Ever wonder what happens when 9,000+ registered dietitian nutritionists get together in one city for a conference? My 2014 FNCE highlights include new food trends, inspiration from an Olympian, and making the connection between nutrition and yoga. 

Last week, I attended the annual Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) for registered dietitian nutritionists.

It was a whirlwind of educational sessions, work for a client, walking the expo floor and spotting food trends, attending board meetings, networking, and (the best part!) catching up with friends.

I always leave FNCE feeling inspired with a million and one ideas and people I want to connect with after the show. One of the things that got me particularly psyched this year was an educational session on yoga. Now I’m obviously biased given that I’m a yoga teacher but I believe that marrying nutrition and yoga holds so much power in helping to significantly improve people’s lives and was excited to the science behind this integration presented to dietitians.

Nutrition & Yoga

Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa (assistant professor of medicine at Harvard and Research Director at the Kundalini Research Institute) shared with us the science behind the practice of yoga and the effects it can have on the body. Being that I’m a bit of a science nerd at heart, I was pleased to see some actual tangible studies conducted on the benefits of yoga.

Here’s some of the results he shared on the effects of practicing yoga (which includes the physical practice but also meditation and breathing exercises):

  • Increased tolerance to pain
  • Improved attention and self-regulation (emotional/stress self-regulation)
  • Improved mood
  • Increased positive thoughts
  • Improvement in relationships
  • Improved cognition
  • Improved physical health & quality of life
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Improved insulin sensitivity (important implications for diabetes)
  • Positive effects on heart health and reversal of heart disease

If that’s not enough to convince you to hit the mat or sit and try some meditation on for size, Anu Kaur, RD, RYT shared are a few ways how yoga can help improve nutrition coaching:

  • Increases the bond between you and the dietitian
  • Helps you begin to focus and still your mind
  • Helps to relieve any tension
  • Helps you to feel safe in your body

If you happen to be in the Greater Boston Area and are interested in private nutrition coaching and yoga sessions, I’d love to work with you.

Food Trends

On Sunday, I navigated the enormous expo floor with RD blogger buds Kristina and Jenna. Spent most of my time on the floor engrossed in conversations that I forgot to snap pictures of cool new trendy products, but I managed to snag a couple to share with you!

FNCE Recap: Trends, Inspiration & Nutrition & Yoga

Seeds are sexy. Nature’s Path has a new cold cereal, Qi’a, that contains superfood seeds, chia, hemp, and buckwheat groats. A serving packs in 4g of fiber, 6g of protein and 3.5g of ALA omega-3s, but be mindful that one serving of this cereal is only 2 tbsp (and 140 calories)! I would treat this as more of a granola – not something I would pile high in a cereal bowl – but mindfully sprinkle over oatmeal, yogurt, and cereal.

FNCE recap 2

Savory is here to stay. I’m a big fan of KIND bars. I love that they’re made with whole food ingredients like real nuts, fruit, and the occasional dark chocolate fix. And I adore their brand – the fact that they’re socially responsible and aim to emulate being kind in every action they make. In short, they’re #kindawesome.

And they’ve jumped on the savory train! Even though I have a serious sweet tooth, I like a little savory in my life to balance out the sweet. KIND just launched a line of savory bars, called Strong, with bold flavors and 10g of protein per bar. I tried their Hickory Smoked flavor and it was everything I hoped it would be (minus the sample size – I could’ve ate a whole bar!)

FNCE recap 4 FNCE recap 5


So many things inspired me at FNCE this year but I really loved the closing session (yes I stayed late enough to see the closing) by Adam Kreek, an Olympic gold medalist who happens to be very trusting of dietitians (he passed around his gold medal to the hundreds of RDs in the room while he spoke). He also embarked on an incredible adventure – to row unsupported (with three others) from Africa to North America. His stories of courage, strength and perseverance were awe-inspiring and he had some spot-on insight into what it takes to be a leader (one of my favorite slides depicting what it takes is below).

FNCE recap 6

(Slide credit: Adam Kreek)

And because I’m always seeking adventure and new experiences in my life, this quote that Adam shared by Colin Mortlock really resonated with me.

fnce recap 7

(Slide credit: Adam Kreek) 

Can’t wait to see what adventures life brings me between now and FNCE 2015!

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  1. Sounds like it was a great conference this past year. After reading your recap, it inspires me to get back to going at least somewhat regularly to these conferences. I haven’t been in years, but it’s so nice to connect with fellow RDN’s and so easy since they are all gathered in the same place!

    • Totally, Kristy. I almost didn’t go last year but realized that the networking is invaluable and the return would be well worth the investment. I had a number of opportunities that surfaced out of FNCE this past year so I would highly recommend it making it a priority if you can.

  2. I so wish I could have been there, especially after hearing about the discussion on yoga! So glad you got to go and soak up all that inspiration!

  3. Great seeing you at FNCE and so glad I read your recap b/c I certainly missed a lot on the Expo floor as well as the closing session, which sounds like it was very inspirational!

  4. Sounds like a great trip! I’ve been wanting to go to FNCE for years… hopefully someday I’ll be able to go! I’m glad they’re starting to incorporate mindfulness and yoga šŸ™‚

    • Hope to see you there one of these years, Emily! Me too – I’m hoping to propose another yoga session too over the next few years as I solidify yoga into my business and practice.

  5. I loved the Yoga education session… so nontraditional and fascinating how much lifestyle improvements could be made by doing yoga! The savory kind bars also caught my eye (taste buds). I’m already excited for Nashville šŸ™‚

  6. Danielle Omar, MS, RD

    Anu is a local Northern Virginia Dietitian, she is an amazing inspiration for yoga and wellness. So glad you got to listen to her talk!

    • Yes, Carlene told me about her right before I went to the talk not knowing she was going to be the one presenting! How funny is that?! I’m hoping to connect with her soon!