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PrimalCon

PrimalCon 2013

I’m just back from a fantastic Paleo trip to America (Jetlag is most definitely not Paleo). A couple of weeks after PaleoFX in Austin, Texas, I made my way to Oxnard, California, for my third year at Mark Sisson’s PrimalCon weekend. Unlike the Ancestral Health Symposium, or PaleoFX, PrimalCon is a hands on practical weekend. As well as hearing about all things Paleo – the focus is on doing.

PrimalCon Oxnard CA 2013

With relatively small numbers of attendees – and lots of different presenters, there’s a chance to meet and speak to everyone. There are lots of regulars, who attend each year, but it was also great to meet so many new faces – as well as some others from Australia and the UK!

With Kelly Starrett and the Gokhale family, there were several session on posture, mobility – and the correct way to stand and move to avoid injury. Whilst these sessions were completely different, it was interesting that their methods and ideas are completely complimentary – hardly surprising as they’re based on how we’re supposed to move.

Another highlight of PrimalCon for me was finally meeting Sarah Fragoso of Everyday Paleo – who really is every bit as lovely and knowledgeable in real life as she is on her podcast!

Chef Rachel Albert gave another fantastic cooking demonstration. It’s amazing how many simple tips I pick up each year, despite being a regular in the kitchen myself!

I also loved William Vives Kettlebell session and as usual, learnt lots of new techniques that I can’t wait to practice at my Crossfit box. There were a few other fitness sessions too, such as barefoot running and sprinting techniques – and I especially loved the Olympic Lifting session – I can’t wait to master that!

As always, the food was absolutely fantastic. A local Paleo food truck (so jealous we don’t have those in Sydney!) provided a lot of the catering, and there was such a huge variety of grass fed meats, burgers, salads, veggies, nut butter – and an amazing coconut bark! It’s so nice to be able to dive into all of the food on offer, without even having to ask what is in the meatball sauce. You just know it’s 100% Paleo!

What would you most enjoy about an event like PrimalCon? The people, food or particular activities?

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PaleoFX

Last weekend I had the opportunity to travel to Austin, Texas to attend the second PaleoFX conference. Three days of talks and panels on all things Paleo – surrounded by like minded people! It was good to see a few other people had also travelled to the event from outside the US.

It was especially great to see Jimmy Moore and Nora Gedgaudas, who have both been out to Australia for seminar series in the last year or two. I also got to meet Robb Wolf, Sean Croxton, Abel James and so many others.

PaleoFX 2013

Having attended the Ancestral Health Symposium, I was interested to see how this event would differ. As well as lectures, PaleoFX had a lot of panels, where a group of “Paleo experts” sat on stage and answered a wealth of questions on a particular topic. As with the Ancestral Health Symposium, up to three talks occurred simultaneously, so it wasn’t possible to listen to everyone. Fortunately they are releasing videos, so it will be possible to catch up on what I missed!

The highlight for me was meeting Dr Terry Wahls and listening to her lecture. I also enjoyed Dr Cate Shanahan, who I first heard on the Paleo Summit.

PaleoFX 2013

On the ground floor was a big exhibition set up, with stalls selling all manor of Paleo products. Books I’ve not been able to get in Australia, jerky, kombucha, fitness products, supplements, vitamins, Paleo snacks – everything you could possibly want.

With such a big Paleo community of our own here in Australia and New Zealand, we’re really excited about the next seminar series we have in the pipeline. I’d love to hear who you would like us to invite to speak in Australia and New Zealand – and what you would like them to speak about? And which cities should the series travel to, each state capital? Please please share your thoughts in the comments below, or send me an email.

 

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Low Carb Down Under – Sydney

Saturday was the Sydney leg of the Low Carb Down Under seminar series, that has been touring Australia.

What a fantastic day it was! There were twelve speakers from diverse backgrounds covering a range of topics. I was honoured to be one of the speakers and thoroughly enjoyed the day. Almost 300 people attended the event and everyone seemed really keen to learn and soak up the atmosphere. There seemed to be a significant number of medical and healthcare providers in the audience, which is a great sign that the message is being spread to the right people.

So, here is my brief summary of the day.

Dr Ron Ehrlich—“Lessons from the Past”

Dr Ron Ehrlich is a holistic Sydney dentist who started the day with a great overview of where we are – and where we’ve come from. I found it interesting to hear Ron talking about how he looks for underlying causes – rather than treating symptoms, which seems to be the typical modern method.

Dr Simon Thornley—“Has Dietary Research Helped Us With Our Food Choices

New Zealand Public Health Physician Dr Simon Thornley has written a paper on sugar with Dr Rod Taylor and Dr Ken Sikaris (“Sugar restriction: the evidence for a drug-free intervention to reduce cardiovascular disease risk”). Simon is an academic who has conducted extensive research on sugar, scientifically coming to many of the same conclusions as those of us in the paleo community.
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Jimmy Moore—Update on low carb around the world

An update on the remarkable progress Jimmy is making with his N=1 experiment on Nutritional Ketotis. Interestingly a number of people I spoke to in the audience are conducting similar experiments of their own. It’s going to be extremely interesting to examine how this has gone in a few months time.

David Gillespie—“Sweet Poison and Big Fat Lies”

Author and Lawyer David Gillespie took us through his extensive sugar research – and findings. Many people in Australia were first introduced to the concept of giving up sugar through David’s books, so it was great to hear from him.

Sarah Wilson—“I Quit Sugar”

Sarah is the journalist who wrote the popular I Quit Sugar program. I was very interesting to hear her speak about her poor health, and how quitting sugar changed things for her.

I Quit Sugar Ebook

Costa Georgiadis—“Product Not Produce”

Costa has the most incredible energy! He bought along soil and compost and demonstrated to us the importance of understanding exactly where your food comes from.

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Christine Cronau—”The Fat Revolution!”

Christine is author of the Fat Revolution. Her talk clearly spelt out exactly why we need to have fat in our diets and must not be scared of it.

Dr Rod Tayler—“Doctors, Health, Weight and Carbohydrates”

Anesthesiologist and giveupsugar.com founder Rod Taylor explained how damaging sugar is – and just how much of a problem it is.

Aaron McKenzie from Origin of Energy—”Combining Fitness and Nutrition”

Aaron spoke about fitness, from an evolutionary perspective

Suzanne Crawt – Paleo in Australia

My talk started with my story explaining how I found Paleo and the huge difference it made to me. I then spoke about the growing, thriving Paleo community in Australia and how people can get involved.
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Rob Blomfield—”A farmer’s  journey to primal health”

Rob is an Australian farmer who, on finding this lifestyle, made remarkable health improvements. It was great to hear from someone with an insider knowledge on farming.

Vicki Poulter – “Why grass fed animal foods are good for the planet”

Vicki, from Nourishing Australia, gave a wonderful talk in linking the land, animals, soil and our food. This really made clear the importance of eating good quality grass-fed meat.

We finished with a panel question and answer section. With so many diverse speakers, a great wealth of questions were answered.

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The whole event was filmed, so hopefully those of you who missed out will be able to watch the talks soon.

It was wonderful to meet so many people interested in, and concerned about their health. It’s clear that the message is spreading and increasing numbers of people are finding out about this lifestyle. I wonder how many people will attend the next seminar series?

The seminar was in Adelaide last night and has one more date left. The final conference is in Brisbane this Saturday. There is still time (just) to buy your ticket at the Low Carb Down Under site. I’m heading to Brisbane this weekend, so if you’re there please come and say hi!

Have you been to one of the seminars this year? What was your highlight – and who would you like to hear speak next time?

Low carb down under paleo primal seminar conference event australia

Low Carb Down Under – It’s Started!

I’ve just got back from an amazing weekend in Melbourne, where the Low Carb Down Under series started on Saturday.

What an amazing day! I’ve listened to Jimmy Moore’s podcasts for a long time, but to meet him and watch him present is such a different experience. He was a great, inspirational speaker – and despite such a fantastic turnout, he made sure everyone who wanted to speak to him got the chance.

I’ve been following Jimmy Moore’s N=1 Nutritional Ketosis experiment on his blog with great interest, so to hear him talk about this – and take his readings in front of us on stage – was super interesting. It’s quite remarkable how much slimmer Jimmy looked yesterday, even just since the last photo he posted on his blog.

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David Gillespie is another great speaker – and the man responsible for leading a lot of people away from sugar; a journey which often leads to a Paleo diet and lifestyle.

I often find conferences like this can be one extreme or the other – either no science at all – or far too sciencey. The talks at Melbourne yesterday really did tick all the boxes.

We heard from Doctors and Scientists; Dr Rod Tayer, Dr Ken Sikaris (this man really needs a blog!), Steven Hamley, explaining why Paleo works (and conventional wisdom doesn’t). We heard from local Melbournites Crystal Fieldhouse, Ivy Thompson & Jo Fitton sharing how they “do” Paleo locally. Crossfit coach Dr George Iacono spoke about crossfit and fitness. Christine Cronau explained how our diets went wrong and spoke about how we should eat. Natalie Kringoudis, is a fertility expert who gave an amazing talk – we even heard from a chef, Mick Reade demonstrating how versatile a Paleo diet can be.

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I’m not going to talk too much about the talks until the seminar series is over – because I want YOU to go to one of the remaining dates and soak up the knowledge for yourself!

Even if you don’t live near the remaining venues, consider coming anyway – you will get so much value from the day.

Byron Bay – Wednesday 21st November

Sydney – Saturday 24th November

Brisbane – Saturday 1st December

Adelaide – Tuesday 27th November

I’ve had a lot of comments asking about Darwin and Perth not being part of the tour . If we can get enough people interested, we will make sure they’re included in the next round of Paleo events – just make sure you’ve joined your local Paleo Meetup group so we know you’re interested (there is now a meetup for every state)

I’m excited to be speaking at the Sydney date next week – and will be attending the remaining dates – I hope to see at one of the events.

If you haven’t booked your ticket, do it now before it’s too late!

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The Paleo Summit

I’ve been really enjoying the Paleo Summit this week!  There’s still a couple of days left of this free online event, and some great speakers to come – I’m especially looking forward to hearing Dallas & Melissa from Whole9 talking about Paleo for Vegetarians – and Dr. Catherine Shanahan comparing the Paleo diet to prescription drugs!

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My favourite presentations so far have been Denice Minger, Nora Gedgaudas and Mark Sisson – but unfortunately I’ve been really busy this week and haven’t had a chance to catch them all in time.  I’m especially annoyed I missed Dr. Jack Kruse as I’ve been really interested in reading his ideas on Leptin, so had high expectations for his talk.

Anyway, if you haven’t already, there’s still time to register and catch the last few days.  It’s free to register and the videos stay online for 24 hours.

If like me you’ve had a busy week and have missed some or all of the summit, you can upgrade and download audio files, transcripts and videos which you can enjoy at your leisure.  I plan to listen to the 23 audio files on my way to work, that should provide several weeks of great listening!

Have you been listening?  Which have been your favourite presentations of the Paleo Summit so far?

Paleo Summit Order Now


PrimalCon

7,497 Miles to PrimalCon

One of the highlights of 2011 so far was the weekend I went to PrimalCon 2011 in California in April.  I enjoyed it so much, that I booked my ticket for the 2012 event as soon as the tickets went on sale this morning.

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Sunset at PrimalCon

I hadn’t realised quite how far America was from Australia when I booked this year.  I went at quite short notice and used my air miles, so didn’t pay too much attention to minor details like flight times.  I was trying to minimise time off work, so I left Australia on the Friday and flew back on the Sunday night.  This was a big mistake!  I now know very well that Los Angeles is a very long 14 hour 7,497 mile flight from Sydney.  To make matters worse, as I used my air miles, I was assigned a very impressive route of Sydney to Brisbane, a night in Brisbane, a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne, then finally I got on my international flight at Melbourne!

It was all for the best however, as I met a wonderful new friend on the flight to LA, who was also attending PrimalCon (with just two people going from Australia, what were the chances of us being on the same flight?)

I’m planning to make PrimalCon 2012 into a much more sensible length America trip, especially as it falls the weekend after Easter.

I made some lifelong Primal friends in April, in fact, I spent a wonderful week in Texas with two of my PrimalCon friends, and met up with some others at the AHS in August.  I’m really looking forward to catching up with them and making some more Primal friends.

Over the whole weekend, the food was incredible.  So much was local Californian produce and it was great to have things like Kale and Turkey, which I find so difficult to find here in Australia (if you know of any good sources here, please let me know in the comments!)

One of my highlights from the weekend was the running workshop with Barefoot Ted.   I learnt so much from him and my running style has changed forever.  In fact, it was his workshop that inspired me to buy my Vibrams!  I’m thrilled to see Barefoot Ted is back again for next year’s event – hopefully I can refine my technique further still.
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Erwan Le Corre is a new presenter for the 2012 event.  I really enjoyed his talk and demonstration on MovNat at the AHS this year, and to have the opportunity to have a small group workshop with the guy who does this is incredibly exciting!

I just received my latest Amazon book order of Exuberant Animal by Frank Forencich yesterday – so couldn’t believe it when I read Frank Forencich is also a presenter at PrimalCon!  I’d better get started on his book…

Hopefully we’ll be able to get Mark Sisson over to Australia/ New Zealand in the near future, but in the meantime…  anyone else coming to PrimalCon with me?

Gluten Free Expo Conference Paleo Event

The Sydney Gluten Free Expo

I went along to the Gluten Free Expo yesterday, at the Sydney Showground.

Gluten Free Expo Conference Paleo Event

I’m not sure why now, but I expected it to be very Paleo friendly and full of Vibram clad feet. Surely going completely grain free would be the natural conclusion for those with Coeliac disease? Ditching the bread and refined carbs in favour of real, whole food?

The Gluten Free event was sponsored by Coles and the stands were almost all offering packaged, processed food. Crisps, pasta, processed meats, ready meals, breakfast cereals, cakes and sweets. They all seemed to have removed gluten and replaced it with more sugar, other grains and lots of chemicals. I studied the ingredients on every stand and managed to find one little jar of spices, that would get the Paleo seal of approval! One product!

Gluten Free expoPerhaps a Paleo stand at next year’s expo beckons!

Going Gluten Free?

It’s well worth trying to remove Gluten from your diet. So many people don’t tollerate it well, without being full-blown Coeliac. When constantly exposed to Gluten, it’s hard to even realise what impact it has on your body. It isn’t until all traces of Gluten are out of your system that you can begin to understand how it affects you.

Gluten intolerance seems to be strongly correlated with inflammation issues such as IBS, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, cancer, autoimmune diseases, HD, ADD, ADHS, Autism, indigestion, stomach complaints and many other health complaints.

If you’re looking to go Gluten Free, the Whole30 is a great program to use to kick this off with! I haven’t ever heard of anyone regretting going Gluten Free!