Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PaleoFX12 - The Assignment

Hi! This will be a little different than the usual malvs2walk blog.

I had the good fortune to be able to attend day one of Paleo f(x) Ancestral Momentum - Theory to Practice Symposium in Austin Texas last week. I drove up on Monday just in time to "almost" attend the volunteer orientation tour of the facility where the Symposium was being held - Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium at University of Texas in Austin.

I met lots of my IPMG (International Paleo Movement Group on Facebook) friends and received instructions for the next days volunteer needs. Since I was going to be working the registration table the first two days of the event, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, I was able to volunteer to help out with the Audio Visual setup (running errands) all day Tuesday. Wednesday I was charged with hauling some precious cargo to the facility. Then, let the packet stuffing begin! We dispensed with 500+ bags of assorted materials for speakers, attendees and volunteers alike in short order! We were ready to greet everyone when they started arriving around 3 pm!

Everyone who "knows" me also knows how much I love my coffee. We were on a pretty tight schedule and the Starbucks that is usually open in the Stadium lobby was closed due to spring break. I don't know Austin proper that well, so was certainly feeling deprived of my caffeine. Someone had directed me to a coffee shop in the Student Union Tuesday afternoon, so as we were finished stuffing the event packets... I headed over there at about 2:30. To my complete dismay, the coffee shop was closed. I was starting to get, shall we say "PISSY", and asked some people on the street where there was a decent coffee shop. They pointed me in the direction of CaffĂ© Medici, right across the street from the campus. Mind you, it was almost 3pm and this would be my first coffee of the day, so I went ALL IN and ordered a 6 shot espresso with some steamed heavy cream. Where are you Robb Wolf. LOL  Anyhow, that was one of the better espressos I had in a long time, and it came with a compliment in the form of a question: "Are you an athlete?"

Back to the conference, higher than a kite, but also focused on the task at hand... get those folks processed and pointed in the right direction!  Everything went smoothly and from what I understand, Dr. Jack Kruse opening remarks Wednesday night were epic!  Wish I could have gone upstairs to listen!  I will be purchasing several of the presentations on DVD when they become available.

Thursday, and let the presentations begin!  The registration tribe leader was very gracious to hold me to only two of the scheduled time slots since I had been helping out an extra day or two, so I was able to see Robb Wolf's presentation, sit in on two important panel discussions and also attend Mark Sisson's presentation.

There are several things I want to touch on.  The first thing is that we all need to be willing to share our experiences with others.  So many people have been saved by Paleo.  It's one of the things I remember Robb Wolf saying at the start of his presentation... that at least 200 people had approached him saying, "You saved my life" in the short time he had been in Austin.  It's our duty to pay it forward, but not in a forceful, condescending manner.  We can lead by example, eat real food and move our bodies.  Learn to evolve in our thoughts just as we have evolved over time.  Paleo is not the same thing for every person, and the only way to learn what works for us as individuals is to clean out our own house and start anew.  I know I have learned something new almost every day since January 18, 2011 (my paleoversary).

The first panel discussions I attended was called "Affecting Future Healthcare & Food Policy".  This is something I hold near and dear.  I am, as are countless other citizens of planet earth, tired of large corporations driving policy.  Government officials have NO idea what they are talking about when they are talking about what humans eat, and the corporations that are behind "the food pyramid" or "myplate" are only interested in how forcing this policy down our throats will line their pockets.  The same goes for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.  There are a precious few doctors who are willing to admit that they have been wrong about the causes of diseases of civilization, and part of this panel discussion was aimed at how those physicians and dietitians who know the truth can spread it to the rest of the profession.  It should be the goal of the medical industry to reduce illness by understanding what CAUSES it rather than just mask the symptoms with another pill.  Let's all talk to our family doctor and tell them what we are doing when we get our next annual physical.  If they try to prescribe a pill for you... don't just blindly take it.  We are consumers when we enter the doctor's office, and consumers have the right to be involved from step one with their medical "purchases".  A registered dietitian in the audience asked what she should do when sanctioned by her licensing agency for spreading the truth and refusing to push My Plate toward another unsuspecting client.  Now is the time for someone to step up (are there not any Paleo attorneys willing to donate some time?) and start a legal defense fund to help these people who only want to spread the truth.

(feels like I am starting to get a little preachy here...)

The next panel I attended was called: "Future of Paleo".  Another subject that deserves some serious thought and discussion.  This thing Primal/Paleo/Ancestral Health... whatever you call it, has really been gathering speed.  I think I may have heard the words Paleo Diet a couple of years ago but never really gave it much thought.  Now, there are more and more people who have heard of it, and whether their opinion is good or bad does not matter.  When the negatives arise on the internet because some news reporter surveys 1,000 people and some of them say Paleo is not sustainable, thousands of my closest friends head on over to those websites and clear up the untruths that are being spread.  That's good for everyone.  What is not so good?  When people hide behind pseudonyms and false pictures and spread negativity.  If we are going to change the world, we need to continue to spread this message in a positive, supportive manner.  Calling each other names whether it be a vegan or someone who thinks their Paleo way is the ONLY way is not going to make any of us look credible.  We all have a purpose in this movement.  How many people have you told about Paleo?  How many of your friends and family have tried it?  How many of your friends are still headed down that SAD (Standard American Diet) path to disease?  How many people have ended their friendship with you over your determination to be a vibrant healthy individual?  Those people are still worth saving and all we can hope for is that they find their way to the truth.

I attended Mark Sisson's presentation, then headed toward the lobby to purchase "Primal Body Primal Mind" and hope to get that and my well read copy of "The Paleo Solution" both autographed by their respective authors.  Once that mission was accomplished, it was time for me to leave all this great company I had the good fortune to spend some quality time with.  I really wanted to stay for Friday's discussions, but had a prior engagement with a good friend that I will blog about in the next day or so.

I want to leave this post with a profound statement, but I think I already put all the passion I could muster into the commentary above.  I hope my story touches someone who may have been struggling and helps them choose the path to Ancestral Health!

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