Archive for the ‘Cooper Updates’ Category

Gut Health 101

The idea of balancing overall gastrointestinal (GI) health is something we can all strive for but may not fully attain. Researchers are discovering breakthroughs every day, and this will likely always be the case. The good news is registered dietitian nutritionists can help clear the air when it comes to the information we receive about GI health and how it relates to our own situation/symptoms. Learn how you can take small steps to improving your gut health related to IBS, pre/probiotics, fiber intake and nutritional supplements.

Cooper Clinic’s Gastrointestinal Nutrition Specialist, Gillian White, RDN, LD, CNSC answers a few questions to provide insight on this topic, specifically in young adults. White completed her undergraduate education at Texas Tech University with a degree in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She then completed her internship and residency at Baptist Health Systems in San Antonio where she began her clinical practice. She became a Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) and managed patient’s nutrition support including TPN (a form of medical nutrition therapy). Through her clinical practice she decided to pursue a specialty in GI.

Q: What is the biggest mistake you see people make when trying to solve GI problems?

A: People begin cutting things out of their diet. If you start cutting certain foods out you believe are the problem, and then get tested for conditions such as celiac disease, the issue might not show up on the test results. Gluten and dairy are the two foods people typically cut out first. If you are being tested for celiac disease, the test looks at the antibodies in gluten—gluten is a single protein found in wheat, barley and rye—If you cut gluten out of your diet, you may receive a false negative for celiac and not get to the root of the problem. Before you begin the “cut out” method, it is highly encouraged for you to see a nutritional specialist who may refer you to a gastroenterologist or allergist before taking your gut health into your own hands.

Q: Are there nutritional supplements that can make GI symptoms worse?

A: Unknowingly taking numerous types of probiotics and prebiotics can worsen the symptoms of people suffering from issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). For instance, people with IBS have a higher rate of small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO). In the general health population people have a balance of good and bad microbes that keep each other in balance and are a part of the gut’s natural flora. You could consider the “good” microbes as your own native probiotics that keep the less beneficial microbes in check. If you have SIBO, your body has trouble keeping bacteria in the colon (where it is supposed to be). So, if you consume probiotics, it could introduce bacteria in the wrong place—like the small intestine. It is not harmful bacteria, but when they are in the wrong place it can worsen symptoms. However, certain strains of probiotics can help your GI tract but are condition specific. It is not the magic bullet as it helps some people and not others. To date there is no universal probiotic for general health as everyone’s gut flora is like a unique fingerprint and highly individualized. To get a better grasp on which strands of probiotics are most suitable for you, I recommend visiting

Q: What, in your opinion, are the best “gut foods” for normal functioning GI tracks and sensitive ones?

A: The foundational factor in maintaining good GI health is overall fiber intake. There are many subgroups of fiber, the big two being soluble and insoluble. Fiber has varying degrees of solubility which means how much they dissolve in water (they also vary in viscosity which means how gel-like they become in water) or how fermentable they are with bacteria.

For an individual with a normal functioning GI tract, it is important for your gut health to have diversity of the fiber subgroups in your diet. On the other hand, if you battle IBS or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s, you would most likely be advised to consume less insoluble fibers and more soluble—especially if you are experiencing a flare up. Since insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, it does not change form and acts like an exfoliant in the GI tract. That is why it is good for a normal functioning GI tract and not for someone with pre-existing GI inflammation or increased sensitivity as it can be more irritating. Examples of insoluble foods are:

  • Wheat bran
  • Nuts
  • Green beans
  • Cauliflower
  • Potatoes

Soluble fiber is beneficial for someone with Crohn’s disease, other GI issue, and gut health in general because it can help produce anti-inflammatory substances called short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) when broken down by gut bacteria and may lower intestinal inflammation. Soluble fibers can be easier to digest because it is gentle and gel-like to avoid obstructions in the intestine or bowel. Its gel-like properties are the reason soluble fibers help regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol because the fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. SCFAs may also assist in strengthening the immune system through the gut (which makes up 70% of our overall immunity).

Most foods have a combination of both insoluble and soluble fibers. For example, the skin of most fruits, such as apples, is insoluble fiber while the inside is soluble. Some good food sources of soluble fiber are:

  • Black beans
  • Chia seeds
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Avocados
  • Pears

We encourage you to talk with a registered dietitian nutritionist to determine the best next step to take with your diet!

Q: In a basic diet, is there a certain vitamin or supplement someone should take to make up for a deficiency?

A: The most common vitamin deficiency is vitamin D. Although you can obtain vitamin D from the sun, there are limited food sources. You can absorb some vitamin D by eating mushrooms, fortified dairy products and egg yolks in moderation. To make up for what you don’t consume in your diet, a supplement may be necessary. To explore vitamin D further, read the Decision article called “The Power of Prevention” by Kenneth Cooper, MD, MPH, and his advice on vitamin D supplements. 

Q: Is “coating” your stomach by drinking pressed juice a viable way to prevent bloating before eating a meal?

A: There is no research or evidence to support this, so most likely not. There is really nothing food-wise that can “coat” the stomach. This is an example of where science and marketing clash because over-the-counter supplements and nutrition trends do not always cater to everyone. Bloating can tell you a lot about the origin of your digestive troubles and help narrow down the best plan of action for improving symptoms. If you are struggling with bloating on a day-to-day basis, doctors may encourage taking Simethicone (Gas-XÒ) before eating meals as a preventive measure.

A few key take-aways for those who suffer from GI distress include diversifying one’s intake of fiber subgroups, do not cut out certain foods before you are tested, pay more attention to science over marketing and most importantly, talk with a registered dietitian nutritionist.

To schedule an in-person consultation or tele-visit or to learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition, visit or call 972.560.2655.

For more information about services and screenings offered at Cooper Clinic, visit or call 972.560.2667. 

Built on a Promise: A Brief History of the Land Where Cooper Aerobics Center Now Stands

The Nichols family fishing at the pond on their property.

The world-renowned, 30-acre Cooper Aerobics Center is a beloved and familiar sight to those who live in Dallas, Texas. Located at 12100 Preston Road, at the very heart of bustling North Dallas, this beautiful, urban oasis features lush greenery, winding jogging tracks, sparkling ponds, towering pecan trees and colorful crepe myrtle trees that surround the property on two sides. 

But decades before Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper purchased the property in 1970, it was owned by the prominent young oil man C.A. Lester. In 1937, Lester built a white colonial mansion on top of a white rock hill for his wife, Florence, and their daughter, Patsy. The house overlooked cotton and cornfields just outside the city limits of Dallas. A deep artesian well and natural springs furnished the water supply while large butane tanks supplied fuel for the estate.

After Florence became terminally ill and passed, Lawrence Lee Nichols and Clarise Nichols acquired the property in 1941. They kept in mind Lester’s wish, to relinquish the home to someone who would appreciate it and build their life around it. We interviewed their eldest son, Larry Nichols, to learn more about the history of the property and what it was like growing up there in the 1940s and ‘50s.

How did the Nichols family come to acquire the property?

Larry: The story begins in about 1939 when my mom and dad married. They were living at the Stoneleigh Hotel when my mother became pregnant in 1940, which turned out to be me. So that’s when they started looking for a place. And the place they bought was 12100 Preston Road, the address we all know today as Cooper Aerobics Center.

They bought the property from an oil man who had built a stately, pillared house on the original 13-acre parcel of land. At the time, it was a farm on some desirable farmland.

My dad saw its potential and had a plan which began with the purchase of 154 crepe myrtle trees which he planted all the way around the periphery of Preston Road and Willow Lane. Eighty years later they’re still there. He spent $600 for all of them. I was about five years old at the time and had the duty of keeping the trees hoed and lawn mowed and looking nice. I worked with my dad a lot maintaining the property. By the time I was six, I was driving a tractor. It was a great place to grow up.

My dad also created two lakes and had dams, spillways and a bridge constructed out of concrete. The bridge featured textured concrete to give the appearance of petrified wood. Oh, and he stocked the ponds with channel catfish, bass and crappie which we often had for dinner. Our family frequently enjoyed fishing together.

The next part of my dad’s plan was to plant pecan trees even though the nurserymen discouraged him from doing so. The property has a shallow bedrock of limestone that impedes growth and prevents pecan trees from getting enough moisture. But my father loved pecan trees so he hired an expert and dynamited just enough to fracture the limestone so the water could penetrate and the roots had room to grow.

He planted 36 pecan trees of which 34 flourished. At the time they were planted they were already somewhere around 20 years old so the ones you see on the property now are about 100 years old. They bore a lot of pecans too. I used to gather them, scoop them into one-pound bags and sell them on the corner of the highway. I’d sell upwards of 100 bags.

The pecan trees were a great addition to the property. Dad also planted a peach, apple and pecan tree orchard in the back with peach, pear and apple trees and grew vegetables every year. He loved that land and loved working on it.

The Nichols estate, 1941.
The Nichols estate, 1941.

What structures were on the property when your parents bought it?

Larry: Well, the columned building facing Preston Road everybody’s familiar with was the original home on the estate. But was much smaller then. Initially it was just two bedrooms, a small kitchen and living area. The front entry was very much like it is today including the curved staircase. My dad kept updating the house to make it nicer, adding onto it three times as our family grew. He totally redid the outside, replacing rotting wooden columns in the front with substantial new concrete columns.

He also added a caretaker’s house in the back where a couple lived who helped us maintain the property and give my mom a hand with the house and cooking.

What was the surrounding area like back then?

Larry: We were in the country. When I was a kid, Preston Road was a two-lane highway that served as the main route going north to Oklahoma. There was no Central Expressway then. Preston Road was paved but Willow Lane, Forest Lane and all the other roads that crossed Preston were dirt roads. There was nothing around but fields of cotton and corn, a drug store and two filling stations with little rooms that sold some essential groceries and goods. The closest places to do serious shopping were Highland Park Village and Snider Plaza.

Bus service didn’t even come up that far. It stopped at Northwest Highway. My dad had a business downtown that I worked for part time. So, from the time I was seven or eight years old, to get home I would take the bus to Northwest Highway then hitchhike the rest of the way.

How did Dr. Cooper come to purchase the property?

Years after Lawrence passed of heart disease (1957), Clarice was invited to attend the Howard Butt’s Lay Leadership Conference at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, who was a young flight surgeon in the Air Force at the time, was the keynote speaker. The message Dr. Cooper brought to the crowd was one to be remembered but Clarice never thought she would cross his path again.

Larry: In 1969 or so my mom, who was then a widow, decided to sell. It was just her then (as my siblings and I had grown up and married) and she found the property too much to maintain, so she put it on the market. At the time, getting the best price would’ve meant selling to a multi-family developer of some type because by this time, the area was growing very fast. But the neighbors didn’t want high-density housing in the neighborhood and my mom wasn’t keen on seeing our beautiful property get leveled by bulldozers.

It’s about then that I believe the good Lord intervened. At the time my mother was needing to sell, approximately six weeks after my mother had attended the conference, Dr. Cooper was looking for property to buy. Now, Dr. Cooper was pretty new in practice at the time. I knew of him and the book he’d written about aerobics, of course, but it gave me a little concern that he was biting off more than he could chew. But it was Dr. Cooper my mother wanted to sell to, and she had absolute confidence in him. My mother loved him like a son.

Since selling the property to Dr. Cooper, mom prayed daily for her next 36 years that all who walked these “hallowed grounds” would be blessed in special ways.

Dr. Cooper made your mother a promise. What was it?

Larry: Dr. Cooper promised he’d preserve the land and wildlife and keep it intact—a promise he kept through all these years, 100%. He promised to keep the already built estate on the property and the emblem with my family’s initials on the chimney of the house. Since the very start, Dr. Cooper was like a member of our family.

The Nichols family initials on the chimney of the house.
The Nichols family initials on the chimney of the house.

“The emblem remains on the chimney of the house today and is a constant reminder of one man’s love for his home and for his family, and of another great man’s love, respect and sensitivity for tradition long past.” – Mrs. Clarice Nichols, 1990s

I’m over 80 years old now and I’m still enjoying the land. I love to walk around the track. I love to go down to the pond. I love seeing the pecan trees and crepe myrtles I used to help care for. It’s all so similar to the way things were when I was a child that it’s like going back in time.

I believe the good Lord held the property until Dr. Cooper could buy it and I’m just so thankful he did.

Dr. Cooper and Mrs. Nichols at the 30th anniversary gala, 2000.
Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper and Mrs. Clarice Nichols at the 30th anniversary Cooper Aerobics gala, 2000.

Managing Your Daily Stress

Stress can overcome our lives in an instant. From things like work to raising a family and everything in between, stress and anxieties can easily build up. One way to help relieve pain within the body and reduce stress is Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT). Paige Cervantes, Cooper Spa MAT Specialist, shares her personal story, thoughts on dealing with stress and how MAT sessions have helped her clients relieve some of the built-up tension, aches and pains that come along with life.

MAT as a Stress Reliever

MAT is a hands-on therapy used to reduce pain by pinpointing weak points in the muscles and joints, increasing range of motion and finding the root of the problem. “When someone gets on my table, they have to be an active participant in what I do. This is not necessarily a feel-good massage in the moment because we are working on strengthening the muscles, but many patients feel pain relief well before the one-hour session ends,” says Cervantes.

MAT can be effective for individuals with previous injuries related to work, exercise and more, and on those who have general aches and pains. Not being able to manage this pain can cause stress and anxiety in everyday life. Cervantes has found that “often, the root of the problem is entirely different than where the pain is located. I’ve had people come in with knee problems and then found imbalances in their feet. When I can pinpoint the main cause of the pain, then I can help individuals manage it which alleviates stress.”

De-Stress Techniques

Identifying techniques to de-stress and fit your lifestyle can be challenging. Every person is going to relax in different ways and just because a massage works for someone else, that doesn’t mean it will work for you. The trick is to try different stress-relief techniques to see what works for you and your schedule. With a background in massage therapy, personal training and MAT, Cervantes has found a variety of ways to deal with stress, many of which she implements into her own life.

Massage can be an ideal way to relax. A Swedish massage is recommended because less pressure is used compared to other techniques. This massage encourages your muscles to relax and release built-up tension by manipulating the muscles and soft tissue, reducing physical stress.

Exercise is an extremely effective way to relieve stress and anxiety. Anything to get you moving, such as going to a yoga class, can help calm your inner anxiety and provide a good stretch. Activities including walking, running and strength training can help you release your emotions. When you physically exert yourself, you may feel a sense of relief and it can help lower the anxiety and stress you are dealing with.  

Talk to people. Share with your friends or family what is causing you stress. They may be able to ease some of that with words of encouragement or advice. Surrounding yourself with people you enjoy being around can boost your mood and help get your mind off your stressors for a little bit.

Create a stress jar. Find a small jar and label it—for example, no stress zone, stress jar, all my stresses. Anytime you feel anxiety or stress, write a note about it and stick it in the jar, almost as if you are giving it away and releasing it from your life. Although this doesn’t fix the thing you are stressing about, it is symbolic of letting it go and taking a small break from thinking about it.

Sometimes our stress is bigger than ourselves. Taking a step back and focusing on the good in life can help alleviate anxiety and stress-ridden thoughts. “I’m a cancer survivor” says Cervantes. “That was a really stressful time in my life. I didn’t know if I would get to see my kids grow up or my daughter get married. I had this overwhelming feeling of stress and anxiety that consumed my life. I had to step back and realize my disease was out of my control. It was bigger than me. I spent a lot of time praying and relying on God to help me find a way out of it. Realizing I couldn’t change what was happening in my life and fully embracing the life I had been given pulled me out of a dark place and woke me up again. I’ve been cancer-free for 23 years now and I try not to let everyday stress get the best of me.”

Whether it’s having a massage, exercising, focusing on your faith or creating a stress jar, finding something that eases your mind and reduces your stress can be extremely beneficial. Letting stress overcome your life can affect you physically and mentally if you don’t find an outlet. Stress is a normal, inevitable part of life but finding ways to ease your mind, let go and relax can help bring peace to your day.

To schedule a MAT appointment or purchase a Cooper Spa gift card, email or call 972.392.7729.

Academy Of Nutrition and Dietetics: Celebrate a World of Flavors During National Nutrition Month®

In March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics focuses attention on healthful eating through National Nutrition Month®. This year’s theme, Celebrate a World of Flavors, embraces global cultures, cuisines and inclusivity, plus highlights the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists. “The theme Celebrate a World of Flavors gives every culture a place at the table,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Libby Mills, a national spokesperson for the Academy in Philadelphia, Pa. “Celebrating the cultural heritage, traditions and recipes from all people is a tasty way to nourish ourselves, learn about one another and find appreciation in our diversity.”

Many of us enjoy cuisines from other nationalities and cultures. In celebration of National Nutrition Month, our Cooper Clinic Nutrition department encourages you to try new foods from around the world to explore new flavors, textures, and aromas. Instead of ordering your go-to favorites, try a new dish full of new foods. Some ethnic foods gaining popularity are ancient grains used in Middle Eastern such as bulgur and quinoa and African cultures such as teff and freekeh. Fermented food’s popularity is also on the rise such as Kimchi, a Korean fermented cabbage dish; Miso, a fermented Japanese staple; and Kefir, a popular Middle-eastern beverage, which have all been shown to have health benefits. Instead of eating favorite standbys like Mexican food, consider branching out to other Central and South American cuisines such as Salvadoran, Chilean and Cuban foods. Consider a more plant-based approach by using tofu, tempeh, seitan or more beans and peas to replace meat, fish and poultry in your diet.

Herbs and spices from around the world are a great way to explore flavors. For example, a curry in Indian dishes differs greatly from curry in a Thai dish, and both cuisines offer several types of curries. For some herbs and spices, a little goes a long way, so if you are not sure how much to use or which dish to season.

Try a variety of spices from different cuisines for great new flavors:

  • Asian – garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cilantro, Chinese five-spices powder, chili, Thai basil, mint and lemon grass paste
  • Mexican – chili, cumin, garlic, green chilies, chipotle chilies, jalapenos cilantro, oregano and epizote
  • Italian – garlic, oregano, basil, sage, thyme and marjoram
  • Indian spices – cloves, red chili powder, cumin, coriander, cilantro, garam masala, mustard seeds, curry powder or paste, turmeric, saffron
  • Mediterranean – thyme, basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, marjoram, fennel, mint, cumin, cinnamon, cardamom

What makes registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) so valuable to people’s quest for good health? RDNs help clients fine-tune traditional recipes and provide alternative cooking methods and other healthful advice for incorporating family-favorite foods into everyday meals. During National Nutrition Month®, the Academy encourages everyone to make informed food choices and develop sound eating and physical activity habits they can follow all year long. The Academy encourages seeking the advice of registered dietitian nutritionists—the food and nutrition experts who can help develop individualized eating and activity plans to meet people’s health goals. “Celebrate a World of Flavors highlights the unique, cultural variety of foods available to people from around the world and the role that dietitians play in helping clients create healthy habits while celebrating their cultural foods and heritage,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Rahaf Al Bochi, a national spokesperson for the Academy in Atlanta, Ga.

National Nutrition Month® was initiated in 1973 as National Nutrition Week, and it became a month-long observance in 1980 in response to growing interest in nutrition. The second Wednesday of March is Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day, an annual celebration of the dedication of RDNs as the leading advocates for advancing the nutritional status of Americans and people around the world.

We at Cooper Clinic Nutrition wish you a fun and healthy National Nutrition Month and encourage you to treat your tastebuds to new and delicious flavors. To schedule a one-on-one nutrition consultation or learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit or call 972.560.2655. 

Want To Slow Down the Aging Process?

February 8, 2022 Leave a comment

Get the inside story on nutrition for anti-aging benefits from Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Meridan Zerner, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD, CWC.

We all want to age gracefully and look young, and there are plenty of beauty creams and serums on the market that claim to help us do just that. And while tackling anti-aging from the outside in is helpful…it’s from the inside out where we get the most impact! The real secret to anti-aging is to nourish your body with adequate sleep, hydration, moderate movement and of course, a healthy diet.

Push the plant power

The research is clear that eating more fruits and vegetables is the safest and healthiest way to reduce fine lines and increase overall health. That aligns with one of the newer anti-aging/anti-inflammatory food trends—the plant-based diet.

A plant-based diet simply encourages replacing some of the traditional animal products with more fruits and vegetables—but also adding nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes and beans. It doesn’t mean you have to become a vegetarian or never eat meat. The emphasis with a plant-based diet is on increasing the powerhouse foods rich in vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. A Mediterranean diet is a version of a plant-based diet with the addition of healthful, fatty fish such as trout, tuna and salmon.

Salmon to slow dementia

Salmon is my go-to fish to increase your omega-3s. Every cell in your body needs omega-3s, especially the eyes and brain. Omega-3s are critical for brain function and can help prevent dementia. Omega-3s also support stronger immune function, digestion and fertility. And healthy fats are good for our hair and skin, too! In general, our bodies do well with a variety of food choices, so I invite my clients to try many types of seafood including anchovies, sardines, crab and shrimp—whether fresh or frozen. Frozen seafood keeps for a long time and is a convenient, equally nutritious way to go. Feel free to utilize pouch tuna and salmon if you like. 

Collagen to combat aging

You might be wondering, “What about collagen supplements?” The use of collagen as an anti-aging tool has become a hot topic. Collagen is a protein found in the skin, joints and other parts of the body. As we get older, we start losing collagen in our bodies. In our skin, the loss of collagen shows up as wrinkles and sagging. In our joints, collagen loss can mean breakdown that opens the door to injury. Collagen has been studied to modestly improve the joint pain and flexibility in osteoarthritis. Collagen supplementation can be a win for both but speak to your doctor or dietitian to make sure that the form or dosage is right for you.

Sips for a more youthful you

Every year, there are products that make the “new and trendy” list for anti-aging. Recently you may have heard about more people consuming matcha green tea, golden milk or reishi tea.

  • Matcha – a type of green tea made by taking young tea leaves and grinding them into a bright green powder
  • Golden milk – a bright yellow drink traditionally made with milk (or a milk alternative) along with turmeric and other spices, such as cinnamon and ginger
  • Reishi tea – made from rare reishi mushrooms and could actually be harmful for some people.

Just because it’s trendy doesn’t mean it is right for you. It is always wise to check with your health care provider first.

The bottom line? If you want to turn back the clock, there is no substitute for a healthy diet. By lavishing your body with the care, nutrients and sleep it needs, you’ll slow down aging from the inside out.

To schedule a one-on-one nutrition consultation or learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit or call 972.560.2655. 

A Very Berry Way to Melt Away Stress

January 11, 2022 Leave a comment
Frosted Berry stress-relieving services at Cooper Spa

Start 2022 with Our Seasonal Spa Special. (It’s the Berries!)

It’s no secret the holiday season can be a bit stressful. OK, who are we kidding? Between last-minute shopping, holiday parties and making treats for your kids’ teachers, holidays can be a LOT stressful.

With the new year here, Cooper Spa has the perfect antidote to stress—our Frosted Berry Pedicure and Facial featuring vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants and essential oils your thirsty skin will soak up like a sponge. These luxurious services soothe your senses and relax your body with the fragrance of fresh berries. Two seasonal services you do not want to miss!

Frosted Berry Pedicure: 60 minutes, $75

More than a pedicure, our Frosted Berry Pedicure is an immersive experience—one that begins to melt stress away the second your weary feet slide into a warm, fragrant bath. Ahhh… After a luxurious soak, a berry-scented moisturizing emollient is deeply massaged into your feet and calves (yes, it’s as heavenly as it sounds), after which a Frosted Berry scrub is gently applied, exfoliating all that rough, dry skin.

Next, cuticles are trimmed, nails are buffed and cuticle oil is rubbed in. A yummy- scented mask is then massaged into your feet and legs all the way up to your knees. Legs and feet are wrapped in warm towels for five minutes so your skin can absorb the benefits of the treatment. (Will the bliss never end?)

After soaking up the amazing, therapeutic benefits of the mask, legs and feet are rinsed and massaged with a luxurious berry-scented, moisture-sealing lotion. In the final step, your polish color of choice is meticulously applied, leaving you with beautiful toenails, a relaxed outlook on life and skin that’s aglow with good health.

Frosted Berry Facial: 75 minutes, $140

Designed for maximum cleansing, exfoliation and hydration, our Frosted Berry Facial delivers immediate, gratifying results. Your skin will appear firmer and plumper, revitalized and downright luminous. All with no downtime!

“Sun, pollution, smart devices, food and genetics can all have a negative effect on skin,” said Lisa Boyle, Cooper Spa manager. “At Cooper Spa, we use only science-based products designed to help mitigate damage, combat signs of aging and help restore that youthful, healthy glow.”

The eight-step Frosted Berry Facial begins with a customized Firm Skin Cleanser to rid skin of impurities and toxins stressful times often bring. Afterward, Eminence® Organic Mangosteen Mist is applied to help balance your skin’s oils and stimulate collagen production.

Your skin is then prepped for the all-important exfoliation process with an application of Eminence Organic Bright Skin Exfoliating Peel. Once the prep is completed a thin layer of Arctic Berry Enzyme Exfoliant is manipulated into the skin. Steps two and three include the application and timed processing of additional Arctic Berry products formulated to penetrate layers of skin and reveal the more youthful-looking skin underneath. The exfoliation process finishes with an oh-so-soothing chamomile toner.

As the busyness of the holidays becomes a distant memory and you’re ready to walk out the door looking luminous and feeling great, you’ll receive one final spritz of Mangosteen Mist, followed by an application of Bamboo Firming Fluid or Arctic Berry Peptide Cream, based on your skin type. (Stress? What stress?)

Think it can’t get any more indulgent? Think again. The luxurious Blueberry Massage Soufflé may just give you an out-of-body experience as it’s gently massaged into your skin after which a Firm Skin Masque is applied.

Don’t miss out on these stress-relieving services. Our Frosted Berry Spa Special ends February 25, so book your appointment now. Call 972.392.7729 to reserve your facial or pedicure. For Cooper Spa’s complete menu of services, visit

Healthy Holiday Alternatives

December 9, 2021 Leave a comment

While the holidays bring family and friends together, they also offer plenty of tasty temptations to overindulge in high-calorie treats. Cooper Clinic registered dietitian nutritionists share healthy spins on your holiday feasts this year to maintain instead of gain.


Eating a salad before the holiday meal can help fill you up so you are more inclined to eat smaller portions of higher calorie foods. I always include a salad with dark, green leafy vegetables such as spinach or kale. You can even add festive toppings such as roasted pumpkin seeds or dried cranberries.

It is important to not skip meals the day of your holiday celebrations, especially breakfast. Skipping meals can lead to overeating indulgent foods at holiday festivities.

I highly recommend sticking with your exercise routine through the holiday season. Fatty, high-calorie holiday foods can make you feel sluggish, and physical activity is a great way to stay energized and burn the extra calories consumed. Enrolling your family and friends in a holiday themed 5K run or simply taking a walk around the neighborhood after your holiday meal can be fun and relaxing ways to stay active with your family and friends.

Amber Grapevine, MS, RDN, LD

If you find yourself with a holiday sweet tooth, opt for fresh fruits instead of sugary treats. Cranberries, pomegranates and cherries offer sweet, unique flavors that complement many dishes. In addition, seasonal vegetables such as butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and leeks can be roasted to caramelization perfection in the oven, lending a sweet flavor to your holiday dishes.

Focus on flavor when cooking up your festive foods and use herbs and spices to reduce the salt. Even cinnamon can be used for a savory taste. Plant oils can also serve as a healthier substitution for butter in stuffing or sweet potato casserole.

Try a few of these plant-based side dishes using popular seasonal produce this time of year.


  • Beets
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Chard
  • Collard greens
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Parsnips


  • Apples
  • Clementines
  • Cranberries
  • Pears
  • Persimmons
  • Pomegranates

Remember to watch your portions as well, so you can enjoy the meal without feeling stuffed like your Christmas dinner turkey!

Traci Sheahan, RDN, LD

Along with extra calories, holiday parties, happy hours and family get-togethers can include increased alcohol consumption (for those who choose to partake). However, more alcohol equals more calories our bodies need to burn off. Ever wonder why the New Year brings a few extra pounds with it? Alcohol calories can quickly add up! These mocktail alternatives are equally as refreshing as they are festive and an excellent way to keep the flavor while cutting down on calories this holiday season.

Festive mocktails
With only 82 calories per 5 ounces, this simple spritzer recipe serves as a healthier alternative to regular wine spritzers with a cranberry-lime twist.

Cranberry-Lime Spritzer

In a large pitcher mix:

  • 11.5 oz. frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
  • 32 oz. sparkling water
  • 4 fresh limes, juiced

Pour five ounces of mixture in a martini glass and add a spring of fresh rosemary and fresh cranberries.

Curb the typical Cosmopolitan calories with this cheery pomegranate mocktail which contains only 52 calories per 6 ounces.

Pomegranate Martini Mocktail

  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 1 oz. fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ½ oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. sparkling water

Add pomegranate juice, orange juice and lime juice to a glass of crushed ice and stir. Top with sparkling water to fill the glass. Garnish with pomegranate seeds, lime or orange slices and a sprig of fresh mint or rosemary.

Embrace holiday cheer with this skinny spin on a classic eggnog recipe, weighing in with just 107 calories per 4 ounces.

Skinny Eggnog

  • 3 cups 1% milk
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  1. Heat 2 ½ cups milk in a medium saucepan.
  2. Split vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Add seeds and pod to the saucepan and simmer over medium heat.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and cornstarch until it turns light yellow.
  4. Temper the eggs by gradually pouring the hot milk mixture one cup at a time into the egg mixture while whisking constantly.
  5. Pour the mixture back into the pan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the eggnog begins to thicken, about 6-7 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and immediately stir in remaining ½ cup milk to stop the cooking.
  7. Remove the vanilla pod, let the mixture cool and transfer it to a pitcher. Chill until ready to serve.
  8. Portion into glasses and garnish with grated nutmeg.

Consistency is key to staying on track with your healthy habits during the holidays. Celebrate with these practical tips and cheers to health and wellness this season.

To schedule a one-on-one nutrition consultation or learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit or call 972.560.2655.

Categories: Cooper Updates

Hydrating Spa Treatments for Fall

November 7, 2021 Leave a comment

Hydrate head-to-toe this fall. As the leaves change with the turn of the season, so should your skin care routine in preparation for cooler temperatures and drier skin. Recharge your skin with these nourishing Cooper Spa treatments that are just as hydrating as they are relaxing.


Does your skin feel tired? Give your skin a wake-up call with a moisturizing face lift. Using SkinCeuticals® products made with vitamin C, our SkinCeuticals® Firming Facial is ideal for dehydrated, aging and environmentally-damaged skin leaving you with a healthy glow.

For ultra-hydration, our Antioxidant Hydrating Facial recharges extremely dry skin with essential lipids and moisture-binding elements. Powerful antioxidants also help intercept skin-damaging oxidants that may contribute to future skin damage.

Pro tip: For a little extra glow, add a Moroccanoil® Leave-In Hair Treatment enhancement onto your facial. Infused with antioxidant-rich argan oil and shine-boosting vitamins, this conditioning treatment will leave your hair rejuvenated and smooth.

Body treatments

Looking for a treatment to cover all your bases? Our Ultimate Hydration Ritual is a client favorite, restoring elasticity and leaving the skin noticeably healthier looking. A full-body dry brushing and orange peel scrub to gently exfoliate the skin is followed by a soothing shower rinse. The service is finished with a hot stone application with Moroccanoil® Botanical Intense Hydrating Treatment, designed to lock in moisture and maintain a healthy glow.

Mani-pedi combos
Prop your feet up and enjoy our fragrant Nourishing Almond Manicure. Rich in jojoba oil and vitamin E, this service will leave your feet well hydrated and feeling satin-smooth.

Transform the appearance of dry, tired hands with our Revitalizing Pedicure. Using ultra-moisturizing cupuacu butter and antioxidant-rich white tea extract, this luxurious manicure delivers a powerful boost of collagen in the skin.

Give your skin a fresh start this fall with a variety of services and products offered at Cooper Spa. To schedule an appointment or purchase a gift card, visit or call 972.392.7729.

Categories: Cooper Updates

A Legacy Worth Celebrating

October 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Next month, we honor 90 years of life of our founder and the “Father of Aerobics,” Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper, along with the 50th anniversary of The Cooper Institute at our 2021 Legacy Celebration. This special event allows us to reflect on the accomplishments of the past and looks ahead to future initiatives as we continue to improve the quality and quantity of live through The Cooper Institute’s valuable research. Learn more about Cooper’s story and ways you can contribute to the future of fitness.

From a shoe box to a world-renowned study

Dr. Cooper has devoted his life to improving the health and well-being of the Dallas community and the world. He founded The Cooper Institute in June 1970, six months prior to opening Cooper Clinic. In the early days of his practice, he collected consented patient data in a shoe box with the goal of preventing disease before it starts. This was just the beginning of the public-private partnership between Cooper Clinic and The Cooper Institute—“His brilliant model has allowed us to collaboratively prove that exercise is essential to good health,” says Laura DeFina, MD, President and CEO of The Cooper Institute.

That “shoe box” has evolved into what is now the largest study in the world of measured fitness referred to as the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study (CCLS). Containing more than 2.2 million person-years of observation from more than 116,000 patients, this world-renowned collection of data is unique in nature due to its focus on healthy habits to inform and direct preventive medical care.

Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper conducting treadmill stress test on Roger Staubach in 1980s.

DeFina notes that “the difference between our CCLS and other studies is that we focus on people who are well whereas most studies are focused on people who are ill.” By studying healthy individuals and their lifestyles, The Cooper Institute has established the links between being fit and the prevention of chronic disease. Dr. Cooper firmly believes no drug can replicate the benefits of an active lifestyle and routinely shares research from leading health organizations proving more than 76% of chronic disease and 45% of cancers to be preventable.

The preventive power of fitness

The Cooper Institute’s research has shown that fitness has a profound impact on your wellness and length of your life.  Throughout our 50 years, The Cooper Institute has proven higher fitness levels to be associated with:

  • 58% decreased risk of dying from all-causes
  • Lower cardiovascular disease
  • Significantly lower risk of dementia later in life
  • Decreased risk of certain cancers

The continued emphasis on fitness as a means of reducing mortality risk has also been instrumental in Dr. Cooper establishing FitnessGram®—the most widely used health-related youth fitness assessment tool in the world. In 2007, Dr. Coper brought physical education back into Texas schools and initiated fitness assessments to improve our children’s health through the passing of Texas Senate Bill 350. Data drives decisions and shows healthy children become fit adults. “It’s easier to raise a healthy child, than to heal a sick adult,” says Dr. Cooper. By equipping children with the tools necessary to make healthy choices they will benefit from well into their adulthood, we are ultimately able to decrease the cost of health care.

Dr. Cooper believes “It is more beneficial and cost effective to prevent disease than it is to find a cure.” Obesity is a major contributor to increasing the cost of health care in the United States. Preventable, obesity-related chronic diseases cause 7 in 10 deaths and account for 75% of the $3.6 trillion spent annually on medical care. With obesity rates at an all-time high, especially in adolescents, The Cooper Institute’s ongoing research is crucial now more than ever.

Contribute to the legacy

Help us continue to fulfill Dr. Cooper’s vision of life-changing research and education by ensuring the legacy of The Cooper Institute. All donations go directly toward research and programming. Your support aids in improving the quality and quantity of life in astounding ways—one healthy choice at a time.

To learn more, about our Legacy Celebration, visit

Categories: Cooper Updates

A Day in the Life of a Cooper Trainer

September 13, 2021 Leave a comment

Do you wonder what a typical day looks like for a personal trainer? Cooper Fitness Center Professional Fitness Trainer Robert Treece takes you through his day hour by hour, sharing his favorite healthy habits along the way.

3:30 a.m. — Rise and grind

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is drink a plant-based protein shake for a nutritious start to my day. Then I take my supplements which consist of a multivitamin, omega-3, zinc, probiotics and vitamin D3.

4 a.m. — Work out before work

I exercise seven days a week in my home gym. A typical workout starts with lateral band walks and shoulder band exercises as a warmup, then 35 minutes of weight training and 15 minutes of HIIT on my air resistance bike. It’s important to get your cardio training in, so I mix in a three-mile run three times a week, too.

Exercising consistently challenges me to be the best I can be for my family, clients and fellow professional fitness trainers.

5:30 a.m. — Train clients

A typical workday involves training 15-20 clients. People often ask me if I work out with my clients, but I like to fully focus on their form and technique in order to give them the highest quality training sessions. My morning workout is sacred time and a necessity for me to operate at my best for the remainder of the day.

8:30 a.m. — Morning refuel

Overnight oats are full of fiber, protein, magnesium and potassium and are an ideal mid-morning snack after an early workout.

12:30 p.m. — Lunchtime

I order healthy and delicious pre-made meals which are delivered directly to my door each week. My meals always include a balance of lean protein, carbohydrates and fat and are incredibly convenient to simply heat up and enjoy on long workdays in between training clients.

3:30 p.m. — Afternoon snack break

At this point in the day, I like to refuel with a protein bar or some Greek yogurt with fruit to carry me through the last of my training sessions. I also aim to drink at least 100 ounces of water per day. I’ve found if I keep my favorite water bottle filled and available throughout the day, it helps to ensure I stay hydrated.

5:30 p.m. — Destress with soccer

While I usually prefer to exercise solo, I also love playing a game of pick-up soccer with friends after work. This is a great stress-reliever and also helps me transition from the workday to my nighttime routine.

7:00 p.m. — Dinner is served

My wife and I order fresh meals from one of my favorite clients who owns a catering business. We appreciate that we don’t have to sacrifice the nutritional value for convenience of takeout. Many people enjoy meal prepping healthy options on the weekend, but we have found this option to be the best fit for our active and busy lifestyles.

8:30 p.m. — Time to snooze

Going to bed early helps me balance work and my own fitness journey as a personal trainer. Consistency is the key in developing discipline. Developing a routine enables you to create positive healthy habits and leaves less room to make excuses.

Motivation pro tip

When I go through times in life when I am less motivated to exercise and make healthy food choices, I try to break the cycle by mixing up my exercise routine or focusing on becoming disciplined in one specific healthy habit to help get me back on track. Remember, discipline takes effort until it becomes a habit. By challenging your current state with discipline, it changes your mindset which ultimately changes your actions.

We all have busy schedules, and it can be easy to lose motivation and difficult to find time to fit in workouts. This is why it is crucial to prioritize exercise! Put it in your calendar and treat it like any other meeting or appointment so you don’t let yourself off the hook. Whether it’s hitting the gym in the morning before work, taking a walk on your lunch break or attending a group exercise class after work, find the time of day that works best for you, your energy levels and schedule.

​For more information about Cooper Fitness Center or to schedule a session with a Professional Fitness Trainer, visit or call 972.233.4832.

Categories: Cooper Updates