Paleo f(x)™ 2017 once again ROCKED!

 

Our family is still, for the most part, in “divide & conquer” mode. Now that we’ve added 150 broilers, 40 laying hens, 11 pigs and 12 cows to the family with our farming adventures through Mayfield Pastures, there was just no way to leave those animals behind for that long without someone managing the menagerie (and the kiddos). When it came to the awesome Paleo (f)x in Austin, Texas–an amazing event showcasing the latest and greatest science, practical and applied methods for being super healthy and awesome–we decided that I’d be the one to represent the Comfort Foods team this year. I’m also back in the insurance arena and have been working closely with food/nutrition centric companies to save them money and headaches with their insurance needs. Seemed like a great opportunity to help some companies I admire a great deal.

So HUGE thanks to my amazing wife for making it possible for me to attend this year!

Julie attended last year so it’s been 24 months since I’ve seen the scope and magnitude of growth that Paleo f(x) has experienced. It was amazing to see the expo floor and all of the companies that are growing and catering to this healthy lifestyle. Here are just a few of my highlights from this year:

My Favorite Vendors & Companies

Caveman Coffee Company get’s my highest endorsement for their amazing product and also how they conducted business over the weekend. Lacie, Tait, Keith and crew sold me a lidded coffee mug for $20 on Friday morning and then happily refilled it with delicious cold brew, hot coffee and copious amounts of MCT Oil and/or cacao butter all weekend long. It has been incredible to watch Caveman continue to grow and crush it. They had their new hibiscus tea on hand also and it was delightful. Thank you Caveman Coffee for helping keep me on my game all weekend long. Pirates for life!

Dry Farm Wines was a big sponsor of the speaker dinner and continue to source incredible wines from all over the world that are of the highest quality. They will ship you amazing wines you can trust to be totally organic and free of much of the junk that leaves you feeling less than awesome the next morning. It was wonderful to hang with David and Todd over the weekend.

Sauna Space saved me on Saturday morning. I met Brian Richards, the founder, on Friday afternoon after about 45 minutes of BJJ with Robb Wolf. Needless to say, my Saturday morning was a bit sluggish. Robb put me through my paces and I was SORE. After a 10 minute session in this amazingly beautiful, simple and quite portable sauna, I was back to 100%. They are based in Columbia, Missouri and ship their product all over the world. Brian and his team were kind enough to set up a Sauna Space tent for the Caveman Coffee folks too. Their Pirate Life podcast was conducted in this amazing dojo of healing. It made me wish I was being interviewed for Pirate Life all weekend.

 

4505 Meats was there with their chicharrones and copies of their books. Whole Beast Butchery by Chef Ryan Farr is one of my favorite books. Getting to finally meet Ryan and hang with the 4505 crew for the weekend was amazing. Their pork skins were AMAZING and provided me with the occasional snack throughout the conference. Now I get to dive into their newest book, Sausage Making. This will come in real handy when our pigs finish this Fall.

The Sleep Remedy booth was in full effect with Dr. Kirk Parsley and his team. I’ve been using Sleep Remedy now for a few years and it is the glue that holds me together amidst managing my insurance practice, the farm and having enough energy to chase around our two adorable kiddos. Kirk teamed up with Krisstina Wise this year to host her podcast recordings out of his booth. Krisstina’s story and her Wealthy Wellthy Podcast was a new one to me and I’m already several episodes in. I highly recommend Sleep Remedy and Krisstina’s work to anyone wanting to take life to the next level.

The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund was strategically placed next to Dry Farm Wines…SMART! If you don’t know about FTCLDF, you need to do some reading. They are the single most impactful organization defending the rights of all of us to have access to local food. I’m a member and you should be too. They turn $50/year into the defense and representation of small farmers around the country that would not otherwise be able to do so (read some of the cases on their website for a glimpse into some of the battles these farms face in trying to give us all food freedom). FTCLDF was one of the benefactors of the charity dinner held on Saturday night and are our best ally in gaining access to local/regenerative food. Please join Today!!!

RoamSticks was operating out of the FTCLDF booth. John and Holly Arbuckle make the most amazing meat sticks from pastured pork and co-brand these with several other farmers around the country. They are tasty, free from hormones/antibiotics/preservatives and taste AMAZING. It was so much fun catching up with these two and learning more about how they maintain such integrity in the fast paced world of food manufacturing. These amazing sticks will be a staple for us when we’re on the go!

I had the pleasure of spending some time with James Swanwick of Swanwick Sleep on Saturday. His booth was set up right behind the stage for my panel on raising healthy kiddos. These glasses are incredible. I’ve worn some “blue blockers” before and the quality and impact that my Swannies have had on me since Saturday has been incredible. I wore them on my 6 hour journey home on Sunday through two airports and a 45 minute car drive. Blocking out all that blue light pollution allowed me to sleep like a dream after getting home late. Did I mention that they also look cool? Julie and I both have a pair now and sleep is coming easier and easier. Thanks Swannies!

Pure Indian Foods has been at every Paleo f(x) I’ve ever attended. This was one of the first companies we came across when beginning our Paleo journey and they have the most fabulous products. Ghee is a real staple in our household and one that gets used by the spoonful on the regular. Sandeep is the most delightful of folks and it was tremendous to spend some time with him over the weekend.

My Favorite Peeps & Talks

There were so many great talks, panels and demos over the weekend. I only wish I could have cloned myself to be two places at once.

Robb Wolf, or as I call him the Michael Corleone of the Paleo Movement, was in full force this weekend. Coming off the recent publishing of his New York Times Best Selling book, Wired to Eat, Robb was not short on great information about nutrition, exercise, sleep and the role that our wiring plays in food choices. I had the opportunity to serve on the Permaculture panel with Robb and was present for his talk on Quantified Self. It’s no secret that Robb and his amazing wife Nicki were responsible for launching Julie and I into this lifestyle back in 2008. He continues to be a leader and voice of reason as this movement continues to grow, and it was great to catch up with him and Nicki.

It’s always great running into Diana Rodgers of Sustainable Dish. Not only is she a huge source of information for me on the nutrition front, I also get to run all the farming questions imaginable by her and she’s continually patient and open about what works for her and Andrew. Diana was the moderator for the Permaculture panel and I sat in for her amazing talk on what foods make sense when the “Zombie Apocalypse” comes…hint: it’s not Soylent! Diana has an incredible podcast and nutrition practice. Her book, Homegrown Paleo, is a constant source of learning for me.

Mark Sisson is the consummate gentleman and an incredible guy to hang out with. Mark and I didn’t really get to catch up until Sunday but his presence and passion were present all weekend long. Mark’s Daily Apple was one of the first blogs that Julie and I browsed back in our early years of exploring this lifestyle. Mark continues to be a force of health and happiness and his Primal Kitchen brand continues to grow.

Imagine my surprise when I ran into Amber Lewis. Amber is the cofounder and CEO of The Good Kitchen (formerly known as ModPaleo), a home food delivery service based out of Charlotte North Carolina. Julie and I know Amber and her husband Carter from our bootcamping days in Atlanta (almost 10 years ago!). This was Amber’s first Paleo f(x) and I’m confident they will be a huge presence in the years to come. For those of you looking for ready-to-eat meals shipped to your door, The Good Kitchen can make that happen for you. I’m most excited about their new “Lunchbox” meals prepared especially for kids headed out the door to school. The Good Kitchen is committed to locally sourced ingredients and supporting farms that exercise regenerative practices. Check them out today!

It’s always good to see Chris Kresser. His talk on toxicity and things to consider in removing as many toxins from your life was eye opening. Chris is the founder of the Kresser Institute, formed to give clinicians the opportunity to bring their best practice to consumers using functional medicine and applying the best principles with an ancestral and evolutionary perspective. I’m beyond amazed at the immense scope of work Chris is able to manage and all that he has brought to the ancestral community.

If Robb Wolf is Michael Corleone, then Art Devany is unmistakably the Godfather of this movement. I had the chance to visit with Art on Friday shortly after a talk on mitochondrial health. I approached to shake his hand and thank him for all of his contributions to this movement. He then proceeded to give me 10 minutes of in depth mitochondrial science, of which I could comprehend little. Art is a force of nature and turning 80 years old this year is most certainly a poster child for eating and living an ancestral lifestyle.

Dan Pardi of Dan’s Plan is always one of the smartest guys in the room and one who breaks down the science in a palatable way. Dan’s talk on the effects of sleep was jaw-dropping (I would say eye-opening, but that’s kind of anti sleep). Dan does a great job of illustrating just how incredibly important sleep is to each of us, and what lack of sleep can do to a person. As opposed to just stating the problem, Dan also offers great practical solutions to help with sleep, and other steps to help reverse disease and perform at your best.

Dave Asprey of Bulletproof gave a talk on mitochondrial health that I found fascinating. This talk resonated with me on many levels. Basic summery, we all have mitochondria and they like to be nourished. When fueled properly and constantly challenged, in a healthy way, these little buggers will do amazing things for us. Things like cold water immersions, lots of tasty fat, fasting, great sleep and plenty of sunlight all play a vital role in keeping the mitochondria happy and thriving.

Julie has been reading and following the work of Katy Bowman for several years. For those who don’t know her, Katy is a biomechanist whose work is really centered around movement and alignment (note that those two words are different than exercise and posture!). Her podcast and books (Alignment Matters, Move Your DNA, Diastasis Recti, Whole Body Barefoot, Simple Steps to Foot Relief Pain, and a few others) are fantastic resources to so many folks trying to look and feel their best. Katy and I got to visit about everything she has going on and the life her family has intentionally decided to live (check out this episode of her podcast on nature school). Move Your DNA is a must read book and following the Bowman family adventures via their blog are so much fun.

So many more amazing presenters and folks there. Eva T, Sarah Fragoso, Darryl Edwards, Nora Gedgaudas, Abel JamesBobby Gill, Ben Greenfield, Richard Bradford,  David Perlmutter & Sarah Ballantyne just to name a few. Also, a special thanks to Keith and Michelle Norris along with the rest of the Paleo f(x) team for hosting another amazing weekend.

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