There is a lot of misinformation in the health and fitness world, and Amanda Parks hopes to combat that with her new business, Evolved Nutrition.
“We don’t just cater to athletes, we cater to anyone with an interest in improving their health,” said Parks.
Her fitness journey started in her early 20s when she was a student working on her bachelor’s degree.
“I gained a lot of weight,” said Parks. “I decided that I would start going to the gym.”
She was able to get a discount at Fitness Formula, which was run by Baptist Health, however, she didn’t know what she was doing.
“In my mind, it was work out really hard, eat nothing, and you will lose weight,” said Parks. “That happened, and I ended up sustaining an injury. I had to go to physical therapy there. Then I thought, this is not right.”
Around 2004, she started reading as many fitness magazines as she could find to learn the proper lifting technique and different diet plans. Parks said she realized that she was not giving her body enough calories it needed to burn off during the exercises, so her body was burning muscle.
“That was before the age of YouTube. It was just really starting, so it wasn’t like I could Google the exercise,” she said.
Back then female weightlifters were not common, so Parks was usually one of the few women in the weightlifting room. She would take the magazine into the gym with her to figure out the proper way to lift weights and some of the guys saw that and showed her how to lift properly.
“It was apparent to me when I could not bench press the bar, which weighs 45 lbs. that I had a problem,” said Parks. “I knew I needed to make a change, so I started reading all the research I could about nutrition.”
Sometime later, Parks was diagnosed with Lupus and PCOS. She started learning what herbs and nutritional products she could take to help those conditions, which is how Evolved Nutrition came about.
Parks worked to create her own line of nutritional supplements and learned a lot from working with manufacturers.
“I thought I would love to have a place where I could provide good quality supplements that are not in this community,” she said. “I would like a place where people could come in and talk.”
Parks always points out that she is not a medical professional, so she encourages people who come in to talk to their doctors about what could work best for their conditions.
“I can make recommendations for you to research and discuss with your doctor,” she said.
She keeps several books in the store for reference if people want to look through them. She also has a bookshelf with some of the more popular nutritional and health books for people to purchase.
Parks said because she didn’t have a lot of help when she was first starting out, she wanted to create a place where people could come in and ask questions.
She said her goal is not to push sales and useless products onto people. She doesn’t like hard sales. But if she can make even a small positive change in a person’s life, she will consider it a good day.
Parks said she is extremely excited to open Evolved Nutrition, though she is nervous about maintaining a brick-and-mortar store.
“I hope that our community will support us,” she said. “I hope that as word gets around that we are here and available to the community, they will utilize us.”
For more information on the business, call 270-452-233 or email [email protected]. Evolved Nutrition is located at 50 Pritchett Ave. in Suite 2 and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.