Growing up in the 1970s and ’80s in rural New Jersey, Andrea Kane says healthful eating wasn’t even a consideration in the southern-inspired fried foods her mom served up. “People tend to eat the way their families ate, unless there was a reason not to,” she says. After graduating with a degree in pre-law from Northeastern University in Boston, she moved to New York City and experienced culture shock at the array of food choices, many of them she had never tried before. She relished broadening her culinary horizons, trying everything from wheat grass shots to a variety of dishes from around the world. Her career path shifted to fitness when she was asked to teach a class at her gym, and then she went on to become a fitness instructor during her time in the Navy.
In Coronado, Kane opened The Bungalow Spa and Coronado Pilates business 14 years ago, focusing on body work and aesthetician services. After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 2010, she tried losing weight by drinking Medifast shakes, and then tried a variety of other diets, like keto and paleo, for the next 10 years, but found they weren’t sustainable for her. She made the decision to go on a mostly plant-based diet for one year to see if she could ease her joint pain and get off her medications, which at that point was eight to ten pills daily, for pain and inflammation.
Her plant-based food journey began in January 2020, and she started with the plan to cut out meat for a month, but then gradually also removed sugar, salt, caffeine, oil, and all processed foods. When she quickly lost five pounds, she became determined to make this her new lifestyle and not just a diet. At the end of the year, she had lost 57 pounds, and has now dropped a total of 80 pounds. At 4 foot, 11 inches, her weight had reached over 200 pounds following the birth of her son.
“I haven’t been this size since I was 24 and got out of boot camp. Honestly, I didn’t think I could lose weight after age 40, but it has a lot to do with your mindset,” she comments. That is something she shares with her clients, who are amazed at her transformation, and who she says are now inspired that you can lose weight at any age.
“Even though I was tired of being in pain, I had tried a variety of weight loss options, but never committed enough time to see lasting results. It’s 90 percent about the food and 10 percent about the movement for success.” As a certified nutritionist, Pilates and yoga teacher, wellness coach, and aesthetician, she had read all the statistics about health, but she has discovered that the theoretical and practical aspects of health are very different. She is very happy to share her journey with others so they can tailor a program that works for them. “I feel like I’m a different person, with less pain and more energy,” she shares.
She feels that too often people use family genetics as a crutch. “Everyone is on their own journey, and mine hasn’t been so much about eating, but more about unlearning comfortable habits.” She points out that as a society we have a cultural attachment to food, so we need to shift and surround ourselves with healthy food. She notes that salt deadens taste buds, so when you cut back or give it up, flavors taste fresher and more vibrant.
When diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Kane was told that she would potentially have to quit working in the not too distant future, and she just couldn’t accept that. Her advice to everyone is, “Keep moving, no matter what medical diagnosis you have.”
After changing doctors, she was told that her diagnosis may have been incorrect, and she is currently having tests to confirm the root of her issues. She is overjoyed that her pain has dramatically decreased, and she can get back to an active lifestyle, with the added bonus of being off most of her medications. “I don’t even feel like I need willpower to stay on this whole foods journey. I want to maintain it to feel awesome.”
She has shifted her business to focus on wellness coaching, Pilates and massage, and has rebranded as Andrea Kane Wellness. Her biggest joy is bringing hope to others. She tells her clients to never give up because you are never too old to succeed. “I feel like I am in the business of helping others find hope and joy.”
She finds that people are often afraid of not easily finding vegan food, but she credits San Diego as an amazing place to be vegan, with plenty of great options. Among her favorite restaurants are Civico 1845 in Little Italy and Ciccia Osteria in Barrio Logan for Italian food, Evolution in downtown San Diego, and she loves Buona Forchetta’s vegan pizza here in Coronado.
“Consistency is key, but I allow myself days where I indulge my cravings; like a cookie from Tartine, but now I only eat half, or two Reese’s peanut butter cups, where before I would eat the whole bag.” She says it’s not necessary to deprive yourself of everything, advocating for not making it only about weight loss. It’s about getting in the right mindset. “It’s especially important for women to be consistent in choosing themselves, because most put the needs of others over their own.”
In her free time, Kane enjoys getting outside in nature, walking on the beach, and has a newfound love of camping. Her passion is travel, with her next big adventure to explore Iceland and Scotland for five weeks in a camper van.
Kane’s health journey was recently featured in the Winter 2021 edition of the Forks Over Knives magazine. Even though she had seen the “Forks Over Knives” movie several times, which highlights the benefits of a low-fat, whole-food vegan diet, it took her a while to commit to the lifestyle, but now she is not looking back, and eagerly shares her experience and success with others.
“You have to take this journey for yourself, you can’t do it for other people and expect to succeed. I love helping people find their path.”
Andrea Kane Wellness
1105 8th Street, Coronado
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