Hi, I’m Annie
I’ve been a clinical nutritional biochemist for over 20 years, a yoga teacher and therapist for 15, and a student of the psychology of how people change and of consciousness for all my career.
Through my years of helping groups and individuals improve their health through lifestyle, I have seen hundreds (maybe thousands) of people who want to eat a healthful diet that supports who they are, but don’t.
It’s Tough to be Healthy
They can’t get started, can’t sustain it or get sidetracked by things that don’t work. It can be nearly impossible to eat well in our current (nutritionists call it toxic) nutrition environment.
Our modern culture is filled with mixed messages about food, weight, and how we should look and feel. The same is true for other aspects of healthful lifestyle – we want to be physically active yet our worlds are set up to be sedentary. We want to practice mindful resilience and stress-management yet we don’t have time because of the 24/7 culture of work, family, life.
Where I Fit In
I am an unapologetic proponent of spirituality as essential to health. Mind body and spirit have been fractured in our modern culture, and re-uniting and fully occupying our multidimensional selves in balance with the earth is the path forward that resonates for me.
One of the gifts of living right here and now is that we have the potential to be the re-integrators. We have at our fingertips the modern health sciences, and we also have new and accessible interpretations of ancient wisdom-sciences such as shamanic plant work, Ayurveda and tantra. Many practices from these wisdom traditions are proving to be effective modalities for addressing the mind-body-spirit split and toxicity of modern life.
Here’s How I see Health
Practicing an integrated life (imperfectly but regularly) maintains wellness and supports dynamic well-being. For a variety of reasons, most people don’t or are not able to sustain regular practice. Enjoying a plant-based diet, moving, taking time for rest and contemplation, and connecting with family like-minded people are components of a life that keep things in dynamic balance. Your unique variation on that lifestyle fuels your life force – healing is a feeling. But life, for nearly everyone, inevitably becomes imbalanced. It is our nature and indeed the nature of life here on earth to become imbalanced.
I also think that feeling bad about ourselves is overall the largest chronic health problem. Please please don’t feel bad about the choices you make. It’s the critical first step to change.
The opportunity of imbalance is to learn more about who you are and why you are here.
You can become a discerner of the array of therapeutic options from evidence-based and wisdom realms, or find others you trust to help you sort it out. You can become a students of who you are – each of us are unique, and what works for someone else will not necessarily work for you. Then you can become a thoughtful experimenter of what works.
With time, life comes into a (often new) balance. Dynamic, changing balance that requires ongoing tending and practice.
It’s a long-term project and a lifelong dance. The alternative, for many, is to get sick before your time. You can do this. I’m honored to share what I know to show you how.
What’s your health philosophy? What’s most important for your health and well-being? I want to know!
I’m happy to let you know that in 2017, I’ll be reaching beyond my beloved teaching home of Kripalu, and working in different ways with different organizations. You’ll still find me there, teaching and offering programs, just a little less this year.
One offering I’m thrilled to tell you about is that I will be opening a telehealth private practice this spring. Telehealth means that I will beam into your home via the internet. While I am still evaluating partners in this (there are a number of groups that offer HIPAA-secure platforms), I’m happy to see how reimbursement has evolved in the last few years.
I am planning to take Medicare (I believe you’ll need an MD referral, details to come), and right now I am thinking I may put off taking other insurance (though I will use what they call a superbill, so if you get the OK from your primary care doc, it should be easy to get reimbursed through your insurance).
How could I as an RDN not be aware of the wide coverage for nutrition now available?! I believe (I am still learning) that through Obamacare (while we have it), one or 2 well-care nutrition visits are covered by insurance. Many nutrition-related diagnoses are covered, from eating disorders to high cholesterol to weight.
In order to get reimbursed, you will need to be referred by your primary MD. I’ll have step-by-step how-tos on my site with everything you need to get referred, and to make submissions for reimbursement easy.
I’ll be offering my unique blend of whole foods, plant-based systems-oriented mind-body nutrition with a little yoga therapy rolled in when called for. Read more about my health and healing philosophy here. I plan to initially offer a schedule of two afternoons plus one evening weekly, and we’ll see how it goes from there.
The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (AND) has done a good job reporting about how cost-effective Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) is for Medicare. It clearly reduces health care costs and improves the lives of people who use it. MNT is an evidence-based process of addressing health and medical conditions with nutrition.
So, you’ll be hearing more about MNT and how it can benefit you as my practice takes shape. A few of you have asked me how to make appointments – I’ll let you know that too, as soon as I decide on my system.
Let’s make 2017 the year of nutritional skill for health and healing.
Yoga and Nutrition: Tips & Articles
Relax Your Way to a Healthy Weight
by Annie Kay MS RD RYT
Author, Dietitian and Yoga Therapist
I just don’t recognize myself anymore,” said Barbara during our first meeting. “I can’t see myself inside my physical body, but I don’t recognize who I’ve become either. I used to be more fun and liked myself better. Food is my solace, and it shows.”
Millions of Americans feel just like Barbara.
We’ve all heard about the obesity epidemic, wherein nearly two-thirds of Americans are overweight, and one-third of us are clinically obese. All our extra weight is not just a cosmetic inconvenience, but increases our risk for diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, some cancers, and even early death.
What’s going on? Just look around. Our modern environment, filled with junk foods and empty calories, pushes us toward weight gain. At the same time we are inundated with media messages that suggest we are doomed if we aren’t model thin. Living in our American culture and maintaining a healthy weight can seem mutually exclusive.
A growing body of science tells us it doesn’t have to be that way.
Did you ever think that simply relaxing in meditation or having a gentle yoga practice could help you find peace in the war on weight? Scientists and yoga practitioners are finding it so. Yoga is multi-tasker. It provides stress management, moderate physical activity, and its philosophical framework gives us a much-needed guide to a moderate lifestyle.
Yoga originated in India, and can be traced as far back as 5,000 BC. The word yoga comes from the Sankrit (an ancient language) root word “yuj”, which means to bind, join, and concentrate one’s attention. It also means unions or communion.
While yoga in America today is often only thought of as the physical practice (asana in Sanskrit), the full practice of yoga encompasses all aspects of your life including your mental attitude, lifestyle choices, how you spend your time and energy, and philosophical study and ritual. The essence of asana practice is simultaneous conscious physical movement, attunement to breath, and observation of sensation. So, your mind and body re-learn how to work together.