Interview with Andrea Nakayama: Discover the Concepts Behind Functional Nutrition and Andrea’s Training Program— Holistic Nutrition Lab

Functional nutritionist and educator Andrea Nakayama is leading clients, students, and practitioners around the world in a revolution focused on reclaiming ownership over one’s own health. Her passion for food as personalized medicine was born from the loss of her young husband to a brain tumor in 2002. Andrea is now training a thousand practitioners every year in the art and science of a clinical practice that transforms lives, and she’s regularly consulted as the nutrition expert for the toughest clinical cases in the practices of many world-renowned doctors. Her unique ability to make the very complex easily digestible is one of the many factors that led to Andrea being honored this year with the Impact Award from the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. What is Functional Nutrition? Functional nutrition is the intersection between functional medicine and nutritional coaching. Andrea utilizes the tools and tenants of functional medicine and applies them to nutrition to restore the proper physiological function of the body. She focuses on functional medicine practices, such as creating a therapeutic partnership with her patients. She believes it is the practitioner’s responsibility to be an educator and aid the patient in fully understanding what is happening to their body physiologically. This is turn elevates the status of the patient and makes them feel more responsible for their own health when they have a stronger grasp of what is going on in their body. Andrea encourages practitioners to spend the time during the intake process to create this partnership as a foundation for later action steps and lifestyle changes. Reframing Nutrition: Story, Soup, and Skill Andrea has created a functional nutrition matrix, which looks at 3 key terms: story, soup and skill. The story portion focuses on the antecedents, triggers, and mediators. Andrea points out there is just as much information to learn from a patient’s story as their lab test results. Therefore it is important to create a space where the patient can share their story. However, it is crucial the practitioner guides the telling of the story to get the most information possible and ensure the time spent with a patient is beneficial. Again, allowing for open communication as well as pointing out associations between life events and symptoms will enhance a patient’s investment in their own health. The soup portion of the matrix focuses on the web of physiological interactions that blend together. Andrea mentions a wide range of interactions from intestinal status and detoxification to hormones and oxidative stress. The last section pertains to skills, highlighting lifestyle therapeutics, such as diet recommendations, relationship status and stress reduction techniques. It’s important to match the skills and nutritional recommendations to the person and what they can handle and take on. Together the story, soup, and skills weave a functional nutrition matrix, guiding both practitioner and patient through a complex web of symptoms and underlying causes. Holistic Nutrition Lab Holistic Nutrition Lab is an interactive training program designed to enable health professionals to work in tandem with their patients and the health and medical teams in the critical area of functional nutrition, creating dynamic patient/ practitioner relationships. Andrea offers two different training courses, described below. To learn more about Andrea and Holistic Nutrition Lab you can visit her website or download her e-book: Functional Nutrition 101. Holistic Nutrition Lab: Digestive Intensive This month-long online training uncovers the science and art of the functional nutrition practice with a focus on the core to health, the digestive system. It’s the foundation of the Holistic Nutrition Lab curriculum. Offered live once a year in February, we also open the dedicated message board as a live classroom in July, to deepen and continue the conversation for everyone who’s become part of that year’s Digestive Intensive. Holistic Nutrition Lab: Full Body Systems Over the course of ten months online, the Full Body Systems curriculum dives deep into uncovering not only the science of nutrition, but the art of being in a successful functional nutrition practice. The seven intensives on the Digestive, Immune, Urinary, Cardiovascular, Endocrine, Brain and Reproductive systems cover the anatomy, function, and physiology of each system as well as its interconnections with the other systems. In Full Body Systems, Andrea takes the conversation deeper, providing frameworks and methodologies for being in the art of the functional practice, teasing out health obstacles while wearing the hat of a nutrition detective. This intersection of science and art is what transforms the practices of Holistic Nutrition Lab students as well as the lives of their patients and clients.

Dr. Dan Kalish

Dr. Daniel Kalish is dedicated to teaching doctors Functional Medicine philosophy and practices. Through The Kalish Institute’s educational programs he has trained over 1,000 practitioners worldwide in The Kalish Method which solves patient challenges through a proven lab based approach.

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