Day 13: Wrapping up the Conference and Heading to Sydney Harbour

The last of the conference was a half day and the only day where there was not a scheduled breakfast.  No problem for me because I had visited a grocery store and bought some yogurt and strawberries.  It made an excellent breakfast!
Actually, I was really impressed with the yogurt and wished I had more.  It was just the right consistency that I like because it was gelatin free (and I don't eat gelatin anyway).  One thing I noticed in Australia was that yogurts listed gelatin as halal gelatin.  In the US it gets listed as kosher gelatin (all in all indicating not from pig and obtained using practices specific to the religion).  I really found this interesting.  It shows where the market or need is in labeling food products.  I have not lived in the US in 3 years, so I can't say for sure, but before that I never saw a yogurt labeled this way in the ingredients, only kosher or just plain gelatin.  Even the US brands we get at our commissary are that way.  Does anyone know if in some areas they make the product using halal gelatin instead?  Could someone from both religions determine the same product to meet the criteria for both?  As you can tell, I am really curious about this.  I definitely find it interesting.  For anyone that doesn't know, I worked in an Egyptian restaurant for years in high school and college and during this time I got to learn a lot about Muslims and their religion.  

Anyways, back to the yogurt!  It was so good!
Wanna know what else fascinated me?  This bird!  They were everywhere but it still looked like they should be in a zoo.  I think it was the long beak that made them so interesting to me.  Sorry, the picture is a little blurry.
That morning one of our AODA country reps (from Jamaica), Patricia Thompson, was presenting a presentation in the final session.  Charmain and I took a picture with her before she gave her presentation.
The first speaker of the morning was from Japan, Professor Shigeru Yamamoto, and he spoke on dietetics education, discretion power and research ability.  Basically he gave some good information on the research in Japan and Asian cultures on obesity, diabetes and diet.

He showed this slide comparing the (old) Food Guide Pyramid to the Healthy Eating Pyramid by Dr. Willet from Harvard, specifically looking at white rice intake, which is obviously high in Asian cultures.
This is showing the composition of the 3 macronutrients in various diets around the world.
Here is some good information which helps to understand why Japan (and other Asian populations) have different BMI categories for obesity and overweight than the US.  BMI is an indicator of risk for disease, and there is a greater risk when you fall in the overweight category, and an even greater risk for developing certain diseases if you fall in the obese category.  Yes, this is an a-ha moment for me because I never looked at the data to see where (using BMI) disease development was occurring in Asian populations, especially the Japanese.  So it makes complete sense that if with low BMIs (or low compared to the standards used by most countries in the world) they are developing diabetes, then their BMI classification would be shifted from what we see in the US.
This was another interesting slide that he showed.  I didn't realize that these were the differences in causes for strokes between the two countries.
I also found this really interesting, especially since I live in Japan.  Looks like Japan is focused on improving it's nations health and there is a focus on nutrition.
Our second speaker was Wineke Reminjnse from the Netherlands.  She spoke a little about the struggles of dietetics and nutrition practice in her country and their work to bring the Nutrition Care Practice to the Netherlands.  

I found this slide to be very interesting.  From 2004-2011 they nutrition was covered by basic insurance.  In 2012, however, it was removed, except for what looks like those few conditions.  This was obviously a huge let down to their dietetics community and they took action.  Their hard work paid off in the end.  If I remember correctly, they did not win a law suit that they were in, but they did end up getting basic insurance to bring nutrition care back into coverage at 3 hours per year (previously was 4 hr/yr).  What a huge accomplishment for them!  So glad they put up a fight.  It just goes to show that even small victories are well worth the fight.
She had this funny cartoon in her slides, so I couldn't resist!
Next up was Patricia Thompson and she spoke on the status of the profession and titles in the Caribbean.  The take away message (or rather my take away message) from this presentation and the one I just mentioned was really that we can all make a difference in advancing the profession in our countries and there is a lot we can learn from each other and the practice in these countries, even if it doesn't translate 100% to what we can do and are already doing in our own countries.  We can be flexible and borrow ideas from each other to advance and unite dietetics around the world.
Alright, so back to Patricia's presentation.
Here is a map and listing of the English speaking countries included in CANDi, which I think stands for Caribbean Association of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Since the countries are so small they have joined together to make a larger professional organization.
Here is how these countries define these terms, which if you are in nutrition and dietetics, you know is important, often highly debated.  She then went on to discuss the pathways and school for creating these defined roles and how the education is provided to prepare each individual for their specific role and title when they are actually able to practice.
The final speaker was the President of the Spanish Dietetic Association, Guiseppe Russolillo.  He spoke on a similar topic about fighting for our profession and breaking down barriers.  In Spain, one of their biggest barriers was a health food/supplement store that was nationwide (and international too, I believe).  They were powerful, money wise, and this has made it difficult for dietitians in Spain to be recognized.  Guiseppe is very passionate about his country and his profession and just from hearing him speak you could feel that passion and desire to make dietetics in Spain be what it is in other countries around the world.  He is very inspiring and I think this will benefit his country greatly.  He seems very dedicated to advancing dietetics in Spain and around the world.  Plus, he is front and center now in the international dietetics community as it is his country that is hosting the next International Congress of Dietetics.
Last up was the passing of the torch to Spain, as they will hold the next Congress in 2016 in Grenada. 
That wraps it up for ICD 2012!  I had an awesome time.  I may not have learned anything groundbreaking, but I learned about some really interesting things that dietitians are doing and researching around the world.  For once I can say that I really enjoyed just about every session that I attended (maybe only 1 or 2 where the info was good but the speaker was not so good at the delivery of the material).

Now that the conference is done, play time can start.  So, on my agenda for this night was heading to the Opera House to enjoy a night at the theater.  But the plan was actually to head over to the Syndey Harbour in the afternoon to do some sightseeing, so I decided to just get all dressed up for the theater earlier in the day so I didn't have to come back later.  Hence the photos of me wearing a dress in all of the rest of the pictures of me for the day.

First up was lunch at the mall.  It was convenient and we were all starving!  I went with...Japanese!  When in doubt and unable to decide, it seems I go with what is familiar, and these days, that this Japanese.
I got the veggies and tofu and a side of yakisoba.
Charmain suggested that we take the ferry from Darling Harbour to Sydney Harbour to enjoy the views.
Thankfully she did this trip the night before and knew exactly where to go to get on the ferry.
Here I am down at the wharf.
I get motion sickness really badly, so you can tell that my meds are working because there is a smile on my face!  
Or maybe I was just having a good time with Charmain, taking photos and chatting with some Australian nutrition/dietetics students on board.
Before I knew it, the sight I had been waiting the past few days to see was finally right before me.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is iconic and if you imagine Sydney, there is a good chance the view of the bridge with the Opera House is the first thing that pops into your mind.
The amazing weather gave us a chance at beautiful views of the skyline.

And then the other sight I had been waiting forever to see came into view.  So amazing to finally see it in person.
Around this time, my conference roomie was doing the bridge climb, so I zoomed in and got a shot of the people.  I later discovered this must have been the group right before her.  Oh well!  I was close!  Either way, it is a funny picture.
The boat started to turn a little so I was able to get a picture of the bridge and the Opera House.
The last stop before we got off at Circular Quay was at this amusement part.  It's actually a little creepy, don't ya think?

Our first stop was once exited the ferry was to head over to the Opera House.  Of course we had to stop multiple times along the way to get ourselves in the perfect shot with the bridge in the background.  Too bad the wind was making it hard for our hair to cooperate.

I guess this is our official welcome...and boy am I happy to be here.
Love this building!
We took a quick peek over to the other side of the opera house looking back at the Botanic Gardens.
Then over out to the water just beside the opera House.  It was a gorgeous day so we really couldn't help taking so many pictures.
I made sure to stop in to the box office to pick up my ticket for the show that night.  Curious what I was going to see?  Well, I think this display in the lobby will fill you in.
That's right, South Pacific.  And I heard there was huge gossip and scandal surrounding this show because the lead actor and actress are having an affair and she is married (and I heard she left her husband for the other actor, but I really have no idea what really was going on).  Because of this, I was told I was lucky I managed to get a ticket so early because the interest grew when the scandal broke.  I have seen a lot of musicals over the years (thank you Aunt Sherie!), but I have never seen South Pacific, so this was doubly exciting for me.
In the Opera house we joined back up with Patricia Thompson (the speaker from Jamaica I mentioned above) and her friend.
Next up we took a short stroll through the Botanic Gardens.  Well, we took a stroll through only a very small section, but it was still a nice walk.

This tree was so neat looking.
As you can imagine, after spotting this gorgeous tree, we all posed with it.  It was a great photo op!

Here I am with the wind going crazy and blowing my hair all around.
Of course I couldn't resist another shot with the Opera House because this time it was at a different angle.
Statue on the way out of the gardens.
Next on the agenda was a stop over at the area known as the Rocks.  On the way we passed a street performer showing off his native skills at playing the didgeridoo.  
Oh, and maybe now I should mention that my sister requested a didgeridoo and I made good on my promise, although the one I bought her is not this big.
Just a few more steps and we found our way to the Rocks.
There was a market going on here because it was the weekend.  Hard to believe, but I resisted these cupcakes (maybe because I knew I had a dinner reservation in less than an hour from then).
When we were inside a little mall area we found a place like the one I found in Melbourne where they roll out the sugar to make pictures in a roll form and then cut into little pieces which have a fun picture. Here we were able to watch them make the rolls.  Obviously this can be a bad thing from a nutrition standpoint, but honestly, it was darn impressive and these guys have some major artistic skills.  By combining long rolls are various colors of this sugar, they created this heart and stripes design.
It was rolled thin at one end and then cut off into smaller rolls.  From there they were cut into small pieces, almost like those clay beads with the designs on them (I'm gonna guess they are made in a similar way).
As Charmain and I were leaving to head our separate ways, we spotted the Guylian Cafe.  Have you ever tried Guylian chocolate before?  If your answer is no, you definitely should give it a try.  It is really good Belgian chocolate.
This seahorse is their classic shaped chocolate.  I love how they incorporated it into their decor.

Their selection did not disappoint, but it was dinner time soon and I didn't want to ruin my appetite.
But Charmain was interested in trying something, so you know me, I did not pass up a little taste of this chocolate filled eclair.
Thankfully I only had a small bite because before I knew it I was in front of the Customs House (now a library with a restaurant on the top floor).
I had made a reservation at Cafe Sydney, which is an upscale restaurant on the 5th floor of this building, which overlooks the harbour.
I was not kidding when I said it overlooks the harbour.  Yes, this was my amazing view at dinner.  I was able to watch the sunset behind the bridge while enjoying a delicious meal and fabulous wine.
I started off with the tomatoes and mozzarella.  Yum!  This meal was definitely off to a good start.
My original order was for the Tandoori Roasted Tasmanian Ocean Trout, so I ordered some spiced caramelized onion naan.  Thankfully my server paid close attention to my mint allergy and discovered the fish was covered with fresh mint, so he kindly changed my order to my second choice.  I still enjoyed the bread though.
By now the sun had set, so the lighting was not the best, but I still took pictures anyway.  My main course was the barramundi with crab and prawn tortellini.
Yeah, this was my special meal out in Sydney, so I definitely went with dessert.  I ordered the fried banana with PB parfait, salted caramel peanuts, and a small scoop of chocolate ice cream.  Oh yes, this was wonderful.
After dinner I made my way over to the Opera House while enjoying the harbour view at night.

The show was fabulous!  What a fantastic end to a wonderful day!  I can still hardly believe that the weather was perfect, the views were amazing, and the dinner and show was perfect.  Now it was time to get back into vacation mode and really take in Sydney.

QUESTIONS: Does your profession have any any international gatherings?  What was the last musical or show you saw?  Have you ever heard a didgeridoo played?

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