Recap of FNCE 2014

DSC_1739Just got back from Atlanta last Tuesday from the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, the largest nutrition conference in the country. It was held at the Georgia World Congress Center (Left). Had such a good time! I met new Today’s Dietitian readers and reunited with those I already knew from years past. One thing I noticed about the conference this year was that there were so many more nutrition professionals in attendance compared with last year when it was held in Houston. Thousands of people attend this conference each year from across the country. It seemed like there was another 1,000 in attendance. When I walked the exhibit hall, it was elbow to elbow people (Right).DSC_1713

I really enjoyed the dietetic practice group showcase exhibits. I had a chance to speak with the chairwomen from those groups who expressed interest in following up with me to discuss future story ideas for the magazine, which is always a treat.

October TD 2014
Our October issue is the largest of the year, and our readers love it (Left). Because it was such a great issue, I was given four free tickets to see the Phillies Game from the president of my company. Remember, I wrote about that experience on this blog called Phillies Game VIP Style! If you’d like to view the digital edition of the October issue, click on the thumbnail to the left.

While at the conference, I spoke to two old friends of mine who I grew up with and who are now living in the Atlanta area. Unfortunately, I never saw them due to schedule conflicts, but I hope to see them in the future when I visit Atlanta again.

However, I reunited with one of my best friends from college. I hadn’t seen her or her daughter in about seven years. She met me at my hotel on Saturday, and of course we took pictures! I brought my really good camera with me (Nikon D5300), which I never do when I travel for business. I bought a stylish Kelly Moore camera bag, which looks like a regular handbag, and I carried it around with me throughout the entire conference with my camera in tow. My camera made my handbag very heavy, but this was well worth carrying around the extra weight. Below is a photo of us in the courtyard/pool area at the Hilton Atlanta. (No one took this photo. I simply placed my camera on a table/island that was in front of us and set the camera on a timer, and voila!) It was so warm outside that there were people actually swimming in the pool. In October?DSC_1702

Afterward, we searched for a restaurant in the area to have dinner. Now, mind you, we published an Atlanta Dining Guide in our September issue so I thought we’d be able to eat at one of the most critically acclaimed restaurants in the city. We called two of them and unfortunately we either needed reservations or the place was booked. So we drove aimlessly looking for a place to eat. We ended up eating at a Mexican restaurant, which was not in our dining guide. The food was pretty good, although my clothes smelled like the spices they used to season the food. My friend and I talked nonstop! We had a lot of catching up to do. It was so great seeing her.

Another memorable moment on this trip was the dinner I had with Constance Brown-Riggs and Marlisa Brown, two of the magazine’s editorial advisors. We went to Legal Seafoods, which was a few blocks from the convention center. It was great to get to know them better. We really had a good time. Constance has known Marlisa for 20 years, and they travel together to nutrition conferences. Here’s a photo I took of them in the restaurant.CSC_1754

This business trip was the best. I don’t remember having this much fun on a business trip ever. Usually I have a good time when I travel, but this trip was really special. Probably because I saw my friend and spoke to other friends, and I had a good time with colleagues in the nutrition profession during dinner and at the exhibits. Until my next entry, take care! See you around in cyberspace!

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Phillies Game VIP Style!

DSC_1505This past week the vice president of my company gave me four all-expense paid tickets to go see the Phillies play the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, September 26th. Before she told me about the tickets, she asked me whether my husband and I liked baseball. I said “No,” but I’m sure glad my answer didn’t stop her from telling me about the tickets and persuading me to go to the game.

She said the tickets were for Dugout Diamond seating—better than VIP. She said we’d literally be sitting right behind the batter’s box (above). We’d enjoy free parking in a special lot for Dugout Diamond fans; we’d have access to free food all night long, first in a special restaurant, and then we’d be waited on hand and foot throughout the entire game with free beverages and snacks. She said it would be a really great experience. She and the president gave me these tickets because of the stellar October issue of Today’s Dietitian, which is about to mail next week—our largest and most profitable issue of the year. I was so thankful. The president said the October issue was the best she’s seen in terms of content and artwork. I was like “Wow!”

IMG_0142I invited my husband, son, and his girlfriend. I left work early and headed to Philly. We got to the stadium around 5:45 pm due to the traffic. But once we parked the car, we headed straight for the restaurant because we all were hungry. This particular restaurant had different food stations where we could order our food, which was heated up/made right in front of us. My son had a huge Philly cheesesteak and salad; his girlfriend had crab cakes and asparagus and salad; my husband and I had a pasta dish. I later had a salad with grilled veggies, hummus, and crispy chips and bread. The food was delicious—not like the usual baseball game fare. Then we had pumpkin cheesecake with whipped cream on top. Yum! By that time I was stuffed so I took only a couple of forkfuls just to taste it. Then it was time for the game.

DSC_1607I saw the professional photographers (right) with their $7,000 super zoom lenses. I brought my camera and couldn’t wait to shoot the game. Of course my equipment paled in comparison to the pros. My son’s girlfriend is studying photography so she brought her camera as well. I got some pretty good shots and so did she. We really had a good time. My husband enjoyed himself more than he thought he would, and my son’s girlfriend was so thankful that I invited her to come.

DSC_1591Probably the most memorable part of the game was the mascot (Left). OMG! He was so funny—the way he shook his butt, his belly, and got the crowd jumping and dancing. We were hysterical laughing every time he came out to entertain us. I also liked the moves of the pitchers. Ervin Santana (below left and center) from the Atlanta Braves was pretty good, although he got pretty tired midway through the game and they had to replace him. I caught a few action shots, but for the most part my photos were mediocre at best. I caught one player sliding into second base and one sliding back to first base to avoid getting struck out—if that’s even the correct term. All in all we had a great time! Thank you Great Valley Publishing for giving me and my family such a nice gift! I’ll remember it always!!

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Reflections of FNCE

       October was an incredibly busy, busy month. The staff of Today’s Dietitian and I attended the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in downtown Philadelphia at the Philadelphia Convention Center, one of the largest nutrition conferences in the country. It was an incredible meeting. I attended workshops to learn more about the nutrition profession and the issues and trends driving it. I met many interesting dietitians and revisited with those whom I met last year at our booth on the trade show floor and at our reception—which was a smash hit. I felt like a celebrity of sorts because so many people wanted to meet me. I received lots of hugs from the writers I work with and various other dietitians. One thing about the readership of this magazine is that they absolutely love it. They rave about it.

Our September and October issues were stars of the show at our booth. Our October issue featured great articles that are top of mind for many dietitians. Our cover story gives you the Real Scoop on Sugar: Is sugar really bad for you? Is it one of the chief causes of obesity in this country? The article answers these questions. If you want to eat healthier frozen foods and find out who makes them and where to buy them, read Healthier Frozen Foods. If you’re an entrepreneur and want to learn how to market your business, read Marketing Your Practice, part 3 of our Practice Matters special feature. If you’re an iPhone fan, read The iPhone, a commemorative piece on the iPhone’s fifth anniversary and how it has literally transformed the hand-held device world, and Avoiding Spoiled Leftovers to learn about an app that tells you what’s OK to eat and what to throw out.

        In addition, if you’d like to take a peek at our online Philadelphia restaurant guide, visit Savoring the Finest of Philly. In this supplement, we profile some of the finest restaurants and the top 10 things you can do in the City of Brotherly Love. You can download it as a PDF to use for future reference. We also published an online Showstopper publication. In this special supplement, we featured a conference preview, the top restaurants to visit, and an article on the history of continuing professional education in the nutrition profession.
Please enjoy these articles and supplements. Soon I’ll tell you all about the great articles in our November issue, our special Thanksgiving holiday edition. See you around in cyberspace!

Delicious Dining in Philly

If you live in Philly, are visiting Philly, or plan to visit in the near future, the September issue of Today’s Dietitian has a treat for you. This month, we’ve published a Philadelphia dining guide that boasts the most critically acclaimed eateries in the city. Many of the restaurants are owned and operated by award-winning celebrity chefs, and the food they serve is so mouth-watering it will keep you coming back for more. The interesting concoction on the cover, called Estia Chips, is a favorite at the Greek Mediterranean restaurant Estia. The chips are crispy fried zucchini and eggplant. Just a hint of what you can sink your teeth in. So use the guide to choose from a variety of restaurants you’d like to visit. You won’t be disappointed. I’ve been living in a suburb outside of Philly for a while, and I’m ashamed to admit I don’t get out much. Even I didn’t know about the treasure trove of restaurants The City of Brotherly Love has. But that’s about to change because I plan to visit some of them when I attend the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), the largest nutrition show in the country, in October. This year the conference is in Philly, and I can’t wait.

I’m especially proud of this issue—probably more so than any other issue I’ve worked on thus far. It’s one of the largest issues of the year in terms of editorial and advertising—a whopping 112 pages. It’s brimming with great articles and incredible ads. In fact, this issue broke a record for the most advertising dollars to date. This issue features articles on managing food allergies in schools, artificial sweeteners, teaching nutrition to kids, dance fitness such as Zumba, Hip-hop, and Bollywood, the so-called miracle weight loss supplement Red Raspberry Ketone, and much more.

So click on the links above and read some of the articles. Let me know what you think. I’d like to hear your feedback. See you next month!

Prayer and Fasting With Diabetes

In the July issue of Today’s Dietitian, we published an article titled Prayer and Fasting With Diabetes. If you’re a person of faith who has diabetes or know someone of faith with the disease, this article is a must-read.

The American Diabetes Association reports that more than 23 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. Seventy-nine million have prediabetes, a condition characterized by elevated blood sugar levels, which place them at high risk for developing the disease later in life. And each year, there are now 1.5 million people newly diagnosed with diabetes. African Americans are disproportionately affected by this disease and suffer more complications, such as blindness, kidney failure, neuropathy, and heart disease, than other races.

Given these statistics, you can surmise there are many people of faith with diabetes who set aside time to commune with God while abstaining from food, drink, or both. But the question is can they fast safely without putting their health at risk?

In this article, we discuss that fasting is practiced by the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths and how these practices differ from one another. We review how fasting can impact the health of those with diabetes and provide strategies for fasting safely. Please let me know your thoughts about the article. If you have diabetes or know someone who has the disease and fasts safely, I’d like to hear about your  experiences and theirs. I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did in assigning and editing it. Thank you!

Young Women and Heart Attacks

The June issue of Today’s Dietitian is a special one. I chose the cover image and came up with additional ideas to enhance it with the wonderful art director I work with. While I choose every cover of the magazine each month, this one was most notable because my ideas to improve it worked, and everyone on staff loved it. The cover is colorful, warm, and inviting. It looks just as good as the food and nutrition magazines on the newsstand.

Aside from the great cover, this issue brims with important articles women and men must read concerning their health. A few months ago, the topic of young women and heart attacks dominated network and cable news programs. It grabbed my attention so much so that I thought we should cover it in the magazine somehow. I believed dietitians should know more about this topic and develop new strategies to counsel female clients who are at risk. Women are experiencing heart attacks in their 30s and 40s. Our heart attack symptoms are different from men so the symptoms are often ignored and lead to premature death. Learn about this in the article Young Women and Heart Attacks. You’ll find out how to adopt a healthful lifestyle and what foods to eat so you don’t become a victim. You also can learn about the top six heart attack symptoms in women that appeared in the May issue in Nurturing the Heart, an article about preventing heart disease during the pre- and postmenopausal years.

June was Men’s Health month, so we published an article on prostate cancer called Can Tomatoes Slice Prostate Cancer Risk? Prostate cancer kills twice as many black men than white men. In fact, black men have the highest rate of prostate cancer in the world. This article discusses risk factors, how the antioxidants in tomatoes can reduce the risk, and delicious ways to incorporate more tomato products in the diet.

Please let me know what you think about these articles by leaving me a comment below. See you around in cyberspace!

Eat ‘Til Your Heart’s Content


The print and digital version of the April issue of Today’s Dietitian has just published. It contains an article on celiac disease, a condition characterized by a sensitivity or intolerance to gluten, an ingredient in wheat products. If you suffer from this disease or know someone who does, the article Gluten Free and Healthy will help you find out what’s safe to eat to promote intestinal healing and how to get the nutrients your body needs.

And if you’ve heard about the Mediterranean diet and are interested in incorporating this heart-healthy eating style into your life, read The Mediterranean Diet. The article is chock full of practical shopping tips, menu ideas, and recipes. The diet has been followed by people who live in Italy, Greece, Crete, and other countries along the Mediterranean for centuries. The diet consists of fish, grains, vegetables, fruits, olives, olive oil (the principal fat), nuts, beans, legumes, and herbs and spices that have been proven to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. This diet isn’t out of our reach. We can easily go to the supermarket and purchase all the foods necessary to eat according to the diet and reap the awesome health benefits. The article instructs you on exactly what foods to buy from the grocery store and provides a couple of recipes to give the diet a test drive.

What’s more, the article Nurturing the Heart discusses women and heart disease and the different nutrition needs in pre- and postmenopausal women. And we list six of the most common heart attack symptoms in women, which are different than those in men. Heart disease is the number one killer of women, so taking care of ourselves is paramount. Next month we’ll be publishing an article on young women and heart attacks and how this dire health crisis is on the rise.

Another great article is Uterine Fibroids and Nutrition, a condition that disproportionately affects black women. The article explores the possible link between diet and uterine fibroid risk, prevention, and management.

I hope you enjoy this issue as you did the previous one. Let me know what you think about the articles by leaving your comments below. As always, see ya around in cyberspace!

Can’t Wait for the Summer Olympics!

If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to the summer olympics, which will take place in London this year. In this month’s issue of Today’s Dietitian, there’s a great article about the upcoming olympics from a perspective you probably haven’t read about before. The article, called “Preparing to Win the Gold,” talks about the dietitians who work with the U.S. olympic team to ensure the athletes are well fueled with all the right foods, snacks, and beverages they need to perform at the top of their game. You’d be amazed at what nutrients they need for workouts and competition day. They expend a lot of energy so they need many nutrient-dense calories to keep them healthy, strong, and full of vigor.

If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes or know someone who does, there’s an article about one of the most feared complications of the disease: diabetic retinopathy. The good news is that diabetic retinopathy, which causes vision loss, is completely preventable as long as your blood sugar is controlled and you get annual eye exams. I especially loved developing this story idea, and assigning and editing the article because it gave me a chance to revisit a subject matter I like and am most familiar with: eye health. I spent five years as an editor and writer for professional magazines covering the eye care profession for optometrists and ophthalmologists. So this article was such a treat to educate dietitians about this disease and share what role they can play in preventing blindness in their patients. You can read the article “The ABCs of Diabetic Retinopathy” here.

And did you know that the foods you eat can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease? Well they can. Read “Reducing the Risk of CVD” and find out what foods you should be buying at the grocery store for optimal health. You’ll enjoy the recipes for the banana-berry smoothie, double-grain bean soup, the walnut cluster snack, and all the others in the magazine.

I hope you enjoy these articles. I’m most proud of this issue because it features such diverse article topics and the photos are really great! Leave me a message below and let me know what you think.

Until then, I’ll see you around on Facebook and Twitter!

   Take Care,