One Very Long Day

by Meghann on August 20, 2011

After months of planning, hours of pulling my hair out, and schmoozing sponsor after sponsor ( I <3 you Quaker!), I’m proud to say the actual session portion of the conference went off without a hitch.


Yippee! :)

BUT, I can’t even begin to tell you how long or crazy of a day it was. Insane. Absolutely insane. ;)

Mostly because my day started before 5:00am. That’s the time I agreed to meet a bunch of fabulous bloggers for a long early run. Can you believe how many smiling faces were up to run between 8 and 14 miles at 5:00am this morning.


Told you it was insane. ;)

Ashley (our fearless leader who organized the run) gave the group the final instructions of where to go before we were off and running.


I had to be back at the hotel by 6:30, so I hung back and did the 45 minute out and back route. As a group we ran up Market Street before running into the path that leads to the famous Kelly Drive. It was a very quiet, spooky run. I was extra happy we were in a large group and not running by our lonesomes – that would have been even more spooky and unsafe.


On my way back I ran into the shorter 6:00am group. Turns out there were just as many crazies willing to get up at 6:00am to run as there were for the 5:00am group.


I finished the tail end of the run with my new friend Alyssa. She’s a Philly local (Florida original) who holds a mean 9:00 minute conversational pace. We spent the last 4.5 miles covering everything from being a twin (her twin sister and her both live in Philly!) to engagements (she has a great engagement story that had me gasping for air with shock and laughter). There is nothing better than running and meeting new people. :)


We were a little short of my 9 mile goal, but I’ll take it. :)


I had to shower and change very quickly to head downstairs and help set up for the day. We still had morning check-in for all the stragglers who couldn’t make it yesterday afternoon.


We also had a gorgeous breakfast display thanks to our amazing friends at Attune.


Lots of fresh fruit, eggs, Stonyfield Yogurt, milk and Uncle Sam’s Cereal for everyone.

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We even had a special gluten-free section for all our friends with special dietary needs.


I made a small bowl of Uncle Sam’s Cereal, fresh fruit, and blueberry Oikos (which I ate standing up and running around like a mad woman) while everyone was piling in for the day.


I so wish I could remember the name of the blogger who gave me the mini pumpkin spice donut, but it was amazing.



I started getting very nervous about having to speak in front of such a large crowd for the opening remarks. I decided to jot down a few notes, so I wouldn’t leave anyone. The strategy worked out perfectly – I was able to say what I needed to say and didn’t leave anyone out.


At 9:00am I welcomed everyone to theĀ 3rd Annual Healthy Living Summit.


I was soooo nervous, but the notes really did help. I need to remember that when I try to ‘wing it’ in the future.


The rest of the morning flew by.

We had some fabulous sessions…


My sister and brother were able to enjoy the fruits of their labor…


(they worked their tails off as volunteers the past couple of days in exchange for a free ticket)


I got to see my friends….


(I heart Katy!)

And before I knew it – it was snack time!


Quaker provided their new Smashbars for everyone. They’re like rice krispie treats with extra add-ins. I enjoyed the nice crunch of chocolate and pretzel in mine.

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Frito-Lay had a mini photo booth with fun props set up. Dierdre and I were craving tire sized pancakes after this.


I started to crash around 11. The run and early wake up call were catching up to me and I needed caffeine stat! Theodora completely saved the day with an iced coffee that I downed in minutes.


I had the pleasure of introducing Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD for both a mid-morning workshop on action mantras and for her keynote slot following lunch.


Dawn was amazing. She wrote The Flexitarian Diet and I whole heartedly agreed with a lot of what she had to say. My favorite line was to be “pro-plant, not anti-meat.”



We had one last round of sessions after the workshop.


At this point I stumbled upon Katie. She was giving away homemade cookie dough balls (yum!) and offered a dark chocolate chip one to me (I later found her again for a double chocolate dough ball).


Lunch could not have come soon enough! I was getting hungry (and snacking on one too many dough balls).

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We had a display of various salads and sandwiches for break. All of the bread was donated from the local Great Harvest – probably the best thing about the whole conference!


All of the sandwiches were vegetarian, four of the 5 were vegan, and we had a gluten free salad station on the side for our gluten-free guests.



I tried the grilled veggie and balsamic tofu sandwiches and the chickpea quoina salad. The sandwiches were a little dry (and lacking salt), but the bread was amazing!


Shana shared her sun butter crunch balls for dessert.


I had one and enjoyed the crunch from the granola and chocolate covered seeds.


I also nabbed a bite of Evan’s brownies.


He told me they were gluten-free, nut free, milk free,and refined sugar free, but, luckily, they weren’t taste free. :)


Dawn spoke again after lunch and I took a cue from Sabrina to relax.


The Quaker snack break at 3:10 was my next large obstacle.


Quaker has been great to work with. Many thanks to Jenn for helping us through and supporting us along the way!


The snack break had rice cakes, veggies, hummus, and…


Naturally Nutty Nut Butters!!!


That stuff went fast!


Luckily, I was able to try a few flavors before they were all gone.


We ended with giveaways and a round of applause – yay!!!

Time to get our party on!


I met Annelies (from Attune) and my fellow Attune ambassadors (Anne P., Heather, and Monica) for Happy Hour and appetizers at Smokin Betty’s.



The Anderson Valley appealed to me.


I almost chugged this beer. It was needed.



We ordered an array of apps and shared. It ended up being just enough food for everyone to classify it as dinner.

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I had been craving gelato ever since we walked by this place the first day.


Kath, Allison (I hope I got the name right – if not I’m sorry :/) and I walked over to enjoy a small bowl.

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I had 1/2 Burnt Sugar and 1/2 Hazelnut. It was perfect.


We joined a few other bloggers at El Vez for drinks.




It was fabulous chatting with all the girls, but I had to call it a night. Only one more day of HLS to go!!!

{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sana August 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm

You are seriously a rockstarrr! Great job!!!


2 Katy @ Fit In Heels August 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Um, holy CRAPOLA this summit looks RIDIC!!!!!!!! WHERE is it??? And HOW can I be there next year? You did such an amazing job, everything looks absolutely fantastic! What did you speak about? I love so much about this post, from the early morning run (awesome!!!) to the breakfast, the flexitarian’s quote “pro-plant, not anti-meat”, to the guest speakers, the goodies, the quaker smash bars, the beer, gelato, and friends. Well done, you must feel so awesome!!!


3 Lisa August 20, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I second Sana–the conference looks AMAZING! I am so jealous of the giant vats of peanut butter!

Ps. Shana’s blog url is in case you didn’t have a chance to get it. :)


4 Meghann August 21, 2011 at 7:02 am

Thank you Lisa!


5 Candice August 21, 2011 at 12:25 am

Looks like you are having so much fun! And all your hrs work is paying off! I Soooo wish I could be there right now! Next yr….


6 Stephanie @ Food and Fitness 4 Real August 21, 2011 at 12:27 am

Great job putting together such an awesome conference! I had an amazing time this weekend and met lots of new friends. Just wanted you to know that all your hard work was appreciated.


7 Julie @ Wearing Mascara August 21, 2011 at 12:34 am

Great job this weekend! Wish I could have been there.


8 jassy August 21, 2011 at 12:41 am

organizing an event can really be hectic :) HLS 2011 is already successful with all the participants and events :)


9 Shaya (Eye Girl Eats) August 21, 2011 at 12:49 am

I can’t believe you were on your feet all day after running 9 miles before dawn. Lady, you deserve a round of applause. And about a hundred cookies :)

i hope you get some serious sleep tonight! I will be dreaming about tubs of nut butters myself…


10 michelle August 21, 2011 at 1:13 am

It looks like you put together a great event. Congrats!


11 Khushboo August 21, 2011 at 1:25 am

Wow I can’t believe you organised the whole thing, you deserve a medal! Hope Sunday goes off as smoothly!


12 Marissa Elliot August 21, 2011 at 1:32 am

ahhhh there are so many typos in this post!!!


13 Meghann August 21, 2011 at 7:04 am

I know I was half asleep when I published. Going back to edit now.


14 mel August 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

Seriously? Give her a break


15 Sarah August 21, 2011 at 6:56 am

I love the early morning runner pic. That looks like so much fun. This blogging community is full of rare breeds. And I love it! So, great you all got to get together!


16 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance August 21, 2011 at 7:10 am

Wow! It looks like it was a very long and exhausting day! But at least you got tons of treats from other bloggers :)


17 Allison @Cant Wait For Breakfast August 21, 2011 at 7:14 am

You got the name right! The gelato was seriously amazing!


18 carissa August 21, 2011 at 7:22 am

Looks like a fantastic time! You are superwoman! Congrats!


19 Lee August 21, 2011 at 7:43 am

Great job coordinating the summit! You did a great job. Wish I could have been there.


20 Sarah @ EatRunGarden August 21, 2011 at 8:03 am

Sounds like a lot of work but also a lot of fun.
I really wanted to go this year but I wasn’t sure about money so I chickened out. Maybe next year. Have fun today.


21 Alyssa August 21, 2011 at 8:21 am

Great recap of an insane day– glad everything went so well! Thanks for the shoutout/picture/link love, it was a great run. It has me set on finding a running buddy! Very happy I finally got to meet you :)


22 melissa August 21, 2011 at 8:27 am

You did the most amazing job! It was so great seeing you! Very impressed! xo


23 Alaina August 21, 2011 at 8:45 am

You ARE a rockstar for all that you put together for this conference! Looks like it’s been such a great success! :-)


24 Marlow August 21, 2011 at 9:05 am

Yay for gluten free options!


25 Ali @ Ali Runs August 21, 2011 at 9:11 am

Congrats on a very successful event! Every other blog I have read just raved about how amazing it was! Time to relax now! :)


26 Dina August 21, 2011 at 9:28 am

The food looks amazing! Don’t think I could pull myself away from a nut butter tasting. :)

So cool to see that many runners get together to run.


27 Cait's Plate August 21, 2011 at 9:40 am

All the food just looks so incredible! Especially that mini spice pumpkin doughnut!


28 Hillary August 21, 2011 at 9:53 am

I can’t even imagine how much work this took to put together. Way to go, Meghann!


29 Joanna @ braverealworld August 21, 2011 at 10:01 am

You did a great job organizing everything, thank you! And, even though you said you were super nervous for your welcome talk, it didn’t show at all. I remember thinking how well you spoke.


30 Shannon @ Mon Amour August 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

Looks like such a great day! Congrats on pulling this off by yourself!


31 Amanda August 21, 2011 at 11:11 am

All your posts make me want to go to this conference next year! I would love to meet all of the fabulous bloggers….will I be kept in the loop as long as I’m following your blog? Thanks! :)


32 Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) August 21, 2011 at 11:47 am

Looks like you are all having such a blast! You’ve done a great job organizing it, Meghan!


33 Alex August 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm

Glad it all worked out as well as it did. Amazing pictures and stories from all over the blog world.


34 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake August 21, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Congrats Meghann, it looks like everything turned out perfectly! You should definitely be voted MVP of the blogworld! :-)


35 Jessica @ Sushi and Sit-Ups August 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

The best conferences always keep you really well fed. This looks like it fits the bill! Congrats on another successful day!


36 Cynthia @ Cynthia's Adventures August 21, 2011 at 1:04 pm

It was fun reading all about HLS this weekend on twitter or on blogs!! Great job organizing everything :)


37 Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 21, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Holy cow what a busy day!! It all looks so much fun though!


38 Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing August 21, 2011 at 1:15 pm

It was such a great weekend, Meghann. Thank you so much for all your hard work (and for the doughball shout-out ;) )!


39 Shana August 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Thank you for putting together such an amazing event! I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun! My favorite part (aside from the snacks!) was the recipe development seminar. All of the speakers were so informative and I feel like I learned so much! Thank you again!


40 Erin @ Big Girl Feats August 21, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I had such a great time at my first HLS! Thanks SO much for your hard work in allowing bloggers to come together and learn/hang out/eat delicious food :) I had such fun meeting new bloggers and seeing friends. You should be very proud of yourself! (and El Vez = amazing!)

I hope it’s okay if I post the picture with me on the left at the lunch line on my blog (with credit of course!).


41 Ash Bear August 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm

You did a wonderful job pulling everything together! Thanks for the shout out and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves on the run, even though it was dark! :) I may have to borrow that picture. :)


42 Brooke @ BittersweetBrooke August 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm

I’m a Philly local that couldn’t make it to the HLS this weekend but recognized one of the girls in your pictures from Facebook. Alyssa is engaged to someone I went to high school with…what a small world! I’m so glad the whole thing weekend went well for you!


43 Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife August 21, 2011 at 4:27 pm

oh WOW! What a day. Looks like it went perfectly. NICE work :)

And that food looks totally delish!


44 Nikki August 21, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Wow… It all looks so great! Great work on the organization! I have heard all good about #HLS on all the blogger’s blogs that I frequent that went! Kudos!


45 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 21, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I just wanted to tell you that you did an AMAZING job on this conference!! It was incredible- seriously, all your hard work totally paid off. Kind of bummed I didn’t get to chat with you more, but just know that it was awesome and you deserve major congrats!!


46 Victoria (District Chocoholic) August 21, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Running at 5 am is not insane. It’s normal. Except the days I start earlier (love 4:30 am runs). Hope you get a nice long nap soon!


47 Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 21, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I am so glad to hear the HLS went well!!!


48 Jamie @ getalivingsense August 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

So jealous of you guys being in Philly! My whole fam is from there, and I was just there 2 weeks ago…I LOVE El Vez and Capagiro! Great choices! :)


49 Taysa August 21, 2011 at 9:47 pm

This is really funny…I spent the weekend camping in Anderson Valley, visited the brewery yesterday for the second time, and am currently wearing a t-shirt of theirs AND drinking the beer. I was very excited to see you had chosen it! :)


50 Meghann August 22, 2011 at 12:06 am

Dude! I want an Anderson Valley shirt! Too cool. :)


51 Julie @SavvyEats August 22, 2011 at 8:17 am

Way to go, Meghann! HLS weekend ROCKED :)


52 katie August 22, 2011 at 8:27 am

HLS was so fun! I was so happy to attend and will every year now! THANK YOU again and everyone else for the amazing weekend and hard work you did for this!!

I really hope I get to personally meet you next time Im at a event like this and you are attending!



53 Keelie (SweatEqualsSuccess) August 22, 2011 at 8:54 am

Awesome Recap! This was my first year attending, and I absolutely adored every second of the conference, and everyone I met. Thank you for working so hard to create a forum for us all to come together and discuss what we love and are passionate about!

P.S. I couldn’t tell you were nervous when doing introductions! Great job!

P.P.S. Burnt sugar and I are meant to be together… One of my top 5 flavor obsessions! :)


54 Carly D. @ CarlyBananas August 22, 2011 at 9:57 am

I had so much fun at HLS this weekend, Meghann. Thank you so much for everything you did to organize! I hope you have a few days of relaxing lined up! :)


55 Jessica @ Bay Bay Bites August 22, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Looks like a great spread! Congrats! I hope I can go someday. :)


56 Hilary August 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

You deserve a rest! Great organizing work!


57 Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga August 23, 2011 at 12:29 am

I’m exhausted just reading this…and you were living it!

Congrats to you for pulling it all off!!


58 hannamay August 23, 2011 at 9:38 am

Nice pictures! It was fun reading all about HLS this weekend on twitter or on blogs!! Great job organizing everything!!


59 Claire Z. August 24, 2011 at 5:15 pm

Isn’t Dawn the best? I’m proud to say she’s my dietitian (and pal).


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