[A day in the life of....]
Morning Session 1
Then we looked at how and why companies commit to whole grains, with Sarah Murphy, Nutrition Manager, Pepsico (FritoLay & Quaker), Joan Rubschlager, Vice President, Rubschlager Baking, Todd Kluger, VP Marketing, Lundberg Family Farms & Kristin Harris, Senior Nutrition Scientist, General Mills. Companies respond to consumer demand. So if you want to create a healthy life for yourself we have to show companies that we want it by voting with our forks and grocery-store dollars. Speaking of grocery stores, the next speaker was Craig Stacey, Director of Health & Wellness Marketing, Supervalu talking about how supermarkets can help consumers make better choices. Supervalu has a program called Nutrition IQ. Other grocery stores incorporate scores such as NuVal or ANDI, which I'm a fan of. I love seeing grocery stores hiring dietitians and steering their customers in a healthier direction.
Switching from a decisions point to a taste point, Chef Cary Neff stepped on stage to talk about how to make healthy food taste good. I completely agree with his point: "There are no bad foods." So true-it's ok to have a treat and indulge when making healthy habits. Being healthy isn't just about what you eat but also about how you eat. Remember- feel no guilt. Author of Conscious Cuisine Chef Neff is creating delicious, healthy meals, and changing the lives of his clients.
At break we had a piece of Dave's Killer Bread "Sin Dawg" which was gooey, divine, and there's no way you could tell it was whole grain! oh and it's local and vegan too! Wow- i could have easily eaten a whole loaf. And some Odwalla Superfood Smoothie, which I love.We took it back to old school, with "Whole Grains for a New Generation: Promoting Whole Grains to Kids" by Patty Wall, Director of Dining Services, Holton (MI) Public Schools. The National School Lunch program was started after WWII and policies were're changed/improved til 5 years ago! Patty spoke to how to increase the quality and health-properties in the lunches that are offered to public schoolkids. She pointed out that you can't give children the option between a whole or refined grain. If they are hungry they will eat the whole grain option you present.
And the panel I was really looking forward to, as a blogger and present/future nutrition communicator: the Media Panel: "How magazines and blogs put whole grain first"
Jessie Price, Deputy Editor of Food, Eating Well magazine-intersection of food and health. A delightful magazine, and favorite of many. They have great recipes, featuring local, seasonal, organic food, with a healthful twist of course! Heidi Swanson, blogger and author, 101 Cookbooks Whose blog, recipes and cookbooks I have been a huge fan of.
She focuses on whole grains, and natural sweeteners, and all of her recipes are delicious. She is also an amazing food photography and total sweetheart. Her next book "Super Natural Everyday" will be released at the end of the month, so pre-order it now! She also mentioned two of my other favorite blogs, Green Kitchen Stories, and Sprouted Kitchen
Martha Rose Shulman, "Recipes for Health" columnist, the New York Times She curates and creates fantastic healthy recipes-if you haven't tried any of them yet-hurry now!
Lunch-Grain Bar Buffet
We settled down into the self-assigned "media table" with our friends from Health, Taste of Home, and the Huffington Post and enjoyed a whole-grain-tastic lunch. Black rice salad with orange and avocado. There was also hummus with whole grain pita, and a lentil salad. The winning "bite" though, went to a roasted tomato cream-less soup with white beans, cilantro, carrots. So delicious!
We also made best friends with the ever-entertaining Edwin, employee-extraodinaire of the Nines hotel. He attended to our every [unspoken] want and need, so much that we are convinced he had us wired. How else could he know a spoon was needed or that we desperately craved some orbitz gum?
A topic that was fresh on my mind from my public health class last semester-"Healthy Corner Stores: A nationwide movement brings whole grains to convenience marts." Convenience stores are a large part of the American food environment, and unfortunately it can be quite a hunt to try to find healthier items in most.
Amy Ellings, Nurition Coordinator, Washington State Dept. of Health talked about the nationwide initiatives to bring more healthy foods to corner stores.
And because we all love technology and bringing whole grains to the future, we Loved "Whole Grain Invasion: Vending Machines Make Whole Grains Ultra-Convenient" by
the very attractive CEO of Sean Kelly h.u.m.a.n. Healthy Vending. Named one of the top young entrepreneurs, this 23 year old is making waves. A fantastic public speaker this freestyle-snowboarding champion, a biomedical engineer, and personal trainer is now "helping unite man and nutrition" (h.u.m.a.n.) in vending 2.0.
Not only are traditional vending machines full of unhealthy, fat, sugar and salt laden products, but are harming the environment. Did you know that one vending machine takes up the same amount of energy as a medium sized home? h.u.m.a.n. is energy efficient, only stocks nutritional sound options, and donates parts of it's profits to charity. Wonderful.
Thank god there were frequent snack breaks. Edwin informed us that the best roasted nuts ever were roasted on saturday in-house with a mixture of Cayenne, paprika, blood orange & sugar.
For my vegan entree there was a bulgur pilaf with chickpeas and herbs, served with spinach and Brussels sprouts.
And.... I just had to pass on this awesome project:
Oh, the irony: one day after the government issues its strongest recommendation to date to eat less and better foods, the snack food industry lobby launches "National Snack Food Month" to get Americans to eat more. Kitchen Gardeners International (KGI) a mini counter-campaign of their own here http://20ate.org/ to reclaim February for the good food cause and make it into a 20ate day celebration of real foods. "You say hummus, I say yummus!"Let's "outlike" the cheese puff fanpage on facebook by the end of the month. Here's the score as of today: KGI: 4058 fans Cheese Puffs: 5469 fans. LET'S DO THIS!!! If you're on twitter use the hashtag #20ate