[00:00:00] Detective Ev: What is going on my friends? Welcome back to another episode of the Health Detective Podcast by Functional Diagnostic Nutrition. My name is Evan Transue, aka Detective Ev. I will be your host for today’s show about a booming business.
Our guest today, Christa Lyons, is actually an FDN, but it’s a bit of a different story. She says herself; this isn’t someone that’s coming on with a crazy diagnosis. She did have some symptoms that got, thankfully, addressed by the FDN system itself.
But what’s cooler about her, and I think this resonates with a lot of people that are starting to consider the FDN course and go through it, she was a health coach for years. She went through a very popular certification for that, just like myself. She was doing great work, she had clients.
What ended up happening is she didn’t feel like she had the confidence or tools to actually serve the clients she wanted to serve. You will hear from her own mouth in this episode that she ended up forexing her income. Despite having done this for years, she forexed her income by going to Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and then applying those principles to the work that she was doing within the first year. That is pretty amazing.
A Booming Business: About Christa Lyons
Your results may vary. I can’t make any financial claims on here. But still, I think it goes to show what happens when you feel equipped to help people. She admits herself, it’s not like she wasn’t taking on more clients. She was. Of course, if you’re taking on more clients, you would earn more income. That’s just logical. But her point was, it was her lack of confidence that led her to not taking on those additional clients. That was a problem.
I think it’s kind of cool how, yes, you can charge more when you know the labs. You can do better work, which leads you to have more confidence, which will also make you more income as you attract more clients. It’s kind of cool how that goes full circle.
So, Christa, like I said, FDN practitioner and certified health coach. She helps midlife women boost their nutrition, restore vitality through hormone and gut health, and uncover their hidden blocks to bust through weight gain, fatigue, and stress so that their health is no longer an obstacle to their happiness.
This is a person that has been involved in the business world for quite some time, and in the health world also for some time. I think there’s many lessons to be learned here today in this episode, just from her experience. Not to mention, she’s got a wonderful personality. She’s very fun to listen to and just watch on the video side, which will be available on our YouTube by searching for Functional Diagnostic Nutrition on there.
Without further ado, let’s get to today’s episode.
Commercial – $9 Workshop on October 8th
Hey, it’s me again. Had to pop in one more time before we actually get started here. I wanted to tell you guys about something awesome that’s going on. I don’t know if you saw it on our Instagram, but we have a workshop coming up on October 8th. If you’re listening to this within the first couple of days of it coming out, then you still have an opportunity to get involved with this.
What it is, is a $9 workshop, that is literally it. There’s a Live Q&A. You’re going to get a ton of help for how to actually deal with tricky health challenges. This is for the people who, one, might be considering the FDN course for health challenges. Or maybe you don’t want to do the FDN course. That is totally fine. But you want to learn some of the methodologies that we utilize to get healthy. This is going to help you with that.
No lab testing required, nothing like it. It is $9. Go to fdntraining.com/dress, D R E S S. That’s fdntraining.com/dress. Or if you have questions about it, you can visit us at our Instagram page at FDNtraining. Shoot us a direct message there.
We do not use chatbots. We have real people that actually answer your questions. Just tell them that you heard about the workshop on the podcast, and I said that you can go there to ask questions.
All right now, let’s get to the episode.
Proactive Health Care Before the Diagnoses Level
Hello Christa. Thanks so much for being here with us today.
[00:03:40] Christa Lyons: Hi. Thank you so much for having me on. I’m really excited to be here today.
[00:03:45] Detective Ev: This is one of those rare occurrences where I’ve been lucky enough to actually talk to this individual in person first. We met at the Biohacking Congress in June of 2022. I know this is going to be a good conversation. We got big personalities and we’re passionate about what we do.
What I’ve really liked is that, as of late, especially, it seems we’re getting a very diverse mix of guests and especially FDNs. We were talking about this before we started recording. I think the type of FDN you are, it’s never going to be exclusively that.
But I think we should aspire to do this as a society where you’re not coming today with some crazy, I almost died from cancer thing. Listen, from a podcast perspective, of course they make for intense and good stories. But I always want people to remember that there’s a human being on the other side of that story.
It’s like the true crime things we listen to. We’re like, that’s so interesting. Guys, that’s someone’s family. Ideally, we would be addressing this stuff before we receive these diagnoses. Thankfully, that was the case for you. But you also learned through the FDN system and other things that, I still had some things to work on. Who knows what would’ve happened if maybe we got down that line.
Body Break-Down but No Real Symptom
I don’t want to be the one talking about it. I’d love to hear this from you. I mean, what do you describe as your story? How did you even get into this work if it wasn’t based on some extreme diagnosis like most people use to get into this work?
[00:05:07] Christa Lyons: I am a mom of two. I have two boys, they’re teenagers. Well, one’s now 21. But when I started this whole process, he was a teenager.
I remember years ago driving them to school. I didn’t feel tired, but I felt foggy. And I remember one day specifically. I’m driving in the car and I’m thinking, oh my gosh, I can’t even see clearly, how can I even react if a squirrel ran out in front of the car? It was on my mind that as I was getting into my forties, I wasn’t feeling as sharp as I used to.
I just thought, well, this is what happens. You know, I’m over 40 now. I have two kids. I’m tired. I’m running a household; I’m growing a business. All the things. So, when I took the FDN course, the beauty of the course is that they let you run all the labs on yourself. So, I get my labs back and my hormones are tanked and I’m in the exhaustive phase. I’ve got no reserve left.
My gut is a mess. I have got dysbiosis. The good bacteria, the bad bacteria is all out of whack. I thought, oh my gosh. I wasn’t even really feeling quote “bad.” Like I would never have gone to a doctor for what I had, quote “had.” But it was an indication that my body was breaking down, right? My body was showing me the symptoms.
Once Autoimmunity is Triggered
Thankfully, now I’m able to preventatively work on all of that.
[00:06:40] Detective Ev: Again, this is what I’d really like to see in the future. I mean, perhaps in a perfect world we would do this before we felt any symptoms, right? Like people would just be doing that preventatively. I think we got quite a few steps to go before we’re there. But this is a good thing. If we can avoid the diagnosis, I think that matters.
Now, whether or not you would’ve met the criteria for a diagnosis, I mean, who knows? Western Medicine could have slapped a label on it. But I’m someone, if you guys listen regularly, you know I’m very passionate about the world of autoimmunity. And I’m not making a claim per se cause I’m not a doctor.
But what I have seen, Christa, is almost that once people activate that autoimmune process, it seems like even if they do all the right things, it stays there, like you can re-trigger it. As opposed to someone who might be aware enough to get this stuff addressed before they activate that process.
Guys, I believe this, I wouldn’t do this myself, but I think you can get back to living a life where, yeah, you can go cheat every other weekend on some like, really crappy food and there’s not a huge detriment to it. I’m not sure if that was the case here for you, but I do believe that that’s possible if people actually addressed the health stuff first.
A Booming Business: We Test, Don’t Guess
I love what you said about the mindset going into this because you believed that this was just normal. That’s a narrative that is sold to us that’s completely false. I mean, I think Reed Davis is the best example of this. We got a guy, he either is 70 now or he is right about to be 70 and no one would think that.
This guy’s got tons of energy, he’s teaching the course, he’s traveling around speaking. He’s the true testament to FDN because he’s been doing it longer than any of us.
The one thing I missed is what did get you into FDN though? Was it the symptoms or were you in the health space before? That’s what I’m missing.
[00:08:17] Christa Lyons: I’ve been a health coach for years. My focus though was helping people with clean eating. So, bringing down the toxin levels in your body, bringing down the toxin levels from your personal care products, from your food, you know, how to live a clean life, basically, the clean mindset.
But I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted with my clients. I had taken Kristin Thomas’s Health and Wellness Business School and people kept talking about FDN. I’m like, what is FDN? Someone texted me one day and they’re like, you can do it. So, I looked into the FDN program, and I was like, oh my gosh, this is the missing piece.
Because now with the lab testing, we can go right in, and we can figure out exactly where the imbalances are. We can figure out exactly what’s going on. Then we can support that.
A Booming Business: Starting as a Health Coach
I came at it as a preventative medicine angle. But the clients that I see, they’re coming at it with 15 to 20 years of symptoms that they’ve just been living with. There’s such a wide range of people that we can help. I love it.
[00:09:25] Detective Ev: I think what you just said is honestly the stereotypical client of an FDN, 15 to 20 years of symptoms. It’s unfortunate cause I think about this from a really big picture perspective. That is a fraction of one’s life where they might have been living with these things. Worse yet they thought, oh, this is just the way it is. This is just something I have, or it’s my genetics or whatever.
I’ll backtrack even farther. You don’t have to say the school or schools unless you want to, but what got you into health coaching? Like, what attracted you to that?
[00:09:53] Christa Lyons: I worked for 20 years for my parents. They had a music publishing company, and I did bookkeeping, copyright licensing, all kinds of business stuff.
My dad sold the company. When he sold the company, I was in my forties. My kids were a little older, they were less dependent on me. And I thought, what am I going to do for the rest of my life? So, one day I happened to be online, and I googled the difference between a nutritionist and a dietician. And up popped IIN.
FDN Teaches Business & What to Do with a Client
You know, once you even talk about something, it’s going to be all over your Facebook feed. It’s going to be all over your emails. You can’t hide once you’ve mentioned something. I started getting all kinds of emails from IIN. So, I stalked it for about six months and then I thought, this is definitely what I want to do.
When I started, I couldn’t absorb the information fast enough. I was like, this is it. I love this. That’s how I got started in 2013. I graduated from IIN. Then I was doing health coaching.
[00:10:54] Detective Ev: That part especially is highly relatable. When I was doing the course enrollment side of things, I’m talking to people who potentially wanted to go through FDN. Christa, it must have been 25% to 30% of the people that I talked to. We could have maybe not gotten to that part of the conversation in the other 70%. But just that I talked to had told me that they went through IIN or whatever.
To be clear, Reed says this himself. (If it’s your first time listening, Reed’s the founder of FDN.) We love IIN because they are so good at the marketing. They bring so many people into this world. That’s how I got into this world. That was the first certification that I did myself. It was actually in 2016, I believe.
What you learned there, I think, is phenomenal coaching skills, and that’s something to note with FDN. FDN, the program itself, I would not say teaches coaching almost at all. It’s very structured. It teaches you the business and what to do with a client, but that’s not necessarily the same of how to coach the client. So, they can be very complimentary.
For some people I know they’ve taken that to extraordinary levels. Maybe for the niche that they’re serving, that was all they wanted to do.
But I think it’s fair to say that many people that go through that are trying to serve a client at a specific level and they’re not able to do that always. I think your story right here is extremely common in what I was hearing all the time. Where for myself, I knew I wasn’t getting to the bottom of what I wanted to get to the bottom of.
Forget the clients. I wasn’t even taking them yet cause I felt like imposter syndrome. I said, if I can’t even get this myself, how am I supposed to take on these clients? So that’s really cool that you kind of went through Kristin Thomas. Of course, she’s like poster child FDN, right?
[00:12:27] Christa Lyons: Totally! Total rockstar.
[00:12:28] Detective Ev: She’s been on the show before. You guys can find that in Episode 140.
Now, when you’re going through FDN, we talked about you were able to utilize the labs. And just so I have the timeframe, were you going through the course when they were still only giving like two or three labs? Or did you get a bunch of them?
[00:12:43] Christa Lyons: I just graduated in November. So, I signed on right before they redid the course a little bit. I had to wait a couple weeks before jumping in because the new course was coming out. Last July?
[00:12:55] Detective Ev: That sounds about right. My point is you had the GI MAP then. Then, I guess at the time, was what we were using Access for that hormone?
A Booming Business: Functional Lab Result Validation
[00:13:02] Christa Lyons: Yeah, I did all six labs. But it was with Access Labs.
[00:13:08] Detective Ev: Oh, perfect. Then I have plenty to dive into. I know that you already mentioned that you were in the exhaustive phase. I was in the same boat. It was borderline, but I was shocked to find that, but I was also validated.
That’s what I wanted to know about your stuff because you were feeling these symptoms, but you didn’t have a diagnosis, so it could be on the fence. Were you like shocked, scared, validated, mix of everything? What was your initial response to getting those results?
[00:13:31] Christa Lyons: Probably all of it. Part of me was like, oh my gosh, what is wrong with me? And then part of me thought, if I was feeling as good as I thought I was feeling, and all of this came up, imagine the people that are out there walking around like me and worse than me that were feeling okay and had all of this going on.
It was also very reassuring cause I thought, okay, this is not in my head. And I was super excited cause I thought, all right, I’m not feeling terrible. Imagine when I address all of these things, how good I will feel and the opportunity to just feel so much better.
As I felt better along the way, I’m like, I can’t even believe I let myself settle for feeling like that.
[00:14:23] Detective Ev: We have a lot of trainees that listen and people that are considering the FDN course. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that perspective because I think people get caught up in this. And listen, so did I.
Adjusting the Initial Reaction
When I found that, especially as a 21-year-old guy at the time, I’m freaking out. I’m like, oh my gosh, I’m dying. Like what’s going to happen? That was not the case, obviously. No one told me I was dying, that was my own head. I’m not saying it’s not a normal initial reaction, but I was able to shut that off rather quickly.
It seems like you were able to as well. I kind of realized how foolish it was and I’m not putting that on someone else that’s listening but hear me out. It’s foolish because the lab results were the lab results, whether you got the lab or not. Your body was in that state whether or not you had the measurements for it.
So, you could be totally freaked out about something that was already there. Or you could rejoice, like you said, in the fact that, oh, wait a second. I’m going through a training program that knows exactly what they’re doing to help me get these numbers under control if I’m willing to follow the content and I get this stuff in line. I can do the things that they need me to do.
If anything, I understand the initial reaction, but then we should switch that immediately and, Wow! I am so thankful that I found this when I did. If I’m not running these labs and I’m doing the same things I’ve always been doing, I would have to imagine it’s going to get worse.
A Booming Business: The FDN System is Not a Singular Approach
[00:15:34] Christa Lyons: Totally. I watch a lot of summits. I’ll dive into the hormone summit or the gut health summit. I’m just meaning they usually have, you know, 15 or 20 experts that come in and offer their views.
I’ve watched them on stopping cancer or you know, all these things. And I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard, well, you’ve got to work on detoxification. Detoxification is like one of the number one thing. All these tips. I’m like, oh my gosh, thank God I’m already doing that.
[00:16:05] Detective Ev: Not that detoxing is like a therapy in and of itself. I mean, there’s a million ways to detox. They’re great and they work for people. It works a lot better when they’re combined into a system so we could figure out, is this form of detox the best for this individual?
Because, like me, I was highly sensitive to everything. I should actually test this again. At the time, I could not even work up to three singular drops, like 1, 1, 1 of Biocidin every single day without getting flu-like symptoms and just complete malaise. Maybe I got up to that dosage for all of three days before I was feeling something like that, right?
For those that have no idea what I’m talking about, you should in theory be able to work up to 15 if you’re sick, and 30 if you’re healthy. Three for me was just too much. That’s a form of detox. But it would’ve been terrible for me. So, it’s great to have FDN because we don’t have these singular approaches.
A Booming Business: Favorite FDN Functional Labs
We’re looking at it from multiple tools in the toolbox and we know what to do with clients like myself who don’t respond well to those things. Now the other labs, I mean, we already kind of talked about it. I’m sure the emotions were the same. It’s a little bit shocking, but also, hey, cool. I have something to do now.
I’m just curious, since you did run all six tests, what did you find, and this is just personal, what did you find to be the most interesting or insightful when you got the results back? Like was there one that you just absolutely loved, and thought was cool?
[00:17:18] Christa Lyons: Well, can I say two?
Detective Ev: Sure, please.
Christa Lyons: I would say the cortisol reading on the hormone panel. The cortisol being our stress hormone, and that’s the one that will tell you how much vital reserve your body has left. That’s the one that showed me that my reserve was completely tanked, and I was in the exhaustive phase. That was so validating and so helpful.
Then the second one was the GI MAP. Learning about the bacteria and just the bacteria imbalance. That by adding in a probiotic that would help support the good bacteria so that it could crowd out the bad bacteria. You know, such a simple step, but such an essential step.
Expectations of the FDN Course
[00:18:03] Detective Ev: I always love the hormone ones as well because I think it correlates very highly with how the person’s feeling. In my experience, it’s a lot of the other work that ends up directly affecting the hormones.
I still think it’s useful because, I could show the client, hey, I bet in the afternoon you feel your energy tank. They’re like, oh yeah. I’m like, well, I can show you that objectively on the lab, why that might be happening.
We’re not trying to censor anyone here. You are fully allowed to say anything you truly think. Did the course exceed, meet the expectations? Maybe you would’ve wanted something a little different. Like what did you think about the course once you actually went through it versus what your expectation was before you went through it?
[00:18:41] Christa Lyons: I wasn’t really sure what it was going to be like from the outset. I just knew, oh, they’re going to teach me these labs.
I get into the first module and I’m like, oh my gosh, there’s no way I can do this. This is all science. Like, how am I ever going to learn and remember all this stuff? So, I went through it.
As you go through it, the pieces start to pull together and everything starts to make sense based on what you’ve previously learned. I really loved how they started at the basic. Then you can get as in depth into the biochemistry of the body as you want, basically with the course. I mean, it really takes you fully in. It teaches you way more than what you’re going to need to tell a client.
The FDN Course is Very Thorough
But us as practitioners, we get to really learn the “why” of why something is happening. Initially I thought, oh, I don’t know. But then as I got into it, it started to make sense. And everything is repeated so many times in different ways that you start to pick it up.
By the time I graduated and had done the practicals, I was speaking FDN without even trying. Like, you can’t not. You just can’t not cause it’s been so ingrained. You’ve had all the training, you’ve got the science, you’ve got how to interpret the labs. I really wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. And by the time I got to the practicals, it all made sense.
[00:20:13] Detective Ev: Good. That’s what I was hoping. And I think that’s what happens for a lot of people.
I have a love of that science. So, for me, I was excited when I first saw it. But I was like, wow, this is different. You don’t necessarily expect this level of rigor from an online course, especially considering some of the stuff that we went through before. This has nothing to do with condemning IIN, but they take a different approach. It’s something that I believe just about everyone could rather easily figure out if they’re willing to be consistent.
I do think there are certain people that FDN, certain people (probably if you’re listening, not you), but certain people that this is never going to be for them. They’re like, okay, maybe I could do it, but wow, I just don’t want to get that technical with it.
FDN: The One-stop Shop
This is for people who want to understand the complexities of the major parts of the human body, at least in the sense of it being relative to health. Obviously, we’re not learning as much as MDs. If you want to get someone healthy, you are going to learn that.
And it’s intended to be a standalone course. This is something that, if this is all you ever did, you could go take clients and have a successful business. Obviously, we have the advanced courses, and we always encourage anyone to continue their education, whether it’s with us or some other place.
But I always loved how the FDN course was truly designed as a one-stop shop where you can actually take clients, charge accordingly, they’re happy to pay it, and you’re making a living. I think that really matters.
What’s also cool for you is by the time you went through, I don’t know if you realize this cause this wasn’t a thing like when I went through, you guys have the Facebook trainee group now, the mentors are helping out a lot more. I’m sure you probably felt very supported once you were involved in that.
[00:21:46] Christa Lyons: A hundred percent. The support was outstanding. To have the trainee calls was amazing. And what I didn’t have that they have now are the hot topics. I’m even going through those now as a graduate because Elizabeth just explains everything in such like real time, but in depth.
I’ve found so much wealth of information and just being able to wrap your brain around a complex idea in the hot topics. But between the Facebook group, it was so great.
AFDNP is a Wealth of Information
I find that with the AFDNP, we haven’t talked about that yet. Can I go into that?
Detective Ev: Sure, please.
Christa Lyons: As a newer graduate, the AFDNP group is like worth gold. I probably daily go in there and search a topic. I mean, I could put in psoriasis, and I can guarantee there’s at least 10 threads of people who have already put in information about psoriasis. Or a certain supplement, or I mean, just everything, or what do I do about X, Y, Z? It’s such a wealth of information.
[00:22:53] Detective Ev: If by chance you guys missed it, we just released Episode 173 explaining AFDNP. So, after this one, if you’re on a podcast binge, go back just a few episodes back and we will have that there where we explain kind of what that is. Because AFDNP, to me, that’s one of the biggest no-brainers in my opinion.
For someone that has experienced the things I’ve experienced in life, I considered the access to AFDNP alone is worth the cost of tuition. People just don’t always understand how to use it.
I’m like, do you guys realize that the archives alone, I actually didn’t. I knew it was a lot, but Jennifer Woodward explained that the archived webinars in AFDNP, if you count the business and the health side, and you listen to one webinar a day, including Saturday and Sunday, she said it would take you approximately two years to get through it, spending an hour a day listening to it. And some of the webinars are more than an hour, let’s be honest.
AFDNP is Like a Master’s Degree in FDN
Spending an hour or two a day listening to the webinars, you’re getting extremely advanced business training, extremely advanced health training, and there’s always new events every single week. And everything is saved. It’s amazing to go back. I love listening to the stuff sometimes like five years ago, because I love getting involved with the timeless principles.
Like what was the business stuff that they were teaching back then, because some of it still applies to today. It doesn’t matter what new social media platform comes out, doesn’t matter what new marketing gimmick there is, some aspects of business, as you know from your experience, is just business, period.
Customer service is always going to be a valued thing. Having your finances in order for income and stuff, that’s going to always be a thing. It’s just a gold mine, like you said, it’s worth gold. And it’s fairly cheap to get into it.
[00:24:24] Christa Lyons: It’s unbelievable. It’s like getting a master’s degree in FDN, to be honest.
[00:24:31] Detective Ev: I’ve never heard that, but that’s a good way of putting it.
[00:24:33] Christa Lyons: It is. Like all the Quick and Nerdys, they dive so deep into a topic. I mean, it’s incredible.
[00:24:39] Detective Ev: I think we’ve had to actually get better at specifying what it is and what it isn’t. You know, people come out of the course, and they learned a ton. But if they go immediately into that without us disclaiming it, if Ryan Monahan’s hopping on a Quick and Nerdy and that’s the first thing you see, you’re like, what the heck is going on?
AFDNP Separates Professionals from Hobbyists
This guy’s, you know, like top of the top at FDN in terms of just knowledge. And like you said, it’s stuff that is really cool to know and we love it. It’s stuff you’ll never have to explain to a client. You might not even need to know per se, to actually be effective with the client. But it is cool, it’s interesting. If you do this course, you’re probably a nerd in some way or another. I think I could speak for all of us. It is really cool to just dive deep.
Reed always says AFDNP separates the professionals from the hobbyists. There’s nothing wrong with being a hobbyist, some people want to do that. But if you’re going to go pursue this and say, hey, this is my business now, this is what I want to do part-time or full-time, I recommend AFDNP. It’s a no-brainer.
And there’s always ways to work these on taxes, which is cool cause it’s kind of education. So, it’s a no-brainer to me to be doing something like that.
We don’t have to talk specific numbers, that’s not what I’m asking this for, but I’m curious, how has this impacted your business? Because you’re someone that was doing this, it seems, for quite some time compared to the rest of the health coaches out there that might only have a year or two old business. How has this impacted your business now being an FDN and having access to these labs?
The Confidence to Have a Booming Business
[00:25:58] Christa Lyons: I’ve made, this year, I’ve made probably four times the income that I made in previous years. But I wasn’t taking on clients like I’m taking on clients now. I wasn’t as confident then that I could help people as just teaching clean eating.
Now that I’m able to help people on this level, I’m like, bring it on because the system works. The system works, and the body doesn’t lie, and the body needs us.
[00:26:30] Detective Ev: Well, whether it’s the confidence or the system itself, I mean, to me is almost irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that’s a transformative experience for someone to go four times.
Just so we have the timeline right, how long had you been health coaching? Well, 2013 you said. Right? So, you were active as soon as you graduated, IIN?
[00:26:49] Christa Lyons: I graduated in 2013 and then I left my dad’s company in 2015. So, like five or six years
I was also changing directions. I tried this and then I tried that. Then I was changing my niche. I went in a lot of different directions. But everything that I’ve learned and everything that I’ve done brought me to this point.
[00:27:12] Detective Ev: I appreciate the transparency. Let’s keep it realistic. We don’t want anyone just thinking like, oh, I was doing the exact same thing at the exact same time and all of a sudden four times the income in less than a year basically.
Want a Booming Business? You Just Have to Start.
[00:27:23] Christa Lyons: Well, you know, they talk about people failing forward. Sure, if someone looked at me right now and they’re like, oh my gosh, you have all these clients and you have a process that you like, and you’ve already done all these things. You have all your intake forms; you already have everything.
It’s like, yeah, but I’ve also had them for seven years and changed them a hundred times. I’ve failed forward all this time. You know?
[00:27:46] Detective Ev: I think it’s one of the dilemmas in business, and it’s something we try to instill in all these FDNs now. Because not everyone that is becoming an FDN, as you know, has any business background.
So, if you do, it’s very advantageous. But it’s not advantageous necessarily just because, okay, I know how to run a business. We can help you with that. We have stuff for that. You can’t necessarily teach the mindset and the willingness to take some risks, right? Because a lot of people get very perfectionistic.
I’ve been prone to that in my life for sure. And business, I’ve had to learn to rewrite that narrative on my mind. You just got to start. You got to go out there. You can learn it along the way.
I’m not saying do this so negligently that you’re screwing over clients left and right. That’s not what I’m suggesting at all. But we try to perfect and control things so much that you could stay forever on that. You could never start a business because you’re trying to get it perfectly fixed or whatever.
A Booming Business Takes a Different Mindset
I always tell people; I’m not going to mention names. There are FDNs out there though that only ever did the FDN course, and they are making so much money that if I told people what it was on this podcast, they would think I’m lying.
Then we have others that do the FDN course, and five advanced courses, they’ve got two other certifications from some other place, and they’ve never taken a client yet. To me that is proof that it’s actually more up here. (For those on audio, I’m pointing to our brains, trying to represent our minds even though they’re not the exact same thing.)
But it’s our mindset about this stuff and how we approach it that actually does that. So, anyone can go from employee to business owner. It’s not a bad thing one way or another, but it is a different mindset. You need to be prepared for that.
Failing forward. I love what you said. That’s what it is. Don’t be afraid to go out there and start.
And as someone who has this vast amount of business experience in life, I think this is a good opportunity to ask this. What is your advice maybe to someone that is coming through FDN, they were in the employee mindset forever? They want to start a business, but they’re a little scared. What would your advice to them be?
Start a Booming Business After FDN Graduation
[00:29:44] Christa Lyons: You have to get started. You do. You just have to get going.
To be honest, my first client was my family, couple family members, couple friends, and my husband. I was like, okay, you guys are going to go through all this. I’m not going to charge you. You pay for the labs. Because I wanted the experience.
When I graduated, there was a part of me that was like, you know what? I’m still not sure. I’ve done the labs on myself, but I’m still not sure. I mean, after the practicals, you feel like you’ve had three clients, so you could definitely dive in with a client.
Actually, I did have my first client when I graduated, but I was also working with my husband and a couple friends. I feel like I eased into it, but you got to start. You definitely have to start.
I was thinking back to what you said about Ryan Monahan in the Quick and Nerdys. I jumped into the AFDNP group when I graduated and I was like, oh my gosh. Now I’ve graduated, I’ve done all this, and they’re talking about stuff, I don’t even know what they’re talking about.
But I stuck with it, and I was like, I am not going to quit. I’ve done all this, I’ve gotten this far, and now I use it as a tremendous resource.
Once I started working with clients, I was like, oh, okay. I don’t have to know everything that they know. I just have to know what I’ve learned so far. That’s all I need to get started.
A Booming Business: Continued Education is Advantageous
[00:31:02] Detective Ev: I think this is a great message for people. I almost wish they had a little thing with AFDNP when you’re signing up. You know how that you can have those questions in a Facebook group that you have to like, I agree to do this. I agree not to be spitting profanity or whatever.
I wish one of those agreements was, I understand that to even have joined this group, I know more than enough to have a successful FDN practice.
But we also value, as FDNs, constant learning. I think people need to be able to separate these principles. In a sense, it was the unwillingness of certain health professionals to engage in that continued learning, whether it’s because they just are so busy because these doctors have a heavy load, so I don’t want to make it seem like they’re doing this on purpose, whether it was just that or sheer negligence, that led to us being stuck with our health issues.
I mean, I had a nutritionist, Christa, this was all of seven years ago, that was shocked when I said, dairy and acne are linked together. She was very kind, thankfully. She actually went and looked it up. She looked at the studies and said, okay, you’re right. That is about as good as you’re going to get in that world.
Most of them would just kind of reject that and say, what do you know kid? What are you talking about dairy and acne are linked? I’m the nutritionist. I know better. She was so humble and so open minded that she was willing to listen to me and actually research it. That isn’t normally what this is.
Obligation to Learn Until We Figure It All Out
So, the reason there is continued education at FDN is because as good as this system is, it’s not perfect. If it was perfect, everyone in this world would know about it. No one would have health issues. So, if it is not perfect, it means by definition we are still obligated to learn.
I said this seven years ago, it is the responsibility, in my opinion, of any health professional, whether a Western Medicine MD, an acupuncturist, or an FDN, until we figure out (I think we actually kind of can figure this out as humans. Maybe I’m a little optimistic, but I think it’s possible.), until we figure out how to maintain perfect health in the human body for as long as we are on this earth, we have something to learn.
So, humble ourselves, keep learning. But also know that as an FDN you could still help 98%, 99% of the population immediately.
[00:33:00] Christa Lyons: Totally. And once you dive into the health world, like, I mean, I read nonfiction health books for fun. You’re just continually learning. No two bodies are the same. So, I think when you dive into that and you’re learning all this stuff, you still do.
You probably know 90% more than the average person out there just because you’ve dived in. There’s so much to know. There’s so much to learn. The human body is complex, but the human body is simple.
There Are Not Enough FDNs
[00:33:35] Detective Ev: It’s amazing to me. When I was doing that course enrollment side for a while, Christa, they were serious and I’m not being mean. They thought maybe there’s too many FDNs out there doing this work or whatever. I’m like, why don’t you go to your local CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, someplace that has a pharmacy and just watch the line for an hour.
I’m not saying that we do this in a place of judgment saying, oh my God, look at what they have wrong with them. That’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying as long as those people are standing in line, you can kind of see when someone’s a little sickly. You don’t really even always need to see it to know that they could use help. I mean, too many FDNs? What? There is a shortage. It’s the exact opposite.
There are plenty of people to help and they have no idea. They don’t even know this exists. That’s why I’m blessed to be able to do the podcast cause I believe this is one of the main things nowadays that is actually bringing people into our world. It’s these stories. You know, maybe someone searching for something, and they click this on Google. They don’t even know, they’re like functional medicine. What is that? Then they listen to this, and they’re inspired to go out and help others.
Now speaking of actually helping others, how have you ended up niching down? Is there a certain type of client that you serve, someone that you like to help the most? How has your business been working like that?
A Booming Business: Christa’s Ideal Client
[00:34:39] Christa Lyons: It’s interesting. You think about a niche and sometimes this happens. You come up with a client that’s yourself, basically. Like, I work with someone who’s just like me, similar to me. I’m not going to say my age, but I just turned a good healthy milestone at midlife.
I just turned 50 and so I’m dealing with perimenopause. I’m dealing with hot flashes. I’m dealing with my kids who are now growing and going off to college. You know, I’m dealing with some of the same things that my clients are dealing with.
I naturally became attracted to and probably attracted to me people that were similar to me. My clients have much different health issues that we’re dealing with, but I can relate to them on a woman-to-woman basis at this age.
[00:35:32] Detective Ev: It’s such an important message that you’re sharing with them too. I feel like so many of them probably laid up when they hear, I’m sure your message is something along the lines of like, hey, just because you’re this age doesn’t mean that you have to feel like crap. We’re not supposed to be capping out here.
I’ll be honest, it’s the only time I’ve ever heard it. But we had a doctor, naturopathic doctor, on named Aumatma Simmons. She had done some research and came across literature showing that there were these tribes. The women in the tribes were almost 60 years old and giving birth to healthy children.
Regressing Health-wise as a Society
Now, I’m not saying go try that. I’m saying, is that what we’re supposed to be doing? We laugh because it’s so unrealistic, we think in today’s world. But that’s how far we have pushed ourselves away from what the actual truth is that we laugh, oh, that can’t even happen.
We call 40 the cutoff age. Yet, possibly 20 years later this could be happening with people who have much less technology than us. We’d think that they are the disadvantaged ones, and yet, ironically it is us because we’ve been sold this false narrative. Oh, this is how you’re supposed to feel. It’s like, I don’t buy that at all.
[00:36:40] Christa Lyons: Well, look at the girls who are getting their periods at age 12. It’s just so early. And yes, we’ve done it to ourselves. We’ve done it to ourselves for sure. I mean, I’m not saying that girl has done it to herself. I’m just saying as a society and as our food manufacturers. I could talk about food manufacturers till the cows come home.
We have done it as a society, and so therefore our bodies are not ready to carry children probably beyond even 45 or 50. But in those regions, for sure, because they’ve taken much better care of their body.
[00:37:15] Detective Ev: It’s an interesting state of the world because our perceived progression, and it is progression in certain ways, has actually become our regression. I can’t argue that it’s complete regression because the fact that you and I can even be talking right now on this podcast and sharing this information, well, that’s progress. That’s cool.
We’re Not Supposed to Feel Like Crap
Yet, if I stay on this until 11:00 PM tonight, staring at the blue light, that, we know, is terrible for me. It’s actually associated with certain cancers, namely prostate and breast cancer. I think it’s associated with a lot more, but I don’t have the science to back that up yet. But the science already shows that it’s associated with those things.
It’s amazing when we look at it like this. So, do we take it away? Do I not want to be able to talk to Christa and do this podcast? I don’t think so.
I feel like we will learn to balance this in a healthy way, but first it starts with enlightening people to the idea that we’re not supposed to feel like crap. And yes, you can have your cake, but we can’t be eating it all the time. That’s really what this is. I use the phone; I use the computer. There’s certain things that we have to learn to moderate to the degree that we’re able, because everyone has different bodies.
You know, I’m amazed by what some of these high-level athletes or politicians can do. That would kill me, I feel like, the stress on their body with the modern world. We got these basketball players starting the game at 11:00 PM. That ain’t going to work for Evan Transue with what I’ve dealt with.
Mine might have to be a little less than them and for someone else, it might even have to be less than me. We just got to learn to balance and moderate it in today’s world, and I think we’ll be okay.
A Booming Business: The FDN D.R.E.S.S. Protocol
But it starts with these messages and letting people know that yes, at 25 years old, you shouldn’t be losing your period. And no, it’s not a good thing because I’ve heard that as well. They’re like, well, I don’t have to deal with the symptoms anymore.
My hand goes to my face. It’s like, when your palm meets face. I’m like, You’re 25. We should not be celebrating a missing period because you don’t have to deal with the symptoms anymore. I’m like, what about if you want kids later or something like that. It’s a whole paradigm shift that we need, I think.
I love that you’re providing that to maybe more middle-aged people that think that this is the end of their life. I think you got decades left of healthy living and enjoying this world.
[00:39:17] Christa Lyons: You know, every time I get a new client, of course I’m excited because I’m really looking forward to working with them on their health journey. But I almost want to cry too. I think, I feel bad for them that they have suffered with these things usually for so long.
Oftentimes, one of the best things about the FDN program is that sure, we learn a lot of science and we learn all about the labs, but it still comes down to the D.R.E.S.S. protocol: the diet, rest, exercise, and stress reduction. We can make so many strides with that.
A Booming Business: Looking at the Whole Big Picture
I tell clients all the time, Sure, we can give you this supplement to support X, Y, or Z, but not long term. I want you to be working on the diet part, removing your food sensitivities, and reducing the dairy and the gluten if they’re sensitive to those, or if their gut is a mess.
I love looking at the whole big picture and how everything is so intertwined. Yet, it can all be fixed if you take out that broccoli, because broccoli came back on your food sensitivity. It can’t all be fixed, but it’s a huge part of it.
[00:40:26] Detective Ev: What’s the main way that you’re attracting these clients? Do you use social media? Is it other forms of stuff? Cause I know we’ve had people that are speaking again, like there’s a lot of things. I mean, the world’s pretty much open, at least in the United States. You can kind of go out and do these speaking engagements and get people like that.
How are you attracting these people that need this work?
[00:40:43] Christa Lyons: Some of my clients have come through referrals. All of the people who have referred, I’ve met at networking groups. Over the last five or six years, I have done a lot of networking. I’m still in a couple networking groups currently. I am out there in that regard.
I do social media, but I have a love-hate relationship with social media. So, I took the summer off from really posting. But I’m not really finding my clients that way. I’m finding my clients through referrals, networking, and human relationships.
A Booming Business: Identify Your Strength and Develop It
[00:41:17] Detective Ev: What a concept.
The referral side is something, I think, any FDN that does this, even moderately if you do it for a year, it’s going to happen. That’s one of the coolest things. A lot of FDNs that have been here for 5, 6, 7 years, their entire practice is waitlisted sometimes where it’s just all referrals coming through. There’s a wait list.
I’m not saying you should ever stop marketing; I think that’s probably a bad idea. But it’s just amazing that they’re getting these clients. Oh, well you worked with so and so and I heard how much you helped them, so now I want to work with you. I think that’s something everyone’s going to experience universally.
The reason I asked you is because there’s different ways that we can do this. There are FDNs that exclusively use social media and that’s how they get clients. I think it’s really identifying your unique strengths and what you’re able to do.
I mean, you have an incredibly welcoming and pleasing personality. Obviously, we met at the Biohacking Congress. I mean, you just get people. We were trying to take a break for a second and you weren’t even working. You just helped us out immediately and are talking to people. So, you guys, it’s self-awareness.
If you have that ability, go out and do that. If you’re more, you know, introverted and kind of a little shy, that’s okay too. Then use social media to your advantage because that can be a great place to find people and do this stuff. I think we should always engage in personal development and try to make our personalities more inviting and stuff. There’s different ways to approach this and that’s why I ask those questions.
A Booming Business: Clients Trying to Push Through Life
For some people it’s a completely different answer and they’re having just as much success with this same work. The system works. You just got to work it in a way that is something that resonates with you.
One of the other things I wanted to ask about your particular clients, especially if some of them are not at a diagnosis type level yet, what are some common themes that you’re seeing on the labs? Are they also in the exhaustive phase? Are you getting people in the compensatory phase? Are there any common patterns you’re seeing?
[00:43:02] Christa Lyons: A lot of my clients are coming to me in the exhaustive phase, yes. They’re busy professionals. They are entrepreneurs, they’re running their own businesses. They have kids. They are in their forties. So, there’s a lot of things that they are just pushing through basically.
Oftentimes we do. The daily schedule, you get through the daily schedule without realizing, I haven’t even taken a minute to breathe. Or I just want to take a shower, something for yourself, let alone 10 minutes to sit and read a book or do a couple stretching exercises.
I’m finding that most people that come to me are exhausted, literally, and their tests are showing it. I’m also finding a lot on the GI MAP too. A lot of people do have imbalance between the good bacteria and the bad bacteria.
I’m finding a lot of people are having trouble digesting protein, which, if you are eating a lot of protein, but you’re not digesting it well, it’s sitting and putrefying in your system and your body’s not able to use it. That’s been common.
And the liver, so the liver congestion. How’s that for a few things?
A Booming Business: Teach Clients to Balance Their Lives
[00:44:17] Detective Ev: That’s one of my favorite questions to ask, especially when the person, I can tell they really do have a niche and they have a certain base that they serve. I just love to know if there’s any patterns with it. And there’s always overlapping stuff in the world of FDN. I mean, there’s very rarely a client that we take on that’s going to have a healthy gut. That’s not really typical in our line of work.
But there’s other things that come up and I’m interested to find that, wow, a lot of these people are in the exhaustive phase, and yet they’re still going. I think, moms and business owners, and then a combination of both, that’s some of the most strong-willed people in the world. You know, they’re going to just keep pushing no matter what. It’s almost unbelievable that they can do it.
But that’s the other side of it. The fact that they think they just need to keep pushing through it. It’s like, no, you can actually really get a lot done and still feel great. I’m still always learning to balance out myself especially during the school year, I get a little crazy with things. I mean, even just this week it’s kind of starting again. But I’ve learned to balance that a little better.
Like in the summer when I have an ability to just kind of do nothing. I’m like, Dude, you don’t need to do something every single second of every day.
A Booming Business: Know Yourself & Adjust Accordingly
I think a lot of this comes from comparison too. Because we’re on social media, we think we need to be doing more, striving for more. Maybe there’s a time and place for some healthy competition, but at the end of the day, I think you’re a hamster on a wheel.
You’re never going to actually get to the destination. The destination is just going to keep moving farther and farther away because you’re going to get worse and worse. We need to recognize that there’s a virtue in just doing the best that you can. For some people, I know them, it’s about four hours a day is what they can do. So, figure out how to make the best out of that four focused hours and then do what you got to do the rest of the time.
I also know people that can do the 12 hours a day and they’re just being lazy, you know. Like they could do phenomenal things and have these huge goals. I know that they could be fine doing that cause they’re super healthy, but they choose not to. Maybe that is not a great thing to be doing either, you know?
It’s just knowing yourself. I feel like self-awareness has come up a few times on this podcast, or at least the concept of it has, and then adjusting accordingly.
Where to Find Christa Lyons
Christa, where can these people find you? If they are listening today and they resonate with the type of client that you take on, they’re like, wow, that’s kind of me. I’d love to work with her.
[00:46:21] Christa Lyons: My website is www.ahealthyoption.com. There’s a link at the top that says, Book a call. It’s a free strategy call. We can talk about where you’re at, where you’d like to be, and some steps to start getting you there. Then I also have a freebie. I think you have a link to the freebie, Three Simple Ways to Boost Your Metabolism.
Facebook is at christalyons31.
[00:46:41] Detective Ev: A hundred percent. Everything will be in the show notes. I just like to hear it verbally too. I feel like I’m actually bad at clicking on the show notes when I listen to podcasts. I know, as a host, I’m terrible at it. But if I hear it, I’ll go type it in really quick. So, I always like to know.
Then just to be clear, one thing, because it’s amazing that people get a little confused with this. Just because that’s the normal client that you take on, you would still help someone that might not be perfectly fit into that mold, right? Because FDNs don’t treat anything specifically. We help everything. So, you would help someone that’s not perfectly in that mold?
[00:47:08] Christa Lyons: Always.
[00:47:11] Christa Lyons: Going back and just saying one other thing to what you were saying, probably two conversations ago. You know, we meet people where they are. Not everybody, like you said, has four hours in the day versus 12 hours in the day. You know, some people have five minutes in the day. We meet people where they are.
The Health Detective Podcast Signature Question
But the system works.
[00:47:32] Detective Ev: My final question for you, which you’ve listened, so you probably already know what it is. Not a trick question, but I’m curious what you have to say.
The signature question on the Health Detective Podcast is, if I could give you, in this case, a magic wand and you could wave it and get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, whether that’s literally do one thing, or maybe it’s stop doing one thing, either or, what is the one thing that Christa would get them to do?
Christa Lyons: Read ingredient labels.
Detective Ev: All right, my friends. That’ll do it for today’s episode with Christa Lyons. I hope you guys enjoyed this episode and kind of the switch up that it took. I think, again, there was a lot of people out there today that are coming into our work, maybe not with the craziest of health stories, but they were health coaches. They need additional tools so that they can increase their income and serve their client base at a better level.
What I also think is cool is the fact that it shows you do not need or require a crazy health story for this to work. As amazing as these stories are, and I love getting to interview these people and share these stories, the one limiting belief that it can create is that I must need a crazy health story to go be a successful FDN.
Well, clearly that was not the case for Christa Lyons and there’s many other people out there that this applies to. But they don’t necessarily end up on the show just because we typically interview one type of person. I’m going to go out of my way to make sure we have that more diverse group that you guys can see this system works if you work it. I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but that’s just the reality of the situation.
I’m looking forward to talking to you guys again soon. I’ll be chatting with my friend Renee Bergman. She was on many, many moons ago. We talked about the Enneagram. So, the first 20 minutes is us basically analyzing our findings from the last time.
I’m looking forward to talking you guys then. Until then, take care.
You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com.
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