Life · Travel

Chicago & FNCE 2017 Recap

Long overdue post. 4 months later… LOL but I was looking through my drafts and found this! I remember coming back from FNCE and being more motivated than ever to become an RD.

First of all, I worked at the Siggi’s booth with other instagmmers/bloggers who were also aspiring to be an RD. Secondly, I met more than hundreds of already RD’s, dietetic interns and even bumped into the internship director (she was my professor too) at my undergrad school! I don’t think it was an accident that I reconnected with my professor! I got to attend the dietetic internship fair & a workshop on tips for applying.

It’s kinda like a reflection now. I’m currently reminding myself of how I felt after coming back from FNCE. I’m still very determined and my mind is set on becoming an RD. I can’t see myself on any other path. I see a lot of other things I do as a way to complement myself when I become an RD. Anyways, here’s a brief recap!

FNCE was in Chicago! It was my first time there and I was SO SO excited. I love traveling so I was totally looking forward to it!


Day 1: Friday October 20, 2017

My dad dropped my off at LAX at 8am in the morning! The flight there was about 4 hours! I didn’t sleep. I just journaled and read.

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When I first got there, I had pizza from Lou Manatis! It’s one of Chicago’s best deep dish pizzas! We got a veggie pizza & I had 2 slices. I was so full that I woke up the next morning still full LOL

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Day 2: Saturday October 21, 2017 

Blackberry Market
I stayed in the area so just about 2 blocks away was Blackberry Market! It’s such a cute little cafe with delicious pastries, coffee and breakfast sandwiches! My main goal in Chicago was to get an Oat Milk Latte. I didn’t get that here but just got a classic cold brew with oat milk.

What I ordered: Cold Brew w/ Oat Milk

Here we go.. the moment I’ve been waiting for! I walk about .5 miles here and got the oat milk latte! Chicago was freezing so this was the perfect drink to warm me up!

What I Ordered: Oat Milk Latte

The Allis Chicago
After coffee at Intelligentsia, I met up with JJ and Emilie for brunch! I got the shakshuka which is basically a dish with poached eggs w/ tomatoes, onions and spices! There was also parmesan on top & a side of toasted sourdough bread.

Sawada Coffee 
Coffee again? Yes, you know it! They have the military coffee here which is basically a matcha and coffee drink. I didn’t get it because I was too full and had too much coffee by this time (it was only 1PM). I tried a sip of Emilie’s and it was so unique!

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The Bean
After brunch, we went to THE Bean! There was so many people but I managed to take a decent photo before the flood of people multiplied by 3 LOL

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Velvet Taco
I worked my first shift at the Siggi’s booth this night! After, all of us went to get tacos which was recommended by my friend May which lives in Chicago! I got the falafel taco, poke taco and chicken tacos!

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Day 3: Sunday October 22, 2017

I don’t have many pictures from this day but I remember capturing this view on the way to FNCE! This is downtown near the bean. The city is SO beautiful here. I love the city life and I’d totally love living here for a year or two for the experience.

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Dietetic Internship Fair
I attended the internship fair this day! The internship director in my undergrad actually invited me so I went to see her, stop by my school & check out other internship opportunities 🙂 I got to talk to some other schools like Cal State Long Beach, San Luis Obispo, Pepperdine, etc! I went with a group of friends who were also all applying to internships! It’s to inspiring to be with others on the same path. It’s so motivating because we all understand each others stress & we support each other in it!

Day 4: Monday October 23, 2017

Maison Marcell
GOOOOD MORNING! Wow, it was difficult waking up because Chicago is 2 hours ahead. Which means I woke up at “4 am” since it was 6 am in Chicago. I did it for the breakfast! This spot was one of my top places to visit in Chicago. Connie, JJ and I all ubered here from our air bnb. We were so early that they didn’t even open yet when we got there! They opened at 7am and we got there at 650am.

Also, it was raining so that didn’t help. I was freezing but it was totally worth it.

They gave us complimentary almond pastries & a croissant. So worth it.

I ordered avocado toast with poached eggs and sweet potatoes. The toast was a thick brioche toast topped with mashed avocado, sprouts and radish. The sweet potatoes on the side with bell peppers were so flavorful with the parsley and spices! I didn’t finish it because I was technically “still sleeping” according to LA time, haha!


After breakfast, we stopped by Intelligentsia across the street to get Oat milk lattes before heading off to work at Expo West at the Siggi’s booth!

After working at the booth, I had the opportunity to attend a seminar about “Securing a Dietetic Internship” which was super helpful on ways to make myself stand out as a applicant. I’d love to make a post about my application process if you’re all interested! It’s definitely NOT EASY & takes a lot of time/effort.

At night, a group of us went to Real Good Food Juice Co which is a vegan soft-serve dessert place! I got a matcha and chocolate almond based serve topped with fresh fruit and cacao nibs. Also, this is what happens when you get food with instagrammers/bloggers. You have to wait for them to take photos before eating 😉

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After getting the soft-service, I went to a dinner with Kodiak Cakes. I attended with Alayna and JJ! On the menu was butternut squash soup, mushroom pasta and pumpkin cheesecake. Everything was SO good. The mushroom pasta was also SO unique and I definitely want to make it myself! It was so fun hanging out with influencers and getting to know each other so much better via face-to-face contact.

Day 5: Tuesday October 24, 2017

Last day at FNCE, sadly! But it was such a great last day!

I woke up and had a pistachio donut from Stan’s Donuts for breakfast! Idk, I like taking photos of food after taking one bite LOL

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IT WAS RAINING. WE WALKED IN RAIN FOR 30 MINUTES. GOT SOAKED. WE WERE HOLDING ALL OUR LUGGAGE AND BAGS. Connie, JJ and I are troopers. Or at least I’d like to say so, haha!

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Last picture at FNCE! Thank you all for making this such a great experience 🙂 You all were so much to be with and work with! I’m looking forward to seeing all these amazing people become RDs! They’re all going to make SUCH amazing RDs and I can’t wait for the next FNCE!

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Overall, FNCE was such an eye opening experience to the field of dietetics and it made me so much more passionate about what I do. Becoming an RD is definitely not about the money (ask all RDs, lol) but it’s really about loving what you do. Even the path to become an RD is a lot of work. There’s the undergrad degree & masters (soon to be implemented in 2024) and the 1 year dietetic internship. You spend a lot of money and time on school but it’s so worth it. As health care progresses, the need for nutrition surfaces, which is WHY we need more people in the dietetic field.

Anyways, I can’t wait! I can’t wait to one day to read this post again (hopefully when I’m in my internship/become an RD) and can reflect on this journey. It’s a long journey and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for this upcoming year!

<3 Winnie

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