Saturday, June 23, 2012

Day Three in Denver - FHBC

Last blog post from Denver! Today, like yesterday and Thursday, kept us moving, learning, and observing the entire day. I started with an early morning spin class - my very first one!

Why yes, that is a lot of sweat on my shirt.

Thanks Bobbi for the photo! Only five of us took the class--Christine, Melissa, Bobbi, Shira and me--which was great for a first timer like me. Our instructor (second from the right), Brittany, was awesome! Everyone loved her. And I really liked spinning! I thought it was fun and the class went by super fast. But MAN it was tough. And I'm definitely going to have some bruises in a few out-of-sight places...

Next we were off to two talks:
  • Locating and Assessing Health and Wellness Information on the Internet with Dana Abbey
  • Communicating Health & Wellness Information via the Internet with Janet Helm

In the first, we learned a lot about how to use the best websites as resources to find scientific data to support our blogs. In the second, we learned from an RD about ways to use our blogs to more effectively communicate accurate information.

And we got a nice fitness break! 

One stretch you can do at your desk!

With Sarah

After lunch (I had the same meal as yesterday), we started the "meat" of the day, and one of my favorite parts of the conference so far: Breakout Sessions! We broke into small groups and rotated through 70-minute sessions with the resident experts of different parts of the Health & Wellness Building.

First up: a cooking demonstration from the Bistro Elaia Executive Chef. They actually have a demo kitchen on site!

Lemon-thyme chicken, lentils, and a watermelon salad

It was incredibly delicious and very fun to watch him cook while discussing his thoughts on healthy food.

Next station: Human Performance Lab! We actually got to watch a performance test, as you can see...

I obviously loved this part of our breakouts. The scientist on the right is Dr. Inigo San Millan, our speaker from yesterday. He explained how his analysis works and how he uses the readings to inform his research. I'm excited to go into more detail about his data in a future post, so stay tuned!

Last stop: The Consumer Research Grocery Store and Restaurant!

The scientific chefs weigh the food and cook it exactly the same way each time.

In the restaurant/kitchen, the RD works to help researchers who are conducting studies. So, for example, if a study is looking at blood pressure, the kitchen will prepare meals for all participants in the study. They also serve as a test kitchen, where they work with restaurants to come up with healthier versions of their most popular dishes.

Another favorite stop for me was the grocery store. It looks like a real grocery store, as you can see, but it's miniature and just provides a sampling so that RDs can help inform consumers. This particular mini grocery store has NuVal scores, which I'd like to discuss further at some point. Have you heard of NuVal scores? Do you use them?

This whole wheat cereal gets a score of 91/100.

These granola bars get a score of 2/100.

In general, the system can be useful, but I don't agree with all of their parameters, so let's discuss that one soon!

Tonight I met up with my friend Katie, who lives in Denver. She and her boyfriend, Scott, took me out to a lovely dinner downtown, followed by some delicious ice cream. We ate at Vesta Dipping Grill, known for its dipping sauces! We started with the pita bread and 5-sauce sampler (all the sauces were incredible), and I ordered the ricotta gnocchi for dinner with three sauces. Everything was scrumptious, and the conversation was even better.

But the night never ends at dinner! Katie suggested Little Man Ice Cream, which someone from the conference had actually mentioned, so I was in. There was a huge line out front, but it moved quickly, and I ordered the Cinnabun gelato in a waffle cone. 

It was wonderful to catch up with Katie and meet Scott, and I hope I can convince Terry to come back out here soon to visit with them more!

Tomorrow's the last day here, and I get to meet up with one more friend for lunch before heading back to LA. I've had an incredible time but can't wait to get back to my boys!


  1. Hi Julie. It was terrific meeting you in person at the Conference! Glad to see you've managed to share so many high points and food with great photos. Safe travels home!

    1. It was great to meet you, too, Shira! Hope you're home safely.

  2. you did such a good job of recapping the day! i should have just written "go read julie's post (minus her dinner)" for my post! :)