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PaleoF(x) Part 3: Meeting Some of My Favorite Paleo Bloggers

If you have not checked out my earlier recaps of Paleo F(x) 2014, you can check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I crammed a lot of experiences during that weekend, but my favorite part about the whole experience was being able to meet some of my favorite bloggers!  There are so many great bloggers who give tons of insight, encouragement, knowledge bombs, and much more as they share their stories and experiences living a healthy real food lifestyle.  These bloggers also post tons of recipes, which I am then able to recreate and share with friends and family!

I loved meeting some of the biggest names in the Paleo/Primal movement and finding out how nice and down to earth they were.  Mark Sisson is one of the top people in the Paleo/Primal sphere, and the writer behind the hugely popular Primal blog Mark’s Daily Apple.  His blog was the first one I started reading when learning about how to transition to the Paleo diet.  I spent hours reading through his articles and learning the ins and outs of eating for health and performance.

I found out how kind Mark Sisson was after trying to capture pictures of him without him noticing, since I didn’t want to bother him.  He caught me lurking near him (still trying to work on being more stealthy), and when I went over to introduce myself and let him now I wasn’t trying to be the creepiest person on the planet, he graciously posed for a picture.



Another big name in the Paleo community is Robb Wolf.  His book the Paleo Solution has helped lots of people to get healthy, and he shares many knowledge bombs on his blog and through his podcast.



I was able to meet the lovely Danielle Walker, the popular blogger from the website Against All Grain.


She had a book signing for her cookbook of the same name during that weekend, a New York Times Best Seller, and when I went up to have my book signed, she recognized me from Paleo F(x) 2013 (which meant the world to me)!


She has a new book coming out this fall, “Against All Grains – meals made simple.”  I am very excited to check out her new recipes once the book is released on September 2, 2014.

I met Diane Sanfilippo during her book signing event.  She blogs at Balanced Bites, and is the author of the Twenty-One Day Sugar Detox, The 21 Day Sugar Detox Cookbook, and the New York Times bestselling book Practical Paleo.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, she co-hosts a Paleo podcast with Liz Wolf of Real Food Liz, the author behind the book Eat the Yolks (I have not had a chance to read the book yet, but it is on my long list of books purchase).


I meet the lovely, talented, intelligent, fierce and all around awesome woman Stephanie Rouper, the blogger behind the blog Paleo for Women.  Her blog tackles some of the issues women within the Paleo movement face, including struggles and issues that may not be fixed with just diet and lifestyle changes.  I met her at Paleo F(x) 2013 last year, and was so glad to catch up with her again.  She has a new book out, Sexy By Nature, which I look forward to reading.


Juli Bauer, the blogger behind Paleoomg, also attended Paleo F(x) 2014. I watched her food presentation, and listened to her in a panel discussion about incorporating treats into a Paleo lifestyle (both of which you can read about in Part 1 here). Juli’s blog is legit awesome, with tons of amazing Paleo recipes, lots of pictures of her adorable new puppy Jackson, stories about her life as a CrossFit coach, and also discussions about the ups and downs she faces being in the lime light as a popular Paleo food blogger.


Juli and George Bryant (the blogger behind the popular blog Civilized Caveman Cooking) have co-authored a new cookbook, the Paleo Kitchen, which releases on June 10, 2014.  I have already pre-ordered the book, and can’t wait to make the blueberry pancakes pictured on the front cover.  Whose ready for a pancake party at my house?

Finally, I met my ultimate Paleo blogger girl crush Stacy Toth.  Stacy Toth has lost over 100 lbs + while on a Paleo diet.  That type of success is amazing and very inspiring.  Stacy and her husband Matthew McCarry are the couple behind the popular blog Paleo Parents.  They use their blog to share not only amazing recipes, but also tips and advice as they raise their three boys using a Paleo template.  They have co-authorized several cookbooks together, including the cookbook Eat Like a Dinosaur and the cookbook Beyond Bacon.  They have a new cookbook coming out soon, called Real Life Paleo, which is scheduled for release on November 4, 2014.


On her blog, Stacy shares about her journey starting Crossfit, and then discovering strongman training – competing in her first competition this year (and winning it!).   I find it empowering and encouraging as she shares her stories about lifting heavy and see her body transform, and using that strength not only in the gym, but also in her daily life.

When Stacy isn’t co-writing books with her husband, working on her blog, or training for strongman competitions, she finds time to co-host a popular Paleo podcast called the Paleo View with co-host Dr. Sarah Ballantyne.  Sarah is the blogger behind the popular blog The Paleo Mom, and author of the recently released book The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Health Your Body.  The podcast provides a wealth of information, and the friendly banter between Stacy and Sarah provide lots on entertainment on my way to and from work.


I got to hear real life evidence of that friendly banter when meeting both of them at Paleo F(x) 2014.

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience at Paleo F(x) 2014, and can’t wait to go back next year!  I hope you enjoyed learning about Paleo F(x).  If you’ve read this far, you are truly amazing 😉  Next up, yummy Paleo recipes!  Do you have any suggestions on recipes you would like me to test out?  Leave a post in the comments section and I’ll see what I can whip up!

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Paleo F(x) 2014 – Part 1: Meeting the People

Last month, April 11-13, 2014, I attended the third annual Paleo F(x) conference in Austin, Texas at the Palmer Events Center.  What exactly is the Paleo F(x) conference?  It’s a chance for people in the Paleo community to gather together to learn more about the Paleo lifestyle, meet other Paleo enthusiasts, and learn how to lead a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

The conference discussions spanned a variety of topics, including: (i) a focus on eating real, whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods; (ii) engaging our bodies with a different exercise methodologies; (iii) maintaining a well-rounded health approach by focusing on proper sleeping habits; and (iv) living a life focused on overall health and wellness.

During the three days of the Paleo F(x) conference, I was able to attend an exercise skills workshop, and variety of panel discussions and cooking demonstrations.

It was fun watching some of my favorite bloggers creating their culinary creations in front of a crowd:

Juli Bauer and Vanessa Barajas whipping up teriyaki beef stir fry with cauliflower rice.

Juli and Vanessa making beef teriyaki stir fry with cauliflower rice.

Danielle Walker prepared ginger chicken and broccoli:

Danielle Walker from

All of the  meals looked amazing.  Too bad attendees didn’t get to sample any culinary treats made during the cooking demonstrations :/

There were also multiple discussion panels each day, and multiple stages for each panel during the three-day conference.  Below are some of the panel discussions I sat in on:
Ancestral Health For Women: discussion of Paleo lifestyle principles specifically as it relates to the needs and circumstances of modern women (from left to right: Dr. Ruthie Harper, Dr. Lauren Noel, Dr. Deborah Gordon, Stefani Ruper and Diane Sanfilippo).

from left to right: Dr. Ruthie Harper, Dr. Lauren Noel, Dr. Deborah Gordon, Stefani Ruper and Diane Sanfilippo

Fairies, Unicorns & Paleo Cookies: description – “determining the place of cheats and treats in the Paleo lifestyle (from left to right, Juli BauerBill Stayley, Steven Wright and Dallas Hartwig).

from left to right, Juli Bauer (, Bill Stayley (, Steven Wright ( and Dallas Hartwig (

Think Tank: Catalyst for Change: description – “No more sitting on the sidelines, get in the game: Share the health…what begins here will change the world” (from left to right: Abel James, Diana Rogers, Robb Wolf, Dr. Shili Mehta and Roger Dickerman).


 Beyond Food: description – “Health is about more than food.  This   panel covered the oft-neglected topics of sleep, stress, mindfulness, and learning to find balance” (from left to right: Kyle MaynardDarryl Edwards, Dr. Dan Stickler, Kendall Kendrick and Steve Kirsch).


All of the panels I attended were informative, and brought a wide variety of perspectives.  Not everyone agreed on each point of view for all of the panels, but for the most part I heard with each discussion topic a respect for people’s differing points of view while engaging in lively debate.

There were several movement workshops offered.  Attendees were offered sessions for improving kettlebell work, core training, technique for the Olympic lifts, and even general play outside.  I attended a skill workshop focusing on improving back squat and dead lift technique, hosted by Jim Laird.  Jim Laird is an elite level powerlifter, and the co-founder of the gym  J & M Strength and Conditioning based in Lexington, Kentucky.

The initial part of the workshop included mobility exercises to warm us up, and then Jim Laird and his assistant worked with each participant individually to go over their form and technique.  It was enlightening for me to watch and listen to Jim go over the strengths and weaknesses of each individual, and then see those same issues in my own form and technique.  He pointed out weaknesses in my core and hip mobility, and gave me several things to work on.  Below are some pics from my one-on-one with Jim:

Working on  hip mobility for back squats:

working on hip mobility....something of which I will need to work much more on.

Working on additional squatting cues by squatting to a box, or in this case a large tire 😉


One day while I was walking around and checking out all of the vendors, I saw a booth for something called Gymnastic Bodies.  I’d never heard of the program before, so I sat in on the lecture (turns out this was the same time as the Robb Wolf/Mark Sisson panel, which I totally forgot about.  Oops!).  It turns out that the founder and CEO is a man by the name of Christopher Sommer, a National Team Coach for the USA Mens Gymnastics Team, who has been coaching gymnastics in the USA for over 40 years.

According to the website, coach Sommer has

“[t]aken the core of what makes Olympic gymnasts strong and broken it down step by step from the most basic to the most impressive feats of strength.”

Gymnastic Bodies held several skill workshops during Paleo F(x), including leg mobility and handstand balance.  Below are some images from the handstand workshop:









As a CrossFitter, the program offered by Gymnastic Bodies seems like something that could help me improve my CrossFit performance, and something I want to look more closely into in the future, especially with CrossFit’s heavy emphasis on gymnastic movements.

I know I’ve covered a lot for my inaugural post, but there is so much more I want to share with you guys!  In Part two  of my Paleo F(x) recap, I’ll share my experiences interacting with more of my favorite bloggers, and also share some of the yummy treats and eats shared by many of the vendors at the conference.  Please come back, because you won’t want to miss what new food discoveries I found!