As I mentioned before, I had a great time at Healthy Living Summit. It was a whirlwind couple of days, and I really enjoyed my time in Minneapolis, and at the Summit itself. Since covering it all at once would be insanely long, I’m splitting it into a few posts. Today, I’m talking about Thursday & Friday – enjoy!
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Mollie’s boyfriend dropped her off at my apartment, and we were off! The drive to Minneapolis is only about 3 and a half hours from Des Moines, which was nice, because we didn’t have to leave too early.
Once we arrived at Amanda’s apartment, split some Chipotle since we were hungry from the drive, and got ready for our first mini-mingle – the one that Mollie was hosting! Amanda had other plans for the evening, so she couldn’t join us. She did feed us some pie before we left. WIN.
Side note: We were planning on staying at Amanda’s place all three days of the summit, but while fighting traffic on our way in for the mingle, we decided to check with the hotel and see if we could still find a room. Thankfully, they had one available, for a fantastic rate! So, only one night at Amanda’s.
Mollie’s mingle was for dinner and drinks. We met the group at the hotel, and caught a cab to our first stop – Chino Latino! The restaurant was so great, but the company was even greater. I plan on doing a full review of my experience there – it’s too much to cover in just this post – but it was SUCH a good time, and a great way to kick of Healthy Living Summit.
The menu was amazing. So hard to choose what to get!
After dinner, we headed to Sky Bar for drinks. It was freezing (high + windy = cold) but the environment was awesome. I did something a little different (for me), and got a cocktail called Sucker Punch. Very tasty – it had Southern Comfort, Apple Pucker, Sloe Gin & Blueberry Puree. I want to try and recreate this one at home! After drinks, we headed back to Amanda’s.
we woke up nice and early to be in Minneapolis for the Wild Harvest tour (and beat rush hour traffic).
This was an event that I was really, really excited for. I’ve never toured anywhere that produces food, so I was pretty curious about the process. A crew of us piled on a bus and headed out to their headquarters. They greeted us with coffee (be still my heart!) and gave us some background on the company. After we knew more about the company as a whole, we split into three groups for the tour.
My group saw the taste-testing labs first. Very cool! We got to be testers (not real testers, but they did walk us through the process to let us see what it was like) and they explained how they test products, and what they do with the feedback. We also learned how they compare their organic products with the “national standard” for taste, look, and texture.
Then we headed over to learn about recipe development. It’s a really detailed process, and strict records are kept to prove that they, in fact, created the recipes. They walked us through a recent recipe (turkey burgers that were OH EM GEE good), and explained a bit about creating that.
Next, we learned more about different product offerings, and finally, got to sample a ton of products to end out the tour. It was a ton of fun, and really informational.
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After the tour, we checked into the hotel, unpacked the car, and registered for the weekend. We got all our swag – always exciting! More on that later.
Shortly after, we decided to headed out and snag some lunch at a local food truck that someone with Wild Harvest recommended, Hola Arepa. Holy cow, was this tasty! An arepa is a flatbread made of ground maize dough or cooked flour prominent in the cuisine of Colombia and Venezuela. (Source.) I got mine with pork and sweet potatoe. Delicious!
Before we knew it, it was time for the Blogger Roundtables. I joined in for a roundtable called “Making Your Health a Priority”, led by Tara, and Kelly. It was interesting to hear different bloggers ideas on how to make healthy living a priority, and how not to let it rule your life.
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For dinner, it was time for another mini-mingle! This one was to Town Hall Brewery. I was really excited to see this mingle on the schedule (we all know that I like my beer). I got nachos, plus the seasonal sampler of beer. The beer was quite tasty!
1. Blonde Ale (my favorite)
3. Royal Pale India Ale
4. Summer Wheat
5. Pacific Jade (or this was my favorite – I couldn’t decide)
And, obviously, it was great to hang out with a ton of bloggers who like beer.
From Town Hall Brewery, we walked to the Healthy Living Summit cocktail hour, where we were able to hang out and meet each other. Plus, photo booth! At the end of the night, we all caught a school bus back to the hotel.
And, I fell. Hard. Getting off the bus. Yup. I blame it on a broken heel. But, embarrassing nonetheless. There didn’t seem to be a good way to segway into that story, but I had to add it in. I wasn’t hurt – only my pride (although you’d think it would be used to tripping at this point).
We were all pretty tired, so we hit the hay.
Stay tuned for part two!