Market Chef : Andrea Nakayama

July 2, 2012 |  by  |  Chef Demos

I can confidently say that Andrea Nakayama positively exudes warmth, and I have only ever “met” her through her website, ReplenishPDX, and a single phone interview, so I can only imagine what those all those good vibes must be like in person! Nakayama is a Functional Nutritionist, meaning that she is deeply immersed in the world of health and nutrition. Through her site, she offers classes as well as individual nutrition counseling, emphasis on counseling.

Still a little confused? As she explains it: “People come to me often after they’ve seen numerous health care practitioners with no real sense of resolution, or when they just need help understanding how to best support themselves through a variety of health recommendations. I teach people to take healing home, to their own kitchens. We work to give them some control and empowerment over their own health through nutrition.  I’m a big believer in bio-individuality — I think that there is no one right way of eating. It’s based on what a persons’ needs are. I often say, it’s not just what we eat, it’s what our body can do with what we eat. I really work with individuals. Even my own diet is ever-shifting.”

Speckled with bursts of bright and cheery yellows and oranges, and scattered with images of Andrea herself and her 11 year old son, Gilbert, ReplenishPDX is an inviting, lighthearted, energetic site that very much reflects the personality of its founder. And its life-affirming bouancy  is all the more meaningful for its bittersweet origins. A little more than 12 years ago, when Andrea was just 7 weeks pregnant, her husband was diagnosed with a fatal brain tumor and given 6 months to live. Not one to take things lying down, as he pursued traditional medical treatments, she worked hard to educate herself about ways that they might supplement that treatment with changes in their dietary habits. They became pesca-vegetarians, cutting out first refined sugar and then almost all meat and dairy. He outlived his diagnosis by a full 2 and a half years, and Andrea absolutely believes that they bought those precious years with the way they fed themselves during that time — a time that she now refers to as “nutritional bootcamp”. Not long after, a friend was diagnosed with cancer as well. Andrea worked to find nutritional solutions to support her friend through treatment, just as she had for her husband, and realized finally that this was truly a vocation.

Now, she has been fully immersed in the work for 10 years, and is going strong. Definitely check our her newsletter for updates, or to participate in one of the many food-based cleanses that she hosts. The upcoming cleanse will be a summer one in the month of August, focused on fresh local summer produce and on realignment of the heart and the small intestines, based on the Chinese Five Elements. If cleanses aren’t for you, Andrea offers a myriad of other classes and series, like her ever-popular “Your Vibrant Child” class, a 9 course series focused on keeping kids open to eating great food.

And for a taste of what’s to come at her demo this coming Sunday, give this sweet-savory Strawberry Soup a whirl!

Strawberry Tomato Basil Soup

2 SERVINGS

INGREDIENTS

1 cup strawberries

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 small clove garlic

1/2 cup packed basil leaves

1/2–1 Tbsp. tamari or 1/4 tsp. sea salt

1 large sun dried tomato soaked in hot water for 5 minutes or until soft

Optional: small piece jalapeno

1 date

1 tsp. nutritional yeast

Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. For best results and most even consistency, use a Vitamix high-speed blender.

 


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