"New York, New York - so good they named it twice..."

For the last week my head has been spinning, and it's taken me time to 'come down' from the high that was IIN LIVE! As a current student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) I was invited to attend their Spring conference in New York, and buying that plane ticket was probably the best decision I've made all year! In the early stages very little about the conference was announced as the school worked hard to secure speakers and presenters - we took it on trust that it was worth the trip.....and have you gathered by now that I most definitely thought it was worth the trip now it's all said and done?!

The excitement and anticipation of the event was just slightly dampened by the terrifying invitation from the school to stand up on stage in front of 1,200 peers and give testimonial of the course and school as part of the opening address on the Saturday morning of the conference. Of course I was honoured to be asked, but terrified just the same!
And this wasn't JUST the 1200 people in the conference hall - there were thousands more watching
the conference via live streaming....yikes!!

My view from the wings, just before we headed on stage!
As I mentioned in my short but sweet testimonial on stage that 'the most valuable thing I have gained from this course is the friendships and connections I have made with my fellow classmates and peers'. And for that I am enormously grateful and blessed. I have made so many friendships with wonderful people from all over the world, and it was an exciting and inspiring opportunity to meet so many of them, that for the past 7 months we've been communicating via Facebook, email and Skype. I show my age a little when I say I never came from an age where your best friend could be someone you never met, but technology truly is a wonderful thing and I there's a handful of people I trust, respect and lean on and am proud to call my friends.

The conference itself was as amazing as I expected, but the vibe from all the health coaches in one place together was even more incredible than I'd imagined it would be. People were bumping into, and calling out to anyone and everyone they recognized, (from FaceBook) it really was like a school reunion of best friends. New York is a fantastic city at the best of times but it's even better when large groups of like-minded people full of enthusiasm and spirit are hanging out in one of the most popular areas of the city right on the edge of Central Park.

I arrived on the Friday evening was was whisked straight off to a gathering of IIN ambassadors in downtown Manhattan. Saturday was the conference with speakers such as Joe Cross (from Reboot with Joe / Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead documentary fame, Alicia Silverstone - the actress and famed vegan and animal rights activist, Dr Andrew Weil talking about integrative medicines and Dan Buettner talking about 'The Blue Zones' plus many many more. I was impressed at the diversity and calibre of speakers that we had talking to us.
My two lovely laydeez.....Shana and Lynne

In the evening it was followed by a wonderful rooftop 'soiree' at my awesome host's, (Lynne from Aware of This?) apartment - it was magical watching the sunset over New York as friendships were made and solidified (and shock horror - Health Coaches who drank and partied!!!). And all too soon we'd got to Sunday afternoon and the end of the conference. So many people were (comparatively) local and headed straight out of the city. I had 2 more nights. I needed that time to take stock of what an amazing experience it had been, and of course to soak in a few of the New York sights.


  1. Amazing! I'm so jealous I couldn't be there but at the same time I feel I've lived it vicariously through you guys :). That's Lynne's apartment?? Wow! Where did you stay for the remaining two nights? I've only ever landed at JFK and commuted via taxi to LaGuardia so haven't actually 'seen' NYC at all, and would love a trip someday. Awesome pics! And congrats on speaking onstage!

    1. You'll just have to come on the next one Anna - if there is another one this year... And I obviously managed to fool Lynne into thinking I was a nice guy as she graciously let me stay at her place the whole trip - couldn't have done it without her...:-)


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