Sign up now. Space is limited and this will sell out quickly.
Those of you who know me know that I absolutely love to combine vacation and learning. In 2018, I’m offering it to you: let’s meet at a beautiful spa in the tropical clouds of Costa Rica for deep support and directed self-inquiry.
In this 5-night retreat, you will have the opportunity to:
Deepen your relationship with your physical body with gentle progressive yoga and meditation.
Enjoy food and all that nourishes through mindful practice and interactive learning.
Gain insight about your one precious life through conscious group share, guided imagery, and Shamanic journey.
Get clear about and support your full, true, gorgeous expression of you.
Leader: moi – Annie B. Kay – nutritional biochemist/yoga therapist/plant alchemist Costs:
Room & Board: Ranges from $702 (double in a glam-tent) – $1627 (single in the fanciest rooms). Prices subject to change (a little).
Check out the venue: https://puravidaspa.com/accommodations/ Pura Vida is a gorgeous retreat about 20 minutes from the San Jose airport, has spa treatments (separate), hosts excursions (separate). If you go you might spend a few days at the beach before or after the retreat. NOT included: Airfare.
To hold your space: $400 deposit
Happy New Year! It’s that time again!
Time to review the year that was, and reset our course for the possibilities ahead. I honestly don’t know too many people who had a stellar 2016, but I know you’re out there. Here’s a round up of the top whole food & nutrition memes I see out there. Prediction: 2017 will be the year of the skillful – we will be challenged! For those who are clear about who they are and what’s real, and roll up their sleeves to serve others and have a good time, it will be a good year.
So, let’s eat! The mega-trend is AUTHENTIC. REAL is in.
So, your practice of discernment – of separating the true from the pretenders – is the practice of the year.
Here are my top whole food memes to watch:
Spicy shots! It all began with the re-emergence of Fire Cider (and the bru-ha-ha that followed when an upstart trademarked a beloved herbalist’s recipe – couldn’t this have been prevented with a kind and appreciative phone call?). Anyway, I just whipped up a new recipe on this concept that does not require steeping for 6 weeks. It’s not the original, but it has increased our Free Fire Cider consumption and has been keeping us warm this month. Recipe coming soon! These fun little morning shots are warming and nutrient dense – natural preventive nutrition of the very best kind. This is my favorite food trend of the year. Bottom’s up!
Post-paleo Real-paleo – return of the (whole) grains!Paleo taught us a lot – it taught us to think about our genetic imperative (just how do we feed humans?). It taught us that refined foods (even those with a Paleo wrapper), refined grains, and refined sugar are not our friends. Paleo man (that famous 10K-year-old fellow) did not, however, eat bacon. He didn’t eat meat 3x per day. He sure didn’t eat modern grain-fed hamburgers, even without the bun. I’ve read a number of analysis suggesting he ate more than 110 gm of fiber (most Americans get 5-14 gm in our refined diets). Now that the paleo-frenzy has subsided, we are re-appreciating whole grains, and enjoying them as tolerated. Let’s hear it for balance.
Authentic quality animal & fermenteds! As my friends and excellent nutritionists John Bagnulo and Kathie Swift say – you are what they ate. Our great-grandparents didn’t need terms like organic and grass-fed, but unfortunately, due to the duplicity of marketing, we do now. We are swimming in poor-quality food, high in calories and low in nutrition. So, to improve your diet, if you eat animal foods, choose only those that are raised as nature intended. Cows are designed by the universe to live off grass, not grain. Chickens are healthy and happy when they are eating bugs and grass. This year, try your own fermented food recipes and include a little something fermented every day.
Revenge of self-acceptance. This year the NIH taught us a new phrase: metabolic adaptation. It means that if we gain weight and then lose, there’s a chance that, pound for pound, we will need fewer calories than if we hadn’t taken that weight gain sidetrack. Sigh. Does it go away over time? Something in me tells me that it does, but not to the degree we’d wish. So, enter self-acceptance. If you can follow a preventive health lifestyle regardless of the number on the scale, and you sustain it over time, you will win. You will look better, feel better and probably live longer. Will you reach your high school (or college) weight? Will you do it without dealing with your own hunger and satiety issues? Probably not.
Smarter supplement use. Supplements can be powerful medicines but are generally over-used and generally of really poor quality. Taking every supplement you hear about, and buying the cheapest version you can find, is a losing strategy. I only suggest someone try a supplement to address a lab value or a symptom, find the highest quality you can find & afford, take as directed and watch to see if you get the result you are seeking. I also keep supplement use to your top 5 (and 5 is a lot!). Run from practitioners that insists you need more. The right supplement at the right time can be a lifesaver, but food is so much more important overall. A qualified licensed nutritionist can work with you to sort which are worth it for you, and how to use supplements along with diet and lifestyle effectively.
Are you a dietitian who teaches yoga and uses it in your professional nutrition practice? Well, Namaste dear ones – our numbers are growing!
FNCE 2016: Boston
I have been honored to share on this new (and several thousand years old) field of yoga in dietetics at FNCE twice thus far. My presentation colleagues are Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa from Harvard and Anu Kaur, an RDN/RYT dietitian with the NIH and in private practice. We are delighted that we’ll be presenting again in Boston in October. Our session (#203) is Sunday morning first thing – be there!
Please take 10-20 minutes to complete this survey exploring how nutrition professionals are using yoga in their practice: RDN/RYT FNCE Survey
This year, as part of the presentation, I am hoping to collect some developmental data on just how many of us are out there, who we are and our range of training and practice experience. I’d also like to get a sense of what this group would like now for support to develop this field. I will be presenting the data from this survey, and will also feature as many of you as I can – your beautiful websites, active communities, training and books appreciated.
Thank you so very much for participating, and for your work in this area. Can’t wait to see how RDNs across the country are weaving their expertise with the wisdom tradition of yoga.
It’s been a big year for the science of integrative modalities this year. So, yours truly has been sharing scientific studies with my yoga teacher colleagues at Kripalu – they say “Wow!” and “Awesome.”
What’s old is new again (am I getting old or is this a repeating theme in life)? My teacher says life is a spiral and I continue to see the evidence that she’s right. I have so much enjoyed learning the ancient science of Ayurveda, and how my brilliant colleagues are applying that beautiful nature-based system to modern health care.
Here are the top trends, the memes I see on the rise:
The yogis and yoginis are feeling prescient when we see the smattering of studies on yoga, meditation, mindfulness and that, in small studies, these modalities appear to change gene expression. Quickly. Impressively. Check it out. Meditation changes gene expression.
We’re at the beginning of a upward curve in the popularity of Ayurveda, and we’ll be hearing more about it as this system is viewed through a modern lens. The bookshelf of Ayurveda is exploding and we’re finding our intellectual leaders busy busy busy. Friend and colleague Hilary Garivaltis is traveling the country setting up Aurveda schools for yoga centers, and attendance at Kripalu’s really wonderful School of Ayurveda has more than doubled in the past couple years. Come to Kripalu and learn about this ancient traditional system that was the original integrative medicine. Kripalu School of Ayurveda
The body knows. The body remembers. Can’t say it any more simply than that. Our bodies are the record of our lives (including our ancestors). All of what we do, think and believe is woven into the soft tissue of our fascia. If we spend our lives thinking we are not good enough (and I think this has somewhere somehow been programmed into us…Tom Kenyon says our creator did it!) in the end we in fact are not. Bummer! Yet the same person can focus on appreciating who they get to be, and a whole other body, whole other “resting face” are created. There are times when I’ve been rolling in the angst, when I can feel a tightness in my face as a drift off to sleep. That’s an indicator! I can soften and open as I age, or get bitter, brittle and hard. It’s not up to anyone else but me.
To learn what your body knows, do any body-mind practice regularly. Show up for it every day, or very nearly every day. It is showing up for yourself. My recommendation is predictable – come to Kripalu. For almost any program – follow what pings for you.
4. Herbs and Botanicals
Our ancestors, and not too too many generations back, had a wide array of botanical wisdom at their fingertips. We’ve outsourced that to our local pharmacy. But if you look around, people in every corner of the country are foraging, taking herb walks with the local herbalists, and checking out the botanicals in their own back yard. Please don’t wait to get a degree, but use your senses and good sense and a editable plant guide to find your way to better health. (Do be aware of the plants in your region that can, as my teacher says, heal you dead).
Get herbal and learn about learning more at Mountain Rose Herbal. OR study with Pam Montgomery or my friend Brittany at Thyme Herbal in Northampton, MA.
5. Eating for a Better Planet
How does the Atkn diet square with the fact that many environmentalists say we are past the global tipping point? Isn’t the meat-based version of Paleo in that same sink-the-earth boat? From Eco-Atkins to grass-fed local to values vegan, the choices we make about what we eat impact more than ourselves. There is more opportunity than ever to be a food activist – beginning at your own table. Sustainable table is one place to start.
What are your top trends in nutrition now? Fascinated to hear!
I’ve come to the conclusion that a tsp of psyllium seed husk in a quarter-cup of water 20 minutes before meals just might be the easy answer for those who struggle with weight and have cravings (especially sugar cravings) or just feel hungry a lot of the time. Psyllium seed husks contain soluble fiber, which expands in water like a sponge. The same thing happens in your GI tract – it bulks up with fluid, triggering your stretch receptors that tell you that you’ve eaten something.
How Does it Work?
By taking it before meals, it in essence increases your fiber load which fills you up faster, modulates (in this case slows) the rate at which carbohydrates (like sugars) are absorbed from the GI tract into the blood stream, and modulates (in this case lessens) your appetite. Pretty simple. Fiber is nature’s appetite suppressant, and most Americans get way less than what is recommended for health.
Here are a couple of the products I’ve used as a fiber boost.
Or, Enjoy Fiber in Food
If psyllium is a bit muscilaginous (gooey) for you, experiment with the following food ideas to lead meals with fiber:
Have a quarter cup of beans or lentils 20 minutes before sitting down for a meal. Get creative and make them salads with herbs, or breakfast beans with hoisin.
Enjoy a generous serving of salad 20 minutes before the rest of your meal.
Have an apple or other fibrous fruit 20 minutes before dinnertime.
Respect the Psyllium – A Gentle Caution
Remember that FLUID is important when you take psyllium or other fiber supplements. Drink lots of water – I drink a full glass of water right after a psyllium shot, and then am aware of the other fluids (coffee, herbal teas and herbal waters) that I boost when I’m in full psyllium practice.
There are reports of pallium blocking people’s esophagus and causing obstructions. All the fiber supplements have this warning. So, drink lots of water. If this makes you nervous, start nice and slow – 1/2 tsp in 8 oz water, for example. If you’ve had or have a GI obstruction-prone condition like Crohns or colitis, or have had a bowel resection, talk to your healthcare pro, and do this under the supervision of your skilled nutritionist.
Enjoy the psyllium experiment! And report back – what works for you to “bulk up”?