Dole Summit: Health and Wellness Starts with Breakfast!

A few weeks ago Dole Foods invited 20 bloggers to a Health and Wellness Blogging Event (The Dole Summit) at the Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village and California Health and Longevity Institute, in the foothills of Santa Monica. It was a busy time for me to attend, with high school soccer play-offs and Thanksgiving right around the corner, but I’m glad I said yes to this event.

One of the things that inspired me to learn more about Dole Foods was their approach to revolutionizing healthy living by promoting nutrition, fitness and life-balance. When I read what was on the agenda, I did not want to miss out.

What did this mean for me? I was invited to stay 2 nights at this amazing place, learn more about Dole (which is far more than pineapple and bananas), meet some amazing bloggers (list at the bottom of post) and all of the generous Dole staff, tour the Dole Foods headquarters and test kitchens, and use the incredible facilities at the CHLI (along with a personal spa/massage/wellness time). I must say I felt rejuvenated and inspired.

I’m looking forward to sharing future posts on salads and ways to get our 7 servings of vegetables/3 servings of fruit in per day, but today I want to share 2 easy breakfast recipes. After Nutritionist Pauline Lambert gave a lecture on “Breakfast for Performance,” and then cooked a healthy breakfast for us, I realized that a way to get several servings of fruit and vegetables in my diet is to START WITH BREAKFAST!

Research shows that breakfast eaters burn an extra 200-300 calories per day. Those who skip breakfast are 4.5 times more likely to be obese than those who eat a morning meal.

I always eat breakfast after working out with my early-morning exercise partners (thank goodness for faithful partners and the accountability!)

Brainiacs eat breakfast! Research has found superior cognitive performance and memory recall among breakfast eaters compared with those who skipped the morning meal.

Vegetable Scramble
1 tsp. olive oil
2 DOLE green onions, chopped
2 cups DOLE baby spinach
1 small tomato
4-5 DOLE mushrooms
1 whole egg or 3 egg whites
Sea salt and black pepper
1/4 cup low fat shredded cheese

Heat olive oil over medium heat in saute’ pan. Add onions, spinach, tomato and mushrooms, sauteing 2-3 minutes until spinach is just wilted. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and add salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture into the pan over the spinach mixture, scrambling together until lightly golden. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Experts theorize that breakfast may keep people from overeating later on or may even help balance hormones to control appetite.

Here’s another amazing recipe that I want to make soon for my kids. Also delicious and a good way to use up those bananas.

Banana-Pineapple Oatmeal Breakfast Cake
2 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup quick cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 cup canned, DOLE Crushed Pineapple, undrained
2 medium DOLE bananas, diced
2 TBSP powdered sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. In large bowl, mix eggs, sugar, vanilla, buttermilk and oil. Mix all dry ingredients together and then fold in wet mixture. Stir until just moistened; do not over mix. Gently fold in pineapple with juice and diced bananas. Pour into baking dish and baked for 25 minutes. Cool until just warm, cut into squares, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Delicious! This would be a complimentary dish to make if you are serving a brunch over the holidays.

By the end of the summit, I had a whole new approach and view about the Dole brand and their healthy values. My eyes were opened, especially as we listened to a panel of experts, as we were made aware that Dole is committed to helping advance the health and wellness of the world. And what better way to improve people’s lives than by feeding them fruits and veggies.

So thank you to Dole Foods, CHLI, and also to these amazing ladies, whom I got to meet and hang out with. It was a fantastic time!

Shaina Olmanson (Food for My Family)
Jennifer Leal (Savoring the Thyme)
Brooke McClay (Cheeky Kitchen)
Kathy Patalsky (The Lunchbox Bunch)
Anne-Marie Nichols (This Mama Cooks!)
Katie Goodman (Good Life Eats)
Jenny Flake (Picky Palate)
Anne Petraeus (Fannetastic Food)
Maria Lichty (Two Peas and Their Pod)
Marla Meridith (Family Fresh Cooking)
Gena Hamshaw (Choosing Raw)
Shanna Coady (My Favorite Everything)
Amanda Bottoms (Kevin and Amanda)
Lorin Falcon (A Cowboy’s Wife)
Amanda Acuna (Mommy Mandy)
Susan Whetzel (She’s Becoming DoughMessTic)
Rachael Hutchings (La Fuji Mama)
Carrie Vitt (Deliciously Organic)

Here are a few ways you can keep up on new product information and health & wellness tips:
@dolenutrition – serves as Dole’s corporate handle, incorporating Dole Food Company, Inc., Dole Fresh Fruit and the Dole Nutrition Institute.
@DOLESaladGuide – serves as Dole Fresh Vegetables’ handle.

There are three DOLE Facebook accounts: (Dole Food Company, Inc.) (Dole Fresh Vegetables – primarily salads) (Dole Fresh Fruit – primarily bananas)

Are you a disciplined breakfast eater? What’s your favorite breakfast?

(Dole Foods paid my travel and all expenses for my time in Los Angeles; however, the opinions expressed in this post about their products are entirely my own. And a special thanks to Jenny from Picky Palate, for the use of the pix.)

15 comments on “Dole Summit: Health and Wellness Starts with Breakfast!”

  1. It looks like you had a great time and learned a lot. Great tips, recipes and I second the friends and accountability. I need to work on that part :)

  2. That cake sounds wonderful..notice how I always go to the sweet stuff first : )
    Sound like you had a great time!!

  3. Alison,

    Thanks for your comment. Dole has been conducting business around the world for nearly a century and has invested heavily in creating jobs and sustainable communities, offering increased benefits for those that live there.

    While there is no reliable scientific evidence of injury from the field application of the pesticide known as DBCP, Dole discontinued its use nearly thirty years ago. In fact, a number of court cases related to DBCP were recently dismissed due to fraud.

    The company is dedicated to constant improvements in the health and safety of our 75,000 employees worldwide and sets high standards for the Company that go beyond what the law requires. Our people and the earth we farm are our two greatest assets. And their safety and continued well-being our highest priorities. You can read more about our sustainability efforts on our website at

    Marty Ordman
    Vice President, Marketing & Communications
    Dole Food Company, Inc

  4. Oh, nice one. I’m going to use the breakfast bars recipe, really like it, just the thing having some yummy pineapple & banana to munch on at breakfast. Thanks for sharing :)

  5. What a great and yummy post. Maybe that’s my problem…too often I skip breakfast. The egg scramble sound delish!!

  6. I’m so glad you got to go, Sandy! Sounds like a wonderful time. But now I’m singing that old jingle, “A Dole banana is a great banana and it’s great because it’s Dole. . . because it’s Dole!” Remember?

  7. The breakfast cake really grabs my attention. One of my daughter’s is allergic to tree nuts and so many breakfast breads call for them. I like that this recipe uses oats. I bet they add a little texture. Thanks for the recipes! I appreciate your diligence to your blog.

  8. Great recap post!! I am so glad we were able to spend time with you again. We miss you already!

  9. Love it Sandy! That really was a fun day with Dole :) Love your re-cap, hope to see you again soon! xoxo

  10. Hi Sandy! I am a huge fan of your blog, but sadly, not of Dole Foods. From taking land (via international governments) overseas from farming families to using pesticides that left many Nicaraguan workers sterile (mentioned in the “Bananas” documentary), Dole Foods is anything but promoting health and well-being. Since college, when I learned about their business practices, I’ve avoided purchasing their products. Hopefully, others can become educated about them as well!

  11. odd … but i feel best if i have a large breakfast or no breakfast … a light breakfast just makes me hungrier. just got a weird circadian rhythm, i guess. cheers!

  12. Sandy GREAT re-cap post! It was so wonderful to meet you at this event & I hope to connect again really soon :) xo

  13. Great recap Sandy! And I loved meeting you.

  14. I love breakfast- love it! So do my kids, so I cook a hot one most every day of the week. And I do find that is an easy way to get more fruits into our diet! Love {fresh} pineapple- LOVE. I’ve even gotten them on the black market here. (although I did not know it at the time- last time we were here} Thanks for the recipes- can’t wait to try them!

  15. Thanks for sharing the recipes. I think my daughter would love the breakfast bars. While we have always been big fans of fruits and veggies in our house, we are having to be more concious of the foods we bring in as Kate is having problems with migraines. We’ve learned a lot in recent months about what’s in some foods! She is also an athlete, so a good breakfast is essential.

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