Day 4…the last day of my first ever Dietitians of Canada National Conference. I was a little excited to be going home, but also a little sad the conference was already over. It was a whirlwind of events, networking, and learning!
Like every day of the conference, this one started much the same – up at at ‘em early for breakfast. And yes, I had my conference pre-breakfast of Greek yogurt and green juice to get my going.
I took one look outside, only to be greeted with socked in, grey, rainy skies. Weather more appropriate for Vancouver than Edmonton really. But I braved the rain and made my way to breakfast.
The last breakfast of the conference was sponsored by Subway, which meant breakfast sandwiches – aka food that contains eggs. Le sigh. Again, glad I had my yogurt and green juice at the hotel, because pickings were slim. I grabbed the usual conference fruit, and a piece of this really tasty apple/raspberry/cranberry breakfast coffee cake thing. Hard to describe, but it was really good.
I was actually a bad conference attendee, and went back to my hotel after I had my little breakfast. See, I needed to check out of my hotel by noon, and had originally thought I would need to wake up extra early to fit in a shower, pack, etc. But when I looked at the schedule for the last day of the conference, I realized I could actually create a couple of breaks for myself to get everything done without waking up earlier than I wanted. So I skipped out of the member’s consultation meeting (which, probably wouldn’t have been that useful for me anyways), and used the time to shower and pack. Perfect!
I decided on my way back to the conference that the grey, rainy day deserved a little brightening up – in the form of a green tea latte from Starbucks.
I made it back to the conference just in time for the coffee/snack break. Totally by accident of course 😉
More fruit, more cheese, and a granola bar to nibble on. Kept me going through my first session of the day – “Socio-Culturally Competent Dietetic Practice”. The session was informative, but it was a bit on the dull side I found? And perhaps that was due to my lack of sleep all weekend – I needed something exciting to keep me focused and awake.
I skipped out a few minutes early to ensure I had enough time to get back to my hotel, check out, grab lunch, and get back to the conference on time. Which was perfect, because as I picked up my lunch, I stumbled upon the downtown Edmonton farmer’s market!
I took a little time to stroll up and down the stalls. Sadly, I only had $5 cash on me, so I couldn’t do a lot of shopping, but it was nice to get out, walk around, and see a different farmer’s market from the ones I always go to at home.
I sampled some excellent granola and chatted with the creator for awhile, but sadly it was $8 for a bag, so I couldn’t buy any. The flavours did give me some ideas for making my own granola at home though, so it wasn’t all a loss. And I did end up buying myself a little treat to go with lunch.
These would be cake bites. I assume they are basically the same thing as cake pops, just without the sticks. I went with a lemon flavoured one, and a chocolate peanut butter.
Although good, every time I have a cake bite/pop I always think I could make these at home, and maybe even make them better. I don’t know why. Perhaps I have too high expectations for the cake bite/pop?
Lunch was another sandwich creation from Sobey’s – the Sicillian Grilled Veggie Press.
This beauty was chocked full of “sliced sweet potato, asparagus, peppers, onions, and portobello mushrooms all grilled to perfection and highlighted with our artichoke bruschetta spread.”
Talk about a great flavour combination! Why have I note used sweet potatoes in a sandwich before? I can definitely see grilling them up on the BBQ with other vegetables, adding some pesto and a melty cheese to make a beautiful sandwich at home.
I nabbed a little beverage to go with lunch – President’s Choice Blue Menu Peach Mango Sparkling Fruit Juice Beverage. It was leftover from the coffee break earlier on, so I figured I would give it a go.
Not bad, but the peach mango flavour reminded me of some other peach flavoured beverage I have had in the past. I just can’t put my finger on it…not totally my thing.
My last *sniff* session of the conference was titled “Reducing Food Insecurity Across Canada”, where we got a great overview of various projects happening across the country to address food security in various communities, and then worked in groups critically analyzing some current Canadian food policy papers for how they may or may not affect some of the aspects of food security we as dietitians see as important, and how as a profession we might be able to influence these policies. This was another one of those sessions where I wished we had another hour or so to discuss, because there was just so much knowledge being shared and so much passion from those who work in food security. A great way to end off my conference sessions, that’s for sure!
Finally we were back off to conference centre for the Closing Plenary speech with Tom Jackson – actor, musician, and humanitarian.
Again, another excellent, moving speaker. I was impressed with the people DC brought in for these opening and closing lectures. So nice to have people outside of the profession who can still touch you and motivate you within your own life and career. Tom even ended the event by singing a few songs and playing his guitar. Loved it!
There was an afternoon tea following the closing lecture, so I spent a little bit of time chatting before I had to take off in order to make my shuttle back to the airport. And yes, there was of course food.
I enjoyed the fruit tart, square, and camera shy honeydew melon, pocketing the cookie to eat later on (since I had no idea what I might have for dinner at the aiport).
I said my goodbyes, and made the walk back to my hotel for the last time. Soon enough I was on the shuttle, and then at the airport to bid Edmonton adieu. Going through security was a breeze, so I had some time to grab a sandwich for dinner while I waited at the gate to board the plane.
Nothing fancy – just a Quizno’s sub with turkey, ham, lettuce, pickle, onions, and bacon. The raw onions turned out to not be the best idea…good thing I had gum!
Other than an uneventful flight, mom meeting me at the airport, and getting home to sleep in my own bed, there’s really nothing more to say about the last day of my conference.
I’m so glad I took the opportunity to attend the Dietitians of Canada National Conference, and really would recommend it to all dietetics students. I know it seems expensive, but the networking and exposure to so many aspects of the profession is so valuable, I think maybe even more so, to someone just starting out as a dietitian. You can only learn so much in your classes at school, so getting out to seminars, events, and conferences really helps you broaden your knowledge, learn new skills, and maybe even discover the area of practice you want to focus on. Plus it’s highly inspirational, and a lot of fun. I’m already trying to figure out how to afford going to the conference next year in Toronto. I guess I’ll be saving my pennies this fall!