As a young girl, Tameka noticed the connection between what we eat and how we live. More importantly, the understanding that we can control certain aspects of our health if we learn to better manage what we eat and how we live became a stronger focus as she got older. As more friends and family members were diagnosed with conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension, she knew she wanted to learn more about ways to make a difference in her community.
She started off by trying to better understand how food is prepared and pursued a degree in Culinary Arts with a minor in Nutrition from Mississippi University for Women. After working briefly in the field she decided to further her education by connecting the dots and obtained a degree in Nutrition and Food Systems from The University of Southern Mississippi, that allowed her to reach her goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian. Now over 13 years later, Tameka understands that living in Mississippi, we create ways to share our love by feeding one another. The southern hospitality and joys of preparing favorites with “soulful seasoning” is a part of our heritage.
“Because I have a unique opportunity to be a dietitian who appreciates and enjoys soul food, I had to find a way to communicate when, how, and why we should adjust our cuisine for health, for enjoyment, and for life- I continue to call myself the equal opportunity dietitian.”
This means sharing with anyone who will listen that there is a way to enjoy foods that promote health, and taste good, with Southern favorites consumed in moderation.
God has given Tameka opportunities to share her passion and spiritual gifts with communities during health fairs, church programs, and even through career choices, where she explains that nutrition is important to everyone, from starting the life cycle in the womb, to the valuable seniors among us. She is always looking for ways to help other make informed decisions around how they feed their families and themselves. More recently, she has enhanced her knowledge base by learning about exercise and ways to make fitness fun.
“I just want to be that gentle tug that unlocks motivation and ultimately begins to reset the lives of those around me, while encouraging an enhancement of lifestyle where possible. It is then that an individual realizes a commitment to make gradual modifications is not only possible, but is also a wise investment that promotes improvement to their long term quality of life.
In her free time, Tameka enjoys traveling with her family, watching movies, and viewing the world through her camera lens.