Healthy Living Summit 2009 recap

Wow, this weekend really got away from me but it was a lot of fun! 😀 I know many of you have seen numerous recaps of the Summit all over the blogland so I tried to keep it short and sweet … and it looks like I failed miserably 😆 .

FRIDAY NIGHT

The Summit festivities began on a Friday night at a cocktail party at Rustic Kitchen in the Theater District of Boston. We had a little side room/bar area reserved for the party, and it was packed with gorgeous ladies and lots of food 😉

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I immediately grabbed 1 of the arancinis.

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Cheesy creamy goodness! Yum :) Next up a glass of riesling was purchased and I got to chatting. I was SO excited to finally meet all the bloggers I’ve “known” for over a year now. Here are the beautiful Heather and Chandra

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… and Caitlin!

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I swear I took a picture with Meghann as well but apparently my camera ate it 😳 Meghann looked stunning in her new dress and I may have to go out and buy the same one. Loved it! All the ladies were so incredibly sweet, and genuinely excited to be there (despite apparently getting very little sleep the night before) and I could not be happier at how welcome I felt. I’m going to be honest: I was afraid they would have no idea who I was and would not have time for me. Nope. They were wonderful. Yay :)

I grabbed a real plate of food and a glass of riesling to start.

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On the plate: beef tenderloin bresaola, wild mushroom and goat cheese bruschetta, margherita pizza and another arancini. I didn’t really care for the beef bresaola so I only had a bite of it, but the rest of the apps were amazing! I probably had another arancini at some point during the night and oh I don’t know probably another 2-3 slices of pizza 😀

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More gorgeous beaus, my Boston girls – Shannon, Tina, Lauren and I:

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And a white sangria appeared in my hand at some point. How did it get there? 😉 It was awesome – fruity and delicious! 😀

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I didn’t take enough pictures but I met so many new bloggers and readers and had a wonderful time at the party. Somehow I was one of the last ones to leave and joined Chandra and a few other bloggers for some after party drinks. We ended up in a completely random bar (very divey and not very exciting) so this (purposely blurry) picture says it all. Guess what I had? (clue here) 😉

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SATURDAY

Despite only 4 hours of sleep, somehow I made it to the Summit in time for breakfast. I loaded up on all sorts of goods: sesame bagel with light cream cheese, oikos yogurt with mixmygranola, cantalope and a large coffee.

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We got a huge bag of free goodies and I could not wait to dig in. I was like a little bit like a kid on Christmas morning impatiently waiting to unwrap all the gifts. Oh this was definitely worth the wait! 😀

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I cannot wait to try every single one of these products (I’ll provide reviews of them as I try them). The first thing I’m excited to sink my “teeth” into is the Body + Soul magazine. I’ve been really tempted to buy new magazines but was fighting the urge to do so until I actually prescribe to them after we move. Yay for new reading material!

Then the real conference began. Did you watch it live online? Lara sent me a note saying she spotted me in the crowd. So funny 😆 During the morning sesh there was a bingo game, a presentation by an RD about healthy eating and by Zesty about blogging + a fun Q&A segment. The presentations were interesting and informative and I was impressed with how well spoken all the girls were. I would have died up there on that stage. Public speaking is my biggest fear! Then we broke out for lunch.

I piled up just about everything they had on my sandwich: turkey, tomatoes, roasted peppers and fresh mozzarella + mustard and pesto on whole wheat bread + a pickle

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Lots of fruit + pine nuts for dessert. How healthy! Yeah, I searched for chocolate, it was no where to be found 😆

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Mid afternoon snacks: Kashi trail mix bar (stolen from the breakfast bar)

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+ Peeled dried mango from the goodie bag (just organic mangos, that’s it!). The mango was so sweet. I absolutely loved it! Looks like they sell Peeled snacks at the Whole Foods we shop at. There will be more dried mango in my future, for sure! I love discovering new healthy + delicious products 😀

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My favorite presentation of the day was by Regina Beidler, an organic dairy farmer (her family sells their milk to Stonyfield). Regina was so passionate about what her family does, was obviously incredibly knowledgeable about organics and the high standards the farmers have to adhere to in order to be able to certify their products organic (I trust the organic stamp even more now after hearing what goes into this) and was just so sweet and real. Regina called her family’s cows their “girls” – how cute is that? My drive to support local and organic farmers was strengthened even further after this presentation. I think our world would be a better place if every farmer was even half as carrying about the environment and passionate about the food they produce!

The green beauty basics presentation was also informative, although admittedly it was hard to retain a lot of the details. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies. We absorb everything we put on our skin through it, so it’s important to do research and use products that will not be harmful to our health.
  • The USDA tests ingredients in cosmetics individually and in small doses. The problem is that it is the combination of certain ingredients and overtime accumulation of them that may be harmful.
  • Websites such as Skin Deep and the Good Guide iphone app are good sources for figuring out what products (or ingredients) may be linked to cancer or other diseases. Put as much care into researching your skin/hair products as you would into the food you may consume!

I think many of us have not prioritized this in our lives (based on comments on this post since I only got 1 product recommendation). I think it may be time. I am not going to get rid of my current products for monetary reasons (that stuff ain’t cheap 😉 ) but I will definitely replace them with greener/safer alternatives as I use them up. What about you – do you stick to your true and tested beauty products, are you interested in greener alternatives, or would you rather buy the latest “hot” product?

So much food for thought here :) I was unable to attend the rest of the extracurricular activities (damn packing) but was so happy I was able to attend at least the main event. The Summit was both informative AND fun! The 6 girls did an amazing job organizing such a wonderful event. I hope there is another one next year!

Just for fun, I’m ending this post with my version of the Where is Waldo game – can you find me in this pic? :mrgreen:

Summit Group Photo

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