The Healthy Living Summit 2013: Full Recap

Happy Tuesday! Guess what I’m doing tonight? Going to a spin class with Dara Torres! Not only is it my first spin class, but I get to meet an Olympian at the same time?! I am super pumped!


Healthy Living Summit 2013

It’s time for some Healthy Living Summit recapping. I am bound and determined to squeeze this all into one post. Last year I broke it into four posts. It might get lengthy, but I think I can do it. Grab a cup of tea and settle in a comfy chair for this one.


I snagged my Caroline from the airport as we both gave each other the girliest greeting ever with lots of shrieking and hugs. Caroline and I met last year at the Summit in Boston. We have kept in touch over the past year and have become the best of friends. I adore her.

caroline melanie

This was her first time in Minnesota so we checked a couple of touristy things off the list: a walk around Lake Calhoun and a trip to the Mall of America. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing in our comfies and went to bed early to rest up for the festivities that lay ahead.


Wild Harvest hosted a tour of their test kitchens and labs in Eden Prairie, MN. Wild Harvest was the gold sponsor for the Healthy Living Summit and is an organic food company. They are responsible for the brands Wild Harvest, Essential Everyday, Culinary Corner, among others. You have probably seen these brands in your grocery store.

Being that I am a dietitian, setting foot into their facilities and seeing their test kitchens and labs was a dream to me. Back in college I had a couple of classes that focused on product development including taste testing, sensory labs, and ingredient adjustment. This brought back a lot of memories!

wild harvest

After the tour we headed out to the Hilton in downtown Minneapolis where the Summit was being held. We got all checked in, were greeted by the amazing organizing team, and got situated in our room.

I was SO excited to see Becky and Katie! Caroline, Becky, Katie, and I all roomed together for the weekend. I know you’re thinking that’s crazy: four girls and one bathroom sounds like a nightmare, but it actually worked out just fine! It was never a problem.

We headed to a presentation given by Nancy Clark, RD about proper refueling post-workout. After that we got sweaty with an Insanity workout. I only did it at half speed and I was still dripping sweat by the end of it!

Next on the agenda: dinner at Kindee Thai. There was a group of 12 of us girls who met there and I got to meet so many great ladies and eat tasty chicken and veggie stir fry. Let’s see if I can remember everyone at dinner: Gabe, Jen, Becky, Natalie, Katie, Amanda, Kim, Hannah, Katie T., and Caroline. Did I do it girls? I will feel terrible if I forgot someone!

Kindee thai

After dinner we headed across the street to the Guthrie Theater where our cocktail party was being held. If you’ve ever been there, the event was held on the endless bridge. The views are gorgeous!

We mingled, made new friends, and had some serious fun in the photo booth. In the photos below: Caroline, Jen, Becky, Katie, Hannah, Kim, and Me.

hls cocktail party

The evening flew by and before I knew it I was snuggled into bed. Unfortunately I cannot sleep well for the life of me on the first night in any new place, so I got a total of five hours that night maybe.


But that’s okay because there was plenty of healthy food and beverages to keep me perky during the day on Saturday! I even had my first experience with Energy Bits which are made from 100% organically grown spirulina algae, and loaded with 40 nutrients and protein. They are a healthy energy boost and 100% natural whole food which is the only way I would ever take an energy supplement.

hls 13 food

Saturday was spent listening to panels and interacting with new blog friends and the sponsors at the event. My girl Katie was one of the presenters! Go Katie!


I took away some new tips for the blog and am hoping to make some great changes and enhancements to Beautifully Nutty!

Sponsors: Wild Harvest (gold sponsor), Driscoll’s Berry (my jam), Blue Diamond, Ninja Kitchen, Musselman’s, Refuel Got Chocolate Milk, Sargento, 360 PR, Ortholite,  and CocoVia.

hls sponsors

In the afternoon we had a little down-time, so the girls and I headed out for a walk around the area. Even though I am from Minnesota, I don’t get to the downtown area very often, so the whole weekend was so much fun for me. I was discovering new places to explore in MN!

hls roomies walk

Saturday night we had plans to get all dolled up one more time and go out to dinner. Our plans changed when we got into our hotel room at the end of the day, got into our comfy clothes, and sat down. Not to mention it was also raining outside. A roomie vote concluded that we would not be going out to dinner. Instead, we picked up Chipotle and a bottle of wine and snuggled into our hotel room for the evening. Our honorary roomie Tara, joined us too! We were all giddy that we decided to stay in!


I slept WAY better the second night and was ready for the HLS13 5K bright and early Sunday morning. It was a walk or run depending on however you wanted to tackle it. Our group decided to walk it. We made our way over to the sculpture garden where we got real corny posing in front of the big cherry on a spoon.

hls roomies by the cherry

The air was crisp and we decided a Caribou Coffee stop was necessary for the way back. Once we got back to the hotel, we joined everybody in the main conference room for a farewell breakfast. Heather and Julie, the main organizers of the event, thanked us all for coming and then revealed to us the location of HLS for next year: Madison, WI! Just a 3.5 hour car ride from me!

I have to give a HUGE shout out to the whole HLS planning team. You ladies rock my socks. You are so organized and thoughtful, and made the summit so memorable once again! THANK YOU!

Here was the swag damage…

hls 13 swag


Whoa baby that’s a lotta swag! So many companies donated amazing swag. We even got a Kona Kase and a Nature Box! So many goodies!

And the fun continues. The lovely ladies from Driscoll’s had heaping amounts of leftover berries, and since I drove to the conference and didn’t have to worry about flying berries home, they sent me home with mounds of berries.

driscolls berries


Berry heaven. I froze the berries and will be using them for the next 5 years few months in smoothies, sorbets, and who knows, I might even make some homemade jam? You’d like that Tara, right?! Although I didn’t win any of the giveaway prizes over the weekend, I feel like I won with these berries!

And now for the cheesiness. I also feel like I won because I had the most incredible weekend with my girls. I love spending time with these women—they are all truly amazing. I got to meet so many wonderful ladies who all have a story to tell, and who are all beautiful and unique in their own special way. It’s incredible being at a function like this where everyone has a common interest and passion. You never run out of things to talk about! Thank you HLS for another great year! Until next time. xoxo.

One last note: the Hilton Minneapolis was the perfect place to stay for the summit. Our room was plenty big for four of us girls plus all of our clothes and swag. They were extremely accommodating and I would recommend this hotel to others visiting the area.

This Post Has 30 Comments

    1. Melanie

      I am so happy we got to meet too, Kim! I hope you defrosted once you got home to your warm climate!

    1. Melanie

      Hannah!! I’m so glad I got to meet you too! You are adorable and one of those people that I HAD to make sure and meet over the weekend. 🙂

  1. Great recap Mel!! Can’t wait to see you tonight. 🙂 And I totally agree with you, that it may sounds cheesy, but the best part of the whole weekend was just hanging out with you girls!! Love you!
    Katie @ running4cupcakes recently posted…HLS13–Day 2My Profile

    1. Melanie

      Thanks, Katie! I can’t believe we got to hangout on a random Tuesday night how sweet is that?! I could get used to that.

    1. Melanie

      You know I’m a goofy sap. I loved being with you! Can’t wait to see you again….hopefully soon. At least we will see eachother on google hangout soon! And yes, I am still in berry heaven.

  2. Reading all of these recaps is making me miss the weekend so badly! It seriously was an amazing time and it was so lovely meeting you – it’s just too bad that we didn’t get more time to chat! And I just have to say that I’m super jealous over your berry haul! I would have taken my weight in them, but there’s no way they’d let me bring all that back to Canada…
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. blogging tips from healthy living summit .My Profile

    1. Melanie

      Ha ha, I know I felt kind of bad that I got all of those berries because I know everyone else would have LOVED them! I am so glad I got to meet you over the weekend but agree that I wish we would have had more time to chat! I will continue to stay in touch and connected via your blog! Have a great night hon!

  3. Heather Murphy

    It sounds like you ladies had a blast! It’s always nice having quality girl time. I actually think it’s essential for our well being! It also didn’t hurt that you got hooked up with fruit that should last you through the winter!
    Heather Murphy recently posted…Vacation photo dump and exciting newsMy Profile

    1. Melanie

      I am going to start turning purple soon but I don’t care! I love berries!

  4. Caroline

    It’s so funny you say that about the bathroom… I didn’t even think about it! Thank you so so much for showing me around your amazing city 🙂 I can’t wait for our google hang outs! Xoxo
    Caroline recently posted…Breaking it Down, Bullet Point Style.My Profile

    1. Melanie

      Whoop whoop! Of course my love! Can’t wait to have you back so I can show you more! 😉

  5. You went to a presentation by Nancy Clark, RD? I’m super jealous – she’s one of my RD idols!

    It was great to meet you this weekend! I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog. 🙂
    Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen recently posted…Tempeh coconut curryMy Profile

    1. Melanie

      Yes! She gave a presentation on behalf of Chocolate Milk Refuel right before the Chocolate Milk workout on Friday! Isn’t that awesome?! She is a neat lady.

    1. Melanie

      It was once again a blast! I love Heather and Julie and the whole planning team. They are the best!

  6. So so many things in this post!
    a. I think you got all of the names from Kindee! One gal couldn’t make it, so that left 11 including you! You nailed it! 😉 I’m bummed we didn’t get a group picture though!
    b. I am so happy this was held in Minneapolis because I have yet to explore the area (even though I’ve lived close by for 3 months!).
    c. So happy to have met you and find out you really are a nice gal! I mean, at dinner you were there with your BFFs so you could have just ignored us girls at the other end of the table, but you were so sweet and I could tell you were trying to include us! Much appreciated! 🙂

    Also…holy berries!! Good work getting them frozen!
    Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut recently posted…A Healthy Living Summit Un-RecapMy Profile

  7. Aw, I really wish I could have gone! You all looked so beautiful and the food looked amazing too. Four girls and one bathroom does sound a little crazy but it’s good that you all managed fine.

    And I can’t believe they gave you all of those berries! Score.
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted…Skinny Pumpkin Cream Cheese Mini LoavesMy Profile

    1. Melanie

      You are so sweet! We wish you could have been there too. Becky told us she go to meet you and said you are seriously one of the sweetest people she has ever met. I want to meet you!!

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