FNCE 2013: Weekend edition

Happy Monday! My first two days at FNCE have been filled to the brim with meeting tons of interesting people and cramming useful information into my brain, despite a shortage of sleep. I love conferences!

Here are a few highlights:

Saturday

I spent the day sitting in on the Nutrition Entrepreneurs Dietetic Practice Group (DPG) executive committee meeting. Such a vibrant, personable, welcoming, smart and savvy group of women. I really appreciated this view into the inner workings of the group that has been instrumental in the professional development portion of my education in the last year-and-a half.
The opening session featured CNN anchor Betty Nguyen speaking on “Humanitarian Work: It Will Change Your Life.” After hearing her first hand account of what citizens of Sierra Leone had to go through to vote after their civil war, I will no longer grumble about filling out my mail-in ballot. Voting without impediment is a right and a privilege we too-easily take for granted in this country.
Networking dinner with Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG. Good food, great conversation and two fun rounds of speed networking. And I picked up this shiny new plaque:

Need I say more?

Sunday

I walked back to the convention at the crack of dawn for the Nutrition Entrepreneurs breakfast. Totally worth it to hear talks on the nutritional value of cranberries (including why they are so powerful for preventing urinary tract infections…no, it’s not the acidity) and on getting a book published. I took copious notes during the latter talk, by RD Elisa Zied.

The first session I went to was “Beyond Traditional Dietetics: Turning Your RD into Real Dollars” with Leah McGrath, PhD, RD, LDN, FADA, and Susan Mitchell, RD, LDN. I am already several steps ahead of their advice for breaking into writing, but I picked up some really useful tips for solidifying my social media “strategy” and expanding my skills as a public speaker.
“Bringing Cooking Back” with Ellie Krieger, MS, RDN. This was a fist pumper. I tweeted a few of the best lines (you can see them in my Twitter feed to the right).
“Unraveling the Science of Food Allergies” with Todd Mahr, MD, and Lynn Christie, MS, RD, LD. Fantastic information on the difference between food allergies and other types of food-related reactions. The best part of the talk may have been the discussion of which types of allergy testing are evidence-based and which are pure hokum. I smell a future On Nutrition column on this topic…
“Promoting Fertility via Optimal Nutrition,” with Judy Simon, MS, RD, CD, CHES, and Jorge Chavarro, MD, ScD. Judy is my mentor, so I’m a bit biased, but they gave a great, superinformative talk. I especially liked that Judy talked about her experience working with women struggling with fertility on both ends of the weight spectrum: underweight (generally due to an eating disorder) and significantly overweight.
Evening networking with Nutrition Entrepreneurs. I attended both the Private Practice/Speakers and the Authors/Writers specialty group sessions. More fun networking and information-I-can-use as I transition to becoming a bonafide RDN.

I hope I didn’t just ramble…I wrote this post late last night, and I have another super-early breakfast meeting this morning. This trip is going by so fast!