It is hard to find the words to describe our experience these past few days with the 2013 Ancestral Health Symposium. We heard some amazing speakers and got to rekindle some fires with a number of folks that we just don’t get to see in person that often. Having the wee one in tow, we didn’t get to hear as many presentations as in years past, which is why we always look forward to the fantastic videos that the AHS folks make available. That said, I am extremely excited about a few things that came out of this year’s event:
First, I got to catch up with Hamilton Stapell. Hamilton is the Associate Professor of History at SUNY New Paltz and a pretty amazing human being. We met at Paleo F(x) in 2013 and had a chance to spark up a conversation about some of the consulting I’m doing for military families and the role the kitchen plays in building a stronger, happier and more resilient family. I’m not much of an academic, but I’m extremely interested in developing a presentation regarding the relationship between food preparation and the brain. Hamilton has helped point me down a few roads and it is always good when I get to milk him for a few new directions to take my research.
Secondly, I got to help plan the presenter’s dinner for this year’s event (I’ll let any of the guest chime in on what they thought). This opportunity gave me the chance to work with some amazing folks on staff at the Ancestral Health Symposium in addition to coordinating logistics with our favorite chef, Chris Hall of Local Three. Also, a HUGE shout out to US Wellness Meats for donating our proteins for the menu. They stepped up in a big way and allowed us to keep things in budget and enjoy some amazing meat. Oh, and the dinner was hosted by Boyd and Daphne Eaton in their gorgeous home here in Atlanta. The Eatons are some of the nicest folks you’ll ever meet. They came to the launch party of our first cookbook and we’re hoping to get them out for the launch of Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Foods coming on September 24th. That’s right…book #2. You’ll be hearing more about that very soon!
Scott’s sleeping and continuing to manage the gym throughout the event prohibited me from attending all the sessions I would have liked. However, a few highlights from my perspective:
1) Nassim Taleb’s (author of Antifragile) presentation titled “How to Love Randomness: Antifragile Responses in the Human Body and their Consequences” was simply amazing. His discussion of human fragility and the concept of how we respond to randomness/variability was most interesting. He was very approachable all weekend and it was incredible having access to such a resource.
2) Gad Saad’s presentation “The Consuming Instinct: What Juicy Burgers, Ferraris, Pornography and Gift Giving Reveal About Human Nature” which tackled our consuming instinct and the drivers behind some of our most primitive decisions was super cool. I’ll summarize by saying that a Porsche appears to be good for testosterone levels…look out.
3) Diana Rodgers gave a fantastic presentation on sustainable farming and liberating the industrial food system. She and Robb are up to some pretty amazing stuff, including some work in Africa with the Savory Institute and carbon sequestration. We’re also excited to join their efforts to get our gym members interacting with local farms here for source food.
4) Scott Hall and Robb Wolf’s presentation on their results from the City Zero project in Reno was fascinating. If you’ve not been following their work in recent months, do some catching up. They are saving some serious dollars (and lives) through a nutritional intervention with first responders.
5) Dan Pardi sat with us at the presenter’s dinner and I was SO looking forward to his discussion on modern pressures to poor sleep. It wasn’t in the cards for Saturday…but I heard great feedback from lots of folks and can’t wait to see it when they post all the talks.
Finally, the Mayfield clan has agreed to start back up with our “Meals for the Week” blog posting. Only, we’re going to be doing this on Robb Wolf’s site. Robb’s been asking us to contribute to his site for a few years now. The gym move, Scott’s arrival and Q&EPCF kinda put a wrench in our initial plans. We are thrilled to start cranking up a bi-weekly post to give you all some super fun ideas on how to meal plan for the week and make this paleo/primal thing a bit more accessible to everyone. Looking like the posts will fly on Fridays to give you all some great ideas going into the weekend.
We always love getting together with Robb, Nicki and Zoe, and as we were hosting them during AHS, we had a recipe to make that had a bit of sentimental value for all parties involved. While on vacation earlier this year, Nicki and I caught some amazing fish that we all devoured, but we never got around to making the fish stew we had hoped to create. Never one to let things go to waste, I packed the gigantic fish head and carcass on ice, and brought it home to our freezer. I made stock a few weeks back to get ready for the Wolfoletti arrival and relive some fishing memories. Plus we know that Robb loves all things soup and stew, so this was a perfect “welcome to Atlanta” meal.
- 3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cups yuca, peeled, fibrous core removed, chopped (yes, we mean YUCA, not YUCCA. Google the difference)
- 1 fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 5 cups fish stock
- 1 - 28 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1 pound mahi mahi filet, cut into cubes
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 pound baby scallops
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- Heat ghee in large dutch oven over medium heat.
- Over medium heat sauté onion, yuca, fennel for 10-15 minutes or until onions are translucent.
- Deglaze pan and add tomatoes, stock, garlic and saffron.
- Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until yuca is fork tender.
- Add lime juice, zest, fish, scallops and shrimp. Bring to boil and then lower to simmer, cover and let cook for another 5 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let pot sit covered for 5-10 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
For those of you who attended AHS13, what were your favorite presentations?