FNCE 2016 Recap

Happy Halloween! I already posted some tips on Saturday morning since a lot of the Halloween indulgences and planning occur the weekend before but, here’s a distraction if you’re all Halloween-ed out already or if you need a mental break before trick or treating with your kids later!
This FNCE was one for the books! I am finally feeling back on track at home over 10 days after returning from the conference, but all of the extra work I had to do when I got back, and all of the sleep I lost was absolutely worth it! In this post, I’ll cover the events I attended, a few of my favorite research discoveries/sessions, and chat about what was trending on the expo floor.
img_7233Since a few of my childhood best friends and my sister-in-law live in Boston, Tim was along for the ride for the first half of the trip! We left Friday morning after I taught an 8 AM class at Bucks and stopped in Rye, NY to see my brother’s house. He is in his second year at Pace Law School studying environmental law, and is absolutely killing it. So proud of him! But, he is busier than I imagined I could have been in grad-school with the amount of work he has and the fact that he is on the law-review and several other committees. Since we don’t get to see him that often, we headed out for lunch and tried out Green Life. Highly recommend!
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We headed back on the road and stopped short of Boston to stay with my childhood best friend and her fiance and also met up with another childhood friend and her husband for dinner. It was great to see everyone but, I can say I did not get quite as much sleep as I would have preferred before four long days of conferencing!
Saturday was spent mostly at the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Executive Committee meeting at the Westin waterfront. It was great getting to meet the whole committee in person finally! Breakfast even included fresh juices 🙂

And we had a relaxing yoga session with Alex Caspero of Delish Knowledge before all the craziness of the conference!

Some RD’s were a little envious of my fruit martini dessert. It was the dairy free option and I preferred it over the other desserts passed around!

Since the meeting ended around 2 and the NE networking event was that night, I skipped the opening FNCE session for a break with my sister and brother-in-law and beautiful baby niece! We hadn’t seen her since she was 10 weeks old so, it was great spending time with her for an afternoon snack at Eastern Standard. While Barbara Corcoran was apparently amazing at the opening session, I am happy I spent my time with 5 month-old Annabel instead!

The networking event was packed and had delicious bites such as sushi, quinoa bruschetta, and alllll the roasted vegetables including squash and brussel sprouts. Yum! I met some great RD entrepreneurs at the first round-table of networking and then spent the rest of the the night helping out with the raffle.

Sunday morning’s breakfast decision was difficult but I decided to choose Siggi’s with NEDPG. SCAN’s was an educational breakfast on cranberries but, the NE one included a panel of RD entrepreneurs and I was excited to hear about their successes as well as Siggi’s himself! I am so happy I chose this session because even though I wasn’t eating the yogurt (I did get fruit and chia!), I was inspired by the positivity and successes of Jenny Westercamp of All Access Internships, Alexis of Hummasapien blog, and Kylie of Immaeatthat blog.

After the breakfast I spent the day at educational sessions and the expo. I also had lunch with Tim before he headed home at B.Good. It was quick, plant based, and did the trick! It was wayyy to high in sodium but gave me a mega-dose of veggies that I need for these types of trips! Tim really liked his veggie burger and sweet potato fries, too.

After another session, I headed to the Food and Nutrition Magazine social event. I was also invited to the Haas Avocado Board event and, in hindsight should have RSVP’s yes to both since they were right next to each other! I saw pictures of the delicious avocado margaritas later and was a bit jealous! But, the Food and Nutrition Mag event was in a beautiful building and had some tasty bites. There we sipped a yummy cranberry cocktail upon arrival to the Exchange on the waterfront.

The fabulous Joy Bauer spoke to kick off the main event before awards and raffles were announced.

I enjoyed catching up with a couple of SCAN RD’s, Tanya Halliday and Kelly Pritchet, current and former Symposium chairs! I also finally chatted in more detail with Jess DeGore, another Philly RD who does triathlons too. Was really nice to connect!

I turned down an invite for a late Italian dinner in the North End. I honestly was full and knew I had to be up super early for another breakfast. I am in the Boston area enough that I can enjoy their delicious food much more often than a lot of the RD’s coming from the west coast!
The next morning was a breakfast sponsored by KIND Snacks. They included a panel discussion on Transparency in Food Labeling: What Really Matters? led by Bonnie Taub-Dix that included Frances Largeman-Roth, Annette Maggi, and Melissa Musiker.
There was a gorgeous sunrise that we could see from the room at the Seaport Hotel, too. This picture isn’t half as pretty as it looked! I also sat next to and got to know Mary Ellen from Milk and Honey NutritionMilk and Honey Nutrition. It is so nice to get to know RD’s from all over the country that I see on social media all the time!

Another day of education and Expo-ing, including some time spent helping at the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG showcase booth. It was swamped more than any other DPG! I helped several new members sign up, got to meet some members, and was able to answer some questions for those looking into volunteering. Later on it was time for a real lunch after expo snacks so, I headed over to Flour Bakery which everyone had been raving about. I got a mustard green salad with farro, brussels, cauliflower and more veggies and just had to get a treat too! They recommended this delicious cookie but I sort of wish I went with a cinnamon roll. I won on the portion control front anyway!

After more ed sessions, I was covering the extra SCAN session on benefits of yogurt led by Toby Amidor. Again, since I can’t have the dairy, I had a delicious yogurt-free parfait and had to ask another attendee if I could snap a pic of theirs to post on SCAN’s social accounts! Mine was yummy anyway and the pomegranate seeds were a nice change up!

After more sessions, I met up with my college friend Lynn at the South End Buttery. Their cafe is something I’d like to go back to at some point for breakfast or lunch but, we enjoyed a delicious dinner. Thankfully Lynn likes brussel sprouts too so we shared them as an app. We both had the salmon and I swapped a cheesy side for some broccoli raab. Highly recommend this place and this dish!

Now for the trends! They shined through both the educational sessions and products and foods on the expo floor!

In case you missed it, 2016 is the year of the pulse! Bean products were everywhere just like they were at Expo East and this just tied in perfectly with all of the sessions on the benefits of eating more plants for our gastrointestinal health. Overall, we know we should eat more plant foods in their natural form but, we are finding that gut health is not just important for immunity and metanbolism, it also has a marked effect on mood. Studies are showing relationships with anxiety and depression and, are suggesting that more research be done on gut health and autism spectrum disorder. Our body is an amazing machine!

The bean product frenzy also supported the sessions emphasizing the importance of protein intake at all meals and snacks. The latter is something I have focused on in one on one counseling as well as group seminars for a few years ago thanks to staying up to date in protein research. My undergrad advisor Nancy Rodriguez is an international protein expert and I am fortunate to see her and other experts speak at SCAN symposium each year to stay ahead of the curve. I’ve already talked about the bean pastas below and am excited for a future relationship with Explore Cuisine. I already am able to offer a discount for Enlightened below – which I may like even more than Banza! You can use code EATREAL20 on their site for 20% off of a snack with 7 g of protein and only 100 calories per serving. Below the expo haul is a snack I had at the pulses/lentil booth. It is a vegan lentil porridge. Amazing!

Bars will always be a convenient option for snacks for not only my clients but myself too. While I really would rather be eating food, the reality is that bars are sometimes necessary with our crazy busy lives in 2016! It is a good “emergency food” to keep in your purse, office desk, car or gym bag. It does though, matter what is in those bars! Here are the ones I picked up that are on the “Kelly Jones RD Approved” list.

Healthy fats are so hot right nowwww! While I don’t think most people need the Omega-3 pill below, if you have arthritis, asthma, or high triglycerides, you at least want to choose the right brand! Nordic Naturals is my go to and they happened to be at the expo this year. California Almonds is always well represented at nutrition conferences but walnuts, peanuts and pecans were well represented at FNCE too. Avocado really made their mark with a massive portion of the expo floor and interactive sessions for a limited number of people. While I regret not stopping at their event Sunday night before the Food and Nutrition Magazine event, I am happy I went to this! In addition to showing us studies on benefits for heart health, they sent us home with “keep calm it’s good fat” shirts and an entire avocado!

Adaptogens are being talked about in the wellness world a lot now. I have already talked about those benefits with maca root powder but, moringa may be the next hot thing! This powder made from the Moringa tree in Africa has 50% of your daily value of iron in one serving! I may have to start recommending this to female athletes as a smoothie additive to control their higher risk for anemia!

Berries and dried fruit were being promoted a ton too but, SunSweet really had their booth in a perfect place with lots of samples to advocate for plums and prunes. I actually did not know much about their bone health benefitsbone health benefits but, am interested to see more since they only contain small amounts of calcium and magnesium.

Whole grains are back! Well, they never should have left but, finally people are starting to realize there’s more to whole grain than whole wheat. If you’re still afraid of carbs, please read this post ASAP, and then broaden your horizons and try grains like sorghum, barley, and a variety of rices!

Nutrigenomics maybe should have been the first “trend” I mentioned but, it is something that is still requiring much more research. I think it is a service I plan to offer clients in the near future but, will only go with a high end company, meaning it will be pricier. The benefit is, it will be more accurate. I see no point in offering gene testing to clients if the information is not going to be valid and applicable to their health or performance! The compound that there seems to be the most evidence for gene variations on is caffeine. I also feel the Vitamin B12, iron and Vitamin D information I was presented with is useful. The fact that these are major nutrients of concern for metabolism and performance is what is pushing me to offer nutritive gene testing soon. Stay tuned!

While I could have taken a shuttle or the T for a little cheaper, I opted for a water taxi after another RD told me that’s how she’d be heading to the airport. It picked us up by the seaport 15 minutes after we called and 15 minutes later I was in line for security! Fun to do once but with my motion-sickness tendencies I will skip it next time around!

My next conference is up in the air but, next year SCAN symposium will be in early April in Charlotte, NC and FNCE will be in Chicago for the AND’s 100th year!

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  1. It was so great finally meeting in person- we definitely need a happy hour or coffee date soon 🙂 Sounds like you crushed it in Boston- busy busy busy!