Trusting Nutrition Over Trends
Nutritionist Lahana Vigliano on the importance of understanding your body
by Abby Moore
When clients seek help from Lahana Vigliano, founder of Thrival Nutrition, it’s often out of desperation. The fad diets glamorized on the internet and endorsed by celebrities become too costly, both in terms of health and finances. Nutrition, not trends, are the foundation for fueling the body.
“Nutrition should be the first priority,” Vigliano said, “not the last resort.”
Originally on track to become a physician’s assistant, Vigliano was uneasy with the “something’s wrong, here’s a pill to fix it,” mentality. Early in her college career, she transferred to nutrition. The food-as-medicine approach immediately piqued her interest.
“Maybe it was the mom in me,” Vigliano said. “I wanted better for my children.”
While she never had a personal health scare that drew her to holistic healing, Vigliano’s maternal instincts influenced her decision-making early on. She graduated high school while pregnant, and gave birth to her first son at 18 years old.
Not only was she a young mom, Vigliano was also working full-time and attending college full-time. “I can relate to women wearing a lot of hats and it makes it easy to empathise,” she said.
Helping women slow down and reconnect with their bodies is the heart behind Thrival Nutrition, which she founded almost immediately after graduating college.
“I wanted to dip my toe into the digital world and provide people with free resources before transitioning into a full business,” she said. But after only three years, Vigliano’s clientele had tripled, partly due to her move from Orlando, FL. to Austin in 2016.
After the growth in followers, Vigliano began offering one-on-one nutrition consultations, in addition to the free blog posts and podcasts.
In this time, Vigliano also watched her team grow. “Aside from customer results, gaining employees has been the most rewarding aspect,” she said. “The extra hands have made it possible to reach more women.”
Services are available to all, but Thrival Nutrition’s clients are typically 25 to 45-year-old women, seeking relief for chronic symptoms.
Lab testing is the most important step in Vigliano’s patient assessment because it reveals hidden issues. Symptoms like acne, chronic fatigue and stubborn weight loss are often unknowingly caused by hormonal or gut imbalances, which require specialized treatment.
“We have to be aware of what our bodies need in order to nourish them,” Vigliano said.
The biggest misconception of the beauty industry, according to Vigliano, are food-group phobias, like the fear of carbs or fats. In fact, low-carb diets can worsen problems for people with adrenal or thyroid issues. Additionally, foods that are deemed healthy might keep some from losing weight. One of Vigliano’s recent clients struggled with stubborn weight loss before discovering an intolerance to salmon and removing it from her diet.
“We’re all just trying to find a magic pill that fixes everybody,” Vigliano said, “but it doesn’t work that way. It’s all about the individual.”
Taking advice from influential celebrities (hello Goop) is nothing to be ashamed of, and following popular wellness trends (hello celery juice) is not always a bad thing. But expecting those trends to be all-purpose cures, is what Vigliano warns against. “It’s about incorporating that advice into a nutrient dense lifestyle.”