Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Trip to Portland + Healthy Weight Tips

As I write this I am on a flight back from Portland, Oregon.  This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a conference geared towards Weight Management professionals in the beautiful city.  The conference was hosted by the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group (a group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics).

The conference theme was Blaze a New Trail - Explore, Engage, Evolve.  I followed the conference theme as I explored the sights of the city, engaged with other weight management professionals and companies, and evolved my knowledge on how to counsel and educate my clients to a healthier weight.  Check out some of highlights!

Exploring Portland  
This was the view from a park located across from my hotel.  I spent many hours outside enjoying this view while eating meals and meeting with some colleagues.  The weather was absolutely perfect - 70's and sunny.

Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.  Part of weight management is learning how to balance your energy in with energy out while not totally depriving yourself.  A few of my dietitian friends and I took a long walk (nearly 1.5 hours) to Salt & Straw, a local ice cream shop with some interesting flavors like  Strawberry Honey Balsamic with Black Pepper or Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon (pictured here).  That long walk = energy out!  On our long journey we passed Providence Park, home of the Major League Soccer team Portland Timbers.  I tried to persuade my friends to check out the game going on inside, but I wasn't convincing enough.

Dietitians do donuts!  I promise my entire trip was not spent venturing to get sweet treats, but on our first night after dinner at Veggie Grill (a fast casual Vegan dining experience) my dietitian friends decided we needed to check out Voodoo Doughnuts.  The eccentric flavors like the Miami Vice Berry Donut or Triple Chocolate Penetration doughnut were well worth the walk! Moderation and exercise (by walking to the donut shop) is how dietitians do donuts.  

Engaging other Dietitians and Food Companies
Dietitians do drinks to network and collaborate!  All of these ladies pictured work in some capacity to provide weight management.  We are pictured in the hotel bar of the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront hotel.  

On my first evening in Portland San Miguel Produce sponsored a focus group and dinner for the leadership team of the Weight Management group.  We enjoyed learning more about leafy greens, especially Chard!  Did you know that chard is available in a variety of colors including green, red, and rainbow?  Its is also high in vitamin A, vitamin K, and Potassium.  

Evolving my knowledge on Weight Management
One of my colleagues shared some tips on how to overcome obstacles during weight loss.  The scale can be a road block and should not be the sole determinant of weight loss success.  Many other factors such as body measurements, clothing sizes, reductions in medications, improved mobility, and much more can determine measures of success. Don't get caught up on the number the scale shows!

The same colleague also shared the importance of not getting caught up in certain weight numbers such as ideal body weight.  She reminded us that ANY weight loss can provide beneficial effects.

A few other things I learned:
  • Sleep deprivation is associated with weight gain.  It can increase ghrelin, a hormone that causes hunger.  One study found sleep averages amounts < than 5 hours per night were associated with weight gain over 7.5 years.
  • Be creative to get children more physically active.  A perfect activity recipe for kids = make friends, learn something, have fun.
  • Take a gentle approach to motivate someone to undergo weight loss.  Shame and blame for those with obesity does not help, it can actually make the disease worse.


  1. This place is absolutely gorgeous, beautiful and stunning. Even though a few halls are equally appealing and fascinating in their decor, food and aesthetics, I'm tempted to still give venues in DC a slight edge.

  2. Very nice! The scale can be a road block and should not be the sole determinant of weight loss success. Many other factors such as body measurements, clothing sizes, reductions in medications, improved mobility.Facts About Fashion



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