I recently returned from simply the most amazing weekend in Austin TX attending the PaleoFX Symposium. Many bloggers in the Paleo/Primal community have already beat me to the punch of summarizing the awesomeness so to make this short, sweet, (OK I’m not really that sweet) and to the point I came up with a list of the top 3 things you missed.
Top #3 reasons you should be punching yourself in the face for not attending PaleoFX this year…………..
1) Direct Access to Speakers- Just unbelievable!! Over the course of this weekend, not including the generous question and answer time after each panel/speaker’s presentation AND the time the speakers took to answer questions at the side of the stage before the next panel, you also had the chance to run into them at the bathroom, out to eat, and even walking down the street. I personally (just a plain old Mom/whole foods consumer/Paleo blog and book admirer) was able to enjoy dinner and conversation, I mean REAL, 1-on-1 conversation with the following experts: George Bryant the Civilized Caveman, Juli from PaleOMG, Darryl Edwards the Fitness Explorer, Dr. Cate Shanahan author of Deep Nutrition, Nora Gedgaudas author of Primal Body, Primal Mind, Roger and Marissa (amazing couple) with Relentless Fitness, plus Michelle and Keith Norris who are the ones who made all this PaleoFX magic happen. Heck, even Robb Wolf sat down for a chat while we were waiting for our flights at the airport, yes, THAT Robb Wolf. Please take the time to check the list of all the speakers at PaleoFX this year, bask in the exquisiteness of it all and then imagine getting to hear each one of these folks speak for 3 days. Yeah, nothing short of mind-blowing.
2) The Amazing Paleo Community- When I flew in from out of state, I showed up not knowing a soul. I was worried that while PaleoFX was going to be extremely informative it was going to make for a long, lonely weekend. I expected to be one of the only chubby, homely girls surrounded by gorgeous, healthy, ripped, fitness models and men with the bodies of Greek gods. I had this misguided, preconceived notion that really struck an insecurity cord within me and if I didn’t invest so much into the trip with time off of work and costs I just very well could’ve backed out of the whole thing. Man was I ever wrong! My heart breaks for those who held back from coming because they felt the same way. I. found. my. tribe. OUR TRIBE!! People who loved themselves so much they were willing to swim upstream against the S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) current and treat themselves with healing, REAL food, a slower pace of life, functional fitness and the thirst to seek further knowledge. I found people who truly wanted to heal themselves from years on the S.A.D., harmful prescription medications, and the time spent carrying around of lots of heavy baggage (fat, addiction, unhealthy emotions and otherwise). Folks there were desiring more information on how to help themselves and family members with health issues like MS, Autism, ADHD/ADD, and a host of Autoimmune Disorders. They wanted to know how to preserve current resources and the best way to encourage more slow food movements, raise up local farmers and find better quality of products.
3) The Food- The food, of course, the food. OH GOD, the food!!! Food is the foundation of this whole lifestyle movement and personally is my love language. First off, the symposium is held in Austin, TX, the unofficial (maybe official now) “Paleo Capitol of the World”. You could actually go to a restaurant, a real restaurant, which is fully aware of what Gluten Free/Primal/Paleo may actually be. Not just one special restaurant, MANY restaurants. Popular ones from this particular weekend were the Wholly Cow Burger, The Original Whole Foods, Salt Lick, Green Pastures, 24 Diner, Cherry on Top and Lick Ice Creams. Lick is a small, local place that serves homemade ice cream in a variety of unique and delicious flavors made from fresh milk provided by a small local family farm. Next on the OMG food list were the vendors at the symposium. There were bison farmers, local American olive oil farmers (Texas Olive Ranch), CSAs, a gluten free bakery, kombucha and kvass booths, primal fudge folks (its called LoveBean fudge-you must try-YUMMMM), a homemade seasonings booth (Paleo Powder), Weston Price Foundation, Organic Ghee and Ghee/ Coconut Oil blend, Kotinos Olive Oil, SeaSnax and so many more. Then the cooking demonstrations from some of the popular bloggers such as NomNomPaleo, Civilized Caveman, PaleOMG, Paleo Parents and Diane Sanfilippo. It was Real Food heaven, pure heaven.
I wish I could have spent more time visiting the fitness side of PaleoFX this year, the guest speakers were so encouraging and helpful, but alas, my stomach took control and I devoured the cooking demos and presentations. This bothered me because there were so many great topics and I could not be in 3 places at one time. But the brilliant minds at PaleoFX came up with the next best thing……. VIDEO/AUDIO on-demand!!! Yes, you too can watch (or hear) the same lectures, speakers, and panel talks I did. I can’t wait to catch up on the ones I missed and I am counting down the days till PaleoFX 2014.