The Healthy Living Summit took place at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, MA. HLS is an annual conference which unites bloggers, readers and brands that all share a passion for healthy living, whether it is cooking healthy, fitness or both! This was my first time at a conference of this type (my blog is still fairly new) and I did not really know what to expect.
Well, the weekend was amazing (and slightly exhausting). I had so much fun, learned a lot about blogging and social media, met amazing people, ate delicious healthy food, spoke with brand representatives and owners, worked out (sort of), drank wine (actually, a lot of wine), and got a serious amount of SWAG (it is still all over my kitchen and my house).
I could never post about everything that was discussed and learned at HLS, I would have to quit my job. Hmmm. I want to write about what I took away from attending HLS. When I signed up for the conference, I was stoked and wrote a post listing why I wanted to be a part of it and what I wanted to learn.
From my post on 6/14/12: I started this blog because I was inspired by the healthy living community. I want to:
- learn how to blog more efficiently (how to post more than a couple of times a week, how to people have the time?)
- learn about showcasing fitness on social media platforms
- learn how to take better pictures for the blog (pictures = better reading experience, everyone likes pictures, just not bad pictures!)
- listen to other’s experiences and goals about life/fitness
- hopefully learn about new workout moves or classes
- MAKE NEW FRIENDS
Did I accomplish all of this? Absolutely. The blogging sessions were amazing and helpful, better pictures will be displayed thanks to Gretchen and her photography session (although not displayed here because I am a shitty blogger and forgot my camera for HLS), new workout and new moves were done at CrossFit and I absolutely made new friends (whether they like it or not).
What did I take away from HLS? There is inspiration everywhere in this community! BOOM.
But from where?!
- The Bloggers of course. I met so many amazing bloggers! Each woman had her own story voice. During the sessions, the one constant that was heard all weekend was to stay true to yourself and to be authentic. As a blogger, you want to build relationships with your readers and the best way to do this is to let go of the idea that you need to write certain things at specific times and to let your personality shine and share yourself through your writing! It is amazing to be surrounded by so many people who just “get it” and who are all reaching toward healthy goals! The positive energy is completely contagious!
What were my favorite parts of HLS?
I am happy you asked!
- The Bloggers (again). I formed so many new and wonderful friendships at HLS! I love that we don’t think it is weird that we met online
- The SWAG!
I also took extra Granola and Supergrains because Shannon eats Paleo. I win.
Thank you Melissa for the picture. Thank you HLS and sponsors for making me an extreme couponer.
Note: These are Caroline’s feet, I did not take a picture until I got home.
My feet currently look like this:
- The Sponsors. I am really excited to have been introduced to Wild Harvest (they only create food with ingredients they can pronounce, fabulous). I had been looking forward to trying EnergyBits so I was pumped to get a sample and to meet the founder of the company! I also really love Reebok for introducing me to my new shoes and CrossFit:
Photo of me “CrossFitting” courtesy of Jen
and these guys:
- Information Session about working with brands (here is an amazing and informational recap of the session and discussion from Anne, one of the bloggers on the panel)
- Chobani Dinner at EVOO (which deserves its own post, coming soon!)
Some additional thoughts:
- Aside from the keynote presentation from Wild Harvest, there were practically no sessions or information on healthy living. As a new blogger, I am appreciative of all of the blogging information during the sessions but I do wish there was more information about general health and well-being.
- Some of the “healthy food” we received contained ingredients that I wouldn’t consider particularly healthy (i.e. sugar substitutes). It seems like some of the brands are promoting an active lifestyle with a processed product. It seemed a bit counterintuitive to have the keynote speakers discuss the importance of whole ingredients and then give sugary, processed food as well. This is my personal opinion only.
HLS absolutely surpassed my expectations. I literally checked off every single goal that I wrote about when I had signed up. The weekend was one of the best experiences I have had. When I created my blog I had no idea how happy it would make me. Opportunities such as HLS help teach me successful ways to reach others while exploring my passion of fitness and healthy living!
I am grateful for the opportunity to attend HLS and thankful for Meghann, Julie and Heather (as well as the volunteers) for working their asses off to set it up! I will definitely be attending in 2013!