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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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#BlogHer13 The Conference Food

One of the things that often stresses me out about going to big events is the food. If I get super hungry, I get hangry and am pretty much worthless until I get something to eat. Sitting in a conference center all day trying to learn things would be pretty miserable if I wasn’t properly fueled.  I love that food is often provided so it isn’t an added expense, but I often worry that there won’t be anything I want to eat. Don’t get me wrong, I love going out to eat at restaurants on vacation too, but part of what I am paying for is the food so I want to get my moneys worth if I can.

I really didn’t know what to expect for food options at BlogHer.  The only other blogging conference that I had been to was the Healthy Living Summit, and I suspect that those mostly healthy and diverse options are probably not the norm for conference food. So, I packed a bunch of snacks, and hoped for the best!

The first official day of the conference (Friday) started out bright and early with the BlogHer 5k Fun Run along the lakeshore.  I ate a granola bar beforehand to tide me over, but we were told there would be food at the end of the course for us. (The run was sponsored by Best Buy, and it ended at the Best Buy on Michigan Avenue.) I don’t know if my body just wasn’t awake yet or what, but it was ok with run/walking 3 miles with only a granola bar as fuel. At the breakfast, there were a few different breakfast sandwich options to choose from – including meat and meatless varieties – muffins, fruit, and beverages.  I was pretty excited to see an egg and cheese biscuit as an option, so I grabbed one of those as well as a banana.  The sandwich was decent, but not stellar.  I ate the banana and about half of the sandwich because my body definitely could not survive on a granola bar until lunch.

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After I grabbed breakfast I took the shuttle back to the hotel to shower and get ready for the day. I was a bit concerned that I was going to miss the morning keynote (Ree Drummond, Pioneer Woman) so I rushed and made it to the shuttle and then to the conference center with some time to spare. On my way in to the ballroom where the keynote was, I noticed the breakfast buffet was still set up, so I grabbed some fruit, a sugary treat, and some coffee. The fruit was delicious and definitely hit the spot, the pastry was not anything special.  (For the record, that wasn’t all that the buffet had to offer.  There was build your own breakfast burritos which didn’t look bad, but I’m not a fan.  If I hadn’t had that egg sandwich beforehand, I may have ventured out and tried some.)

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After seeing the breakfast options earlier in the day, I was a bit concerned that I may have to resort to snacks for lunch. However, I was pleasantly surprised. There were several different options on the buffet, I chose: pita bread, fish, orzo pasta salad, spinach salad, and a Sierra Mist.  I think the only thing that I didn’t love was the fish, it just tasted like it was drowned in butter.  The salads, however, were both really good.  I even went back for seconds! After that lunch my concerns about finding food were much less.

bhfood3I was curious to see what Saturday’s breakfast would be, after seeing breakfast burritos the first day.  The spread was pretty good! Lots of fruit, muffins, cereal, eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, yogurt, and probably other things that I am forgetting.  I filled my plate with fruit, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, and a muffin.  I also had some orange juice, and went back later to get coffee. It was all pretty delicious.  I’m a big fan of breakfast potatoes, and these did not disappoint!

bhfood4Lunch on Saturday was probably my favorite meal; or at least the meal that was most like something I would normally eat.  There were build your own sandwiches, salad, soup, chips, and cookies. I made myself a ham sandwich and had a salad, chips, soda, and a couple of cookies to go with it. (I swear there is ham under that pile of lettuce!)

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The conference food situation didn’t start out great, but it definitely improved and there was something that I wanted to eat for every meal.  The food all tasted fresh, and much of it was pretty healthy, too! I should also point out that throughout the days there were also snacks and beverages available in the hallways while the sessions were going on, as well as several water coolers throughout the conference center.

High five to the planners at BlogHer and the people at McCormick Place for putting together all of the food options!  I can only imagine how much effort it takes to plan a meal for thousands of people and attempt to take into consideration dietary needs and preferences.

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