I hit the ground running with a pre-conference tour of McCormick’s kitchens just outside Baltimore. My plane got in late, so I joined the dozens of other Fitbloggin’ attendees after they enjoyed a fantastic-sounding lunch, seasoned of course with all things McCormick. I came in on a discussion of consumers’ taste preferences (the tongue is a highly complex body part – not just for blowing raspberries).
We learned about the flavor profiles of “red cap” cinnamon vs. Saigon cinnamon with an applesauce taste test (I am partial to McCormick’s Roasted Saigon Cinnamon, because I am a cinnamon FIEND). We also met with McCormick chef Mark Garcia and registered dietitian Wendy Bazilian, who discussed the joys of vegetables, especially roasted ones.
The whole point of our McCormick tour was that you can add loads of flavor to your cooking without adding extra calories – all you need is a well-equipped herb and spice collection. You can find more about McCormick and pick up some great recipes at McCormick.com.
After a little dessert finale, it was back on the buses and over to the Hyatt for the start of Fitbloggin’. Some highlights:
Working out with Cathe Friedrich: She’s known for her super-tough workout DVDs but she toned things down a bit for us. We did an hour-long workout that featured resistance bands and sliding disks that we put under our feet for extra slippy-slideness.
Saturday’s Zumba workout: At last year’s Fitbloggin, Sue O’Lear (Mrs. Fatass) did a Zumba class and was immediately hooked, and in the past year she went from Zumba fan to instructor (and a great instructor). She and her fitness biz partner Samantha Collins (Simplifying Sam) led a class of probably more than 100 bloggers, some of whom have never Zumba’d before. And thanks, Sam, for teaching me the secret to the “body roll.” Excellent instructors!
Catching up with my pals: Among them, Heather (Yummy Sushi Pajamas), Josie (Yum Yucky), Brandi (Diets in Review), Kia (Bodhi Bear), Robby (Fat Girl vs. World; my sister in spinal insanity) and of course my roommate, Kenlie (All the Weigh). I also got to catch up with Leslie and Melissa, fitness PR pros extraordinaire.
And no, I did not get any crab cakes this time. I did have a great deconstructed shrimp and grits at a very cool restaurant called 1010.
My first dinner last night was an ode to chickpeas -- I had some kale and chickpea soup I had stashed in the freezer and paired that with cukes, grape tomatoes and some jalapeno hummus (I'm totally not brand loyal to hummus, and right now my fave is Pita Pal).