FNCE Recap, Part One

Hello wonderful people! It feels like it’s been a while. I decided to take last weekend off from sharing as I want to always make sure I eat and do things for myself and not for the blog. I’m all for sharing and inspiring, and I love this space! I just want to be sure I take care of my mental health.

With that said, I have two epic FNCE recaps to share! FNCE stands for Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, and it’s been said to be the Superbowl of nutrition. I have only attended FNCE once before in October 2015 when it was held in Nashville, TN. You can read my two recaps here and here, if you’d like! My thesis research study was selected to be presented as a poster in their poster session series, and I was so proud. This will be supah sappy, but I find it hard to believe just how much has changed since this time. I had only worked as a Renal RD for less than three months, Matt and I had only lived together for three months, we were not engaged let alone married for three years, the babies were all well and with us (broken heart), and Kaci and Drew were not yet married. Wow.

Friday, October 25th

I woke up excited and nervous as I had never been to Philadelphia, PA before, let alone by myself. But sometimes we grow the most when we leave our comfort zones! I enjoyed my last slice of homemade banana bread with wilted spinach topped with fluffy scrambled eggs.

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Comfortable flight outfit.

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It was so hard to leave Matt behind. I wish he and Kaci could have come with me! He got me safely to the airport, then it was up to me after that. Things began well. I failed to have my ID on hand, and when I let go of my Pioneer Woman suitcase, it wheeled away from me. The grouchy security personnel said in a flat tone, “there goes your suitcase”. Hahaha, thanks dear. But I successfully got through TSA and checked on my flight.

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I was hungry for second breakfast, and this Starbucks sun-dried tomato cheesy pesto Panini with a latte hit. the. spot.

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I painted my nails myself and used Essie’s gel top coat, which really did help them to last longer!

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I traveled in style.

Mirror selfie to commemorate making it to ATL.

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I wish I had a marker to correct this. Calories count as in your body needs them! Diet language is everywhere. Ugh.

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‘Twas a pretty mosaic floor that begged for a photo.

I bought these three flavors to finally try, and I snacked on one with an apple during my flight. I chatted with the woman beside me, who was super friendly. She did say, “isn’t it a shame all those fat nutritionists?” First of all, we’re Registered Dietitians, not nutritionists. Second of all, no, it absolutely is not. I tried to re-educate as best I could without being awkward. Planting seeds of truth when I can!

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Welcome to Philly!

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I love flying Delta because they provide Biscoff cookies. YUM. Anyone every had them? I first heard about them from Kath.

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Kristi was a lifesaver! She created and managed a Facebook group for FNCE attendees, and this helped me immensely. She and I met at the airport and rode the metro to downtown.

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I stayed at The Notary Hotel, and it was stunning. Check-in was a little nerve-wracking because despite me receiving two emails addressed to “Kori Daniel”, the employee claimed my name was entered into the system as “Daniel Kori”, so he had trouble locating my reservation. Cue an elevated heart rate and sweat beginning to form! But all was well.

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Another mirror, another selfie. Lolz

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I got cleaned up and changed to meet some sweet RD’s for dinner at Honeygrow. How many reflections and images of me do you see? I just realized that with my phone, you can see four images. It’s a photo inception, haha.

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I wore my Madewell black pants with pleather details and my blue blazer, both from Planet Xchange. Loved this outfit! The weather was thankfully very mild.

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Fancy sparkling water.

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I chose their autumn stir fry that included ginger garlic scallion sauce, freshly made soba noodles, roasted carrots, roasted parsnips, roasted rutabaga, curly kale, candied pecans, and pomegranate seeds. It was so flavorful!

After enjoying an insightful conversation with the three sweet RD’s I met with, we went next door to Insomnia Cookies. I was pleasantly full, so I didn’t get anything, but Laura got an ice cream cookie sandwich, and they did not hold back. Ha!

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Saturday, October 26th

I started my morning with an apple and a packet of RX Nut Butter then completed a few Barre3 10-minute flows that felt amazing, especially after sitting on the plane so much the day before.

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I then put myself together for a fun day of sightseeing!

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I wore my Oleg Cassini blazer I found at Goodwill, and it seriously is one of my fav pieces now.

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I loved the hallway/elevator lobby décor.

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The main lobby was stunning! Sadly, I didn’t spend time here, but hopefully there will be a next time that includes Matt with me.

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I ordered a breakfast flatbread from the lovely restaurant in the hotel that included puffy flatbread, dandelion green pesto, scrambled eggs, cheese, and arugula. It was phenomenal!

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La Colombe coffee. My waitress was so very sweet and gave me suggestions for where to go, what to visit, and she offered me a to-go cup for my delish coffee!

I loved this typewriter display!

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I browsed Reading Terminal Market, which is an inside market chock full of eateries, shops, and so much to see!

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I should’ve bought a cookie! Drat.

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There were pastries on pastries.

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On more pastries, ha!

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These dried bouquets were incredibly beautiful! I so wish I could’ve bought one and shipped it home.

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How creative and amazing are these pumpkins?

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It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown <3

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Adorable cat-themed items!

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Black and white

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Those are edible cookies, and I feel they are so pretty it would be hard to eat them!

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Peep some fall foliage. The Convention Center, where FNCE was held, was located across from The Marriott with an inside sky bridge for easy access. It was right next door to my hotel, so my location was just perfect.

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I went ahead and registered and received my badge! I felt official.

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Chinatown.

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National Constitution Center

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These herringbone bricks were so pretty!

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I remember doing a project for my high school junior year US History class on Hershey. I remembered it was founded in PA when I saw these cute items. I wasn’t craving anything in particular, but they had s’mores and chocolates at a café located inside the Independence National Historic Park.

I then went across the street to see the Liberty Bell.

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Here it is with its iconic crack that rendered it unable to produce a tone.

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I would’ve loved to take a carriage ride! Look how snazzy that ride is.

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Philly had some pretty street art and murals.

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After enjoying my leftover stir fry for lunch and relaxing in my room for a bit, it was then time to attend the Opening Session.

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I took photos for two groups ahead of me, and one woman was so kind to take my photo!

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Can’t resist a side-by-side of 2015 vs. 2019.

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It was packed! I heard this may have been the second largest turn-out at something like 8,000-10,000 attendees. I’ll need to try to confirm that! The presenter, a GI doctor, was very engaging and shared information regarding the state of our medical care system. It’s so very broken and runs off a fee-for-service payment system that prompts doctors to prescribe/order procedures that are not necessary with astronomical costs. We desperately need a change that would prevent the system from being able to prey on us patients. He spoke about how hospitals sue patients for outstanding bills in which the hospitals cannot even explain the costs listed. This doctor has represented numerous patients in court and won in each case.

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I had bought this bar at the hotel’s snack bar, and it held me over nicely.

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After the two-hour session, they held a social with hot chocolate, apple cider, and some snacks. I chose hot chocolate with all the goodies. I spoke with a few RD’s and students then felt like getting dinner to enjoy in my room. I learned on this trip just how much of an ambivert I actually am, but there are times when I need to recharge.

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I ordered a Pressed watermelon Salad from the restaurant in The Marriot that included arugula, fresh thyme, feta, pickled jalapenos, sesame, and lemongrass vinaigrette plus bread. For the price, the salad portion was really disappointing, but they didn’t charge me for the bread at least.

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I got to Facetime with Matt and the babies, and it made my night! I finally got myself in bed for the first big day.

Sunday, October 27th

I enjoyed my leftover flatbread for breakfast and then was able to complete a 10-min. Barre3 flow before getting myself ready for a full day! I rocked my fav midi dress from Goodwill with lacy black tights and a cranberry colored blazer.

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I tried a canned cold brew by La Colombe, which was tasty. I just missed my hot coffee, but this was easier to carry to my first session, especially given it was raining. The session was on the renal diet, and it was very informative! I didn’t attend nearly as many sessions as I had expected, but I prioritized in-person interactions given the sessions were recorded and will be released in a few months.

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I couldn’t resist another fun photo-op! Matt said I was a food butterfly. 😉

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I then attended the Expo for the first time. So many vendors come to discuss their products, food philosophy, and talk nutrition with us RD’s, and I love it!

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Kaci said I looked like Alice in Wonderland after she drink the shrinking potion, ha!

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By posing for and sharing this shot, I won a Fitbit HR from General Mills!

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Mmmmm peanuts.

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I need to try to find these Wholly Rollies products!

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I also need to get my paws on this gf waffle. It tasted so nostalgic and comes in shelf-stable packaging.

I tried Go Macro’s nut-free bar that was very enjoyable.

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Alexis shared all about MSG and busted myths pertaining to it causing headaches and being bad for us after traveling to Japan. She did so with Ajinomoto Foods North America, sponsor of this booth!

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We love Bob’s Red Mill products!

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Bob himself was present! I never was able to get into the line in time to meet him, but I snuck this shot. He will be 92 next February and looks so well and outgoing.

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I tried the black sesame milk, and it was only slightly sweet from the date, and I loved the flavor! It was almost more savory, and I appreciated that.

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If you are given the opportunity to pose with a life-size poop emoji, you don’t ask any questions and simply jump at the chance, hahaha!

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I then attended the Behavioral Health Nutrition (BHN) luncheon, which was incredible.

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We were provided a stellar brunch/lunch while listening to some very wise and insightful members discuss care for those with disordered eating, eating disorders, learning disabilities, and recovery from addition.

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The panel, which included Haley Goodrich (in the pretty polka dot dress). I have admired her for several years and was grateful to finally get to meet her in person!

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I asked my question on how best to respond when people say things like the passenger did on the plane regarding body size and being an RD for example. A dietetic student at my table also asked how to address a very weight-centric curriculum, and I only wish I had known about Intuitive Eating when I was in school. She and I had a wonderful conversation afterwards, and another RD spoke to me and thanked me for asking my question. The number of times I connected with others on this trip and felt heard and understood really brought me so much joy!

I made my way to my last session of the day dealing with body image. I snacked on this Simple Mills bar from the Expo and loved the flavor.

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I then followed Haley and two other RD’s to another location to participate in a podcast recording.

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So beautiful.

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The panel included Rebecca Scritchfield, author of Body Kindness. It felt a bit surreal to meet her! I loved the location and the vibe. Very trendy and modern with nods to the past.

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They included some very delicious snacks and sparkling water that were just what I needed to perk me up a bit.

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Haley and I got a photo together, and I love it!

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I asked if I could join Haley and several of the BHN members for lunch, and they were so kind as to allow me to tag along! This area was really decorated for Halloween, and I loved it!

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We dined at Del Frisco’s Grille, and it was very tasty. We split several appetizers, including fried artichoke hearts, baked goat cheese, and a caprese salad.

I ordered the pan-seared scallops over goat cheese polenta with tomato chermoula and pine nut gremolata. It was full of flavor, but admittedly, I would’ve like some greens or a vegetable to accompany it.

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I was in such good company!

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We walked back to our hotels, and I spent time catching up with Matt and then readied myself for bed.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with my final recap! I know this was long, and I apologize. But there is just so much I want to share! Have a great day!

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