Sunday, November 7, 2010

FNCE 2010 Days 1 & 2

It’s finally here! ADA’s FNCE! And let me tell you the expo is HUGE.


Since I slept in on Friday morning, I ended up only sleeping 4 hours that night before having to get up at 6 (!) to go downtown.  Having breakfast at 6:30AM felt really weird. But it was delicious nonetheless.

DSC01245 Plain 0% Chobani, Muesli, Blackberries

First let me say that this was my first time taking the bus and T by myself in Boston and I had no problems! I was nervous but that happens every time I do something new like that. I found my way to the convention center smoothly and with time to spare. You see yesterday I was going to the Student Forum, which only ended up being somewhat useful.  The first lecture – Computerized Based Testing – was very self explanatory. It’s just like the GRE. It may have been useful for some people but not for me. The second lecture was about nutrition in politics and I’m just not really into that yet. In between the lectures I realized I was starving. How strange considering it was 10:30 in the morning and not anywhere near lunch time. OH THAT’S RIGHT! I ate 4 hours earlier :) So I ate the banana I conveniently brought along.


After the first two lectures we were served lunch – brought to you by Aramark. It was just alright. My food was cold and I don’t think it was supposed to be…….

DSC01258 Noodles w/ peanut sauce, beef skewer, chicken skewer, white rice (!), cabbage slaw, stir fried veggies

DSC01259 Looks pretty. I only ate maybe about half though.

DSC01260 But I ate all of dessert of course :)

The third and last lecture I went to was about applying for internships. This I found the most helpful. Mental note – make sure to write lots of thank you notes to people!

Afterwards, Raf picked me up and we spent an evening about town. It was wonderful! I had a groupon for an Italian restaurant in the North End so we walked around Quincy market and seaport area and leisurely made our way to the restaurant, Davide. It was a great meal, especially the bread! The bread was definitely my favorite part :) I’m just glad we had the groupon though because it was more expensive that I originally thought. Still worth it definitely.

DSC01261 For our 1st anniversary (4 years ago OMG!), Raf took me out in one of these carriages. It was so romantic!





Now the meal.


DSC01267 Yeah that’s steam fogging up my lens :)

DSC01268 Gnocchi

DSC01269 Amaretto cake

We also split a caesar salad which I guess I forgot to snap a picture of.

It was a perfect night together though :)


I don’t know what happened but I still couldn’t sleep well and only ended up sleeping about 2.5-3 hours last night too. I also forgot about daylight savings and got up too early, then couldn’t get back to sleep – UGH.

Today I didn’t snap any pictures of food. I was kind of overwhelmed and my hands were so full of free goodies.

A quick verbal recap – Breakfast: cereal w/ skim milk, Lunch: tons of free samples at the expo, Dinner: 2 slices of meat lovers pizza. Yup.

DSC01270 These are some of the goodies I brought home but haven’t eaten yet. Plus I have tons of pamphlet materials and such. And like 4 tote bags haha.

That is also considering the fact that I only visited about half of the expo booths! Like I stated earlier – it’s HUGE. I also went to 4 interesting lectures today. 3 revolved around school lunches and 1 was on social media. Recap? Sure.

Lecture 1 - “School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children:

This lecture reviewed the Institute of Medicine’s newest recommendations regarding school meals which includes breakfast and lunch in the federally funded programs.  Some of the recommendations involved increasing fruits and vegetables (but they are not interchangeable!) as well as whole grain rich foods.  The one thing that stood out in my mind was how on average today a school lunch contains about 1400 mg of sodium. Their recommendation maxes out around 700 or so mg.  Because that is such a drastic difference they suggested that school’s meat this recommendation by 2020, giving them a 10 year adjustment period.  Also noteworthy was that during the research (before they formulated the recommendations) they found that teenage girls ages 14-18 are often lacking the most in many nutrients. That didn’t really surprise me though.

Lecture 2 - “Creating Opportunities in School Nutrition and Wellness”

This lecture reviewed some of the current programs in schools including breakfast in school, Farm to School, nutrition education, and school gardens.  The nutrition director of Worcester public schools actually spoke in this lecture. I just kept thinking about how my second apartment was across the street from a busy public school. Anyway, I enjoyed the discussion about Farm to School the most.  Supporting locals farm and bringing in more fresh vegetables for the student seems like a win-win situation.

Lecture 3 - “Targeting Childhood Obesity in America: Successful Culinary Training Models”

This was the lecture I liked the least but it may have just been because I was tired.  They discussed a program that has begun down in Charlotte, NC from Johnson & Wales called “Healthy Futures”.  In this program foodservice employees, like the chefs of daycare centers could go for 5 weeks to learn some nutrition and healthy cooking techniques.  2 of the favorite recipes by the end were broccoli slaw and a mock “tuna salad” made with garbanzo beans and a spicy mustard.  It is a new program and is just now in 3 locations in the Charlotte areas but they have hopes for expansion.  The second half of the lecture discussed a similar program run out of Framingham State.

Lecture 4 – “RD App for the Future: Building Skills and Changing Behavior”

This lecture basically applied to all of us! It was about using Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and other social media marketing tools.  I felt like I understood a lot already since I have a personal Facebook page, a page dedicted to this blog, and of course my blog. I don’t have Twitter though but part of the lecture was questioning which forms of social media are right for you. Maybe I would be more successful starting a Twitter account, maybe I wouldn’t. It depends on the person/company.  Some points I took out of this lecture were that it’s quality not quantity (yeah I don’t blog everyday anymore just so that I have a post everyday. If I have nothing interesting to say I tend not to post anything.) and to encourage conversation. I hope you all feel like I am encouraging conversation when I post. If not, I will try better to do so. I want to hear what you have to say too!  This was definitely a lecture that I’m going to reflect on more and try to incorporate into my social media use.

That’s all folks. Hope you enjoyed my recap of my first two days at FNCE. Two more days to go and lots more free goodies to bring home :) Please share your thoughts on any of the lectures or just anything in general!


  1. Sounds like a fun time! Too bad about your cold lunch, but sounds like dinner made up for it! That gnocchi looks sooo good. I thought the lecture on childhood obesity would be more interesting. It makes me so sad to see little overweight kids.

  2. Those lectures sound so informative! I wish I could have gone. I think schools need such a major overhaul in terms of their nutrition! So important!

  3. I would LOVE to attend FCNE!! Not only do the lectures sound interesting, the food loot you snagged is a major perk too! Dinner in the North End sounds wonderful. Boston is one of my favorite cities...You're making me want to visit! :)

  4. Aww, a horse & carriage ride?!?! SO COOL!!
    The meal you two had looks so good- especially the bread :) Bread is totally my downfall..I could eat LOAVES & LOAVES of it :)
    & gnocchi?!! OH YA! That is one of my favorites too. Sounds like a nice way to share your 4 years :)

  5. All that food looks delish especially the gnocchi, haven't had that in so long! Don't you love groupon, you can get some really great deals for things in the city!

  6. As you mentioned in Lecture 1, it really is appalling how much sodium is packed into packaged or dining hall foods. I think Michelle Obama's nutritional initiatives are definitely on the right path to helping America's obesity problem...