Saturday, October 13, 2018


Autumn is here and that means Annual Conferences for many large educational organizations. Below you will find my top three conference survival tips and a FREE recipe for Conference Survival Bars.

I was recently in San Diego talking about Story Frames. Later this month I will be presenting at the New Mexico State Speech and Hearing Conference in Albuquerque and after that I'll be at IDA. If you happen to be at the International Dyslexia Association Language and Literacy Conference in Connecticut later this month, check out my Friday (F3) session on "The Science and Art of Stories."

The following tips will help you get the most out of your conference:

1. Buy the Conference Recording - I know, you already spent $500 on the conference fee. Why would you spend another hundred bucks or more on the recordings. The obvious reason is because you can't  attend all of the sessions, but there is another important reason. If  your brain is like mine, you can't possibly absorb all of the information of the few sessions you do attend. By purchasing the audio version you can listen to them in manageable pieces during your drive to work and retain  much more of the information.

2. Plan for Downtime and See the City - This relates to item #1. Your brain can only absorb so much information at any given time and it needs rest. Don't get me wrong, I'm NOT advocating that you get your employer to pay your conference expenses, ditch all the sessions to go to the beach, then return just in time to collect your CEUs. That would be unethical. But consider fitting in a late afternoon trolley tour of the city or dinner on the waterfront. Don't go all the way to New Orleans and then not see the French Quarter.

3. Pack Your Own Breakfast - Don't be late to that important Keynote Address because you are stuck in the Starbuck's line with 300 other conference attendees. Make your own gluten free/ high protein breakfast bars at home and bring them with you. See recipe below:

These bars are miraculous because they freeze well, travel well, and fill you up. Kids even love them. They are dairy free, low carbohydrate, high protein, and gluten free/paleo- unless you use oats/peanut butter. They are NOT low calorie. They contain lots of good fat that keeps you going for hours.

2 cups almond flour
1/2 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest (1 tsp. dried orange or lemon peel may be used)
I cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup flax seed or flaxseed meal
I cup dried fruit- chopped (or use small varieties like currants or raisins- try to use varieties low in sugar)
1 cup unsalted nuts- chopped
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey (may use more or less honey to taste) drizzle on top or mix in

topping (optional) Dark chocolate squares and peanut butter

Stir together flour and soda with a whisk to combine.
Stir in shredded coconut, flax seed, nuts, and fruit.
Whisk eggs. Melt coconut oil and add to eggs. Add honey. Combine wet and dry ingredient, combining thoroughly
The mixture should be moist.
press into greased 9x13 inch pan.
Drizzle honey on top and spread with a knife to coat the top evenly
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 min.
Cool and slice into 2x2 inch bars.
Keep in an airtight container or freeze.
Yield- 12 bars

NOTE: Before I bake these I like to spread peanut butter  on top. About halfway through the baking cycle I add squares of dark chocolate (70% cacao or higher. Sprouts has dark chocolate in bins). When this is melted I use the back of a spoon to spread it across the bars.

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