Oh Boy!!! What a weekend. Here I sit, a week following my return from Austin, and it’s still hard to fathom how so much awesome got packed into three short days. Needless to say, this was the first Paleo FX with the Mayfield clan apart. With two in diapers, trips like these are usually a solo affair for the Paleo Comfort Foods camp. Big props to Julie for muscling through a weekend with Scott and Adelyn while I was away catching up with all things Paleo.
I’m not sure I can do the weekend justice with a single post. However, I would like to throw out a few highlights from the weekend and share my thoughts on what was, thus far, the largest Paleo FX on record.
For starters, my housemates were quite a fun bunch. What do you get when you put Robb Wolf, David Duley, Jim Laird & Lucy Hendricks in a house with me? First and foremost, you get lots of meat from the store and get ready to cook. I managed to get a few meals prepped for grab and go breakfasts and then it was off to the races.
First day started off with me filling in on a pregnancy panel for Julie. We got some great questions from the crowd and I was thankful to have Chris Kresser on the panel so we could direct all the micronutrient questions his way. I felt like I added some salient points about having a birth plan and being willing to venture away from it. Julie and I experienced this first hand with Scott and it felt good to make recommendations coming from experience. Afterward, I got several texts from Julie of Adelyn watching daddy on the live streaming of the event. Mother and daughter both approved of my performance.
Following the panel, I managed to catch a few minutes of Hypertrophy Panel and then on to lunch. The afternoon got really busy as there were several presentations I wanted to see.
The State of the Union panel was a must for me. Robb, Mark, Diana, Dallas & Chris giving their thoughts and opinions on where things are headed. No stone was left unturned and I was happy to see that the group’s consensus seemed to point toward the sustainability issue and getting the world to a better place for generations to come.
The remainder of the day for me was the talk by Dr. Emily Deans on Microbiome and Mental Health followed by Mark Sisson’s discussion on tweaking things for more awesomeness in your life. Both wonderful talks and take away. The remainder of day 1 you could find me on the vendor floor checking out all the new additions to our community. There were a number of new vendors pimping everything from dark chocolate to kombucha. I may or may not have grabbed a few samples.
Later that evening I attended the presenters dinner and had the chance to catch up with a few dear friends. It was great to sit down and just chat with Dallas Hartwig. He and Melissa are on full go right now with their hugely successful new book: The Whole 30: The 30 Day Guide to Total Health and Food Freedom. It’s been some time since Dallas and I have gotten to catch up. This also gave me a chance to hang with Diana Rodgers and Michelle Tam. Diana’s book, Home Grown Paleo could arguably be the most influential book to hit the shelves in many moons and Michelle is the proud author and blogger for Nom Nom Paleo. Needless to say, it was a fantastic evening with friends.
Started the day with a killer panel on ‘Building not Burning Bridges’ within the community. There were many opinions and ideas on how to get the message out in a positive and inclusive way. I always find it helpful to get ideas on how to spread the good word without coming off as being a zealot.
Then it was off to split time between Eva Twardokens discussion on how to gauge your workout readiness and Dr. Fred Novarro’s talk on human patterns and how to turn the corner to making better decisions. On my way to lunch, I bumped into an old friend, Dave Dellavane. Dave runs The Movement Minneapolis and is a heck of a strength and conditioning coach. Funny story, Dave and I actually met at the annual hog hunt to benefit the Silent Warrior Scholarship Fund in Texas last year. We shared training stories and he gave me a few nuggets to bring home to the gym.
I served on the sustainability panel after lunch. I feel like it went well as I managed to grab some solid talking points from the ‘Queen of Sustainability’, Diana Rodgers, in the weeks leading up to FX. Bottom line on this issue for me, take the first step toward being sustainable…whatever that means for you. There were tons of great points on the panel about getting involved politically and going off the grid. I really like the word resilient. For me, that adds a layer to the idea of sustainability. Not only must we do things to promote a healthy planet, society and community…but those things have to be able to withstand market forces and the unpredictability of our world.
Next was the Willpower panel. This was a fantastic view into the struggle and ultimate success of any plan. There were some great differing opinions from Kirk Parsley & Dave Asprey on ‘the struggle’. I was also fortunate enough to spend a few minutes meeting Kate Galliett following the panel. Two important side notes here:
- Kirk Parsley and Robb Wolf have developed a new supplement to enhance sleep. It’s called The Sleep Cocktail. I tested a few samples while on the trip and must say that I’m really impressed with how well it gets me to bed.
- Kate Galliett’s The Unbreakable Body program has been amazing for me these last few months. I’ve seen great gains in mobility and strength. In fact, I’m using quite a few of her protocols on some of my clients. I highly recommend checking it out. You can also find Kate on her Fit for Real Life site.
Next up was Robb Wolf’s presentation on evolutionary biology. This was a fascinating point of view on why folk are overweight and crave junk food. Spoiler, we’re wired up that way. Robb’s ultimate message was that if your obese, then your body has more or less been doing exactly what it’s wired to do in today’s world of readily available hyper-palitable junk food.
Following Robb’s talk, I managed to steal away Jim Laird and Lucy Hendricks to do a little work with me on my squat. As a coach, it’s always harder for me to get eyes on my movement (especially since I’m usually banging out reps when nobody else is at the gym). Jim put his paws on my for a few minutes and we made some revolutionary progress on my squat. Looking like it’s front squats for me for the foreseeable future…thanks you two! Finally, I had a book signing session and had the chance to promote both our books. Richard Bradford stopped in to say hello. Richard is awesome has
Following my book signing, it was off to the house to freshen up and meet my parents out for dinner. They happen to be in Austin and it was fantastic to spend an evening with them, Jim Laird, David Duley and Diana Rodgers.
The morning kicked off with my cooking demo. It was a rather proud moment for me to have my parents in the crowd. This was the first time they had seen me on this type of stage. Following the demo, I got some good pointers from dad. He’s had countless hours on camera through work and it was awesome to have his feedback.
Following the demo, I managed to catch the tail end of Nora Gedgaudas‘ talk on optimizing your brain through food. It was a fantastic talk on the brain function and the relationship between gut and brain health. I also managed to run into Bonnie Swencionis. Bonnie has some big projects brewing and had reached out to Julie and me several months back. It was fantastic to meet her in person and I’m looking forward to what she has cooking for the Paleo scene.
It was off to lunch with the parents and several friends. Turns out there was a killer barbecue place right across the street- Terry Blacks Barbecue. After lunch, I managed to grab about 30 minutes with Kate Galliett to get some pointers on my movement and handstands. It turns out, our cookbook was the first one she bought and she’s a really big fan of our work.
Then it was off to listen in on Melissa Joulwan and Steph Gaudreau’s talk on 20 ways to make Paleo simple. Mel’s Well Fed books are top notch and Steph’s Stupid Easy Paleo book is fantastic. I enjoyed their take on making things simple and not getting bogged down in the details.
Following that, I grabbed about 30 minutes of Dr. Michael Eades discussion on the pathology of the low carb origins of the Paleo diet. I can summarize this talk with his quote: “We didn’t evolve to eat meat. We evolved because we ate meat.” Powerful stuff. Wrapped up the day by watching two of my favorite cooks on the demo stage. Diana and Michelle were a knockout punch of humor, fun and tastiness as this concluded my time at Paleo FX 2015. I managed to say a few heartfelt goodbyes as I shuttled off to the airport to catch my flight home.