From No Coast to West Coast

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Greetings from the sunshine state! 8)

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Oh wait…that’s Florida. Anyways, yesterday I hopped a plane in Des Moines, made a quick pit stop in Denver (SNOWMG!) and landed in sunny Los Angeles two and a half hours later, for the Dole Healthy Lifestyle Blogger Summit! :D

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10 bloggers including myself have been talking all things Dole, health & wellness for the past two days.

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We’re staying at the Four Seasons Westlake Village in LA, less than 50 yards away from Dole Headquarters, and I could not be more smitten with the place.

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It’s easily the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed at and feels very east coast chic, despite it’s west coast location.

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The rooms are plenty outrageous too.

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Can you say television in the bathroom and two-headed shower?

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Getting ready back at home has been completely ruined for me!

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Wish my blogging spot at home also came with a view like this. ;)

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Last night there was a welcome cocktail party, followed by an Iron Chef-type competition using only Dole ingredients (my team won with roasted Dole cauliflower – eee!) and dinner. They gave us bloggers the recipes for what we ate and I cannot WAIT to share them with you!

This morning, I awoke with the sun…

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(which was awesome since I was still on central time and felt so refreshed even though it was only 6am!)

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and headed over to Dole’s international headquarters next door with the other bloggers, for breakfast.

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Umm, Dole’s cafeteria is legit. They only serve healthy options, including a fresh fish dish every afternoon for lunch, and do not serve red meat or cook with butter.

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They also have a mini Farmers’ Market setup for employees to grab fresh produce at the office. Cool!

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We snagged some breakfast, oatmeal and fresh fruit for me, and chowed down before heading into Dole’s test kitchen to see what they’ve been working on.

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I was totally impressed!

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Among the new items we saw, I especially loved the new banana bags they’ll be rolling out soon. Each bag "breathes" to let bananas either ripen quicker or slower, depending on how fast you want to eat them.

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There’s nothing applied to the fruit – simply open the bag when you want the bananas to ripen, or leave it shut if you don’t. This is great for me – a girl that can’t eat a banana if it has a single speck of brown on it. ;)

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Next we tried banana custard made with Dole bananas and a contraption I have never seen before – a Yonanas Maker !

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A Yonanas Maker is basically a food processor/ice cream maker for frozen fruit. Just stick the stuff down the shoot and out it comes, silky smooth & thick.

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I so want one for Christmas!

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Other notable new products include these addicting fruit bites, which I literally cannot stop eating and truly think/hope they might replace candy for me!

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FRUIT CRISP!!!

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For 160 calories!!

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And Dole’s new frozen, on the go Fruit & Yogurt Shakers.

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All you do with these babies is fill it up with juice or milk, then shake it up.

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There’s frozen pellets of fruit & yogurt inside the container that melt and create a luscious smoothie.

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This particular one was under 200 calories, and had 4 grams of protein. Not high, but it could be higher if you added milk instead of juice, and it would definitely be better than eating a bag of chips as an afternoon snack.

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It looked like a food bomb had gone off after us bloggers were done in the test kitchen. We ate a ton and were stuffed to the gills!

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A quick break in the California sunshine on Dole’s outdoor patio helped refresh us before settling in for a few expert-led sessions on health, fitness and nutrition – which I’ll fill you in on later.

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I actually learned some really cool stuff! :)

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Lunch followed, where I feasted on light yet luscious fare.

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Actually everything I’ve eaten here so far has been incredibly flavorful and filling, yet very light and guilt free at the same time. I need Four Season and Dole chefs to come cook for me always. :) Highlights included this sweet potato & ginger mash that was as silky as it was sweet,

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and chocolate-covered pineapple, for obvious reasons.

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As if we hadn’t been treated enough, a complimentary spa massage was on the agenda for this afternoon!

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The Four Seasons knows what is up and my massage therapist was absolutely incredible.

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There’s always the awkward factor when you’re getting your entire body rubbed by a complete stranger, but I forced myself to think of nothing else but the pure pleasure of it all, and couldn’t have been more relaxed if I were dead. :)

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Pillow lines still firmly in place!

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This evening we have dinner here at the hotel, then tomorrow a session on Healthy Weight Loss before turning around and heading home. You know I’ll take notes!

Hope you’re having a great week everyone. :)

~~~~~

What’s your favorite way to pamper yourself? Massage, shopping, movie, mani, pedi?

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Comments

  1. Lauren 11.03.2011

    This trip sounds amazing! I love the banana bags by the way. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them.

  2. That is awesome – good for you!! Congrats!

  3. Jeri 11.03.2011

    Those fruit bites have been out for quite awhile, I can’t get over the texture. The “yogurt” coating is more like a crunchy powder and it tastes very funny. Even my daughter won’t eat them and she LOVES fruit. One time out there was a little bite thing consisting of a fruit puree surrounded by a layer of yogurt/cinnamon/graham cracker coating….oh my gosh, they were delectable (ok, I’m not sure of the spelling of that) and my daughter could not get enough! BUT sadly, they went *poof* off the shelves. I can’t remember the name or the brand.

  4. Meagan 11.03.2011

    I. AM. SO. JEALOUS. Soo jealous that you get to do this stuff!

    I feel inspired to put down the Halloween candy and start eating fresh again! It looks like you’re having so much fun, too. :)

  5. Jane 11.03.2011

    I had heard of the Yonana, and I was going to tell you about it, because you made something a while back that was creamy like ice cream, but was made with fruit! I couldn’t remember what you used, so I couldn’t find the old post…but I remember something about it, reminded me of the Yonana! Anyways, now you know about it!! Hope you’re having a blast, can’t wait to hear about your new recipes and tips!! :D

  6. Liz 11.03.2011

    I love massages! They are so relaxing. I can’t wait to hear about the healthy weight loss tips! Have fun!

  7. skinnyrunner 11.03.2011

    i love that 4 seasons, never had a massage there but isn’t their spa amazing?! and taste tasting all that food is pretty much awesome too.

  8. Kiley 11.03.2011

    Jealous!! How much vacation time do you get at your job? So not fair! :) Sounds like a great trip, cant wait to hear more tomorrow!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 11.07.2011

      Just regular amounts! But I work 4, 10 hour days so I have Fridays off, which lets me do a lot of 3 day weekend trips!

  9. Michelle 11.03.2011

    Amazing! So jealous, you’re not that far from me, but I love the new product previews – so cool!

  10. Oh wow that all looks so amazing!!
    Quite jealous that you got to go on a trip like that! :-P
    The food looks delicious and it all just sounds like so much fun :-)

  11. your trip and the experience looks awesome!

    hope the weather up there is a little better than it is in San Diego for you all..it got chilly here this afternoon!

  12. Amy 11.03.2011

    It sounds like an amazing experience for you and cool to hear how much you’re enjoying it!!!!

  13. erica 11.03.2011

    ooh, love that yonanas machine! my banana soft serve never comes out looking like that!!!

    i love massages and mani/pedis :)

  14. What a fun trip! I always forget that Dole is such a big company. I always just think of pineapple! I am not a big fan of pampering treatments. I especially don’t like pedicures. I don’t like when people touch my feet:)

  15. those banana bags are great!

  16. nicole 11.03.2011

    looks like so much fun! very jealous! :-)

  17. BrookeNotOnADiet 11.03.2011

    I’m loving everything about your trip! ! Sounds wonderful and educational! Those banana bags sound awesome! I’m a girl who like her bananas with a lil more brown. :) Also I have seen those smoothie things but wasn’t sure they’d be good. Now I’ll have to give them a try!

  18. Lindsey 11.03.2011

    Umm…all of the above!! haha. If I had to pick just one, a pedicure :)

  19. AbberJabber 11.03.2011

    I’m the same way with bananas thank you very much! I put them in the freezer for banana bread as soon as they get brown spots. My husband and his fam think it’s weird and hilarious.

  20. Sounds like an amazing time! Can’t believe you got a free massage to top it all off! I’ve only had one professional massage, I think it’s time for another! I do love a good mani/pedi though. You look so cute in those pics :)

  21. what a fun day! i love reading each blogger’s account of the dole conference.

    for some reason i’m not a massage girl, but give me a pedicure (and a glass of wine) and i’m in heaven.

  22. Looks fun! I will spend money on a massage or mani/pedi ANY day over spending my money on clothes, shoes, home decor, etc! Glad you had a relaxing day.

  23. Hope 11.04.2011

    What an incredible experience so far! That hotel looks amazing! My dream is to stay at a Four Seasons. So beautiful. Have a great time! :)

  24. Kary Austin 11.04.2011

    I love your blog Kristin! Fitness is a passion of mine and I’d love to hear more about you were able to get invited to this type of an event. I would love to do something like that. I tell all my clients about your web-site as well and enjoy coming here every day to see what fun you are offerring. It’s great being an Iowa Girl! If you have any tips on the connections, please let me know. Thanks!

  25. The Yonanas gadget it so cool. :) I enjoy banana soft-serve, but I never thought anyone would make a machine for it.

  26. A banana ice cream maker? That is pretty sweet – although my food processor might get a little jealous.

    The trip sounds amazing. How can I get invited to one?!

  27. Summer 11.04.2011

    Hey that’s my hometown! looks like you’re having fun :)

  28. Colleen 11.04.2011

    Bring some of that nice warm weather back to Iowa – it is cold here(too soon for my pleasure). I don’t regularly pamper myself, but nothing, in my opinion, is better than a day of massages and getting your nails and hair done.

  29. Daisy 11.04.2011

    I heart you and I heart this trip!!!

    PS I don’t know if you caught my tweet – but California’s legit nickname is the Golden State!! Florida is the Sunshine state! you know, if you wanted to get all technical with state nicknames. :) :)

  30. Jess 11.04.2011

    So jealous! Looks like you are having a blast! Soak up some sun before you come back to the frigid midwest!

  31. Ashley 11.04.2011

    I love getting a massage. My best friend is coming into town this afternoon and we are going to go enjoy pedis!

  32. JEALOUS! Sounds like you’re having an awesome time. I always think it’s good to pamper yourself…I just always have a million things going and either can’t find time or can’t relax. I recently got a facial though and it was amazing and just what I needed :) For ultimate pampering I love getting a massage. It’s so great to just be in a small room for an hour and forget about the world :)

  33. Lots to say here!

    1) That hotel..just WOW.
    2) I never knew Dole was so health-conscious! I know they’re a fruit distributor and all, but I’ll be honest, I definitely think of fruit cups with sugary syrup. Looks like I’ll have to change my tune there!
    3) Your hair is getting SO long!
    4) The end :smile:

  34. Sheila Dereba 11.04.2011

    Define grand living. Love the pictures that comes along with this post. Oh how I just envy you, in a good envious kindda way. Thanks for this light post. You are such a pretty healthy gal, I’d love to hang out with you some time. :)

  35. What a fantastic opportunity. You must be having so much fun!

  36. Dawn Marie 11.06.2011

    OMG.. that is such a trip, this place looks so nice yet it is right across the street from Costco, which is a HOOTTTTT and it surrounded by freeways and shopping malls, totally bizarre!

  37. […] tasted this cheesecake while I was at the Dole Healthy Bloggers Summit, and knew after the first bite that I HAD to include it on the Thanksgiving menu this year. Creamy […]

  38. Mary Claire 12.17.2011

    good morning sunshine, good morning great food, good morning healthy life. LOVE LOVE LOVE this blog.

  39. […] I have been lusting after a Yonanas for 2+ years, ever since hearing about it at the DOLE Healthy Living Bloggers Summit. I’ve posted many times that 1 ingredient banana “ice cream” is one of my […]

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