And Just Like That Actor Nicole Ari Parker Is Raising Money for No Kid Hungry—Here's How You Can Help
Nicole Ari Parker is one busy woman. The star of the Sex and the City revival And Just Like That is a married mom of two teens and an entrepreneur to boot (she invented the sweat-wicking headband Gymwrap). And this month, she's partnering with the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council on a challenge to help hungry children. For every @blueberries tagged post on social media, they'll donate $1 to No Kid Hungry. The goal: To donate $50,000 to the nonprofit.
According to No Kid Hungry, 1 in 6 kids in the United States are living with hunger, which is close to 12 million kids. So this campaign is a sweet way to celebrate National Blueberry Month while working to support those kids and families affected. We sat down with Parker to hear more about her commitment to helping those in need, plus the one ingredient she can't live without and her recent mastery of vegan lasagna.
EatingWell: We love that you're helping raise money to feed kids in need.
Parker: During the school year, kids get breakfast provided to them at school, but if you're in a food-insecure situation, that's not enough. Breakfast is such an important meal, and it means a lot to me that we've partnered with No Kid Hungry. I'm the type of person who wants to solve problems in a real way, and this feels authentic. You have kids who need coats—let's find them. We have kids who are missing meals—let's find them!
EatingWell: What's your favorite way to enjoy blueberries?
Parker: I put them in smoothies—my combination includes spinach, blueberries, protein powder and a little collagen powder. I also love to slice peaches and put blueberries on top or, when we go out for a diner-type breakfast, I'll definitely order blueberry pancakes.
Related: Try Our Blueberry-Ricotta Pancakes
EatingWell: What's one ingredient you can't live without?
Parker: Olive oil—extra-virgin—I just feel that it adds so much to sauces, salad dressings and stews. I love it—and it's good for the hair and skin, too!
EatingWell: What's your go-to family dinner ?
Parker: I make a mean lasagna. My husband is going off the meat a little bit, so I've been making this really killer vegan lasagna. I play around with different kinds of beef-crumble alternatives, vegan ricotta and layer with gluten-free noodles. I'm all in!
Related: A Month of Healthy Dinners for Kids
EatingWell: So we have to know—what's breakfast like in your house?
Parker: My husband is in charge. We've been married for 17 years and he makes muesli every morning. He also makes the kids German pancakes. I'm not in charge. I'll scramble an egg and have it with bread and call it a day. But he makes breakfast every day before school. I remember when my kids were in elementary school and I told another mom that my kids had pancakes for breakfast—homemade by my husband—and it looked like her brain was going to explode!
EatingWell: What do you eat in a day?
Parker: I'm a real working woman and a parent. So if I feel like I've done too much French bread, I'll do intermittent fasting and I'll only eat from noon to 8 p.m. That's effective for me, but I'm not a depriver. In a perfect day, I will have a scrambled egg with EVOO on it, salad and a little bread. I like lettuce and crunch. Lunch would be a smoothie. I like a warm breakfast and a midday smoothie with vitamins in it. I do snack, usually fruit, but I do like my chips and salsa and chips and guacamole. Dinner is really important to me. I've got two kids, two dogs and we have a healthy dinner together every night. There are no phones allowed, and we set the table and then the kids clear the table. It's such an important time for all of us to catch up.
We here at EatingWell appreciate how much Parker loves her fruits and veggies! Between her salads, smoothies and blueberry-topped breakfasts, she's getting a hefty dose of important nutrients throughout the day. And while we're not fans of intermittent fasting (research actually shows it can do more harm than good), the fact that Parker doesn't deprive herself of any one food group is a positive thing. But one thing's for certain: we fully support her efforts to help shed light on food insecurity and raise money for those children affected.