Food & Nutrition Conference Recap

See what’s trending in the Food & Nutrition world in this recap from the annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo!

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post, nor was I asked to write this post. I did work with a2 Milk during the Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo, and I also received samples of Kura Protein Smoothie Powder prior to the conference.

It was a wild and crazy week in Nashville as more than 10,000 dietitians and soon-to-be dietitians came into town for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo! There were numerous educational sessions, a large exposition floor with education materials and samples from a wide variety of brands and businesses, and several networking opportunities.

In the dietitian world, we refer to the conference as FNCE [because Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo can be a mouthful!] and prior to the opening session on Saturday, there are always optional excursions people can participate in. The Vanderbilt Recreational Wellness Center hosted an excursion focused on employee health and wellness, and I had the amazing opportunity to speak about one of my favorite topics, social media!

FNCE 2015

The Vanderbilt Dietetic Interns, Chef Claypool, Sarah Eanes RD, and myself after the Vanderbilt excursion.

I shared easy ways to strengthen social media messages, whether for a personal brand or for an employer. Here’s a fun graphic I created using my new favorite app, Word Swag, which highlights the main tips I covered.

social media tips

FNCE 2015

On Sunday, the Expo floor opened for all attendees to peruse the newest products on the market. Here are a few items that stood out:

a2 Milk® a2 milk

Good news for all the people who have given up cow’s milk due to inflammation, bloating and GI discomfort [I’m on of them]. There’s a new milk on the market and it’s made solely from cows that produce only the A2 beta-casein protein.

Most milk consists of a combination of the A1 and A2 proteins, and for some people, the A1 protein may cause bloating, gas, and diarrhea. Many who experience these negative symptoms believe lactose is the culprit, but that may not be the case. If you have not been clinically diagnosed with a lactose-intolerance, a2 Milk® may be the solution to those tummy troubles!

a2 Milk® simply comes from cows that naturally produce only the A2 protein and not the A1 protein, so there’s no mechanical alteration to the milk–it’s just REAL milk!

Make this Tangerine-Lime Green Smoothie with milk of choice.

Kura® Protein Smoothie PowderKura Protein Smoothie Powder

While Kura wasn’t represented on the Expo floor, they did host a breakfast event for RD’s one morning during the conference. I was unable to attend, but the good people on the Kura team were sweet enough to send some samples my way. I’ve never been a big fan of protein powders, but this one is a winner! With over 26 vitamins and minerals, 4 billion CFU probiotics, and 14 grams of dairy protein, Kura is a great way to add a nutritional kick to smoothies, plus it doesn’t taste weird like so many other powders I’ve sampled. I prefer to use just half the package in a 16 ounce smoothie.

Add a flavorful scoop of the vanilla powder to this Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for a protein boost!

Chobani Simply 100®Chobani Simply 100

I tend to buy plain Greek yogurt because flavored yogurts often contain more sugar than I want at breakfast–some containing up to 29 grams per 5.3 ounce serving! So I was happy to spot this Simply 100 variety from Chobani. Best part? They didn’t add artificial sweeteners to keep the calories low like many other brands. Monk fruit, Stevia, and evaporated cane juice are the natural sugars used and each 5.3 ounce cups contains 7-8 grams of sugar total.

Have you seen this in the grocery store? Do you have a favorite flavor?

Beans, Lentils & Seeds

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulses, so it only makes sense that beans and lentils were well represented on the Expo floor. Another trendy ingredient you’ll see in the marketplace is seeds [think chia, hemp, sesame].

I was most surprised by the Canadian Lentils booth who served lentils in some unexpected ways, like this Green Lentil Power Smoothie! The lentils were’t noticeable at all in the smoothie, but this is a great way to use up cooked lentils and add boost of protein to smoothies.

The guru of food trends, Janet Helm of Nutrition Unplugged, did an amazing job capturing many of these new products, so check out her page to see product photos.

Try any of these lentil recipes and make a batch of this Pumpkin Seed & Chia Granola for a festive, fall yogurt topping!

If you attended FNCE, did any of these products stand out to you? Have you seen any of these products in your local grocery? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

See what other RD bloggers discovered at FNCE:

Janice & Liz at Meal Makeover Moms
Janet at Nutrition Unplugged
Deanna & Serena at Teaspoon of Spice
Dixya at Food, Pleasure & Health
Min at MJ & Hungryman
Marie at Healthy Ideas Place
Blair at Blair Mize


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