BlogHer18 Health Conference

Is it possible to achieve an MBA and Ph.D in 12 hours? Since I’m pretty sure that just happened to me.

Within the last few days I’ve gained so much knowledge and wisdom, that I’m ready to start a #CollegeRefund movement. Ok, maybe not. One thing that I can tell you, is that I had chills. No, not because the weather was a whooping 18 degrees. I had the Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey hitting the 5 octave range chills. This event was that epic!!

I’ve been enlightened.


Held at Tribeca360/Tribecarooftop the #BlogHer18 Health Conference was filled with keynote speakers comprised of celebrities, bloggers/vloggers, experts and more. Along the perimeter, sponsors set up stations providing attendees with swag bags, questionnaires and information about their products.

The truly pinnacle moment at BlogHer was that no topics was off limit! The event covered skin conditions, endometriosis, suicide, weight-loss, drugs, sex, miscarriages, feminism, movements, periods, money, entrepreneurship, mental health, bullying, acting, relationships, vaginas, OB/GYN, doctors, rape, sexual harassment, diseases, parenthood, wellness, being silenced, blogging/vlogging, pitching startups, social media, self evaluation, mediation, quitting your job and so much more!

I HIGHLY recommend attending this conference in the future, if you’ve never been to one.

To kick things off, the event opened with the stunning and energetic President of SheKnows Media Samantha Skey who hosted the event. After opening remarks, a clip from the #WomensMarch played across the screen.

What I learned from the short clip –

  • The organizers didn’t want to seem like privileged White women
  • They emphasized the inclusiveness for all
  • Reached out to multiple races/ethnicities to represent their community
  • Linda Sarsour commented on FaceBook, about not feeling included as a Muslim woman
  • Linda accepted a National Co-Chair position when asked to be involved to represent the Muslim community

Learn From Her Fireside Chat: Latham Thomas interviews Julianne Hough

The More You Give, The More You Live ~ Julianna Hough

  • Had symptoms of endometriosis age the age of 15/16
  • What she initially thought was bad cramps, turned out to be this very habilitating condition.
  • At the age of 20, during her stint on Dancing With the Stars she happened to have a cyst burst, which landed her in the ER
  • Found out her Mother and two of her sisters have it as well
  • Huge women’s health advocate
  • Shares her story on SpeakEndo

Learn From Her Social For Good: Eva Amurri, Kendall Rayburn, Phoebe Lapine and moderated by Reshma Gopaldas

We had an incident in the family where my second child – so this was after my miscarriage, my ‘rainbow baby’ is what we call babies after pregnancy loss. Was 5 weeks old, and I had gone back to work at 11 days postpartum. Which is the downside of owner your own business, I guess. We had this night nurse, who at 5 weeks old, the night nurse fell asleep holding the him and he fell to the ground – and got skull fracture and subdural hematoma. We were in the hospital for 3 days not knowing if he’d have to go into a coma. ~ Eva Amurri

Eva Amurri – After deciding acting wasn’t for her, she turned to blogging. She talks about her miscarriage, severe ppd and seeking the help needed.

It got so bad, that I couldn’t go to classes anymore. I was really struggling to even try and get my education. So I ended up dropping out and going to the University of Phoenix online.” So I can just – you know, the comfort of my home. And I got diagnosed at 22 with endometriosis, and they told my husband and I ‘You know, if you guys want to have kids, you gotta get on it. This is really bad.’ And so we had about a year and a half, trying to have my first son Wyatt. They said if you want to have another, now’s the time. Got pregnant with my second son Levi. ~ Kendall Rayburn

Kendall Rayburn – Is from Sault Ste Marie, MI (UP) and has one son who’s autistic, and another son born with a clubbed foot. She has endometriosis herself. Kendall talked about the multiple hospital visits and how its a blessing her husband is a stay and home dad as he’s about to drive her back and forth to multiple appointments and surgeries.

I channelled a really strong sense of denial. Eventually I ended up in a sad state of normal. My skin was a mess. I had to stop exercising and running because of horrible cramps I’d get. I basically had to lie in fetal position everytime after I ate…

Phoebe Lapine – Author of The Wellness Project, was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis at the age of 22.

Spotlight Talk: Award Winning Director Amy Zierings documentary The Hunting Ground, highlights women’s sexual abuse/assault on College campuses

Amy Ziering gave a very powerful speech about spending time with victims. This brought her to tears and ended with a standing ovation.

Live Streaming & Visual Storytelling: Jeniffer Valdez, Jordan Younger, Oneika Raymond, Nastia Liukin and moderated by Deb Kadetsky

Media Representation and Mental Health: Moderator Debbie Plotnick, Suzy Favor Hamilton, Yashi Brown and Lindsey Holmes  

Because Ash, during her teenage years was unrelentingly suicidal…I knew as a mom, that it was my job to keep her alive and support her. Until she was able to own her own health. ~ Debbie Plotnick (Vice President of Mental Health America) speaks about her own daughter Ashley, who was depressed growing up

I was initially diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. The doctors realized bipolar, severe bipolar, bipolar 1 it doesn’t matter I really still don’t – categorize it however but the reality is that I was able to get to a place that I could talk about it. And so that’s what I do. I write poetry…  ~ Yashi Brown, Mental Health Advocate

It was about me being misdiagnosed with depression and given a drug that set me off in an extreme manic state for a year. And the manic state led me to very destructive behavior with drugs, alcohol and sex ~ Suzy Favor Hamilton

My brother committed…I was told I should kill myself, like my brother did ~ Suzy Favor Hamilton recalls nasty comment

Hollywood On Health: Kate Walsh, Sara Vilkomerson & Kaja Perina

And that’s why I felt with 13 Reasons Why – and again we didn’t know how it was going to be received, 13 Reasons Why. But I felt so proud and excited to be a part of such an incredible project that we hoped would be a social contribution and start a conversation. Not only about suicide but about sexual assault, gender issues, about racism, about everything that’s in the zeitgeist culture at large now… ~ Kate Walsh on being part of 13 Reasons Why 


Your Transformation Begins Now: Jillian Michaels

A lot of times people go through life and they just shut off. They don’t feel anything. An food is one of those numbing mechanisms. When they don’t feel how painful it is to live the way they’ve been living, theres zero motivation to change and give up what the food has been affording them psychologically… ~ Jillian Michaels answering a question about how to help someone lose weight

#LifeUnfiltered: Moderator Charreah K. Jackson, Mercedes Matz, Jordan Younger, Nitika Chopra (The Reason I was at this event!!!)

Charreah K Jackson is the ESSENCE Senior Editor | Founder and Author of The Boss Bride  | Relationship & Career Coach

Mercedes Matz who has eczema is the Dove model for the new Dove DermaSeries product collection. Which is amazing BTW.

It’s definitely been a journey. It didn’t come overnight. I tell people all the time, that I just got comfortable with myself at 22 years old. I honestly hated the way that I looked for so long. And I was able to – you know be connected with women from Dove and they really did give me like the safe space, to come out and share my story. And that was just something I was very insecure about. And me talking about it, became therapeutic for me. I think disability is awesome something that is very important cause I felt so alone for so long. And seeing women go through the same thing as me, as far as having eczema or psoriasis or whatever they have the same experiences, it really helps. So I honestly did that for all the other people that may be scared to come out” ~ Mercedes Matz 

Nitika Chopra is a beauty and lifestyle expert and a chronic illness advocate as she lives with psoriasis.

It’s always still been something I’m really conscious about. Like ok, how much do I talk about it? We were talking about this earlier, like I don’t want to only be known as my condition. That’s actually something that I really hard to make sure that I’m not just a person with psoriasis. I’m a hundred other things. ~ Nitika Chopra

Jordan Younger entered the blogging world as a vegan but transitioned out as she became orthorexia which nearly killed her.

I decided I’m just going to walk away from that vegan label. And change my blog name and change my business name and also most importantly, take care of my health. ~ Jordan Younger

Spotlight Talk: Ruthie Lindsey Activist who talks about her life changing when she was hit by and ambulance.

The Business of Influence: Chinae ALexander, Christine Bibbo-Herr, Colleen Wachob, Dawn Ferguson, Reesa Lake

Meet the Welltrepreneurs: Hannah Bronfman, Kelly LeVeque, Latham Thomas (moderator), Rens Kroes

Spotlight Talk: Farnoosh Torabi

My passion, nerdily enough is personal finance. It’s something that I guess I couldn’t help, but to arrive at a place where I’m obsessed with money. My parents are Middle Eastern, among immigrants. We talked about money all the time, for better or worse… Early on I discovered that if you have control of your finances, you have control of your life. And that is incredibly liberating. ~ Farnoosh Torabi

Fireside Chat: Camila Alves-McConaughey

So the reality is, we as consumers need to compromise. And the reality is that we have to look at ourselves in the mirror as ‘how much am I willing to compromise?’ ~ Camila on commitment to organic foods

#ThePitch, Health Edition: Jaime SchmidtKatherine Ryder, Piraye Beim, Tonya Lewis-Lee
*Watch towards the middle of the video to check out the three awesome 30 second pitches and the startup founders explain their companies/concepts. The Winner received a $50,000 media package to help their company

Wine + Gyn: Dr. Jessica Shepard, Sarah Brokaw, Elizabeth Yuko, Logan Levkoff
**This panel was hilarious and very informative

Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder : Media Icon Arianna Huffington
(Love that she has a no nonsense attitude and gets things done)

The truth of the matter is, the way the world has been designed right now, was designed by men and its not working. Its not working for women, its not working for men, its not working for polar bears. ~ Arianna Huffington

This was by far one of the best conferences I’ve ever been to!

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