Last week I attended IDEA World Fitness BlogFest with Sweat Pink. I had never been to IDEA World, but I knew it would be a good experience based on what my blogger friends had told me. So I drove to the Convention Center in DTLA for 2 days straight & I have to say that it was an amazing experience. In a nutshell this conference is where food, fitness, nutrition & social media converge all under one roof!
There were some great motivational speakers that presented during the Opening Ceremonies. The most inspiring one for me is Anthony Robles, who won the 2015 IDEA Fitness Inspiration Award. He was born with one leg & although he does not use a prosthetic, he went on to compete & win the 2010 NCAA Individual Wrestling Championship. Anthony knew that it would take hard work & perseverance to win that title. My favorite quote from him during his presentation was “Grind now, shine later!” When I am working towards a goal, that is going to be my mantra!
Later on that day, during a BlogFest session, Melissa Burton (RDN) gave an insightful presentation entitled “Busting the Top 5 Nutrition Myths.”
There was a lot of info given, but the main takeaways for me were:
- Not all Nutritionists are RD’s. Know the differences (see the photo above).
- There are two kinds of sugars (natural occurring sugars & added sugars). I was one of those people who thought all sugar is bad. Refined sugars are the ones that you need to keep an eye on. Remember to monitor your sugar intake folks!
- Juice Cleanses &/or Detoxes are not necessary. Your body already does it for you via your liver, spleen, intestines, etc. As someone who has written & reviewed a few cleanses (juices & soup), I now have a better understanding that there really is no clinical reason why a person should live on juices or broths for a certain length of time. Detoxes are not necessary & are to be viewed as a quick fix. She did say though that if you like them, these can be incorporated into your daily meal plans of fruits, vegetables, whole grains & proteins.
- There really is no one single perfect diet or eating plan.
- Take note that not all dietary supplements are reliable, safe or effective. Do your research & go by what is recommended by your physician/medical health professional!
Gabrielle Reece gave a rousing presentation to BlogFest attendees on Friday morning, prior to her HIGHX™ workout (more on that later). She had a unique point of view on fitness, parenting, sports, aging & acceptance. Personally I think she rocks!
Lunch & Learn
Lunch on the first day of BlogFest was sponsored by Nestle, where we tried out new frozen entrees by Lean Cuisine. Also Stouffer’s has a new line of products under the “Fit Kitchen” label. These entrees were paired with healthy sides like quinoa, heirloom tomato salad & broccolini with mangos.
Confession: When I worked a corporate job 4 years ago, I used to live on frozen entrees at lunchtime. While this is not something to brag about, I did realize at the time that frozen food is high in sodium & may not be the best healthy choice. Flash forward to 2015 & the frozen food industry has made some strides. Yes, it is still best to prepare homemade, healthy meals. However given the alternative of ordering from a fast-food drive-through, choosing wisely from the frozen food aisle might be a good option. Just remember to pair it with a healthy side, such as fruits & veggies!
Day 2 at BlogFest came a meal from Morning Star Farms. For those who don’t know, Morning Star Farms offers a variety of veggie protein options (yes, this means it is meatless). I found the meal to be tasty & satisfying!
So after Gabrielle Reece’s presentation on Friday, we all headed down to the first floor to take her HIGHX™ workout. It was intense! If I remember correctly, there were about a dozen (give or take) exercise stations that had us doing squats, ab rollouts, kettlebells, side planks & hurdles.
Below is a quick Instagram video that I took of my fellow teammates while I took a break from running through the hurdles.
Here is a photo of me with Gabrielle Reece (she is 6’3”) & boy is it obvious that I am a shortie! Also featured in the photo are my teammates – Darcelle & Caroline. These ladies motivated me to keep going!
Later that afternoon, I also participated in the Flexline demo at their booth. If you’ve been reading my blog, you may remember that I tried out Flexline at Drenched Fitness in Westlake Village earlier this year. I’m happy to say that they have fine-tuned the cable training system & it works much more smoothly! For those who live in the LA/San Fernando Valley area, you might want to check out Drenched & test out Flexline.
I’ve been blogging for about 2 years now, but I still feel like a newbie at times. So I was excited to learn from Kasey Arena (aka @powercakes) on how to build a following on Instagram. She gave some really great IG tips. Kasey also recommended some cool smartphone apps that will help improve your pictures/videos. I’m definitely going to look into incorporating PicPlayPost &/or Videoshop – Video Editor on my phone.
On Friday, Sara Downey Robinson gave BlogFest attendees tips & tricks related to SEO. Ugh…this is my most dreaded part of blogging, but one that I need to hone the most! It was during her presentation that I learned about no-indexing, researching & developing your target personas & using keywords correctly. There are certain things that I’ve been mindful about during my short blogging stint – using the “nofollow” link responsibly & planning carefully (i.e. creating an editorial calendar).
Both Kasey’s & Sara’s presentations taught me that I have so much more to learn, develop & grow as a blogger. Like Anthony Robles said, grind now & shine later! My goal is to take these key learnings & implement them into my blog so that it improves.
Booths – Retail & Food
My time at a conference wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t sample some food or do a little shopping. 🙂 I bought this super cute cardigan from Green Apple Active in my fave colors (purple & pink) at a discounted rate that was offered to all IDEA World attendees! I fell in love with their apparel & I just bet you will too! Hop on over to Green Apple Active with my affiliate link & you’ll automatically get 25% off on your first purchase! Good deal, right?!
I also sampled some frozen dessert from Arctic Zero that was both gluten & GMO-free.
Last but not least, I tried some granola bars from a company called Two Moms in the Raw.
I actually drank & ate several more items, but I’m hoping to do a food review of those products at a later date.
So…did you attend IDEA World &/or BlogFest? What were your favorite moments of the conference? If you didn’t attend it, do you think you would want to after reading my recap? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post; however, this post does contain affiliate links. I’ll receive a small commission from any purchases made through my affiliate links. I purchased my own ticket to attend IdeaWorld BlogFest which helped facilitate this review. All images are mine unless otherwise noted. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.