The Healthy Living Summit was incredible!
I met a lot of amazing people, learned a lot about the blog world and realized that I have A LOT more to learn than I ever imagined.
I anticipate big blog changes in the very near future to keep up with all the very beautiful and unique blog designs I discovered over the weekend.
Until I actually figure out how to make those changes, I will press on with my plain ol’ wordpress hosted site.
Ok, enough with the technological jargon and on to the fun stuff!
The Summit began with a very cool cocktail party at Reading Terminal Market.
The market after hours was the perfect spot to try some new cocktails, eat trendy appetizers, and meet and greet fellow blogging friends.
The only drawbacks to the spread were the very, very miniature plates.
But I still managed to fill mine to the brim. Twice.
I also enjoyed a cocktail made from chia seeds that was fruity but not to sweet and had the added bonus of healthy Omega 3′s.
Never heard of Chia?
Well, surely you remember Chia Pets?
Those very seeds are the one and the same that offer scads of health benefits beyond having a grassy likeness of Garfield in your kitchen window.
Like a true party animal, I was exhausted by 10 PM and headed back to the hotel to dive into bed and enjoy a little Four Weddings on TLC at the recommendation of the Canadians.
Unbeknownst to me, the rest of the blogosphere was waking up at 5AM to run a quick 14 miles before the days events.
Um, I relished my crisp hotel linens until about two seconds before breakfast. I figured I was being pro-actively healthy by ensuring I got plenty of sleep. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself. Good thing I was all rested up, though, because breakfast was awesome and there were lots of cool sponsors and goodies to check out.
Attune foods sponsored the breakfast and they put out an amazing spread that included fresh fruit, yogurt, and a variety of Uncle Sam cereals.
I kept things light with some greek yogurt and fruit + coffee.
Oh, attune. How I love you. Is this not the cutest spoon and napkin place setting ever?
Breakfast really is my happy hour.
Except when it’s followed by work. That significantly lessens the joy of the experience.
In the morning, I attended a great workshop about recipe development.
Hopefully all of the cool tips I got will translate into recipes that will be clearer and easier for you to recreate! I also attended a panel on how to handle negative comments, which, um, isn’t a problem for me since I’m pretty sure that my loyal fan base (my mom) won’t be writing any hostile and slanderous content in the comment section any time soon.
Even though I was still riding the happy wave from breakfast, I was pretty excited about lunch which included the freshest, heartiest bread on the planet.
As in, the grain for this bread was ground yesterday and baked that morning.
I’m not normally a bread or even sandwich person, but I think Great Harvest has converted me. They use simple ingredients without long lists of chemicals, additives, or conditioners and did I mention it’s the best bread I’ve ever had? There may be spontaneous weekend trips to Philly just to grab a few loaves of this satisfying sandwich maker.
Lunch also included a salad bar with crisp lettuce, big, bright cherry tomatoes, and crunchy cucumbers.
In preparation for the Summit, I prepared a big batch of Sunbutter Crunch Balls to share with all my new blogger friends and they turned out to be a big hit!
I also brought Kath a bottle of Dogfish Head Midas Touch since she often blogs about her love of craft brews.
She immediately put it on ice (the water carafe) and had a tasting right at the table!
Photo courtesy: Kath
Photo courtesy: Kath
After lunch, we learned about the Flexitarian Diet and the power of action mantras.
My mantra: Be light. Be strong. Feel Power.
It gets me through a tough run and also won me a copy of the Flexitarian Diet Book. I donated the book to one of the Canadians who happens to be a registered dietician. Apparently they do eat more than maple syrup in Canada.
Speaking of the Canadians, me and my roommates joined them for dinner at a rustic, little Italian joint called Osteria.
Hilary from HungryHealthyHilary scouted this place from an episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate. That’s a girl after my own heart.
My first impression?
This place was perfection.
Relaxed atmosphere, low lighting, tables made from distressed wood, fresh bread, and good wine.
I needed a little help from the waiter to decipher the menu, but I ultimately decided on the day’s special which consisted of a variety of grilled vegetables in a “special sauce.” It included ruby-red beets, corn, golden beets and green beans topped with spicy arugula and mixed greens. The special sauce was very light and fruity.
I especially appreciate that my vegetarian salad was served on a big pig shaped carving board. Fancy!
After dinner, we trekked it to Trader Joes’s where I picked up some honey apple butter, dark chocolate covered espresso beans, freeze-dried bananas and chocolate coconut water.
I was a little sad to say goodbye after the Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast on Sunday,
but felt better when I got home and looked at all of my free loot.
I don’t think I’ll have to go grocery shopping for a month!
But you know I will ‘cuz I love me some food shopping!