We first met Amanda Decker, MSN, FNP-C, MHP, at the Symposium for Metabolic Health last August in San Diego, and were extremely interested in the work she has been doing to help patients restore metabolic health and improve their quality of life through lifestyle changes, including nutrition and exercise.
Amanda is a nurse practitioner who works with Dickson Medical Associates, a respected medical group in rural Tennessee, and she had recently purchased a 4,000 square foot building that allowed her to expand her practice.
We had the chance to speak with her again at the Symposium for Metabolic Health in Boca this past January (Simply Snackin’ has been a regular sponsor of these events and provides samples for attendees) and we learned that she was a fan of our grass-fed, grass-finished beef and chicken snacks.
That led to a discussion about her views on a wide range of topics related to nutrition and exercise, and her belief that people can, in fact, frequently make significant improvements to their health and quality of life through a series of lifestyle changes.
Amanda will be hosting a Low Carb for Better Health conference this Sunday, August 21, 2022, from 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM CDT at Creek Wood High School in Charlotte, TN 37036. The conference will feature engaging talks on using a low carb approach to improve health, and will give attendees the opportunity to connect with presenters and local vendors. Attendees will also receive product samples from a long list of vendors, including Simply Snackin’.
Conference presenters include:
- Amanda Decker, FNP-C, MHP
- Jennifer Williams, FNP-C, CDE
- Neisha Salas-Berry, RN
- Ken Berry MD
Expected topics include using therapeutic carbohydrate reduction to reverse obesity and other health conditions (Amanda Decker); type 2 diabetes and low-carb diets (Jennifer Williams); childhood nutrition or autoimmune/thyroid (Neisha Salas-Berry); and the “Proper Human Diet” (Ken Berry)
Free Facebook Livestream - Sunday, August 21, 2022
If you’re not in the Tennessee area, plans are underway to make Low Carb for Better Health available to all through a free Facebook livestream. The livestream is expected to begin at 2 pm CT and can be accessed on the Amanda Decker, FNP - Weight Management Facebook page.
The Importance of Protein
We were interested to learn about the importance Amanda places on protein when it comes to formulating an effective and sustainable diet for her patients.
“I'm a very protein centered provider,” she said. “When people come into my clinic, I approach things a little differently than what they may have gotten from other practitioners. I give them a protein goal that I want them to hit every day.”
Amanda says the minimum threshold is one gram of protein per kilogram of ideal body weight, but encourages patients to go higher.
“Most people are not consuming enough protein to really maintain, let alone build muscle mass, and they're definitely not consuming enough protein to control their hunger hormones.”
Amanda lives on a family farm that raises Black Angus cattle, and she is a proponent of including meat as part of a healthy diet.
“Never Give Up”
Persistence is a trait Amanda says is important, but too many people chase perfection.
“First and foremost, never give up,” she said. “Don't expect yourself to be perfect every day and practice self forgiveness when you make missteps. We are our worst enemy and our biggest saboteur when it comes to lifestyle change.”
Support from Others - One of the Most Important Ingredients
We asked Amanda what she views as the most important ingredients for success when it comes to health and fitness.
“The number one thing that I've seen among people who experience success is support in the home,” said Amanda. “When a person is not going at it alone, whether they are supported by their spouse or their child or someone else willing to join them in that journey, I would say their adherence doubles and their chance of success doubles.”
“Making the home a safe place and having support inside those four walls is huge. It's a game changer when your family is supporting you.”
Amanda said another important ingredient for success includes making lifestyle changes convenient, especially in today's hectic environment. That can include meal prep, figuring out ways to easily take healthy foods when one is on the go, and how to select healthy foods when one is out at a restaurant or store.
Visualizing a Better Future
Amanda says that while change can be difficult, the key for many is to visualize life changes that will make those changes worthwhile.
“I ask my patients to visualize how their life is going to be different once they've made those lifestyle changes. I ask them to visualize what things will be like when they have lost some of that weight, and maybe reversed some of their health conditions and gotten off of their medications.”
“We have to get to a point where we desire that potential future more than we desire the food that's in front of us or more than we desire that extra time lounging on the couch instead of going to exercise. You have to crave and want that more.”
Simply Snackin’ High-Protein On-the-go Beef & Chicken Snacks
Amanda told us she keeps Simply Snackin' high-protein snacks with her at all times, particularly while traveling and when she's on the go.
"I've learned that I have to keep emergency food with me at all times, because you never know when you're going to be in that situation where you need something to eat."
A few weeks ago, Amanda tweeted a photo of her and her husband with some Simply Snackin's while on a tour of Pearl Harbor. "To avoid concession stand food we packed some of our favorite snacks," she said. "My husband and I were able to eat a couple of Simply Snackin's to hold us over until we got back to our hotel."