The third and final day of PaleoFX was similar to day 2: multiple presentations going on at the same time, so I had to make the tough decisions of going to one or another. Luckily, as an all-access attendee, I’ll have recorded videos of all of the presentations (yay for Paleo geekery!) So, without further ado, some quick points from each talk:
Chris Kresser – Gut-Brain-Skin Axis
- your gut has over 100m^2 of surface area. That’s the size of half a tennis court!
- the gut is also known as the “2nd brain”
- irritants to the gut can directly affect the brain and neurological disorders. (inflammation of the gut can lead to depression)
- the gut can affect skin conditions as well. People see this with dairy and acne (Personal note: I definitely see more acne when I consume some pasteurized dairy and/or gluten) On the other hand fermented dairy has not been shown to be acne-causing
- the brain and skin can be connected as well. Stress might be a possible cause of hair loss
- the skin is shown to have it’s own HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). Yes, the skin has its own microcosm of responding to stress.
- Kresser typically uses the GAPS or FODMAPs diets to treat issues related to the gut, brain, or skin
Robb Wolf – Evolutionary Medicine
- nutritional medicine needs to move to accuracy and precision like physics and chemistry
- Exercise is easy for doctors to get on board with; evolutionary nutrition is much tougher to convince them (but as Robb points out, most docs know as much about evolutionary medicine as we do about 18th century Russian literature)
- When it comes to nutrition, we need to start with anthropology, then move to clinical observation, and finally find the molecular mechanism
- in a Type II Diabetic study, the Paleo diet had patients improve their blood glucose levels 30% vs. the Mediterranean diet which improved levels by a few percentage points
Heart Rate Variability Panel – (Joel Jamison, OPT, Tony Federico)
- HRV is a way of measuring heart rate intervals over time
- used to time “good stress” especially for workouts, fights, etc.
- high HRV = more resiliency
- system includes regular heart rate monitor and a mobile app. Typical cost is around $200.
Evolutionary Wellness Panel – (Robb Wolf, Dr. Lane Sebring, Hamilton Stapell, Andrew Badenoch, Dan Pardi)
- in talking with clients, good to frame with your aim (i.e. “wellness”) rather than the method (i.e. “paleo) in order to not scare off people
- “create cohesion, not a cult”
- Dr. Sebring knows he’s successful because his patients STOP going to him
- two types of people who go paleo: the sick and those seeking performance (personal note: I also believe people who are seeking aesthetics, but maybe they included those people in “sick”…as in SICK of looking this way??)
Ask the Paleo Experts Panel – (Dr. Cate Shanahan, Dr. Paul Jaminet, Dr. Terry Wahls)
- if you’re sensitive to gluten, most likely you are sensitive to casein – Dr. Wahls
- bone broth is good to heal the gut
- many mental disorders such as autism can be helped by going gluten-free…(with real food, not crappy manufactured gluten-free food). Just watch out for texture of foods with those on the autism spectrum
Biohacks Panel – (Josh Whiton, A. Jolly, Abel Bascom, Darryl Edwards, Dan Pardi)
- tracking markers about yourself (e.g. steps, sleep hours, etc) is quantified self movement
- things they find effective: counting steps; creatine; donating blood to lower ferritin levels; intermittent fasting; vitamin D and fish oil; good amount of sleep; protein fasting/cycling
- some of them recommend DNA analysis through 23andMe, but be careful that there is not much diversity in their database
- take care of your nutrition and sleep. Then train, but go back and adjust the first two things to adapt to your training.
After the conference was over, we headed to Springdale Farm for a farm-to-table charity dinner. I estimate about 100 paleo-inclined folks attended and we had a great night under the strings of lights at a local farm in Austin.
What was on the menu? If non-paleo people complain about not having enough variety on paleo, just show them this menu:
Grilled Oysters with Cucumber Grapefruit & Herbs
Smoked Wild Boar Rillettes
Texas Redfish Cioppino (Glen’s smoke dried peppers, fennel, gulf shrimp, Redfish, first of the season heirloom tomatoes)
Shaved Radish, Rainbow Carrots & Arugula Salad w/ Strawberry Citrus Vinaigrette
Slow Smoked South Texas Antelope (Bone In Leg)
Sauteed Mixed Field Greens & Caramelized Green Onions
Japanese Yam Salad with Hen Yolks & Mustard Seed
Coconut Oil Truffles with Cocoa Nibs & Sea Salt
Strawberry Honey “Cobbler”
I’ll probably do some more follow up about the conference from a 30,000ft. view, but for now I’ll just say I was grateful to go and meet some really cool people, especially Roger and Marissa from Relentless Fitness (Philadelphia) and Dr. Colin Champ of the Caveman Doctor who were helping run the show and were IN the show, but let Laura and I hang out with them. It was also fun hanging out with Jen Fugo of Gluten Free School and meeting George of Civilized Caveman, James of Fast Paleo, and Kendall from Primal Balance. Paleo might not go completely mainstream, but there are clearly more and more resources out there (blogs, recipe books, podcasts, websites, etc) to help people achieve a level of health that they never have on a standard American diet. If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you live this kind of lifestyle anyway. Even if you didn’t go to PaleoFX, the best thing you can do is keep doing what you’re doing, put yourself out there, and let people realize what they’re missing.