I wanted to call this post “Gratitude” because that is what I’m feeling from having spent last week with so many wonderful people and such consuming amazing food. I had the honor of staying with Michelle, Henry and their two adorable little kids in a cute house rental near the conference, which was held in Austin, TX. Cathy Lewis, another mom from Estes Park, Colorado, also joined us. The weather felt tropical to me, coming from one of the coldest and longest Boston winters I’ve endured.
The first full day, Cathy Lewis and I kidnapped the boys and brought them to the Austin Nature & Science Center for a little hike and animal watching expedition so Henry and Michelle could have a meeting in town. Did I mention that I’m completely in love with these boys?
The next day, I did a cooking demo. Knowing that there would be some down time while my potato cakes browned in the pan, I invited Michelle to be my sidekick. It worked out great! Together, we also made her paleo sriracha recipe. I was able to catch some great panel discussions, too. One in particular that I really enjoyed was about the psychology of change. I’m always looking to learn more about how to help people mentally prepare to take on a big life improvement, and what tools I can use to encourage my clients.
The panel I participated in about sustainability included a few experts on the topic. Robb Wolf (whose hand is seen waving across my face) brought up a good point about how we should all be trying to live within our means, which I completely agree with. This was a passionate group, all trying to help folks learn ways they can be more thoughtful with their food consumption while maintaining a paleo diet.
I also was on a panel about how to effect change among the masses. Those of us on the panel have all been part of community organizing either through farming, meet up groups, or various other podcasts and marketing efforts. The discussion focused heavily on how a person can take their message into the podcast form. While I think podcasts are great, I wish folks would concentrate a little less on the “rock star” mentality of trying to be famous, and get their ego out of the picture. There are so many other ways people can get involved with making the world a better place on a more grassroots levels. For example, I was very impressed with my conversation with Ariel Greenwood, the girlfriend of one of my fellow panelists, Josh Whiton. She has a concept of getting people out of the gym and onto a farm to do actual, meaningful, physical work. This is something I’ve also been trying to get folks to do. I’d love to see a CrossFit workout involving picking up a pitchfork or tossing some bails of hay for a day instead of wall balls and deadlifts.
We ventured out into Austin a few times to dine. Henry always had his camera on him. We enjoyed Salt Lick very much, along with Melissa Joulwan and her sweet husband, Dave. We also ate at 24 Diner several times – that place totally rocks! There are more photos on NomNomPaleo’s site about our amazing eats.
Speaking of her site, she posted a recipe from my new book, which will be out July 30th and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. Sneaky how I plugged that in, ha? Well, I’m pretty proud of how it came out and surprised that it’s already the #1 seller in the breakfast category on Amazon!
Ok, back to the conference. So the last day ended with a beautiful farm to table dinner. I only had my phone on me and took minimal photos, but got this amazing shot from the beautiful Eva Twardokens.
Charles served us some soup from the communal, family style pot. Squatchy cheered on, pinky raised.
Platter after platter came and finally, the best part of the night arrived. Antelope. It was my first time eating it and I thought it was a delicious hybrid taste between beef and lamb. Please excuse my iphone photo which does not give the dish justice. This amazing effort was all to benefit The Homegrown Revival. It was hosted at Springdale farm and chef Sonya Coté donated her time to make this possible.
It was such an honor to be part of PaleoFX and I’m really looking forward to next year. Michelle Norris did an outstanding job. I know how hard it can be to organize dinners and pull off complicated events. She not only did it well, but in total style. Kudos to you, Michelle!