Hey guys! I’m back to share my recap from FNCE, the huge annual conference for Registered Dietitians around the country.
As in previous years, I attended the event as press, which meant I received free registration for the conference in exchange for writing about it. If you also have a blog or are a journalist and would like to attend FNCE as press in the future, here are the details! I paid for my flights/meals/accommodations on my own.
This was my fourth time attending FNCE and as always one of the best things about it was all the networking. I also loved the opportunity to see a bunch of my RD buddies! I booked a big Airbnb (<- affiliate link for $35 off if you want to try it) apartment for me and 5 of my dietitian friends: Kylie, Rachael, Alex, Robyn, and Alexis. I would definitely do this again in the future – it was great to have a whole apartment and to have some good quality time with a few of my faves. 🙂
My roommates and I (minus Alexis, who arrived Saturday) got into town on Friday night and went out to dinner at a spot called Row 34 near our place. (Not sure why Robyn’s cheeks are lit up in the photo below, btw – we were cracking up over that! We think it was maybe her shimmery blush picking up the flash from the camera?!)
We all shared some appetizers (calamari and deviled crab toast) and then I had the salmon with beets and farro for my entrée. Delicious!
On Saturday the conference madness began! I usually go to FNCE mostly for the networking events put on by PR firms and brands; they host dinners and cocktail receptions throughout the weekend for media/blogger dietitians like myself. This year my agenda was so jam packed with those events and meetings that I didn’t make it to any of the educational sessions. Bummer! There are a couple I am planning to read up on online after the fact since I wasn’t able to be there in person; I really wanted to go to the “Hidden Faces of Eating Disorders” talk and the “Orthorexia” talk but unfortunately I flew out on Monday afternoon and missed both of them.
Anyway – after some meetings during the day, on Saturday night, the first event on my agenda was a reception with Unilever recognizing their new 2016 Registered Dietitian Agents of Change! As you guys know, I’m proud to be recognized as one of their Agents of Change this year. This is the second year of the program, which recognizes dietitians that are making positive changes in the nutrition field, and like last year they highlighted their Agents of Change with a beautiful magazine handed out at FNCE. It includes profiles of all 11 Agents of Change for 2016!
Here’s my profile. 🙂 I’m really happy with how the write up came out!
It was great to meet everyone at the reception (it included both new and alumni Agents of Change, plus their guests), and I loved the Lipton cocktail they served, too! It was gin + Lipton tea syrup + fresh lemon. Delicious!
This was a great dinner – delicious and good company, too! I really enjoyed meeting the KIND team and catching up with RD friends like my buddy Julie. 🙂
On Sunday, I spent most of the day in the FNCE expo! In addition to educational sessions, FNCE also has a large expo hall where brands exhibit, sharing samples and providing information about their products. It’s always fun to see old favorites there, and to learn about cool new brands, too!
I had a bunch of meetings throughout the day and also attended a fun cooking demo lunch hosted by my friends at McCormick. The golden turmeric milk they demo-ed was so delicious – must recreate this at home! Also, I learned that black pepper will enhance the potency of turmeric, nutrition-wise – very cool! I see some black pepper/turmeric recipes in my future. 🙂 I also had fun catching up with my friend Kara at the event!
From there, we enjoyed some cocktails with the Avocado Board – this margarita actually had avocado and cilantro pureed into it – SO delicious!
Don’t worry, we did have some actual food on Sunday night – there were appetizers at all the parties and a big group of us walked to nearby Legal Harborside for dinner after the events for a proper meal. I forgot to snag a photo but I had a crab cake – yum!
Monday kicked off at 7 a.m. with a delicious breakfast courtesy of Kura (love their grass-fed protein powder (affiliate link) – great nutrient profile and actually tastes good) and co-hosted by my RD friend Carlene. We had smoothies and a fun egg and veggie scramble! I was kind of full from the night before still and mostly just thirsty so I was really excited about the smoothies. Hit the spot!
After breakfast, I headed back over to the expo to get ready for my big live recipe demo debut sponsored by Lipton! As part of my participation in this year’s Unilever Agents of Change program, I partnered with Lipton to develop a fun Mediterranean Green Tea Quinoa Salad recipe that I shared on the blog last week and then demo-ed live at their FNCE expo booth on Monday. 🙂
I was pretty nervous because I’ve never done a live recipe demo before, but once we got going it was a lot of fun and totally not scary at all. 🙂 People seemed really into the recipe – all 100 recipe print outs got taken, so that was a good sign it was a hit! Most of the people that came to see the demo hadn’t tried cooking with tea before, so I hope I inspired them to give it a shot. 🙂
As you know, the quinoa in the recipe is cooked with some Lipton Pure Green Tea bags in the pot with it, and there’s also brewed green tea in the salad dressing (olive oil + lemon juice + green tea in equal parts – try it for your next salad!). Attendees got to sample this dish paired with some Lipton® Cold Brew unsweetened iced tea – a personal fave of mine because it makes it easy to make your own iced black tea at home. Hydrating and delicious!
Thank you so much to those of you who came to see the demo – I loved meeting you and really appreciated the support and friendly faces! I hoped you enjoyed the recipe samples. 🙂
We had about an hour and a half before needing to leave for the airport – perfect opportunity to walk around! We grabbed lunch at Flour, then strolled a bit soaking up the sunshine before getting green juice and some snack balls from Squeeze Juice Bar. 🙂
Such an action packed weekend! As always, I left FNCE feeling completely exhausted but also inspired and wonderfully nourished by all the time spent with so many passionate, smart, and motivated fellow RDs. I miss them all already. Until next time, FNCE!