What It Means To Be Part Of A Tribe

Here at the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, in our very first year with the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program online back in 2013, our students began to lovingly refer to themselves as a “tribe”.

The CNE Tribe (named after the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program) wasn’t a name we thought up and bestowed on everyone. It came from the feeling that was cultivated and has continued over the years as nearly 1,000 students in over 35 countries that have passed through our virtual doors.

I didn’t set out to build a tribe that would change the world.

My goal was simply to bring people together who had shared interests, a passion for healthy living, the best food ever and the desire to share this knowledge with those around them. But then it happened. We came together and a tribe formed – a tribe of brilliant men and women from around the globe with this shared passion and desire to inspire each other and those that sought our guidance.

And by coming together as a tribe, we’ve succeeded in doing something beyond anything we could have imagined, and certainly beyond what we, as a school, or me, as one lone educator, could have anticipated:

The tribe has become a force.

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Tribe has become a force of change and positivity. We’re reaching every corner of our respective communities and that in turn is influencing the world.

We have our annual Give Back program and we have our scholarships – but this is even bigger than that.

Recently, one of our first year grads, and long time program coach Melanie Connolly posted this to our Facebook Group:

And we have members of our tribe sharing their own business successes.

Here is some of what’s been shared this summer.

Our tribe is kicking off new businesses…


Launching podcasts


Inspiring the next generation through creative camps…

Summer Camp

And workshops!


We have tribe members rocking the media…

TV Spot

Being inspired to chase their dreams…

Andi Smith

And making lifelong friendships.

CNE Tribe

And sometimes, they even brag on my behalf…

SPI PodcastNow, all of this obviously could not be planned, manufactured or forced.

As a school, we want people to join us every year who get it. They’re not here just for a certificate, but for an education and a life experience.

I want students who are inspired and inspiring. They want to make a difference and be the difference.  I am grateful for both what they put into their time with us in the program, and what they take away from it and bring to the world.

Though my mission was never to form a tribe, a tribe has formed. And our tribe continues to grow and be nourished, enhanced and evolve every September when we swing open our doors and welcome in our newest students.

As we approach the fall kick-off of the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, I am getting more and more excited to get to know the bright lights that will be joining us.

I have never been much of a joiner. I always felt a little on the fringe and never quite fit in with any one crowd – until now. What makes all of us unique is truly what has brought all of us together. I am proud to be part of the CNE Tribe.

Meghan Telpner is a Toronto-based author, speaker, nutritionist, and founder of the Academy of Culinary Nutrition. She is the author of two best-selling, award winning books, UnDiet: Eat Your Way to Vibrant Health and The UnDiet Cookbook. Meghan has been featured in Forbes, was ranked as one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs in Canada by PROFIT Magazine, and was named Best Holistic Nutritionist in 2017 and 2018 by National Nutrition. With over ten years in the field, Meghan works tirelessly to empower her global community of Certified Culinary Nutrition Experts to become health leaders in the respective communities. Meet this expert

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