Posts Tagged by HLS12

Healthy Living Summit: Saturday Afternoon Recap

Thanks for coming back for my final recap of the Healthy Living Summit!

My morning recap left us at lunch and let me tell you what a nice surprise it was!  I have been to a lot of conferences for work and hotel catering always leaves something to be desired.  This lunch was healthy and incredibly flavorful!  There was a salad with multiple fixins, like feta, dried blueberries (I think) and slivered almonds, and another WONDERFUL salad of tomatoes, onions and avocado.  Next up was a Middle Eastern/Indian inspired roasted, spiced chicken and a delicious lentil stew that was served with gluten-free naan bread.  I totally went back for seconds of the lentils.  There was also a vegetable soup that I didn’t enjoy very much because it was super salty.

The Buffet Line

Plate Full of Goodness!

Big round of applause to the Hyatt Regency Cambridge for getting creative with their menu.

After lunch was the Keynote Address from the conference gold sponsor, Wild Harvest.  Registered Dietician Kim Kirchherr and Culinary Development Manager Genie Nicholas took us into their kitchen to take a look at product and recipe development.  As a foodie and a home cook, I found this presentation fascinating!  Did you know that 28% of Americans can’t cook?!  This means recipes, especially easy to follow recipes, are even more important in helping people learn to cook.  Kim and Genie reviewed what goes into creating a healthy recipe, what you have to do to adapt a recipe in order for it to be original, and 5 easy ways to improve upon a boring recipe.  All wonderful tips that I surely will be using in my own kitchen!

Heidi, Genie and Kim from Wild Harvest

The next session I attended was I am the Blogger in Your Neighborhood a panel hosted by Holly of The Healthy Everythingtarian and featured Meghann Anderson and Clare Brady.  I wasn’t planning on attending this session at first, but changed my mind that morning.  With my blog focusing mainly on Disney as a location, I didn’t see how learning about forming local relationships would relate to me or my blog.  Boy was I wrong!  There was a ton of information here on how to use my blog as leverage when forming relationships, how to create a good pitch to brands and businesses, and how building relationships in the community can lead to many other opportunities.  It was all very eye opening and left me with a ton of ideas on where I can take RAD in the future.

Holly, Meghann and Clare

There was a short break between this and the final session.  Snacks of Cabot cheese, grilled bread and Driscoll’s berries were available for us.  Driscoll’s also held a fun little contest to guess the number of berries in a jar for a chance to win $100 in berry coupons…that’s a lot of berries!


Driscoll’s Berries

Driscoll’s Contest

There was also a mini workout session during the break by Drink Chia!.  It consisted of basic warm-up exercises as a way to get the blood flowing after a long day of sitting.  Looked like they were having fun…

Afternoon Workout

The final session I attended was The Fuzzy Grey Areas of Blogging a panel hosted by Rachel Wilkerson with Dori Manela and Teri Zawrotny, which had the awesome hash tag of #HLS50shades.  The ladies went over common issues bloggers face, such as editing posts after publishing, how to handle negative comments, privacy issues, and restrictions around product reviews and giveaways.  While I didn’t learn a ton of new information, it was interesting to hear how other bloggers deal with these issues.

Rachel, Dori and Teri

And now it was time to wrap things up to say goodbye…booooo.  We all gathered back in the main room to hear a few closing remarks from the organizers of HLS: Meghann, Julie and Heather.  They did an outstanding job pulling all of this together and securing so many sponsors!

Meghann, Julie, Heather

The Healthy Living Summit exceeded my expectations in terms of knowledge gained, networking, food and fun.  I left excited and energized with so many ideas of how to grow RAD and my own personal brand moving forward.  These bloggers are truly an inspiration on how they have followed their hearts, said what was on their minds, and made a difference with their blogs.  I hope to be the best that I can be moving forward in the hopes of inspiring others in that same way someday.

The wheels are turning my friends…

Healthy Living Summit: Saturday Morning Recap

A 7:15 am alarm is a little early for me on a Saturday, especially after not going to sleep until close to 1:00 am.  But I was excited for the day ahead and my stomach was growling, so I was anxious to get downstairs.  I found the wonderful group of ladies that I met at the cocktail party (Beth, Kim, Laisha and Jamie) and immediately hit the buffet.

Breakfast was sponsored and developed by Wild Harvest and it was amazing!  The options were both healthy and delicious, which is rare for most hotel catering.

Pomegranate Granola Breakfast Parfait

Potato & Asparagus Hash

Maple Apple Turkey Sausage Patties

Greek Inspired Egg Scramble

The Greek Inspired Egg Scramble was developed by Kelly of Cupcake Kelly’s as part of the HLS Breakfast Showdown.  Conference registrants were given the opportunity to incorporate 10 Wild Harvest ingredients into an original breakfast recipe.  Kelly was the big winner and she received a $500 gift card to any Supervalu store.  Congrats Kelly, your dish was fantastic!!  Make sure to check out all of the submissions in the showdown…there are some great recipes.

After breakfast, the planning committee kicked off the summit with some opening remarks and by thanking all of the great sponsors.  The list was very impressive: Wild Harvest, Reebok, Cherribuni, Drink Chia, Happy Family Brands, Energy BitsReebootizer and more!

Main Session Room


We then all broke into small groups of about 10 for some introduction icebreakers.  The facilitator for my group, Rachel Wilkerson, asked us a bunch of questions like “What is your favorite condiment?” (dijon mustard) and “What is something risky you would do if there were no consequences?” (skydiving).  While these types of exercises are not my favorite, if was fun to find out a little more about my fellow bloggers.

Everyone then headed down the hall to the CrossFit WOD (Workout of the Day) with Reebok.  I was bummed to not take part in this, but I still got these awesome headbands.

The WOD was led by CrossFit Games competitor Jared Davis and a team of coaches from around New England.  The room was packed and there wasn’t much room for most exercises, so the WOD consisted of a 5 minute AMRAP of 7 air squats and 15 jumps.  It was pretty basic, but I heard a few people saying they could hardly walk when they were leaving.  So I guess it was a good introduction to CrossFit…

CrossFit WOD

Jared Davis Cheering on the Group

We had a short break so everyone could freshen up and then the sessions began…yay!  The first session I attended was Blog Photog Basics with Gretchen Powell of Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen.  The title of the program was “Just Say No…to On-Camera Flash,” which I noticed after I took the photo below with a flash.  Duh…

I actually learned a TON at this session.  I’m a newbie photographer and never knew much about aperture, ISO, white balance, etc…  I have a DSLR, but I clearly haven’t been using it properly.  Gretchen shared some great tips on how to utilize natural light, what the best tripods are, and good editing software to use.  I even improved my photographs during the session!  Check it out:

Gretchen at the Beginning of the Program
All washed out…


Gretchen at the End of the Program
Much Better!

You can clearly see a big difference in these 2 photos.  I still have a long way to go to perfect my photos, but this was a huge help in leading me in the right direction.

The next session was the one I was looking forward to the most, Blogging with Brands.  This was a panel discussion led by Lauren of Say What You Need To Say and included 3 bloggers (Theodora, Ashley and Anne) and 3 brands (FitFluential, Dancing Deer Bakery and Porter Novelli) who discussed the various aspects of working with brands on your blog.  They answered the questions: “How do you make money?” “How do you get paid?” “How do you get free stuff?”  These are all things many of us are wondering.

Blogging with Brands Panel

Other great takeaways from this session were knowing the parameters of brand agreements, what brands are looking for in bloggers, and what to do if you don’t like the product.  It was great to hear the perspective from both the blogger side and the brand side, and what has and hasn’t worked for them in the past.  This session left me really excited about all of the opportunities out there and gave me the courage to ask for what I want.

And that brings us to lunch…super yummy lunch!  But I’m going to leave that for another day 🙂  Stay tuned for Part 3 on lunch, the afternoon sessions and wrap up!

RAD Reads and Weekly Review: August 19, 2012

This has been a week of big highs and serious lows for me.  What a roller coaster ride.  Early on I sustained a neck injury while doing kettlebell swings in my CrossFit class.  This (once again) put me on an exercise hiatus for the rest of the week.  I’ve been seeing a wonderful chiropractor all week and I’m starting to feel like normal again.  The week ended on an incredibly high note at the Healthy Living Summit where I met some amazing people and learned a great deal.  I can’t wait to share it with all of you!  

For the 2nd week in a row, runDisney had some BIG news!  The 20th Anniversary Walt Disney World Marathon Medal design was revealed, a slew of new celebrities were announced for WDW Marathon Weekend, and runDisney launched a brand new website that it so much easier to use and a much needed improvement.

Now on to some RAD Reads!

Running & Fitness Posts
Because I Can completed her first 20 mile run…congrats on killing it!!

Dr. Rachel Runs has some great ordinary food options to sustain you through long runs.  There are a few good options here for those following Paleo.

Meals & Moves features the amazing trasformation of Molly from A Fresh Start for Molly.  She’s lost over 50 pounds and her story is very inspiring!

Disney Posts
Sparkly Ever After pays tribute to Nolan, a member of this Disney community, who we sadly lost this week.  WDW Fan Zone also has touching Words of Remembrance from many other people in the community.  Nolan always remained positive even though he was constantly battling with his health and was an inspiration to all of us…he will be missed.

Disney Hipster Blog experience Disney customer service at it’s finest by receiving a HUGE funnel cake for free in Hollywood Studios.

Growing Up Disney goes over all of those WDW  scents we love and loathe.  Scents I love are popcorn and musty water, I can’t think of a smell I hate.

 The Disney Food Blog provides their picks for the best values for seminars and demonstrations at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival.  If you’re looking for more Food & Wine Festival info, check out my 2-part series (Part 1 and Part 2) on the healthiest options at all of the marketplace booths for 2012.

Weekly Review
As I mentioned, I’ve been resting for the majority of this week and to say that I’m frustrated is an understatement.  It seems that as soon as I get on a roll with exercise, something crazy in my brain tells me I’m invincible, which leads me to push myself past my limits, leading to injury.  You would think after two prior injuries this year, I would know better.  Nope…haven’t learned anything.  Once the pain stops, it’s like I block all prior issues out and once again think I’m Wonder Women.  This is the hardest thing for me to overcome.  Throw hill training at me, deadlifts, sprints, you name it and I’ll conquer it, but ask me to think logically about my limits and you might as well be speaking Chinese.

Here’s my week of training (or lack there of):

Sunday: Rest
Monday: CrossFit – 1 hour
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Rest
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Rest

Oh hey there Jared…

I think the worst part of being injured this week was having the Healthy Living Summit.  I was really looking forward to doing the Reebok sponsored CrossFit workout with Jared Davis, but that was now out of the question.  I was able to watch and still get some awesome CrossFit swag (wait until you see all the swag I got!), so that was definitely a positive.  I also knew that the 2 hour drive and then sitting all day in the various sessions was not going to be very comfortable, but it actually turned out not to be so bad.  There were a lot of breaks throughout the day and I was able to walk around a lot.

The best news of last week was that I lost 6 pounds from the prior week!  The workouts and clean eating I’ve been doing has really paid off.  On weekdays, I’ve been trying to avoid gluten, sugar and dairy and not only did I drop a few pounds, but I feel better overall.  I still allow myself small amounts of it on the weekends so I don’t feel deprived.  I don’t think I could ever completely cut out cheese!

I’m going to go speak to my CrossFit coach and see what my options are for continuing the program.  I’ve paid for this entire 12 class on ramp and I’ve already missed 2 classes.  I really want to continue doing this as it’s the only program I found that I actually enjoy.  My chiropractor isn’t too keen on my continuing, but I’m hoping there are modifications I can’t make to cause the least amount of stress to my body.  He actually said that he gets 2 new patients a week from CrossFit injuries…yikes!  Fingers crossed I can continue on!

For now I’ll leave you with this ridiculousness from the weekend.  Have a wonderful week!


CSA Saturday: Week 12

I just got home from the Healthy Living Summit and I feel completely rejuvenated, inspired and overall excited about all of the amazing things I learned this weekend.  I have so many new ideas that I can’t wait to put into place!  I will be posting recaps all week so stay tuned for that.

It was so fun to come home from a conference about healthy food and wellness to my weekly CSA basket!  I’m more energized than ever to make this wonderful produce into a healthy meal for Barry and I.  (BTW…thanks B for picking up the basket!)

Yellow Squash, Beet Greens, Tomatoes, Eggplant, Carrots & Corn

This week’s basket is the best of what the summer has to offer…pure, healthy, deliciousness!  Today we learned a wonderful Tomato Basil Soup recipe from Wild Harvest that had roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and fresh basil…that is definitely what is going to happen with these tomatoes.  Thank you Kim & Genie for all of your insight!

Since I have so much frozen corn from Corn Fest 2012, this will purely be eaten off the cob most likely next to a nice beet green salad with shredded carrots and goat cheese.  The eggplant…I’m not sure.  I’d like to do something creative with this.  Any ideas for the eggplant?  And then once again there is the dreaded squash that I can’t eat, but I will find a good home for it 🙂

Loving the basket this week and I can’t wait to dive in!  What would you do with this basket?

Healthy Living Summit #HLS12

This weekend I’m at the Healthy Living Summit in Boston.  The conference is for bloggers and blog readers who focus the various aspects of healthy living, including fitness, food and well-being.  If yesterday’s pre-conference was any indication on what is in store today, I can’t wait!!  I think I’m most looking forward to the session on Blogging with Brands with Kelly Olexa from FitFluential and longingly watching everyone do a CrossFit workout this morning with Reebok.

Click here to view the entire agenda for the day and make sure to follow #HLS12 on Twitter for updates throughout the day.  Now I have to go get ready for what I’m sure will be a healthy and yummy breakfast!  Full updates to follow later this week 🙂