Five Reasons To Go To ShiftCon 2018

Five Reasons To Go To ShiftCon 2018

I just recently received news that I have been invited to ShiftCon 2018! If you follow me on Instagram, you know I pretty much geeked out on my Insta-Stories. I went to ShiftCon 2016 in NOLA this past year and fell in love! This is THE conference to go to if you are a) a blogger, journalist, social influencer; or b) a human being who cares about their food or this planet. I am pretty much obsessed with this platform and just had to share my top five reasons that ShiftCon is the must-attend conference!

Food

Cajun Jumbalaya

The food at ShiftCon is without a doubt the best I’ve had at any conference. Not only is every meal organic, but mostly sustainable, responsibly farmed, or locally sourced. Did I mention delicious? In a room full of media, we all couldn’t stop talking about food. I mean, I cover food on my blog at all times, but I was wowed by the selection and presentation of the food at ShiftCon 2016. They were also able to make sure and really add some local flair to the prepared food. We dined on some of the finest N’awlins Oysters from the infamous Dre’s, and I tasted my very first gumbo!

People

NOLA

Which ever way you slice it, the ShiftCon attendees and community are some of the most supportive I’ve come across. I truly found my tribe in NOLA last year and have been talking about it ever since. It wasn’t just the media, but also the brands. They were completely engaging, and I’ve made some very real connections in a fast-paced industry where it’s easy to get “lost in the sauce.” The Expo hours were separate allowing brands to sit and dine with media during keynote speeches, or learn alongside each other in various workshops. The connections made were very real and organic. Pun totally intended!

Culture

New Orleans

ShiftCon is structured in such a way that there is plenty of time to experience the local culture. They’ve also made it possible to include a bit of the local culture in workshops, scheduled tours (I was able to enjoy a local ghost tour in the heart of N’awlins y’all), and special guided activities. All putting you in touch with your surroundings, and the good folks trying make #ShiftHappen in these cities. It’s both inspiring and eye opening.

NOLA

NOLA

Education

NOLA

There is so much education at ShiftCon. These folks are passionate about the cause and have lined up an array of educators to help you to spread the good word. They’re fighting the good fight all over the nation and have come from far and wide to share it with all the ShiftCon Shifters. These are some of the most passionate and engaged educators teaching us about anything from soil degradation, agricultural news, and farming practices, to social media growth and SEO courses. A wide range of all things “shifty” if you will. The ways and means on how to report your news and the most effective way to get it to the masses. The panel’s were jam-packed with CEO’s (not marketing reps) from major organic brands answering some tough questions about their practices, and future plans for remaining authentic in a consumers market. I left each session feeling as though I’d learned something new, and feeling more connected to the brands that I use and write about.

Swag

NOLA

If you’ve ever spoken to someone whose attended a ShiftCon conference, then no doubt you’ve heard of their infamous swag bag. I kid you not, I couldn’t begin to even go through it all. There was something inside from every beloved (albeit pricey) organic company I could think of. The swag alone outweighs the cost of the ticket, and is well worth it. I actually had to ship it home to myself because it was way to much to haul in an airport all on my own. The swag bag is given to you on the first day you arrive (perhaps so you have time to figure out how to get it home), and it doesn’t end there. Each day / night there is a new raffle or opportunity to win a new prize. This year, there will be an awards ceremony for the media that is attending, I can’t wait to see what they get to take home!

Either way you slice it this event is a “gotta be there” kind of event, and this year it’s returning to its roots in the OC. Yours truly will be there getting all of the scoop and sharing with all of the other “shifters” via social media. You can join the #ShiftHappens movement by getting your very own tickets here.

See you in California!

Essentially yours,

Erika

Be The Change, Be The Match

Be The Change, Be The Match

This post was written in partnership with Be The Match.  Real patients like 11-year-old Kamryn are currently searching for a life-saving marrow donor. Learn more and sign up for the Be The Match Registry® at www.join4kami.org.

There is no bond like that of a parent and child. From the moment they are born, the overwhelming love is unmatched by any other experience in life. We do our best from the very start to ensure we are doing our best to keep them from harm, keep them healthy, and protect them at all costs. I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to not be able to protect them from a debilitating disease that is attacking their body. We count our blessings each day that we have two healthy and active boys. Although, that just doesn’t feel like enough at times.

Essentially Erika

I remember being a young teenager and feeling helpless, watching the doctors scour our family members asking for blood. My dad was involved in an accident, and desperately needed transfusions. At the time, I didn’t know my blood type, and I was unaware that I was a match for his rare O-Negative blood type. This has always been a deep regret of mine, and has always effected me. My father would eventually succumb to his injuries, and our lives were forever changed.

Adolescence

The moment I turned eighteen, I made a few very important adult decisions. One of those key decisions was to donate blood as quickly as I could. I wound up donating platelets as well. Seeing the need for my blood type and having been through my own experience with my father, I began to dive more deeply into donating in different ways. Changing the lives of real patient’s like 11-year-old Kamryn, suddenly became a possibility.

Joining the marrow transplant donor list was one of the most profound decisions I could make as an adult. Be The Match makes is possible for donors like myself can have a profound life-changing effect on people’s lives like young Kamryn. Marrow transplants can provide life-saving treatment for over seventy diseases. It may be hard to believe but most marrow transplant patients don’t have a match within their own family, and rely on organizations like Be The Match to help connect them with their donor match. While I am older now, I am glad I signed up when I was young. The younger a person, the healthier their marrow, which means they will more likely be a match for more patients, and change more lives.

Essentially Erika

Signing up is as simple as a three-second cheek swab to get you in the system and see if you are a match for anyone like Kamryn, who currently doesn’t have any match just yet. The procedure can be simple and painless, or require a bit of recovering in a few cases, a small price to pay for saving a young life,  like Kamryn’s. You can learn more about her story and sign up to join the registry at join4kami.org.

Essentially yours,

Erika

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Summer Key Lime Crostini

Summer Key Lime Crostini

 

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #EchaleVida #VidaAguacate #CollectiveBias

Eating a nutritious diet is very important to me. There are many roads to nutrition, and no two paths are the same for everyone. I’d like to share a bit about my experience going vegan in the past. I once went vegan for six months, I’ve never felt better. Believe it or not, as a self-professed carnivore for over twenty years, I didn’t miss meat at all. In place of dairy I substituted fortified soy beverages (soymilk) and other plant-based substitutes.

I’m no longer nursing and often dream of trying a vegan diet once again. This time with a little experience under my belt, I think I would take a slower approach and eliminate items one at a time. I think some people get discouraged from their vegan goals due to lack of knowledge, options, and recipes. This time around I would start off by eliminating red meat, and then eventually transition to an all vegetarian diet. Once I have a good collection of vegetarian recipes, I’ll feel more confident to start eliminating items and go full vegan with my diet. Although I am not currently vegan, there are many ways to lead a more conscious lifestyle, and adding nutritious ingredients to my dishes is one of them.

Fun Fact: There are plenty of ways to go vegan in your life if you are interested. I use mostly vegan makeup products and switched over all of my makeup brushes to vegan a few years ago.

One of the recipes I’ve been working on is a pescatarian spin on a classic recipe, by substituting mayo with avocado. If you follow my blog, then you know I’m pretty obsessed with avocados and feel they can go with pretty much any recipe. Avocados From Mexico are always fresh, and always delicious. Plus they make a pretty delicious addition to any recipe. Avocados From Mexico are always in season, making it perfect for any spring or summer recipes. This is the perfect recipe to bring for sharing at a gathering outdoors.

Crostini

I’m getting ready for summer with a few bright and fresh recipes, and avocados are a great substitute for many other options that may not be as nutritious. I come from a Latin family and meals are taken seriously. Only fresh ingredients to be eaten often, and together, preferably outdoors. I love introducing my family to more nutritious options while enjoying the richness of my heritage. The smooth texture of Avocados From Mexico make it a great substitute, and can turn any meal into a fresh and hearty experience. Adding tuna and micro greens only upped the yum factor on this easy and quick recipe.

SUMMER KEY LIME CROSTINI

Crostini

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 CAN OF SOLID WHITE ALBACORE TUNA
  • 2 RIPE AVOCADOS FROM MEXICO
  • 1/2 LB OF CHERRY TOMATOES
  • 2 TABLESPOONS OF MICRO GREENS
  • 4 KEY LIMES
  • COARSE SALT
  • 1 LOAF OF SOURDOUGH BREAD, SLICED ON A BIAS

DIRECTIONS

Drain and shred tuna and add to bowl. Mash two Avocados From Mexico in a separate bowl and add to the tuna bowl to mix. Toast bread and spoon on tuna avocado mixture. Add sliced tomatoes and microgreens. Drizzle key lime over toast and sprinkle with coarse salt and enjoy!

This recipe is equal parts creamy and crunchy. The mixture of tuna and key lime is both bright and fresh, making this perfect for spring and take you right on into summer.

Key Lime Crostini
Enter here to win the #EchaleVida Sweestakes, there’s still time! #EchaleVidaSweepstakes (5/16 to 6/27)

Essentially yours,

Erika

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