Tag Archives: IFBC

IFBC 2014: Traveling While Paleo

Page and Dornenburg, Foodie Royalty | Paleo + Life

Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page giving the Keynote @ IFBC. Just *thinking* about their travel schedule exhausts me.

Note to my readers: This is a subsidized post, as detailed below. In exchange for a reduced conference fee, I agreed to write three posts about the event: this is the third of those posts. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Traveling while paleo is a whole new experience. I am something of a homebody, of course, and I can obviously ensure that my food is paleo if I make it myself. But sometimes, even a woman who adores cooking needs to step out of the kitchen. Here are a few tips I found handy while on the road:

Eat a good breakfast. I know, I know. I hear the dramatic teenaged scoff in your voice. But I’m here to tell you: your mom was right. Having a good chunk of protein at breakfast helped keep me going for a surprisingly long time. Since I didn’t stay at the conference hotel, I made sure to book a place that served breakfast. Both days, I had hard-boiled eggs which I wrapped in slices of meat, and fresh fruit on the side.

Don’t be afraid to leave and get what you need. My breakfast held me over for several hours – through the keynote and most of the second speaker’s presentation. Along about the time we broke for the third session, I was ready to gnaw my own arm off. Unfortunately, I had left my amazing, snack-filled “swag bag” at our hotel. When I learned that there was a Whole Foods Market near the conference, I left a cloud of dust in my wake. I made it back in time to catch most of the third session (a cooking demo by The Chef In the Hat that smelled divine).

Conference Snacks

Paleo-friendly snacks from WFM SLU

Think outside the box. Conferences and expositions tend to be absolutely filled with muffins, quick breads, doughnuts… y’all get the idea. I picked up a fruit & nut mix, some jerky, and (cough*two flavors of*cough) macaroons, which all helped to tide me over.

New school snacks are awesome, too. Many of the vendors who came to IFBC had perfect paleo snacks: Rainier Fruit Company carries pears, apples, cherries and blueberries; Pearls makes Olives to Go*(these are like fruit cups, but with olives); and Santé Nuts has really fresh-tasting roasted salted pecans*. Nutiva has a new macaroon-like O’Coconut* treat; I loved Zico pineapple–flavored coconut water*; GimMe Organic has roasted seaweed snacks* (my daughter likes the teriyaki flavor, but I prefer sea salt). If you tolerate beans, The Better Bean Company has some tasty varieties. And I can’t forget my beloved Theo Chocolate* which I’m certain is the taste of heaven.

Stay hydrated and stretch. I am a fiend about this, because I am stil nursing my youngest, but don’t forget to keep up your fluid intake. This will also have the value of forcing you out of a chair for bathroom breaks. Do a little stretch on your way; check out Paleo Secret’s Sitting Solution for tips on how to move and feel better.

We are definitely still learning how to manage paleo on the go, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how well this trip went. We talked about packing a cooler with cold snack foods that we might take next time; feel free to share any advice on that in the comments. What are your best travel tips?


* = Affliliate link.

IFBC 2014 Debrief

Gluten-Free Girl & Me | Paleo + Life

Note to my readers: This is a subsidized post, as detailed below. In exchange for a reduced conference fee, I agreed to write three posts about the event: this is the second of those posts. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Traveling is not my strong suit.

It used to be something I longed for and adored. When I was a girl, my ideas about travel were decidedly romantic. As a kid on a steady diet of soap operas and “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous,” I dreamed of jetting off at a moment’s notice to exotic places like Paris and Rome. There was no need to worry about a language barrier – somehow, my travel would magically make me a sophisticate able to communicate wherever I went.
As a young woman, responsible for fewer things and people than now, I might have swapped Paris for Manhattan and Rome for, say, Phoenix, but spontaneity was possible.

Nowadays, with children in school and a husband who has a regular career, my reality is more structured. We just don’t do spontaneous trips. Yet, when I learned about the International Food Bloggers Conference, just about two weeks before the event, I knew I had to try to make it. So I moved a few things around, booked a kennel for the dog, convinced the husband to take a day off, and the family piled into the minivan to cruise up I-5 to gorgeous, gloriously sunny Seattle, WA.**

I am so very glad we did. While no event could be perfect, the highlights of this one were quite close to perfection for me. They include:

  • The keynote with Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg: these folks have written a slew of brilliant books about the fine food world. Becoming a Chef*, their first, nearly sent me to culinary school. Culinary Artistry*, with its food and flavor pairings, was sheer genius. I am excited to check out their next book, The Vegetarian Flavor Bible*. I am certain it will be just as amazing as their previous books.
  • Editor Dianne Jacob’s presentation on writing. Ironically, I was actually in another session, but the students in Dianne’s class kept sending tweets that made me laugh out loud. I had no choice — I had to come hear this clever lady for myself. Very glad that I did so. She really emphasized that we experience food with all of our senses, not just taste, and that we should use those senses to give our readers the most complete experience of whatever we talk about and taste.
  • Shauna James Ahern, known as The Gluten Free Girl, gave the final presentation I attended on Sunday. Ostensibly, her talk was about recipe development, but the heart of her session was really about finding and being your own, authentic, warm self.
    Shauna is a phenomenal writer. Her writing always touches me: she makes me laugh, think, cry — if I can be half as good I will be more than satisfied.

Those are my top three sessions from IFBC. If you were there, give a shout in the comments with a link to your blog — I’d love to virtually “meet” you.


* = Affiliate link.

** Seriously: this was the most beautiful weather I’ve ever seen in Seattle. We had two perfect, hot, sunny days in the Evergreen State.

Road Tripping: IFBC 2014

Note to my readers: This is a subsidized post, as detailed below. In exchange for a reduced conference fee, I agreed to write three posts about the event: this is the first of those posts. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Z's Car

My youngest girl, circa 2010, driving her ‘car’

If you’ve read my first post on Paleo + Life, from waaaay back in the day (aka early summer), you will recall that my goal in returning to the blogosphere was a search for community. I wanted to find ‘my people’ — folks who are crazy about food and/or interested in gluten- and grain-free cooking and/or who talk and think about food all the time and want to make it an integral part of their days/work/life. 

As part of that effort, I will be attending the 2014 International Food Bloggers Conference (IFBC) in just a couple of weeks. It’s being held in Seattle, a few hours up the highway from us, and I am giddy with anticipation.

International Food Blogger Conference 2014 Seattle

I can’t say what I am looking forward to most at IFBC: the workshops on food, photography, and writing; the food I’ll get to taste while I am there (every review of this conference I have seen says the food is always fantastic); or just the chance to visit one of my favorite cities and catch up with our family who live up there. The conference is held quite close to Pike Place Market, too, so a pilgrimage to my favorite Seattle destination at some point during the weekend is a must.

I am already brushing up on my conference dos and don’ts (click here for general tips from The Curried Nut and Inspiration Kitchen; wine aficionados, check out One Girl One Glass One World). I’m also ordering business cards to exchange with other bloggers and setting reminders in my phone to stop, be still and enjoy myself. To take a moment to breathe and to know, really know, how very lucky I am to be in this place and have the chance to think deeply about something so dear to my heart.  

If anyone is going to attend, let me know — I would love to meet you! I am sometimes a wee bit shy (stop laughing, husband) but my inner extrovert is raring to go and I respond well to smiles, waves, and “hey, aren’t you…?”
If you are on the fence about going, note that bloggers receive a reduced price for the conference in exchange for writing three posts about it — a screaming good deal, in my opinion: the blogger price is a 76% discount off the regular cost.
I am so excited to make connections, to learn some new skills and get inspiration to make Paleo + Life better and better. Hope to see you there!

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