FNCE 2015 Conference Recap

Wow – what a whirlwind the past week has been! I’m home in DC now and wanted to share a recap of what I’ve been up to – from Friday to Tuesday, I was in Nashville, TN for FNCE, the massive annual Registered Dietitian conference. Nearly 10,000 dietitians from across the country attend, and it’s quite the event – 4 days of speakers and educational sessions, an enormous sponsor expo, and (for those of us in the media world) cocktail receptions and dinners with PR firms and brands. It’s nonstop go-go-go from the second you land.

fnce 2015 nashville

This was my third year attending FNCE, and I was especially excited for this year because it was my first time speaking!

FNCE 2015 mastering your domain presentation

I was honored to present on Tuesday morning with Regan Jones, moderated by our colleague Danielle Omar. Our session was entitled “Mastering Your Domain: Using Technology to Grow Your Business Online.” Regan spoke about using and understanding Google Analytics data as a way to grow website/blog stats and focus promotional efforts, and I spoke about implementing and understanding SEO (search engine optimization), also as a way to drive more traffic (via search) to blogs/websites. From the feedback so far on Twitter and Instagram, it seems many of those in attendance found the session both helpful and interesting, which is good news. :)

FNCE 2015 mastering your domain

For those who are interested in what we talked about and weren’t able to be there, good news – it was apparently recorded and will be available online for download! Here is the link to download the session once it’s available (although FYI that I think there is a fee to download the sessions once they are up).

I attended a number of conference sessions while at FNCE, but my favorite (besides ours, obviously) was one on Health at Every Size and Motivational Interviewing (<—link to download it when it’s ready). It was wonderful – touched on a lot of the Intuitive Eating approaches that I use in my AnneTheRD practice.

And now, here are some of the other highlights from the long weekend. A couple disclosures: as a speaker, I received a speaking fee and some of my travel costs were reimbursed. I also attended the conference as “media,” as I have in the past, which meant my conference registration fee was waived in exchange for this follow up post. (If you’re interested in attending FNCE as media, check out their media page to get more information for next year! To get approved to attend as press, you need to be either a) a writer on assignment, or b) a blogger that gets at least 20,000 unique visitors per month.)

Networking with Brands at the Expo

One of the fun things about FNCE is that there is a really large expo where brands pay to exhibit, meet dietitians in attendance, and share samples and product information. While not all the brands in attendance are those I would support, I was happy to see many of my favorites were also in the mix.

fnce sponsor expo 2015

Some of the highlights, as pictured above:

  • Saying hi to my Organic Valley friends – including a farmer whose farm I visited back in 2010 on a press trip – and enjoying some Organic Fuel & Balance protein shakes.
  • Eating cheesy almonds (I believe this is the recipe –> Parmesan Herb Almonds) at the CA almonds booth
  • Sampling fresh strawberries from my CA strawberry friends
  • Popping in to say hello to the Wild Blueberry crew (and sampling some wild blueberries, of course!)
  • Trying energy balls made with cooked red lentils at the US Dry Pea & Lentil council booth – and even a green smoothie with red lentils blended in at the Canadian Lentil booth (genius ideas – you couldn’t taste the lentils in either case – totally going to recreate these at home!)
  • Noshing on a CA Walnut quinoa yogurt parfait
  • And much more that went unphotographed, like enjoying avocado with the Hass Avocado crew, eating hummus with Sabra, etc!

Press Events and Brand Sponsored Dinners

One of the really cool things about attending FNCE as a dietitian that works in media/blogging is getting invited to attend cocktail receptions and dinners hosted by PR firms and brands. Here are some of the fun events I was lucky enough to attend!

  • Daisy Cottage Cheese (love their cottage cheese because of the simple ingredient list – see also: My Favorite Breakfast) hosted a lunch event at a delicious and funky restaurant called Little Octopus. We enjoyed a photography skills and food styling class followed by a cottage cheese inspired lunch! I especially loved their watermelon with cottage cheese and cardamom (such a unique combo), and the savory salad with roasted grapes, fermented chili, tomatillo ver jus, and golden raisins. I want to try to make more savory cottage cheese dishes at home – never think to do that!

little octopus nashville lunch

  • The Mushroom Council hosted an amazing dinner at Chauhan Ale & Masala House. I was really impressed with this restaurant and their creativity with the mushrooms! To start, we enjoyed mushroom cilantro margaritas (no, seriously – they had mushroom powder in them, which you couldn’t taste at all, but which added an awesome Vitamin D punch) and sliders with mushrooms blended in to the meat (that’s one of my favorite tricks too). The dinner was hard to photograph due to dim lighting, sadly, so instead I will share a picture of the menu! The starter farro salad rocked my world, and I’m totally inspired to cook more often with mushrooms now. They are nutrition powerhouses!

mushroom cocktail recipe


strawberry almond recipes

  • My Kura protein powder friends (remember them from my Lemon Ginger Berry Smoothie recipe?) hosted a breakfast at a cool spot called Events @ 1418. In addition to the usual eggs and potatoes, we also sampled some amazing smoothies made using their protein powder. I still think it’s the best tasting protein powder I’ve found! Their “snickers smoothie” (almond milk + frozen banana + dates + PB + 1 scoop chocolate Kura + crushed peanuts and dark chocolate on top) was a big winner. But my #1 fave was an unpictured green smoothie (coconut water + kale + pear + apple + avocado + vanilla Kura).

healthy snickers smoothie

Connecting with Dietitian Friends

One of the best things about FNCE every year is of course connecting with fellow dietitians! It was so fun having many of my friends and colleagues in one place, and I love being surrounded by people who really “get it” in terms of what I do for work, since so many of my dietitian buddies are also doing a combo of blogging and private practice. I didn’t do a great job at getting photos because I was too busy chatting, but here are a couple fun ones. :)

best registered dietitian bloggers

Above with (from left) Min, Alex, Carlene, Meme, Kara, and Heather 

registered dietitians who blog

Above with Meme, Rachael, Min, and Regan

I also loved getting time to catch up with my good friend Heather, who was my roommate for the weekend. Heather recently started working as Head of Nutrition at Spright, a cool new health/wellness online community, and hosted an early breakfast on their behalf at the Frothy Monkey one morning.

breakfast frothy monkey nashville

We snuck in a short run/walk afterwards. :) It felt good to get some fresh air and sunshine!

running in downtown nashville

Nice to see a little more of the city, too! Photo below courtesy of Heather, lol.

nashville downtown running

I was also super excited to finally meet Robyn, who I’ve chatted with online for awhile now but had never met until this weekend. I love her blog – she writes a lot about intuitive eating, mindfulness, and self care. We met up for an afternoon walking break one of the days in between sessions/events and ended up spending 2 hours talking nonstop. Love her!

nashville pedestrian bridge walk

I will end this long post with one final Nashville restaurant recommendation: try the tacos at Bakersfield. I treated my former intern Jackie (who is now a paid contractor working for me a couple hours a week) to lunch there on Sunday and the food was awesome. Great salads, too – I didn’t get a picture but we shared a great cumin-tastic arugula salad to start.

bakersfield tacos nashville

Whew. What a FUN and action packed weekend. As you can imagine, I am pretty exhausted now (and quite behind on emails) – but it was definitely worth it. I’m looking forward to next year already!


  1. 1

    How fun! I would love to go to the mushroom council event! I’m mushroom obsessed!

  2. 2

    What a great recap! Yes, your session with Regan yesterday was great and packed with information. Although I am still VERY new to blogging, I know I can use some of the tips within the next month, specifically regarding SEO. Was hoping to say hi real quick after your session but I had to get packing and head home! :-)

  3. 4

    Looks like it was a great trip! I love Bakersfield- they have one in Charlotte and somehow I have only been once! Their tacos and jalapeño margaritas are to die for.

  4. 5

    Oh man, Bakersfield tacos are incredible! Also, their guacamole is out-of-this-world fantastic!

  5. 7

    Looks like you had a blast! Those tacos do look awesome! Agreed!

  6. 8

    Ditto on Daisy. Their cottage cheese and sour cream (full fat varieties) have no weird ingredients and taste double dog delicious! And, they aren’t outrageously expensive either. Bonus.

  7. 9

    Great recap Anne! Definitely checking out your presentation once it’s available. So excited that it will be in Boston next year so I can finally go!

  8. 10

    Woohoo!! Great job, speaker! :D

  9. 11
    Roadrunner says

    What a neat gathering! Impressively done, Anne!

  10. 12

    I live in Columbus, OH, and there is a Bakersfield across the street from me! It actually started in Cincinnati and is expanding. I love their tacos too!

    Congrats on speaking! Sounds like a great conference.

  11. 13

    Great recap and so fun to see you at FNCE. Wish we had more time to connect!

  12. 15

    I am in total FNCE withdrawal! This was such a great recap and I loved getting to relive some of the awesome memories by reading this post! The spright & kura breakfasts were two of my favorite events. Too bad every morning can’t start with friends and amazing food :)

  13. 17

    I love FNCE! I haven’t been able to attend in a few years (my babies have always been too small to leave around FNCE time) but it was always such fun!

    Your pictures are great!

  14. 18

    Hah, I was hoping you’d be pleasantly surprised by my random photo shoot ;) The weekend went by too quickly! Good thing I get you back in SF so soon.

  15. 20

    Loved meeting you too girly! Hopefully it won’t be until the next FNCE that we reconnect in real life! In the meantime, online will do :) Hope you had a restful weekend! xoxo


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