Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and wellness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Ann Louise Gittleman, Founder of First Lady of Nutrition, Inc., located in Post Falls, ID, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am the New York Times bestselling author of more than 35 books on health and healing. I am recognized as a leading innovator in the field of integrative medicine, diet, environment, and women's health issues. My readers and followers are women of all ages and stages of life, from 30 to 90!

Tell us about yourself

There were four incredibly remarkable women who got me to where I am today in my evolving journey. The most important of these was a woman whom I had never actually met – my paternal grandmother, Anna. She was the woman I was named after. From what I heard growing up, she was a very kind, eloquent, and gracious lady. She died at the age of 42 from a mysterious illness with circumstances that were most unusual at the time – but certainly not today. As the story goes, this robust woman went on vacation with my grandfather to the Catskill Mountains in New York one summer. She returned with some type of virus or bacterial infection that the doctors could not identify, let alone successfully treat. She went from doctor to doctor suffering from joint pain, brain fog, and neurological symptoms.

In those days, no one could find the underlying cause of her malady. One very poignant recollection stands out in my memory that was related to me by my father. My father told me that one day he came home early from school with his little brother and went up, as usual, to their second-floor tenement in New York City. They searched high and low for their mother, only to find her on the roof, ready to jump off because she was feeling so desolate, depressed, and hopeless. She was clearly at the end of her rope, and in her despair and hopelessness, my grandmother was willing to leave behind five loving children and a devoted husband. Needless to say, my father and his little brother eventually coaxed their mother back into safety.

When I finally heard this story as an adult from my dad, it seemed to underscore my passion for helping people who were suffering and in distress. I feel that being my grandmother’s namesake gently guided my life’s purpose to uncover the underlying root cause of illness or weight loss resistance. Knowing the cause could help set people free. My grandmother’s name – which means ‘devotion’ in Hebrew – was a foreshadowing of my own destiny. My soul’s purpose prompted me to rewrite the rules of nutrition so that everyone in our modern-day toxic environment might find hope, empowerment, and ultimate wholeness.

The second most important woman came into my life unexpectedly when I was at Connecticut College as a sophomore. I remember going into the cafeteria in the wee morning hours of a very cold wintry morning after pulling an all-nighter studying. I was truly exhausted but not tired enough to overhear two coeds enthusiastically talking about a book called Let’s Get Well by Adelle Davis. At that time – during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Adelle Davis was a lone voice in the nutritional wilderness, writing about healing with a variety of vitamins and minerals and how to overcome stress. I immediately went out and bought all of her books and started integrating everything she wrote about.

The third woman who was most helpful along my journey was Linda Clark. She was a very prolific author who wrote for Keats Publishing. Shortly after my discovery of Adelle Davis, I began picking up Clark’s books, which were very cutting-edge and avant-garde back in the day. She seemed to have a pulse on all the areas of health that I had never even considered or heard about to be important for personal healing. Linda Clark really sparked my passion for looking outside the box, and I wanted to grow up and be an author just like her! Interestingly enough, her publisher, Keats, was bought out by my current publisher, McGraw-Hill, the publisher of my popular Fat Flush Plan series of books.

My last mentor was Dr. Hazel Parcells, whom I was introduced to through a health-conscious friend who shared an advertisement with me about the Parcells School of Scientific Nutrition in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The ad promised, “Five days that would change your life.” That couldn’t have been truer for me because Dr. Parcells was the capstone of all of my experiences and pointed me in the direction of where and how to search for the underlying causes of disease. She touched upon many of the topics that Linda Clark had written about, and that fascinated me. Dr. Parcells was 84 years old when I met her – and lived to the incredible age of 106 with all her senses and intellect fully intact. A true pioneer and the grande dame of alternative medicine, she was a woman far ahead of her time. She truly motivated me to go back to school and further my studies at Columbia University, where I received my MS in Nutrition. From there, I eventually landed at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Santa Monica, CA, as the Nutrition Director. My experience there working with hundreds of individuals following the no-fat/low-fat diet craze of the time inspired my first book, Beyond Pritikin, and the rest is history!

What motivates me every day is the opportunity to empower people to take their health back into their own hands. I want to leave the world with a message of hope and healing. There is a way. There is an answer. You simply may not be looking in the right place. And you may have to do an inventory of every aspect of your life and figure out where the dysfunction or imbalances are occurring by being brutally honest with yourself. I believe that most disease is your body, mind, or spirit calling out for some type of realignment.

Do you have daily rituals for work / wellness / fitness / mindfulness? If yes can you please explain your rituals so we can include them as well?

My Natural Healing Rituals are:

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT): I’m currently undergoing Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for a TBI I sustained nearly 15 years ago. And that’s the beauty of hyperbaric oxygen – it can be used for acute or chronic injuries even if years have passed. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a revolutionary technique designed to elevate the body's oxygen levels and accelerate the healing process. Each of my treatments lasts 45 minutes. I’ve had a total of 40 which seems to be the sweet spot or standard for most people.

Colon Irrigation: To Toxin-proof my body I periodically have a colonic irrigation procedure. This typically takes about 45 minutes and plays an important role in cleansing the colon of parasites and pathogenic bacteria that upset a healthy microbiome.

Infrared Sauna: Another fantastic cleansing method that I use is the infrared sauna. Sweating is a marvelous way to especially rid the body of virus and heavy metals. It also targets those nasty fat-storage toxins. I suggest starting with 5-10 minutes at 135°F. You can gradually work your way up to 45 minutes. After a month or so, increase to 145°F. Do not overdo – once or twice per week only.

These natural healing rituals have not only contributed to my physical recovery but have also nurtured my overall well-being. The synergy of HBOT, colonic irrigation, and infrared sauna sessions has created a harmonious routine that promotes healing from the inside out.

In my health journey, I've found significant benefits from integrating Bile Builder and a 30-Day Parasite Cleanse from Uni Key Health, alongside regular colonics. These steps, focusing on liver function and intestinal health, have notably improved my digestion and vitality. Bile Builder aids in bile production for detoxification, while the parasite cleanse addresses digestive health issues. Together, they've formed a core part of my wellness regimen, enhancing detoxification and overall well-being. Sharing this, I hope to encourage others to explore options that may benefit their health journey, emphasizing the importance of informed wellness choices.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of women (and men) and giving them hope that they could overcome their dietary/weight loss, cardiovascular, neurological, and autoimmune challenges!

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

Not having enough time in the day to adequately serve the number of people who are in need of health advice and guidance.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

I'll speak specifically to health and wellness since it's what I know best.

  1. Stay up to date on the latest research — be a voracious reader, and be an investigative reporter to undercover information that isn't already common knowledge — this can give you a platform!
  2. Be an example to show others why they should follow your advice. I have seen far too many diet experts eating donuts behind the scenes. I have committed to always practicing what I preach.
  3. Pay it forward! I had some wonderful mentors along the way, and I try to do the same for other up-and-coming health experts today.

Where can people find you and your business?


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