Hello, I’m Andrea Nakayama. I’m a Functional Medicine Nutritionist, Educator and Speaker pioneering the movement to transform healthcare into a system that WORKS. I know that a functional nutrition approach is the answer to our healthcare crisis, both for individuals and for society at large.
I created Functional Nutrition Lab to teach practitioners of every scope the functional tools, systems, and mindset shifts that have been instrumental in my own success as a clinician.
Like many of you, my road to understanding the power of nutrition began with a personal tragedy. My young husband, Isamu, was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor when I was just 7 weeks pregnant with our only child.
Isamu was given only 6 months to live. Unwilling to simply watch him die, I began diligently researching nutrition, diet and lifestyle modifications. In the face of such a grave diagnosis, these were the only places my ailing husband and I had complete control. We began using food as medicine, and Isamu lived nearly two and a half years after his diagnosis, long enough to share the beginnings of our son’s life.
Some time after my husband’s death, I experienced what Matthew Sanford, a paraplegic yogi, describes as “Post Traumatic Growth.? I knew I had a choice — to let this tragedy define my life in a purely negative way, or to find the opportunities hidden within. I became determined to understand the mechanisms that lead to chronic disease, to understand how and why the body reacts as it does, and to discern the aptitude that we have to unlock our healing potential using the keys that nutrition can provide.
What I have learned is that when we as clinicians truly take a functional approach — asking questions instead of prescribing formulas, fostering partnerships instead of placing ourselves or the physicians above our patients, and looking to physiology to lead us to each client’s unique root causes instead of rushing for the generic quick fixes — people can find levels of vitality they never thought possible. These results foster my passion, and my drive to always learn more about the healing potential of the human body.
Functional Nutrition Lab (FNL), my school for practitioners, was born out of the success I had in my private practice, and my desire to serve more people than I could help alone. To truly revolutionize the way we do healthcare, we need an army of practitioners who know how to practice both the science and the art of functional nutrition.
The Functional Nutrition Alliance (FxNA) is the culmination of years in both clinical practice and as an educator at FNL. FxNA is where patients can take classes to empower themselves with nutritional insights, connect with a Functional Nutritionist trained by me for dedicated one-on-one support, and where practitioners of all kinds can share understanding and collectively move the dial forward. We need to change the way healthcare is addressed on a global scale. FxNA is my piece in that revolution and FNL is the practitioner training division of FxNA.
Although my work and mission very much define my life, I do have a few other loves. When I’m not focused on revolutionizing healthcare, you can find me reading novels on the beach, cozying up to my two Siamese kitties, listening to podcasts, and spending time with my amazing teenage son Gilbert.
- Bachelors of Fine Arts (BFA)
- Certified Nutrition Educator (CNE) and Certified Nutrition Counselor (CNC)
- Certified Functional Health Coach (CHHC)
- Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine (MSN) - Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner (FNLP)
Andrea is the winner of the 2015 National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) Impact award and the 2016 NANP Service Award for her leadership in the field of nutrition.
In everything she does, Andrea brings her keen investigative prowess, vast knowledge of physiology, deep respect for each individual, and a true passion and love for her work. Outside of her efforts at the Functional Nutrition Alliance, Andrea has been featured in Oprah's O Magazine, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, has made regular contributions to Experience Life Magazine, and to numerous online conferences including Sean Croxton’s Second Opinion Series, where she was a crowd favorite, and was also a co-producer of the Hashimoto’s Institute Summit and practitioner training program. Andrea is now regularly consulted as the nutrition expert on the medical teams for the toughest clinical cases in the practices of world-renowned doctors.
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, 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.