David Lauderdale

Dr. Ann to bring feverish pitch for health to Hilton Head Island

"Dr. Ann" is a Lowcountry success story who will bring her motivational message about healthy living to Hilton Head Island next week.

You may be glad to hear that she thinks healthy living is easy, fun and delicious.

She stuns people with the five things she consumes every day: "Nuts, dark chocolate, red wine, green tea and berries."

But her message will include one ingredient that nobody seems to want to hear about: personal accountability.

"People don't realize how much personal power and control they have over their health," said Dr. Ann KIuze of Charleston. "It's a matter of awareness, knowledge and going out and doing it. But it's not hard."

Kulze has found a national audience for her message through public and corporate speeches, books, CDs, DVDs, Webinars and media outlets like USA Weekend, Oprah Radio, WebMD and National Public Radio.

Her visit here is a benefit for the American Heart Association of Beaufort and Jasper Counties. Her two-hour presentation -- "Being Good To Your Heart" -- begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the Country Club of Hilton Head and will include audience interaction.

"She makes it so real," said Sally Cardamone, who is chairing the event. "It's about how we can make small changes in our lives to turn our health around."

Cardamone stresses that it's not for women only, and $45 tickets are available by calling her at 843-304-6280.

Kulze is a 1983 Clemson University honors graduate and later valedictorian of her class at the Medical University of South Carolina. She was a family physician for 14 years, but the Charleston native and mother of four is now "trying to make a difference on a broader scale."

She was to address a crowd of 800 last weekend in Myrtle Beach, but the snow reduced that number. She was the keynote speaker at the first South Carolina Summit on Women.

We can and must take charge of our health, she says.

"Eighty percent of cardiovascular disease cases could be avoided through diet and lifestyle," she said. "There's so much you can do."

Her message comes at a bad time.

"You're pretty much guaranteed to lose your health," she said by phone Tuesday. "Our food culture has become virtually toxic. We've pretty much engineered movement out of our day. Living in America, you don't have to move anymore."

But she says it's also a good time.

"There's a record level of awareness," she said.

Kulze wants awareness to move beyond accepting that our obese nation has a problem. She wants to hear, "Wow, what can I do?"