What a whirlwind the past week has been! In the span of one week, I managed to fly to Miami for BlogHer Food 2014, landing in the middle of a tornado (I had no idea at the time other than the extremely rough landing, but later learned that a tornado had touched ground 1 mile from the airport just 10 minutes after our plane landed!), speak on one of the panels before catching a flight back to New York, work the 2AM-5AM shift for my son’s post-prom party that same night (after a 2 hour plane delay), get my other son ready for two senior proms, and attend his graduation!
I was happy that I found a healthy lunch to bring on board the plane from the new Mrs. Green’s market that just opened in our town. Not only was this a convenient lunch to pack in my bag, but it was a lot less expensive than anything I would ever find at the airport.
Upon arrival at Miami International Airport, Amie from The Healthy Apple and I headed to Whole Foods to do a little shopping. Then, we headed to Hilton Miami Downtown, a beautiful hotel that has spectacular morning views.
Although I was only able to spend 24 hours in Miami for BlogHer Food 2014, I was thrilled to finally meet some blogger friends I’ve come to know through the internet, see familiar faces, and meet new bloggers, including Amie from The Healthy Apple, Jane from The Heritage Cook, Amy from Amy’s Healthy Baking, Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food, Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake, Liz from The Lemon Bowl, Christine from Cook The Story, Joanne from Fifteen Spatulas, Julia from The Cedar Spoon, Kevin from Closet Cooking, Julie from The Little Kitchen, Jaden from Steamy Kitchen, Elise from Simply Recipes, Catherine from Weelicious, Carrie from Carrie on Vegan, Brenda from Sugar-Free Mom, Mellissa from I Breathe…I’m Hungry, Lauren from Lauren Kelly Nutrition, Brianne from Cupcakes & Kale Chips, Alice from Hip Foodie Mom, Carrie from Poet in the Pantry, and more. I wish I could have stayed longer to spend more time getting to know everyone better and meet more folks, but family duties were calling me.
Pictured above, top to bottom, left to right: My fellow panelists – Carrie from Carrie on Vegan, Meseidy from The Noshery, JL from JL Goes Vegan; Jane from The Heritage Cook and Amy from Amy’s Healthy Baking; Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake, Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food, and Brenda from Sugar-Free Mom.
The idea of carving out “me time” is always appealing, but practically speaking, it doesn’t always work out the way I imagine. When I first signed up to speak at BlogHer Food, somehow my calendar was empty for the weekend, a.k.a. I hadn’t filled in the calendar for all the activities the kids were going to have that week/weekend. Little did I know at the time that this was probably the busiest weekend to choose to go away. No matter, I am thankful that I did escape even for a day.
Thursday night, I had the pleasure of attending a jointly sponsored event by Stonyfield, Organic Valley and Applegate, and heard first hand the care with which these products are made and the challenges they face. We were treated to a beautiful menu featuring their products, although I have to say I was so busy chatting that by the time I got to the buffet table, there wasn’t much left.
Day one of the conference started Friday morning with a keynote on What Superfoods Are and How They’re Going to Change the Destiny of America, featuring guest speakers Dr. Melanie Palomares from City of Hope, Dr. Wendy Bazilian, author of The SuperFoods Rx Diet, and Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen. I’d visited City of Hope last year so I already knew something about the ground breaking research that City of Hope has been doing, but I found the discussion inspirational and insightful.
McCormick came up with a menu featuring spices and herbs packed with antioxidants to get our tastebuds going. The Mango Tomato Chutney and Dukkah were favorites at our table, and the chef provided a vegetarian option using portobello mushrooms in place of chicken which was excellent.
Although I was only able to stay a day, it was great to see a bunch of fellow food bloggers and listen to some inspirational stories, as well as hear first hand from several brands on the hard work they are doing to bring healthier products to market.
Nothing can replace the personal connection you get from meeting people face-to-face, something that is easy to forget when online is what blogging is all about.
Did I miss you at BlogHer Food? If so, I hope I get to meet you next time.