Hope everyone’s having a nice week! In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, we’re taking it back to recap our experience at the UMD School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine 2016 Health & Wellness Conference hosted at the Institute of Integrative Health! Full disclaimer: this wasn’t intentionally meant as a #TBT post, life has just been crazy, but we’re really excited to share our learnings with you now!
In typical fashion, we raced (literally) over to Fells Point straight from the Sole of the City 10k! Unfortunately that meant we missed the morning yoga session, BUT we arrived just in time to grab a green juice from Zia’s, the conference catering sponsor, before heading into our first session, “Food As Medicine…In The Real World: A Focus On Optimizing Cognition, Mood, And Emotional Health,” led by Dr. Chris D’Adamo, PhD. Dr. D’Adamo spent this time breaking down the scientific language and provided real world tips to help optimize the relationship between nutrition and health in daily life. My major takeaway: eat more leafy greens, drink green tea throughout the day instead of more coffee, and opt for 70% cacao dark chocolate in lieu of anything Swiss!
After a delicious lunch break of Zia’s Chicken Salad Wraps with Caribbean Potato Salad (or Mock Tuna and Kale Salad for our vegan friends), we headed into our second session, “Healthier (And Tastier) At Home: Make It Yourself”, an interactive cooking demo led by Rachel Druckenmiller, MS, CNE. If you haven’t discovered Rachel’s amazing website Rachel’s Nourishing Kitchen, definitely check it out – she may or may not be our latest girl crush, and we LOVE her approach:
What if instead of feeling overwhelmed, you felt empowered about eating?
What if instead of obsessing over calories, you could connect with why you eat in the first place and what foods make you feel best and most alive?
What if instead of judging yourself for what you ate, you decided to get curious about it?
Seriously. Check out her website. She’s so adorable that I spent the next afternoon scouring her blog for delicious, gluten-free recipes and, per her recommendation, went to check out the new MOM’s Organic Market in Hampden! Rachel will also be leading a two-part Eating Empowerment Workshop May 11th & May 25th back at the Institute of Integrative Health – so stay tuned for more with her!
For the demo, Rachel shared how to make her Chipotle-style bean burrito bowl w/ dairy-free cashew sour cream, and no-bake Mexican brownies. I may or may not have made these bowls for dinner last week 😉 Here’s a link to her recap of the session, along with these recipes and a few more!
For our third session, we were pumped to see a friendly face and learn from our friend Erin Peisach, RDN, CLT, who led a talk entitled “Menaced Metabolism? Effective Strategies to Tackle Weight Woes.”
Erin shared how metabolism works, how to measure it and which factors impact its functioning – sorry ladies, not enough research to justify weight gain just because of our gender and age! One interesting takeaway was that our natural environment and culture can affect our metabolism, so perhaps start sleeping with the windows open or the heat a little lower so your body temp is lower. Erin also talked thru a number of popular diets in the context of how metabolism is affected by each – definitely learned a few new ones we’d never heard of, like the Ketogenic diet, which sounds difficult to sustain but can be extremely beneficial for endurance athletes.
Overall the conference was a great experience, and while some of the content was a little over my head, as I just have a very basic understanding of nutrition, it definitely opened my eyes to a new interest in learning how to really fuel my body for not just athletic performance, but also to heal. Very excited to further connect with The Center for Integrative Medicine, and to now know the Institute of Integrative Health is right down the street from my house!
And, because I truly believe life is all about a healthy balance, I headed straight from the conference to join Ryan at Pitango to enjoy the sunshine and celebrate our pair of PR’s from Sole of the City!