As I fly home from Paleo f(x) 2015, I have the opportunity to reflect on my amazing weekend. The energy at the conference was high. It was fantastic to reconnect with friends from last year and make new friends. This year I had the privilege to stay in a house with 5 other fx’ers; my good AIP friend Mickey Trescott and new friends. We hosted a potluck for a group of autoimmune paleo peeps. It was so fun to be able to eat anything on the table and Christina’s liverwurst was amazing! I can’t wait to get home and make it myself.
A common trend this year was Paleo isn’t a specific dogma, but what works for your body within a healthy food structure. In other words, if you are able to handle properly prepared legumes, then you can include those. But, if you can’t, then that’s not part of your Paleo.
The willpower discussions were interesting to me. There was a discussion of your mental Labrador having a flee or flight attitude, needing fuel, and needing the 3rd F as the presenter put it (in dog terms, the need to hump). He felt there was a pre-determined number of decisions you could make in a day and the earlier in the morning you had more ability to stay strong and have willpower. But as the day wears on, you’ve made more and more decisions and by late afternoon you no longer can fight off the Lab, but give in to the primal drives. He explained some chemical processes, but my take-away was you need to properly fuel your brain in order to have willpower.
Pre-elimination, I had absolutely no “willpower” to not eat the treat which was brought to work. In fact, I wouldn’t have just one serving, but odds were I’d go back for a second or maybe even a third. I was addicted to carbs & sugar. After going through the elimination/provocation and realizing how food affects how I feel, something changed. Maybe it’s “willpower”, but I don’t think it is. For me, there is no longer a mental discussion of “oh, that looks so good. I miss having that food. Maybe just a little won’t hurt.” Now, it’s a “yuck, that is just poison and will cause me lots of pain. There is no desire and often no mental discussion”. Is that willpower? Or, is it a shift in hormones? Or, something else? I don’t know, but for me, it doesn’t feel like willpower. Maybe the Autoimmune Protocol has changed my hormones and I now my lab lays quietly most days.
Another presentation I really enjoyed was Skyler Tanner on Resistance Training Improves Cognitive Ability. He said the research is new; all since 2008 and they’re just starting to understand. Of course endurance training is good for the cardiovascular system, but resistance training actually improves cognitive ability. He said it’s not about what you lift or how much but what is right for you. If you’ve never lifted weights or exercised, then just holding your body in a plank or wall squat would be resistance training. Even climbing the flight of stairs is resistance. Of course, if you’ve been lifting or have, you need to lift a little more. He recommended 7 exercises, 2-3 sets of 60-70% of 1 rep max, 2-3 times per week.
Overall, the best part of the trip was making new friends and creating some wonderful memories.