NP 110: Introduction to Nutritional Psychology Methods

This is the first university-level continuing education course consolidating the world’s research on how dietary intake interconnects with human psychological, behavioral, cognitive, sensory-perceptual, interoceptive, and psychological processes, functioning, and experience. NP 110 is for anyone seeking to develop their understanding of the concepts, language, and methods used within nutritional psychology, and who wish to improve their understanding of the diet-mental health relationship (DMHR). This course does not provide applied tools for professionals to use in clinical practice; rather, it provides the theoretical foundation for further education in nutritional psychology.

This course is fully online, self-paced, and costs $329.00 (USD). CNP is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor Continuing Education (CE) for psychologists, as well as for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences and the Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR) to provide Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits for Licensed Dietitians and Dietetic Technicians Registered (RDs/DTRs). This course currently provides 10 CE Credits and 10 CPE Credits. CNP maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

By registering for NP 110, you indicate that you have read and agreed to CNP’s Course Policy.


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When you step into an intersection of fields, disciplines, or cultures, you can combine existing concepts into a large number of extraordinary ideas.” — Frans Johansson.


It is imperative that our mental healthcare providers understand the role that nutrition plays in supporting mental health and psychological functioning. However, until now, neither students nor professionals have extensive access to university-level education* in how diet interconnects with psychological processes, functioning, and experience.

NP 110: Introduction to Nutritional Psychology Methods is the flagship course laying the foundation for this field. This course provides 10 CE credits and 10 CPE credits and is structured into seven modules. Following the introduction, each module introduces the six different elements encompassed by nutritional psychology: the psychological, behavioral, cognitive, interoceptive, sensory-perceptual, and psychosocial elements. Language and concepts are introduced, and current research findings informing each element are examined. This introductory course is not designed to provide intervention, diagnosis, assessment, or skills for application within clinical practice.

NP 110 is the first of three courses in the NP 100 series that will culminate in the Nutritional Psychology Certification. The NP 100 certificate will not provide professionals with tools to apply NP in practice (practical applications and detailed scope of practice guidelines will be explored in the NP 200 series). In addition to NP 110, the NP Certificate will include NP 120 and 150, which are currently in development. For an overview of NP 110, download the course flyer.

*The first educational courses in Nutritional Psychology were part of the original certificate developed by CNP and taught through JFK University from 2008 to 2020.



  • • Psychologists and Mental Health Professionals
  • • Undergraduate, Graduate, and Post-Doctoral Students
  • • Dietitians, Nutritionists, Culinary Chefs, Health Coaches
  • • Case Managers, Social Workers, School Counselors, Educators
  • • Physicians, Psychiatrists
  • • Substance Use Counselors
  • • Physician Assistants, Nurses
  • • Anyone interested in learning about the field of nutritional psychology


  • • Define key terms used within the field of NP
  • • Explain basic concepts and methods used in nutritional psychology
  • • Recite the six elements informing the conceptualization of NP
  • • Describe key research studies supporting the field of NP
  • • Master the introductory knowledge necessary to proceed to future courses in NP
  • • Review the types of research methods generally used in NP-related research
  • • Cite the Scope of Practice Guidelines for using the information in this course within the clinical setting
  • • Identify 3 key research studies demonstrating the connection between dietary intake and psychological processes

Instructor/Contributor Credentials

Ephi Lu holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Washington in Seattle, an M.S. in Psychology from the University of Illinois, and a Diploma in Comprehensive Nutrition. Ephi has combined her dual education in Psychology and Nutrition to develop the first university-level courses in Nutritional Psychology beginning in 2008. Joining with Dr. Amanda Hull and other coauthors, Ephi led the development of the first 7-course Continuing Education Certificate Program in NP through JFK University from 2008-2020.

Dr. Kristine Lokken is a neuropsychologist and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB) Medical Center. Dr. Lokken’s background is in clinical research, medical neuropsychology, and health psychology. Dr. Lokken is supporting the development of the Diet and Cognitive Relationship (DCR) element of Nutritional Psychology within NP 110. She also serves on the CNP Educational Planning Committee.

Ms. Doswell is pursuing her MS in Clinical Mental Health and Counseling at Adam’s State University, and currently works as a personal trainer. She has completed the original 7-course Certificate in Nutritional Psychology from JFK University, and is a CNP curriculum contributor assisting in the development of the Interoceptive element of NP. Her long-term goal is to one day incorporate her knowledge of the Diet-Mental Health Relationship into her graduate/clinical work, supporting those who suffer from various eating disorders.

Dr. Protogerou is an applied health psychologist. She works as a Lecturer and Researcher at the School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts (SSHA), and Health Sciences Research Institute (HSRI), University of California, Merced, USA. Her research focuses on exploring psychological and societal determinants of health and risk-taking behavior and evaluating the efficacy of health behavior interventions. Cleo has contributed her expertise in research methods to NP 110.

Stephanie Greunke, MS, RD, CPT, PMH-C is a Registered Dietitian specializing in Maternal Nutrition and Mental Health. She holds additional certifications in Perinatal Mental Health, Behavioral Psychology, and Nutritional Psychology, and is an internationally recognized speaker. Stephanie has contributed her expertise in NP 110 by developing materials within the course that explain the different dietary patterns traditionally used in Diet-Mental Health Research.

Course Administration

Joe Booth is CNP’s Online Education Developer. Joe brings a unique blend of professional experience in technology, education, and mental health. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sacramento State in 2005, and went on to run corporate Learning and Development programs for global software companies. Joe is currently the Executive Director of Class Five Mind, a substance abuse recovery platform that blends technology with mindfulness and holistic wellness.

Olga Baryshnikova is the Administrative Editor for NP 110, assisting with all aspects of content revision, course development, administrative implementation, and management. She has a background in industrial/organizational psychology and professional experience in education and marketing. She is also CNP’s Organizational Development Coordinator.

Continuing Education Planning Committee

Dr. Sam Scarnato

Dr. Kristine Lokken

Dr. Nicole Beurkens


"The course was fundamental for me ... I learned many new concepts that I will need for my work." (June 2021)
“I’ve read several studies on the relationship between mood and nutrition, but I knew little about the neurological background. Here, I could learn about it.” (June 2021)
"The course information is extremely useful and practical. Although the information is educational and not intervention-focused, the summarized research helps have the conversation on the importance of nutrition and its impacts on mental health. I am beginning these conversations with my professors and the need to integrate these topics into mental health-related school curriculums." (July 2021)
"It's an outstanding introductory course. A great deal of highly useful, cutting-edge information is packed into a relatively short course and it is clearly presented in a way that will reach a variety of students with varying educational backgrounds and interests." (June 2021)
"'The Nutritional Psychology connection is something Dietitians get very little training on. NP 110 expands on the huge effect psychology has on nutrition and vice versa. Specifically, learning about Interoceptive Awareness was huge and will be very important to apply in working with clients who struggle to recognize their hunger cues." (August 2021)
"This course affirmed how much the medical field has been neglecting food as our medicine. It will change the way I practice medicine as a whole, with a big foundation for focusing on diet and what we put into our system." (October 2021)
This course taught me about the concrete interconnections encompassing nutritional psychology, along with new terms and language used within NP like eudaimonia, positive/negative dietary intake effects, ad libitum, epicurean eating pleasure, positive alliesthesia, and interoception. This will change the way I study and conduct my psychology practice because I now have more concrete and organized knowledge of the DMHR. (February 2022)

Course Specifics

A: Yes, this course is taught fully online through the CNP website and can be completed at your own pace.

A: Yes, NP 110 has open enrollment and you can begin at any time.

A: NP 110 is estimated to take 8-12 hours to complete, depending on your learning style and previous experience in nutrition and psychology. If this information is new to you, it may take more time to complete.

A: NP 110 costs $329.00 USD. This price includes all course content, videos, download kits, knowledge checks, quizzes and the final exam plus your Certificate of Course Completion.

A: Yes! NP 110 is worth 10 CE credits for psychologists and other mental health professionals who receive CEs through the American Psychological Association (APA), and for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs who receive CEs through the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. It is worth 10 CPEs for RDs and DTRs who receive credits through the Commission on Dietetic Registration. If your title is not listed here, please check with your licensing/certifying body to determine if you can earn CE/CPE credits by taking this course.

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CNP’s vision for the future of mental healthcare includes the role of diet and nutrients in supporting mental health. We are working to fill the void in our current mental healthcare model by consolidating research, creating methods and developing curriculum that allows us to better understand and improve our Diet-Mental Health Relationship.

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