PFX14 Day One – A Paleo Neophyte in Austin

I lead a fairly strict Paleo lifestyle and consider myself to be knowledgeable about the food and cooking and why I made this change. But, after one day at Paleo f(x), I am learning how much I really don’t know about Paleo.  I realize that after a year and a half, I am just a beginner.  The wealth of knowledge and quality of presenters at the conference is amazing.  Speakers are throwing around topics that are household words to them and it’s literally the first time I’m hearing this stuff.  Earthing? HRV? Adrenal Fatigue? It’s overwhelming and great at the same time.  It’s thrilling to feel the positive energy and eagerness to share from everyone we meet.  It is such a stark contrast to the lingering malaise from our long Chicago winter. There is no polar vortex in Austin! This is a great learning environment and I’m so glad we made the trip.

I’m going to list out some of the new and interesting topics that we learned about today.  Most of these will require some googling and further study, but I’m planning on expanding and blogging on these topics later.  Here we go…

Gluten and the Gut – Panel Discussion (Dr. Lane Sebring, Jordan Reasoner, Dr. Amy Myers, Dr. Daniel Kalish, Jennifer Fugo) – This one basically boiled down to how bad gluten is for us and it is better to just cut it out completely

Hacking Stress – Panel Discussion (A Jolly, Ben Greenfield, Nora Gedgaudas, Sara Eye, Evan Brand) – Lots or new and hot topics here, lots of googling needed later – Sensory Deprivation Tanks, Binaural beats, Earthing, REM Rehab, HRV – Heart Rate Variability, Herbal Adaptagen, Kava, getting magnesium through epsom salt baths, essential oils

How to Win an Argument With a Paleo CriticChris Kresser – Take the best of the hunter gather diets and combine it with our modern medicine and lifestyle to live even longer. Hunter gatherers didn’t have obesity, diabetes, auto immune, allergies or heart disease. Today, 1 in 6 or people have auto immune issues and 1 in 10 are gluten intolerant Agricultural foods are far more likely to cause issues. Only been eating for neolithic foods for 10k years instead of paleo for 2 million years. You never hear of blueberry intolerance 🙂  Always ask yourself, “How is this food nourishing me or my gut?”

The Road Ahead: Obstacles to Popularizing the Ancestral Health Movement – Hamilton Stapell – Can Paleo ever go mainstream or will it always be on the fringe?  Hamilton is a historian and had great insight on past health movements. 85% of people doing Paleo, have only been on it for three or less years. There are obstacles preventing Paleo from going mainstream 1) Cultural obstacles – Neolithic foods are woven into our culture. Hard to remove from daily lives. 2) Physiological obstacles – Neolithic foods are addictive and taste good. Cause us to eat for reasons other than hunger. The food game is fixed and manufacturers work it to keep us coming back for more. Neolithic foods are 70% of the typical American diet. 3) Social obstacles – I Deserve it, Instant gratification, I want to be happy. We should promote holistic mental and physical flourishing instead of just happy (eudemonia). Paleo out of step w main stream. 4) Other obstacles – Large vested interests like Monsanto and professional organizations like AMA have deep pockets and their own agendas

Maximizing Nutrient Density for Optimal HealthDr Terry Wahls – This was a simply amazing talk… Dr Wahls is a personal hero to Rene and has so much information to share. She showed some incredible videos of patients with primary progressive and secondary progressive MS that are walking again after following her protocol.  And she spoke a lot about nutrient dense foods and how our foods modern have been depleted of nutrients over the years. Buy her book and read it. Rene actually got to speak with Dr Wahls one-on-one. She was absolutely starstruck (Rene, not Dr Wahls).

Adrenals: Key to Restoring Optimum HealthDan Kalish – This is all new to me, but I find the adrenal gland topic fascinating. Symptoms are overweight, fatigued, depressed, gi problems, female hormone imbalances. Three body symptoms: Hormone imbalance, GI tract, detoxification – correct in the order that the problems occur. Original source was probably stress that could have come years before, so that needs to be corrected first. High cortisol leads to fat storage, inflammation, connective tissue turnover. Adrenal fatigue – causes emotional stress, dietary stress, pain and hidden inflammation. Ideal adrenal rhythm follows the circadian rhythm.  I really need to dig deeper into this topic.  The Kalish Method should be a good read on the topic.  Dan Kalish is also pretty hilarious, so it made the topic very fun to learn about.

As you can tell, this was a long day and I’m feeling overwhelmed, yet enlightened, with all of this new information. It also gives me a lot of great blog topics to delve into this year!

Coming up soon, I will be doing a full rundown and recap of our favorite vendors from the Expo.

Dr Wahls
Rene meeting Dr Wahls



7 thoughts on “PFX14 Day One – A Paleo Neophyte in Austin

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  1. Amazing!!! Thank you for sharing your takeaways – so bummed I can’t be there this year but you’ve convinced me that I must be there next year!!! Excited to read more of your recaps 🙂

    1. Hi Tabitha! Dr Wahls is such an inspiration. I feel fortunate to have met her. Interesting that you are from the UK. We are in a session right now about the healthcare system and there is a UK doctor on the panel!

      1. Darryl Edwards… Doctor, author and Paleo athlete. He got cut above his eye yesterday and needed stitches. He got first hand experience of our dis functional healthcare system.

      2. Oh dear. I have yet to come across him but will look him up. Thank you. It health system is a little like a well meaning old aunt full of good intentions but … It’s really exciting to know there is a Paleo Dr in the UK. Thank you again for your brilliant reporting.

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