Ahh! Somehow this incredible weekend is already over! The Healthy Living Summit was an amazing experience and I got to meet so many awesome people who are just as passionate about health and fitness as I am! Because there’s so much to recap, I’m going to break it down into sections over the next few days. Today I’ll talk about Day One (Friday), plus the amazing swag we got at the summit.
My flight left DC around 3:20 on Friday and landed in Chicago at 4:15 (the time changed worked out well!) I took the El from the airport to the hotel, because the El cost $2.25 and a taxi would have cost $40-$50 – so for me, there was no question. I’m used to public transport since I take the metro into DC every day, so it was no biggie. I made it to the hotel by 5:30, and then had to change quick to head out to the Open Sky Cocktail party at 6.
The 5 organizers of the event got up to do a welcome speech and it was so cool to see them all up on stage!
That’s Tina, Kath, Heather, Caitlin, and Meghann. It was so cool to finally meet them after reading their blogs for so long. It’s kind of funny how you feel like you know people, but you don’t really know them. Luckily, everyone was super cool and it was not awkward at all. I was pretty bad at taking pictures at the event, but here’s a couple.
Angela and me – the sweetest girl ever. It’s true what they say about Canadians being friendly!
That’s Liz, Jennifer, and me.
We got tickets for one drink (vodka soda) and I may have had a few more and not enough to eat, so the night did not last very long. There was a bunch of appetizers out with lots of good veggie options, including chips and dip, shrimp skewers, veggie quesadillas, and salad, plus turkey burgers, chicken skewers, and probably a few other things I’m forgetting. The food was delicious but I only had 2 pieces of shrimp, 2 pieces of quesadilla, and a few chips – definitely not enough for dinner! I think it was just so overwhelming to be seeing and meeting so many new people that eating a good amount of food was the last thing on my mind. (Never though I would say that statement, ever!)
It was a lot of fun, but luckily I was in bed by 11 since Saturday was such a huge day, starting early with breakfast at 8am, sessions all day, and lots of food. I’ll get more into that later, but first – the swag!! The bags this year were unbelieveable – they literally didn’t even close. I couldn’t wait to get mine after I saw some girls had already picked theirs up – so we went down first thing at 8am to check in!
Once I got back to my room after the sessions were wrapped up, I laid everything out on the bed to see everything I got because I couldn’t even begin to look through the bag while the conference sessions were going on. Check it out!
Just some highlights:
- Mini Lara Bars (never tried them!)
- Quaker Rice Cakes
- Vega Shake and Go Smoothie in Chocolate
- Tide w Febreeze (2 packs)
- Attune Chocolate Bars
- Quaker Bars
- Empower! Glow Bar (so excited about this!)
- Eden Organic Shells
- Barney Butter
- Stonyfield Chapstick
- Stonyfield Spatula
- Stonyfield Measuring Spoon
- Fruit Leather
- Adora Calcium Chocolates
- Luna Protein Bar
- Athenos Water Bottle
- Arnold Travel Coffee Mug
- Amazing Grass Sample
- $10 subway card
- TONS of coupons
- Herbal Water
- Mary’s Crackers
- Mix My Granola Sample
Whew!! Can you believe it?? I was SO excited to get all this stuff and get to try so many new things that I’ve never tasted before. It made trying to not check any bags during my plane trip home a little difficult, but somehow I managed.
I am so, sooooo glad that I went to the Summit! It ended up being pretty pricey with the flight, hotel, ticket, and just extra spending that went on, but it was worth every dime. I met some incredible people, learned a LOT, and made some exciting networking connections that might lead to some really positive changes for me.
On top of all that, I got so inspired by all the amazing, beautiful, and health conscious people at the summit. I got so many ideas for directions for my blog to go, and I’m so excited about the inspiration I got at the summit! I have so much more to share, including:
- Recap of the food at the conference – Quaker/Stonyfield/Thomas Saturday Breakfast – Quaker Snack Break – Arnold and Oroweat Lunch – Athenos Snack Break – Thomas Make Your Own Cream Cheese Sunday Breakfast
- Recap of the Fueling for Fitness Session with LOTS of awesome information for you (I took 7 pages of notes!!)
- Recap of the Tastebud Tour – a walking/tasting tour of the foodie hotspots in Chicago!