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Is anyone else that attended ShiftCon still riding the positive inspirational wave like I am?! This was my first time attending, and I'm so glad that I did! For those of you that are unfamiliar, here is the description from the ShiftCon website of what ShiftCon embodies, as I feel it is just the perfect explanation:
"ShiftCon is an eco-wellness influencer conference focusing on food, wellness, health, sustainability and platform growth. Shifters are part of an online influencer community that seek healthier and more sustainable lives, promote brands that mirror their values, and help causes that speak to their soul. Our influencers span between newbies, light and deep green. Shift happens. Be part of it."
The conference was a month ago, and all I can say is that it was seriously inspirational and lit a green fire of motivation under my tush to keep pursuing my goals and continue sharing my knowledge and beliefs!
So, what was the conference like?
Well, for starters, it was sponsored by some amazing brands that align with healthy and green living, sustainability, organic food and farming, non-toxic and natural products, and wellness. We got to hear from inspiring keynote speakers such as Gary Hirshberg, the co-founder, chairman, and former CEO of Stonyfield Organic, actor and environmentalist Ed Begley Jr., Theresa Marquez, the chief marketing executive of CROPP Cooperative, the nation’s largest organic, farmer-owned co-op, and Amy Koenig, an organic dairy farmer from Wisconsin that produces for Organic Valley. Every single speaker was so inspiring, passionate, and knowledgable.
Gary Hirshberg shared information in regards to organics and how they are better for you AND the planet, with scientific research attached. Did you know that organic soil actually captures and holds more carbon from the atmosphere than conventional soil due to its humic acid content? Gary also talked about toxins and how they have serious effects on children, but adults and everyone in between. He touched on a new book that was released by Oxford University called Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know®
"Children and Environmental Toxins: What Everyone Needs to Know® offers an accessible guide to understanding and identifying the potential sources of harm in a child's environment. Written by experts in pediatrics and environmental health and formatted in an easy to follow question-and-answer format, it offers parents, care providers, and activists a reliable introduction to a hotly debated topic."
Gary was kind, a bit witty, and extremely motivating. You can tell how passionate he is about climate change and action, and support organic farmers and the shift to consuming and using all organic products. This isn't new to me, but he also mentioned how corrupt the government is (shocker), and how Monsanto has far too much influence on things. Recently, there was an article backed by a then-credible scientist that has since been discredited due to its ties with Monsanto. Thank you, Gary for your incredible work and efforts to change things!
(Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Organic)
All of our snacks and meals were either organic, sustainably farmed, made with local produce, healthy, and gluten-free. We had organic coffee and teas provided by Simply Real Foods, and all of our utensils and vessels were not disposable, meaning there was very little waste. THIS detail was amazing to me. I work at a 5 star hotel and the amount of trash and waste is appalling after large events, even though we do compost and recycle. It was so refreshing to see a conference practice what they preach!
If that wasn't enough, there were awesome educational seminars ranging from how to monetize your blog and influence and learning about gut health, to how to go from being a blogger to media consultant, and what's up in Washington and what we can do to help in regards to chemicals and consumer safety. I'd say my two favorite sessions were "From Blogger To Media Consultant" with Kristin Furhmann-Simmons and Keenya Kelly and "What's Up in Washington" with Virali Modi-Parekh from the Center for Environmental Health and Liz Hitchcock, the Acting Director of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families.
Can I just say how awesome Kristin and Keenya were? We started our session with some jokes and power poses (hands on the waist and the bear pose 😂), they gave out chocolate bars as prizes, were incredibly inspiring, hilarious, and approachable. Please check them out, they're incredible! As for the Washington session with Virali and Liz, the session was extremely informative and actually a bit infuriating to see how much greed and corruption is going on in Washington, and how those fighting against it keep getting blocked. Thankfully, we have people like Virali and Liz advocating for the masses in DC and will not give up that fight!
While we're on the topic of chemicals and corruption in Washington, did you know that only FIVE out of 80,000 chemicals in commerce are banned by The Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) since 1976?
62,000 chemicals are considered "Grandfathered"
200 chemicals have been evaluated by the EPA since 1976
ZERO chemicals have been banned under the TSCA since 1990. THAT WAS ALMOST 30 YEARS AGO! This means that chemicals are basically unregulated in the United States. That's madness.
Before I get sidetracked about chemicals (more on that later), back to the recap!
I got to network with like-minded people and brands, and it was an all-around great experience!
Here are some of the brands that really resonated with me (ALL of them were great, though):
Nutrigold Check out my recent post on How To Choose a Multivitamin to learn more about them here!
Simply Real Foods is a new online market that offers ONLY non-GMO products ranging from foods and snacks to supplements and personal care items! Currently, everything is shelf-stable, but as they grow, they will soon be offering frozen and fresh goods as they continue to expand! There is no membership fee or monthly subscriptions required. They also ship in recyclable boxes with earth-friendly insulation! Please check them out by clicking the underlined Simply Real Foods!
Oral Essentials Oral essentials has been on my radar for a few years now. They offer non-toxic oral care products with one of their main ingredients being sea salt. However, what really set them apart at ShiftCon was their newly released natural and non-toxic tooth whitening kit with whitening strips! Not only were these tested in double-blind studies at a University to test the effectiveness against Crest White Strips, they were equally as effective, if not more effective, WITHOUT the sensitivity! The ingredients include coconut oil and essential oils! LOVE IT!
RidgeCrest Herbals is a new (to me) brand based out of Utah. They offer effective herbal blends for many different ailments. I'm currently loving the Anxiety Free Stress Relief Complex that includes wonderful, stress-reducing herbs such as ashwagandha and lemon balm. I've been taking this daily and it makes a HUGE difference!
[Photo via Natracare]
NatraCare makes 100% organic cotton, non-toxic, AND biodegradable personal care products. They also support sustainable farming. They are also Made Safe certified! How awesome is that?! Natracare was one of my favorite brands at ShiftCon, which means that YOU can WIN a sample pack of assorted feminine personal care products from Natracare! Enter Below!
Made In Nature has some seriously tasty snacks. Not only are they organica nd non-gmo project verified, they are made with quality, clean ingredients! you won't find any hard to pronounce ingredients on these labels! they're super tasty and packed with high-energy foods!
APPLEGATE makes meat products that are never treated with antibiotics, are humanely raised, and have no nitrates or added nitrates, only naturally occuring in seal salt. these uncured turkey pepperoni were so tasty on my homemade pizza!
Forager Project is a truly inspiring company. they make dairy-free products including juices, yogurt, and veggie chips. their cashew-based yogurts are divinely creamy, their juices tasty, and their chips are crunchy and delicious. what makes them stand apart? they are combatting food waste by utilizing the pulp from their juices to make their veggie chips. HOW COOL IS THAT?! I'm a huge advocate for sustainable business practices and reducing food waste!
Cybele's Free To Eat foods were surprisingly tasty! Cybele was very nice and her pasta and cookies were delicious, i even came back for more! Her products are allergy-friendly, meaning they are free of dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, seafood, and shellfish! her pastas are made with veggies and superfoods, are high in protein, and are non-gmo! her vegan cookies were delicious as well, and can be found at walmart! wow, wow, wow!
Begley's Best One of our keynote speakers was ed begley jr. owner of begley's best! I was unfamiliar with this brand before shiftcon, but quickly became a fan! They make a line of non-toxic cleaners for the home, but what really caught my eye were the pet stain and odor remover and no iron wrinkle remover spray! I got a sample of the wrinkle remover, as well as a demo, and it really works! yay for non-toxic products that work. this spray is great for travel or expos when you might not have an iron handy!
[Image via Made Safe]
MADE SAFE is an organization that certifies products we use every day as non-toxic. From baby to personal care to household items, they certify that products you and your family use are made safe!
Other amazing brands (I know I'm missing some) that were in attendence: Coconut Bliss (They have a new acai ice cream bar!!), Vital Proteins (Their non-dairy coffee creamer was AMAZING), Flora, Goddess Garden, Organic Valley, Stonyfield Organic, NeoCell, Boiron, Non-GMO Project!
I know this is a long recap, but I was truly inspired at ShiftCon! Here are my main takeaways and lessons from ShiftCon that carry over to basically any part of life:
Shift happens, people! We have the ability to change things for the better. Every little step helps! Please feel free to share that graphic and don't forget to enter my giveaway in partnership with Natracare!
Click here to access the giveaway if the above widget doesn't work!
Thank you to creator of ShiftCon and Mamavasion.com, Leah Segedie for all of the amazing work that you do for us influencers, but as well as the health and wellness space! Don't forget to pre-order her new book that is coming out -- Green Enough: Eat Better, Live Cleaner, Be Happier (All Without Driving Your Family Crazy!)!