The Talks at Wise Traditions 2011 Conference

I just got back from an extended trip to the Wise Traditions 2011 Conference. This year’s conference was my second one and I’m so glad I went again. The first year I think I was a bit overwhelmed. As an introvert, throwing myself into a conference full of people I’ve never met while still dealing with energy issues and trying to listen to every talk was a bit much. I had a wonderful experience the first time around but this second year was just amazing. Getting to see some people again and meeting a lot of people whose blogs I’ve followed for a while was fun. Also I had tons more energy this year so I didn’t have to miss out on anything to go sleep.

Paul Jaminet

Paul Jaminet answering audience questions during his talk

Paul Jaminet – Perfect Health Diet

My favorite talk this year was by Paul Jaminet, author of The Perfect Health Diet. Somehow I had never found his wonderful blog and book before this conference, even though I seem to follow everyone who has linked to his site. I guess you miss things when you speed read through blog posts. The diet he outlines is probably the closest to what I would recommend to people who are looking for a healthy diet to follow. It’s not necessarily a protocol for healing from Celiac or other digestive issues like SCD or GAPS, but is a great diet to follow for health.

During his talk he also talked about infection and finally I feel like I understand why some people do great on low carb SCD and others do not. He said that people who have bacterial infections tend to feel great on low carb (this was me) because bacteria mainly feed on glucose. People who have fungal/parasitic infections do horrible on low carb (I’ve seen many on SCD with this experience) because these feed on both glucose and ketones which are produced by the body on a low carb diet. For people with these infections, eating some carbs that you can digest is best. Too much and the bad bugs get to feed on the leftovers, too little and they feed on ketones. A good amount is probably around 100g carbs per day. So if you’re doing low carb and getting worsening symptoms like toe nail fungus, yeast infections, oral thrush etc, try adding some carbs back in.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride – GAPS

Every year Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride gives a full day GAPS talk. Last year I sat in for some of it and it was an awesome experience just to be in a room filled to the brim with people who I didn’t have to explain my diet to. This year I didn’t go because I didn’t feel the need to, but Brenda over a Well Fed Homestead sat in on the talks and offered some really good advice here: http://www.wellfedhomestead.com/eat-what-you-need-on-the-gaps-intro. As much as these diets are detailed and thought out in books, it’s impossible to heal unless you figure out what your body needs. I have often modified my SCD/GAPS-like diet to suit what I needed and although it’s tricky at times it does work! Trial and error plays a big role in healing.

Sally Fallon – Healthy Pregnancy

I love sitting in on Sally Fallon’s talks. She has such a calm demeanor and you’ll leave her talks feeling inspired and hopeful. You also get to see all the old photographs Weston Price took comparing health primitives on traditional diets with their not-so-healthy relatives on modern diets (hint, genetics aren’t to blame on this!). This year she gave her usual talk on nourishing traditional diets but also a separate talk on healthy pregnancy and babies. The basis of the information she gave is that pregnancy is a time to nourish and get tons of nutrient dense foods, not a excuse to eat junk! Fats, fat soluble vitamins, minerals and cholesterol are extremely important for growing a baby. Animal based fats, seafood, lots of butter and organ meats are all important on a pregnancy diet. She has announced that a new Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby & Child Care is coming in 2013. This will be a great resource and I cannot wait. I hope she includes lots of pictures of healthy babies!

Stephanie Seneff – Sulphur, Sunlight & Cholesterol

Stephanie Seneff gave a very interesting talk on sulphur, sunlight and cholesterol. Thankfully her slides are available online here and here so I don’t have to fail at trying to explain it all! I like how Stephanie talked about how sunlight does so much more than just provide us with vitamin D. We know that vitamin D is low in people who don’t get enough sunlight, but is taking a pill really a good substitute? What about other stuff we don’t know that happens when sun hits our skin? What about food sources of vitamin D that have other nutrients in combination with it? My view is get sun as much of the year as you can and then supplement vitamin D in the winter while also focusing on vitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil. She also talks about how cholesterol is actually very necessary for health along with certain other nutrients like folate, choline and zinc.

Chris Masterjohn – Fat Myths

I’ve heard about the science behind the ‘saturated fat is evil campaign’ being dodgy at best but hearing Chris picking apart some of the studies was ridiculous. Even he was cracking up at how awful the science was. What if you’re doing a study with two groups – one on polyunsaturated fats and one on saturated fats – and you don’t get the results you hoped for? Well these researchers combined the two groups, then got a new control group (not sure what fats they were eating) and then derived conclusions about polyunsaturated fats from the new results. Hmmm… Also, it’s a bit scary that no long-term studies have been done on polyunsaturated fats (relatively new vegetables oils like corn, soy, safflower oils). Most studies run about 5 years which is not long enough to know what effect they have on cholesterol and heart health. Most studies on saturated fats lump all solid fats into the same category whether they are natural (animal based fats and tropical oils) or man-made (hydrogenated vegetable oils aka margarines) which again does not give us any indication of how natural saturated fats affect cholesterol and heart health. Check out Chris’ blog for lots of info about cholesterol, fats and more.

So there’s a few of the talks that stood out to me this year. Obviously there were many more and if you’re interested in hearing any or all of them, the recordings are available to order online. I will blog some more about the rest of the conference, the food and the people which is the best part! Being in rooms full of food geeks is invigorating.


I have been following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet since January 2008 to recover from Celiac disease. As part of the diet, I don't eat grains, sugar or potatoes and prepare all my meals from scratch.


  1. Kat, thanks for teething so much during the conference. Really useful information. I was hoping you’d put something like this post together.

    The bit about scd and infection could be the answer for me. Did great on Scd for a year, had a horrible oregano oil / bifidus experience and ended up with yeast issues. Haven’t been able to get things back to where they were for a couple of years now but have doggedly stuck to scd.

    Can you give any insight into what/which carbs to be increasing?

    Can’t wait for part 2!

  2. Hi Kat,

    Thanks so much for the conference recap, especially the input from Paul Jaminet. Question since you must have learned a lot at the conferences: I went on the intro for 9 days and full GAPS for 6 months (for sinus problems and yeast infections, lack of HCL and adrenal fatigue)and noticed absolutely no difference and then had to go off due to family matters – again, noticing nothing as I switched. It seems to me that I should have noticed something. My problems are still there, but I am debating if I should get back on GAPS again since I didn’t feel any different. In your opinion, was I just not on long enough…or would you try something different like body ecology? I’d love to hear your input. Thanks!

  3. Hi Kat,

    Thanks so much for posting summaries of some of the talks. You mentioned in your recap of Paul Jaminet’s talk that low carb is good for those dealing with bacterial infections. From reading his site I got the impression that he never really believes low-carb is healthy. Did you get a different feeling from hearing his talk? I do seem to feel much better on a very low carb diet and definitely have some trouble when adding in carbs.

  4. Hey Kat,

    It was awesome meeting you at the conference! I am definitely heeding your advice from Paul Jaminet about not eating low carbs (I have a yeast overgrowth in my gut). However, I am unsure if I am eating enough. I am on stage 1 of the GAPS Introduction diet, which doesn’t leave me a lot of room for carbs. I have been making almost all of my soups with squash, and drinking ginger tea in between meals with lots of honey. Do you think that’s enough? Thanks!

  5. @Mike & @Malarie I would suggest juicing vegetables like carrots and beets which will provide a bit more carbs. Raw carrot has anti-fungal properties as well. Juice is great for mixing in raw egg yolks and pieces of garlic which both help as well.

    @Jean He didn’t seem anti-low carb but he did talk about it more as a tool for dealing with bacterial infections and not a long-term strategy for health. He’s very much a advocate of moderate safe carbs for maintaining health. I used low-carb off and on for a few years but have now finally been able to add carbs back. Have a look at this post if it might give you ideas for things to try: http://www.scdkat.com/2011/06/carbtolerance-weight-gain/

    @Andrea 6 months and not noticing any difference probably means it just wasn’t working for you. Feel free to send me an email with more details about what your diet is like, I might be able to give you some ideas to try.

  6. Hi Kat,
    Thanks for posting your thoughts on the conference.
    I wish we could have spent some time together again- I can’t believe it’s been a year already.
    I hope to make it to next year’s – I hope you do too.

  7. @Lisa I have enough Aeroplan points for next year, so as long as I can find a lot of roommates I should be good to come! Closer to you this time too. 🙂

  8. Hi,
    We recognized you at the conference this year. We wanted to say hi and chat, but we got preoccupied with our 14 month old most of the time.
    Question: have you received your conference recordings yet?

  9. Hey Kat! I totally understand about the whole introvert thing… you might not have been able to tell, but I am definitely one too. There WAS soo MUCH going on!! I admire the people that could stay up all night talking and catching up… I was like “where is my bed?!” HAHA.

  10. Every year I hear about the conference and every year I get a little closer to being in a position to be able to go. Deities willing I hope not only to make it next year but to also be living in that area.

  11. @Derek I ordered the DVDs but I think they will be delivered in December. I haven’t ordered them before so I wasn’t sure when to expect them. There’s so many people at the conference it’s tough to meet everyone. I hope you can make it next year!

    @Meagan Haha, I think a lot of people at the conference are introverts, which makes it so much fun. It’s such a good group though, everyone is so supportive and easy to talk to.

    @Soli I hope you can make it next year, I’m already trying to set aside some money. It’s worth it 🙂

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