Now that I have made it home safely, And have a few free days workfree I can fully review my weekend, conference and non conference fun!
Day 1 started with an amazing run. I have to say that although I was told I would love Colorado, I never truly believed it until I got out there and pounded some pavement-er, trails.
Just two miles up the road, I hit a woody, trail. Suddenly I am in a forest and off the hard cement. Two miles later I am climbing a mountain, literally. It is so natural, it looks
synthetic. I have never been so close to nature. Being the least adventurous person of my friends and family, this Sounds incredibly unappealing. Yet, I am obsessed with what I had experienced. There were runners, bikers, and walkers everywhere with muscular, lean frames, smiling faces and gracious attitudes. No one passed me with out a wave and a smile. It wasn’t annoying either, it was….sincere.
After an hour of such purity, I got back to the hotel, showered and went to breakfast at the hotel’s restaurant JW’s. Usually, traveling is kinda stressful when you are allergic to such a common ingredient, yet still have to eat enough to be properly fueled and energized. But, the Boulder Marriott made it pretty easy for me. On the menu was an egg white fritata filled with fresh veggies, over top of grilled tomatoes, and topped with a mini oil free salsa. Delicious. I didn’t have to ask for anything special. Needless to say, this was my meal for the following morning as well.
Mom and I did a little shopping before the registration began at 12. Probably a mistake, but we did find a wonderful famers market just around the corner. We picked up some fruits and veggies for snacking and lunch.
Finally, it’s 12. I met Allen, who gave me this opportunity in the first place, grabbed my name tag, and started socializing with the sponsors of the Conference.
Instinctively, I walk to the table with the wine bottles. Apparently, not only does this group have a Fitness conference, but they have had many Wine Blogging Conferences as well. Talk about meant to be….I knew I liked these people. Zephyr Wine adventures are wine tours all over the world. The trip involves healthy activities for wine and fitness enthusiasts while getting the opportunity to explore various cultures. The coupon is a large picture of a wine bottle, that offers 100 dollars off a trip. The trips are pricey and if I was not a college student, I would not hesitate to book a trip. Someday
The table following this was two more obsessions of mine, dried fruit and Lara bars. Behind the table was Devon Metz, an RD and MS, handing out nutritious dehydrated apples and strawberries, Yumyumm as well as bite size Lara Bars. These bars are honestly my favorite gluten free energy bar for many reasons: the first is the simplicity and authenticity. There are four ingredients almost all flavors Peanutbutter and jelly being my fav which include two dried fruits, a nut/protein, and a natural flavor such as plain, untouched dark cocoa.
If I ever made a bar, that would be exactly it! No fake gluten, fillers, artificial anything, and most importantly, no wasted calories. The bar is simple and the body can do nothing, but digest and be properly nourished.
Next up was a table with something that is also simple, natural, and satisfying…Water. The company: CRT/tanaka. Mission: to communicate about health and bring Whatcanbe alive for health and wellness organizations. Basically they connect the products we use in our blogs to our blogs. The give away was brainstorming cards and what looked like a mini water filter? I will have to research this more online, and figure out a way to use this to my advantage.
The next table may have been the star of the weekend: Driscoll’s berries. Side by side were trays of beautiful blueberries,strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. The entire group of us Noshed on these through out the three days. Honestly, they were amazing. They were sweet in a natural and satisfying way and held their own as the perfect snack to keep the mind focused on the events of the weekend.
Next stop: a table of protein powder and fresh shakes. BigTrain is a company that has developed protein powders that when mixed with water, create shakes to refuel and repair muscles after a workout session. On display were their new line of no sugar added, low carb mixes. The mixes are not only shakes, but they are mock coffee treats you would find at a Starbucks. Let me just say, they were more than yummy and honestly could stand up to any signature frappe Starbucks can put out. Not a coffee drinker? Try their vanilla chai no sugar added tea, with the same concept as the coffee. All you have to do is add water. More simplicity.
The next table was one of my favorite giveaways, and surprisingly had nothing to do with food. DegreeWomen deodorant sponsored a lot of the Conference and thank God they did. They gave each participant a mini makeup bag with a mini sample of their newest deodorant … The MotionSense stick is activated not upon the release of moisture (that may be to late for some…cough cough) but the moment of movement. They are one step ahead of the body and you are freshly scented before the body has time to perspire. Talk about being prepared! I tried it out before my run the next morning, and may or may not have had the chance to shower before the conference started…oops… LUCKILY, the only thing I smelt was fresh scent of the deodorant. It works. It lasts. It’s a miracle in disguise. Everyone, go get some or learn more At their Facebook page here: Facebook.com/degreewomen
Last but certainly not least was the Chocoalte Milk Refuel station. A runners best friend is chocolate milk. If you are a runner and are not drinking chocolate milk, you are missing some serious recovery your body deserves and needs. Why? Chocolate milk contains the optimal ratio of carb to fat that the body needs after an hour or so of training, where muscles are being torn to rebuild into bigger ones and energy sources are being depleted and pushed to the limit. The protein in milk is an appropriate energy source to rebuild into lean muscle, ideal for runners. This company has optimized this research into a product that only enhances the frame of an athlete. In just one bottle, you are given carbs to fuel muscle, protein to build muscle, electrolytes to replenish what is lost in sweat, and fluids to rehydrate. All this, while maintaining the mot natural form it can. It is literally “nature’s recovery drink.”
After breezing through the tables, it was time to pay attention to the various speakers devoting their time to educate us on the proper ways to blog and discuss hot topics in nutrition and health. I learned so much at the conference and I cannot wait to start using the techniques I have learned here! changes soon to come.
After such an educational day, the entire group walked to Whole Foods on Pearl street, where we had a catered dinner waiting for us outside on the patio.
Recently, Whole Foods has formed a campaign called “Health Starts Here” and abbreviated HSH. This campaign is devoted to low fat, natural recipes and products families can have access to in attempts to literally start a healthy lifestyle made easy by Whole Foods. Each recipe is oil free, as well as free from processing and chemicals. Each recipe is nutritient dense without being energy dense, but also flavor dense haha and satisfying.
tray 1 : roasted sweet potatoes with lemon and rosemary. By now you all should know me well enough to know I was in love/obsessing/in heaven right now. It was amazing.
Tray 2: tofu spring rolls. Two things I never ever get to eat. Tofu-not something I eat regularly, because I can eat meat, and have no need for it. However, tofu is not just for vegetarians, it can stand on it’s own as a lean protein star of any meal, including this one. The tofu was sliced with various raw veggies and wrapped in bok choy. I think it was flavored with a little Terryaki/Miso sauce that the tofu just absorbed. Not once did I miss the meat or grain this type of dish usually contains.
Tray 3: A zucchini wrapped salad with lettuce and vegetables with a simple ginger dressing. It was perfect, light, and flavorful. On the down side, I would never be able to recreate this at home. I give the chef some serious plate designing props.
Tray 4: Tempe and polenta stacker. This was so popular by the time I got to it, they were gone, but not to worry, I got some later. The bloggers around me didn’t like this one too much, but I really enjoyed it. The Tempe was certainly not from a package as you were able to easily cut through it with a fork. It tasted a little nutty, perhaps there were some chopped almonds in it? Over top the creamy polenta, the dish blended well, where one was dry the other was wet, where the Tempe was spicy the polenta was creamy and savory to balance. I loved it.
The drinks were something to rave about. They had little glasses of fruit purees with just some sparkling water, no sugar-None. I didn’t even have to ask, I just knew. Instead of being overly sweet it was thirst quenching.
After dinner, it was time to shop. Considering this is a post on it’s own, I will have to write up on it later. But let me just say, the Whole Foods on Pearl Street, Boulder Colorado is undoubtedly one I will go back to.
check out the view we got during our fancy feast.