The ancestral food movement’s annual conference takes over Central Texas.
Thousands of attendees descended on the Palmer Events Center April 27-29 for the largest paleo event in the world – Paleo f(x). The three-day destination attracted some of the biggest names in its field, including best-selling authors Mark Sisson, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne and Robb Wolf who spoke on the “State of the Paleo Union” to rapt attendees.
“I’ve been great living [paleo] for 15 years. My body composition’s right where I want it, my body fat’s right where I want it. And my energy level’s spot on,” said Sisson. “I want other people to also chase metabolic flexibility.” The paleo movement shows no signs of slowing down, with some in the medical field noting improved health benefits – like weight loss, increased energy and stabilized moods – of patients who have adopted the paleo way of eating. “I see more and more physicians taking the health coaching track,” said Sisson.
The diet includes vegetables, fruits, nuts, roots, meat and seafood while excluding grains, sugar, legumes and processed oils, though variations exist among the community. The movement’s popularity was evident in the sheer number of vendors and products on display. Over 200 purveyors lined the walls, representing everything from “Keto Kookies” to grainless tortillas to kombucha and ghee.
It wasn’t just food, though. There was a Jiu Jitsu competition, Tiny Home exhibition, workouts and meditations, among other interactive activities. Breakout session topics included “Primal Play,” “Death of the American Male” and “BioHacks to Radically Improve Your Health.”
Enthusiasm and interest around the paleo diet is higher than ever, but its leaders are staying alert to challenges they face, particularly in the area of sustainability and accessibility. “We talk about access to real food, access to unadulterated food, access to organic food and grass-fed food,” said Sisson. “And we hope to eventually feed everybody this way but the [challenge] is to bring costs down and improve distribution. Any emphasis on how to create more sustainable food sources is definitely a big issue in the next couple years.”
Cover photo Eric Shaughnessey