I just returned from an exciting trip to Paleo FX in Austin, TX, March 14-17. Rather than writing one huge tome about my experience, it makes more sense to break it up into pieces. So I will start by simply explaining the nature of the event with some photos of some of the cool people in attendance on opening night. In future posts I can get into more details about the presentations and fitness sessions. If you want to know more about it right away, there are several great write-ups already posted in the paleo blogosphere. (Check out this post and video).

The PaleoFX Ancestral Momentum – Theory to Practice Symposium was a multi-day, hands-on event. It was a collaboration among fitness and healthcare professionals, nutritionists, research scientists and laypersons seeking to address modern health challenges through the application of ancestral based theory in practice. In other words, lots of folks with different backgrounds got together to explore how to put paleo diet and fitness information into action in a practical way. It was held at The Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports on the campus of the University of Texas – Austin. As a graduate of staunch rival Texas A&M Universitythis was a slight conflict of interest for me! The Stark Center overlooks the football field and I felt like I was in “the belly of the beast” so to speak.

Texas Memorial Stadium

Texas Memorial Stadium

But I do have to admit the facilities were top notch. The event opener and social was held in the Stark Center museum housing the exhibit “Muscle and Grace: Images of Physical Culture and Sports”. It was an impressive exhibition of photos, paintings and sculpture. Here’s a shot of a large painting that is reminiscent of a caveman in animal skin. (At least that’s what I like to imagine it is.)

One of the focal points in the main section of the gallery was this large print of an old magazine cover. I love this.

There were also a few statues.

It was a perfect place to host an event that itself focuses on physical culture.

The opening speech was given by neurosurgeon Dr. Jack Kruse. He’s quite the dresser!

Dr. Jack Kruse

Dr. Jack Kruse

Afterwards, several of us paleo women got together for a photo. (Left to Right: Susie, Lisa, Ashley, Anitra, Lea (that’s me!), Sara and Lina. I think we look pretty great considering every one of us came straight to the event after a long day of travel.

Later in the evening, we got the chance to meet a few paleo rockstars like Mark Sisson of www.MarksDailyApple.com fame and author of “The Primal Blueprint”. Mark’s website was one of the first places I landed on the internet when researching this way of eating. I cannot recommend his blog, MDA, and his books, strongly enough. I own a couple of his recipe books and they are really terrific: “The Primal Blueprint Cookbook” and “Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals”. Here he is chatting up Dr. Kruse.

Mark Sisson with Dr. Kruse

Speaking of Paleo rockstars, here’s my photo with Robb Wolf of www.robbwolf.com and author of “The Paleo Solution”. Robb hosts a very popular podcast on paleo nutrition and fitness that I absolutely love. I listened to episodes 1 through 80 last year in a very short period of time because I found them so fascinating and informative. He’s a great resource and an all around cool guy.

Lea Valle and Robb Wolf

Lea Valle with Robb Wolf

After dinner, several of us braved the crowds of SXSW in downtown Austin where we indulged in some much needed Tex-Mex food. We asked the waitress for cucumber chips to go with the massive bowls of guacamole we ordered. But I have to admit to indulging in some corn chips too. We were in Austin, TX after all! And eating paleo, at least for me, is about being reasonable when it comes to food – especially if you do not have an auto-immune disease. We were joined at dinner by my roommate for the event, Kelsey Marksteiner. Kelsey is currently working on becoming a Registered Dietician. (Check out Kelsey’s brand new blog, “Healthy Gut, Healthy Life” .

In a future post I will show off some photos of beautiful Texas wildflowers taken when Kelsey and I ventured to Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower Center in Austin for a Dose of Beauty. Stay tuned for that as well as details on the presentations and fitness sessions!

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