This weekend, I was given the opportunity to cover the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s October Fall Conference: IIN Live. Since I would be tweeting and blogging via Live Stream, I was able to watch the entire event (Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) from the comfort of my own home.
Last year, I attended the event live in NYC, so a part of me wished I was there. But while my jealousy set in a few times (especially during the group massages at the end), I have to admit it was nice to be able to take a lunch break, get some tea and wear my sweats as I soaked up a multitude of new information.
For those of you who don’t know or are new to my blog, I graduated from IIN this past August as a Certified Holistic Health Coach. The school has been able to give me the chance to follow my dreams, start my own business, believe in myself, lose those last 10 pounds of baggage (plus some) and start an entirely new career path for myself.
Therefore, whenever I get the chance to hear from more speakers and listen to IIN founder, Joshua Rosenthal, I jump on it in a heart beat. One of the many things I adore about IIN is the school’s belief in bio-individuality, that is that we are all made differently and what works for one person (a strict vegan, plant-based diet) may not work for another (a grass-fed meat-eater). You can throw out everything anyone has every told you about the “right” way to diet, and just eat the way that works for your lifestyle, the way that makes you feel your ultimate best.
I was ecstatic to see the wide variety of speakers that IIN chose for the conference, only furthering my love for bio-individuality. The IIN Live speakers included: Joshua Rosenthal, Daphne Oz, Marion Nestle, Susan Blum, Neal Barnard, Alissa Vitti, Nina Planck, Terry Walters, Joy Bauer and a number of guest speakers and successful IIN graduates.
Here’s are some highlights from some of my favorite speakers of the conference:
Joshua Rosenthal, Founder and Director of IIN:
- We explored the areas of primary food, that is relationship, exercise, career and spirituality. We always think of health as just food and weight, but it’s much more than that. When these other areas in our lives are not going well, this can throw everything off. Joshua had us dig deep and analyze these different areas in order to find clarity and balance. For me, I’d like to work on my spirituality by incorporating meditation and yoga into my daily routine in order to cleanse my mind, body and soul.
- He reminded us the importance of SETTING YOUR INTENTION. What is your intention? Today? This week? This year?
- Joshua said something that really stood out to me: “Always make sure you are coming from a place of honesty and integrity. When you work from your heart you can never go wrong.” How true is this?
Daphne Oz, Author & Co-Host of The Chew (Oh, also daughter of the famous Dr. Oz):
- She reinforced the importance of preventative care, stating that there’s lots of preventative methods you can do before you end up on the operating table!
- Fun Fact: Daphne struggled with weight growing up even though she came from a family of medical professionals. She also wrote the book “The Dorm Room Diet”
- Favorite Daphne Quote: “You will never be lonely if you know how to cook. You will always eat well if you know how to make a few healthy, simple recipes.”
- She reminded us that cooking should be fun, and that it’s totally OK to make mistakes and make a mess. That’s the whole point!
Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies and Public Health at New York University:
- During the 1980s, there was a huge shift in the food industry, when people started to eat more and move less. Marion blames this on deregulation. Two major reasons are 1.) Farmers were told that subsidies would depend on the amount of food grown which led to mountains of soybeans and corn crops 2.) Wall Street put pressure on corporations to increase returns on investors immediately, rather than the old thinking that valued long-term returns on investment.
- She touched upon the shockingly scary truth that we live in an environment that encourages people to eat more than we need. Why is it that places like Staples and Bed, Bath & Beyond are selling junk food snacks?
- Low prices encourage people to buy unhealthy food on a budget (i.e. McDonald’s)
- $267 million is spend on Coca Cola advertisements alone. Yikes!
- Be wary of “health food claims” like “organic Gummy Bears,” “Reduced Fat Peanut Butter,” and “Vitamin D Enhanced Fruity Pebbles”
Dr. Susan Blum, MD, MPH, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and pioneer in functional medicine:
- She is a firm believer that “Food is information” and that all calories are NOT created equally. For example, when you eat an apple our cells work properly, but processed pretzels can lead to poor cellular function which in turn makes us sick.
- Phytonutrients found in plants can change the expression of our genes, which is a very powerful thing indeed!
- Our intestinal lining works like “skin on the inside” is is the most important barrier for preventing food sensitivities. One cause of leaky gut is bacteria buildup on the lining.
- SUGAR creates INFLAMMATION!!!!
- Test yourself for food sensitivities by cutting out common allergens like soy, dairy and wheat, and then slowly adding them back in one at a time. Schedule an initial health consultation if you’re looking to explore your food sensitivities and get to the root of the problem.
Terry Walters, bestselling author and advocate for eating clean and living well:
- Clean food comes in a rainbow of colors. There is no right way to eat clean. Do the best you can, and what works for you!
- Mix in Kombu (a sea vegetable) while cooking grains for incredible health benefits!
- Miso is wonderful to promote healthy intestinal flora
- 24 hours is all it takes to sprout your quinoa to consume it raw. Who knew?
- And now, a delicious clean salad courtesy of Terry: Kale + Lemon & Lime Juice + Sunflower Seeds + Red Onion + Ginger + Olive Oil + Sea Salt + Avocado
Nina Planck, author, local foodist, and advocate for traditional foods:
- 3/4 of French men say they enjoy their food. Sadly, it’s less than half of that in the U.S. We are all so diet obsessed that we don’t even take the time to enjoy our meals!
- Fat is necessary for digestion, yet so many people are afraid of it. Natural saturated fat does NOT cause heart disease. Rather heart disease is from a deficiency in omega 3s/folic acid/antioxidants, sugar, trans fat, and INFLAMMATION.
- Coconut is a super powerful antiviral. YAY for healthy fats!
- “Grassfed farming is efficient & smart.”
Alissa Vitti, HHC, AADP, Health Coach specializing in reproductive and hormonal health:
- 1 in 8 couples are infertile in the U.S.
- Cinnamon, Avocado, Buckwheat, Turmeric, and SLOWING DOWN all enhance fertility
- Estrogen dominance can lead to migraines and weight gain. A delicious cleansing juice for balancing women = beet, cilantro, apple celery, lemon and ginger
- Conditions like PCOS can be cured naturally through NUTRITION!
- Menstrual issues can lead to inflammatory disease, and if you already have issues in your 20s you are setting yourself up for major issues in your 80s. YOU CAN PREVENT THIS.
Joy Bauer, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition and health expert for The TODAY Show:
- Changing someone else’s lifestyle IS difficult
- The best thing you can do for your health right away is cut out fried foods, nix sugary beverages, and incorporate produce at every signle meal.
- If you cut out one 20 oz. soda a day (17 tsp. of straight sugar) for an entire year, this will save you 91,00 calories, stop you from gaining a potential 26 lbs, and prevent you from consuming 108 cups of STRAIGHT SUGAR.
- Ginger and chamomile tea are natural muscle relaxers, and work wonders for PMS cramps
- If you struggle with eating well on the weekends, structure your weekend schedule, exercise and plan for a splurge!
- Under the radar health foods to look out for: Quinoa (loaded with magnesium and has much more fiber and protein than even rice), Chia Seeds (Plant based Omega 3s to suppress inflammation & boost mood, plus more fiber and calcium than flax), Roasted Edamame (Twice as much protein and fiber & fewer calories compared to nuts), Pumpkin (loaded with potassium and beta carotene), Steel Cut Oats (lower Glycemic index than traditional oats), Kefir, Chard & Kale
Closing Thoughts & Comments:
- You should totally check out Sarina Jain’s Masala Bhangra for an amazing, Indian-inspired dance workout. Seriously, this girl knows how to work it!
- If you are weary of natural health remedies, do some research. Has healthy food and a balanced lifestyle ever killed anyone? Some of the success stories are incredible, including my own aunt who helped heal her cancer through detoxing, raw foods and healthy living.
- Health coaches rock & people need our help.
- In the words of Joshua Rosenthal himself, “If you spend your day doing something you can’t stand, all the broccoli in the world isn’t going to make you feel well.”
What did you take away from these highlights? What do you agree or disagree with? What are your thoughts on natural healing through good food & a healthy lifestyle?