We are in the era of the nutritionist. There is so much confusion around food and nutrition, and so much wacky advice flying around. This while Americans are just not able to make it to the basics of healthful eating. Nutrition-related chronic diseases continue to be the primary health issues, and each of us has our own variation of health and disease.
Because we are in a time when so much that sounds like nutrition is actually marketing and bluster, and so many who call themselves experts are so far from it, confusion reigns. Enter RDNs (Registered Dietitian Nutritionists) and MNT (Medical Nutrition Therapy). If you know me, you know that I am a mind-body therapist – I use things like meditation and gentle yoga practice as tools to help us cultivate the best of ourselves, and soothe us as we gather our courage and strength to sing our song, to sing our note.
What is MNT?
There is a large body of evidence that tells us how to manage a range of health and medical conditions with food and nutrition. MNT, or medical nutrition therapy, uses that evidence and through a qualified therapist, translates that evidence into healing. While there is a range of nutritionists operating today, with various levels of education and experience, and I honestly believe there is room for everyone, I am partial to those who have a 4-year science degree and access to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Knowledge Center for working with people with a medical condition. I am biased for sure, being one who sweated through all that nutritional biochemistry and worked in an ICU (intensive care unit of a hospital) writing TPN (total parenteral nutrition) orders to keep people alive until they could eat. Then I taught at Kripalu for nearly a decade, watching how mind-body used skillfully helped people with the will and knowledge transform. The combination of clinical skills and experiential practice are, in my opinion, the sweet spot when it comes to healing nutrition-related issues.
What conditions are we talking about?
There are guidelines for a range of medical conditions. Those I am well-versed in include:
Weight gain – from adolescents to adults, and family-based, for any reason
Eating Disorders, emotional eating and disordered eating
Unexpected weight loss due to cancer, HIV/AIDS or other chronic condition
Pre-diabetes and diabetes
Cancer – prevention, management and prevention of recurrence
Heart Disease – prevention, management
High Blood Pressure
Digestive approaches to auto-immune conditions (Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and others)
Digestive distress due to:
Food Intolerance (lactose-intolerance, gluten, and others), and Allergies
I use an individualized approach. That includes an initial assessment of nutrition-related symptoms and medical history, review of nutrition-related labs and reports, and development of a custom way of eating that you enjoy and that adheres to evidence-based practice.
We then co-create a plan to get there – your way. There is no such thing as failure, no such thing as relapse in this world – but there is learning, through loving self-compassion, how to navigate your life in its fullness. It’s a dance of mindful skillful effort, and surrender (that’s yoga!).
Within that list, do you specialize?
While I can help address any of these conditions, and they all have relating threads, I particularly like to work with weight, women in midlife, and digestive issues. I have also had a personal experience with cancer, so helping people with that interests me.
How much does it cost?
Depends. I am a licensed nutritionist in the state of Massachusetts. If you have a medical condition and live in the great state of Massachusetts, or another state that does not have state licensure, it is worth it to give your insurance company a call to see if our work together can be reimbursed. For this, you will likely need a referral from your primary care doctor.
If you are not insured, in another state with licensure or your insurance doesn’t cover, then you are what clinicians call private pay. It’s likely that our work together could be included in your health spending account if you have one.
Bottom line, if you value your energy level and lifestyle, it’s worth it to have a skilled coach to help you move forward.
My rates are $150/hr, and most people I work with do an initial assessment, then a half-hour twice monthly for 2 months, then monthly for 4 months.
Tell me about telehealth
I’ve partnered with a practice-management group called Healthie. They provide an interface for us to work through, including journaling, billing and video conferencing. So, we can meet face to face in the comfort of your own home! I think telehealth is part of the future of medicine, and I am excited to be part of it.
Ready to make the change? Let’s do it – Make an appointment now .
Questions? I’m all ears.
Since I’ve started reviewing books, I should mention the book that I carry with me. It’s in my bag, everywhere I go. All. the. time.
I pulled it out in Vieques when I felt left out for a few moments and ended up having lunch alone while my husband lunched at the next table over with a most attractive woman of his own age (we were all in love this one hot 65-year old Alaskan woman).
I pull it out when I see someone in a leadership position act, well, not like the leader we’d hoped for. I carry it with me. I pull it out when I feel outraged or like I’ve been unheard or cheated or judged. It helps me and reminds me to keep on keeping on the path I’ve chosen.
It’s How to Be Happy All the Time by Paramhansa Yogananda. The basic lesson is non-attachment. The message is there is absolutely nothing to get too excited about.
That doesn’t mean don’t care. Care. Please. Care enough to be loving and deeply connected with those close to you who are easy to love as well as those you don’t yet know enough to love, and even those you decidedly do not love in this moment. Just know when you get riled up, that’s your signal to practice. Calm down, look around and practice.
The set of reminders include excellent old saws: cultivate a positive state of mind, take care of your body, keep practicing and should difficulties comes along, know that we all have them, they are not personal (though they feel that way) and look for the good in challenges. Do your best to continue your practice. It’s a long explanation, really, on why we should meditate and how it makes us happier.
Here’s what Yogananda had to say:
“The most important condition for lasting happiness is even-mindedness. Remain ever calmly centered in the Self within. As a child’s sand castle disintegrates before invading waves, so does a restless mind, lacking strength of will and perseverance, succumb to the pounding it receives from the waves of changing circumstance.”
It’s a challenging path and at times an impossible practice. We, humans, have a pretty seriously stormy and tempestuous nature. Have you noticed? I get triggered a hundred times a day. But I find, if I practice, it makes life better – it makes me better. I make more reasoned decisions and can be more compassionate when people act in human and imperfect ways. I calm down and get clear. I can work on myself, take care of my side of the street.
Pick up a copy, carry it around and dip into it. Let it remind you to meditate. Let it remind you to practice self-care. Let me know if it helps.
To quote a Real Housewife of NJ: Namaste bitches!
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
Since I’ve been blogging regularly, I’ve somewhere, somehow gotten on the radar of a number of book publicists. As a lover of books and authors, I’ve been overjoyed, and have a stack of the latest greatest by my bed. Sadly, there are not so many that I can recommend to you, my beloved tribe. Yet I read on, and there are definitely gems coming out every day.
Here’s one! Curvy Yoga. Love. It is beautifully produced, good to hold, well-written, contains needed messages, and features a great author.
As a nutrition clinician for decades, I’m seeing body hatred on the rise. It seemed that there were a few years when women (and men!) were feeling better about their bodies just as they are, but the last few years have felt like a bit of a backlash of the media-perfect. Too, I’ve crossed the 50-year-old mark and going through menopause was a powerful experience, not only within my own body, but sensing (while I feel fantastic and at the top of my game) that I was plopped into some less valuable category by…many. So I am sensitive, yet not too, methinks.
It takes no small amount of courage to show up as you are these days, but Curvy Yoga is a manual to do just that. If you find yoga too….whatever, here’s a read for you. In fact, if you’ve been injured in a yoga class, or can’t find a yoga class, please take a read before giving up on yoga. If you wonder if you belong in the spandex-wrapped perfect-yoga-body competitive yoga world (you don’t!…neither do I….or most people for that matter) here’s a book for you. And if you, like me, used to be a flexible yogi, and find yourself less so, but still interested in having yoga in your life, check it out. Curvy Yoga focuses mostly on the integrative how of practice, focusing on accessibility from a physical, mental and energetic perspective. You’ll get to know the author, with personal stories of how yoga has impacted various areas of her life. As an author of a book in a similar genre (Every Bite Is Divine – it’s the food companion to Curvy Yoga) I feel a definite kin-ship sisterhood with this author. This book, as I think of it, is a lovely companion to Yoga & Diabetes.
Ms. Guest-Jelley provides a collection of aids for doing various yoga postures with a round goddess body and using props including (my favorite) a wall to support your safe and effective practice.
If you haven’t purchased a yoga book in a while, and you’d like a lovely and accessible guide written by a fresh voice, here you go.
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.