So, with my bags packed, me and this belly made the short trip to Houston for a week long stay of learning about the latest news on nutrition and human health and then wandered the expo sampling the newest food products to hit supermarkets - my favorite part, don't you know. Lots of gluten free items from Whole Note Foods, and around the corner was Mission Tortillas handing out packages of corn-whole wheat blend tortillas and offering out samples of goat cheese and spinach quesadillas (get in my belly). The Texas Beef Council was a sponsor (dietitians eat beef!) and I went back for a second sample of the homemade zesty lentil gazpacho.
This week was nutrition-rich as far a knowledge goes- I wish I could have sat in on every single session..and my notebook is full. Instead of sorting through every single bullet point I jotted down throughout this last week, I figured I would share of few pictures and hit the highlights that really struck my dietitian heat strings.
1. Food Service Dietitians and nutritionists are basically the equivalent to rockstar status when it comes to feeding our kids - both in and outside of their school walls. The amount of effort and thought that goes into these healthful meals nearly knocked me to my knees. Getting to hear Dayle Hayes, MS, RD speak at the opening session made me want to get more involved with the school lunch programs in my area.
2. Cooked and served meals are amazing on days 1-3.
On day four I wanted to make my own food again.
3. After a serious discussion with my sweet friend, Amy Goodson (dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, USA Track & Field.. and a plethora of other amazing things..) we both decided that a breastfeeding mother's nutrition strongly resembles that of a female athlete.
4. Artificial sweeteners have been rigorously studied and tested for safety (and is probably the most common question I get asked about..)These studies have corroborated the safety of these products, and to suffer ill health effects you would need to consume quite a bit more than you are likely to. How much was what we were all asking - even me and the several pregnant women sitting in the vicinity: A 150-pound woman would have to consume 20 diet sodas per day, every day for the rest of her life.. OR consume 100 Equal packets.
Sweet Tea, anyone?
5. The Top Five Sustainable Food Habits:
1.) Following a plant-based diet,
2.) Eating more organic foods (less fertilizers and pesticides means lower impact on the environment),
3.) Eat locally (reducing the number of miles that food has to travel before arriving to your dinner plate)
4.) Learning to eat with the seasons means choosing foods that were not grown in artificial conditions (like a greenhouse). Eating in-season produce are better because they require fewer resources and less energy to produce.
5.) Reduce waste - 36 millions tons of food was wasted in 2012.
6. Food Allergies are NOT as common as one would imagine. Up to 28% of the population perceive they have a food allergy and seek out self-treatment.. while just about 4% of the population have a true food allergy.
7. Food Addiction is real. It is seen in very young children and into adulthood.
8. A sugar crash after eating a high glycemic food triggers the same 'craving' desire in the brain as it would in individuals that maintain a drug addiction.
Walking in heels for 5 days straight did a number on my feet.
9. 40% of the population is on a nutritional supplement..
95% of those people found their nutritional information for taking those supplements on the internet.
(Side note.. there was a Marble Slab Creamery within walking distance from the hotel. I may or may not have enjoyed it twice last week.)HEB proved that for me this week.