Notes from the Road: October 2017

Notes from the Road October 2017, a monthly recap of sustainable food, living, and travel from sustainability dietitian Kristina Todini

Notes from the Road: October 2017. What I’m doing, where I’m going, and (most importantly) what I’m eating right now.

Another month, another Notes from the Road post. If you’ve been keeping up, you may be wondering where my monthly recap post went in September. Well, I have no good excuse except to say that October is one of the busiest months of the year for me and it was one of the first things to get nixed when life got hectic.

But I’m back, refreshed, and rejuvenated after a crazy busy month and I’m been working hard on new projects behind the scenes. October was a month for growth both for me and for Fork in the Road, and I’m super excited to share what I’ve been up to.

fork in the road: october 2017 favorites

Notes from the Road October 2017. Sustainable food, travel and living with dietitian Kristina Todini

October was all about fall harvest on the blog! Living in California the weather can be wonky throughout the fall (100 degree heat in late October?) and it’s hard for me to be all about that “pumpkin lyfe” when I’m still wearing flip flops and sundresses.

But thankfully the end of the month cooled off and I was able to dive head first into all thinks autumn. A few of this month’s creations:

  • Maple Walnut Granola: a simple toasted oat granola with maple and crushed walnuts.
  • Smoked Golden Beet Carpaccio: I made a strong case for rethinking beets with a salad of smoked golden beets and frisée with a smoked salt dressing.
  • Fall Harvest Snack Board: I continued my seasonal platter series with a fall harvest board of pumpkin, squash, fall fruits and roasted chestnuts.

seen around town: fork in the road features

I’ve also had the pleasure of being quoted and featured by many fellow bloggers and writers this month:

I’m also super excited to announce I am now a contributor to a blog I have admired for a long time, 196 Flavors. Mike and Vera are an awesome duo who built 196 Flavors into a database of traditional recipes from every country in the world and I am honored to help them recreate these classics. So far I have contributed recipes for Kutia, a traditional holiday dessert of wheat berries and fruit from Belarus, and Calypso Chicken, a traditional chicken and rice dish from Domenica, a small island in the Caribbean.

More collaborations and traditional recipes to come!

food & nutrition conference & expo 2017 recap

As dietitian who works with food, October is always a busy month with the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). This year’s FNCE in Chicago brought together thousands of dietitians, researchers, food companies, students and everyone in between who is interested in nutrition and health. As the biggest meeting of dietitians in the world, you better believe it’s all about the food.

While there is always so much to learn each FNCE, I walked away this year with a few common themes and ideas that excited me about this profession and will challenge me throughout the coming year.

Dietitians are Stepping Outside-the-Box & Into New Fields

I had the pleasure of attending a lot of fun events this year, both for my own clients and as the guest for many brands and food companies. One of my favorite takeaways from the conference, the parties and the sessions is that dietitians are taking a step outside-the-box and expanding to different areas. I met dietitians working in marketing for vertical farming companies, killing it with podcasts and wellness-based travel excursions, and building lifestyles brands and communities with large followers. I always walk away from FNCE recharged and ready to tackle my own goals.

Sustainability and Food Waste Are Top of Mind

Quaker Oats food waste dinner at Blackbird in Chicago.Food sustainability was another common theme throughout the conference. In addition to many sessions and booths featuring messages of food waste and organic farming, I also had the pleasure of attending a food waste-focused dinner sponsored by Quaker at Blackbird.

The premise was simple: Americans are wasting too much food, especially fruits and vegetables. Quaker realized this and that their role as a pantry staple can be reimagined to include dishes that are more than just breakfast. In collaboration with the amazing chefs at Blackbird, we dined on a menu using oats from first to last course including an oat and apple soup, pork with a savory oat granola, and a delicious toasted oat ice cream.

Check out this video from Quaker’s collaboration with the James Beard Foundation to tackle food waste and for ideas to use oats in new and creative ways. I’m excited to experiment more with savory oats, watch this space!

NOtes from the road October 2017: a few final thoughts & thinking ahead

While October was a busy month, it was also a time of reflection for me. I had to ask myself some very hard questions about life, where I’m headed and where I want to be in the next few years – and evaluate each and every thing in my life to see if those things were still serving me to reach those goals.

To grow you must prune.

A mentor once said “to grow you must prune,” and I spent some time ruminating on this topic in October. I added some really great partnerships and fun projects for the future, but found myself without a lot of time to pursue them. So in the coming months I’m taking a step back and simplifying a few areas of my life to allow for more time to create, more time to cook, and more time to share here.

I’m super excited to share more with you all in the future and, while it’s scary to step into uncharted territory, I’m ready to tackle it head-on.


How was your month? Did you enjoy fall harvest foods? Learn anything new? Travel anywhere amazing? I’d love to hear about your month, leave me a comment below.