Wake Up, Show Up, Get Up: Lifestyle Medicine

Wake Up, Show Up, Get Up: Lifestyle Medicine

Wake Up, Show Up, Get Up- Lifestyle Medicine by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
I’m hearing more about lifestyle medicine these days (thank goodness!), including another movie “What the Health” on the problems of “big health” (pharma-central health care and advocacy, processed food and other areas where $ over-rides health). Like life itself, it’s more complicated than good guys and bad guys. I love health advocacy groups, and taking funds from big pharma, is well, OK – so long as it funds lifestyle – and while pharma is often used when lifestyle ought to be the first line of treatment, drugs do save lives (with side effects). It’s just not black & white.
The American lifestyle – including:

  • An over-processed, nutritionally devoid, inhumanly raised food supply,
  • More sedentary lives,
  • And inadequate ways of handling stress (we love us some comfort food & screen time).

All add up to bodies more likely to express the chronic disease tendencies in our family histories. We have so much room for improvement!
In the post-truth age, I am going to do my best to tell you my whole truth on this.
It’s hard to live well today.
It’s nearly impossible to eat well all the time. That’s OK, because you do not have to be perfect. If however you have biomarkers of disease (like high fasting blood sugar and A1c, lipid labs suggestive of cardiovascular disease) or symptoms (achy joints, weight gain, skin issues) that something is out of balance, you’ve gotta give it a try. You’ve just gotta keep trying. I love to eat and sometimes overeat (my 55 year-old metabolism is slowing down down down despite exercise, and that’s probably a good thing in the long run) so managing my weight is a constant companion. So, I practice.
It’s hard to get adequate physical activity. The evidence and advocacy groups say you need at least 30 minutes of moderate movement most days of the week. Ten-thousand steps might need to be elevated to fifteen (which doesn’t matter if you, like me, sometimes come in at the 1,000 range!). In order to be healthy, as you age, you’ve got to move. Quite a bit. As much as you can. Your life needs to be physical (even if you have limitations – if you can use your arms but not your legs, use your arms. There are a million ways to do it (I walk and clean and garden and do yoga and even, recently calisthenics classes – weights). I still need more. I sluff off. When I do it I feel better – less achy, higher energy. So I practice.
It’s hard not to get stressed out. Life is upsetting. We are past the Co2 tipping point, for goodness sake. That’s really bad news. We are losing a lot and need to learn to let go. But what we are losing often feels really important. And so it is. That’s why I carry around a book that helps me work on non-attachment. My own personal practice is non-attachment while caring. It’s tricky, but a really good practice. It works for me. So I practice.
So, what to do?

  • To work lifestyle medicine – the heart of preventive health, or being in balance with the earth and our own bodies, we do need to wake up. To not buy the cultural norms being sold to us. To know that both fake news and true healing are alive and well in the food and health industries. Health is in the nuance – in the middle ground between fake and true.
  • We have to know who we are and show up for our own lives in a real way. To be honest, I don’t care what you eat in any given moment. I do care if you enjoy it, and very much hope that you do. Whatever you decide to eat, decide to do, decide to be, do it all out, have fun with it, learn from it and carry on. There is a full, true, healthful version of you in there, and I so wish that you dance in that version more of the time.
  • I can’t see a way around getting up. We have to participate in our lives in a physically and mentally active way in order to be healthy. We need to dance and clean and hunt and play golf and badminton and what ever else we love to do.

At this point in time, lifestyle medicine is a little radical – a little against the grain. It’s a little uncomfortable and might feel a little judgmental – who do you think you are, doing all that self-care?! That’s a really good questions.
Here’s my answer of who you are: you are a divine expression of God. That’s why you deserve to be your fullest expression. That’s why you deserve to take fantastic care of yourself.
Go forth and practice! Let your freak flag fly!
Wake Up, Show Up, Get Up- Lifestyle Medicine by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com


Shall We Meet in Paradise? Tropical 2018 Retreat

Shall We Meet in Paradise? Tropical 2018 Retreat

Shall We Meet in Paradise? Tropical 2018 Retreat by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
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
balanced happy blessed retreat with Annie B KayCosts:
Tuition: $380
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

Shall We Meet in Paradise? Tropical 2018 Retreat by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com

5 Top Whole Food & Nutrition Memes for 2017

5 Top Whole Food & Nutrition Memes for 2017

5 Top Whole Food & Nutrition Memes for 2017 by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com
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:

    1. 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!
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

5 Top Whole Food & Nutrition Memes for 2017 by Annie B Kay - anniebkay.com


RDN/RYT? Let Me Brag About You at FNCE

RDN/RYT? Let Me Brag About You at FNCE

RDN/RYT? Let Me Brag About You at FNCE by Annie B Kay
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

Please complete the survey by August 1.

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.
RDN/RYT? Let Me Brag About You at FNCE by Annie B Kay Pinterest


Annie's Top 5 Nutrition Memes of 2014

Annie's Top 5 Nutrition Memes of 2014

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:

1. Epigenetic

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.

2. Ayurveda

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

3. Integration

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!