To the tune of Iggy Azalea’s song “Fancy”:
I’m so FNCE
You already know
Went to Atlanta
For the Conference and Expo

I’m so FNCE
with all my CEUs
Hire a Dietitian
Like you know you should….

Well, I’m so FNCE….that I’m fashionably late for a FNCE recap….but just in time for National Nutrition Month (March) and National RD Day (March 11th – although every day is RD Day to me)! Yes, that’s how I roll!!
But seriously, I don’t really think this FNCE info has an expiration date, and if it does, it certainly has a shelf life of more than 5 months. And besides, I’d already asked my RD/RDN colleagues to share their FNCE recaps with me – and I’m certainly not going to let everyone down and just forget about the post since I wasn’t able to do it in a timely manner (sorry – life got in the way of my blog plans). I’m usually such a rule follower, but sometimes you just gotta break the rules!

So, I’m sharing my FNCE takeaways at the bottom of this post, but first you’ll see more than 20 recaps from other RDs that highlight trends, products, people and inspiration!


Everyone buckle up – here we go!

3 Hot Nutrition Trends: Healthy or Gimmicky?
submitted by:
Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN


Yoga: Medicine for mind + body
When Less is More: siggi’s yogurt
submitted by:
Carrie Dennett, MPH, RDN, CD


Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo 2014
submitted by:
Kristen Smith, MS, RD, LD


5 Ways to Get Inspired in Your Career
submitted by:
Jen Haugen, RDN, LD


Fall Kale Salad with Pesto Chicken
submitted by:
Danielle Cushing, RD, LDN, CNSC


Food and Fun in Atlanta!
submitted by:
Annette Hottenstein MS, RD, LDN


My 2014 FNCE: Food, Fitness and Friends
submitted by:
Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN


Words Matter – Pamela Jett
The power of branding to elevate your career
FNCE 2014 Opening Session
submitted by:
Dr. Maree Ferguson RD, MBA, PhD


Food and Nutrition Trends and Adventures at FNCE 2014
Food and Nutrition Adventures in Atlanta at FNCE 2014
Tips for Taking Beautiful Food Photos with Your Smart Phone (Part 1)

Tips for Editing Beautiful Food Photos with Your Smart Phone (Part 2)

Meal Makeover Moms Podcast #255: FNCE 2014 Highlights

submitted by:
Liz Weiss, MS, RD and Janice Newell Bissex MS, RDN



FNCE Highlights: Trends, Inspiration & Balancing Nutrition & Yoga
submitted by:
Kara Lydon, RD, LDN


Field Notes: FNCE 2014
submitted by:
Elana Natker, MS, RD


What’s New in Food?
submitted by:
Elise Truman, MS, RD, LDN and Sally Cummins Healy MS, RD, CDE






Two Gluten-free Products Developed by Registered Dietitians
submitted by:
Rebecca Bitzer MS, RD/LD, CEDRD

Foodie Friday: The RDs Find Great Goodies at FNCE
Wednesday Wisdom: What Happens at FNCE for Registered Dietitians?

submitted by:
Rebecca Bitzer MS, RD/LD, CEDRD and Dana Magee RD, CLT


Trends From the Food and Nutrition Expo
submitted by:
Kit Broihier MS, RD, LD


Inspiration From Experts
submitted by:
Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN


Trendspotting at the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo: Year of the Bean


Chickpeas are the New Chia; Lentils the New Kale
submitted by:
Janet Helm MS, RD
p.s. Janet – can I say how EXCITED I am to see that BEANS are trending!?!


REBEL Dietitians Favorite Food Finds at the Expo: Top 10 Things We Are Loving This Month
FNCE REBEL Recap, Atlanta Georgia

submitted by:
Dana Magee RD, LD and Kait Fortunato RD, LD


FNCE 2014: Perspectives From a Nutrition Communications RD
submitted by:
Lindsay Arnett, MS, RD

And, last but not least, here are MY FNCE Highlights!

1. The absolute highlight of my FNCE experience was attending the Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG Networking event and winning the book “DASH Diet for Dummies“! I have been a huge DASH diet fan for years (I call it the “best kept diet secret” but I’m glad to see it’s finally getting it’s name out there) and I had such a great time finally meeting my colleague and co-author of the book, Roseanne Rust! When the prize was announced I bounded up to the stage like I’d won a million dollars and I had some folks comment that they wondered if I was “faking it”. Well, they don’t know ME and they don’t know the DASH diet if they’re saying that. #justsaying. Can’t you tell I’m genuinely excited in this picture?!

2. I attended the pre-FNCE Farm Tour by the International Food Information Council. I can’t say enough how much I love the food and nutrition communications information, insight and resources IFIC shares!!
On this tour we visited a poultry farm and peach packing plant. I was so excited to meet Leighton Cooley, one of the farmers from the movie Farmland, and his family.
My RD friend and colleague, Amber Pankonin of wrote this engaging recap of the event on the IFIC website.

During the tour, Mike Doyle, a food science and technology professor at the University of Georgia, shared some key takeaways with us such as: much of the organic food in the US comes from other countries like China, about 20% of the food we eat comes from other countries (outside the US), and 70% of the leafy greans we eat come from California.
One more learning from Mike Doyle – the term “anthropomorphism”. Regardless of whether you are for conventional agriculture or organic, or somewhere in between, it’s important to be aware of the tendency we humans have toward antrhopomorphism which is when we humanize animals. We do this with our family pets all the time (I’m guilty, too!) but when we do it with farm animals we run the risk of completely misunderstanding what the animal really needs and putting our own human needs into the picture. Having worked for the dairy council and visiting many farms, I’ve learned a lot about what cows need that may seem counterintuitive. So, I like to put it like this: treating an animal humanely is not the same as treating them like a human.

Me (suited up) with Leighton Cooley, Poultry Farmer and Farmland movie star


Me and friend Amber Pankonin aka @RDAmber


























3. During my Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG Board meetings I learned that our Mentoring team is conducting Mastermind groups! Not only is this DPG an amazing source of information – it’s an amazing source of INSPIRATION! I urge you – even if you are a STUDENT…join this DPG! As someone who has “collected” DPGs over my 20+ year career, I can honestly say that this is worth the money. Just look at how FUN this group is!!

Nutrition Entrepreneurs DPG Board Members

4. Almond Breakfast – Dr. Frank Hu said that the media has been “saturated with saturated fat”. I always love a good play on words! He shared some insight into the research and Mark Bittman’s article “Butter is Back” – putting everything into perspective by stating “butter is better or worse depending on what you’re comparing it to” (i.e. it’s better than trans fat and sugar, but worse than unsaturated fats and whole grains).

5. In Jean Storlie and Annette Simmons’ Storytelling session I noted:
a. Emotions can change your facts
b. You have to have an opinion in order to communicate – it’s personal
c. We need to stop fighting feelings with facts!
d. Facts are from the outside in. Stories are from the inside out.
e. Examples and metaphors are short stories

6. Social Media presentation by Amber Pankonin, Ann Dunaway Teh, Marisa Moore and Carlene Thomas.
There were soooo many takeaways from this phenomenal session! Here are just a few:
a. How can you enhance your Google+ experience? Join the communities! (i.e. Foodies, Blog Chats, Health and Wellness Groups).
b. Check out these video and editing apps: Tastemade and Fly
c. Check out this storytelling app: Steller
d. Looking for an affordable logo? Check out and

8. My NEW t-shirts were a HIT at the Nutri-Tees booth (thank you fellow Chicago RD Kelly Devine Rickert for all your support!)

9. I got to do a selfie with myself at the Best Food Facts booth. How fun is that? Thank you to my BFF friends for featuring me along with Carolyn O’Neil and Ethan Bergman!

Well that’s a wrap! Thank you to all the RDs who contributed to this post and especially to all the RDs who made my FNCE experience full of fun and friendships!!

Like what you read here? Hear what other nutrition experts have to say about careers, communication and chasing their dreams. Visit the Directory of Dietitian Interviews and be inspired!



  1. Shelley Johnson on March 11, 2015 at 11:01 pm

    What a fun way to honor RDs! This post takes me back – thanks for the great memories.

    • admin on March 16, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      Thanks, Shelley! LOL – any longer and we would need the wayback machine 🙂

  2. Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN on March 13, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Great post Melissa! We are two peas in a pod I believe…among other things, I’d describe us as “high energy, distracted and productive” 🙂

    Thanks for the shout out, and thank you SO much for promoting and supporting the DASH Diet and our book. Appreciated!!
    Happy National Nutrition Month!

    • admin on March 16, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks, Roseanne! I agree and it’s been so fun getting to know you!

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