It’s already been over 2 weeks since PaleoFX. PaleoFX is a 3 day event in Austin where the best of the best authors, bloggers, and podcasters of the paleo world give lectures, take selfies and sign books. There’s a huge expo with paleo foods, protein bars / powders, bulletproof coffees, keto supplements, and all sorts of the lastest and greatest biohacking tools (like sauna’s, red lights, PEMF, etc). That’s a whole other write up.
I think this was my 6th PaleoFX weekend to attend. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. SO. MUCH. INFORMATION. But it’s super fun, super casual and it’s 3 days surrounded by like-minded people. We all eat weird!!!
Here are a few pearls worth sharing …..
Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. The Paleo Mom.
Dr. Ballantyne is the brilliant medical biophysicist behind The Paleo Mom. She has written several books about Paleo nutrition and specifically talks about Autoimmune Paleo Protocol. She gives such a good lecture.
If you start reading any one site … read this one … The Paleo Mom.
One of her standard lectures is about leaky gut. The most important take home message from this lecture is that the gut microbiome is important to our overall wellness. What we eat affects our gut microbiome which affects our immunity, our hormones, our brain, our weight, our mood, etc. etc.
Here is a quote Dr. Sarah’s blog post What is the Gut Microbiome and Why Should We Care About it?
“The microorganisms in our guts help to maintain the delicate balance required by our immune systems, keeping the various populations of immune cells in check and modulating their activity. Achieving a healthy balance in the immune system is therefore reliant on having a healthy population of gut microbiota, growing in the correct numbers in the correct locations and with appropriate diversity.”
Dramatically increasing intake of fresh vegetables and fruit restores levels and diversity of probiotic species in as little as 3 to 4 days.
Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD. The Paleo Mom.
What is the Gut Microbiome and Why Should We Care About it?
Not only did she talk about leaky gut and microbiomes, but she also teaches us how to care for our gut. She teaches us what to eat and why. Leaky gut causes a disruption in the gut bacteria balance; causes a disruption in hormone production; causes systemic inflammation and contributes to a myriad of chronic health problems like diabetes, IBS, acne, eczema, hives, headaches, brain fog, anxiety / depression, arthritis, etc.
These posts pretty much cover what we learned at PaleoFX:
Here are some ways to improve your gut microbiome:
- Increasing intake of fresh vegetables and fruit restores levels and diversity of probiotic species in as little as 3 to 4 days.
- Foods like wheat, legumes, sugar contribute to inflammation and leaky gut. So, eliminating those foods help improve gut health.
- Fish oil supplementation can restore levels of probiotic bacteria in about two weeks.
- Fermented foods … fermented foods mean that they are a natural source of probiotics. Eating fermented foods means you are consuming naturally, healthy bacteria. Fermented foods include yogurt, kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi. You can ferment just about anything – veggies, ketchup, salsa, etc.
- Eat more mushrooms. Apparently, mushrooms have an incredibly positive impact on our gut microbiome. Dr. Sarah recommends eating mushrooms every other day! Mushrooms are nutrient dense superfoods! They are high in Vit B’s!!! And selenium, and phytochemicals and fiber. Phytochemicals fight things like inflammation and cancer and aging.
- More omega-3’s, less omega-6. Good source of omega-3’s are fish and grass fed proteins.
- Y’all. EXERCISE increases the diversity of the gut microbiome. Exercise increases the abundance of the microbiome.
- Guess what else …. SLEEP and STRESS MANAGEMENT also contribute to your gut health.
Not specific to any one lecture, turmeric was a crowd favorite. I think it was mentioned in every lecture. Turmeric is a spice common in eastern food dishes like curries. You can cook with turmeric, add the bright yellow/ orange spice to your coffee, make turmeric tea or take a turmeric supplement. Here is a delicious recipe I use to make “golden latte“.
Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; brain protective; mood stabilizing, immune boosting … just to name a few!!!
Bottom line, take turmeric.
JJ is a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert. She gave an incredibley inspiring lecture about achieving and maintaining overall health. Sleep. Managing stress. Healthy whole food diet. Exercise. Getting sunlight.
Her advice was to Pick The One Thing. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Or maybe you have gotten your food on track, but you don’t get enough sleep. There is always more, more fine-tuning, more ways to improve our health and happiness … what’s the next step? What’s the next One Thing?
Dr. David Perlmutter
A brilliant neurologist. 2 hours of straight lecture about keto and brain health. My head wants to explode. Dr. Perlmutter wrote The Grain Brain, Brain Maker and soon to be out Brain Wash.
Dr. Perlmutter’s message is keto for brain health. This was an eye opening lecture about the protective / preventive benefits of a ketogenic paleo diet for longevity and brain health. Eating keto now has proven benefits to prevent brain disorder like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, even MS and mood disorders.
From Dr. Perlmutter’s site which was presented in his PaleoFX lecture:
“Who knew that each and every one of our day-to-day lifestyle choices, including our food choices, exercise habits, sleep routines, stress levels, supplement regimen, etc., not only exerted direct effects on our health but other effects that may be even more pronounced, through changes that occur in our gut bacteria.”Dr. David Perlmutter
Five Things Since Grain Brain
You should know by now Chris Kresser is one of my favorite people. He is an acupuncturist who is at the forefront of functional medicine and trying to “heal” our national health care system. This year Chris talked about Tech Toxicity …. the dangers and addictions we have to our phones / tablets / computers. The statistics are staggering. And, addiction is a real thing. The masterminds behind our favorite apps know how the brain works. They know what they are doing. They have created these apps to trigger our dopamine responses in the same way people become addicted to slot machines. Being addicted to our phones and its apps are the same science behind addiction to gambling. ADDICTION. There are definite benefits of technology. It is about finding the balance.
Chris had some great tips:
- Set limits. Daily limits. App limits. Did you know there are apps that let you control things like this? Literally timers for websites or apps. Even on the iPhone, there are some built in settings for watching and managing app times.
- Batch your phone / app time … check Facebook, Instagram, (SnapChat, Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, etc.) and email at the same time. Then, don’t check any of them again until a designated time allowance.
- Don’t check email or FB / IG / SC / Tw first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Have a morning routine and a bedtime routine without electronics. Yes, for real.
- Have a designated Tech Free time during the week …. Sunday afternoons, Wednesday nights, etc.
- And … take a tech vacation … a whole weekend, dare I say a whole week, of no social media, maybe even no phone! Sounds as crazy as giving up grains, right??!
- Avoid having your phone at the table. Just having it in sight during a conversation or at the dinner table is enough to cause distraction and trigger the brain addiction response. Your people deserve that of you.
It takes more than hormones to fix your hormones.Dr. Anna Cabeca
My favorite quote from the whole weekend.
I see women all day every day who blame whatever symptoms they are having on “their hormones.” Women want their hormones checked. Women want their hormones fixed. Women want to take hormones. Women want to come off their hormones.
Hormones are complicated. It’s not easy to diagnose and it’s even harder to treat. Testing hormones doesn’t give us all the answers. Taking hormones (or stopping hormones) doesn’t fix all the symptoms. Hormone symptoms are a reflection of your overall metabolism and health. Dr. Anna has written a book called The Hormone Fix. Carey, Cassidy and I have all ordered it. In her talks over the PaleoFX weekend, she promoted what she calls a keto-green diet. Keto with more veggies. Leafy greens increase the alkalinity of our system. Guess what? “Diets that are alkaline decrease inflammation, improve immune response, and assist with detoxification and fat loss.”
I’m still processing all the info absorbed that weekend. My practice continues to evolve. I’m always looking for the best labs for the best practice to help you feel your best. I’m always looking for ways to optimize our wellness. I practice what I preach. I want to age gracefully and feel my best as much as y’all do. Y’all will be the first to know when I learn new tips and tricks.