When it comes to questions about nutrition, breastfeeding, and disease treatment and prevention, it’s important to have someone with significant passion and years of experience under her belt, which where Janai Meyer comes in.
Janai has cultivated her skills and expertise as a registered dietitian, nutritional therapist, and board certified breast-feeding counselor throughout villages and islands in Southeast Alaska. Plus, her fierce dedication to busting common wellness myths lends a practical, straight-forward element to her counseling and when you’re working with your body and its many needs, straight talk is more precious than gold.
Janai’s missions include de-stigmatizing the valuable practice of long-term breastfeeding, revealing the trickery of dieting fads, and promoting the notion that fitness is not measurable by one’s shape or size. In essence, Janai strives to promote total wellness and the ability to listen to and trust our bodies’ cues as well as our own intuition.
She is active in health promotion and has developed education plans, research wellness and food habits, taught at the University of Alaska Southeast, and served on the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior Weight Realities Board. She’s expanded her work with outpatient and individual services in the areas of community wellness, community and professional education classes, community gardens, subsistence food gathering, and preservation.
While Janai has been featured as a speaker at nutrition conferences in Washington D.C. and throughout the Pacific Northwest in addition to being profiled in Today’s Dietitian Magazine, the true testament of her skills and knowledge is her dedication to sharing her practice with the people in her home state of Alaska. After earning her degree at the University of Idaho, Janai earned her RD license, and returned home to help the Alaskan people. Her goal was to work with small, tight-knit communities in a way that married their strong traditions such as food gathering, preservation, and breast-feeding with her scientifically-supported expertise.
Janai’s background and her unrelenting passion for wellness beyond image and appearance make her an invaluable asset in your journey to complete health and wellness.
Excerpt from interview for Today’s Dietitian magazine June 2012:
“The possibilities of career paths with an RD have changed greatly over the years and I quickly discovered my direction, my passion. It landed me happily working in the areas of Alaskan Traditional and Customary Foods, Breastfeeding Support and Counseling, Diabetes Treatment and Prevention and young Children’s Wellness.”
Working throughout the villages and islands of southeast Alaska is a rewarding experience for Janai Marie Meyer, especially providing for the dietary needs of the native and nonnative people.
She now offers outpatient medical nutrition therapy and works as a certified breast-feeding counselor and in the areas of community wellness, community gardens, subsistence food gathering, and preservation.
“At one point in my drive to finish college, I took a student assistant job with a wonderful RD at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and she strongly encouraged me to pursue my RD and bring those skills home,” Meyer says. “At that time, Alaska didn’t offer the degree, so I had to return to the lower 48 states. I knew I wanted to bring the science, the evidence of sound and traditional nutrition for health and healing back to the people of Alaska. I’ve always been very passionate about representing the field and science of nutrition in a professional manner, especially with the overwhelming amount of fads and misinformation in the popular media.”
Meyer’s desire to get her RD license and return to her home of Alaska remains important to her after all these years, as she cherishes working with the Alaska Native people who practice traditional healing and other customs unique to their culture.
“I very much enjoy the closeness of the smaller, tight-knit communities,” Meyer says. “I also want to continue to support the people of Alaska in strengthening their rich and strong traditions of food gathering, preservation, and health, and I want to continue to encourage and support all women who wish to breast-feed.”
The joys of Meyer’s role also come with challenges. She travels quite a bit to remote villages via float, plane, or ferry through sometimes-treacherous weather conditions. And her travel schedule often infringes on the time she’d like to spend at home with her family. “The independence also can be a challenge, as I don’t have a local group of RD peers, though I do have some long-distance peers,” Meyers says. “But I strive to be seen as trustworthy, consistent, and as a solid and dependable person to all the people and communities I visit.”