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Ohh heyy from Philly! I am here for the Healthy Summit. It has been one crazy day so far. I feel like it is college orientation where everyone is “Hi, what’s your name?” “Where are you from” “What is your major” – but instead of what is your major it is “What is you blog name?” or “What is you twitter handle.” Thank god I got twitter a few weeks ago!! My handle is ashwhelan, by the way. (**edit on 8/2: My handle is now @freckleandspice**)

This morning, I was lucky enough to be on the 2 hour bus ride with Caitlin from Caitlin Lives Well. This was my first experience really getting to chat with someone who shares the same interests. It was been a great bus ride and reassured me even more that this is going to be a great experience. No reason to be scared or nervous.

First event was a small group of 20 of us that went to the Frito Lay cooking demo. I know Frito Lay does not scream health, and I was pretty skeptical. However, it turned out to be better than I expected.

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The Pros:

  • The culinary team has been working recently to replicate the artificial flavors using real, all natural ingredients in the SunChips, Lays, and Tostitos line
  • They put value on their company being transparent. Any information you want on a product can be found on their website, or they will tell you. They also make aware that all natural does not equate health, just more replicable and free of additives and preservatives.
  • They have reduced sodium 25% across the company; and have a lightly salted line that is reduced by 50%
  • They started their own blog and twitter accounts (love it)
  • The entire company is transfat free. They use sunflower,corn, and soy oil for cooking, which contain more good mono and poly fats vs. saturated fats.

The Cons:

  • While I learned a lot of great things, the bottom line is they are still a snack food company and snack foods should be consumed in moderation
  • The company talked about it’s transparency with us; but they definitely do not advertise that all natural does not equal healthy. This is a common misconception in America I think.
  • They were asked about how they use organics. And they had sort of a very cop-out, political response that the company is too big. Eh, I do not know how I feel about that. But I guess they have 2 organic products – the blue corn chips and the white cheddar tostitos.

The best part was the cooking demo. We were asked to submit flavor combinations and they made some of them. They made up sauces that we tried with the chips, so it really was not clear how those flavors are made into a chip. But were able to see how they experiment with the all natural ingredients and figure out what flavors work well together. Plus is all tasted very good.

The 2 best things were the guacamole and the roasted tomato quinoa.

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Then, we checked out the Independence Hall area. Grabbed Lunch and some Fro-yo! Naturally you could find the bloggers stocking up on Fro-yo.

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I have met so many great people already. Everyone is so helpful and so sweet in person. So far I am really honored to say I met Katy Widrick, Caitlin, and Ashley. Plus really so many more! And now we are off to the cocktail party to mingle some more.

I am so happy I decided to attend.

Enjoy your Friday night.

Are you at HLS. Who do you want to meet?

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