Saturday morning the Healthy Living Summit began with an awesome breakfast courtesy of Attune Foods. I had some of their Uncle Sam Strawberry cereal mixed with their Uncle Sam Honey Almond cereal, skim milk, mixed fruit, a hardboiled egg and a cup of Starbucks coffee (not my fave, I prefer Dunkin Donuts but I was not going to turn down a free cup of coffee). Breakfast was delicious!! I especially liked the coaster and spoon they gave us!!!
Attune had a great table of their products set up outside! They also gave away T-shirts, reusable bags and probiotic bars periodically throughout the day.
Annalies from Attune took our pic and posted them on the Attune Facebook page as a nice souvenir.
After breakfast there were some opening comments from Meghann (Meals and Miles) and Annalies (Attune Foods). Then there was an “Ice Breakers” session which revolved around blogger bingo where you got a bingo board with different items on it (I like yoga, I recycle) and you had to go around the room finding different bloggers to meet the criteria of each item until you got 6 in a row….BINGO!!! The winner won a $75 Lululemon gift certificate, Kath from Kath Eats Real Food won but she was nice enough to give back her gift certificate at the end of the day to raffle off to one lucky HLS attendee. The ice breakers session was a great way to meet new people and it was fun too!!
After bingo I chose to go the session led by Stepfanie Romine of Sparkpeople.com on Writing a Better Recipe. This session was awesome and very insightful, as soon as I get time I definitely have to rewrite any recipes I have on my blog.
The first tip Stepfanie had was to use all 5 senses when describing a recipe on your blog. By doing this simple task you make people want to make your recipe so they can taste exactly what you are describing.
Next she went on the explain the anatomy of a recipe:
- Headnote and tips: This is the area between the title and the ingredients where you give tips and alternatives (ex: you must soak the beans overnight or you can substitute tofu for beef, etc.)
- Yield (serving size): Include this. Figure out the serving size and use round numbers, nobody wants a recipe that serves 3.
- Prep and cook time: Separate them. Readers like this so they know how much time they are going to have to spend on a recipe in total.
- Ingredient list: Be specific, spell out all abbreviations (ex: tsp=teaspoon), put them in order, avoid brand names, use figures (numerals), and use lower case for foods unless it is a proper noun.
Always proofread your recipe. Make sure all the ingredients that are listed are used, check for missing steps and check spelling/grammar. Last but not least do not include photos in between the steps of your recipe it can become quite confusing, but if you must make sure there is somewhere a reader can get the full recipe without photos in between the steps. Thanks Stepfanie for a great session!!!
After this session there was a Quaker snack break for which I had to run up the hotel room to watch Abby so Chris could take our luggage to the car before check out time. Lucky for me he is quick and got back in less that 20 minutes. I ran back downstairs and enjoyed a Quaker Oats Smashbar, which was awesome before heading back in for the next session.
Next up was a Quaker workshop with Dawn Jackson Blatner: Small Phrases for Healthy Changes: The Power of “Action Mantras”. I loved this session!! An “Action Mantra” is something Dawn came up with to help her clients think before they do something like eat a sweet or skip exercise. The idea behind an “Action Mantra” is: Every action is preceded by a thought.
If you love sweets an example of an “Action Mantra” for you to cut back on eating too many sweets would be: Social Sweets Only. This means you will only have sweets when you are out in a social situation. Ice cream from the fridge, I don’t think so, but ice cream at the ice cream shop with your kids or husband, hell yes. You can enjoy your sweets just not all the time and that is what this “Action Mantra” helps you see.
You can create your own “Action Mantras” by just putting together 3-4 easy to memorize words using colorful language or rhyming if you like and making surety keep it positive. You can then take these “Action Mantras” and use them to help you through just about any situation.
Other examples: Table-Plate-Chair: this “Action Mantra” can help you to stop mindless eating, every time you try to snack standing up you just think Table-Plate-Chair. This small statement helps you refocus and concentrate on what you are eating rather than just snacking mindlessly. You can snack anytime you like but you must sit at a table and put the snack on a plate.
“Action Mantras” are easy to come up with and you can personalize them to your needs, so use them to stay motivated and to keep you on track, I know I will be using them!!!
After “Action Mantras” we went right into the next session: Utilizing Social Media to Network and Make Friends in Your area with Theodora Blanchfield, Ashley Diamond and Cynthia Crowsen.
This session was great!! I learned about joining blog directories and sites like Healthy Living Blogs, BlogHer, DailyMile and Tumblr. They talked about using Facebook groups for keeping up with other bloggers once you have met and hung out whether for fun or working out. They also talked about Twitter chats which take some time getting used to but is a great way to make friends.
They talked about the “blogger” first date. Where to go, what to do, and safety. One important lesson I learned is that you need to put yourself out there and reach out to other bloggers in your area to make new friends. Bloggers don’t bite and are pretty open to get togethers, myself included, you just need to reach out. I have since signed up for a blogger “playdate” in NYC which I found out about on a Twitter chat. I may have been reluctant to join in before but after this session I stepped right up and asked to be a part of it!!!
A delicious lunch concluded the first half of the Healthy Living Summit and I will end here. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon!!!