A lot of you asked me about all of the posts on our Insta account (Stories especially) from the Healthy Lives, Healthy Kitchens Conference in Napa, California. And guess what, I can’t wait to tell you ALL about it!
This is my very favorite conference of the year. And this year I was lucky enough to have Holly and our great friend, Kelly, come with me. Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives is a conference put on jointly through the Harvard School of Public Health and the Culinary Institute of America in Napa, California. It brings together all of the thought leaders in nutrition and culinary medicine. Health care professionals and food lovers, the best combination! Right up my alley!
The conference is Plant Forward which essentially just puts plants in the spotlight. It is NOT vegetarian, vegan, or promoting any specific type of diet (although we did talk about the evidence for them all-Mediterranean still wins!). The conference talks about eating more whole foods, trying to avoid processed foods, and moving our bodies more.
One of my favorite break out sessions was on food insecurities. We talked about the challenges of living on a small food budget, and how hard this can be when you are trying to eat fresh fruits and vegetables. This was followed by a chef demonstration of some healthy (and inexpensive) meals. Such a relevant topic and so useful to any one of us that sees patients!
Another one of my favorite sessions was a session about teaching kitchens. We heard from an amazingly talented PhD nutritionist who spoke about the needed collaboration between nutritionists and physicians. We learned about a teaching kitchen that was built into the Philadelphia Free Kitchen and serves as a place to teach cooking, English as a second language, and even math! (We may have fan-girled a little with this one, BOOKS + KITCHENS = TRUE LOVE!).
Famous chefs such as Suvir Saran, Ana Sortun, and Julia Nordgren did cooking demonstrations and cookbook signings.
And since we’re at the Culinary Institute of America, the conference would not be complete without a session in the kitchen! Holly, Kelly, and I did a Plant Forward kitchen session on our last day of the conference. Our dish was a beautiful Thai Chicken Salad. The most fun was trying all of the amazing dishes that came from all of the different groups-everything from homemade pita bread to falafel to spring rolls to mushroom and beef sliders. YUM!
I know I’m not doing this conference justice, but suffice to say, evidence based presentations, amazing speakers, plentiful chef demonstrations with technique driven recipes, and fantastic networking in beautiful Napa makes for an amazing week!
So who is coming with me next year?
(And here is a link to the post from this conference last year.)