Last weekend was wonderful. I had the opportunity to hang out with some very cool people at PaleoFX here in Austin, Texas. I directed the Food and Beverage Team for the event, hosting two of my own cooking demos and emceeing the other 22. I met all the big names in paleo food blogging, and was honored to be among them. Look, that is Sarah Fragoso introducing me on stage!
If you don't know,
"PaleoFX is a collaborative symposium energized by professionals dedicated to turning the esoteric theory of primal health and fitness into actual real world practice. Currently hosted each spring in Austin, TX, PaleoFX is a powerful three-day community of cutting-edge trainers, gym owners, health care professionals, bloggers, and scientists who work in a wide variety of fields, but who all focus on translating primal ideas into everyday, sustainable, effective realities."
Here are some of the awesome people I met and why you should check out their work. These are the people who are driving this movement to optimal health. These are the people who are changing the world.
Julie Bauer, paleOMG.com - For some reason, I expected Julie to be very hardcore when I met her. She isn't. Maybe I am intimidated by headbands and awesome crossfitters. As it turns out, she is NOT a really bad dancer as she claims on her blog. Don't believe me? Check out her moves in her fabulous cooking videos. She was very kind to me, even letting me sit at the cool kids table at the last PaleoFX dinner. She is a darling girl with tons of badass recipes on her blog, paleomg.com. Guess what else? She is about to release her cookbook, "OMG, That's Paleo?" I don't know about you, but I am very excited for it!
Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry, thepaleoparents. These two are so loving towards each other, its inspiring. Their book, Eat Like a Dinosaur has a permanent place on our countertop this week as our whole family is getting excited to make some awesomely kid-friendly paleo meals together. They were big fans of my vanilla-cinnamon pecan butter demo, which they have generously offered to share as a guest post on their amazing blog, paleoparents.com
Danielle Walker, againstallgrain.com
Sporting some of the most creative ideas in the kitchen, this girl is the next big thing in paleo cooking. She is cute as can be, kind and friendly to all. She gets my vote for Paleo Sweetheart. She is also the mother of a little man, so I could relate. Her new book, "Against All Grain," is available for pre-order on Amazon right now. For the cooking demo, she made a creamy pesto pasta with prosciutto. I don't think she has the link available on her blog yet, but this is the link to her most similar recipe: Pesto Pasta with Spring Vegetables. I had to fight off George Bryant of Civilized Caveman and Julie Bauer of PaleOMG with a fork to get some of this stuff. It was my personal favorite dish of the weekend and I can't wait to make it at home! I just need a spiral slicer now... buy me one?
Josh Weissman, slimpalate.com. This kid.. I mean.. holy smokes. Josh is the SEVENTEEN year old mastermind behind the utterly gorgeous blog, slimpalate.com. At 15, he began his journey to whole foods and lost 100 pounds in the process. He is wise beyond his years and so inspiring to everyone he meets. If Michelle Obama is looking to fight childhood obesity and change the world, her spokesman should be Josh Weissman. As Jimmy Moore put it, this is the Paleo Wiz-Kid.
Dr. Terry Wahls, The Wahls Protocol. To say that this woman is inspiring is a gross understatement. She has MS, and suffered debilitation in a reclined wheelchair for years until she used functional medicine to heal herself. She now rides her bike to work and walks without assistance. Check out her story of healing without drugs on her site and publications.
Corben Thomas, PaleoLife365. Corben is my new Paleo BFF. He ran the Strength and Conditioning Stage at PaleoFX, so we connected over the perils and triumphs of volunteering for this momentous celebration of the paleo lifestyle. A comedic moonshiner from Leander who carries digestive enzymes in his pocket, Corben brings a hilarious spin to the Paleo lifestyle on the podcast The Health and Comedy Show, co-hosted by Amy Kubal and Dan French.
George Bryant, CivilizedCaveman.com. For anyone who has struggled with an unhealthy relationship with their body or food, George Bryant feels your pain. Best known for his pulled pork recipe and bacon adoration, George has also dedicated much of his mission to resolving his unhealthy body image. His story is inspiring, his recipes are spectacular and you should buy his T-shirts. He and Abel James wrote a mouthwatering cooking E-book called Caveman Feast. Get it and get cooking.
Amber Beam, PaleoSavvy.com.
Her book,Weeknight Paleo, proves that not only can paleo cooking be quick and easy, it can also be delicious and downright beautiful. Her book was the only thing I bought all weekend. I was so excited for her demo, where she used her food mold to make the beautiful recipe on her book cover.
Melissa Joulwan, The Clothes Make the Girl. I had met Mel several times before this event, but I wanted to mention her here anyway. She is my mentor on writing my own cookbook, and an inspiration in the kitchen. Growing up in a foodie family, she has an expert palate of exciting flavors. Her cookbook, Well Fed, features unique and innovative flavor profiles in paleo cooking, all Whole30 approved to boot. Her approach to the kitchen is beyond organized, which makes it so easy to be paleo-prepared. It was an honor to introduce her on the cooking stage and I am proud to call her my friend!
Sarah Fragoso, www.everydaypaleo.com. I think I put her on the spot when I introduced her on stage because I told the sappy story of how she literally changed my life. She is the reason I trusted paleo in the beginning. She is a beautiful mother of three boys, and loves to cook for them. I first began listening to her podcast, Paleo Talk, two years ago. She has such a way of translating the paleo message into something that I could understand. I cannot wait for her new book, Everyday Paleo Around the World, to be released! It chronicles life in Italy and the food that inspired her. I had a great conversation with her about encouraging your kids to follow their passions, specifically in music. I especially enjoyed meeting her husband, John Fragoso, who was a genuinely nice, down-to-earth guy I loved talking with!
Jason Seib, The Paleo Coach. I stuck Jason with my mother-in-law while I introduced a speaker, and came back to them deep in conversation about gall bladders and paleo. I knew he would be a great resource for helping her connect with the importance of eating the right foods and eliminating the wrong ones for optimal health. I read his book, The Paleo Coach, and highly recommend it to anyone who is new to the lifestyle, or needs help understanding the whys behind the practice.
Darryl Edwards www.thefitnessexplorer.com Even though my conversation with Darryl was the shortest, it was one that resonated with me the most. His approach to primal living is centered around functionality and wellbeing. Our conversation was about the importance of play. He has inspired me to get outside with my son and play with him, like it was the most important thing in the world, because actually, it is.
Dr. Lauren Noel, drnoel.fixyournutrition.com I didn't get to see as many expert panels and talks as I wanted while I was emceeing the cooking demos, but I did get away for one very awesome session with Dr. Lauren. She talked about using food as medicine and understanding the importance of micronutrients in our diet. She demonstrated some physical indicators of micronutrient deficiencies and risk factors for heart disease, which I found not only to be interesting, but also to be my new party trick. Her podcast, Dr. Lo Radio, is my new favorite on iTunes and I look forward to catching up on it!
Michelle Tam, Nomnompaleo.com Michelle was my first victim on the cooking demo stage. She made her Paleo Sriracha, which I still have in my fridge (and I've been dipping everything in it). She was a rockstar with Radiance Nutrition's Diana Rogers of Boston. Michelle was so fun and I enjoyed connecting with her on the perils of mothering boys and blogging while still living a "real life." And if you were wondering about cooking paleo... she has an app for that!
Simone Shifnadel, Zenbelly. San Francisco based blogger and caterer, Simone Shifnadel is dedicated to real food. She aspires to be on The Food Network's Chopped, and I think she would rock it! Let's help get a fellow Paleo chef in front of millions of Americans. Check out her blog post here: Get Simone on Chopped!
Jimmy Moore, Livin' La Vida Low Carb. If you are in this community, you know Jimmy Moore. He has podcasts, a blog, an app and is working on his THIRD book. His biggest takeaway from PaleoFX was the practice of individuality in the paleo community. Paleo is what works best for your body and your life. Start with real food, good sleep and get moving. I enjoyed speaking with him at the Farm to Table Charity dinner on the last night, but especially enjoyed watching him pull a whole stick of Kerrygold butter out of his bag and take down three quarters of it during the meal.