We had the good fortune of connecting with Lianna Nielsen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lianna, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I learned early on that I didn’t really like working for other people and having both freedom and flexibility in my schedule were important. I’m also really bad at doing things that don’t interest me (probably not my best quality). While pursuing a career in acting, I found myself working for a variety of start-ups and small businesses, which was helpful when I realized I actually wanted to start my own company. I knew I wanted to help people, I knew I was good at making others feel empowered, and I’ve always had an unending thirst for knowledge–the key was trying to combine those. For a long time I knew I wanted to work for myself, but I didn’t know in what capacity, and then I got really sick. Though it obviously wasn’t fun to spend a few years with a lot of serious health issues, I’m grateful for it, as it ultimately lead me to my purpose. I had developed an undiagnosable autoimmune condition and doctors were unable to help me. I was forced to do my own research which led me to heal my body myself. I learned so much about the microbiome, how healing food can be, how harmful stress was, and how all of that affected my mental health, that it inspired me to go back to school to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I finally took the leap when I found something I was so passionate about that I knew I wouldn’t be happy doing anything else.
What should our readers know about your business?
I have a very holistic approach to both health and healing. When someone comes to me because they want to lose weight, heal their gut, balance their hormones, or optimize their physical and/or mental health, we examine not only the physical issues, but also the root cause of them (which is often emotional). Excess weight, disease, anxiety and depression often come from greater life imbalances. Just looking at calories and exercise alone will keep people in an endless cycle of obsessing over diets and weight. I get underneath the surface issues and help people heal the cause of it. Our bodies and minds naturally want to be healthy and happy, all we need to do is provide the right environment.
Often health issues stem from a disconnection from the self, an inability to slow down and listen to what our bodies need. So much of what I do is just teaching people how to slow down, listen and most importantly, to trust what their bodies are telling them. Through providing both education and tools, I empower people improve their habits and heal themselves. My clients leave with an ability to look inside and trust themselves for both healing and life direction. My business provides clarity and empowerment as much as improved health–because it’s all connected. It’s impossible to maintain long term physical heath if you aren’t mentally healthy, and at the same time, its impossible to feel happy, perform well at work, and sustain quality relationships, if you aren’t physically healthy. I have both an inside out and outside in approach, which leads to the most success.
Growing my business has been challenging at times, but often, the biggest reason for that, is fear or a lack of belief in myself as a business woman. Those are always the most rewarding challenges to overcome, because they push me to grow as a person, which then makes me a better coach. In order to grow you have to face your fears. Having this business has forced me to do that over and over again–to sit with what’s uncomfortable and understand why. To value growth, development, and healing over avoiding my fears. As my business has grown and evolved, so have I, which I feel very proud of. I’m also endlessly excited about how many people I’ve helped heal, and finally learn to both trust, and love their bodies. Guest lecturing at New York University has also been a career highlight.
I live by what I teach my clients. I know that what I do works because it’s healed my body, and my relationship with both food and myself. It’s given me confidence and courage, and helped me to build I life I really love. I want everyone to have the tools, to be physically healthy enough, and most of all, to have the confidence and self-trust to create lives they love too. There is nothing more beautiful than seeing a client get to that point–all areas of their life just start to flow.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
These days that’s a bit of a tough one with the pandemic, though this past year has definitely reminded me how much I love being in nature. Living in Los Feliz, I would start my day there by getting a matcha at Bru on Vermont Ave and then either hiking up to the Griffith Observatory or driving across town to the Los Liones Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. Both have amazing views although, the nice thing about hiking in Santa Monica is the accessibility to the beach. If it was warm enough, I’d jump right into the ocean afterwards and then wander down the beach from Santa Monica to Venice. I would then definitely head up Rose Ave and get some tacos at Chulita. If I was still hungry on the long drive back across town, I would have to stop for a margarita and and a vegan taco on the back patio of Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. Back on the East Side I would end my day by catching a movie (if possible) at the Los Feliz Theater and have a wander through Skylight books–both favorites of mine on Vermont as well.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people! I would start out by thanking my mom for both encouraging and empowering me to not give up after doctors proved unhelpful. She and I did tons of research on my health issues and she was very supportive of me going the alternative medicine route. I definitely have to acknowledge Dr. Raphael Kellman. His book “The Microbiome Diet” is what helped me do a majority of the healing myself and also inspired me to go back to school. I also want to thank both award-winning director Kristin Hanggi and head of the Maggie Flanigan Acting Studio, Charlie Sandlan. Kristin encouraged me to teach my first workshop, which was a holistic nutrition class for performers. That one workshop, lead to Charlie hiring me to teach that class for a number of years at his studio. Both were wonderful opportunities to help more people, expand my business, and combine my love for health and the arts.
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FatChix Inc. (fatchix.inc is their IG handle)