At just 13 years old, Sandi Cohen developed IBS and was given the medical advice to simply ignore her stomach problems. After years of trying to follow this advice and accept her “gut fate”, Sandi took her health into her own hands and endeavored to understand what was actually happening with her digestive system. Today, Sandi is a Functional Nutrition Lifestyle Practitioner, Nutrition Educator, and Certified Nutrition Consultant. She works with clients all across the world and focuses on providing them with education about what’s going on inside their bodies. Her interview inspires us to take charge of our own lives and to embrace saying “yes”, as you’ll never know until you try.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
Great question! When I was 13, I had my first encounter with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was plagued with gut issues wherever I went, whatever I ate. As a teen, this was a hard issue to deal with, and I desperately hoped it would just go away. I saw doctors, but they didn’t give me the information or tools to help me. Most doctors told me to either just ignore my stomach problems or to skip vegetables, or only eat white bread and potatoes. Needless to say, this advice did not work for me and I found myself limiting most foods as everything seemed to make me feel bloated and sick all the time. This of course affected my blood sugar throughout most of my life, as well as my moods, and always left me feeling exhausted.
After years of just accepting my “gut fate”, (which was totally not the way I handled anything else in my life) and not getting the health support that I needed to address my symptoms, I decided to start finding out about my own unique digestion system. That was literally the best decision that I ever made.
During my nutrition studies, I eventually discovered the Functional Nutrition Alliance – Full Body Systems Program, and the FNLP certification program by my mentor Andrea Nakayama. After completing my education, I was able to understand what was happening to me physiologically and why. I successfully made the necessary changes to finally start my journey of healing my digestive issues which fueled my passion for helping others reach their health goals. I’m proud to say that I’ve now become part of the solution to help fill this “knowledge gap” in health care.
Tell us about your business.
I’m a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, Nutrition Educator, and a Certified Nutrition Consultant. My practice is available to clients around the globe by phone. I also offer group elimination programs, as well as a one of a kind e-book called “College Health Secrets for Girls”. The purchase of the e-book also includes a nutrition session with me anytime during college and is available on my website, sandicohennutrition.com. I also have health videos available to view on Instagram, and Facebook.
As a functional nutritionist, I educate my clients on what’s going on in their body that’s causing their signs and symptoms. By addressing the root cause of their health concerns and introducing simple, targeted, dietary and lifestyle modifications, we start to shift the terrain in order to help bring them resolution and start feeling better.
Can you share any strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective for growing your client base?
Honestly, word of mouth from my clients has been the reason why my practice has grown. Their success with me has been the reason for my success.
Practicing functionally pays heed to bioindividuality. This personal evidence is crucial information to gather in order to address any client. No two people are alike. I also use tracking tools, functional systems and frameworks in order to see the bigger picture more clearly, which enables me to direct my clinical recommendations and care.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
Personally one of my biggest challenges has been speaking to groups of people. I literally would avoid any invitation to speak. Not my thing!
Finally my husband convinced me it isn’t so bad as he does it all the time. So I took the plunge and realized it wasn’t the torture I imagined! That alone has also helped me reach more people and grow my business.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
To always say “yes”. You’ll never know unless you try.
What is your morning routine?
As soon as I get up I do 10 minutes of meditation with the app Head Space. Then I have a glass of water mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar and Aloe Juice. Then usually a green smoothie or a bowl of avocado, sunflower seeds, a piece of fish and greens and fruit.
What is your favorite indulgence?
A piece of dark chocolate!
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
I would say it was a piece of fruit that I had in Maui called a rambutan. It was amazing!
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Forte Dei Marmi in Italy
Last book you read?
The Archetype Diet by Dana James
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Blueberries and Matcha green tea with coconut milk! Sorry, not that exciting!
What is your go-to breakfast?
A green shake made up of kale, carrots, turmeric root, fresh ginger, flax oil, protein powder, blueberries, and banana. It contains fat, fiber and protein, it’s anti-inflammatory and helps with any constipation for me.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
I love helping people finally feel better and help them take charge of their own health!
Sandi Cohen is a Functional Nutritional Lifestyle Practitioner based out of Pacific Palisades, CA. You can find out more about Sandi and her business, Sandi Cohen Nutrition, by visiting Sandicohennutrition.com.