Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
Happy Friday! Today I am sharing with you a recap of my time at the 2015 FNCE conference that I attended in Nashville a few weeks ago. This event has turned into one of my favorite times of the year as I am able to connect with my RD BFF’s, learn the latest nutrition research, and connect with brands that I use and love. From the time I arrived in Nashville on Friday morning to when I left on Monday night, it was a non-stop weekend filled with meetings, receptions, dinners, and sessions. Here are some of the highlights of the weekend.
I attended a number of sessions at FNCE and while I enjoyed a lot of them, my favorite was on on Healthy at Every Size and Motivational Interviewing. Music to my heart as that’s the approach I take in my Mindful Eating challenges and when I see clients. I’m so happy that this approach is becoming more and more mainstream as other RD’s move away from strict calorie counting/meal plans and incorporating ME techniques.
I also attended a really interesting discussion on microbes and how it affects our disease state. I am fascinated with all things GI and this talk was really eye-opening on the latest research. A few interesting points: In a rodent study, mice that were given antibiotics had distributed microbiota and were more obese than the control group. This was shown in a similar human trial as individuals with marked obesity, insulin resistance and dyslipidemia has low bacterial richness. The researchers also discussed the impact that artificial sweeteners had on glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota- another reason to stay away from diet coke.
My main takeaway from this presentation was the increased benefit of making sure our diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They compared the gut microbiota of omnivores and vegetarians, with the vegetarian group having significantly more fiber, which in turn increased bacterial gene richness. This increased richness is associated with a decreased risk of disease state, like metabolic syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and asthma. Really, really fascinating and another plug for getting as many fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains into your diet as possible.
FNCE includes a large EXPO hall where you can meet with various brands, learn more about them, and enjoy samples. It’s basically Disneyland for RD’s. Truth be told, while I don’t align with all of the brands in attendance, I was happy to see brands that I do work with and a growing number of natural and organic products.
As shown above, some of the EXPO highlights included:
As a RD in media, I am invited to a few sponsored events over the weekend to learn about new products and connect with brands. The highlight of my weekend was being selected as an Agent of Change by Unilever. I’m very proud to be part of the selection, as only 10 dietitians in the country were chosen based on their work in Sustainability, Nutrition and/or Chefmanship.
I also attended a breakfast with KURA and I can’t say enough good things about them! I’ve never been one for protein powders, I’ve really tried to get into them for a post-run smoothie but the taste is always off putting. Most of the powders who have ingredient lists that I like contain stevia, which I don’t enjoy the taste of. You can’t even tell there is protein powder in the KURA smoothies! I’m really excited to have found this brand and can’t wait to use more of their products. This is the Snicker’s smoothie, which is similar to my Snickers milkshake. Chocolate KURA, dates, frozen banana, peanut butter and almond milk.
Other highlights included a breakfast with Spright Life, who I’ve partnered with to provide free Mindful Eating challenges, a Tweet-Up event with Food & Nutrition Magazine where my Key Lime Mousse took home recipe of the year, and a meetup at Juice Nashville with WellSeek, an innovative app that aims to connect consumers with RD’s.
RD friends: Anne, Rachael, Min, Meme, Heather, and Deanna
For fun, I’ve teamed with with Siggi’s Dairy (another booth at the EXPO hall) to provide one lucky reader an entire month’s worth of Siggi’s products! I’ll be kicking off that contest tomorrow on Instagram, so make sure you are following along to be entered. I’ve met Siggi before, but it’s always a treat to meet with him again! I love the mission of their products and they have gotten me to fall in love with yogurt again.
I think the best part of conferences is coming home and feeling invigorated about your work. While I love my job 95% of the time, it’s always good to reconnect with colleagues who are in the same line of work and learn from one another. I am always inspired when I get the chance connect with other RD’s and I’m glad that FNCE provides this space.
#FNCEFRIENDS Rachael, Min & Meme
Have a great weekend!
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(20 comments) leave a comment
Always fun to relive FNCE! Congratulations on your award – I was at the reception but never got a chance to say hello!
Great recap. Hope to attend next year!
What a wonderful trip! Reading all of the recaps makes me feel like I was there. Very intrigued by the Gathered Table as well, let me know if you do a review on it! And, CONGRATS again on your recipe of the year. I always knew you were a rockstar.
Congrats on recipe of the year- will definitely need to make the mousse asap! So sorry we didn’t get to meet up but it looks like you had an great time 🙂
I know! So bummed! Hopefully we will get to see each other soon!
What a great recap! Was great to see you at the Kura breakfast and congrats on your award-winning recipe!
Thanks Jessica! You too!
Congrats on your award winning recipe and on being picked as ‘Agent of Change’! Nice recap. I fell in love with Nashville!
Me too! Wish I had more time to get explore- I can’t wait to go back!
Great post & I would love to have gone to the GI talk too-such a fascinating area of research! I’m intrigued by the KURA protein powder now too-definitely want to give it a try b/c I’m not a fan of stevia in my protein powders either. Congrats on your award winning recipe!!
You have to try it! It’s really good- honestly, I am not a stevia fan and KURA was so delicious! Highly recommend.
So sad that I missed FNCE this year! Thanks for sharing your highlights, and congrats on that key lime pie recipe – I’m still drooling over it 🙂
Thanks Anne! We missed you! Glad I got to see you @ Blog Brulee!
Great recap! Love all your pictures, congrats on the winning recipe!
Danielle! So happy that we got to meet- again 😉 Thanks for the kind words!
Congrats on winning recipe of the year! I love key lime pie, so I’ll have to try that.