- Southeast professor’s cat rises to internet fame (9/23/21)
- The cult following of tote bags (9/24/21)
- Slow Food Southeast Missouri’s cause for homegrown food and self-made community (9/24/21)
- SEMO District Fair comes to town, bringing the best fair food (9/21/21)
- Shipyard Music Festival brings live music, food and entertainment to SEMO community (9/22/21)
Southeast athletes: where are they now? ~ Parker Bandy
Parker Bandy, a member of the 2019 Ohio Valley Conference champion softball team, is following her passion for health and food after graduating from Southeast in 2020.
Bandy graduated with a degree in dietetics and a minor in sport management in May of 2019. She is now at SLU University getting a masters degree in dietetics with an emphasis in medical nutrition therapy.
She said the transition was a “slap in the face” because no one prepares an athlete for retirement.
“Once you finish a college sport, your mental health does twists. You can’t explain it and no one prepares you for it. You have to take care of yourself at the end of the day mentally because you are not going to get that social interaction all the time,” Bandy said. “You're not going to get the long practices and working out all the time, so you have to prioritize your time to do the things that you enjoy.”
Bandy has found new interests and different ways to exercise in place of the time she used to spend on the field.
“I’ve found different types of workouts that I enjoy. I’ve found I like doing pilates. I’ve found that I really enjoy long walks.” Bandy said.
Bandy plans to be a registered dietitian and hopefully become her own boss and be an entrepreneur.
“I like the aspect of a meal prep service,” Bandy said. “If someone is really busy and wants to prioritize their health, but they don’t have time, I want to be that person that steps in, and has all the resources there for them to have a healthy lifestyle when it comes to nutrition.”
Bandy stated that nutrition is sometimes overlooked, but is key to help not only with your physical health, but also your mental health.
“A lot of times nutrition is overlooked and I never understood why because half of being healthy is what we eat,” Bandy said.
This inspired Bandy to create an Instagram page, @parkers_day, where she posts her thoughts, meals, recipes, cooking tips and more.
“Social media is not life. Social media is the highlight reel,” Bandy said. “Social media is not normal so I wanted my social media to be normal and real life like.”
She stated when she first began the Instagram account during her college softball career, Bandy wanted to educate how to make quick healthy meals for other busy college athletes. Now, continuing the Instagram account after retirement and graduation, she includes even more recipes and tips on improving eating habits.
“Don’t complicate it,” Bandy said. “Prioritize fruits and vegetables. Enjoy food. Make food fun because food brings people together.”
Follow along next week to find out what former volleyball player and 2019 OVC champion, Emily Boggetto is doing after graduation.