PaleoFX, AHS, and Building Institutions

The next year could be huge for the ancestral health movement. We have a chance to leap into the mainstream. Shou-Ching and I will certainly be working hard to bring that about. A lot of other people are working hard at it, too.

In order to accomplish this, we have to work together, and to do that it’s extremely important to meet. That’s why I’m very excited about the two big ancestral health gatherings: PaleoFX and the Ancestral Health Symposium. Both have made announcements this week.

PaleoFX: Make Plans Now

PaleoFX will be held March 28-30 in Austin, Texas. March 30 is my birthday and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than with lots of Paleo friends.

PaleoFX is a terrific event. The 2013 speakers include Mat Lalonde, Sarah Fragoso, Nora Gedgaudas, Kelly Starrett, Diane Sanfilippo, Jimmy Moore, Nell Stephenson, Cate Shanahan, Abel James, Emily Deans, Michelle Tam, and many more, including rising young stars like Dan Pardi of Dan’s Plan.

PaleoFX has strong fitness and food components, as you would expect given the backgrounds of Michelle and Keith Norris of Ancestral Momentum. Fitness sessions and cooking demos run alongside the talks, so PaleoFX is a great opportunity to improve body and spirit as well as mind.

It will be in a new location, the scenic Palmer Events Center, which unfortunately has space limitations placing a strict limit on the number of tickets that can be sold. PaleoFX 2013 is expected to sell out early, so it’s a good idea to make plans soon.

PaleoFX is offering a special deal on tickets purchased by December 1: you’ll be automatically entered in a contest to win access to a VIP dinner with speakers or a full refund of the PaleoFX ticket cost. Visit http://therealpaleofx.com/ to register for PaleoFX 2013.

Ancestral Health Society: Calling for Volunteers

The Ancestral Health Society has released a call for volunteers to help with the Ancestral Health Symposium 2013.

AHS 2013 will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on August 15-17. Right now the Society is looking for volunteers for the following positions:

  • Program Chair and Committee – invite presentation proposals, choose speakers, and craft the program schedule.
  • Public Relations Committee – help make the event successful.
  • Social Chair and Committee – arrange the parties!
  • Registration Chair.
  • Volunteer Chair.

If you’re interested, please let the Society know.

Building Institutions

At AHS 2012, I volunteered to help the Ancestral Health Society create a scholarly and clinical journal, the Journal of Evolution and Health. We’re currently choosing a publishing platform and solving technical issues; the editorial process is expected to begin in the new year.

We believe that this journal can bring scholarly, clinical, and popular communities together. The many health success stories that have appeared on Paleo/Primal/PHD blogs are strong evidence for the effectiveness of ancestral approaches to health. The journal will provide a forum to assemble evidence systematically and communicate it to a broader audience.

I know of a number of other promising initiatives underway in the community to bring ancestral health to the general public. Many, I’m sure, will bear fruit.

For our part, we’re hopeful that the new edition of our book can help the movement become more popular. We believe our diet is well-grounded scientifically, effective at healing, delicious to eat, and, because it supports gluten-free safe starches, easy for most people to adopt and maintain.

In the spirit of teamwork, we would like to introduce our readers to other worthy members of the ancestral health community. Toward that end, I would like to add a few “resource” pages to the site:

–          Food sites. A lot of great food bloggers post PHD-compatible recipes. Some of my favorites: Hilary Finch Hutler’s TummyRumblr; Russ Crandall’s The Domestic Man; Josephine and Henry Svendblad’s Nutty Kitchen; and Francesca, “The Italian Paleo,” at Francesca Eats. I’m sure there are other great food bloggers that should be on this list. All of them deserve more attention.

–          Healers. We often get emails from readers asking if we know of doctors, nutritionists, or alternative medicine practitioners in their area who are familiar with PHD and supportive of integrating modern medicine with natural, ancestral approaches to healing. Usually we don’t. Assembling a list of PHD-friendly healers would let us give a better answer.

If you’d like to be listed on one of these resource pages, please send me an email: pauljaminet at perfecthealthdiet dot com.

I have ulterior motives for discovering PHD-friendly foodists and healers. Identifying allies-in-spirit is the first step toward working together. For example, as the journal gets going, we will want to publish clinical case reports; to do so, the editors will need to be in contact with healers. There may be other opportunities. I organized a panel at AHS 2012 on “New Technologies, New Opportunities” to discuss how the ancestral community can take advantage of software technologies that are enabling new forms of collaboration, information sharing, and mutual aid. I don’t have anything definite in mind – yet – but I think there are opportunities to do a better job of bringing great food and ancestral healing to a broad public.

Conclusion

It’s an exciting time in the ancestral health movement. The community is growing fast, but is still small enough that it’s possible to know most of the players personally. If you’d like to be involved, there are many opportunities. Please consider getting involved!

Leave a comment ?

13 Comments.

  1. The journal is very exciting, do you know if it will be free to access like the Evolutionary Psychology journal?

  2. Love your vision Paul. You may need to train and assemble a PHD staff … a PHD certified team.

    I’m a big fan of Russ Crandall and The Domestic Man.

    re: PHD-friendly healers – yes, I wish I had that.

  3. I’m thrilled AHS 2013 will be near me! Thanks for an inspiring post, Paul. Good things are ahead.

  4. For a food/cooking site that you might consider adding to your resources, I highly recommend the UK based blog of Paul Halliday – Living in the Ice Age.

    His recipes are Paleo/PHD compatible , *wonderfully* simple, and his photography shows how they can be presented beautifully.

    The Journal sounds like a great project, and a good way for the Ancestral Health movement to “get some respect” from the mainstream.

    A nominal fee for membership/subscription would be well worth it – we have all spent much more on much lesser things.

  5. Hi Paul — For some reason that I can’t fathom, you were not a presenter at AHS12. Personally, I find your reasoned approach to food choices based on our digestive system to be among the best. Is there any reason you were not involved this year? Might you consider presenting next year?

    • Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for your support. Although I didn’t talk at AHS 2012, I did serve on two panels.

      I will propose to speak at AHS 2013.

      One of the things the Society is trying to do differently this year is to set up a program committee in advance of the request for speaker proposals, with pre-arranged “tracks” and “topics” so that speakers will have a better idea what the committee is looking for. Last year, the program committee was organized late and was composed mainly of volunteers who had done the bulk of the work organizing the conference, notably by two Harvard Law School students and the leader of a web design business.

      That illustrates how important volunteers are to the functioning of the Society, and how much influence they have on its affairs. The Society is asking for volunteers to serve on the program committee. If you’d like to help select the 2013 speakers, you might consider volunteering for the committee.

  6. Sorry, I realize you are certainly involved — I just wondered if you might be presenting!

  7. Hi Paul,

    Can you give a distinction between the goals of Paleo f(x) and AHS? I have looked at their web pages and it’s just not clear to me.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Kathy,

      In general, PaleoFX is the “popular” Paleo gathering and AHS is the “academic/scholarly” gathering.

      The initial Ancestral Health Symposium was sort of a Paleo Woodstock, the first time everyone in the Internet ancestral diet & health community had gathered in one place.

      However, with the creation of PaleoFX, a sort of division of labor is taking place: the AHS organizers want to create a forum for the advancement of scientific knowledge — academic, clinical, and relevant to practical living, but approached with a scientific attitude; they want the meeting to be in part a gathering of scholars that supports an emerging scholarly community. PaleoFX overlaps with AHS in content but is more oriented toward practice and fun and social-community; it includes strong fitness, cooking, clinical, and even business aspects as well as a greater orientation toward popular figures in the community.

      They’re both great meetings, and they’re both still evolving, so my descriptions may not be perfectly accurate, but that’s my sense.

      If you are considering attending I’m sure the organizers of PaleoFX would be happy to give you more information about their conference. They are very friendly.

      • Thanks, Paul. I realize you must be correct because the next Paleo FX conference is in the hometown of Keith Norris, whereas the next AHS symposium is in the hometown of Dr. Boyd Eaton.–I am very interested in both, but Atlanta is much closer to me so that is more likely. I do hope you are selected to present!

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