Last week I was stoked to attend my first ever Paleo F(x) in Austin!

Michelle and Keith Norris and all of the volunteers pulled the event off beautifully. I took an early morning flight on Thursday and came prepared with plenty of paleo and TSA-friendly plane food! (who needs stale peanuts when you have banana bread!?)


Unfortunately I landed a bit late and missed the beginning of Nora Gegaudas‘ talk but was able to catch her a couple of panels later.

Nora Gegaudas and I
Nora Gegaudas and I

Nora is the author of the book “Primal Body, Primal Mind”, and practices nutritional therapy in Oregon. My favorite Nora phrase from that weekend is:

“Hormones are like a family: they function together and they disfunction together

For someone that’s just come off of 17 years of thyroid meds, all I’ve got to add to that is: AMEN!

I also caught Dr. Terry Wahls’ talk: Minding My Mitochondria: Using Food to Defeat Multiple Sclerosis.  If you haven’t seen her TED talk with a similar name, I highly recommend it!  Dr. Wahls expanded on that TED talk and told her story of how real food and functional medicine healed her in ways that conventional medicine (and the BEST conventional medicine money can buy) could not.  She also reminded us that sometimes the paleo diet is not enough.  Some of us are more broken than others and need more help, supplements etc to “fix” our bodies.  Some people switch to paleo and 30 days later are cartwheeling around; others need a little more help.  Dr. Wahls was kind enough to give me advice on best foods and supplements to recommend to vegetarian friends and family and also in foods and vitamins to help my daughter while recovering from scoliosis surgery this week.  Such a kind and intelligent woman.


After absorbing all that knowledge and furiously taking notes I took a break to peruse the Expo downstairs.  I was excited to run into some of my favorite food bloggers and cookbook authors! I was thrilled to meet Josh from Slim Palate, Michelle from Nom Nom Paleo, and Diane from Balanced Bites again (I attended Diane and Liz’s conference in Los Angeles earlier this year).


I practically RAN up to George from Civilized Caveman and high-fived him for his banana bread recipe which I was eating just minutes earlier.  I then forced him and Juli from PaleOMG and Danielle from Against All Grain to take a photo with me.   These people keep me well fed! So grateful for their delicious recipes.  Juli is hilarious and has similar humor to mine.  Both she and Danielle have cookbooks coming out shortly!


One last pic at the expo with Bill and Hayley of Food Lovers’ Primal Palate.  Their new book, Gather, is due out at the end of the month!  I was able to peek at it and the photography is off the charts!  I can’t wait to receive it!

Bill and Hayley

After I finished stalking my paleo heros I ran back up to hear Sarah Fragoso speak about putting our oxygen mask on first.  As a mom of 3 and celebrity personal assistant, she was most definitely speaking to me.  Its often hard to stop taking care of everybody else for a second and start taking care of ourselves.  Ironically, if we as caregivers are not balanced, well fed, well rested and strong, we really can’t do a great job of taking care of anybody else.  She inspired me to find time to exercise more often, even if that means another couple hours away from the kids each week.

Thursday night we had dinner at Green Pastures with a large group including my new friends Brook, another Brook, Rachel from Paleo Review, Joe and some Paleo celebrities: Dr. Terry Wahls and Jimmy Moore and Primal Toad among others.


The NorCal margaritas were flowing and it was incredible to be able to have all the delicious food available without having to investigate it for gluten and other crap.  Amazing!  After dessert we enjoyed a show by the Dan, the Paleo Comedian. Hilarious!  My first time trying chocolate covered bacon.  I’m still not sold on the idea. Don’t hate me.

The next day was jam packed full of conferences and panels.  The choices were tough but I went with:

  • Ancestral Wellness for Women’s Health
  • Hormones: You’re a walking chemistry set
  • Dr. Paul Jaminet
  • Affecting Future American Healthcare
  • Affecting Future American Food Policy
  • Sustainability: We’re In it for the Long Haul!
  • … and topped all that off with a Think Tank: Catalyst For Change

My head was about ready to explode by the end of Friday – thank god I took notes.  I managed to infuse my brain with as much Robb Wolf and Chris Kresser as humanly possible.

IMG_5307 IMG_5313

The work Robb is doing in Reno, NV is astounding.  I’m sure there will be ongoing updates on that on his podcast.  The Think Tank panel moderated by Roger of Relentless Roger and Michelle Norris was very inspiring.  The audience asked questions on various blogging, podcasting and business ventures and got solid feedback from the panel.  They definitely got my wheels turning.

Friday at lunch I hung out with a dozen paleo peeps (hey Jason, Brook Joe and Rachel!) at Zax.  The waitress was thoroughly amused with our bunless burger orders and probably equally perplexed that no one was biting on the pasta special.  Friday night I met my friend and cousin Megan for dinner at Z Tejas and caught up on several years worth of news and laughs.  I barely spent any time at the hotel since Saturday was up early again to catch the last few knowledge bombs before heading home that evening.

Saturday’s panels included Nutrient Density, Evolution of Ancestral Wellness, Ask The Paleo Masterminds and Cave Kids, where I asked for some advice on children’s carbohydrate needs and got great advice from both Chris Kresser and Stacy of Paleo Parents.  I listen to both of their podcasts each week but, asking specific questions to them in person? Priceless.


For lunch on Saturday Briana, Maggie and hubby, and I went to Zax again!  Dinner was more larabars and tuna and stuff as I hurried off to the airport to return to the littles Saturday evening.  Eric had dinner leftovers waiting for me which I of course devoured.

Random observations on Paleo F(x)?

Everyone had super healthy hair.  No, seriously.  It was a bit nutty.  But even better than that?  The mood in the room, halls, etc was super relaxed.  I know going paleo did wonders for my mood swings (blood sugar regulation perhaps?).

The verdict on Paleo F(x)?

Soooo glad I made the time and money effort to go.  It truly was the most enriching experience so far this year.   Looking forward to more great talks next year!  In the meantime I believe we’ll be able to catch the talks we missed with Video On Demand soon!

Did you go to Paleo F(x)?  What was your favorite talk/panel?  Feel free to link to your recaps below!

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Sylvie McCracken is a former celebrity assistant in Hollywood turned full time entrepreneur currently living in Ashland, Oregon with her kids. She writes about treating and preventing health conditions with real food and natural remedies, as well as anything else she feels like writing about because she's a rebel like that. 😉 he also mentors health professionals turned entrepreneurs on her other site,