I am home from an amazing weekend in Austin, TX at Paleof(x) and can’t believe it’s already June! May went by in the blink of an eye and I have a feeling June is going to follow in its footsteps. So much going on this month, including doing a Whole30! More on that to come, but first, all my favorite things from Paleof(x) 2016!
This year was my second year attending Paleof(x). Last year, I was working the Suja Juice booth, so it was a lot of fun to be there to just hang out and see some of my favorite people. Plus, eat all the paleo foods. 🙂
First stop on Thursday night was a very late dinner at Swift’s Attic. We got brussels sprouts with pickled onion, crimini mushrooms, golden raisins and toasted almonds, shrimp remoulade with frisee, lardon, roasted potatoes and hot sauce (this dish was amaaaazing). And then we also got a pork belly special that came with broccoli… also amazing. Definitely a great place with tons of paleo options!
When we got to the Palmer Events Center Friday morning, I did a quick loop around the Expo floor… so many of my favorite brands were there including Fatworks, Eating Evolved, Otto’s Naturals and Sieté Family Foods. I also stumbled upon some new products I’d never tried before!
Sweet Eats was a brand I hadn’t heard of before, but they had some amazingly delicious, clean and dairy-free chocolate. My favorite was definitely the white chocolate… how often do you see a dairy-free white chocolate bar? Never. It was amazing. The milk and dark chocolate were also delicious.
I had heard SO many good things about Date Lady products, but had never tried them before. I love this whole food-alternative sweetener and the chocolate spread was pretty irresistible as well. Looking forward to experimenting with these products after my Whole30 is over!
Live Kombucha is one of my all-time favorite Kombucha brands, and as always, I was happy to see them. Root Beer is definitely my go-to flavor, but I tried their Blueberry and Rhuberry, which I’d never had before. If you’re someone who doesn’t love the taste of kombucha, I highly recommend this brand… they are super mild and taste really similarly to mainstream soda!
Kudos to Barefoot Provisions for setting up this Barefoot Chill Zone at their booth. As an introvert, all of the people, noise and crowds can definitely get a bit overstimulating. I was so happy to have this place to relax, take a break and occasionally, go upside down. Plus, samples in the tent were abound, including a Chameleon Cold Brew tap station!
Day 1 I stopped by the networking session for bloggers and was pretty inspired by V of Paleo Bosss Lady‘s story. Always makes me happy to see bloggers with inspiring stories helping to inspire others to get their voices out there.
“What is Your Gut Telling You” was one of the first panels I went to. I’ve always known I struggled with gut issues, but within the past year the connection between my gut health and hormonal health and my struggle with hormonal acne has become especially apparent. It’s astonishing to me how much of our health is tied to having a healthy microbiome.
The Clearlight Infared Sauna was truly one of my all-time favorite things at Paleof(x) this year. I had heard about inferred saunas from The Primal Palate last year and was really interested to try this baby out as it’s an incredible tool for detox. Eliminating toxins from my body has been key to my hormonal acne protocol so I certainly left the show fantasizing about getting one of these.
Paleo Bone Broth Protein Powder?! Yes, apparently it’s a thing and I am really excited about it. Bone broth is a powerful, gut-healing ingredient and I am thrilled to see that it’s finally made it’s way into powdered form. You would think bone broth protein would taste pretty gross, but it doesn’t. All of these flavors were delicious and even the “Pure” flavor was extremely mild. Not to mention, when have you ever seen a Turmeric Protein Powder? I’m gonna guess never. Really excited to try these out as I am always looking for dairy-free & clean protein powder options.
Friday night was definitely my favorite night of the weekend. The wonderful, generous family behind Sieté Family Foods invited a small group of bloggers to a five-course paleo dinner at their headquarters. The food, company and atmosphere were top notch and it was so great to spend the evening with both new and old friends including the wonderful people behind Balanced Bites, PaleOMG, Fed and Fit, Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, Pastured Kitchen, Full Body Fix, We Are Primal Two & The Paleo Attorney.
There were a ton of meaningful, memorable moments at Paleof(x), but perhaps the most impactful was the demo that Epic did about slaughtering and butchering a chicken. Yes, they did both of those things live on the expo floor, in front of many onlookers. As you may have seen me mention on Snapchat, I think that meat eaters have a certain responsibility to really take responsibility for their part in the food chain. I think that if you are uncomfortable with the way your food is prepared, you probably shouldn’t be eating it. I truly believe that responsibly farmed, pasture-raised chickens are both raised and slaughtered humanely and I am happy to stand behind that process.
No Paleof(x) trip would be complete without a stop at Picnik. Picnik (an all-paleo coffee and lunch shop) actually catered the conference. I definitely opted in when I found out they were doing this and enjoyed deliciously filling paleo meals for breakfast and lunch each day. Even still, I couldn’t help but walk over to their shop and try out the banana soft serve! Just 100% frozen bananas on a hot Texas day with paleo/vegan chocolate chip cookies… it was pretty much heaven.
Saturday night we went to Freedmen’s BBQ for dinner. They were out of sausage (which was a bummer) but we got brisket and ribs with coleslaw and potato salad as sides. We also got a couple of their craft cocktails because they looked amazing, and they were! The BBQ was okay (I consider myself a BBQ snob), but the dinner was delicious and the sides were on point.
It was rainy and cloudy for most of the weekend but the sun came out early Sunday morning and I couldn’t help but snap this photo from the window of my hotel room with the Texas Capitol in the background.
My favorite session of the weekend was definitely Sunday morning’s “Vaccines, GMOs and UFOs”. A panel of people that I deeply respect debating some pretty politically incorrect topics, i.e., things you probably wouldn’t bring up at a dinner party. It was great to see so many sides of the story covered and it was enlightening to be reminded of how broken the scientific process is. Funding is minimal, scientists are afraid to tarnish their reputation with controversial (but much needed) studies and a staggering amount of studies have shown that they cannot be replicated. A sobering reality that hopefully inspires people to really consider a wide range of issues when making important health decisions.
See you next year, Austin!