My guest today, Andrea Nakayama, is someone I’ve been super excited to bring on to the podcast! What I was so struck by when I first met her was not only her story and her resilience, but the incredible business that she built, coming out the other side of her story. 

 Andrea is the founder of the Functional Nutrition Alliance and has had over 3,500 practitioners move through her program! Andrea is a nutritionist by background, but what makes her so effective as both as a clinician and as a teacher for practitioners is her natural knack and ability to take complex, integrative ideas and bring them down and use language that makes them so simple for all of us to understand. 

 In this episode, we talk about the fundamentals of building a scalable business and being an entrepreneur and how to assess what diet you should be picking up in this massive landscape of diets! Andrea dives deep into the topic of bio-individuality, explains how all areas of our health are interconnected, and how to aim for healing in your health journey rather than reaching for the often unobtainable “ideal.” 

Key Takeaways: 

[:58] About today’s episode with Andrea Nakayama. 

[2:12] Welcoming Andrea to the podcast! 

[2:50] Andrea tells us her journey as an entrepreneur and the story behind her success. 

[9:08] Why you need to be vulnerable and challenged to grow, reach your true potential, and find your purpose. 

[12:16] Andrea talks about the sentiment that ‘when our purpose is bigger than ourselves, it gives us the power we need to “climb that mountain”’ — and it applies to not only our business but our health. 

[13:50] Andrea tells us more about her businesses, the Functional Nutrition Alliance and Functional Nutrition Lab. 

[14:07] What makes functional nutrition so unique and individualized. 

[17:46] Andrea explains the concept of bio-individuality and why you do not have to place yourself in a dietary box. 

[23:58] Andrea explains the difference between evidence-enslaved vs. evidence-informed. 

[27:37] Was Andrea always a teacher? 

[27:51] How all areas of your health are interconnected. 

[30:01] Where Andrea starts with patients with respect to their health. 

[33:28] Andrea’s health-related non-negotiables. 

[35:28] Andrea’s key performance indicators! 

[39:47] Where to learn more about what Andrea is up to! 

Mentioned in This Episode: 

Functional Nutrition Alliance 

Functional Nutrition Lab 

More About Andrea Nakayama 

Andrea Nakayama is an internationally known Functional Medicine Nutritionist, educator, and speaker who is leading a movement to transform the health industry into a system that WORKS, empowering patients and practitioners alike with the systems and tools of Functional Nutrition. Her passion for this nutrition revolution came as a result of a personal family tragedy. Her young husband, Isamu, was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor while she was just seven weeks pregnant with their only child. 

It was in overcoming his prognosis of six months and prolonging his life for another two years that Andrea’s expanding interest in food as personalized medicine became her full-time passion and purpose. Andrea formed Functional Nutrition Lab in 2012 to further educate health practitioners in both the science and physiology of nutrition and in the art of the Functional Nutrition practice, providing professionals of diverse backgrounds with advanced tools and the depth of knowledge necessary to effect substantive changes in the lives of their own clients and patients as she has. 

 As her reach and impact have grown, Andrea has focused her mission onto personalized medicine as a means of transforming healthcare at large, delivering to each person the opportunity to take their health into their own hands, thereby gaining more ownership over their everyday choices in relation to their signs, symptoms and ultimate health. Andrea is celebrated as a leader in the field of Functional Nutrition because of her unique ability to teach and inspire practitioners and patients alike. Andrea synthesizes art and science, empathy and physiology, and intuition and problem solving into a system that truly helps people get to the root cause of their illness, create a path towards wellness, and find their way back to life. 

Connect with my Guest: 

Social Media: TwitterInstagram

Facebook Pages: Functional Nutrition LabFunctional Nutrition Alliance

Websites: Functional Nutrition Alliance and Functional Nutrition Lab 

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Tell us about your favorite out-of-the-box nutrition tip on The Entrepology Podcast Facebook page that doesn’t fit into any particular diet or health regime! What is it that you do that helps you bring your A-game? 


“I often think of myself as an accidental entrepreneur because I didn’t start out with that intention. It really is [my] mission that has driven my successes.” — Andrea Nakayama 


“There’s not one day that’s easy — there’s ease and joy … but I would say there’s not been one day where it’s easy. Every kind of growth comes with its challenges!” — Andrea Nakayama 


“We have over 3,500 graduates in 63 countries that are learning this [functional nutrition] methodology and putting it to practice — no matter their scope of practice. We have everyone from health coaches … to medical doctors.” — Andrea Nakayama 


“Functional nutrition is about honouring the entirety of the individual so we can see what works at what time. I like to think of the journey as ‘heal’ versus ‘ideal.’” — Andrea Nakayama 


“A lot of what’s out there is ‘ideal’ — it works for 80% of the people. But I’m really committed to addressing the needs of the 20% that are not succeeding with the theories that are out there.” — Andrea Nakayama 


“When I say, ‘the ART of the practice’ … [i.e.] the art of the functional nutrition practice… for me, ART stands for assess, recommend, and track.” — Andrea Nakayama