Sorry for the lack of post yesterday. I had this one all scheduled and ready to go, but something went wrong when I hit publish, and I didn’t realize until after 4 that I had no post, and at that point, I was at Starbucks with an ipod over 2 hours away from my house, so I decided just to skip it for yesterday and come back today. Time for another Healthy Living Summit recap. Missed the first couple of recaps? Click here, here, and here.

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Today I’m recapping from the 4 sessions I attended. I’m going to keep it fairly short, because I only have so much time and space, and you’re probably getting tired of reading these HLS updates. I’ll share a few key takeaways from each session.

Session # 1: Writing a Better Recipe with Stepfanie Romine, food editor at Sparkpeople

  • Anatomy of a good recipe: all recipes should include a title, headnote and tips, yield, prep and cook times, ingredients, instructions
  • Describe recipes with your 5 senses, not generic words like great or delicious
  • If imbedding photos in the instructions, have a printer-friendly version after
  • Top recipe pet peeves: obscure ingredients, time-consuming prep not mentioned at the beginning of the recipe, recipes that cook at odd times/temperatures, random capitalization

These are just a few highlights – Stepfanie had a lot of good tips that made me re-think about how I write my recipes. Maybe it’s just because it was still early in the day and my mind was fresher, but I found this session the most useful.

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Session # 2: Using Social Media to Network and Make Friends in Your Area with Theodora Blanchfield, Cynthia Crowsen and Ashley Diamond

      • - join a blog directory (like Healthy Living Blogs) to find other bloggers in your geographic area or who write about the same things you do. It can also help others find you!
  • - twitter chats (am I the only one who wasn’t in the know?): they take place at different times and about different subjects: some to try are #fitblog, #runchat, #wwchat
  • - when planning blogger meet-ups, go for quality, not quantity, but don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone a little!

 

IMG_2800Session # 3 – The Numbers Game with Beth of Beth’s Journey, Lisa of I’m an Okie, Janetha of Meals and Moves and Tina of Faith, Fitness, Fun

These ladies had a lot of great stuff to say about using numbers as part of healthy living, weight loss and blogging. They discussed the pros (as a way to measure progress, as motivation) and cons (comparison trap, frustration, losing sight of reality) of using numbers, then gave some ideas for finding a healthy balance:

  • Use numbers to track progress in a specific and measureable way, but focus on a realistic approach and goal
  • Have number goals you CAN control (like the number of workouts you do or healthy meals you eat) rather than ones you CAN’T control (like pounds lost)
  • continually re-evaluate and adjust the specifics of goals as needed

Session # 4: How to Monetize Your Blog (without selling out) with Katy IMG_2809Widrick

I’ll be honest – this was the session I was most looking forward to. Maybe it was because it was at the end of the day and I was feeling a little overwhelmed by all the numbers she put forth, but I didn’t get as much out of it as I was hoping. There are a lots of “bits and bites” I could share, but I will leave you with her tips for finding money:

  • be visible/accessible, work hard and keep your pitch short, have media kits and ad rates ready
  • ask for referrals
  • follow up with conference contacts
  • reach out to blogging friends
  • know tax laws
  • write clear contracts
  • be open to feedback (and respond quickly)

After a day full of sitting and soaking up the blog knowledge (in a FREEZING hotel conference room), it was time for a walk to dinner. IMG_2835Me and these 4 lovely ladies made the trek to Osteria, a restaurant that I heard about via my cousin and The Best Thing I Ever Ate.

I was a little nervous, since I made the recommendation and the restaurant was about a mile walk from our hotel, out of the downtown/tourist-y areas. I need not have been. IT. WAS. AMAZING. I took Marc Summers’ recommendation and ordered the pizza margherita: Yep. Best thing I ever ate. Thin, crispy crust. Bright, fresh, tomato sauce. The freshest mozzarella, melted to perfection. Fresh basil (okay, I know I’m saying fresh a lot but it really was). I also shared an amazingly innovative and delicious vegetarian antipasto platter and devoured LOTS of bread from the bread “trough” (I say that because it was HUGE). I *probably* didn’t need that whole pizza Embarrassed smile, but it was worth it (even though some of my fellow HLS dining companions seemed to eat like birds). The best thing I ever ate!

August 20 20113

IMG_2837IMG_2901After dinner, the Canadians in the crowd wanted to hit up Trader Joe’s and everyone else tagged along (thanks ladies). I bought all the stuff you see at right. Delicious-looking spreads, dangerously delicious espresso beans coated in toffee and dark chocolate, cookies, Better ‘n Peanut butter (how I’ve missed you), salsa, freeze-dried fruit, coconut water (chocolate flavoured) and more.

 

Sunday morning before breakfast we had the 5k walk around Philadelphia. A great way to see the city and chat with fellow bloggers (like Shanna and Alicia). We even got to run up the “Rocky” steps at the Art Museum (which I know of even though I’ve never seen the movie).

August 22 20111

My question of the day today has to do with the first presentation I told you about. When I post recipes, do you like having more specifics (quantities, times, etc), or do you like it when I just generally show and tell you what I did without listing specific details? Or do you like a mix of both (which is what I do now)? I really want to make the effort to improve my site and your experience, so any feedback is greatly appreciated.

I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about my not-so-healthy stop on the way home from HLS, as well as some HLS-inspired meals I’ve enjoyed since being home. Have a good one everybody!

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