FNCE Day 3

After we went to Wagamama there was still the issue of packing.  When I left the hotel on that last day I needed everything to go with me since I was not coming back to the hotel.  Therefore, it had to be packed Monday night and ready to go, plus I needed everything that would be shipped off to the side and ready to take to the UPS store in the hotel.

Here is what my hotel bed looked like after unloading just 1 bag to sort through.  The far back left was sectioned off for goodies that I would send my sister, the back right was food, and in the front I had everything else sorted so I could pack things appropriately and really just know what I was working with.
I will show you some of the goodies I picked up:

Flexible cutting board.  Actually, I got a set of 3 from ConAngra, which are bigger, but this one from the canned pear people is nice too.
This is from Nestle (obviously) and is a storage container with a built in freezer pack in the lid.
I had never seen this before.  This is Ideal, a no calorie sweetener and a replacement for sugar.  I got some brown sugar and confectioners sugar substitutes.  Have you ever seen this before or used it?
Here is what their website says about Ideal: 

Ideal® no calorie sweetener is the ideal replacement for your sugar bowl!Ideal® has fantastic taste which comes from its unique combination of ingredients.  Ideal® contains more than 99% natural ingredients (Natural Xylitol and Natural Maltodextrin) by volume (with a small amount of non-natural sucralose-a concentrated sweetener), and it keeps its sweetness, volume and texture in baking as well as dissolves quickly and completely in hot or cold drinks. It measures cup for cup like sugar, and  Ideal® is delicious for sweetening fresh fruit or cereal to satisfy that sweet tooth. Ideal® is a great sugar alternative for the whole family!

I’ll let you know what I think when I try it.  I am a little nervous because of the sugar alcohols, which actually do have calories, so I need to do some more research on this.

Next up is this fun little notepad.  You can’t be a notepad with veggies on the front.

Can you guess what this is?  Here’s a hint, it’s from the Peanut Institute.  If you guessed a peanut butter jar scraper, you are CORRECT!!!
One thing I love about FNCE is that Bob's Red Mill is always there giving away lots of good samples.  This company makes great products and if you are looking for gluten free, Bob’s Red Mill is a good way to go.
I came across some hemp products.
Ok, this is somewhat funny.  Overeaters Anonymous has fork pens that say “Put down the fork”.
This came from Holly from a military thing she attended and it is made from a fruit base, but chocolate flavored.  She gave me 2, so Ryan and I both get to try one.
PepsiCo gave out these great insulated bags for freezer goods while grocery shopping.
I finally signed up for a subscription to Today's Dietitian.  When I got a 3 year subscription, they gave me a cookbook.
Ooooh, look what I got!  This is my sample of Barney Butter, but when I went back at the end, I asked and they gave me a small jar of their crunchy almond butter.  I am so excited and happy that I scored some to take home.
I purchased this book:
Have you seen or heard about this book before.  The author and photographer were the FNCE opening speakers.  Everything was about globalization and cultures this year, so they were showcased on the first day.  I bought this book and got it signed by them both.  I was lucky because I was the last one to get a book signed before they packed it up to have their sound check.  Basically they travelled all over and interviewed/observed people with various jobs and looked at what they ate for a day and then photographed everything.  It looks so interesting.  I love that it even has the calorie counts for daily totals on each person.  I will keep you posted as I work my way through this book.

Here is the bed after I finished unloading (and photographing) more bags of stuff.
The next morning I was able to get 2 packages in the mail to myself, and then ship some things off to my sister.  After that I headed very quickly to get some breakfast from the hotel.
Since there was a great view from the hotel concierge level, I snapped a few shots while trying not to be in everyone’s way.
I made to FNCE only a few minutes late, which was rather impressive.  The first session I attended was presented by Asma Bukhari and Maria Bovill.  The topic was Military RDs Confront Global Nutrition Challenges: Lessons Learned.  I was really excited because I am a little closer to the military world these days, and Maria Bovill is the president elect of the American Overseas Dietetic Association.  I had email contact with her in the past, but I met her at this conference and she is awesome, and I am very lucky to get to work with her in AODA.

Their objectives for this presentation included: 1) Identify major nutritional concerns and standards of care to use in the global arena 2) Describe the skills of U.S. Army dietitians confronted with global nutrition challenges 3) Discuss Army research opportunities and 4) Discuss development of international graduate nutrition curriculum.  The military now has in conjunction with Baylor in Texas a graduate program in nutrition.

The first presenter was Asma Bukhari and she shared with the group her experience in Belize.  She was only there for 2 weeks and had little time to prepare in advance, but went there to provide diabetes education and support.  Some tasks include nutrition assessments, including in the home and looking at their local foods and food access.

Maria presented on her current work in Kenya.  She is an officer in the Army and works at the US Army Research Unit in Kenya.  She said this is the first time an RD is in charge at this facility so it has opened up the chance to do more research on nutritional status.  Currently, they are working on a malaria vaccine, and then also looking at some nutritional components using the trial participants.  One topic, used by 3 graduate students in 3 different studies, looked at zinc supplementation to reduce diarrhea.  The population in Africa is in need of nutrition research and support, and their role in this malaria research gives them free medical (this is in children, for a vaccine in children) care, even if unrelated to the study. 

Do not be surprised if at some point I head to Kenya to hang out with Maria.  I found this so amazingly awesome and inspiring.  Don’t forget that my graduate background is in public health and I am interested in infectious diseases along with chronic diseases, because nutrition does play a role in both.

The next session I attended was The Foods Kids Aren’t Eating: Overcoming Childhood Obesity with Total Nutrition through Kids Eat Right.  If you are not aware, there is a new American Dietetic Association campaign called Kids Eat Right aimed at reducing childhood obesity.  So this presentation demonstrate the health of our nation’s youth and reviewed the data on childhood obesity and kid’s food choices.  One presenter even shared with us how we may have differences of opinions on what foods we consider nutrient dense or nutrient rich.  It was interesting ton see who raised their hands for which pictures on the screen.  Another cool part was the live performance from an RD created group that takes live theater on the road to schools to teach kids about nutrition.  This company is called FoodPlay Productions.  I thought they put on a fantastic show.  If you have kids in school or your work for a school, consider getting this group to come perform there.

Then I headed down to the expo floor for “lunch” AKA sample time.  Yes, I barely ate a meal while I was there and I tried tons of samples, and yes, I wound up with a stomach ache like the rest of you there.  One thing I really liked was this vegan cheesecake.  It was so good.  This is from Follow your Heart, who carry vegan dairy free products like Vegenaise.
While making one last pass through the hall I bumped into Holly, where we said our goodbyes.  She was leaving much earlier than me, and she was on Aurora’s flight back to Vegas.
Then I headed to one more session before the final closing session, which I was eagerly awaiting.  My final session was Preparing Healthy Plates: RDs Dish on Their roles in Restaurants.  Stephanie Quirantes, MS, RD presented first on her role as the RD for Burger King.  Hard to believe, but there is an RD for Burger King and she works to alter recipes to lower sodium and introduce healthier options.  I think that if fast food is still going to be around, it is good that they at least have an RD working for them and trying to help improve.  She went over the apple fries on the menu, which are just fresh apples cut to look like fries, to keep it fun.  She went over some information about marketing, as well as how they lowered sodium content in their foods without any complaints from the consumers, and then she had to work to update the nutrition information available for their products.  She showed this awesome Video for baby carrots, and if you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out.  Talk about neat marketing for healthy foods.  She also showed the apple fry commercial for BK.

The second presenter was Stephanie Green and she is the RD for P.F. Changs.  If you ever write in with nutritional questions, she said she is probably the person who would bet your email and respond.  She analyzes all recipes and gets the most up to date nutrition information available to the public.  She wanted to get the message out that RDs do have a role in restaurants and provide a benefit and skilled service to larger companies.  They can help guide restaurants to make better menu options and alter their current recipes.  It was neat too that she went over some information on the nutrition labeling in restaurants since I am not too familiar with this because I am living overseas now.
Lucky for us, that session got out a few minutes early and we were able to enter the hall of the final session early was the prior talk was still going on.  When I say we, I mean me and another RD, Analis, who I met at FNCE the night before and bumped into at the RD in restaurants session.  We both wanted really good seats for Anthony Bourdain, that’s right, Anthony Bourdain, who was the speaker for the closing session.  The session was titled How to Stop Worrying & Enjoy Globalization.  Anthony Bourdain, if you are not familiar with him, is an author, chef and TV personality, and his current show is called No Reservations.

We did get good seats.  Look at all the people behind me.
I needed a quick snack, so it was a good thing I was carrying around a tote bag filled with food.
Here is Sylvia Escott-Stump, the President Elect of the ADA.  She introduced Anthony Bourdain.
Here he is:
He was fantastic, and since I already like him, I had no problems with his foul language and sense of humor.  I was ready for it, and he brought it like only Anthony Bourdain could.  He made some great points and talked about foods around the world and why Americans should travel, experience other cultures and accept them in the US.  He made some great points about foreigners needing to make their traditional foods acceptable to American palates in the past because there were not enough of their culture to provide a large customer base, so it would be American’s eating there, but now they can be more “risky” and serve traditional foods because they no longer need to rely on Americans as their main customer base.  I have always known this, but it sounded way more profound coming from him.  The food I had in China was not even close to the Chinese food I was used to in the US.

He also encouraged keeping traditional foods close to their origins and using ingredients that are simple.  He mentioned buying food off the seemingly dirty food stand in a foreign country and that you are more likely to get food poisoning from your hotel where they care less about repeat business and the guy on the street has been feeding his neighbors for years.  He reminded us all not to dress so that we single ourselves out as the American tourist and try to experience the real culture.  As someone living overseas now, I agree and I think there is so much that the world has to offer.  You need to willing to try new things and except others, including their differences.  That is what makes us unique.

My favorite part was during the Q&A when someone asked for his suggestion for an Italian restaurant nearby.  His response was along the lines of him not having one since he is not familiar with the area right now, but since they are in Boston they should try Portuguese instead, like Azorean food.  I cheered.  I did, seriously I yelled a little and people looked at me and so I was like “yeah shout out to the Azores…I live there”.  That was so cool he said that.  And then I thought, really, Azorean is that last thing I want for dinner in Boston since I will probably get that the very next night when I was back in the Azores.

After Anthony Bourdain I had one more meeting to attend for the American Overseas Dietetic Association.  I was so glad I could spend some time with these ladies, although I did have to leave that night and miss the board meeting the next day.

So, I hopped on the bus and headed to the airport for my red-eye flight home.  I had some work to do, but I needed some dinner.  I found a pub but there was no real vegetarian option on the menu.  The hostess suggested Earl of Sandwich, which she said had a nice veggie sandwich.
She was right.  This was a really good sandwich.
I was not too sure about the service however.  I asked for a cup of water and the employee claimed the manager said she was not allowed to give out any water from the sink.  So I asked if Boston has unsafe drinking water because I had been drinking it.  She said she was unsure and only knows what her manager told her which was no one could drink that.  At this point I knew it was all about the money the manager wanted for the bottled water and I had no problem paying for a cup, but the bottled water is often a waste because it comes from the tap anyway at the bottling plant.  I would not have been as annoyed if the employee could have shown any ability to think on her own, but she looked at me blankly and said she only knew what her manager told her.  In the end, I took a cup and went to the water fountain, which again I asked her if her water was drinkable and then if the fountain was safe.  She said she did not know about the safety of the water in the airport.  I found that a little disturbing that she never thought to ask if they were told to strictly prohibit anyone drinking from the tap.  In the end, I know it was only that the manager wanted the sales from bottled water.  It was a losing battle to enter, but I thought the employee should have either been more honest or tried to think for herself, rather than blame everything on her manager.  I was probably just a tad exhausted at this point and a little cranky.  Good thing I fell asleep almost immediately on the plane.

I did wake up just in time to get my specially ordered vegetarian meal.  It was only fair, so I just picked at it and then went back to sleep.  The next thing I remembered was the sun rising in the distance and the message from the pilot that we were making our final descent to Ponta Delgado.
 DSC07486 DSC07487
Once we landed, I was actually hungry, so I grabbed a Portuguese style donut, checked my emails, and looked around the duty free shop before catching my 30 minute flight home.
There you have it, a quick trip to the US, but packed with so much.

QUESTIONS:  Do you like Anthony Bourdain?  Have you ever eaten at Earl of Sandwich?  Have you ever heard of FoodPlay?  Have you checked out the new Kids Eat Right Campaign?  Did you know BK has an RD on staff?


Emily said...

Looks like you had a great time in Boston! I hope I can attend FNCE next year. Anthony Bourdain sounds like a great speaker! I'm sad i missed him!

Also, the Azores was the answer to one of the questions during a game of Trivial Pursuit last night, and I thought of you!

Gina; The Candid RD said...

ANTHONY BOURDAIN!?!?! I'm so jealous!!!! I love him. He is so awesome. I am also jealous about all of the Bob's Red Mill products. I didn't get ONE last year :( Funny thing though, my bed looked just like yours at the end of the three days, literally covered with goodies.

I think the Ideal sweetener sounds like a good choice, but I can't help but laugh at "natural maltodextrin"....hehe, it's not so natural. But hey, it's in a lot of "natural" sweeteners.

If I didn't work at MD I would LOVE to work for a restaurant chain like Burger King, although I'm sure there are many things that are tough about that job. Simply working for a company that is known for their deep fried potatoes and fatty burgers is hard enough! It's great that they employ an RD though.

Glad you had a great time Melinda!

Unknown said...

Looooove Anthony Bourdain! He is why I have heard of The Azores!

Ameena said...

I am also quite jealous of your attendance at this event!! What an amazing time you must have had - great samples, great food, and Anthony too!

I must add that I've been to Wagamama's in London and loved it! I had no idea they are in the USA now?

Holly said...

I heard that Taco Bell has been lowering the sodium secretly as well, now about 25% less than a couple years ago. And no one notices! Just goes to show that even Fast Food paletes can be retrained. Still have a long way to go to get Americans off the salt train, but at least it's a start (yes yes yes, better if they didn't eat there at all, but we have to take baby steps with some folks).

Kristen (swanky dietitian) said...

I thought Anthony Bourdain was fantastic! He had me cracking up!
Some of the free stuff you got I didn't see. Bummer..Ok not that I needed anymore stuff. I swear, I could barely fit it all into my suitcase. haha.

Nazarina A said...

Wow! I am really lucky to have landed at your "door." You are a breath of fresh air where your travels are concerned!

Love Anthony as well, foul mouth and all he!he!
I totally agree with him, about contracting the food poisoning bit!The Azores episode made me long for home!

Nicole, RD said...

Aw, I love all the picutres! I can't believe I've never been to FNCE...hopefully next year! :) And BK has an RD?! Learn something new every day!

And I don't blame you (re: your answers on my blog)..what's not to LOVE about living in the middle of the ocean!? Ahhh! Lucky :)

Simply Life said...

oooh looks like lots of fun new things to try! :)

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