It’s a pity I didn’t take any pictures at the Ancestral Health Symposium this past weekend.The attendees were simply the definition of vibrant, sexy, strong. The most striking visual feature of the conference was the glow emanating from the attendees. I have never seen such a vision of health: beautiful skin (without ProActiv), toned muscles, radiant smiles, shiny hair.
I’m not a complete stranger to conferences or other crowded places. Generally there is ample amounts of acne, hollow eyes, large mid-sections, and a general greyish tinge to the majority of the people.
Of course, not everyone was in perfect health. There were plenty of works-in-progress (such as myself), but overall, I was completely inspired by all the healthy bodies, young and old, showing me what is in store in the future as I continue to take care of my health.
In fact, Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal fame wrote a post about the beautiful people of the Ancestral Health Symposium. Look! My husband is one of the beautiful people (he’s the one in red on the far left–and that may be the top of my head, though I can’t be sure).
Besides appearances, the most powerful idea I walked away with is something that has been gnawing at me for several months now that I’ve been trying to wrap my head around. Several of the presenters alluded to this in some form, but none quite as blatantly as Nora Gedgaudas and Don Matesz.
Essentially, they confirmed what I have been feeling quite strongly about: Paleo is far more encompassing than what the average Paleo-adherent portrays. It is more far-reaching than going gluten-free to eliminate the western diseases of diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. It extends to our sleep patterns, seasons of fertility, dentistry, environment, clutter, parenting. It is a way of life that affects more than just our immediate families. I love the phrase ancestral health because it suggests what Paleo does not necessarily convey, and that is simply looking back at our evolutionary history to help us solve some of the more complex issues affecting us today.
The symposium brought a whole lot of like-minded people (who happen to be very diverse) together for discussion. The event itself was one of the most organized events I have ever attended and the people were (generally) respectful. I was mildly disappointed in a couple of the presenters, but overall, my mind was blown away by the sheer amount of brain power in the auditorium. Perhaps I expected it to feel more like a bunch of informal bloggers getting together rather than well-versed scientists. Maybe I thought I would stick out like the Paleo-disguised Mommy blogger I truly am. I don’t really know what I expected, but I was simply giddy with excitement.
A big thanks to Brent Pottenger and Aaron Blaisdell who made the inaugural year feel like a well-established tradition. Given the option to go big or go home, it is evident that home was not even a consideration. Well done, gentlemen.
And next year, you better believe I’m whipping out my camera. No picture with Staffan Lindeberg or Pedro Bastos or Guy-André Pelouze? #fail
More of my thoughts on AHS11:
More of other people’s thoughts: Free the Animal’s Blog Post Round-Up