I really wanted to get a post up right away about all the amazing people I met at the conference. It’s been a bit hectic since I got home from my trip, but in a good way!
While at the conference I got to meet up for the second time with the Real Food Media Bloggers. What an inspirational and supportive group. We talked about goals and what we wanted to do with our blogs and our work. I finally decided to make it my goal to dive into the health and nutrition field full time. My last day of work was this past Friday and I’m starting to decide what I want to do going forward. At the conference I met so many people who were doing what they loved and they just seemed so happy. I want that! So far my plan includes doing courses for certification, writing a book, and continuing to help people on SCD and GAPS.
The main reason I went to the conference was for the people. There were quite a few people who attended last year although a lot of new faces as well. Of course the big joke was about how many of us have blogs. I thought back to when I first started SCD and even though there weren’t as many around, I already thought I shouldn’t bother starting one! Now I think the more the merrier. Everyone has a voice, a story, and information to share.
I’m glad I got the chance to meet and talk to so many people. Thank you to everyone I met for hanging out with me – Malarie, Maureen & Bridgette, Chris S, Ben, Chris M, Paul Jaminet, Debbie Young, Denise Minger, Wardeh, Jill Brenda, Meagan, Jonathan, the 180 Degree health “crew” – Matt Stone, Rob A, Aaron F (seriously fun when you recognize people from the comments on a blog!), Tim, Bryan, Jan, Patrick, I’m missing names here… so many good conversations!
The food this year was pretty good, but noticeably less than last year. The issue was the record drought in Texas. For the conference most of the food is usually donated by local farms, but since farms were having such a rough year in Texas, a lot of the food had to be shipped in. The one thing that always stands out is the butter though. They always make sure to get the best butter! A few lucky people got to buy some at the end of the conference to bring home. One of these years I will drive to the conference and truck back a whole bunch of goodies.
After the conference I continued to meet some real foodies, including Anna and Bryce who each showed me one of their favorite local restaurants. Anna and I feasted on the most massive Texas-big omelets I have ever seen. I still want to try making beef heart tartare after enjoying some at Foreign & Domestic in Austin.
During my trip, I stumbled upon a really nice restaurant in San Antonio called The Cove. The owner, Lisa, told me she started it as any other burger joint but throughout the years has transformed it after learning more about nutrition and health through studying Ayurveda. She just couldn’t keep feeding the public what she wouldn’t eat herself. Now the restaurant boasts a menu of fresh, local and organic foods with plenty of gluten-free options. I had a pastured lamb burger, sweet potato fries and homemade ice cream. Delish! You can also wash your car, laundry, and let your kids play on the playground all while being entertained by live music.
To round out my food trip, I stopped in at the very first Whole Foods in Austin, Texas. I did my usual perimeter tour I would take in a grocery store and was amazed at the selection. Tons of great produce, meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. Then I realized I should check out the center aisles which were not filled with junk. I left with some delicious fage yogurt, fresh carrot apple juice, butter and eggs. That was probably the first time I’ve ever bought eggs from a grocery store and found them to have the deep golden yolks that my usual small farms eggs have. I really wish I had a Whole Foods where I live.
I plan to go to next year’s conference which will be in Santa Clara, CA. After having so much fun on this trip, I’m hoping to make next year’s into a vacation as well and check out the food scene around California. There’s no describing what a wonderful group of people attend and present at Wise Traditions. No matter where you are on your journey, you learn something and leave there with new things to try to better your health. I came to this conference feeling great with one nagging minor health complaint and left knowing how to address that (more in a future post) even though I wasn’t looking for a fix! But, I’ll probably return again and again just for the people.
For more pictures from the conference check out Cheeseslave’s Flickr album.