Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s (IIN) Live Conference in New York City.
The conference was invitation only and exclusive to select classes, so I was super stoked that the scheduling gods at work gave me the days off and the opportunity to attend the conference, live. Team that with a few spare seats on the Dubai to New York sector and I was off to “The Big Apple” for the weekend, to catch up with some old friends and to make some more.
After a somewhat interesting flight across the Atlantic I disembarked to a warm reception at my friends Bobby and Shelley’s home in Astoria, Queens. Shelley greeted me with a green smoothie and chia porridge which made me feel instantly welcome and at home for the next few days…oh and did I mention their gorgeous dogs Bella and Marley? What pleasures they were to be around! Perfectly well behaved, personality plus pets – enough to make any pooch owner proud. I spent a few hours relaxing in Queens and then subsequently frocked myself up to head into Manhattan to meet up with fellow classmate Keri, for the IIN ambassador network cocktail hour, at The Hudson Hotel. There we had the opportunity to mingle with other students, break the ice and make plans for the coming weekend.
Post party, I decided to wander through the shops around Colombus Circle, feeling very much like Carrie Bradshaw, dressed in my cocktail attire and heels. Knowing I was to be a guest in the city for a very short period of time, I managed to make use of this free time to stock up on many of my New York health, food, drink and beauty essentials, before heading back to Queens that eve.
You can pick up this luscious range of skincare and cosmetics either online or at selected Duane Reade stores across the city.
Saturday morning I was off to an early start, enroute to the Jazz At Lincoln Centre, dressed for success. We were requested to dress ourselves in something that made us feel confident and successful, inspiring us to walk, talk, look and be our best. It was this assurance that set the tone for an impressive two days!
After much anticipation, the conference opened with none other than our hero, Joshua Rosenthal, the founder and director of IIN. Joshua has been working in the nutrition field for over twenty five years and is the driving force behind the school. He both welcomed us and taught us IIN coaching skills on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
At the conference, we heard from nutrition’s leading authorities on:
- life longevity
- the power of clean eating
We were also privy to a cooking demonstration from Hiyaw Gebreyohannes, the chef and founder of Taste of Ethiopia.
Taste of Ethiopia prepared food is handmade in small batches with authentic spices, using no preservatives, is hormone free, gluten free and contains all natural ingredients. Hiyaw’s lunchbox memories can be found at Wholefoods, Westerley Market, Brooklyn Fare, Union Market, Foragers Market, Fairway Market, Park Slope Food Coop, Intregal Yoga, Bob and Betty’s and Buunni Cafe, all located within New York City.
Highlights for me were guest speakers:
- Joe Cross – from Fat Sick and Nearly Dead fame.
- Dr Andrew Weil – credited with igniting America’s alternative health movement.
- Alicia Silverstone (surprise guest) – actress, activist and author of The Kind Diet, she shared the insights that encouraged her to swear off meat and dairy forever.
- Donna Gates – the international best selling author of The Body Ecology Diet — sugar-free, gluten-free, and probiotic-rich — it has been adopted by doctors and health practitioners alike.
- Michael Ellsberg – detailing his story of overcoming a serious and potentially-fatal mental illness, bipolar II.
- Dan Buettner – National Geographic writer and explorer speaking about his studies of the world’s longest -lived peoples, distilling their secrets into a single plan for health and long life.
One of my favourite things to do in any city is to explore new cuisine or stumble across fresh restaurants offering a healthy option. This is especially true in New York City, as we are spoilt for choice. Saturday evening, after a feast of food for thought from an extensive menu of top notch speakers, saw me drawn to Bareburger at 153 8th Ave. Typical of any American city there is always an array of burger joints to choose from, usually popping up on each and every street corner. Bareburger has many points of difference including they are organic, all natural, grass fed, free range, humanely raised, sustainable and pesticide free. Bareburger is tastier, better for you and it benefits our community.
The menu has many selections to choose from including bareburgers, bare sliders, bare salads, bare sandwiches, bare sides and the barest burger which allows you to customise your burger choice to your individual palate. They also offer alternatives for vegan and vegetarians such as the farmers quinoa veggie burger, the mushroom burger and the blackbean burger. This can be paired with a vegan sharp cheddar from Daiya Foods. I decided to try something different and opted for the bison pattie. Bison meat is very lean, low in cholesterol, high in protein and is of superior quality to beef. I was torn between slapping it between the gluten-free tapioca rice bun or wrapping it in iceberg lettuce. Although not the best choice for food combining purposes, I elected the bun as it was something that my taste buds had not experienced before.
I can confirm it was an excellent choice, however I am confident that the lettuce wrap option would be just as lip-smackin’ good, so good that your Grandma would be asking for the recipe! There are many restaurant locations around the city and for those of you who don’t like to dine alone or too lazy to leave your hotel room, there is a delivery option.
Sunday conveyed more of the same of Saturdays highlights, with a pitt stop afterwards at my newly found and now favourite take-away haunt close by my crew hotel – Juice Generation. Not only is this place the crème de la crème of juice, you’d be wise to check out the raw cooler and soup menu to tantalise your healthy taste buds.
We accomplish amazing things on our own but as a community, we can truly change the world! It was such a great feeling to have the positive energy of my fellow passionate, like-minded classmates to inspire me to reach my dreams and beyond. It was a vision of mine from the time I enrolled at IIN to be able to attend a live conference and I feel so grateful to be given the opportunity to do so. From the moment I landed in New York, I was surrounded my motivating, inspiring people and circumstances that had my creative juices flowing. My biggest A-HA moment came as I was sitting at JFK airport on Monday morning, about to embark on my return journey to Dubai. It was at that moment I knew that every second of my twenty four hours of travel time to and fro was worth it.
If you would like to know more about IIN Live or studying to become a Health Coach, I have included a short video and picture link below.