Jody Toyonaga

« Back to Alumni Profiles

Jody Toyonaga, O.D. , C.N.P.
Graduation Date: July 2010

Favourite Class at IHN
I have to say that my “favourite class” was actually the program in its entirety. The program’s design allows for a synergy of information between the courses, with the sum of its parts being greater than the whole. Because of my science background, I was impressed with the foundational science-based courses such as anatomy and physiology, chemistry, body metabolism and pathology. I was quite comfortable with these courses but was initially unsure of the “alternative” courses such as Ayurveda, Psychology of Disease and Herbology. Prior to attending IHN, I viewed such subjects with a “healthy scepticism”. However as the year progressed, my mind began to open to a different reality and new paradigm. I began to understand and embrace concepts such as epi-genetics, iridology, the charka system, dowsing. As a result, by the end of the program, I emerged physically, emotionally and energetically a different person. I enjoyed learning from all of my teachers, who each in their own way had a positive impact on me. I loved the supportive vibe at IHN which was fostered by Elizabeth, Julia and Rebecca in the front office, as well as the positive energies of my classmates. I met many wonderful, like-minded individuals who I know will continue to be a part of my life. Being at IHN truly changed the course of my life.

Most Memorable Moment at IHN
There were so many life changing “aha moments” for me this year; making my first image board, learning how to sprout, doing a live food demonstration (trying to use a knife and talk at the same time without injuring myself), public speaking, tongue scraping, doing enemas. A year ago, I would have said with complete confidence, “Oooh, that’s gross, I would never (fill in the blank)”….never say never!

Favourite Quote
“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.” ~
Thich Nhat Hanh

Currently Doing in the Field of Holistic Nutrition
I am currently working part-time as a holistically minded optometrist and part-time as a holistic nutritionist. Additionally I am working toward a masters degree in holistic nutrition. The knowledge I received at IHN has changed the way I practice optometry and it has given me a new found passion in it. Now that I have both my optometry and certified nutritional practitioner designations, I have been given opportunities that I would otherwise not have had. In November, 2010 I was asked to participate in a diabetic retinal screening program as an optometrist (disease detection) as well as a nutritionist (disease prevention). From this, I was asked to give a lecture series on nutrition as it applies to ocular health and disease prevention/management in April 2011 to the New Brunswick Optometric Association.

I feel fortunate to have been given a solid foundation of nutritional principles from IHN, but I realise that I have just started to scrape the surface of this field. I am therefore committed to continued learning as well as sharing whatever knowledge I have with others.

You can reach me at or 416-704-9702.