[Post-presentations with (left to right) Cara of Cara's Cravings and Amy of Simply Sugar and Gluten Free (one of the two Wonder Women behind the conference!), and me. We're thrilled to finally meet each other in person!]
I couldn’t let the weekend go by without posting a quick recap of my time at Nourished, the very first food bloggers’ conference for all of us on special diets–gluten free, dairy free, vegan, SCD, low amine, FODMAP, and any other specialty diet you can think of. And the conference was a smashing success! I left feeling uplifted, educated inspired, and–in every sense of the word, Nourished.
I can’t thank Amy and Jen enough for inviting me to be part of this incredible event and for everything they did to make it as amazing as it was. Many thanks also go out to everyone who attended (many of you from far and wide!), to all of you who sat in on my presentation and let me know what you thought of it, to each and every one of you who came over and said “hello” (it was SO great to meet so many of you in person!!) and all the nice folks who fed us such great gluten-free food all weekend!
One huge lesson I learned on a personal level is I absolutely need to get myself a laptop computer! Even worse, I don’t have a smart phone and I don’t text message (yes, I know–I am, like, 114 years old). As a result, I was virtually offline for 2 days. Not a great idea when you are at a food bloggers’ conference! I wish I’d been quicker on the draw with my trusty point-and-shoot to capture the hoards of audience members all tweeting away on their laptops and phones. Very impressive! In the end, I was so overwhelmed by all the happenings that I forgot to take very many photos. But I will share them all here with you!
[We vegans were well-nourished throughout the event, too! A huge number of sponsors provided snacks and food throughout, like this buffet lunch. My meal: a big mound of hummus, carrot-cucumber salad, Mediterranean salad, and two of the most amazing lentil-chickpea flour flatbreads I've ever tasted, topped with coconut chutney. YUM!]
Some of the personal highlights for me were:
- Meeting Amy and Jen, the founders of the event
- Hanging out with other bloggers I’ve known via online interactions, but hadn’t yet met in person: Tess, Kim, Cybele, Silvana, Hallie, Cara, Amie, Dianne, Kalinda, Heather, Annelies, Jenilyn, Alyssa, and so many more!
- Meeting some folks for the first time–including Eve, Laura, Colette, Carolyn, Karen, Peter and Kelli, Kim, Lauren-Lucille, Angela and too many more to count!
- Receiving a bag of almond flour from Jenilyn–one of the most thoughtful gestures I’ve ever encountered! I can’t believe you lugged it all the way to the conference!! Thanks again, so much, for the gift, Jenilyn xo
- Spending a laugh-filled dinner with many of the folks mentioned above
- Actually presenting at the conference (I talked about attracting and retaining a mainstream audience for your specialty blog). Thanks once again to Katie for all her hard work in setting it up–I am so techno-challenged!
- Chatting with the local CBS Affiliate station about gluten free eating–stay tuned for their piece on the rise of Gluten Free!
- Finding actual FOOD that I could eat at a conference!! Of course, I brought along some of my own travel-friendly foods, just in case. But there were vegan options aplenty, including a huge, fully packed swag bag of samples from all the sponsors, and surprise snack-packs of Cybele’s new line of allrgy-friendly cookies in our final session (vegan but not sugar free–though the HH scarfed them down pretty darned quickly when I offered them to him later on).
- A gorgeous hotel room that was large even by the HH’s standards (not always easy when you’re 6’1″ tall). Everything was comfy, gorgeous and plush. We felt extremely spoiled!!
- Traveling Porter Airlines–the easiest, most streamlined, organized and hassle-free air travel on the continent (The HH and I love Porter–and no, I don’t know anyone who works there!).
Sessions provided all kinds of information about blogging for special diets and how to improve the quality of your blog overall.The energy and enthusiasm at the event was palpable. Food bloggers are the best, aren’t they?
I’m already scheming to figure out how I can make it to the next one, coming up in September in Dallas. I can only imagine that Nourished will continue to grow and quickly become one of the top-drawing conferences in the foodie community.
Kudos to both Jen and Amy for a fun, jam-packed, spectacular, and incredibly memorable event. I’m still floating on the energy and buzz from the day. And for those of you lucky enough to have stayed in the area for the Gluten Free Expo, all I can say is, “wish I were there!”
“Mum, glad you’re home and everything, but you could have stayed for that Expo–no rush to get home! We were having a blast with our furry cousins at your friends PR Queen and Eternal Optimist’s houses. And being a guest means we get offered treats more liberally–so we felt nourished, too!”
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Other Posts with Travel-Friendly Foods:
- Coconut Brittle (gluten free; ACD all stages)
- Spicy Sunflower-Nori Crackers (gluten free; ACD all stages)
- Grain-Free, No-Cook Porridge (just add water once you’re there!) (gluten free; ACD all stages)
© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs