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What an Incredible Journey

  • Maria's Post

12/12/10 | Maria Shriver | 0 Comments

Maria Shriver 200x5
Maria Shriver

What an incredible journey this has been!  When I began as First Lady of California, I had a vision of what The Women’s Conference could be, but I had no idea what it would eventually become.  Together we have expanded into a global network and watched our community grow over the years into the nation’s premier forum for women.  Over one million of us have gathered together at our amazing live events and here online to help one another become Architects of Change in our own lives, in our communities and in our world.

Like so many of you experiencing transition and reinvention in your own lives, it’s time for me to start a whole new chapter.  As I move forward, I’ll do so as a wiser woman because of the many lessons I’ve learned over the last seven years. I know that l must continue to use my voice the way I believe it was meant to be used: to help empower women, to help families who struggle to balance responsibilities of work, children, and aging parents, and to connect people with one another. I want to make the world a more compassionate place, a place where people feel seen, valued and connected.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how much we’ve all experienced, accomplished and shared over the last years.  Join me in taking a look back.


I want to thank all of you for your commitment, wisdom and support. I hope you continue to visit this wonderful site - rich with blogs, videos, special features on topics that shape our lives, and seven years of amazing conference speakers, sessions and behind-the-scenes video & photos.                       

And there's much more to come. I invite all of you in The Women’s Conference community to stay connected as I embark on my next chapter.  Visit www.mariashriver.com and sign up for my newsletter to find out what’s next. It’s going to be yet another incredible journey!

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Remembering Elizabeth Edwards

12/7/10 | The Women's Conference | 2 Comments

elizabeth edwards
Elizabeth Edwards





We at The Women’s Conference mourn the death – and celebrate the life of Elizabeth Edwards.

Elizabeth devoted herself to helping others, working tirelessly to further important social causes such as the welfare of children, breast cancer awareness and healthcare reform. She was also a committed mother, accomplished attorney and published author. She inspired countless women with her two best-selling books, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers and Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities.

In 2007 Elizabeth spoke at The Women’s Conference about the challenges of living with breast cancer and also appeared on a panel of leading presidential candidates’ spouses. In 2009 she returned to talk about the loss of her son, bravely sharing her ordeal in the hopes that she could help other women deal with their own grief.

"I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of my dear friend, Elizabeth Edwards," said Maria Shriver. "My heart goes out to her loving family. Elizabeth was a mighty warrior, and I've long admired her courage, her compassion and her personal quest for truth. She was a public servant, a dedicated mother, a tireless advocate and a loyal friend. She showed up to speak at The Women's Conference every time I asked, and our audience was always moved by the open and honest way she would share the struggles she faced along her journey. I hope her children know their mother was an inspiration to women everywhere -- a truly great woman."

Towards the end of her life, Elizabeth posted this message on her Facebook page: "The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And yes, there are certainly times when we aren't able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It's called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful."

We are grateful to have known her.


Elizabeth Edwards at The Women's Conference in 2007
Elizabeth Edwards at The Women's Conference in 2007

Elizabeth Edwards at The Women's Conference in 2009
Elizabeth Edwards at The Women's Conference in 2009

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10 Steps to a Healthier You

  • Health and Fitness

12/2/10 | Connie Guttersen | 0 Comments

Connie Guttersen 250
Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD





A food and flavor renaissance is sweeping across America. It started on the West Coast in California, where fresh, health-inducing ingredients are married to intensely pleasurable flavors, where innovative but simple meal preparation rules, and where the joy of a leisurely meal is embraced.  Embracing the “Sonoma lifestyle,” with an emphasis on enjoying food, leads to a happier, healthier life.  Everyone loves wine country and California, and now we are bringing this to your homes.

It’s vital to think about the healthy mind and its connection to cravings, hunger, mood and the body’s biochemistry.  The idea of 12 power foods is a great way to ensure that the meals are nutrient rich. Whole grains, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, broccoli, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, beans and citrus all provide essential nutrients and flavor.  Taking advantage of these dream team combinations in meals is key in designing flavorful and appetizing menu plans that make the most of anyone’s calories and their health protective qualities.

However, many of us have a hard time sticking to a healthy diet – largely because unhealthy food tends to taste better (especially around the holidays!). But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Here are ten things you can do to begin eating healthier TODAY:

  • Eat in a relaxed setting as opposed to eating under stress or on the run, which is when you tend to overeat or eat poorly.
  • Eat without distractions because multitasking, texting, television, and the like interrupt mindfulness, causing you to eat longer and more, even when you’re not hungry.
  • Eat mindfully by paying attention to what and how much you’re eating. You’ll eat better, eat less, and enjoy it more.
  • Eat slowly so you’ll feel more satisfied on less food, so you won’t out-eat the signaling mechanism that takes twenty minutes for your brain to get the message that you’re full, and so you can enjoy your meal more.
  • Eat with others because research shows that when you share meals with family or friends, you are more likely to eat healthier, feel more nourished and connected, and lose weight.
  • Eat with pleasure instead of micromanaging your meal or worrying about its effect on your weight.
  • Eat wholesomely by choosing natural, unprocessed foods. The more a food is processed, the more nutrients and natural flavors are lost.
  • Eat seasonally because the growing seasons can inspire your menus and give you flavorful rewards.
  • Eat locally and sustainably as much as possible. Just knowing where your food comes from and how it’s produced makes you a more mindful eater.
  • Eat with wine because, unless you don’t drink alcohol at all, a glass of wine enhances your enjoyment of a healthy meal, is heart-friendly in-and-of itself, and embodies the Sonoma spirit.

Connie Guttersen, RD, PhD is an internationally bestselling author.  Her new book, The New Sonoma Diet, will be released January 2011. Learn more on www.sonomadiet.com.

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