“Call Me CEO” is your master-class on innovation, creativity, leadership, and finding YOUR perfect balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship.

Have you ever wondered how you can increase your nutrition and prevent disease? In this episode, Camille welcomes Andrea Nakayama, the founder of Functional Nutrition Alliance, a functional medicine nutritionist, an educator, and a speaker who aims to transform healthcare into a system that works.

Andrea shares her journey from working in book publishing to becoming a functional medicine nutritionist after her husband passed away from cancer. She shares how she was able to successfully build a seven-figure business as well as her tips on how to improve your diet and prevent disease.

If you’re interested in starting a business in healthcare or are looking for ways to improve your health, tune into this episode to hear Andrea’s advice on how you too can build a successful business and improve your health through nutrition. 


Interested in becoming a virtual assistant? Join the 60 Days to VA Course: www.camillewalker.co/VA

Access the 5-day email sequence to help you discover your purpose: www.callmeceopodcast.com

Visit The Functional Nutrition Alliance: www.andreanakayama.com


Connect with Andrea Nakayama:

Follow Andrea on Instagram: www.instagram.com/andreanakayama

Follow Andrea on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/andreanakayama

Follow Andrea on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndreaNakayama

Visit her website: www.andreanakayama.com

Connect with Camille Walker:

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I’m the subject matter expert that’s not really replaceable in not just the subject matter of functional nutrition, but my approach to it.



So you want to make an impact. You’re thinking about starting a business sharing your voice. How do women do it that handle motherhood, family, and still chase after those dreams? We’ll listen each week as we dive into the stories of women who know. This is Call Me CEO.


All of us are looking for ways to increase our nutrition and prevent disease. Today’s guest is all about telling us how we can build a business around functional nutrition, but also teaching us what we can do with our own health to be healthy and to thrive.

Welcome back everyone to another episode of Call Me CEO. This is your host, Camille Walker. And today is a special episode because we are talking about not only how to grow a very successful business, but how to take care of your health, which is a really powerful duo. I feel like you’re all going to walk away with some powerful nuggets today.

Today, we are talking with Andrea Nakayama. And she is an incredible CEO who built a business after going through a harrowing experience with losing a husband and building a business as a single mom with a new baby. And we’re going to jump right in. So, thank you so much for being here today.

ANDREA [1:37]

Thank you for having me. And if it sounds like I have a new baby, I only have a Siamese cat. But I’m sorry. There’s no new baby in this picture. But thank you so much for having me, Camille.

CAMILLE [1:47]

Yes. This was years ago. So, 22 years ago, you were building a business because it came out of a place of needing answers for something you couldn’t find for your husband who was ill. Can you take us through that place of where you were and how this came to be?

ANDREA [2:04]

Yeah. And the business actually came later. So, at the time that my husband was diagnosed with a really aggressive brain tumor, I was seven weeks pregnant and I was working in book publishing. So, I had a well-established career in book publishing at that point over a decade. And I had a passion for food and nutrition.

We lived in San Francisco at the time. We have these elaborate dinner parties with our friends. We were all at that point without kids. So, we were having these dinner parties that would go into the night. I would shop at the farmers market. So, I loved food. But I didn’t really have an understanding of the nutrition element and what I was doing other than really loving whole foods and working with them.

So, at that point that my husband was diagnosed, that seemingly came out of the blue. We had no idea that there was anything leading up to that. Again, I was seven weeks pregnant and I started to do research to think about what we could do other than the treatments that he was receiving through conventional and allopathic medicine.

Again, he was given about six months to live. So, we were going to try everything and anything because he was wanting to be a dad. He was 32 years old wanting to live a full life. And that is really what woke me up to both the powers of nutrition and the many gaps that exist in our healthcare model because I saw the love of my life treated like his diagnosis and not like the man that he was. And so, that was our first time really experiencing that in such a grave way.

The combination of those things over time led to me ultimately going back to school when I was a single mom after he passed away. So, I’ll just say, my late husband was given about six months to live. He lived two and a half years. And it wasn’t for another two to three years that I realized this was my calling and I had to take a big leap and make this happen. But I wasn’t thinking of it as a business at the time. I was thinking of it as a practice. I could not have imagined what came to fruition.

CAMILLE [4:37]

This is so fascinating to me and inspiring that you could take something that is devastating for anyone to hear or to take on the process of a diagnosis like that and even knowing where to begin. And I’m curious about where or at what point you thought, I’m going to share this information? With not having a background in nutrition, how did you get to a place where it became something that you are able to educate yourself in a way to build a business like this?

ANDREA [5:11]

Yeah, that’s a great question. And it wasn’t something I was thinking about the time we were going through it. My primary focus was on supporting Isamu, not just dealing with the brain tumor, but dealing with all the treatments. There were several different forms of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, cryotomy, surgery, opening his head ear to ear. Meanwhile, I’m pregnant.

So, I’m thinking about what are the things that we can do that we have some influence over in the times between all the information or interventions we’re getting from the medical team? So, that was really for me what I felt like was almost my savior. What can I do? Because in those situations, we’re helpless. You can’t just hand it all over.

So, for me, making food, understanding the differences that different foods could make on his body and on his outcomes was empowering. It gave me something to actually do. It wasn’t until years later, again, after he had passed away that I recognized how much of a passion this was for me.

I was the person who was showing up at potlucks with the healthy yummy food and really passionate about why it was healthy and why it was good, what I was including, what I was excluding. And a friend of mine was diagnosed with colon cancer. She’s a naturopathic physician. Many of my friends are naturopathic physicians and I kept leaning in and leaning out. I should do something. They know more. I don’t do something. Wait.

And then, she came to me and said, “Everybody else is taken care of, food for the family, for the boys, for my hubby, will you be in charge of the food for when I’m healing?” And I realized that I was a big yes, but I was intimidated like many of us are when we’re taking these leaps to follow our passions.

So, I started looking around. I reached out to some other nutrition professionals and one of them said, “You have the biggest nutrition school in your backyard.” And so, I started researching schools. I didn’t end up at that school, but I started researching and realizing, wait, I want to do this. I want to do this work.

CAMILLE [7:48]

That is so inspiring and so wonderful too you were given more time with your husband to be able to meet his baby. What was that like?

ANDREA [8:00]

Yeah. They had 19 months. Yeah. Thank you for asking. That was important. I think it was a good imprinting, even though our son who is now 22 doesn’t remember his dad. I think the imprinting was there. I always tell the stories. And it’s a really important part of who he is and it just was a beautiful time.

I think that one of the things that really became real for me during that time was how important that essence of life is. Everything else falls away. When you’re dealing with a life or death situation, all of the nonsense and the drama and the worry of life just falls away and you’re in the beauty of living, of life, of waking up everyday. And there’s a part for me of working with people who are sick and not getting better that is part of my posttraumatic growth, but part of my way of serving and also stepping into a place that a lot of people fear and being able to be really present in the beauty of those difficult situations.

CAMILLE [9:22]

That is such a gift. Thank you for sharing that. I feel like you’re right that when we’re in situations like that, it’s perspective. It’s that stepping back and thinking there are so many things that I worry about day to day that really at the end of the day don’t matter, but it’s the people in your life and creating that safe place and that you were able to provide such a wonderful solution to help extend that time and that piece together.

And I’m sure everyone listening has someone in their life who has been touched by cancer or a life-threatening illness that nutrition can support and extend life, which what you’ve done is life-giving. And that is so beautiful. So, thank you for doing what you’ve done.

So, you’re in school. You’re studying. How did it evolve into such a huge business? You guys, she’s being really modest. I went to school and people were around me. You have an amazing business, which you have since sold. So, you’re the founder of The Functional Nutrition Alliance, but you were able to scale this business to a huge amount. Please tell us about that journey.

ANDREA [10:48]

Yeah. I’ll take you through the Cliffnotes. So, I was in school while working in book publishing. So, I was in school. I did as much as I could do back in the day. This was in 2008, 2007, even that time. It took me about five years because my undergrad degree is in art and design, which I think is evident through my work and the way I can produce something. So, I say that to remind everyone that we take our history with us. It’s not like we’re putting it aside and becoming something new when we take these leaps. They actually inform what we do and how we do it.

So, for me, I was still working in book publishing. I was a single mom. I was doing as many classes as I could online in the evenings. Then at a certain point, I was doing a little bit of both. I was going to the community college, all of this to do my post-bacc, pre-med pre-reqs to get into a dietitian program that I actually didn’t go to because I didn't want to move my son.

And at that point, I started amassing certifications. I started practicing and it took me some time to realize that what I was practicing, what I was working on with people was different than what a lot of people do because it was how my brain thinks. I’m a systems thinker. I like frameworks versus protocols, which we can unpack a little bit. But that framework thinking was distinct from what a lot of dietitians and nutritionists and health coaches certainly were doing and it took me some time and some coaching to recognize that there was a difference and that I should actually anchor into that distinction what was unique about what I was doing.

So, I started with a practice in my living room meeting with clients. I taught little classes for a $5-$10 donation. So, I think we look at people who are successful and think it happened easily for them. I was working my butt off doing all the things, taking the steps, getting myself out there locally. That then started other people talking to other people. So, I had to do online classes in addition to my live classes. So, I would do two versions of things.

And ultimately, people started asking me to teach them what I was doing in practice because I was having such good results. And that’s when I thought I'd create a little mentorship for other coaches and clinicians. And that part of the business is what grew exponentially. What I thought would be a little mentorship was in that very first year over 100 students. I’ve now trained over 8,000 practitioners in over 68 countries in my methodologies through my 10-month training in the science and art of functional nutrition. And so, again it was work. What do I need to do to take the next step and the next step and the next step? And I think we often think into the big next step and forget all the little things in between and that's true of health too.

CAMILLE [14:15]

Yeah. That is true because it’s incremental changes that are really going to change in the long-term the result of what you get. I love that. I love that you compared it to nutrition because it’s just like going to the gym for the weekend and thinking, where’s my six pack? But realizing, no, it could take years. It could take a few years to get that goal of where you want to be, if not longer.

So, I’m really curious about these systems and the methodology that you were able to develop because I do think that that innovative way of thinking is probably what set you apart where people saw that and realized you had something that wasn’t being taught elsewhere. How were you able to develop that and grow that in a way that it was scaled?

ANDREA [15:01]

Yeah. I think it goes back to that thinking that I said, frameworks versus protocols. And often, in conventional healthcare, the thinking is the protocol. If you have Hashimoto's, MS, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, here's the protocol for that.

I really was drawn to the principles of functional medicine, yet realizing there was a distinction between functional medicine and functional nutrition. So, functional medicine is an ideology of thinking medically that brings us through three primary tenets. It’s a therapeutic partnership, so recognizing that the patient is an equal part of the partnership. Looking for the roots, so that means we ask why is this happening, not just what do we do about it? And taking a systems-based approach.

And the systems-based approach means we recognize the gut’s connected to the brain, the hormones are connected to the liver. We're recognizing systems biology or what I call the full-body systems. I also like to think of that systems-based approach in terms of how we bring in mental models or think into a case.

So, my expertise and what I love to do is work with the people that are sick and not getting better. They’re not the 80%. They are the 20%. They’re not the 80% who the quick fix works for them. The newest trend or dietary theory isn’t working for them because there are chronic underlying conditions.

So, I worked with those systems that I borrow from functional medicine. I translated them to what that means for nutrition and I built out a whole bunch of other ways that we think through a case and we can think through our own health. And for me, that came from, to answer your question, teaching other clinicians because I had to realize that they didn’t think like me.

And this is true of teaching other people and of having a team. Nobody thinks like you think. For better or worse, nobody thinks like you think. And I really honor individuality in health and in our journey to healing, but also into contributions and what we bring to the table. So, the ability to teach others who maybe think differently than I did made me have to get out of my brain and out of my head and create the system to teach what my brain was already doing so that it came naturally to me, but I was seeing it wasn’t naturally coming to others.

So, I just went with the premise if somebody isn’t understanding what I’m saying, it's not their fault. It’s mine. What do I need to reframe or rearticulate so that others understand me? And again, that was true for teaching. That’s true for parenting, but it is certainly true in building a team because we can get so frustrated when people don’t see through our lenses and my tactic was always to understand how they see and speak their language.

CAMILLE [18:24]

My goodness, if all of us could have that skill set, we would be a much more cohesive world to be able to step into people’s shoes and be able to reframe the way you said that. What are some skills that have helped you to be able to do that?

ANDREA [18:44]

So, I think I do see three-dimensionally. That’s just how my brain works and I have what I call a functional nutrition matrix. And it’s where we organize the data about a client case. So, I’m just going to use the two as an example because they play off of each other.

The way I built my business is very similar to how I think through a case. So, there’s that three-dimensional thinking, again, realizing that there’s a system in place like the gut’s connected to the brain, the liver’s connected to the hormones, just recognizing those things. So, I’m always thinking through this mantra with my clinical work.

Everything is connected. We are all unique. All things matter. So, for each person, for Camille, I'm recognizing everything in your body, every sign or system you're experiencing, your diagnosis is connected to the other one. They don’t work in isolation. You are unique. I want to know how were you born? Who are you? What have been the triggers through your life? What’s your history been like? What do you know makes you feel better? What makes you feel worse? All of that matters.

I also want to think about the basic things that we do, sleep and relaxation, nutrition and hydration, stress and resilience. What do those mean to you? When I translate that to my work as a founder and a CEO, I’m thinking through how somebody approaches their work and how they think.

So, I’m a fan on the work side of personality tests. I love them all. I like multiples of them. I have an entire chart where I have each person on the team and their StrengthFinders, their Myers Briggs, their DISC.

Kolbe is my favorite one, K-O-L-B-E because it tells you how we work and not only helps me understand them, it helps me understand myself. Nobody is better than anybody else at attacking a problem or problem solving, but we might do it differently and that helps me to see how we’re doing it differently. So, it allows me to bring that same three-dimensional thinking to my relationship and my partnership with each person I’m working with. I’m not saying it’s always smooth-sailing, but it helps me when I feel stuck to step back and not be in the agitation place, but in the curiosity.

CAMILLE [12:12]

I love that. Have you heard of the website www.understand.me?

ANDREA [21:17]

No. I’ll go check that out. I’m writing it down.

CAMILLE [21:18]

Okay. Please do because it’s a hub where it hosts I think five or six different personality quizzes where the person who takes it can write down or take all of the quizzes. And you don’t have to do any of the paid versions, you can just do the free. And then, that domain becomes yours personally. So, mine for example would be www.understand.me/camillewalker and you can share that with your team or for people that you’re leading and it’s an amazing tool to, like you say, understand the ecosystem not only of how you work, but how the people on your team work as well. So, I think you would like it if you like different personality quizzes, yeah.

ANDREA [22:03]

I love it. Yeah. And it’s so helpful. Go ahead.

CAMILLE [22:08]

I was just going to say I have to check out Kolbe. I don’t know that one.

ANDREA [22:11]

I was just going to say they’ve all been so helpful for me because they also really help me understand why there might be conflict in the situation. Who am I that’s bringing that conflict to the situation?

And there’s four elements of the Kolbe and the one that’s the highest for me is unusual. And so, I have to recognize that the way I’m thinking through something may not land for people. And instead of just again, sitting in that frustration, I’m able to recognize, this is how I can joke about it with the team.

So, the way I joke about it, I'm an implementer, which is the rare one. It doesn’t mean that we all don’t implement. It’s the way I implement. So, I have to see it to believe it. So, I would notice with my team I might say things like that. I need to see it to believe it and they would think I was distrusting them when literally, I need to see it to believe it or I call it rolling the snowball.

We have to roll the snowball. The goal might be there, but we need to do this step first and that’s the way I can engage them in a new project or a new product knowing we’re going to iterate over time instead of thinking it’s going to be perfect out the gate.

CAMILLE [23:31]

Yeah. That's really cool. Okay. So, I need to pause right now. I love that you’ve taken in support of looking at your team members as a whole. What an amazing ability to be able to do that and to lead a team. Obviously, that makes for a very successful CEO at the time as you grew your business. What tools or steps did you take that you could share with our audience about taking your business and growing it to a higher level?

ANDREA [24:02]

So many tools. And I just have to say how grateful I am for the people who have worked for me, who do work for and with me. It’s such a joy and it was a surprise to begin with to think, wait, I’m hiring these people. But when they became part of my actual team, not somebody I’m hiring to assist me like a virtual assistant or a web designer, those are outside, the people actually coming to work for you, I couldn’t even understand it. Why would people want to work for me?

So, there are so many leaps at every stage. Charging money, charging more is a leap. What about going into the next place? What’s the next offer? What’s the next opportunity? I can’t say I did it alone. Not just having a team, but I always had support staff, I will call them, whether it was for therapy for mental health, massage for my physical health, acupuncture, also business coaches. Really leaning into what do I need to learn to do things differently to help with the growth?

And the one thing I really want to say, I developed a 5P system that speaks into this. And that 5P system is passion, permission, purpose, persistence, and perseverance. So, passion, permission, purpose, persistence, and perseverance. All 5 Ps are necessary for each stage of growth, but that center P, purpose, we will never do the other things unless we really are in tune with that purpose. And for me, the purpose of the work was bigger than me. It was to be in service to those who are sick and not getting better, to those who are not getting answers from the treatments that they've received so far.

And it was in service to my late husband and his journey and our journey together. So, that purpose helped me to get out of all the little things that keep us stuck in small because it was bigger than me. And I think if we don’t have a purpose that's bigger than us, we will be stuck in our own stuff that keeps us playing small. So, we all start with passion.

We have to give ourselves permission to grow, to get uncomfortable, to fail, to trip, then that purpose really informs, I want this so much for this reason that’s bigger than me that I’m going to be persistent, meaning I’m going to do it regularly. And I’m going to persevere, meaning I am going to trip. I am going to fall. It’s not going to look perfect and I’m going to get back up. I’m going to do it again because my ego is tiny compared to this bigger thing that I’m aiming to pursue.

CAMILLE [27:09]

What do you think has been so poignant, speaking of another P word, which by the way I love the alliteration of that, I was jotting it down. I hope you’re doing the same. What was it that made your program so unique and how did the word spread where people were coming to be a student of that?

Because I was actually creeping on your website and there were all these health trained professionals that were saying, “I’ve never been taught this way. I never knew these things.” Tell me about that organic growth or did you pay for ads? What was that that got people there knowing what you had to offer?

ANDREA [27:48]

Yeah. It's been different over time because of the industry. So, to begin with, it was very organic. It was all word of mouth. I built my practice and classes without even having a website back in the day. Then it was really starting to learn, how do I get in front of other people? How do I make connections?

So, again, this is how I think we can work still when we’re smaller and growing. It can be through organic marketing. Again, that persistence and that perseverance. I decided I was going to send out a newsletter every Tuesday. I never missed a Tuesday. So, I was showing up in people’s boxes and I was looking to grow my list continually, whether that was being a guest on people’s, there weren't podcasts in the day, but different platforms that they had, writing articles for them, just growing organically, growing that list, and then showing up for that list regularly, not just with a sale for a course or a class, but actual content.

So, if something occurred, they were turning to me. Through that just word of mouth, word of mouth grew. I had a clinic with more practitioners and myself because I had a waitlist that was six months just for me. So, I brought on other practitioners. We had people in our clinic that were able to write their own article. So, we had an article in Oprah Magazine. There was a feature in Martha Stewart. Again, those magazines don’t exist anymore, but those things would lead to growth and I would learn how to capitalize on that growth by being in service.

People are going to come. How do I capture their name and their email and deliver some value to them? And then, when I have something to offer, maybe they’ll be a yes. So, all of that was exponential to the point where, yes, we were paying for social ads at a certain point. And then, when I sold the business, it’s more of a paid media endeavor. So, there's ads in a different way when I was working with when I grew organically.

So, it’s all where you are in the journey, not looking ahead. I didn't even know what paid media was when I sold the company and I was already at a 7-figure business at that point. So, there’s just facing what you need to do to get in front of people and to get your services or your product on people’s minds and lips and sharing about it is your very first step. And that might be local to begin with.

CAMILLE [30:38]

I love all of that. I hope you’re taking notes because as I’m listening to this, it’s very much about the value of the content that you’re providing and capturing email, which we have talked about this 100 times that you own your email address. You own hardly anything else, maybe a website but you do not own social media.

So, to put emphasis on that I think is really important and I’m glad that you shared that because it’s a reminder to me I’m not always the most consistent about sending out email and I know that that can be such a powerful tool. Is that something that you taught yourself how to send out your emails or is there a course or a training that you did that helped you with that?

ANDREA [31:20]

At that point, I just did it. I had a system. I don’t even think it exists anymore. So, this is pre-Infusionsoft, pre-Constant Contact, pre-Mailchimp. I just had an email capture system and I was figuring out how to build. I did everything in the business to begin with, every single role. And then, grew to a small team, a team of 20, and then when I sold the company, of course, there's many more hands involved.

I’m still in the business. It’s not like I sold it and walked away. This is my passion. This is my baby. I’m still rewriting all the content to make sure it’s up to date. It’s the best delivery possible. I’m the subject matter expert that’s not really replaceable in not just the subject matter of functional nutrition, but my approach to it. So, where’s my role? Where can I step back?

But I did do every single thing to begin with. That first course that I taught for coaches and clinicians and I thought it would be a little mentorship group, I was getting the emails with the payment that was coming through PayPal, taking the person, putting it into the systems. None of it was automated at all, which is funny to look back on and may even sound absurd to people listening because there’s so much opportunity.

Towards that end, when I built Full Body Systems, my 10-month training program, there weren't online in-the-box learning management systems or LMSes. So, for anybody who has an online course, you now can get an off-the-shelf LMS or learning management system, plug your content in there. That didn’t exist. We built our own. So, I think I was also fortunate the time I hit the online space and was working that arena and it's changed so much in the last two decades. It’s remarkable.

CAMILLE [33:26]

Yeah. You’re a pioneer for sure doing all of those things by hand and making it happen. I would love to switch gears a little bit to talk about nutrition because all of us can benefit from knowing a little bit more about that and you’re an expert here. So, I feel like I would really be doing us a disservice if I didn't pick your brain a little bit.

But you shared a quote on my social media today that said, “You’re not what you eat. You are what your body can break down and absorb.” And I thought that is such a classic way of relating to someone that’s saying we've all heard you are what you eat, but at the end of the day, our bodies are absorbing our nutrition or even things that we’re eating.

So, let's talk about this a little bit. And I want to talk about preventative medicine for food. What are some simple changes that people can take and maybe the spin-off of this about absorption of our food and things like that?

ANDREA [34:20]

Yeah. Such a good question. And the reason I say that you’re not what you eat, but what your body can do with what you eat, which is basically digest and absorb, is because that’s going to be different for each of us. So, any of the diets out there are going to work in our bodies differently because we have different abilities to break down our food, whether these are our fats or our carbohydrates, our proteins, how we utilize them, what nutrients might be deficient in us at any one time having four children. That’s a nutrient-depleting process physiologically.

CAMILLE [34:57]

I feel it.

ANDREA [35:00]

So, that’s even one of the things I'll ask clients like wha birth order are you? Because we’re relating to what nutrition was available to you when your birthing parent was pregnant with you because it changes over time. We get depleted. So, that’s just the reality. There’s nothing wrong or right about it.

So, what we want to think about is the truth of each individual. So, the way I like to invite people to think about their food is, first of all, how do we feel about food? Because feelings about food and feelings about our bodies are pretty complicated these days especially for women. They’re not easy conversations. I love to track if somebody is able and it’s not triggering what I call food, mood, poop tracking is a great thing, not to be analyzing just to be collecting.

So, “mood” for me, I’m putting in air quotes, because that’s any sign or symptom you experience. It’s not just your mental mindset. It’s anything that your body may be feeling mood-wise. So, food, mood, poop. You’re just tracking what’s true, what happened today.

And then, after three to five days, if that’s possible, you can step back. You can go back in and say, let me get out some color pencils to be a little old school here and what colors did I eat each day? How diverse was my diet in terms of natural color? Because there’s a lot that comes into our nutrition through our plant foods and they bring a lot of nutrients into us that have a lot of healing properties as well.

So, food, mood, poop journal. Get your colors out. Eating the rainbow is definitely one of my primary principles. I also like to remind especially women to eat fat, fiber, and protein at every single meal. That helps us balance our blood sugar. That helps with our hormones. So, two principles right there that are really simple instead of thinking, what should I eat? What should I not eat? Are you eating the rainbow? Play with it. Have fun. If you have kids, put up a chart and write it down and see what foods you’re missing and try to get those into your diet the next day.

And then for yourself, little mantra, fat, fiber, protein. If I don’t know where those are or where those come from, that’s where we can start looking as opposed to looking at what’s the next trend, the keto or the intermittent fasting? These basics have to be in place for our overall balance before we go off into these promise lands that actually don’t deliver.

CAMILLE [37:53]

That’s so fascinating. Because I actually know someone personally who’s husband has cancer right now and his whole thing is that a keto diet is helping to keep him alive longer because he’s not feeding the cancer. Do you think that there’s truth in that because you're avoiding the sugars and maybe the carbohydrates and that is helping or what’s your opinion on that?

ANDREA [38:17]

I want to honor everybody’s path that they decide on because there’s huge evidence around the placebo of what we’re doing. Yeah. And I think there’s a truth in everything that has some evidence behind it. So, a ketogenic diet has been researched for head and neck cancers. That’s what Isamu had, my late husband.

And I am careful about where I would consider a keto diet. I don’t subscribe to any one dietary theory for the people that I’m working with for a number of reasons. So, it is true that we want lower sugars, so we don't feed cancer cells. So, sugar feeds any growing cell in our body. And this is where I started in my thinking with Isamu. How do we lower the sugars?

But you don’t need to go keto to lower your sugars. There’s other ways to get there and a ketogenic diet is very high in fat and it’s very high in protein, both of which can be difficult to digest depending on the internal systems, particularly when you’re going through treatment.

So, again, if it’s working for him and he swears by it, I completely honor that. From my perspective, my goal is to help people eat the most diverse diet possible for themselves at that point in time. That might mean a diet’s more restricted during a healing protocol. And then, we're looking to extend it.

But those foods, especially those plant foods, which have to be pretty low on a ketogenic diet to keep our carbs down, are incredibly beneficial because they’re loaded with different kinds of fiber, so many nutrients, and so beneficial in reducing oxidative stress, which contributes to our inflammation, which contributes to our cancer. So, you could hear through my talking it’s a whole system of thinking and I’d rather we bring in as much as possible. Otherwise, we start to introduce other nutrient deficiencies.

CAMILLE [40:38]

Yeah, right. That makes sense to me. For someone that’s listening to this and is thinking, I would love to have a better hold on introducing a variety of foods in my diet in general, someone just off the street who’s wanting to be preventative in their medicine and to have a healthy approach, number one, do you have something for that person? And number two, if there was a person who themselves was going through cancer or had someone that they love who was going through cancer, is there a way for them to access your information as well or is it only for physicians and nutrition people?

ANDREA [41:12]

Yes. So, I have dual worlds going on both places. So, at www.andreanakayama.com, that’s where I’m actually turning my attention back to the patient population. Not as a clinician, but with my writing and with the book that I’m working on. So, all the writing and the podcasts are there and our podcast will be over there or really facing the patient audience.

At The Functional Nutrition Alliance, the biggest thing we do is train practitioners, coaches, and clinicians, but we also have a virtual clinic. So, I have a team still of functional medicine nutritionists and you can find us over there at www.fxnutrition.com. It says the clinic or something like that at the top of the page. You can always go to www.fxnutrition.com/the-clinic and that leads you to our services for helping people.

For those who need a helping hand, if you’re looking for that preventative, I just want to increase my nutrition, I know it matters, that is where I would say to turn back to these principles of what colors am I eating? Can I get playful with this? What actually is enjoyable? I see that there are nettles at my co-op. What do I even do with those? What is there that makes you curious and go learn and play?

There’s so much available to us today online that we can research if we see something. Buy a radish. What do you do while adding that on top of something? I think there’s just ways to really make it more enjoyable to engage with those foods rather than thinking we’re going on a plan or a protocol or a diet.

CAMILLE [43:02]

I like that. I think that element of curiosity rather than I have to eat more vegetables. Maybe it’s more how could I incorporate this vegetable that I don’t know much about? I think that’s a really interesting way to look at it. I appreciate that.

This has been such a fantastic interview. I am so grateful you were able to share so much of your personal story and the growth of your business, so many amazing nuggets in this podcast. And I’m going to say right now. We need a part two when you do come out with your book. So, we can follow up on that. And thank you so much for being on the show today.

ANDREA [43:38]

Thank you so much for having me. I loved it.

CAMILLE [43:42]

All right. We can check out those links below. We’ll link to all of those websites that were just mentioned. And on Instagram, do you want it tell them your Instagram handles?

ANDREA [43:51]

Yes. It’s @andreanakiyama and @functionalnutritionalliance.

CAMILLE [43:57]

Perfect. We’ll link those below as well. Thank you so much for tuning in this week. We will see you next time. Hey, CEOs. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. If you found this episode inspiring or helpful, please let me know in a comment and a 5-star review. You could have the chance of being a featured review on an upcoming episode. Continue the conversation on Instagram. And remember, you are the boss.


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