Embracing the Restaurant Experience

By Brooke Parker –

I can’t tell you the number of times one of my clients has made the statement, “Everything was great until I went out to eat.”  I find it sad that our culture has linked restaurants with an all-or-nothing mentality.  Most of us feel overwhelmed with restaurant food choices and portions, inevitably leading to a decision of “Oh well, if I’m going to be bad, I may as well live it up while I’m here.”  My goal for this article is to help you create a system for including MODERATION and BALANCE in your restaurant experiences.

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The Amazing Benefits of Fiber

February 26, 2010 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Brooke Parker

Throughout my years of teaching weight management classes, I have often used this simple introduction for fiber, “Fiber is our Friend.”  O.K. a little bit cheesy, but hopefully the thought stuck in my student’s heads.

This is one element of nutrition where you typically can’t go wrong. Unfortunately, ninety percent of Americans do not meet the recommended 20-35 grams of fiber per day (i). I believe this statistic comes from a lack of education along with a dependency on processed foods both for convenience and enjoyment.  It does take a little extra planning and preparation to eat a fiber-rich diet, but it is possible!  Hopefully the following information will inspire you to eat more of this important nutrient.

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Grocery Store Tips

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Brooke Parker

The best way to implement your healthy New Year nutrition goals is to start at the grocery store with a plan.  I often tell my clients, “If you don’t buy it, you won’t eat it.”  This saying applies to produce, fiber-rich foods, dairy foods and even lean meats.  Without prior thought and planning these types of food, which actually constitute the bulk of a healthy diet, will be left out.  If the grocery store or meal planning seems overwhelming to you, don’t sweat it.  The following tips will allow you to conquer the aisles without breaking the bank.

Prepare before entering the store:

  • Create a list full of nutrient-dense foods.
  • Determine general food needs for breakfast, lunch and snacks.
  • List four to five dinner ideas for the week and include ingredients you will need.
  • Read ads for store specials and bring coupons if applicable.
  • Do NOT shop when hungry. Impulse buying will get you every time.
  • Include fun foods in moderation.  Depriving yourself of ALL “treats” does not work.

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Gratitude For Our Precious Bodies

December 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Health and Fitness

By Brooke Parker

With the November theme of gratitude still going through my head, I would like to focus this month’s nutrition article on creating a positive body image full of gratitude.

All too often the thoughts and focus toward our bodies are based on what we don’t have, what’s not working right, or what’s starting to fall apart. I am certain that collectively the human race does not make the effort to adequately appreciate the amazing gift of the body. Just think about all that DOES go right within all of your body’s systems each day. It is truly amazing. Whenever I start to become frustrated by a minor ache or injury I try to stop and remember those amazing people who truly do have physical disabilities or chronic illness. Then everything is quickly put into perspective for me. If I have my health, who could ask for anything more?

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Eating for Good Grades

October 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Health and Fitness

By Brooke Parker

School is fully upon us.  My oldest just entered kindergarten so I’m new at being a school mom, and I’m concerned about my son’s well-being while he’s at school. The dietitian in me especially worries about his nutritional health, which affects his ability to focus on schoolwork throughout the day. I believe that this concern is extremely valid. The length of time away from home and accessibility to nutritious foods both pose a problem for optimal energy and focus. The following are basic concepts to simplify the school nutrition obstacle:

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