That is a question. Each person, who tries to move forward in his or her education, has different perception of level of demandingness. Firstly, we need to emphasize that it is not goal of our courses to teach students as much as possible.
The goal is to understand and learn to use basic principles of relationship between diet and health in context.
We cannot reach it by cram of huge amount of rules, terms and theories that are in contradiction. To master constructive way of thinking is the only chance. It means to connect creativity of right brain hemisphere with logics and rationality of left hemisphere.
The best way how to learn it is by watching small kids. We know that they have perfect ability to quickly learn new things. They absorb new information like a sponge.
The secret is that they are just playing.
As adults, we tend to convince ourselves that we have no time for playing and we substitute this child activity by various “more effective” ways of work with information.
Classic school system teaches us to use especially left brain hemisphere that works with logics, numbers, systems. By using of right hemisphere we involve creativity, spatial skills, colors, emotions…
When we want to learn something new, we gain information – usually by listening or reading. Amount of information is constantly growing and after a while we start to lose context. Nervousness grows and it leads to stress. The higher level of stress, the worse brain works.
However, there is no stress while playing.
That is why we recommend to all students to use mind maps. Principle lies in creation of brief and simple story in the form of one mind map from content of each lesson of the course.
By playing with colors, symbols, pictures, and words we create plastic image that is created by both parts of brain. Information processed this way we remember the most. Thanks to these individual possibilities strong memory trace is created in brain that is supported by emotions of joy coming from process of playing.
Each student can create these maps by hand, or using computer, it depends just on him or her.
Reality shows that approximately 90% of students get used to principle of mind maps. The rest is stubbornly claiming that creation of maps just distracts them, because classic system of reading information from left to right, line after line, page after page suits them better. In the end of course during review of received information they usually realize the difference between reading all texts obtained during course and quick leafing through list of mind maps.
So if we want to answer the question about demandingness of study of our courses regarding amount of information that has to be processed, we can say that courses are not hard – at least not for those who like to play.
However, demandingness can mean something more. People interested in our courses are very often afraid of expertness of topics. This is also strongly relative.
The truth is that nowadays people are extremely interested in health and nutrition. New foods, supplements are constantly occurring, institutions produce new scientific studies of almost anything. They tend to present results of their studies to public in expert way, because then it looks like such product or service is “better”. You just need to know some basic terms that are commonly used in this area. Everything moves forward so this process of enrichment of our vocabulary is continual.
On the other hand, my perception of perfectionism pushes me to simplification. As lecturer I observe one rule that says: “Simple is beautiful.” Regarding expertness and extent of course – I continuously adjust texts of our courses. I always add new information about rational nutrition and keep the course as simple as possible.
Sometimes, some students require references on scientific studies that could support theories and reasoning about individual topics. This is double-edged sword and not everybody (especially rationally thinking people) wants to understand. It is important to take results of scientific studies into account. However, there are two substantial snags:
Each study costs a lot of money that somebody has to invest. There is always some purpose and we have no chance to learn if results of such study are really scientific or if there is especially commercial concern.
Each study is made in different conditions and provides different results. In reality, it happens that one scientific study disproves results of other one. So there is a problem with reference on studies – which studies refer to so they would not cause confusion in minds of beginners.
That is why I stopped providing references on some scientific studies regarding nutrition and health after several attempts to do that. Anybody who is interested in individual opinions of institutions and their boffins can use internet and let them overload his or her mind with plentiful information. I am not able to say which one is “better” or “worse”, like which one is “more truthful”.
The only thing I am able to do is to point out way of thinking that goes the way of holistic perception or on the contrary that goes only in one direction.
The most frequent questions are related to time requirements of study. At first sight, it could seem that it shall take a lot of time to study a new topic every working day and to create menu and mind map.
So let´s wait for a while: Each person needs different amount of time to create mind map out of one lesson. Some students need 10 minutes. People who have more time and incline to melancholy “plays” longer with their maps. Further, mind maps are not obligatory, their creation is voluntary. Creation of tasks (= menus) in ZOF teaching game needs more time, however, it also applies that it depends on each student and how he or she immerse into the work. The truth is that work with this game significantly increases our ability to create menus and simultaneously raises sense for this activity. To avoid this activity means half-hearted work during study. The key information is that it is a game. We learn by playing games, which is second best possibility how to learn anything (practice itself is the first one).
During study ZOF game is obligatory tool that helps connect theory and practice.
Everything depends on individual approach and free will. Due to time and organizational reasons, approximately 30-40% of students study in spurts, especially during weekends. I don´t know if it is better or not, my answer will be “politically correct” again – it is a question of individuality.
Possibility to use on-line Advisory center is part of process of simplification of study. Here, as lecturer of each course, I am fully at disposal to each student. All questions and answers are archived, so students have access to whole history of Advisory center. It means that range of information of a course, including chance to perceive different point of view on partial issues related to nutrition are constantly growing.
Every day of study, participants of course can practice their knowledge in tests that take 2 to 3 minutes, so there is no reason to deal with consumption of time in this case.
If I sum it up, courses are demanding due to changes. Graduates of these courses confirm that due to content of courses and system of education we use and length of the course quality of their life is significantly influenced in the form of continuous changes they make during study.
Demandingness of study in our courses regarding time investment and perception of expertness is very individual. However, it applies that everything is a question of state of mind. The truth is that only people who want decide to study. It means that they enjoy the course. Thanks to such attitude it is really relative to express level of demandingness.
Mgr. Martin Jelínek
What our graduates say
Andrew and Michaela Dobiasek
Imagine of having a teacher who… - Is growing both personally and professionally with a remarkable pace already for greater part of his life - Uses his western-world scientific knowledge as a basic platform, not as a ceiling - Is willing to go against the flow, if the flow goes in a wrong direction - Is able to educate you in a catchy way, to understand wider relations - Understands how important the harmony of body and mind is for human health - Lives a lifestyle that is the best example of his teachings - Has such good results in helping with other people’s health that it gives lots of good reasons to listen carefully - However he himself is more listening than talking; humility, smile and respect is his second nature. We could continue this way, but words cannot express. You have to live it. Martin Jelínek is very inspiring personality that can – always kind of by the way – fascinate you with something new, whenever we have a chance to meet him again. During more than 10 years, we have had a privilege to learn from him in different fields, nor during the whole era of our academic education, we have never had a chance to meet a teacher that would be better in his ability to ignite a passion for knowledge inside you. It is great now to see the followers of his school growing, as exactly this kind of teachers should be available to anybody who wants to be able to meaningfully coach himself or others on how to deal with their health. Now, thanks to the courses of Martin Jelínek, you have such chance.
Ing. Petr Novotny
Almost the whole life, I desire to discover various aspects of complex view and effect of different factors of human health, e.g. relationship between physical state and emotional influence or physical exercising or nutrition and so on. For more than 20 years, I have been suffering from ulcerative colitis. Coeliac disease joined later. It forced me to focus on factors stated above. With the last mentioned factor – nutrition, I had many years of practical experience on my body or gained from my friends. I knew I could listen to my body and provide it, what it actually needs. Thus, I don′t need any drugs, but I wasn′t always sure if my thoughts and actions were suitable in long-term. After long consideration and evaluation, I felt that course of Martin Jelínek would provide complex approach and I would improve my knowledge. And it happened. Course represented wide spectrum of views and influences of nutrition on human organism and it was also great information gate to the world of nutrition. In the world full of disinformation regarding nutrition, course fulfilled my expectations regarding arguments and improved my state of health. This is crucial, because I can devote myself to family, sport and work in heath. Regarding time and amount of information, course can be managed also in case of other work or other activities. I was positively surprised by speed of answers on many of my questions and further service after the end of the course. Today, I can say that thanks to my long-term experience and thanks to this course, I can give advice not only to me, but also to other people. I am looking forward to further cooperation.
For a long period of time, I tried to find a course that I could manage while working. For me, regular participation on lectures is out of the question, so I tried to find some course I could study online. When I found courses of Martin Jelínek, the choice was clear. In the beginning, the course seemed demanding, gradually I found a system and started to be interested in nutrition besides content of course. Since that time, I haven′t any problem with study. During the course, I had to go to London for one month and didn′t have time to study. I was surprised that length of study was lengthened for me without any problem, so after return I could start where I had ended. This course was enriching for me and it broadened my horizons especially regarding alternative diet. I would like to thank Martin Jelínek for this course and I can warmly recommend it to others.