A Toast to AHS12, Tequila & Friends

by Steven Wright

ahs12-chris-masterjohn

The plane lurched, groaned, and then bunny–hopped. The engines were thrown on full blast and I just about hit my face on the seat in front of me. Welcome to Boston!

I met up with Jordan and shortly after made some new friends, including Ben Greenfield. Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 here we come. A short (2hrs…) drive later we made it to Cambridge and our hotel (thanks GO shuttle – not).

We got all the hiccups out on the first day and the rest of the week Jordan and I had a blast. AHS12 was exciting, informative, draining, renewing and exhaustive all at the same time.

Running a website feels isolating sometimes. Emails, tweets and messages will never replace normal human interactions like handshakes or hugs.  So for the first time, Jordan and I had the pleasure of meeting some of our readers in person.

Raise Your Glasses For 3 Cheers!

First to our fans, I can’t thank you enough. To meet someone face-to-face and hear how the community we’ve built has helped is very humbling and rewarding. It definitely helped renew the fire!  We can’t wait to keep delivering the best content on digestion, food and health.

Second, to our online friends who we finally got to meet. We were lucky to enjoy a chill dinner with Chris Kresser (he’s a superstar these days). Jimmy Moore was everywhere and anywhere all at the same time, with his contagious loving attitude. Diane Sanfilippo was touting her awesome new book that’s dominating Amazon (for good reason). Master J (Chris Masterjohn) is wicked smart and equally fun to chat with.

Third, to new friends who we met…

  • Dan Pardi is doing some amazing things and is about to BLOW up the health scene (sign up for Dan’s plan free here – we did).
  • Ben Greenfield is innovating endurance athletics (check out his site for great tips).
  • Jeremy Hendon launched a new Paleo magazine for Ipads.
  • David Fisher connected Robb Wolf to his new friends in Reno and then hung out with us as we talked Ulcerative Colitis (we all owe David).
  • Mat Lalonde huge honor to meet him and came up huge helping us record a live podcast with Chris (and exonerated bacon once and for all).
  • Stefani Ruper, who runs a site for Paleo women (we’re cooking up something special together, for all you ladies).
  • Laura at Ancestralize Me explained the WAPF membership to us and provided good laughs.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some (my bad). I know there were many more we talked with and made plans with to change the world (so email me).

The Top 4 Highlights of AHS 2012

We didn’t see all the presentations because we spent plenty of time meeting and talking with people. Lucky for us, and anyone who didn’t make it, the folks at AHS believe in giving back and plan to post the full presentations for free when they get the footage edited and ready. I want to highlight 4 areas that really stood out to me.

1. The energy

I’ve never felt anything like it before. It was radiating from every corner; I think we might have permanently raised part of the Harvard campus. You could feel it everywhere you went. People were smiling, swapping ideas, planning to change the world and enjoying themselves. And best of all: they were all like-minded and on the same page. If you weren’t there you won’t understand… but when it comes to conferences this one was off the charts. I feel so energized by all the brilliant, hardworking and humble people in this Paleo / Real Food Diet sphere.

2. The people

I named enough of them above.  But this was a massive highlight for us. To meet fans, old friends and make new ones is a great experience. If you’re ever thinking about attending events like this the answer is “YES”. We walk around in a world where it can seem like we’re the weird ones, always fighting up stream. But in this sea of people it was peaceful, instant acceptance, no weirdness and exciting group to be a part of.

3. The Presentations

1. Robb Wolf – City Zero: How Markets and Evolution Can Revolutionize Medicine – This dude is a true leader. He’s several steps ahead of all of us with his thoughts, plans and leadership. In his talk, he discussed amazing real world changes he’s taking part in while saving lives and millions of dollars with the Paleo Diet, smart drugs and prudent medical testing. His message and charts were freakishly simple and serious… if we don’t change our current medical practices we will destroy our economy for good.

2. Stephan Guyenet – Digestive Health, Inflammation and the Metabolic Syndrome – His ability to synthesize complex topics and then teach a diverse audience was brilliant. I thought his talk was eye-opening and highlights a massive new front of research on obesity and the gut. He showed that gut flora can be extremely important for keeping us skinny.

3. Chris Kresser – Iron Behaving Badly: The Role of Iron Overload in Metabolic Disease – Everyone knows he’s wicked smart, but what I didn’t know was he has mad presentation skills too. He was able to boil down a complex multi-faceted topic into actionable steps for patients and doctors. What I loved was that he taught a concept from start to finish. Most never go this far in a conference, so he deserves a lot of credit for highlighting the problem and then teaching us how to fix it.

4. Chris Masterjohn Oxidative Stress & Carbohydrate Intolerance: An Ancestral Perspective – He is such a wealth of knowledge it was amazing. He connected dots from everywhere and I was in complete awe of that. He walked us through some complex reactions diagrams that I only got about 30% of. So, I can’t wait to review this one several times because after listening to Kresser talk about I know I missed a ton!

5. Dr. Michael Mew Craniofacial Dystrophy: Modern Melting Faces – This was maybe one of the most controversial presentations of the conference. If you can ignore his need to dis Weston A. Price (admittedly hard). The rest of his message was fascinating to say the least and had most of conference buzzing for hours. He showed case studies and strategies to avoid orthodontics by learning proper teeth, tongue and jaw posture. Also, he recommended eating hard foods over the soft foods common to western diets. Only time will tell, but I thought it was a refreshingly new idea and I can’t wait to hear what else comes out of this area.

4. The Organizers

Huge props to the organizers for what was a very well-run conference. The talks stayed on time, there was water, coffee and a place to step outside and get some Vitamin D when needed.

In general, it was very well run and I hope the footage turns out well. If we had one criticism we were disappointed in the lunch caters.  Of all the conferences and groups of people to be with we expected to be served gluten-free food or have some options to obtain it (same goes with dairy). Sadly it wasn’t so, and when we quizzed the providers they couldn’t tell us for sure that it was gluten-free.  While the food was Paleo and I’m thankful the companies were open about their ingredients it would have been nice to see this conference cater to those of us who have to maintain strict diet standards. Hopefully next year they’ll have a box you can check to get a specially prepared lunch.

A Great AHS 12, Looking Forward To AHS 2013!

I hope you’ll consider joining us next year at Ancestral Health Symposium or later this year at Winston A Price Foundation Conference.

Steve

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About the author

Steven Wright Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started SCDLifestyle.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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