    • Katja's Cranberry Sauce

    • Other recipes we mentioned...

    • Changing Your Diet With Kids

    • Changing Your Diet With Kids [audio]

    • Q&A Snippet: Acid/Alkaline Diet

    • Quick Guide: Making Changes

  • 9

    Food Allergies, Intolerances, and Sensitivities (67:51)

    • Common Sensitivities - Introduction

    • Common Sensitivities - Introduction [audio]

    • Common Sensitivities - Gluten

    • Common Sensitivities - Gluten [audio]

    • Common Sensitivities - Dairy

    • Common Sensitivities - Dairy [audio]

    • Common Sensitivities - Soy and Corn

    • Common Sensitivities - Soy and Corn

    • Common Sensitivities - Eggs

    • Common Sensitivities - Eggs [audio]

    • Common Sensitivities - Nightshades

    • Common Sensitivities - Nightshades [audio]

    • Common Sensitivities - Refined Sugar and Salt

    • Common Sensitivities - Refined Sugar and Salt [audio]

    • Quick Guide: Food Allergies, Intolerances, & Sensitivities

    • Food Sensitivities Quiz

  • 10

    Is it really a sensitivity? (91:09)

    • Is It Really Food?

    • Is It Really Food? [audio]

    • How Lectins Affect the Body (Even If You're Not Allergic)

    • How Lectins Affect the Body [audio]

    • How Soy Affects the Body (Even If You're Not Allergic)

    • How Soy Affects the Body [audio]

    • How Gluten and Dairy Affect the Body (Even If You're Not Allergic)

    • How Gluten and Dairy Affect the Body [audio]

    • On the regulation of milk

    • Pandas eat... meat?

    • Carnivorous Pandas?

    • Quick Guide: Is It Really A Sensitivity?

    • Sensitivity Quiz

  • 11

    Effects of Food Sensitivities on Overall Health (79:45)

    • Effects of Sensitivities

    • Effects of Sensitivities [audio]

    • Hypersensitivity

    • Hypersensitivity [audio]

    • Allergies vs. Intolerances vs. Sensitivities

    • Allergies vs. Intolerances vs. Sensitivities [audio]

    • The "Old Friends" Hypothesis

    • Pets and Allergies

    • Gluten Free/Dairy Free substitutes

    • Is sourdough gluten free?

    • Quick Guide: Effects of Food Sensitivities on Health

    • Effects of Food Sensitivities Quiz

  • 12

    Testing for Food Sensitivities (37:20)

    • The Challenge of Lab Testing

    • The Challenge of Lab Testing [audio]

    • An effective food journal

    • More resources

    • Quick Guide: Testing for Food Sensitivities

  • 13

    Herbal Support for Food Sensitivities (29:53)

    • Herbal Support for Food Sensitivities

    • Herbal Support for Food Sensitivities [audio]

    • What to do when you've been "glutened"

    • Quick Guide: Herbal Support for Food Sensitivities

    • Herbal Support Quiz

  • 14

    Wrap up (04:56)

    • Wrap up

    • Wrap Up [audio]

    • Not Everything is Going to be Perfect

    • Self-Experimentation

    • Gut Heal Tea

    • What to do when you've been "glutened"

    • Gluten Free/Dairy Free substitutes

Our Courses are Different

Our program is taught with pre-recorded videos you can watch on your own schedule, as many times as you want. In addition to the videos, we provide features to accommodate all the different ways people like to learn, so you can internalize the information easily!

  • Lifetime access - so you can review the content as many times as you like, forever!

  • Weekly live Q&A sessions with Katja and Ryn- to ask your questions directly, live and in person! (They're even archived, in case you miss one!)

  • Ask questions anytime - we're always just a click away: you can ask any questions in the integrated discussion forum, and we're committed to personally answering your questions, usually within 24 hours

  • Printable PDF materials - if you like to follow the videos along on paper, or keep them handy for a quick reference

  • Downloadable MP3 files - so you can review the content while you commute, workout, garden, ... anytime!

  • No-risk money back guarantee - no questions asked!

See what our students are saying!

So much excellent information and things to think about!

Cathy Breiner

I thought this course would be mostly review, but there was so much new information and so many different ways of looking at things. Katja and Ryn's down-to-...

Read More

I thought this course would be mostly review, but there was so much new information and so many different ways of looking at things. Katja and Ryn's down-to-earth, empowerment-focused approach was a breath of fresh air. Thank you both for creating this awesome, very informative course! I can't wait to take other courses from Commonwealth!

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Your Teachers

Two heads are better than one!


Katja & Ryn
Katja & Ryn

Katja & Ryn almost always teach together. They each have particular talents and areas of interest, and their perspectives on certain issues are quite different! Together, they convey a fuller picture of the realities of herbal theory & practice than either one could do alone.

Katja is an herbalist and teacher working to help people rebuild their relationships with their bodies and their own ability to heal. She’s been in practice for nearly 20 years, but it all began with a desire to make her own “fancy tea” at home instead of paying high prices for imported blends at specialty stores. She’s kept that do-it-yourself ethic close to her heart.

Ryn has been a practicing herbalist since 2010. He came to herbalism by way of martial arts, where his first experiences with herbs were focused on getting back into the game and becoming more flexible, adaptable, and resilient. Passing that experience on to others is what keeps him motivated every day.

Together, Katja and Ryn teach everyone from children to elders, as well as pharmacy students from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Northeastern University School of Pharmacy, where they both serve as associate faculty. Ryn and Katja are the authors of Herbal Medicine for Beginners, and the creators of the weekly Holistic Herbalism Podcast.

Herbalism without nutrition is like spice without pumpkin.

Much of what we need for health is only found in food. You can drink tea all day, but at some point you've got to have a solid meal. Nutrition combined with herbalism, though - that's something special!