Hi, everyone! Sorry I’m a bit behind on my HLS12 recaps, but I am currently on an East Coast road trip (more about that in a few days!) and not always near a computer or Internet.
Still, I want to make sure I give you a recap of the Healthy Living Summit while it is fresh in my brain. Day 2 was primarily for blog workshop sessions and workouts. As you may remember, I had created an agenda for myself for the Healthy Living Summit including both the workouts and sessions I was planning to attend. As great as plans are in theory, sometimes they need to be broken (or at least tweaked a bit).
After the cocktail party on Friday night I took a cab home with every intention of getting in the bed and getting up early to run. At that point I had pretty much already determined I wasn’t going to make it to the Hyatt by 5:45 to do the group run, but I had hoped to run nonetheless. What actually happened though was that I was up for several more hours recapping my day with Joe and then writing a blog post. I just couldn’t sleep because of all the excitement. Once I was finally tired I tried the Rebootizer supplement we got in our swag bags to see how it might make me feel the next day after minimal sleep on top of food and drink indulgences.
When I woke up on Saturday, I knew I had missed the boat on a morning workout, but I was feeling pretty darn good (oh hey, Rebootizer! Where were you when I was in college?). Missing the workout wasn’t the end of the world because there were other workouts planned into the day and I needed the sleep. I walked to the Hyatt and made my way to the Presidential Ballroom where I was quickly surrounded by all of the amazing bloggers at breakfast.
Kelly won the Wild Harvest Breakfast Showdown that several of the bloggers entered a few months ago with her Greek Inspired Egg Scramble, which was served at breakfast. You guys, this thing was fantastic! In addition to Kelly’s recipe, there was an asparagus and ham hash, maple turkey sausage, banana nut muffins, pomegranate parfait, and fruit.
You can’t tell me that doesn’t look delicious (and trust me, it was)!
After breakfast and some quick opening remarks, we broke into groups for introduction ice breakers. I’m normally not a fan of this kind of thing, but with so many people to meet and remember, this was a fun way to learn something other than where people blog and how long they’ve been blogging (important information, but not all there is to a person).
You know I have been doing CrossFit for a couple of weeks now so I was both excited and curious about how so many people of varying experience with CrossFit were all going to work out in a small space.
Reebok did a fantastic job of talking about the theory behind CrossFit and then teaching everyone how to do a proper air squat. The space was definitely limited, but we made it work. The WOD was a 5-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 11 air squats and 15 “jumps”. Jumps aren’t exactly a CrossFit move, but it was a good way to increase heart rate in such a limited space. I love a good squat and, despite the somewhat cramped space, had a blast! I could definitely feel it in my legs by the end of the five minutes.
Once we were all sufficiently pumped up from our CrossFit workout, we were let loose for a short break before the sessions began. I took the opportunity to check out some of the sponsor booths. Two of these were Drink Chia and Sneaky Pete’s.
I tried the strawberry flavored Drink Chia and loved it! I have been trying to find a good way to get chia seeds into my diet and I think this could be a really terrific (and delicious) way to do it. I’m still experimenting and think I’ll probably also start adding more chia seeds to my food, but I will definitely be buying some of this soon. I got a bottle of mango flavored Sneaky Pete’s in my swag bag and tried it on Friday. I may have mentioned before that I am not a huge fan of mango. I can eat fresh mango, but mango in any other form disgusts me. This was no exception, but it wasn’t the fault of the drink itself. On Saturday I tried the peach flavor and really liked it, plus it is relatively low calorie and has oat fiber. Win win.
I also had a chance to stop by the booth for Energy Bits, which is a spirulina algae based supplement that provides a large amount of protein for minimal calories (each tablet is 64% protein for just one calorie with a serving size of 30 tablets). Even though you swallow them with water (don’t make the mistake I did of chewing, they stick to your teeth like you wouldn’t believe), they are bits of food, rather than a pill. After I swallowed them it felt like they were expanding in my stomach or something because I wasn’t hungry at all for a few hours (which is what the representatives told me would be the case). It was hard to tell if they gave me extra energy because there were so many other products to try, but they didn’t make me feel sick or jittery. According to the representatives, you can take them just 5 minutes before a workout (like a long run) and they won’t be harsh on digestion like some other products can be. He mentioned taking them mid-run, but I’m not sure I’m coordinated enough to swallow tablets while I’m running. Still, they might be a good way to get protein and energy pre- or post-run.
By far my favorite product at the Healthy Living Summit was cheribundi tart cherry juice. I’m kicking myself for not getting a picture of the display or the bottles, but I was too busy trying them out. I got a chocolate cheribundi in my swag bag, which apparently wasn’t supposed to happen (I guess most people got the original flavor), so the representative gave me a bottle of the original to try and a taste of the ginger. If you have never tried tart cherry juice, you’re missing out. Not only is it absolutely delicious, tart cherries have more powerful phytonutrients than other super foods. They help you recover from exercise more quickly and help you sleep better by increasing the natural production of melatonin. Every bottle of cheribundi has the equivalent of 50 cherries! I am sold! The chocolate flavor is a great little indulgence, the original is perfect as a post-workout snack, and the ginger is ultra refreshing.
After scoping out the sponsors, it was time for the first session. I stuck to my agenda for this one and attended “Just Say No to On-Camera Flash” the blog photog session led by Gretchen.
Even though I just have a point and shoot camera, Gretchen taught me a ton! I took pages of notes (and was very thankful I brought my computer), and took some photos to remind myself what she was talking about. Not only did she emphasize not using the on-camera flash (which washes out photos), she showed us how to increase our ISO to allow more light into the photos naturally.
She also taught us about White Balance, aperture, different types of tripods for stability, and different editing software. I will definitely be investing in a DSLR eventually, but for the time being the information she gave us will hopefully help make my point and shoot photos a bit better.
The next session on my agenda was Blog Design Boot Camp, but I changed my mind at the last minute and went to Blogging with Brands. While I am certain that I would have gotten a great deal out of the design workshop, working with companies and brands is something I haven’t really looked into a great deal and about which I needed as much information as I could get.
The panelists spoke about not selling yourself short, choosing target brands, staying true to your voice (I love that authenticity to readers was the big takeaway of the weekend).
After the brand panel is was time for lunch. Talk about delicious! Lentil stew, chicken, salad, and naan. Yum!
I also had a chance to catch up with Derek about college and Greatist while we were at lunch.
After lunch was the HLS keynote on recipe development by Wild Harvest. This is another session where I learned a ton. Prior to learning about recipe development in particular, there were some interesting statistics about food and our relationship with it. This hleped to emphasize the way we need to communicate to our readers to help them make healthy choices (including using simple language and explaining information about nutrients where applicable). The big points about recipe development were about learning to layer flavors and how to make a recipe unique (because recipes are creative material and protected by copyright).
In order to use another recipe for inspiration for your own or to post another recipe, it must fit 3 major criteria:
- Be unique from the original
- Have at least 3 significant changes
- Get permission/rights to the recipe
A significant change doesn’t mean using arugula rather than spinach in a salad, but means a change in preparation method (baking rather than frying), completely removing or adding an ingredient, and making modifications or substitutions (such as making a healthier dressing for a salad). Great info!
With already learning so much, I was very excited for the newbie Q&A. It was pretty informal, which was super helpful. One of the most helpful points was about using Windows Live Writer, which has honestly already changed my blog life. On a more personal note, however, was a point that several panelists made (and that many other people made over the course of the weekend) to not blog for the sake of blogging and to blog around you schedule, rather than scheduling your life around the blog. This advice really hit home for me because of how busy I know I’ll be once I start my fall classes, internship, and get back to my part-time job. I was a bit worried about what this would mean for the blog, but I am confident I can blog on at least somewhat of a regular schedule, albeit a bit less frequent.
After the Newbie session, I had planned to do the Drink Chia workout, but when I walked out into the hallway, there was a spread of Cabot cheese, bread products, and Driscoll’s berries waiting!
Needless to say, I never made it to the workout. Instead I munched on cheese and berries until time for the final session of the day about blog ethics, which also provided a lot of helpful information and food for thought. The closing remarks for the day included a few giveaways, but of course I didn’t win (I think my luck ran out when I was a kid). Regardless it was a lot of fun to see my new friends win various prizes!
After the day wrapped up, several of us were still due to attend an Ultimate Bootcamp session. You all know how I feel about Ultimate Bootcamp (if you’re new to the blog, I LOVE it!) so I was very excited. I had unintentionally worn my Ultimate Bootcamp shirt that day because it just happens to be one of my go-to workout shirts (Freudian slip, maybe?) so I definitely looked like a groupie. There are worse things to be than a fitness groupie though.
Let me just say that the workout was tough. Kim, our trainer, put us through a full 60 minutes of intense pushups, shuffles, resistance band training, Spider Man crawls, bear crawls, and running. Even though I had previously done a 4-week session, I was worn out after (and felt like I was barely making it throughout). I highly recommend Ultimate Bootcamp to anyone in the Boston or Providence area and I will hopefully be starting a new 4-week session in the near future, so keep an eye out!
Afterward I couldn’t even consider going out to dinner for a bit, so I started the walk home. On the way I snapped a few pictures of Boston, just for kicks.
I may be local, but Boston is still beautiful!
And with that, Day 2 had come to an end (all too soon). Stay tuned for my much briefer recap of Day 3 as well as updates about our ongoing road trip!