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.
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!
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.
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!
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…
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.
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!
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…