Healthy Travel Recap: Nashville | Katie Proctor

Last Saturday, I headed to Nashville for the annual Food & Nutrition Conference and Expo (aka FNCE aka the dietitian’s conference). I attended Vanderbilt for my dietetic internship, and it felt so right being back in the city. Over the years, I have realized that people and places come and go in our lives and – whether for better or for worse – shape us. I had the pleasure of catching up with so many mentors, former colleagues and classmates who all played a part in the path my career has taken. In just five short years as a dietitian, I’ve taken so many twists and turns and I felt like it all came full circle.

Just like I have grown up, so has Nashville! In some ways, I hardly recognized the city. It’s trendier than ever, and I took full advantage by seeking out as many healthy hotspots as I could find. *Note: I did not follow a gluten-free, dairy-free diet on this trip as I had additional testing scheduled that required me to continue consuming any foods that may be upsetting my digestion. 


Completed T25 Cardio and Lower Focus before heading to the airport – always gotta start off strong when heading to such a foodie city! Once in Nashville, my coworker and I’s first stop was, of course, lunch. I have had some bad experiences at raw, vegan places but I wanted to try Avo, if for nothing else but a photo in front of the avocado wall. I mean, c’mon. But both of our meals – kimchi spring rolls and “ceviche” lettuce wraps – as well as the raw peanut butter cup we shared were spot on.


Dinner at SILO in Germantown {get the cauliflower salad and the shrimp + grits}, followed by a night out at the country bars. Unlike my trip to Baltimore a few weeks ago, this was really the only night I drank!


Our Uber dropped us off at the uber-popular Biscuit Love 5 minutes ’til 7am so we could be first in line. And, we were! This brunch spot comes heavily recommended by Bon Appetit, and it did not disappoint. I got the breakfast plate (biscuit w/ jam, bacon, eggs and grits – which were meh), but the biscuits were literally TO DIE FOR, as was the hot chicken I sampled.

I didn’t get in a morning workout because we stayed out late the night before and had an early breakfast, but after the show wrapped for the day I did go on a quick jog around Centennial Park, one of my training grounds for my first ever half marathon! I should probably add that I ALSO brought my travel blender to the show, and had my Shakeology for lunch.

centennial park

Afterwards, we got ready for dinner at Rolf & Daughters (squid ink pasta, yes please) and the Kodaline concert for “Nashville Sunday Night” at 3rd and Lindsley. So local of us.


6am came early for Barry’s Bootcamp! I took this class a few years ago in NYC, and was so excited to try it again in Nashville. If you’re familiar with Orange Theory, this is the original concept of that. I will say that it  makes me a little nervous to run THAT fast on a treadmill, so I modified a bit. My favorite part is always the floor exercises – Arms & Abs on this particular day.

Then we went on a wild goose chase for butterscotch almond milk lattes and warm pastries {a sweet corn muffin with pepper jelly and honey lavender scone to be exact} at Steadfast Coffee before another full day at the show.


I spent the evening reception hopping before meeting a friend for sushi on the rooftop patio of Virago. Headed to bed early to rest up for the last day.


Started the day with another 6am sweat sesh at Hot Yoga Plus. To be honest, this studio was just ok. Then I grabbed a quick veggie omelette before going to a session on FODMAP’s and finishing out the show. I tried to make it to one session every day, and the others I attended were on podcasting and paleo for athletes {which, let me tell you, was extremely one-sided}.

Our last meal was one of my favorites – Mas Tacos in East Nashville, which was a neighborhood I never even visited when I lived there. The pork taco was life-changing,  but the elote {corn} I would probably not order again.

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Finally, we wrapped up our trip with a little shopping in 12 South – imogene + willie, Franklin Juice Co., and White’s Mercantile {where I picked up this awesome beer kitchen towel, the other one came from Avo}.

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What did I miss in Nashville that I absolutely MUST try next time I go back?