[tweetmeme source=”elizabethev” only_single=false]Thanks to the giant purple bag of swag and this weekend’s fantastic presenters, I walked (or flew) away from the Healthy Living Summit with plenty of food for… um… eating, and even more food for thought. I’d love to pass along a few takeaways, and invite you to share your own thoughts in the comment section.
But first, Clark needs to give his stamp of approval.
The first session I attended on Saturday was called Budgeting for a Healthy Lifestyle, and was presented by Lauren of Say What You Need to Say. Lauren’s background in financial literacy, as well has her poised and confident speaking style made for a really great presentation. While much of the information she conveyed was “common sense,” it is often exactly that kind of information that could use reinforcing. A few points that I thought were especially helpful:
- Pay yourself first. Saving should be a (if not, the) priority.
- When tracking spending, use the method that works best for you– and that you can sustain.
- Lauren shared a Bureau of Labor Statistics graph from March 2009, illustrating the rising cost of healthy, whole foods. Her suggestions for making healthy living more affordable: pre-plan meals, shop with a list, use coupons, buy in-season and limit eating out.
- Determine what is important to you in terms of buying organic, or higher priced items. For example, you might follow the dirty dozen rule, but buy conventional produce for those items not on the list. Lauren said that she buys organic, if she plans to eat the peel. Makes sense to me.
- Stock up on in-season items and freeze what you don’t consume.
- Check the unit price, the price per ounce, and look beyond products on eye-level shelves (this is easy, if you’re a shorty like me).
- Be aware of how you store food to ensure they last (ex. keep eggs in their cartons, place milk at the back of the fridge, and separate fruits and vegetables).
- Shop around for gym memberships.
After Lauren’s presentation, Ali, Bridget and I took a quick break to get some fresh air and a peek at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market. Like most hotel conference areas, the AC was on full blast at the Marriott, so it was nice to soak up some warmth and vitamin D (responsibly, obvi). We returned just in time for the Rising Above Negativity session, presented by Brittany of Eating Bird Food, Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers, Courtney of Sweet Tooth Sweet Life and Heather of Then Heather Said. Though there is rarely much negativity On Tap (besides my own occasional grouching), it was interesting to hear the perspective of each presenter.
Heather had an especially great piece of advice with regard to leaving comments on others blogs. I think her guidance rings true in any scenario, and really resonated with me. Before you say something, she said, ask yourself these questions:
Is it kind? Is it true? Is it necessary?
–Heather, Then Heather Said
After a great lunch featuring vegetarian sandwiches on Great Harvest breads, mesclun salad and a quinoa chickpea salad that I have been dreaming about ever since, it was time for our Quaker Oats keynote featuring Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, CSSD, author of The Flexitarian Diet. Dawn’s presentation on R.A.W. Blogging (Realistic & Achievable Wellness) was a conference highlight for me. Though I have been a life-long vegetarian, I know that eating a meat-free diet is not practical (or attractive) for everyone. I have a feeling her book might help me with cook more creative meals that both Nick and I will, can and want to eat. I really like her “pro-plants, not anti-meat” approach, as well as her fresh, relate-able style. A few interesting facts from the keynote:
- In 2003, “flexitarian” was recognized as the most useful word in the English language (and here I thought that word would be no… maybe it had to be a new word?)
- A flexitarian is different from a carnivore, because he or she intentionally minimizes their meat intake, and wakes up with the intention to be “more vegetarian”
- Becoming a flexitarian is as simple as re-portioning your plate (increase the percentage of plant-based food), reinventing old favorites, and refreshing your recipe repertoire. Clearly this woman knows her way around an alliteration.
- Bean math! If you’re making a recipe swap, 1 ounce of meat = 1/4 cup of beans.
- Pairing an un-liked flavor with a liked flavor will increase the likelihood that you will develop an acceptance and enjoyment of the un-liked flavor; this is called Flavor-Flavor Learning (and should be endorsed by Flava Flav).
- Similarly, bitter vegetables can be made more enjoyable by cooking, adding sweetness, or adding fat; this is called the De-Bitter Technique, or the “coffee principal.” Dawn cited examples such as roasting vegetables, mixing greens with sweet potatoes (sweet, starch), and using sweet and sour sauce with stir fry vegetables (to add fat).
- Vegetables can also be brightened (without adding salt) by using acids such as vinegar, citrus or yogurt. Dawn’s example pairings included hummus and lemon juice and lentil soup topped with Greek yogurt.
I have pages and pages of notes from this presentation (including her starter grocery list and “10 ways to flex today”), but this post is already reaching Faulkner status. In the afternoon, I attended two more sessions: Blogger Safety with Monica of Run Eat Repeat and Monetizing Your Blog (Without Selling Out) with social media guru Katy Widrick.
- I just saw that Monica posted slides from her presentation, and that she is planning a webinar on the same topic. Both would definitely be worth checking out, if you are interested.
- If you’re looking to up your social media game, Katy is most definitely your lady. I highly recommend spending hours on her site.
While I definitely learned a lot during each session, the best parts of the Summit happened out of the conference rooms. I really enjoyed picking up the pace during my morning runs, exploring new turf, and laughing really, really hard. Looking for a giggle yourself? Here’s a gem from the blooper reel:
I’m quite proud of myself for taking advantage of the opportunities that I found exciting, while still making sure (to borrow a slide from the Rising Above Negativity presenters, and a quote from our beloved DJ Pauly D), I did me. Pickles, Prosecco, Rocky steps and all. Many thanks to Meghann, this weekend’s speakers, and everyone who made the Healthy Living Summit such a successful weekend.
Also On Tap for Today:
- Playoff soccer game
- My attempt at recreating (and revamping, a bit) Saturday’s quinoa and chickpea salad worked!
- Holy 10,000 magazines in my mailbox