// Nashville Farmers Market
I’ve been back from Nashville, TN for about a week now only to have to pack up again for my trip to New Zealand! I don’t travel much, but when I do, it seems like everything goes down all at once. Last week, I spent 5 days with 10,000+ fellow dietitians at the annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). I attended the conference two years ago as a student, so this was my first time attending as a Registered Dietitian Woot Woot! Additionally, I received “media” credential (qualifications found here), so the conference registration fee was waived.
The days were jam-packed with education sessions, sampling and discovering innovative products at the expo, attending various networking events as a dietitian in the media world, and of course meeting and spending quality time with colleagues I had met through the virtual world.
As you know, I have two jobs. I specialize in gut health and food sensitivities/allergies and see clients during the day. When I'm out of the office, any spare time I have is dedicated to nutrition communications, recipe development, and keeping up with this blog of mine. Therefore, I made sure I attended a good mix of sessions to enhance my knowledge in both of those areas. Some of the education sessions included:
- Interrogating Host-Microbiota Dynamics in Diet, the Metabiome and Disease - an area of research I’m currently fascinated/obsessed with.
- Meant for Each Other: Health At Every Size and Motivational Interviewing - health is more than the number on your scale or the pant size you fit into.
- Branding: Creating Your Professional Image (led by one of my favs- Carlene) - made me think about how I can further develop my brand, MJ and Hungryman, to increase more opportunities to collaborate with various companies. Some questions I find myself asking are: do I have a clear and distinct brand? What sets me apart from others?
- Mastering Your Domain: Using Technology to Grow Your Business Online - When led by these power-house ladies, Regan Jones, Anne Mauney, and Danielle Omar, you know it’s going to be amazing! And they certainly didn’t disappoint. When it comes to SEO and other technological matters, I am hopeless. However, they presented the material in a way that was easy to follow and understand. I definitely need to do a better job of utilizing Google Analytics to grow my blog and reach a wider audience.
In between sessions, I navigated through the expo and came across some neat companies, such as...
- Siggi’s - Yes, it was my first time trying this Icelandic-style yogurt made with simple, high-quality ingredients, and it was amazing! The Hungryman, who doesn't really care much for yogurt (I know!), had no problem demolishing his container 😉
Not only did I love their products, but I also loved the faces behind the company. Although I didn’t get to meet Siggi himself, I may have bonded with these two ladies, Abigail and Lindsey 😉
- All my nut friends: Almond Board of California, California Walnuts, National Peanut Board
- My sweet tooth satisfiers: California Dried Plum Board, California Strawberry Commission, California Table Grape Commission, Wild Blueberry Association, National Raspberry Council
- Tessemae’s All-Natural: I shy away from purchasing store-bought condiments because they tend to be laden with artificial ingredients and/or seed/grain oils. Not these products. Just check out their website and browse through the ingredients. Delicious and clean ;).
- Beans and lentils: Better Bean Company, Canadian Lentils, USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council - great products for my gluten-free clients. I’ve been on a lentil kick (here's my recipe for Mexican Lentil and Chard Breakfast Casserole) lately, so I’m totally inspired to continue incorporating them into my diet.
Sponsored by Kura - a protein smoothie powder with grass-fed New Zealand dairy protein, vitamins and minerals, and probiotics that your whole family can enjoy. No funky aftertaste here. We sampled 3 smoothies along with the most ginormous frittata I’ve yet to see. My favorite flavor was the “snickers smoothie” (made with Kura + almond milk + frozen banana + dates + peanut butter). It definitely required spoon action rather than slurping through a straw.
Sponsored by Spright at Frothy Monkey - a new wellness online community whose mission is to help you find what fuels your lifestyle.
Social Hour receptions
Food and Magazine Rooftop Reception
Hosted by the Mushroom Council - Guys…I totally geeked out when I saw Maneet! "Chopped" is one of THE favorite shows me and the Hungryman watch together, and I couldn’t help but wish that he was with me. I asked her if we could take a picture together, and she said, "Sure! Give me your phone. Let’s take a selfie.” I like her…A LOT!
The food was obviously A-MAZING, but I can’t get over how innovative the menu was! I mean mushrooms in a margarita, toffee sauce, and cake pops? We live in a fascinating world. I heart mushrooms, so I can’t wait to try my hand at showcasing their versatility in my kitchen.
So there you have it! A recap of my first official FNCE experience. As I sit here reflecting back on those days (that certainly felt like a whirlwind), what I remember the most are the faces and the conversations I shared with those who I now call friends. I can’t wait to do it all over again.