Nothing is quite as humbling as sitting in a room full of people, listening to a genius speak on a subject that is entirely new to you, and all you can do is sit with an open mouth and take notes as fast as you can. The Ancestral Health Symposium of 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia has come to an end, and I’m back home in lovely Portland, Oregon. For three days, I sat and listened, I took a ton of notes, and networked with so many awesome, knowledgeable people.
Of course, I also hunted down the various paleo celebrities, who mixed and mingled with us regular folk. I totally loved meeting Mark Sisson who dubbed me “Grokette’s original muse”, which has officially become my tag line for this blog.
I met and chatted with Russ, the Domestic Man, whose blog I’ve been following for a long time now, and who will publish his very own gourmet cookbook next year. I had the great pleasure to shake hands with Chris Kresser, whom I admire for his down to Earth approach to all subjects related to paleo, who is never afraid to admit a mistake. I had a brief chat with the great Robb Wolf, and admired his willingness to spend a good amount of time to talk with each of his fans who approached him.
But I was most tickled to have met Jimmy Moore. If you haven’t read his blog, I encourage you to do so. Jimmy is the most human of all these amazing people. He mingled with the crowd, and his friendliness and sense of humor were appreciated by all who’ve met him at this event. Go, Jimmy! You are my hero!
Looking back at this event, I will admit that I expected there to be more “normal” people, for lack of a better word. I didn’t expect so many health professionals, so many highly educated individuals, who interacted at a high level. Each conversation that took place at the breakfast or lunch tables, was a joy to listen to or participate in. Not all who were there, ate a paleo diet. I’ve met low carbers, gluten free people, a couple of did some kind of blood type diet, and this is probably what I appreciated the most. All of these people came together with one goal, to educate themselves and others on ways to reach great health, may this be with or without any grains, with or without sugar, with intermittent fasting, or with a ketogenic approach.
I walked away with a much better understanding of why women need to store a little bit of fat in their bodies, how my sleep cycle works and why it sometimes makes me drag during the day, how to cook the perfect paleo gourmet meal, whether or not paleo is going mainstream, and so much more. But what I consider my most important lesson in all of this, is that there is no one single approach to perfect health. Paleo/primal is a wonderful way for many, but it is not the only way to get there. Weston A. Price found this very convincing evidence even in the 1930s when he traveled the world and found equally healthy people in the Swiss Alps eating nothing but grains and cheese, and in Africa, where tribes ate mostly meat and some plants.
I’ve said this before, and I will say it again, an open mind will get you ever closer to your goal of perfect health. When you arrive at paleo/primal as your way of life, don’t think for a moment, that your journey is over… It has, in fact, just begun.