Sunday, May 21, 2017

Paleo f(x) 17: Weekend Recap

Hello, my Paleo lovelies!

Wow. Where to begin? This past weekend was probably one of the most prolific and enlightening experiences I've ever had in my life. I had been gushing about attending the upcoming Paleo f(x) event here in Austin since like, forever, and alas, it finally came! I attended the event on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 with a Premiere pass that allowed me to attend just about any workshop or panel that I wished. I'm so glad that I splurged on this one!

I gathered some great new information about all things Paleo, made some great contacts through some heavy networking with other Paleo bloggers and heavy hitters of this movement. Hippocrates once said, "Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food." Words to live by!

The theme for Paleo f(x): Heal thyself. Change the world.

So, lets dig in, shall we? :)

My biggest accomplishment at this event is that I got to personally meet and get photos taken with Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple and the Primal Nutrition empire. I also attended his workshop on the Primal Health Coaching program that I had no idea existed. I've had the thought of becoming a health coach buzzing around in my brain for a while now, but now that I know there's a program geared specifically towards the primal lifestyle, I'm even more interested! I'm still debating on this, because of money, and the element of fear that hides deep in the pit of my stomach. This is something that I mentioned to Mark Sisson on Saturday at the event, and he asked me what I am so afraid of. I simply replied, "everything."

My hero, Mark Sisson 

Being unfulfilled in my current job has left me feeling empty and unsure of myself sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I'm very good at my job, but that's the thing: it's just a job to me. A means to an end. A paycheck. But, I want and deserve so much more in my life. I know this now. So, I may still continue to kick around this idea in my head of becoming a primal health coach for a few more months. Then I'll make a move. I know it won't be easy and would take a lot of time and dedication, but I believe so much in the power of Paleo that I will never stop. It's woven into my DNA now, and I can't imagine my life without it. I know now that it's my passion and my life's purpose to help others learn about the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. Right now, I shell out free nutrition advice to just about everyone who's willing to listen to my ramblings :) It's simply because I've found the love of my life in Paleo. It's turned my life around and brought me out of a dark place where I was merely existing. A little background on me: a year ago, I was stuck in a rut. I was eating a lot of fast food and packaged, processed foods. I was also eating a lot of carbs and getting fat, at least for my height. I'm only 5'3", but I weighed 152 pounds - the heaviest I'd ever been in my life. I first made the decision to give up gluten in the Fall of 2016, not too long after I moved to Austin. This part was easy! And the weight just began to melt off. It was astounding. I saw such a difference in the way I felt and how I carried myself. My dignity returned. I started out as a caterpillar, then emerged as a beautiful, healthy, glowing butterfly. In March, 2017, I decided to give Paleo a try.  At first, I was like, "what the hell am I going to eat now?" lol But you know what? This transition was so easy for me. I went at it full-force and embraced the power of healthy food, and figured out how it could change my body and my life. I began to cook again, something I'd lost my passion for somewhere along my journey. I began reading articles on Paleo and books like The Paleo Thyroid Solution by Elle Russ, and The Thyroid Connection by Dr. Amy Myers (a big proponent of a strict primal diet). I became a human sponge. Having hypothyroidism since 2010, I'd read that the Paleo diet could be very beneficial to people like me. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. So, I took action and cleaned up my life. I also do Zumba twice a week now at a small gym in Round Rock, and I love my teacher, Sonia and the music! She throws in a lot of Spanish music (of course), with a dash of Bruno Mars, Pitbull, and Sean Paul. I gotta admit, I'm pretty good at it too :)  I plan to start lifting a bit also, so that I can get a bit more toned in the places I need to work on.

Before and after: Left pic August 2016 (152 lbs), Right pic April 2017 (124 lbs)

So, I'll be honest, Paleo isn't for everyone. It takes dedication and discipline, but it is achievable and sustainable. For me, it's all about eating clean, healthy food. I eat salad for lunch with some protein  just about every day. I eat one small avocado a day (usually with my salad) as well so I can get my healthy fats in. See, with the Paleo approach, fat is NOT the enemy! Fats (good fats like avocado, coconut oil, full-fat coconut milk, etc.) being bad is such a misconception, and a concept that needs to be put to rest for good. Here's a good article on why everyone should be eating an avocado a day: Why Researchers Recommend Eating Avocado Every Day

Yup, this pretty much sums it up! My new shirt from Paleo f(x)

So anyway, sorry to get off track a little, but I wanted to share a little bit more of my personal story, as I think it's important to show y'all how I got to this point in my quest to become healthier.

Pressing on! I had a BLAST this weekend! I was totally in my element. Shoutout to the Paleo f(x) event coordinators for hooking us all up with the Paleo f(x) app! It was insanely helpful in scheduling which panels and workshops I wanted to attend and was very user-friendly!

First: in the Primal Health Coaching workshop with Mark Sisson, I learned that the health coaching industry is a $4 billion industry! Wow. People are becoming increasingly more curious, experimental, and increasingly fed up with how the current healthcare system seems to be failing them. People want to know what they can eat to support their bodies. Becoming a certified health coach gives you credibility, hones your skills, and increases your earning potential. Mark's program teaches you how to determine your niche, develop a business/marketing strategy, and most importantly: find clients! I gleaned so much information from this workshop! 

Next, I attended a panel discussion on Botanical Healing. This panel was awesome! I learned about plants, spices and essential oils and just how powerful they can be. For example, did you know that mint can be anti-viral? And it's easy to grow, according to panel member, Guillermo Ruiz from 3030 Strong. Guillermo is a wealth of information on plant-based medicine, as he's currently studying to become a health practitioner. 

My next stop was a blogger networking session! Perfection. I met with a small group of health entrepreneurs/business owners and we exchanged information and ideas on how to build and grow a successful following. My group consisted of two primal health coaches (Melissa Emmons of Honey Bee Kitchen and Dora Ferreira from fitdots), myself, and a farmer from Missouri with a business called Roam Sticks: nitrate-free pork meat sticks (@roamsticks on Twitter). I loved conversing with like-minded people, and getting ideas on how I can grow my blog! 

After this, I attended the Listen To Your Gut panel with natural medicine Dr. Josh Axe and Dr. David Perlmutter to name a few. Most of this information I already knew, but it was still an interesting panel discussion. The panel spoke about the gut microbiome, the importance of *ahem* going to the bathroom every day, probiotics, etc.
Dr. Josh Axe and I. He was such a nice guy! 

Next up was Turning Your Passion Into a Business with Mark Sisson at the Bulletproof Keynote stage. Mark spoke candidly about his successes and failures in business, how he got started in the health business, and how success can be achieved. He is truly a legend in my eyes. He didn't experience overnight success, and this is what makes him so humble! His presentation made me believe that I could go out there and achieve just about anything I set my mind to. 

After back-to-back workshops and presentations, I took some time to walk around the vendor booths and boy, was this fun! I found out about some awesome products that I'd never heard of. I had an excellent conversation about grass-fed beef with Michelle from 2XL Premium Angus, LLC, a grass-fed, grass-finished Angus ranch located in Garden Grove, Iowa. Such a kind woman! I sampled a grass-fed beef burger from PRE-brands, based in Chicago. Hey, a girl's gotta take a break and eat! And man, were they delicious!

PRE's grass-fed beef burger. Yum! 

I visited the Austin-based Fond Bone Broth booth and sampled some excellent Youth Tonic chicken bone broth with shitake mushrooms, lemon juice and sage. It was so delicious, I had to try a jar!

My Youth Tonic broth, already almost gone lol

I also visited and sampled from other various vendors like: Rugged Meats, Epic Provisions, Elixinol, Bubba's Fine Foods, Balm of Gilead (their tallow-based body balms are amazing!), Aketta Crickets, Bonafide Provisions, U.S. Wellness Meats, Austin Eastciders, Muffin Revolution, Buddha's Brew kombucha, and White Claw Hard Seltzer to name a few. There were so many, it was hard to get to them all! :) 

I'm hoping to get some type of affiliate program/sponsorship for my blog through U.S. Wellness Meats, as well as a few other food companies that I made contact with. This is something I've been wanting to do ever since I started my blog, but didn't really get the opportunity to explore it until I made some contacts at Paleo f(x). It definitely pays to network! 

My grass-fed beef sliders from U.S. Wellness Meats! Can't wait to try 'em!

I got some other goodies as well, but now I want to circle back around to the importance of networking! I met so many awesome people this weekend, and a few new lifelong friends! I've gotta give a shoutout to my new friend Rene Ruiz from New Jersey, a fellow-Paleoan and one hell of a nice guy! Rene and I became fast friends and attended many of the same panel discussions, so we just just kinda hung out together for most of the weekend at the event. He's someone I hope to stay in touch with for a long time!

Hangin' with Rene after a Microbiome presentation. Buds for life!

Another friend I made is Sandra, an AIP (autoimmune Paleo) follower and entrepreneur from California. She's launching her own 100% AIP online store soon! So excited for her, and I wish her much success!

Click on the above image to learn more about the launch of Sandra's AIP store! 

Marisa Bode. I heart this girl! I met her via Twitter after Sandra told me about an AIP BBQ sauce called KC Natural. I lived in Kansas City for about sixteen years, so I love me some BBQ! I don't do nightshades anymore (tomatoes, peppers, egg plant), so this kinda makes it hard for me to find a BBQ sauce that I can eat! Anyway, Marisa does the marketing for KC Natural, and I tweeted at them in desperation, as I found out this sauce isn't available in Austin yet. She promptly responded and we started talking about food and health, and we've both had long and sometimes difficult health journeys! She said that she was going to Paleo f(x) and we agreed to meet up at the event. She was kind enough to bring me a bottle of the Primal Cherry BBQ sauce all the way from KC! It is nightshade-free, and tastes uh-mazing! KC Natural is still a very new business, and is trying to grow. I think they are going to be very successful with Paleo and especially AIP folks! Their product is top-notch.

My girl, Marisa! Repping KC :)

On Saturday, I listened to another discussion led by Dr. Axe: Ancient Medicine for Modern Disease. I got so many takeaways from this one: the importance of drinking bone broth, vegetable juices and herbal teas, and taking a good probiotic for gut health. Dr. Axe is a big believer in using herbs and plants like turmeric, ginger, boswellia, and reishi mushrooms to name a few. I also learned more about intermittent fasting, which can be very beneficial when combined with drinking bone broth! This was probably my most favorite presentation of the day. 

Dr. Josh Axe on the importance of bone broth!

I also attended Dr. Chris Kresser's presentation on environmental toxins, caught most of a documentary: An Acquired Taste, which was about three city kids learning about the practice of humane wild game hunting, The Business of Health Panel with Mark Sisson, Aubrey Marcus, Dr. Kellyann Petrucci, John Durant and Krisstina Wise. This panel discussion was all about taking your passion and learning how to leverage it to become a successful entrepreneur. Very informative! 

The Business of Health Panel

 So, I guess that about wraps it up for Paleo f(x) 2017!

My key takeaways: 

1. Drink bone broth :)
2. Let your passion guide you, whatever it may be!
3. Eat fat
4. Network, network, network
5. Food is medicine

You can change your life by simply changing what you consume! It's possible. I've heard so many success stories of people reversing illness, losing weight, and getting healthy by simply changing their lifestyle habits and switching to a Paleo diet. Again, it just takes a little effort and desire to help yourself. You've just got to want it. I've done it, and so have thousands of others. So whether you're already into the Paleo movement or just a little curious about doing things the primal way, I highly recommend you at least give it a try. You, and only you possess the power to change your body and your life for the better. Heal thyself. Change the world.

Until next time,




  1. Karen The Beet LadyMay 22, 2017 at 6:42 AM

    Excellent blog and so glad you enjoyed the event!

    1. Thanks, Karen! Definitely hope to come back next year!

  2. Thanks for all your support!! So happy to to have connected with you! Thanks for stopping by the panel.

    1. Thank you, Guillermo! Had so much fun :) Great meeting you as well!

  3. Love your blog Rachel! Glad we met and connected! =)

    1. Thanks, Dora! So great connecting with you :) Look forward to getting your newsletter soon! Take care!


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