A Heartfelt Approach to Functional Nutrition Interview with Andrea Nakayama

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Interview with Marc David and Andrea Nakayama

Today Marc David interviews Andrea Nakayama. Andrea is a Functional Nutritionist, educator, and speaker, and she’s taken the idea of food as personalized medicine from clinical practice to guiding thousands internationally through her online programs of Replenish PDX and Holistic Nutrition Lab. In this heartfelt interview, they discuss how illness or tragedy can be alchemized into beautiful life lessons, and can help us rise to a higher purpose and become an advocate for yourself and others.


Marc: Welcome, everybody. I’m Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Here we are in The Future of Healing Online Conference. I’m with a wonderful friend and amazing colleague, Andrea Nakayama. Welcome.

Andrea: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here, Marc.

Marc: Me too! I can’t wait to get going and I want to say a few words about you for people  who might be new to you and your world. Andrea is a Functional Nutritionist, educator and speaker, and she’s taken the idea of food as personalized medicine from a clinical practice to guiding, really, thousands internationally through her online programs of Replenish PDX and Holistic Nutrition Lab.

Her students fall into two broad categories and those are the chronically ill and the health professionals who seek to help them. Her mastery at explaining difficult concepts and accessible ways really empowers her students to finally have the understanding to transform their own health and the health of their clients. In addition  to teaching in her programs, she’s the co­founder of the Hashimoto’s Institute. She’s  on the board of directors for the Center for Integral Wisdom, been featured in O Magazine, Martha Stewart’s Whole Living, kind of all over the place, and you’ve become just a real go­to person in the functional nutrition universe and so many other offshoots from that.

I want to know from you how did you get on this journey? How did you get into this work? What inspired you?

Andrea: It’s a personal story, of course, and I think that’s true of many of us who pursue the healing professions. As you know, Marc, I lost my husband 12­1/2 years ago to a brain tumor, so he had what would be considered a chronic illness with suffering with a brain tumor.

He was diagnosed when I was seven weeks pregnant with our son, and our son is    now 14 years old, so it was quite a while ago. He lived to see his son have a full year and a half of his life, so there was some really beautiful imprinting there. But going through that experience with my husband, seeing how he was treated as a man with a chronic illness, treated like his diagnosis, not like a man who had time to live. Also, just learning about the body and realizing how far we’ve come in a culture from what’s happening within us really started to inspire me.

My biggest passion at the time besides the love of my family was food. Food became, for me, something I could do every day, three times a day or more, to support my husband, to support my growing baby, to support myself in all the stress that I was going through.

There were some really solid foundations there, and as I moved forward and remade  my own career and studied nutrition and had the opportunity to work with thousands of people like you’ve said, that mission has really transformed over time. I’m able to understand just what is functional nutrition and what does that mean and how do we practice it?

Marc: I am impressed by how in your story it’s really hardship and disease that put you so firmly on the path of a healer. What a crazy paradox in life that sometimes that’s just kind of the doorway for so many of us who step into this realm to be healers, to be practitioners. It’s driven by pain, suffering, personal need, whatever it is.

Andrea: Yeah, I like to refer to that as “posttraumatic growth,” because it was, of course, the most traumatic thing to date I have ever lived through. The diagnosis, my husband’s illness, and supporting him through that, watching a person you love lose their abilities and really deteriorate is the most painful thing, maybe more painful than actually losing them. And, of course, his death and moving forward as a single mom.

All of that was, of course, traumatic, but how we transform that is really where we get in touch with who we are and what we do in the world. This is something I hope to bring to all the people whose lives we touch, that there is the opportunity for posttraumatic growth. I see that with so many of the people we work with who suffer with a chronic illness and are able to see some sort of light come through that.

It doesn’t mean that all the signs and symptoms are going to go away, but how do we manage it? How do we live with it? How do we see the blessings in it, even though there are so many times where it all feels like a curse?

Marc: I want to hang here for a second because I’ve known you for a while, and you very graciously kind of presence your story and what your husband meant to you and your journey and for you and your son, and to me, you’ve just integrated that experience so beautifully. Was it a conscious decision at some point where you had to say to

yourself, “I’m not going to be a victim,” or “I’m not going to let this keep me down,” or “I’m going to use this for fuel for my posttraumatic growth?” What happened in here?

Andrea: I think that’s a really good question, and I don’t know that it was any one thing. When I look back at the entire journey, people will say to me, “Well, you had two and a half years with him, you must have been preparing for this death.” I think, “No, we were fighting for life.”

There was so much beauty and grace in that. I learned so much from him and the way that he was able to handle his situation with grace and move forward with  determination and really his death, his actual death was a spiritual awakening for me.   It was like I was able to transcend some of what we experience in this world, and it might sound a little woo­woo, but I think it was about giving myself over to an experience and allowing what happened in that experience to wash over me.

This is something I think is true of illness as well. How do we not fall victim to it, but sit in the soup of it, understand what it is, and really kind of emerge from that place potentially stronger, potentially wiser, potentially with more insight. But we’re often fighting it without really breathing into it. I think his death was my first opportunity to actually just move into something that I didn’t know and allow myself to be guided.

Marc: Good for you. Mission accomplished.

Andrea: Thank you.

Marc: Really. So functional nutrition and the future of healing, when you look at functional nutrition, how do you see it as sort of a stepping stone into where we are heading when it really comes to evolving how we do nutrition, evolving how we do healing?

Andrea: Yeah, and evolving how we do medicine. I love the title of this conference, The Future of Healing. That experience of my own that we were just talking about really brought  me into the depth of struggle that people experience in this world. When we talk about healing, we’re in a world where we know there are issues with obesity and diabetes  and heart disease. Those are talked about and visible to us in a big way now, but half the American population is walking around with some chronic illness, some autoimmune condition, Lyme disease. There are lots of conditions that are hidden to the visible eye, whether they be MS or Crohn’s or colitis. There’s so much suffering in

our world and people are just holding it and not really knowing how to move into their healing.

For me, functional nutrition is where we get to have ownership and become a true partner in our healthcare. We do need a team, and functional nutrition—I’m following the precepts of functional medicine. In functional medicine, we’re always swimming upstream looking for the root cause of an illness, but one of the other precepts of functional medicine, which I think is really critical, is that the role of the physician is to create a therapeutic partnership with their patient.

We live in a world where a patient does not necessarily know how to be in partnership with their physician. I see it as my job and what I do in training other nutritionists and holistic health professionals in Holistic Nutrition Lab and in working with clients and customers in the Replenish world to create more of the educated patient so that   they’re taking care of themselves every single day, and they’re showing up for their appointments with their medical team able to be informed and have a conversation.

The functional nutrition piece is really about how we eat, how we live, how we understand how those things interact with our internal physiology. We need a higher level of education at the patient realm to really be able to hold our own in the world of healing.

Marc: It seems like that’s, in so many places, where the rubber meets the road because usually I’m sick, something is not working in my body, I go to my doctor, my practitioner, “Fix me.” Oftentimes, we do look at our diseases as, “This is what’s impinging upon me. This is attacking me. This is the enemy. I’m the victim. I just want to turn it over to the expert and just do me.” You kind of said this. That’s such a big  part of the healing is just really us as patients, us as humans just stepping up.

Andrea: Being the expert. Nobody is the expert of you like you, and that doesn’t mean that you show up for those appointments with your hands on your hip and expecting something.  It means that you’re doing your part, which is a lot to step up to. I think one of the most amazing things for me coming out of the Hashimoto’s Institute, for which I was a co­producer, is that so many of the people in that population, the question was,    “Where do I find a doctor like this?”

Honestly, Marc, I was kind of stunned because I felt like we were creating an   education, a curated education for people to start taking things into their own hands,   but we all still want the one expert who’s going to solve all the problems, give us the  right pill, make everything go away, and for the level of disease that we’re experiencing in the world today, that doesn’t exist. It’s multi­faceted, and we have to look at it from multiple angles, and we have to take ownership.

Marc: It almost feels like that approach is so similar to, “I’m going to find the one person  who’s going to make me happy,” or “I’m going to find the perfect job,” or “We’re going  to elect the perfect president, the one person who’s going to save us all.” It feels like the sort of hero or heroine mentality clearly isn’t working when it comes to what you’re describing when it comes to our health.

Andrea: Absolutely. When it comes to healing, healing does not happen at the hands of  another person. We can facilitate the opportunity for healing, but each person is their own healer. It comes, like I said, from a multitude of places and different ways to thinking and how we reposition ourselves to all parts of our condition, whatever it may be. It may be something minor and it may be something fairly major.

Marc: Can you say, in a minute or two, just so we can help listeners sort of get grounded in the mindset of a functional nutritionist? On a practical level, what might your service look like if you were going to step in and be sort of the quintessential functional nutritionist? What are some of the bullet points of what that might look like?

Andrea: Yeah, absolutely. I teach the concepts that I’m going to break down into a formula that   I heard Dr. David Haase say once, which is, “The story, the soup, and the skill.” Those three places need to really be drawn out. Our story is what you’re asking me. What led me here and how does that affect my health, all the emotions, all the experience, all   the adrenaline and the hormones that were released during that time for me? What about my genes? How does that affect things? Or when I eat certain things like gluten  or dairy, what does that do to my particular system?” That’s my story. So helping understand their story in functional medicine. Those are called the “ATMs,” the antecedents, the triggers, and the mediators.

The soup is our physiology. This is really key to me because we can develop a relationship with our food and understand how our food feels to us or where we have messages that have been imprinted on us about what we eat or when we eat. But how

that food interacts with our physiology, for me, that’s when the light bulbs go off for people, when they start to see, “Oh, I don’t want to eat that because it’s not about restriction. It’s about what that’s doing to me and what I may be—the ways in which I may be harming myself or not supporting myself or conversely supporting myself.”

Then the skill is what I call the “core basics” on the functional matrix. Those are really how we live and how do we develop the skillset to be able to manage our life and the conditions that we understand ourselves to be living with?

Those would be the three bullet points, and there’s so much to explore in there, but I love that concept of it’s the story, which is key in the functional practice. Who you are, what brought you here, who your parents were, what it was like for your mom through her pregnancy, all of that is so important.

Your soup, which is all of what’s going on inside of you unique to you as your fingerprint, and your skillset, which we all need to learn and be evolving our skillset all the time to support ourselves as evolving beings.

Marc: Really, functional nutrition seems to be asking a lot of us as the eater, as the person, as the patient, because we really have to step into I’m going to say responsibility or even an interest in what’s actually going on here. Do you see any particular obstacles that people face in being their own advocate in this way?

Andrea: Yeah, absolutely. I mean patient advocate is a term that I really like to teach the   people that I work with because we do need to be our own patient advocate. The word “advocacy” is a really good one, but you bring up such a good point, Marc, in that not everybody wants to go here. There are people who want to be told, “Just tell me what  to do.” They will say that, “Just tell me what to do and I will do it.”

I don’t think that person is going to adapt very well to this set of principles. It’s a much deeper exploration. It does allow for a much deeper level of transformation and potentially transcendence of the disease state, but it does take some work, some thought, some deep exploration.

I think part of the problem is that if our problems are not bothersome enough to us, then we’re not fully motivated. We are more motivated when we have something that

we’re missing out on in our life that is going to drive us to do the things that we have to do to get that thing.

You and I know this in that we have personal passions that we pursue. In order to pursue those, we will sometimes stay up too late, do things in order to have that full expression that we want for ourselves. I really believe that helping people come back into that motivating factor is what’s going to drive them.

One of the biggest obstacles we might face is not knowing who we are or what we   want in the world anymore. We’ve wandered so far off of our path that it all just feels  like murky water. That motivating factor is key. Then also we work—we live in a  system, a medical system, where it is hard to be an advocate for yourself. There aren’t  a lot of physicians that are not keen on what we’re talking about here, on what you’re talking about in The Future of Healing, that are ready to have that conversation. There are more and more of them, thankfully, that really understand the unique individual    and how they have to meet them in order to do their job. There are a number of obstacles. The first, I would say, comes from within. What are you willing to do to feel good?

Marc: Well, it seems like—and I come from a family of lawyers and doctors, and I love  doctors and they have been sort of the gatekeepers to this thing we called “health and medicine,” and it’s almost like we’ve been taught, maybe not directly, but indirectly,   that it’s through the medical doctor that you enter into the sort of halls of healing and that’s the only way to get in somehow. It puts way too much pressure on doctors.

Andrea: Totally. We see way too many doctors not living their passion because they’re in a system that doesn’t allow them to be the healer that they went into this profession for. The medical profession has changed incredibly over time. When we look back or think about the doctor worrying over a child with the parents in the background, in the home, there was a different relationship with the person, with the family, and that just doesn’t exist, which is a tragedy for everybody now.

I also want to say that I do think it takes a team. Part of that team is each individual. Is the patient being their own advocate? They are part of their medical team. But it may also take a physician and maybe it takes an acupuncturist or a naturopath and a nutritionist. When we work with people in the one­on­one realm at Replenish, we’re right in there with their physicians. We’re reviewing labs with the physician. We’re

requesting labs. We are right in there so that the patient has a team working towards their best result instead of feeling like it’s all on the doctor or all on them alone. That’s    a hard place for both those individuals. A team and a community really dissolves some of that pressure.

Marc: What you’re saying makes so much sense to me because there is a pressure. I mean  if I put all the pressure on me to figure out my disease or my challenge, that’s kind of too much. If I put it on one practitioner, that’s not fair because then we’ll end up suing them if they do the wrong thing or we think they do the wrong thing. The concept of a team, it feels like where it feels so wonderfully communal.

Andrea: Yes, exactly, and that’s how it should be. Healing doesn’t happen in isolation most of the time. I mean I’m sure we can find references to that, but it really does happen in communication with yourself, with people—partners on your team.

Marc: What heals to you? What is healing? What’s the definition of what heals for you? It doesn’t have to be one thing, but what comes to mind?

Andrea: Yeah, that’s great. I was recently asked, “What is healthy?” I think that what is healthy is really unique to all of us. It really is about developing a sense where you feel like whatever it is, whatever your signs and symptoms are are not ruling you, and instead, you’re ruling them in some way. That may be a dance.

I really think that there will be bad days for all of us in how we feel and how we    manage whatever condition we’re managing. Again, I’m coming from the lens of talking to people who have chronic illnesses or who work with people with chronic illnesses.

That is my lens, and I don’t think it’s about things just going away, that healing is about shifting the relationship and being in a dance with our signs and symptoms so that they’re speaking to us.

I think that we develop a relationship with our mind. We start to know our mind.    There’s a lot of emphasis in our culture on developing a relationship with your body, loving your body and loving your curves or your whatever it is. But what about loving what’s happening on the inside, understanding that, being able to listen to it, hearing those signs and symptoms like we would the subtle communications from our baby or from our partner? Really being able to tune in. to me, healing lies in our ability to be in tune as opposed to feeling like, “All is better in the world now and I never have another

sign or symptom again,” because we have to live. When we live, we kind of play with the parameters a little bit more.

Marc: It seems to me that what you’re touching on is so fundamental because usually—and I don’t even remember being taught this as a child, but I had this concept well into adulthood that healing means there’s no more disease and there ain’t no more pain   and there ain’t no more symptoms. Until that happens, I’m not really healed. Then consequently, there are so many of us walking around sort of, “I’m sick. I’m not okay. I’m not healed,” and it feels like that, by itself, is like a disease.

Andrea: Yeah, I think that’s true. It leaves us on the quest for something external, so that’s where it is. Where is it that it’s going to be that pill or that doctor or that supplement or that medication? That’s why we live in a culture that goes on one medication, goes on another medication, another medication to manage the symptoms.

One example I was thinking of as we were talking was a young woman named Melissa who came to see me a few years ago and still works with me periodically. She has    MS. She was a lawyer. She had to stop practicing. She really had to stop doing all the physical activity she would do, and she was put on medication, but still her disease   was progressing, so she came into me feeling out of her body. She was kind of blown  up for her tiny little frame, and slowly, as we started to work on the underlying factors, again, swimming upstream looking at what are the underlying factors for MS that are known out there? Inflammation, gut dysbiosis, potentially candida, and unique to her, always looking at her labs, seeing are there iron deficiencies? How do we address   that?

She came a long way. There were still monthly symptoms. We were able to tie the symptoms to her medication, and she was able to walk into her doctors at that point,    be an advocate for herself, and ask for a trial without any of the medication. During    that time and I’m not advocating that people go off their medication. This has to work in tandem, and she did a tremendous amount of work to be able to get to this point. But when she went off the medication, her body shrunk down to its regular size. She was  not feeling the monthly symptoms that she was having anymore, and there’s still management to do, which is why she continues to see me periodically.

It’s not like she got to a state of healing, but she was able to understand the complexity of what was going on and make progress for herself. In that way, she’s since adopted

a child. She’s able to live her life more fully. To me, she’s living in a world of healing,  not looking for the next quick fix that’s going to say, “It’s going to go away.” She has MS. When we have autoimmune conditions, they are chronic. We’re living with them. I believe we can manage them. I don’t believe they go away.

Marc: What was the shift for this particular person? What is it to your mind that happened in her inner world that sort of allowed this transformation to happen?

Andrea: It’s such a good question and we are all so different. As I’m talking about MS, I’m thinking about Terry Wahls, and if you read The Wahls Protocol, she has a very specific mindset that’s just brilliant. It’s very driven. It’s very methodical.

We’re not all like that. For me, this is something I teach the nutritionists I work with too. You need to work with the individual to bring out where and what inspires them and meet them where they are.

For her, being in pain, not being able to workout, being tired most of the day, knowing what her life used to be like, there was a glimmer of hope, “Can I have that back again?” She came to see me not knowing. She came to see me saying, “I read about gluten and MS and I mostly don’t eat it.” Our initial conversations were, “Let’s talk   about what mostly means and what that’s doing to your system,” so we could make an association there. She’s not only trying out something in practice. She’s also understanding what’s happening when she makes those choices for herself.

I would say there was one light bulb, but oftentimes it’s the remembering of, “Who was I?” The biggest thing I see on our intake forms is, “I just want to feel like myself again.” That, in itself, is a big motivating factor because we know there’s a self in there and we want to feel the glimmer of that.

So allowing that to happen and the ways that may come forth may be really different  for each person, so as practitioners, I think we have to be on our feet, tuned into the other individual, really doing a dance with them. My team sometimes teases me because I’ll say, “You have to take that person to the mat.” We have to teach that person, educate them to be an advocate for themselves, and sometimes it means  really getting in there with them, to their emotions, to their lifestyle, to their relationship with themselves, with their food, with their lifestyle. All aspects manifest in our disease states.

Marc: As you were speaking, I was thinking how in my experience, I’m sure you can relate, there are so many of us who you can say, “Well, okay, here’s your problem. Here’s the challenge. Here’s what you should eat. Here’s what you shouldn’t eat.”

It would seem like that’s a great prescription, especially if it’s super clear, “You shouldn’t really eat this.” That doesn’t always translate into a change or into a new behavior. We don’t always give up the foods we’re attached to or hooked on or addicted to, whatever term you want to use. We don’t give those up so easy. It’s not that black and white.

Andrea: It’s not and that’s really what I’ve seen to shift that is when people understand what it is they’re doing to themselves. I’ve had people where they  say—I  keep  bringing  up gluten because gluten can be such a problem for so many people with chronic illness. But I’ve had people who are off gluten because they have Hashimoto’s or because    they have something that is some autoimmune condition where the gluten is a    problem. Then they’ll say, “Well, I was just baking cookies with my kids and I just had one and I forgave myself for it. It’s fine.” I have to say, “Your body is not forgiving you   for that. It doesn’t always work that easily when you have a condition that’s   exacerbated by that food.”

Let’s think about if your child had celiac disease, what you would be doing for that   child. I do have a cat jumping up here. You would be marching into the school, making sure there was no exposure for that child. What I like to remind people is why are we not that strong advocates for ourselves? What is it that’s not clicking in where we feel  it’s okay sometimes to play with fire?

I know that no food is fire. It’s not the food that’s the problem. It’s where the food meets the physiology in your unique body and what it’s doing for you. The more we can understand that and experience some of the shifts towards health and healing, then we’re motivated to say, “Oh, I get it. I feel better now and when I go over there, it  doesn’t feel as good.”

I like to define this for people as the path, the bike lane, and the poison ivy, because   we do need to live. If we try to walk a tightrope, we’re going to go over in the poison ivy all the time. We need to define a path that feels comfortable and that path is, “This is how I know. I know when I eat like this this feels good. The bike lane is—every so   often, I’m fine if I eat X, Y, or Z. The poison ivy is I know that doesn’t work for me.”

That terrain, that map is different for all of us, so there’s no prescription unless we’re actually looking at the reality of what’s happening for each individual.

Marc: So well put. Here we are. We live in a world where, “Wow, is it a challenge because it’s not as if all the foods available to me are healthful or healthful for my body or healthful for anybody else’s body. I read this book and I read that book, and this one says I  should eat that and that one said I shouldn’t eat this.” We, all of us, it seems these    days have to navigate a lot of nutritional talk and conflicting information. How do you,   as a person and practitioner and teacher, how do you manage the variety of   information often contradictory that, really, we’re all exposed to?

Andrea: Yeah, and there’s the world of dietary theory, and as you and I both know working with practitioners, they come in often with a lot of noise about the theory, either confused or really attached to one of those theories, whether it be a raw food diet or a Paleo diet or an autoimmune Paleo diet. They consider that a way of living because it’s worked for them.

This is really where the functional approach comes in. we have to meet people where they are, and we have to define what works for us, and we only do that by trial and error. The raw food diet that works beautifully for one person could exacerbate somebody else’s symptoms. That raw food diet also could be good for a cleansing period, but not a long period of time.

Same thing with an autoimmune Paleo diet. Perfect for a cleansing period, but over a long period of time, you start to be deficient in certain nutrients. We have to look at everything that we’re considering, and there are two parts that are coming to mind with that question, Marc. One is we live in a world where there are all sorts of food    available to us, and we’re constantly faced with making decisions for ourselves.

I travel a lot, as you know, and it’s a matter of making choices I know are going to support me, especially when I’m on the road. Instead of going wacko in the other direction over to the poison ivy, I actually choose for myself to pull it in a little bit because I know I’m already stressed being on the road. My body is stressed. How do I support myself a little bit more there?

There’s the bigger decision of we live in a world where the food choices may not even be food, and then there’s this world of dietary theory where people have gone way down a rabbit hole and they’re living in a very restricted way, very tied into the beliefs  of that theory, which all of them have some incredible premises and there are similarities that we could pull from all of them that are about a health and healing diet, but none of them are likely good long­term unless they are a little bit broader.

I don’t know if that answered your question, but I think dietary theory lives in the world of theory, not in the world of our bodies and our physiology. We have to see what works for us as individuals, and that takes trial and error and it takes listening in.

Whether that’s looking at our poop or seeing how fatigued we are or how does it keep us up at night or allow us to sleep restfully? All of that, it’s not about obsession. It’s about relationship. It’s about being in a dance with how we feel day to day. I want to feel good every day. I’ve got stuff to do in the world, so I’m going to eat to support me and my mission and my energy. I think we all want that.

Marc: It seems to me that one of the challenges we face with nutrition that we’re talking   about, all these options, all these different theories, what’s right for me, how do I tune into this body? It feels like that’s such a great metaphor for life these days because the answers are not always black and white and forthcoming.

How do I make the perfect amount of money so I don’t have to worry? How do I have the perfect health? How do I have the perfect relationship? How do I have the perfect life? It never seems to be that cookie cutter, that, “Oh, here’s what you do. Now you can relax and never have to   worry again because we’ve got the perfect diet for you.” It feels like it’s such a moving target for each of us.

Andrea: It is and there’s joy in that once we are in—just like you said, it’s just like life. Life is a journey. We don’t know where we’re going, where we’re headed, and the more we can engage in it and take what’s coming to us in the beauty that it has to deliver, the more we can enjoy it. I really think food should be something we love and enjoy and    nurtures us. It doesn’t have to be about deprivation. It’s about this way that listening in, even knowing how to not override our signs and symptoms and tune into them is itself   a journey. Getting to that place. And isn’t about being—this is Willow, who keeps me happy.

Marc: That’s the real functional nutritionist in the household.

Andrea: Exactly, she’s the one that gives me my yellow, my laughter. So yeah, it’s a total journey, and I think that that’s sometimes hard for people to understand that there’s not a there there, and especially as we age and our hormones are changing, things are in state of flux all the time, and there is a beauty in that. it doesn’t have to be uneasy.

I feel like a lot of what we’re talking about is, “Oh, my gosh! This is hard to tune in to  eat this way and to follow this path and to be in relationship to yourself.” But it doesn’t have to be hard once you know and you can ride the waves and understand there are going to be bad days and there are going to be great days. “I can feel great because I take care of myself.” It’s all good.

Marc: If you were going to take out your magic wand and sort of make a few wishes happen for where you want to see the future of healing going, what sort of changes would you make or what would you want to see become into the future?

Andrea: Beautiful question. I really do feel like it’s time for us as patients, if we’re going to call    all of ourselves patients on one level, to become educated and to take the time to    know about ourselves, know about our food, know about our history, our habits and learn the ways in which we can have some—control is a tough word, but actually be   the masters of our own universe, in a way. There’s a lot that speaks to meditation and mindset. It’s really just kind of expanding those theories out into how we live, not just in the moment on the mat or in sitting, but how do we live in a state that is about knowing who we are, how we feel, and being our best advocate in the process?

Marc: Beautifully put.

Andrea: Thank you.

Marc: Yeah, so how do we stay in touch with you? How do we learn more about your world, what you’re up to, what should we know?

Andrea: Well, please come visit me. I have a gift for everybody who’s participating in The Future of Healing, so if you join us at replenishpdx.com/future, we have a gift for you there. Come, stay in tune with these ideas that I’m talking about. I have a little eBook for you and we’d love to share that with you.

A lot of times we don’t know how to stick with it. What do we do? How do we stay on  this path? It’s really about having community, like you provide, Marc, like we provide at Replenish, having community to stay in the conversation about these things with, to  stay reminded about, “How am I thinking about myself today?” or “How am I thinking about my life today?” or “What’s my relationship with myself?” My eBook, Stick With It, is one gift that we have for everybody here, where you can really just start to think  about that. Please do come join us at replenishpdx.com/future.

Marc: That’s P and D and X.

Andrea: PDX. The PDX that will follow me forever. PDX stands for Portland, and I’m in Portland, Oregon. We hold our PDX very tight to our hearts.

Marc: I really appreciate your thoughtfulness and really your heartfelt way of integrating science and functional medicine and functional nutrition into what I know is a very person­centered and heart­centered approach. I just really appreciate your work and what you’re doing, and really, I’m always heartened by how you’ve integrated your own life journey into being a healer, and I think it gives me hope that we can all sort of alchemize the challenges and the hardships that we’ve had in life and really make something beautiful out of it. Thanks for your work. I really appreciate it.

Andrea: Thank you so much, Marc. Thanks for including me.

Marc: Yay!

Andrea: Yay!

Marc: More to come, everybody. I’m Marc David. On behalf of The Future of Healing Conference, I’ve been with Andrea Nakayama. Thanks so much, again, and lots more to come, my friends. Take care, everybody.

Interview with Marc David and Andrea Nakayama

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