I had an awesome time at Bon Appetit’s Healthyish Homecoming conference on Saturday, where I met new & interesting folks, ran into great old acquaintances, and also heard several inspiring panels. Aaaand ate some rad food (pretty much the main reason we were all there). After unpacking the whole day, I want to share my thoughts, take-aways, and low-res phone snaps.
In the health & wellness industry (of which I’m grateful to be a part) we talk about “approachability” – a stuffy word that means everyone can join the matcha-sipping, yoga-ing, turmeric-popping party.
Amanda Shapiro, the editor of Healthyish, opened up the conference by addressing just that: one year ago, how exactly could Bon Appetit start this Healthyish off-shoot so that it could be read and used by all? “Our only shot at being relevant [is] being real.” Which talks to the -ish in Healthyish. I really like the idea that everyone’s not healthy 100% of the time, but no matter how “healthy” you are, these recipes and ideas can be useful you. It’s about meeting yourself where you are. Also, it speaks to the idea that nutritious food can and should be delicious – something I really resonate with.
Straight off, I’ve never been to a conference where so many of the speakers weren’t white. It was refreshing to see women from many different backgrounds, and hopefully this will change the media’s face of wellness (less Gwyneth Paltrow, more Lauren Ash).
Also, my fellow attendees were the most racially diverse crowd I’ve ever seen at a food conference. It felt more representative of Brooklyn, my home. So what created this more inclusive environment? Does BA create more inclusive content leading to a healthier variety of readers? I don’t know, but it’s awesome.
1. Botanica killed it with their lunch. I was thrilled to meet and hear the cofounder Emily Fiffer speak a few weeks ago at LA Times’ Food Bowl: Forces in Food, and her mission and spunk really stuck with me. She’s about good, local food but also cultivating community through it in her own neighborhood. (Highly recommend checking out her mini-market & restaurant if you’re ever in East LA.)
2. Health-Ade CEO and co-founder Daina Trout was a boss during the Entrepreneurs Run the World panel. She shared the journey of beginning her kombucha company, starting with her small hustle at the farmers market to now managing a team of 200. When asked how she kept growing, she responded, “you can only see one step ahead.” Plan for the next logical stepping stone and dive into it; i.e. don’t worry about the millions of larger, seemingly-difficult steps coming in the future. The path will fall in place when you climb each rung of the ladder sequentially.
3. The amazing actress Cynthia Erivo gave us her take on exercise and mental release, and it really shifted my thoughts on movement. Letting my workout be a time to unpack thoughts and emotions is a powerful act. I didn’t realize that that’s what my daily cycling commute is – a fun activity to strengthen my muscles but also my time to fully process life.
4. Why am I in all the guest photos? 🤓
It’s great to unpack all my thoughts here, especially since I’m at mbg’s Revitalize conference this weekend. Will be cool to compare & contrast. Have you been to any interesting panels or conferences recently?