Months of preparation on a power point presentation, time spent preparing for the cooking demo. Practicing, setting things up, rehearsing over and over. The excitement and nerves of when the day will come and then the rush before it starts and the comfort of when it actually begins. Then, the sadness when it is all over.
Public speaking is my release from triathlons. It brings me a similar excitement, passion and energy that I can not explain but welcome when I have the opportunity to provide my philosophy and knowledge about food, health and exercise.
I don't feel that everyone needs to be a public speaker or a writer but instead, finds a few things in life that bring you happiness and require hard work. Perhaps for you, signing up for that upcoming running or tri race is your hard workout and happiness and for others, finding a different outlet to bring happiness, besides training is needed. Whatever you choose to do, remember that to be successful in life, you must love what you are doing. If you are wasting your time doing something you don't love or haven't learned to love and appreciate, step back, re-evaluate and consider your goals and dreams. Sometimes hanging in there is needed and other times, it's time to move on. If something is very important to you, you will find yourself looking back sometime down the road, thinking that you couldn't believe where you were when you started.
My 45 minute presentation was not long enough for me but I did my best to squeeze in as much as I could for a room of 225 chairs. Amazingly, there were people standing in the back and guesstimates were around 240-250 people in the room. Thank you HeartWise for asking me to speak for this was my largest audience I have ever spoken to and I loved every minute of it!
I have to give a HUGE thank you to Mai Oui Gourmet Catering for they were hired by Baptist HeartWise to prepare 4 of my creations for the participants in the talk. They perfected my 3 recipes (tempeh stir fry, avocado mango salsa with pita chip and homemade granola bar) and also provide trail mix for dessert as the participants were leaving. I never like to talk to hungry bellies so even though my talk was at 10am on Saturday, everyone was very happy during my talk...and lots of yumming was occurring too.
Who doesn't love a lecture that has free samples?
What a beautiful presentation!
Yummy trail mix for dessert.
After spending about 20 minutes discussing my philosophy for eating for fuel, for health and for pleasure and providing a few tips supported by the research of a Mediterranean style of eating, it was time for my cooking demo. When I speak, I try to make sure that my audience leaves feeling inspired and has information that they can easily apply to their every day lifestyle. I don't waste too much of my time talking about grams, portions and recommendations beyond what I feel is most important. Therefore, I stress the importance of the lifestyle component and considering the thoughts behind our actions. I feel there is enough info out there for people to learn what it means to eat healthy but it gets wrapped into a tangled mess because there are too many "experts" out there trying to make a simple concept of eating a more real food diet far too complicated. I try to make eating fun and easy to understand and to break the cycle of women having a negative food vocabulary and to stop the body bashing.
I had a few GREAT volunteers to help me with my cooking demo.
I showed how EASY it was to prepare a homemade trail mix and to bulk it up with cheerios (one of my favorite processed foods for it is fortified very well and is very wholesome) OR popcorn from a brown paper bag (1/3 kernels, roll down back twice and pop for 75-90 seconds in microwave).
While we were preparing the trail mix, I had a volunteer read the ingredients on a protein bar. She was still reading it after we prepared the trail mix in less than a minute.
I also want to send another BIG thank you to Mai Oui and HeartWise for helping me out with my talk. I couldn't have done this without both of them! Also, for the event putting on a top-notch, inspiring, life-changing event for women. I love being part of events like this for I love helping to inspire women and I feel everyone deserves to have good health, happiness and fun in their life and I want to make sure that no day is left wasted.