So, as you know, we were in Austin over the weekend so that I (Sarah) could finally attend PaleoFx. PaleoFx, for anyone unfamiliar, is “ is the world’s premier holistic wellness event, covering health, nutrition, fitness, sustainability, self-development, spirituality, relationships, entrepreneurship, & everything in between.” They focus on these things mostly through an ancestral health lens, thus the “Paleo.”

I’d scanned the agenda prior to arriving, so I had a general idea about who the speakers and panelists would be, as well as which companies I’d find in the expo. At the same time, I wanted to go in open minded - I feel like there are so many things to admire and emulate in this world, and the health/fitness space especially, while there are also many things to, let’s say, “consider with caution.” I wanted to be free to follow the interesting and disregard the less useful.

Anyway, the first day I attended a talk by Dr. Sarah Ballantyne about the gut microbiome which was just the right mix of technical and entertaining. While there were many takeaways that I’m still, ehem, digesting, the main one is that the full diversity of our gut bacteria is optimized through exercise, sleep, hydration, stress management, and of course nutrition. Based on the information she presented, and building on what I learned in my MS program, a fully unprocessed diet, free of grains and unprocessed sugars in particular, helps to enhance our gut health, and eating a wide variety of nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, nuts, seeds, and a few other super foods makes a substantial difference in how well our bodies can access and absorb the vitamins and minerals contained within the cells of the foods we eat. It made me want to write a nutrition program focused on putting this knowledge into practice - prep methods, recipes, and shopping lists to enhance variety. Please let me know if you think that sounds useful!

The first panel I attended claimed it was going to be about the psychology of change, and while I felt it was more about self-actualization it was quite interesting. The main takeaway for me was the importance of clearly understanding who you are, who you want to be, and establishing daily practices which reinforce that transformation. One of the speakers mostly focused on how hard it is to perform optimally if you’re trying to fake it in your environment - using an example of an entrepreneur who lived in a penthouse with lots of windows but was afraid of heights. Another speaker described the process of aging as essentially going from doing 2% things you want to do and 98% things you have to do, to ideally working until you get to do 95% things you want to do, and only 5% things you have to do. The rest of the conversation was also interesting, but those were the two points that really stuck with me.

I already mentioned the digital detox keynote I attended, but suffice it to say that I’ve been making a concerted effort to spend less time in front of my screens since listening to it. Recognizing that they’re designed to be addictive, and treating them as such (i.e. an addiction can be broken), I’m doing my best to resist the urge to check for anything new nearly so often. The main specific tip I thought was helpful is to turn off notifications for everything that is distracting - for the speaker that meant keeping notifications only for phone calls, texts and calendar notifications. He also engages in regular screen-free time with his family, including full days and even full weeks occasionally. Seemed like a good thing to aspire to!

I already mentioned the awesome sunscreen & skincare company - Third Rock Essentials - the other companies I found there that I thought were cool:

Fringe Sport, which primarily sells home gym gear,

BodySpec - the DXA scanning truck. Want us to bring them back?

Exo bars - cricket bars. Stock ‘em or nah?

A company that I can’t remember the name of, which has recently created a brain health coffee creamer with MCT, DHA, etc. Seems like a great idea but they’re not quite to market yet. I’ll keep an eye out.

Scribe Method - they help guide authors through the self-publishing process. If you’ve been considering writing a book come let me gush about how great they are!

Happy Living - a media company of awesome people trying to make the world a happier place. I’m excited to listen to their podcast.

I’m definitely forgetting things. If you’ve been thinking about going, or want to go back with me next year let me know!

WOD For 05-02-19:

FIVE 3-Minute Cycles For MAX REPS:

30/25 Calorie Row

25 AbMat Sit-ups

MAX REPS Box Jump Overs @ 24/20 in

(Rest 3 Minutes Between Cycles)

Score = total number of box jump overs after five cycles