Currently I’m…

It’s time for a little update on “currently I’m…” Here we go!

Currently I’m…

Enjoying hot water with lemon. I always think of Caroline now when I drink it! 🙂 It’s such a comforting way to start the day.

water with lemon

Onto season three of Pretty Little Liars. This show just keeps getting better and better!

pretty-little-liars-8

 

source

Loving these oatmeal raisin cookie bites. Go make these! They taste like oatmeal raisin cookies but they are grain free and freaking amazing! Recipe: “Fauxtmeal” Raisin Cookie Bites.

oatmeal raisin cookie bites

 

Dreaming of eating another one of these egg sandwiches. Gluten-free waffle, pepperjack cheese, mustard and a fried egg. Ummm yea.

 

egg sandwich

 

Reminiscing about my amazing weekend with these ladies.

 

blends do chicago

 

Looking forward to a quiet weekend! It’s time to FINALLY take the Christmas lights down. Yikes!

 

Now it’s your turn. Currently I’m…

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!

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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.

Thursday

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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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!

conferences

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!

Sunday

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.

My Friday Night: Blends and Spoon River

After work yesterday I made my way to downtown Minneapolis to meet up with my friends and fellow bloggers Katie and Becky. I always get excited about meeting up with these girls. Although we’ve only known each other for a short time, I feel so connected to them. Our conversations are always great, we laugh, we talk about life, blogging, food, etc. We always have an amazing time together and last night was no exception.

Becky poured me a glass of chilled white wine upon arrival of course. 🙂 Like she says, if you come over, she’ll always keep your glass full of wine.

wine

The only thing about this get together was that it was a little bittersweet. Becky will soon be moving to Chicago, so this was our Bon Voyage get together. It was more sweet than bitter however because for one, I am thrilled for Becky and this new chapter in her life, and two, Chicago really isn’t very far away; a quick plane ride or a five-hour car ride. It’s no big deal. Now we have more of a reason to go out to Chicago. We’re already starting to plan for our trip out there!

Last night we headed over to Spoon River for dinner which is “a restaurant in Minneapolis committed to the advancement of organics, the support of local growers and serving the freshest, most delicious food possible.” source  Sounds amazing right? Well, it was.

spoon river

I ordered the vegetarian special for the night which was zucchini stuffed with ricotta, goat cheese, and kalamata olives, roasted bell peppers, roasted eggplant, green beans, and a quinoa pilaf. Oh my goodness everything was fabulous; so full of flavor and incredibly fresh. Go eat there now!  spoon river

The company with dinner was pretty fab too. 😉

becky katie melanie

 

We sat outside and enjoyed the perfect evening.

For dessert I enjoyed two homemade bars: a Special K bar from Katie and a cookie dough bar from Becky (recipe to come!). Both were sinfully delicious. I felt bad I didn’t have any bars to contribute!

We said our good-bye’s at the end of the evening but as I always say, “it’s not good-bye, it’s see you later.” I can’t wait to see you gals again soon. I love you both!

The remainder of the evening was spent cozied up in my sweats and laughing at this guy who thought it was a good idea to dissect his toy…

Moose

He looks a little suspicious if you ask me. What’s that hanging from his tongue? 😉

I still have some crazy fun things to share with you from this past week, but I need a little more time to put it all together! Be on the lookout next week!

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!

Weekend Snapshots

I am coming off of what was one epic weekend. It was an absolute blast having my brother and Ana around all weekend. Our family was able to spend a lot of time together this weekend which of course I just love.

Since it’s Monday and since a good majority of us including myself may be a little tired today, I’m going to keep the rest of this post real simple.

Here are some weekend snapshots!

Thursday night we hosted a small BBQ for our special Colombian guests.

Friday I grabbed lunch with the lovely Katie and Becky at Crave at Mall of America. Love love these girls.

blends crave

I ordered the salmon salad which came with mixed greens, salmon, mandarin oranges, goat cheese and pistachios (I think). Honestly it wasn’t anything to write home about but it tasted good still. I think I was so absorbed in conversation that I hardly remember eating it. Yikes!

crave salmon

Friday afternoon Dana and I enjoyed a short and hilly bike ride through the neighborhood. I am hoping to do a post this week about my casual approach to training for the duathlon.

Saturday morning started off with banana with almond butter and no-sugar added dried cranberries.

banana and almond butter

Then we ran a bunch of errands including a trip to the local farmers market where I picked up these beauts for my mom and dad.

farmers market flowers

And later in the evening we had a Mexican fiesta with the family.

taco salad ana grandpa jeff

On Sunday Dana and I took our bikes to St. Paul and biked 10 miles bike along the Mississippi. I LOVE this area. It is beautiful.

bike st. paul dana and melanie bike

I finished the weekend off with a homemade Mediterranean dinner complete with kabobs, grilled chicken, mixed green salad, and yellow quinoa (recipe to come for the yellow quinoa).

homemade mediterranean dinner

It was an absolute incredible weekend. I hope yours was too!