Prince George’s Co. health and wellness expert believes ‘food is the foundation’

Since retiring from the military Rochelle T. Parks has helped thousands through their health and wellness journey. (Courtesy Rochelle T. Parks)
This is part of WTOP’s continuing coverage of people making a difference from our community authored by Stephanie Gaines-Bryant. Read more of that coverage.

Health and wellness coach Rochelle T. Parks shared her favorite quote, popularized by Ernest T. Campbell: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Parks said she found out why she was born on April 5, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On that day, the Prince George’s County, Maryland, resident’s husband went into diabetic ketoacidosis. She said his organs began shutting down. She got him to the hospital in time for him to get the necessary treatments for his illness.

After he was sent home on April 9 with insulin and metformin — told he would be on the two medications for the rest of his life — the couple decided to come up with a wellness plan that required what Parks calls “Eating God’s food.” Her husband came off the medications eight days later and has been medication free ever since, she said.

The plan excludes processed foods and includes meat, fish, fruits, vegetable and legumes. Most people assume she’s a vegetarian, but Parks says she’s not.

“As a matter of fact, my antenna goes up when people say they are vegan,” Parks said.

She claimed most people who call themselves vegetarian are actually “carb-etarians.”

“If you ask them what they’re eating, it’s carbs all day,” Parks said, adding that diet translates into little or no changes in blood pressure or blood sugar levels.

She said people are eating a lot of “lab experiment,” processed foods that contain excessive amounts of salt and sugar. From daily drive-thru fast food restaurant visits to buying rotisserie chickens at the grocery store, Parks said most people are not eating healthy.

Since retiring from the military, Rochelle T. Parks has helped thousands through their health and wellness journey. (Courtesy Rochelle T. Parks)

She also said how you feel every single day has everything to do with what you put in your body, so it’s important to eat well.

The Howard University graduate and army veteran had been a wellness enthusiast for many years and said she’s always known that “food is the foundation. Food can heal the body.”

Parks also said the body doesn’t know the difference between thirst and hunger. So many times, people think they are hungry when thirsty. Therefore, she tells her clients to try drinking a glass of water before eating.

Parks also says you should drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should drink at least 75 ounces of water daily, and if you are physically active, you should take in more.

Since her husband’s recovery, she has been passing along the message about a living a healthier lifestyle thousands of people inside and outside of her community.

Parks gives free weekly webinars about food as the foundation each Tuesday at 8 p.m. Find more information by visiting the “Sugar Ain’t Sweet” Masterclass website or her personal website.

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant

Stephanie Gaines-Bryant is an Anchor and Reporter for WTOP. Over the past 20 years, Stephanie has worked in several markets, including Baltimore, Washington, Houston and Charleston, holding positions ranging from newscaster to morning show co-host.

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