Cheers to New Friends: HLS Day 2

I won’t waste any time. Jumping into day 2 of the Healthy Living Summit.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling ready to take on the day. I was happy I had called it an early night on Friday. The morning began with a delicious breakfast full of fresh fruit, an egg scramble creation created by a fellow blogger, and other tasty Wild Harvest recipes.

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I dished up loads of fruit, egg scramble, maple turkey patties (my favorite), veggie potato hash, fruit and yogurt parfait, and a super strong cup of coffee.

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The coffee actually tasted too strong to drink probably because I am used to weaker brews these days. They seem to sit better in my belly.

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I mingled with the ladies at my table and had a chance to chit-chat for a minute with Courtney. I love her blog, and was thrilled I was able to meet her! She is even prettier in person if you can believe it.

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(Photo courtesy of Courtney)

After breakfast we were coached through a mini CrossFit session presented by Reebok. They provided us with these snazzy headbands and challenged us to a introductory intense workout: complete as many sets of 7 squats and 15 jumps as you can in 5 minutes. Although it was only a short workout, I was really feeling the burn afterwards and continue to feel it a couple of days later!

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The rest of the day was spent sitting in on the sessions. I attended:

(The ladies of Wild Harvest which is based out of Eden Prairie, MN btw…woop woop!)

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I wish I had a clone so I could have been in two places at once because I wanted to go to ALL of the sessions. I learned so much valuable information on ways to improve my blog, and continued to meet many wonderful people throughout the day.

My brain was officially mush at the end of the day. Information overload. I knew it would take me a few days to digest it all and actually put it to use in improving my own blog. I can’t believe how fast the day went.

Next on the agenda was dinner at Russell House in Harvard Square with the beautiful Shannon, Jamie, and Caroline.

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We cheers’ed to new friends (make fun of the cheesiness I don’t care!). Open-mouthed smile

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(Image courtesy of Jamie at studioeats.com) 

We had amazing conversations, ate delicious food, sipped our wine, and laughed until our cheeks hurt.

Dinner: A bed of mixed greens with figs, walnuts, grilled chicken, and honey dijon dressing. YUM.

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We hit up J.P. Licks for dessert which deserved all of the hype it had been getting. So stinkin’ good. I ordered chocolate and vanilla fro yo with Oreo topping.

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We hailed a cab home around 10:30 and called it a night.

I was on cloud 9 at the end of this jam-packed day. It is so unbelievable to meet such genuine people who have common interests and who you get along with so well. Although these girls on live on the east coast, I still plan to keep in touch and visit them again in the future. I fell in love with each and every one of them and am so grateful to have met them. They took me under their wing and made me feel comfortable throughout the weekend. I miss them already.

I just have one more day to Healthy Living Summit recap for you and then I will be back to normal posts again full or recipes and tangents. I just don’t want to short-change you on any of the details of my fantastic weekend. I hope you are all having a great week so far. Catch up with you soon!

Shake Out the Nerves: HLS Day 1

Hi friends! I am home sweet home from my trip out to Cambridge, MA for the Healthy Living Summit 2012. I have A LOT to tell you. I was going to try to do a recap of this weekend in one post, but there is absolutely no way I would be able to do that without writing you a novel. So, I’m going to break it down day by day. Bear with me.

Last time I left you I had recapped my day with Dana in Boston. Moving on to Friday….

Friday morning, I was one lazy lady. I slept in, eventually rolled out of bed (I do literally roll out of bed), made myself a cup of joe, and plopped myself in front of the computer for a couple of hours. It felt phenomenal to just sit and relax.

I even ate breakfast in my room. I picked up a vanilla bean non-fat Greek yogurt from Trader Joe’s the night before and enjoyed (a few too many) cinnamon almonds from TJ’s as well.

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Then came the activity

I decided to make something of myself around 11:00, so I jumped into my workout clothes, laced up the ol’ Asics, and made my way to the river. I used MapMyRun to track me through 4 miles. I jogged and walked while enjoying the beautiful views of Cambridge.

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Back at the hotel, I had my first mini mingle with some of the HLS ladies. A fellow blogger Aundra, led a group of us in an outdoor Zumba class. She scoped out a nice shady spot for us just outside of our hotel, and there was a nice breeze to keep us cool as we broke it down.

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Image courtesy of Aundra

She got me sweatin’ and was the cutest, happiest, Zumba instructor I’ve had yet. Such a fun time!

After Zumba, I showered up and headed to the HLS registration tables to pick up my bag-o-swag, and then sat in on a presentation and discussion led by Derek of the blog Greatist.

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Derek emphasized the importance of being your best self, and staying true to who you are in life, and in your blog. His presentation was a great way to kick off the conference, and was a great opportunity to mingle with other bloggers, and discuss ideas with one another.

Let’s talk about this swag bag.

Holy cow I was a little girl on Christmas when I got this bag. Thanks to wonderful sponsors and donations, the gift bag that each attendee received was overflowing with great products from workout headbands and a t-shirt from Five Bamboo, to Organic Granola from Cascadian Farms, Odwalla bars, SoyJoy, and many other great products.

We were also loaded up with coupons for products from Almond Breeze, Wild Harvest ( a HUGE sponsor for this event), Laughing Cow, Stonyfield, and more. Such generous donations and swag bags!

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Oh, and did I mention Reebok? Um, hello! They gave us all a pair of absolutely adorable RealFlex shoes. Are you kidding me? That is amazing! They are so much fun, come in lots of different colors and are very comfortable.

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Thank you for all of the generous gifts!

After scrounging through the goodies, it was time to meet up for another “mini mingle” which was a photo walk around Cambridge. We walked our way to the very famous Fenway Park. Unfortunately we couldn’t look inside, but it was still neat to see the outside of it, and more importantly I had a chance to chat with so many sweet ladies.

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That marked my third sweat session of the day.

Once we got back I was drained, but knew I needed to gather up some last bits of energy because I had a cocktail partAY to attend to.

I neglected to really take any photos of the cocktail party, except for this awkward one which was taken in my room beforehand…

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I was all nerves walking into the cocktail party as I did not know a soul except for a few people I had spoken with throughout the day. When I am placed in situations where I don’t know anyone, I tend to get shy. It forces me out of my comfort zone and I realize that sometimes this is the only way a person can grow and get over the uncomfortable feeling. It’s good for me.

I approached the first friendly welcoming person I could find, and within minutes I was engaging in conversations left and right with fellow healthy living enthusiasts. Being that we all have so much in common, it was very easy to keep conversation flowing. I was meeting so many great people with interesting things to say!

The only thing weighing me down was that my energy level was at a 3 out of 10. My body was working over time to keep me going. I wanted to enjoy the moment though so I kept pulling through. 

At around 9:00, I managed to spill my glass of red wine all down the front of my tan skirt. I was that girl. Womp wooooommmmp. I used my clutch to cover it up as I quickly made my way up to my room. Embarrassing.

A little cold water and white bar soap, and I worked that stain right out.

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So here I am in my hotel room at 9:00 pm, the party is still going on downstairs, I’m debating what to wear if I go back down to the party, I’m feeling very cozy in my gorgeous Hyatt room, and little Ms. Melanie is completely spent.

I made an executive decision right then and there that I was going to stay in the rest of the night. I took the wine on my skirt as a sign that my body was ready to call it a night. After all, I had a very busy day ahead of me, and wanted to be in good shape for it.

I snuggled into bed, and slept sound. I had survived day one, which is the most nerve-racking of them all. SO much more to come. Please stay tuned!

Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread

Morning!

Did you know that one month ago from today I published my first post on Beautifully Nutty?! I can’t believe it’s been a month already. BN is still a long way from where I want it to be but it has progressed quite a bit in the last month and I am very proud. Thank you for sticking with me being I am a rookie with this. I promise it’s just going to get better and better with more recipes, motivation, and hopefully inspiration to live a healthy life full of delicious food. Thank you to all of you for supporting me as I get this blog up and running.

What better way to celebrate the day than by having peanut butter not once, but twice today. I thought it was a good idea. Breakfast was cinnamon bread (new recipe to come soon) with PB2 and honey.

I couldn’t for the life of me get a good picture of breakfast this morning. Lunch is all packed up and ready for me at noon. It includes an ol’ favorite…peanut butter banana wrap but with a twist! I may or may not have added some turkey bacon to it, which was leftover from dinner last night! Isn’t that what Elvis used to do? Or did I just make that up. It sounds really weird but it seemed like a good idea to me last night when I was packing lunch. I’ll let you know how it tastes. I also packed a huge bunch of veggies and a nice big juicy apple.

Speaking of dinner last night. This one was thought up by Dana. We had all of the ingredients for a B.L.A.T.  Bacon (turkey), lettuce, avocado, and tomato on homemade whole grain bread, toasted, with a  little sprinkle of onion powder over the tomato. Okay, I’ll have that please. If you’re wondering, yes, I did put mayo on my bread. This doesn’t happen very often, you may want to mark it on your calendars. 🙂 It was a delicious sandwich which I enjoyed while watching the Grammy’s. Jennifer Hudson did a knock-out job on her tribute to Whitney Houston btw.

Now let’s get down to some recipe business. As you all know I have been on a bit of a quinoa kick. I thought I would try throwing some into a whole grain bread recipe, set it in the bread machine, and see what happened.

The result was a very hearty, nutty, delicious and healthy bread! Perfect for savory or sweet sandwiches. I have to share the recipe with you.

Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread (Bread Machine)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons non-fat greek yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 Tablespoon molasses
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Directions

Add all ingredients into bread-maker. Set it and forget it.

Off to work I go. I hope everyone has a tolerable Monday! Womp wompppp. I love Mondays.

 

The beginning of Beautifully Nutty…

My very first post!

Welcome to Beautifully Nutty! My name is Melanie and I am a Registered Dietitian (RD) from a southern suburb of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. I have a passion for food and health. I try to live a healthy lifestyle including a well-balanced diet and fitness, but will be perfectly honest when I say I absolutely adore sweets. The good news is, treats and sweets can be part of a healthy diet; all in moderation of course!

The intention of Beautifully Nutty is not to advise on “what to eat” and “what not to eat,” it’s simply a place for me to share my life, recipes, fitness, and to keep me on track toward my health and fitness goals. I don’t believe in diets per say, I believe in learning how to live a healthy lifestyle, which is something you can attain for life, not just for a few weeks.

I look forward to sharing more of my life with you. I am still figuring out the ins and outs of the blog, so try to be patient with me (computers and I don’t always get along) as I continue to learn!