Allison’s interest in food, health and fitness – and in particular running – started when she was in high school. After being taunted year after year for being the “fat kid” she took action. She began running and became more active in high school athletics and graduated high school at a healthy, normal weight for height. She also learned to love food over the years and has a particular addiction to peanut butter, bacon and her mom’s carrot cake (although not all at one time). She’s learned the importance of balance and moderation as well as the vital stress relieving function of physical activity. Since 2008 she’s run at least 1 marathon per year and seeks to continue that trend. She currently coaches athletes through the Chicago Endurance Sports training programs. She’s super inspired by other runners and dietitians and seeks to use this outlet to share those stories of inspiration as well as information that she finds useful or worth writing about on this blog. For more about Allison and the purpose of this blog see her very first blog post here: runningrdn.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/welcome-to-my-blog/.
After graduating from Drexel University with a BS in nutrition and food science, Allison became a registered dietitian. She worked for 2 years as a clinical dietitian at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. She kept hearing from patient after patient about the latest fad diet, weight loss pill, or miracle food, and she began to realize she needed to do something else – something bigger. She found a program at Tufts University that offered a master’s degree in nutrition communications. She felt it was the perfect fit to help her better be able to translate the science for the media and consumers. She completed her masters in 2008 and took a job with the supermarket Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. in Buffalo, NY. After about a year working in the supermarket industry–which she loved–she was torn. She wanted a change – to do something different. As sad as she was to say goodbye to Wegmans, Washington D.C. had a particular draw with its nutrition policy environment and so, Allison quit her job and moved to DC to work for the U.S. Apple Association. At the U.S. Apple Association, she was responsible for managing a consumer health public relations and education program in order to promote U.S. apples and apple products health benefits and nutrition – an easy task for Allison, who grew up in NY’s apple country.
Allison moved to Chicago, IL in 2012 to work in public relations/communications. She is currently employed full time as a Director, Health/Wellness Partnerships at the National Dairy Council where she leads outreach, education and engagement with fitness professionals/the sports nutrition community on behalf of dairy farmers. Outside of her day job, she enjoys helping others discover why good food/nutrition is so important and the importance of physical activity in helping to balance it all out. She also enjoys helping other runners achieve their goals as an occasional pacer for local races and the Chicago Endurance Sports program. You can follow her activity and find out about any events she’s participating in by liking her facebook page: www.facebook.com/AllisonParkerRDLDN. She’s also available for consulting, one on one counseling/education, group presentations and speaking opportunities. Learn more about that by visiting runningrdn.wordpress.com/allisons-services/.