I fell off the blogging-face-of-the-Earth… but it’s only because I was running around like a [vegetarian] headless chicken trying to make the Healthy Living Summit the best it could be.


The event is now over, and I’ll admit that I’m a little sad and a little relieved, too.  I feel like the last month or two has been an absolute pressure cooker, and the thought of resuming ‘normal’ life seems really, really nice.  BUT – it was GREAT to see all my blends (blog friends), and I feel like everything went well.


Backtrack to yesterday….


After our breakfast, the sessions started.  I was in charge of introducing people, handling audience participation, working the video cameras, and other odds and ends so I really didn’t get to watch the other speakers too much.  But everyone did great!


I wasn’t great at documenting food or drink, so here’s just a slice of the goodies I ate:


Lunch featured an excellent Arnold + Oroweat spread.  There were LOTS of veggie options.  I had tofu, chickpea salad, Sandwich Thin, broccoli, and salad.



Dessert was a lemon pie:


After lunch, I had a chance to sit with the Arnold dietitian to get a mini consultation.  It was pretty neat!  We went over my eating, drinking, sleeping, and exercise habits and talked about small tweaks that I could make to my lifestyle to be healthier.


She recommended that I begin talking a Calcium supplement with Vitamin D.  Otherwise, things are looking good!  🙂


Post-lunch, there was more events and speakers and then we had a snack break filled with some amazing Athenos feta + hummus goodies.  My favorite was the feta, watermelon, and basil sticks.


Several speakers and whatnot later… the conference was over.   🙁


I know I didn’t do the BEST job of recapping the actual event so here are a few posts with some better details:  Blogfeast and the Ethical Eating Panel TipsIf you attended HLS, please link back to your posts in the comments section so others can read + enjoy!


Arnold and Oroweat organized an epic food crawl of Chicago following the conclusion of the official events.   The tour was sponsored by Tastebud Tours.  This company has a GREAT story.  The founder was laid off in the healthcare industry a year or so ago, and he hunted and hunted for work but couldn’t find anything.  He realized he had a knack for giving tours of Chicago and that people LOVED the Chicago food, so he started this new company just in May.  It was pretty inspiring!



We walked about 1.5 miles and stopped in four or five restaurants.  It was a great way to see Chicago on foot!



However, the tour was very meat-heavy (to be expected, I don’t think traditional Chicago food should cater to vegetarians!) so I couldn’t eat much of the food.  BUT I loved the sites and you should DEFINITELY go on this tour if you’re visiting Chi-Town!



I had some pasta, a bite of grilled cheese, caramel and cheddar popcorn, and several beverages.  🙂


Costume change:


And an epic night out ensued:


(Whew, what a LONG post!)


After crashing around 1:00 AM, I got a very restful 7 hours of sleep, and the Megan and I woke up to go on a stroll around the Chicago Harbor… but I’ll update you about that soon!  Regular blogging shall resume NOW.  🙂


What’s your favorite city-specific foodie treat?  I’m going for… Key Lime Pie from Key West.



  • Alina August 15, 2010, 1:19 pm

    Sounds amazing! I’m glad you had a good time . . . I know what you mean about the vegetarian stuff, there’s this cultural thing I always go to in my city, and you HAVE to sample food, but my BFF is totally veg, and I don’t eat red meat . . . Needless to say, we got some pretty weird looks from all the baba’s serving us food . . . Luckily, they were pretty accomidating about subbing other stuff in!

  • Kelly August 15, 2010, 1:25 pm

    Looks like everything went really well but I can totally understand why you are relieved to not be dealing with it all anymore!
    Hope you enjoy a bit of a more relaxing day in Chicago today!

  • Sarah @ Sarah's Shaping Up August 15, 2010, 1:26 pm

    Looks like you had a fabulous time! 🙂 Definitely adding Chicago to my travel list! Can’t wait to see the rest of your recaps!

  • eatmovelove August 15, 2010, 1:27 pm

    Is this always held in Chicago? Or somewhere different everytime?

    City-specific food? LOL – I haven’t been anywhere exciting enough for that!! I dream of one day having pizza in NYC and of course in Italy or somewhere equally far away from here 🙂

    • caitlin August 15, 2010, 1:30 pm

      last year it was in boston! it’s somewhere different every year.

  • Kristina August 15, 2010, 1:30 pm

    pizza from NYC. 🙂 poi from Hawaii… and of course all the fruit I ate growing up in Hawaii… mango, papaya, guava…

  • Kelly @ Coconuts and Freckles August 15, 2010, 1:32 pm

    Wow! This looked like it was so much fun! I will have to attend hopefully next year (fingers crossed). You sure were the busy bee, and I’m sure everyone who attended was grateful for your hard work! How fun it must have been to finally meet friends from the blogging community!

  • heather August 15, 2010, 1:37 pm

    I’ve decided that Megan makes the best photo faces eva.

  • Natalie August 15, 2010, 1:43 pm

    love your scarf in the first few pictures 🙂
    The food tour looks amazing-didn’t know they had such a thing!

  • Amanda August 15, 2010, 1:43 pm

    City specific would have to be Chicago Deep Dish pizza, country specific gelato in Italy or fish and chips in England…YUM

  • Kelly R August 15, 2010, 1:44 pm

    The Healthy Living Summit looked amazing! I didn’t hear about it until after all of the tickets were gone. I’m excited about the possibility of going next year.

  • Brianne http://beautythroughbalance.wordpress.com August 15, 2010, 1:46 pm

    Ohhh, I saw the food tour on another blog this week and thought it was something special thought up for the HLS! I had no idea anyone could do that if they were visiting Chicago, thats so exciting!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter August 15, 2010, 1:48 pm

    I don’t have a favorite, though I would love to try seafood from Maine.

  • Tina August 15, 2010, 1:49 pm

    What a huge success. I’m sure it feels surreal for it to be over after all the work you all put into it. The question remains? Will you all be up to it for next year. 😉

    Whenever I make it to Chicago, that tour will be on my list of things to do!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) August 15, 2010, 1:50 pm

    I love German Chocolate Cake in the bavarian mountains. SO divine!

    Glad to hear it went well and now you can breathe…a bit 🙂

  • Cristina August 15, 2010, 1:57 pm

    Well, I don’t know if it’s just specific to Massachusetts, but Richardson’s ice cream!

  • Sara August 15, 2010, 2:01 pm

    Beignets from Cafe du Monde in New Orleans…I just had them this morning and will miss them until my next trip back there.

  • Maria @ Oh Healthy Day August 15, 2010, 2:17 pm

    You totally deserve a nice long vacation after these past few months!

    To answer your question: pineapples and macademia nuts from Hawaii!

  • Jennifer@ knackfornutrition August 15, 2010, 2:29 pm

    Seems as though the HLS went off without a hitch. I desperately wish I could have gone, but I have had a lot of fun reading everyone’s recaps! Congratulations on a second successful year.

    My favorite city specific foodie treat is without a doubt the Red Velvet cupcake at Hummingbird Bakery in London. It is seriously decadent and one of the best things I have ever eaten.

  • Kim August 15, 2010, 2:47 pm

    Haupia, a coconut milk based dessert that we always had in Hawaii. Also Lumpia even though it is not Hawaiian, it is Filipino and Filipino Biko, I had a lot of friends from different cultures when we lived in Hawaii and at other duty stations. (Navy family)

    My husband loves Skyline Chili and Larosas pizza from Cincinnati, Ohio. I can’t eat the Skyline anymore, but I do make it for him since he enjoys it.

    I forgot to mention I love Boulder Ice Creams Cinnamon Ice Cream. OMG, it is so good!

  • Kristin August 15, 2010, 3:06 pm

    I *must* get a Ghirardelli’s sundae every time I am in San Francisco, and eat at Duck and Decanter when I visit Phoenix. (We have family in both cities.)

  • Morgan @ Healthy Happy Place August 15, 2010, 3:13 pm

    hehe the dietitian in your photo is a very good family friend of mine! so funny!

  • Heather August 15, 2010, 3:33 pm

    everything looks so fun! I would feel sad but relieved it’s over, too.

  • Maureen @ Notes on a Visual Life August 15, 2010, 3:39 pm

    Any ideas about where it’ll be next year?? Come to California!!! *wink wink*

  • Karen @ Not Just Celery August 15, 2010, 3:54 pm

    The HLS sounded awesome again this year – hope I can come next year!

    I loooove Arepas – they are South American (I had them in Colombia; but apparently are quite popular in Venezuela too) cornmeal pancakes that are cooked up crispy and can be stuffed with different meats or cheeses. I had a cheese one yesterday at a place I found in NYC to indulge my craving!

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om) August 15, 2010, 3:58 pm

    That looks like so much fun! I’m glad you had a good time.

    Can I pick two? Beignets and cafe au lait in New Orleans (from Cafe du Monde, of course) and chicken and waffles from Atlanta. Preferably from Landmark Diner after a night out on town. 😉

  • holly @ couchpotatoathlete August 15, 2010, 4:15 pm

    I bet you were super busy. It is so neat to see these recaps! It looks like so much fun!

  • Amber K August 15, 2010, 4:17 pm

    I don’t think I have ever been anywhere and tried something that was local only to that place. I was not in a healthy eating mindset when I went to Europe over a decade ago. I stuck mostly to chains from America that I knew I would like!

  • Nicole - yuppieyogini.com August 15, 2010, 4:24 pm

    Probably feels good to get good marks from the RD. My boyfriend’s is becoming an ND and recommended I take Ca + D3. I’ll let you know the brand she suggests.

  • Amy August 15, 2010, 4:45 pm

    I’m not sure I have a favorite food from a specific city. Oh, yes I do! Various vegetarian dumplings that I ate in Xi’an, China. They were so good! I haven’t had a similar dumpling experience since.

  • Julia @ www.britbride.com August 15, 2010, 5:07 pm

    Looks like you all had a ball!


  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 15, 2010, 7:10 pm

    I’ve been wondering if I should start taking calcium supplements! It would be awesome if you did a post about it! 😀

    That tour sounds really neat, but it’s too bad you couldn’t try more of the foods. I have a nut allergy, so I can totally relate!

  • Wei-Wei August 15, 2010, 7:40 pm

    Looks like a fun fun day! I would really definitely want to go on that tour. And you look great, by the way 😉


  • Lauren August 16, 2010, 8:37 am

    Looks like such a fun day! I’m a little wary of calcium supplements these days; a massive study released earlier this month showed that calcium supplements can increase heart disease by up to 30 percent in women. I guess the theory is the same components that harden your bones can actually harden your arteries, too. It’s probably not worth freaking out about just yet, but definitely something to keep an eye on. Here’s a good blog post explaining: http://refusetoregain.com/refusetoregain/2010/08/calcium-the-craziness-begins.html

    • caitlin August 16, 2010, 12:33 pm

      hey! thanks for passing this on. definitely something to consider.

  • Kristy August 16, 2010, 12:51 pm

    That food tour thing looks like a blast! Can’t wait to find out the location of next years HLS!

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) August 16, 2010, 3:49 pm

    I love New York Cheesecake!

  • elaine! August 16, 2010, 11:45 pm

    Let me guess, she wants you to take Calcium + Vitamin D because you don’t eat a lot of dairy? I always wondered how important dietary calcium and vitamin D are… I thought that bone density is protected more by weight-bearing exercise than dietary calcium, and that you get plenty of vitamin D by direct contact with sunlight for 15-20 minutes a day. It would seem like both would be accounted for in one run.

    • Caitlin August 17, 2010, 10:13 am

      She said basically that it couldn’t hurt and since I was such a runner, my bones need all the strength they could get. ? Thoughts?

      • elaine! August 17, 2010, 2:24 pm

        I don’t know, I find the whole dairy thing to be super confusing. I mean, aren’t there whole food alternatives for people who are lactose intolerant? I doubt that taking a supplement could hurt, especially since calcium is also important to your muscles (it helps them contract, and can prevent muscle cramps).

        I do know that even though spinach has TONS of calcium, it’s not in a form that your body can use. However, I don’t think that other calcium-rich veggies have the same problem (broccoli, kale, collards, bok choy, beet greens). And vitamin C is supposed to make it easier to absorb the calcium in foods… that’s why whenever you see a cereal commercial that says “part of a complete and balanced breakfast!” it always has a photo of the cereal with a glass of orange juice.

        I’m still learning about all of this too, as you can tell. 😛

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