Favorite Finds from FNCE 2017

About two weeks have already passed since I was at the 2017 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (aka FNCE) in Chicago. My favorite part of this “Super Bowl of nutrition” is meeting and reconnecting with other RDs.  

Cara Harbstreet, Kelly Jones, Julie Harrington and me at the Living Plate booth!

The networking and social opportunities presented at the conference are always amazing, but one of my favorite parts of this annual event is the expo floor. There are so many brands to discover and companies to connect with, plus SO. MANY. SNACKS. I won’t dive into a full recap of the conference this year, but I do want to share some of the food products (old and new) that I’m loving these days.

Banza

If you haven’t tried this chickpea pasta yet, get on it! I’m a fan of regular gluten-filled pasta too, but if you can’t enjoy gluten or are looking to bump up the protein and fiber in your meals, Banza is a great option. Plus they just came out with new Mac’n’Cheese varieties, which are delish.  Check out my Creamy Pumpkin Pasta recipe using Banza, or grab some of the other great recipes on their website!

 

FYI I am a Banza Ambassador, which means I get sample products and coupons to share with my clients, but I am not paid to support or represent Banza in any way.  

Siggi’s

I’ve long loved and supported Siggi’s for their delicious skyr/yogurt, but also for the brand’s dedication to supporting Registered Dietitians. Siggi himself is always around to represent and speak directly with the professionals who enjoy and support Siggi’s. My favorite product of late is the Triple Cream yogurts, especially the lemon and vanilla flavors. They’re super creamy and satisfying. Full fat FTW! 🙂

Kodiak cakes

This was something I was excited to finally try at FNCE, as I had heard a lot about the brand via social media, but hadn’t taste tested it for myself. Plus, you guys know how much I love pancakes! Kodiak Cakes have pancake and muffin mixes as well as new oatmeal cups and toaster waffles. All of their products are a little bit higher in protein and fiber than traditional mixes too. I tried the pumpkin pancakes and the toaster waffles and have to say I’m a big fan. 

A2

I was first introduced to A2 Milk at the Today’s Dietitian conference and via RD friend Liz Shaw’s social media. Without getting too science-y on you, A2 milk has been created to eliminate the A1 beta-casein protein, which may be the cause of the digestive distress some people experience after drinking milk (that may have interpreted as lactose intolerance).  A2 is a great example of advancing food science providing solutions for those with health conditions or dietary needs. Of course, I’m a big fan of the chocolate A2 milk! 🙂 

Munk Pack

Munk Pack started out with oatmeal squeeze pouches, which I’ve enjoyed as on-the-go and pre/post-workout snacks for a few years now. I stopped at their booth to say hi and was happily surprised when I tried their new protein cookies. The cookies have 18g of fiber and 6g of fiber, but most importantly taste SO good!  

Other FNCE expo brand favorites included Elmhurst Peanut Milk, RxBar, KIND Snacks, Simple Mills and Muuna cottage cheese. I look forward to FNCE next year, if only to connect with fellow RDs and try more snacks! 🙂

FNCE 2014: Part 1

Happy Friday!  I’m here to recap part 1 of my Atlanta travels.  This was my very first trip to FNCE (Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo), despite being an RD for two years now.  To be completely honest, I just haven’t been able to afford the conference fees plus travel expenses on my own.  So I’m super thankful that I now work for a company that gives me the opportunity to attend nutrition conferences and network with fellow nutrition professionals.  Seriously, my job is pretty awesome.

This year’s conference was held in Atlanta, Georgia and I arrived Saturday morning from NYC.  I checked into the hotel and picked up my registration as soon as I got into town, as I had plans to visit my friend Hailey and her newborn for the rest of the day.

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Before visiting with beautiful little Zoey, I grabbed lunch from a food truck parked near my hotel! I was intrigued by it’s name, “Happy Belly” and ordered a Tree Huggers Delight and a side of Brussels for Muscles.  Cute names, right?  And let me tell you…SO good!

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Sunday in Atlanta was all about fitness and sports nutrition, which I obviously loved.  I kicked off the day with a 12 mile run through the city.  I ran through Piedmont Park and on the Atlanta Beltline, which was so cool.  If you need somewhere to run in the Atlanta area, I totally recommend the Beltline.  It’s so health-focused (they host run clubs, yoga classes, etc) and has such fun art along the route.

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Have I?! 🙂

After my run, I grabbed some breakfast and a protein shake and headed over to the conference center.  The first session I attended was called “What about exercise? Ways for RDNs to Step Up Their Fitness Game” presented by Cathy Leman and Jim White.

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Cathy and Jim (and moderator Leslie Bonci! Eek!) spoke all about combining a career in fitness and nutrition to make the most impact for your clients.  It was really interesting and inspirational to hear their stories and it got me thinking I should start working toward some kind of fitness certification.  I plan on sitting for the CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) exam in a few years, so this would be on top of that.  Cool stuff!

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So true!

The next session of the day was “Integrative Sports Nutrition:Validity, Safety, Quality and Identity for Supplementation.” presented by Dr. Tod Cooperman (of ConsumerLab.com) and Lisa Dorfman, MS, RD, CSSD, LMHC, FAND.  I learned SO much from sitting in on this presentation, but the main takeaway was to really research supplements, both when taking them yourself and recommending them for others.  Many vitamins/minerals/supplements Dr. Cooperman tests do NOT meet the quality or quantity claims provided on their labels.  This means you may be taking too much or not getting enough of what you think you’re taking! Scary (and dangerous) stuff!  Educate yourself, and check out great resources like the Natural Standards Database, Consumer Labs, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database or the USADA.

After all that learning, it was time to EAT!  Janelle, the other RD from my company, and I headed to dinner at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails, conveniently located right across from our hotel.  It’s a restaurant boasting contemporary Southern cuisine with a focus on seasonal and local foods.  I enjoyed the Wild Rocket Salad (Apples, Sheep’s Milk Feta Cheese, Cider Vinaigrette, Sourdough Crouton), Flounder with Butternut Squash and Blueberry Fried Pie.   It was incredible! Definitely check it out next time you’re in Atlanta.

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That’s all for the first part of my FNCE trip!  Stay tuned for Part 2, where I’ll share more about the education sessions I attended, but most importantly all of the FOOD and vendors at the expo! 😉

Did you go to FNCE this year?  What did you learn?  What did you EAT?  Tell me about it!

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