In 2013, during the International Conference on Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine in Portland, OR, I was approached by an incredible woman named Andrea Nakayama. Andrea is a “rock star” in natural health and functional nutrition; she’s a Certified Nutrition Counselor, Certified Nutrition Educator, Certified Holistic Health Coach, and is an internationally-acclaimed functional nutritionist who provides, among other things, a comprehensive online curriculum to further students’ understanding of human physiology and nutrition. We exchanged information and began to follow each other’s work.
Andrea’s journey into the world of health and nutrition began in April of 2000–at seven weeks pregnant–when her husband, Isamu, was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and was given only six months to live. In her powerful speech given at the KC Baker’s School for The Well Spoken Woman, Andrea explains her life-changing discovery about the pivotal role of nutrition to overall health and healing, and how she began using food to help her husband and nurture her family. Contrary to his six-month prognosis, Isamu lived another two and a half years, affording him the opportunity to be present for the beginning of their son’s life.
Since learning of her story and work, I’ve felt a certain kinship with Andrea: We’re both passionate ‘artists-turned-survivors’, thrust into the world of health and nutrition in response to personal tragedy. I have a deep respect for her dedication to helping and empowering others, and her approach to nutrition as medicine mirrors my own, as eloquently stated in her speech:
“The key to nutritional healing has two parts; there’s the “key” which is the food we eat, and there’s the “lock” which is our physiology. And it’s the biochemistry between the two which truly allows for a deeper level of healing. This is where food is medicine.”
Andrea Nakayama’s Functional Nutrition Lab
Soon after announcing my keynote speech for the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association (NORA) in January 2014, Andrea asked me to present for the Neuro Intensive for her Functional Nutrition Lab. In exchange, she granted me a scholarship to the entire FNL program and I ended up joining Andrea’s team, preparing course materials and transcripts and editing audio and video content.
Andrea’s Functional Nutrition Lab (FNL) is a comprehensive online curriculum that includes month-long intensive courses for digestive, immune, urinary, endocrine, nervous and reproductive systems. In this online forum and live classroom, hundreds of health practitioners are able to collaborate to gain a deeper understanding of the physiology behind their work. Transcripts and recordings are provided to be heard over and over again and the community the forms becomes an invaluable resource for practitioners and students alike.
Andrea is a master at providing tools, skills, and knowledge by simplifying complex physiology and creating a community of learning, through making herself available to students, and by hosting an online forum for the class. She truly loves and believes in what she does. It is her mission to change the face of healthcare by empowering her class with the knowledge that will propel them to be as effective as possible. Andrea even provides the entire following year, free of charge, to all Full Body Systems (FBS) Grads.
Since January of last year, I have been focused on each lesson, and I am now an FBS graduate! Whether you’re a health practitioner, student, or simply interested in the role of nutrition in healing and medicine, I believe in her work whole heartedly and I couldn’t be more appreciative for the opportunity to learn how to effectively help my clients in need from her. See one of our interviews together here.
Check it out for yourself and see if she resonates with you in this free training series on how to become the go-to nutrition expert:
You may also want to check out what practitioners around the world are saying about FunctionalNutritionLab.com!