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I Feel So Nourished!

[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!). 😉

[Signing books at the book table.  That’s Peter Bronski on the left and Cybele Pascal on the right! ]

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!”

Never miss a recipe–or a comment from The Girls!  Click here to subscribe to Diet, Dessert and Dogs via email.  (“We love subscribers, Mum. . . almost as much as treats!”)

Other Posts with Travel-Friendly Foods:

© Ricki Heller, Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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56 comments to I Feel So Nourished!

  • Colette

    Ricki, it was such a pleasure to meet you as well. Your session was terrific, and I am so glad I got to hear you speak. I agree that it was a great session, and you helped make it so.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Colette! I loved chatting wtih you in person!! Hope you enjoyed the rest of the weekend if you stayed for the Expo. Love your blog and can’t wait for the book!! 😀

    [Reply]

  • Sounds like you had a fabulous time at the conference. You’ve described how I felt after attending Vida Vegan Con’s first conference. I wish I could have been there in Chicago, too. You should apply to be a speaker at the next VVC in Portland!

    The girls’ faces are so gentle and loving, every time I see their photo I want to reach through the screen and give them both a big hug!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Andrea! Yes, I remember all the descriptions of VVC and I bet it was very much the same. So many great people there! I’m waiting until VVC comes a little closer, as Portland is very far away and sadly the cost for me would be prohibitive (Canadian air travel is outrageously expensive–and Porter doesn’t fly there!). 😉 I love what you said about The Girls–and it’s true, where people are concerned. Just don’t put Elsie in front of a new dog. . . or her face wouldn’t be *quite* that gentle!!

    [Reply]

  • Courtney

    Oh, Ricki–it all looks and sounds fabulous! I wish I could have been there. I am sure your session was a hit!

    I must be 115 if you are 114, lol–I don’t have a smart phone, I don’t text AND I am not on Facebook! You are much more tech savvy than I am 😉

    Courtney

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Courtney, you are so funny!! I only felt that way at the conference, I think, because so many bloggers were able to continue blogging while they were away, and I would have loved to write about it as it was happening. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Courtney Reply:

    Laptops ARE great…I do love mine, even though I don’t use it for Facebook or anything fancy 😉 Your wrap up of the conference was great!

    Courtney

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Courtney!! 😀

    [Reply]

  • I am so sad that I didn’t attend your session – I attended the other one in that slot 🙁

    I wish I would have been able to meet you! Maybe at the next Nourished!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Mary Fran, I am sorry I didn’t attend yours as well!! I kept hoping our paths would cross at other times during the conference, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I heard that your talk was terrific and would love to meet you some time!

    [Reply]

  • Oh, I wish I could have gone this year! Please tell me it’s happening again!!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Morri, YES!! It will be happening again in September, in Dallas. Exact dates to be announced soon! Check on the Nourished website for more info. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • I have been dying of envy this weekend..what a wonderful place to be! Such great news that another is coming up…I will be working hard to make that one happen! Welcome home…and now go get that laptop (i don’t have a smartphone yet either! So I guess that makes me old too!)

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Tessa, you would have had a fantastic time. I hope you can make it to the next one–the information was terrific, and the energy at the event was amazing–so many great people there! And yes, I am going to get that laptop! 😀

    [Reply]

  • just like Andrea, I too was thinking of VVC as I read through this – I remember the excitement of being with so many like minded people! When I was at VVC, I wanted to focus on the present, so all I had with me was my camera and laptop/notebook – taking photos and notes, and then I’d tweet and post later in the evening and after the event was over. I know many can be uber connected, but sometimes I don’t want to be! 🙂

    I just have far too much going on right now to have attended, but I hope to do so next time.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Kris, it would be so great if you could come! There were actually quite a lot of vegans there, and they really considered us with the food choices, too. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Ricki, I was so happy to meet you. You’re just as nice in person as you are online. Thank you for encouraging me to get started blogging, I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
    I really enjoyed your talk at Nourished, it was so filled with many helpful hints, I especially liked the tips of how to name recipes. Thank you for being so generous in your sharing of ideas that have made your blog so inviting, funny and beautiful. As far as the almond flour, I can’t wait to see what creation you come up with in using it. Jenilyn

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Jenilyn, it was so great to meet you as well! And thanks for your kind comments. I still can’t get over how thoughtful it was of you to bring the flour for me–I am carefully considering what to make with it!
    I’ll look forward to seeing where you take your blog, too. Thanks again! 😀

    [Reply]

  • Natalie

    That looks SO wonderful! Wish I could have been there! Any idea which sponsor provided the lentil-chickpea flour flatbreads? 🙂 Those look too good!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Natalie, I’ll find out for you. There was so much information during the day that I’ve forgotten! 😉

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Hi Natalie,
    I heard back from Amy that it was OMangos restaurant in the area (Chicago). Hope that helps! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Natalie Reply:

    Oh wow, you are so dang nice to find that out!!! Thank you!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    My pleasure! 😀 Are you in the area? I’d love to know if you can buy them over there!

    [Reply]

    Natalie Reply:

    No! I wish!! I’d love an easy alternative to making them myself when I’m out of energy. I was hoping it was somewhere I could order online or something. 🙂 I sure appreciate you finding out though!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Wait–DO YOU HAVE A RECIPE FOR THESE?? If you do, I would love to try them (I’m willing to make them at home!). They were truly delicious–would love to have them again.

  • Oh Ricki, I’m sure you inspired so many people! I’m envious of everyone who got to hug you 🙂 xo

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I know we will meet one day, one way or another! (How’s that trip plan coming along. . . ???) 😉

    [Reply]

  • It sounds great – I wish we had more of these bloggers conferences in Australia. Do any of the presentations get uploaded online – would be interested to have a look at them if they do. And am excited for you that there was food you could have – that meal photograph looks delicious

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Johanna! I think that a few of us are going to post our presentations (mine doesn’t have many notes, but I might add them). And yes, the food was great! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Wow, how fun! Can’t wait to go next year 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I hope you can, Alisa! It would be so great to meet you! 😀

    [Reply]

  • Wasn’t nourished wonderful? There was too much to do…and too many people to meet. I’m disappointed our paths didn’t cross there. But hopefully next year. =)

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I agree–totally wonderful! Thanks so much for your comment–I wish we had been able to meet up, too! If I can make it to Dallas, let’s make a point of it. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Great to to see all the juicy tidbits, only sorry I missed it all, as I was teaching in Napa (no violins please, ha ha.) I will have to watch closely for the dates next year and block it early!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Aww, poor you–only Napa!! 😉 But yes, it was also a great experience, and I do hope you make it to the next one! 😀

    [Reply]

  • It was so great meeting you at Nourished, Ricki! Great recap post too, I’m working on mine now 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Melanie! Great to meet you, too. Looking forward to reading your post! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • Oh, I wanted so badly to go to the conference! I’m glad to hear there is another one coming up…maybe we can get a future one planned for Florida? (Hint, hint!)

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Libby, I’d certainly attend one in Florida! (especially in February!) 😉 I’d send a note to either Amy or Jen and make a suggestion if that’s what you’d like to know. 🙂

    [Reply]

  • I got a lot out of your presentation and the others. (Cara’s photography session was great.) Now I have to apply it all. 🙂

    I don’t have a smart phone but definitely will before I travel again. I’m looking forward to the next Nourished in Dallas in 2013.

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks so much, Shannon! Glad you enjoyed the presentations, too. 😀 And I know what you mean about having a smart phone!!

    [Reply]

  • What a cool event for you & thanks for sharing it with us! The food looks great too! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Yes, the food was amazing–a good trait for a food blogger conference! And the presentations I attended were all terrific. Overall, a fantastic event!

    [Reply]

  • Kim

    In a day that was jam-packed full of of highlights, spending time with you was definitely at the top! I learned so much from you, and I came away knowing that I have a real friend now, where you were an awesome online support before! This was a great recap!
    xo Kim

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Oh, Kim, you’re making me tear up here!! I felt the same way. SO glad that we met up and spent time together. (And–do I dare say it again??–SO glad you won that VitaMix!!). 😀 xo

    [Reply]

  • I loved your session, Ricki!!! I learned so many tips that i can’t wait to implement. Love your sense of humor and how precious you are in person as you are in prose. Next time I hope we get more time…a gf, vegan dinner!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Aw, thank you so much, Heather! And I’m so glad you enjoyed the session. I felt the same way about you–so sorry we didn’t have more time. A vegan, gf dinner sounds heavenly. . . my version that night was a baked potato and spinach. Nothing wrong with it. . . but I bet we could have done better! 😉

    [Reply]

  • I’m a meat eater and that food looked yum!!!

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Thanks, Mamacook! And yes, it was!! 🙂

    [Reply]

  • bitt

    looks like a fun conference. i hope you can get the recipe for those lentil flatbreads, yum.

    ps: made your pancakes for the husband, he approves. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    I hope I can get the recipe, too, Bitt, but it was provided by a local restaurant, so I’m doubtful. I am glad that hubby likes the pancakes, though!! 😀

    [Reply]

  • Hello Ricky,

    Thank you so much for sharing! So fun to hear about your experience. I can imagine it was all very inspiring. Your dish these looks fabulous. How wonderful for you to meet all those wonderful bloggers. I look forward to attending one day myself. Until then, thank you for sharing the event with us.

    Be Well,
    –Amber

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    Amber, it was a great conference, and yes, VERY inspiring! And yes, the food was delicious. So many great people there. . .I do hope you get to go next year, or some time soon!

    [Reply]

  • We will have the sessions available or download in the near future:). Jen

    [Reply]

    Ricki Reply:

    That’s great! Thanks, Jen. 🙂

    [Reply]

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