Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD based out of Chicago and the Quaker sponsored speaker at the Healthy Living Summit. She is also the author of The Flexitarian Diet. I haven’t read her book (yet) but I was given a free copy while at HLS and especially after starting it last night, I’m so excited to finish it. Just in the introduction alone, I could already hear her speaking and the passion she has for this subject.
Her first talk was about using Action Mantras to keep you motivated and pushing through the tough stuff. It was really interesting and I love the idea of something so simple to bring about positive change in the way people live their lives.
Then her second talk was all about The Flexitarian Diet and how easy it is to make minor changes in the way we eat, but to live healthy. The basic idea is that you’re living a mostly vegetarian diet but still allowing yourself to have meat when you want it. This doesn’t mean that if you want it everyday, you have it everyday, but that you’re slowly beginning to replace meat in your meals with other forms of protein and umami, while living a mostly vegetarian diet (so you can get the benefits of the vegetarian lifestyle).
It was another great talk and she showed just how simple it can be to make this change. It’s about learning how to make simple swaps with your favorite recipes to make them vegetarian without losing the taste or adding a bunch of cheese.
And let me tell you, I am a firm believer that vegetarian does not mean a bunch of veggies topped with cheese! While I know cheese is delicious and semi-nutritious, it’s still fairly high in fat and I’m still lactose-intolerant.
Coming into it, I didn’t know what to expect from the keynote and I know a few people who considered skipping it but once all was said and done, we were SO happy! Dawn was inspiring, friendly and gave a really interesting presentation!
One thing that surprised be about this trip was having moments where I felt almost “star struck” seeing bloggers who I read about everyday suddenly in front of me. It was more than the social anxiety of all these strangers around me, but taking on the same mind-set, I knew if I didn’t step outside my comfort zone, introduce myself and have a short convo, I’d regret it. So I did it. I met Kath from Kath Eats Real Food.
I also met Julie from PB Fingers. I haven’t been reading Julie’s blog for nearly as long, so this was easier for me.
Both of them were the nicest, though I was definitely surprised how they were relatively quiet.
I told you I still owed you the recap from Sunday!
We started the morning by meeting the “Together Counts” team in the the lobby of the hotel and then we set out on a big group 5k walk/run. I had planned to try and run at least a bit but I wasn’t going to push myself too hard since I didn’t know how my lungs would welcome the sticky air.
|Good luck finding me...|
It was to my welcoming surprise, we pretty much just walked the whole thing. We made our way to the famous rocky steps, ran up, took some pictures and headed back. This is when some people decided to run back but I was afraid I may not keep up with them and end up getting lost so I kept walking. Plus I had just made a new friend and wanted to keep chatting.
When we got back to the hotel, the Quaker Oatmeal bar breakfast was waiting for us and we dug in!
Overall an amazing weekend that I wish was longer and the crazy person inside of me would LOVE to help plan next year’s event!
|Did I mention I left with more luggage than I came with?|