We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrea Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Andrea, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
The idea for changing my career and ultimately starting my business began not from your typical route I’m afraid. In May 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer while I was 30 weeks pregnant. The impact this event had on my life, my unborn son, my family was immense as I ultimately had to decide the route of treatment. I did choose chemo, double mastectomy and radiation while giving birth in between my chemo appointments. During this time I also realized the importance of food as medicine and realized everything I had been eating and my lifestyle had brought me to this point of chronic disease, breast cancer. So I began learning how to change my diet while I also went to another holistic MD to ensure I was addressing all of the variables that had gotten me to this point. It was forever life-changing because it was the difficulty of changing my diet that was almost more difficult to me than fighting cancer! I had no idea really what to eat or how to make healthier meal having grown up with pasta, carbs, meats and maybe a side dish or two of vegetables. As I finally started to connect the dots, one meal at a time, I realized this transformation could have been simplified if I just had someone to support me with the bottom-line toolkit. And as I continued on my own learning and building more confidence in my own skills and rituals, I realized this was the career path for me. So went back to school and became a certified health and wellness coach and immediately opened my business, Nutrition Commission in 2018 in order to help others get beyond the overwhelm when it comes to changing their way of eating. I also enrolled in a 2 year program to pursue my nutritionist credentials so I could go much deeper in functional and therapeutic nutrition. I love it! Since then I’ve helped numerous clients dealing with chronic illness (autoimmune, breast cancer, blood sugar imbalances, digestive and liver issues) who are suffering with pain and inflammation learn how to change their diet and lifestyle to maximize their own self-healing. For me, it has truly been the biggest blessing and enabled me to turn my pain into my purpose!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Prior to becoming a nutritionist and business owner, I spent about 25 years in Corporate America working in sourcing, supply chain, project management for blue-chip Aerospace, Automotive, and CPG (both food and beauty industries). It was an amazing career having lived in NYC, LA, and Seattle and working for such big names and traveling all over the world with ever-increasing responsibilities along the way. I’ve always had this vision for my life and this started when I was in my teens. It must have been some TV show from the 80’s because I visualized myself in power-suits and board-rooms presenting and being the boss. That’s what I became – but it didn’t come easily. I worked hard! I always felt proud that I earned every job and promotion I landed – not because someone I knew got me me the job but because I’d set my sights on what I wanted, prepared, and delivered results. That formula has been my main reason for the success in my career and in life. I also know the importance of building strong partnerships and relationships was also the key to success and still is to this day. Our reputation is everything – if you are an honest, hardworking, authentic and a ‘roll-up-your-sleeves’ and ‘do what it takes’ kind of leader, you will inspire others and they will support you. That was the biggest thing I’ve learned along the way. Say what you mean and do what you say. We must be someone with character and integrity to be a good leader. That has served me well in my career and especially now as an entrepreneur and nutritionist helping others feel hopeful and inspired to make healthy changes for the better too! As we know, dietary and lifestyle changes do not come easily! I’ve found that in my new profession the same traits that made me successful in my corporate career are the same traits that allow me to connect with my clients to build the know, like and trust because I’ve been there and have come out the other side! There is a lot of hope and inspiration that can be shared by being that support system for someone else who is also starting their process to find healing. Your struggle becomes the survival guide for others!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were coming in to town, we’d go to a nice local place like Love & Salt, for dinner and then we would wake-up early to head out for a camping trip in Big Sur. After 3-4 days, we’d road-trip to Napa to stay at a boutique hotel and do some wine tasting, bike riding and enjoy the beautiful weather and conversation!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Definitely my late mom, Laurie. This amazing woman was battling her own Stage 4 at the time I was diagnosed and passed away 2 months after I finished my own battle. She was the absolute epitome of strength, positivity, spunk, high energy and never complained! Truly, she is the strongest person I have known and I dedicate where I am to her – she always told me to go after what makes me happy and to create the life I want for myself as I can ‘do anything’. She was truly my biggest cheerleader so I definitely dedicate this shoutout to my mom!
Heather Hart A La Mode Photography