I'm back home in Michigan, unpacked and getting back into my routine. Words cannot express the amount of empowerment, love and unity I felt this past weekend at the 15th annual Wise Traditions 2014 conference titled Focus On Food. Life changing, magical, just like heaven and community are some words and phrases that come to mind as I reflect back on my very first WAPF Wise Traditions conference in Indianapolis, IN. The attendance for this international conference soared past 1,700 real food and aware folks.
I was so fortunate to have attended due to the graciousness of my sponsors at Corganic nutritional line. Thank you Karen, Dan and Archie (that's us below), you guys rock and so do your supplements and whole foods for rebuilding and repairing the body. CLICK here to check out their health changing line of gut support, fish oils and real food. Read some of my success stories by using Corganic's line.
The Wise Traditions conferences are in the land of milk and honey, literally – raw milk and raw honey, just as Chris Masterjohn, PhD, discussed at his presentation on The Land of Milk and Honey at the conference. It is so refreshing to be surrounded by nutrient rich food for four days and other folks who really truly understand you and who totally get it. We talk about booch, organ meats, fermented foods, ghee, tallow, lard and fermented fish oil like we are talking about the weather. No need to explain or get weird looks from anyone – everyone is aware and into healing their body! That my friends, I call love and I felt it for 4 days. Let's just say, I did not want to leave.
Ok, a typical day at the Wise Traditions conference:
- Wake up in your stunning hotel with a breathtaking view.
- Have breakfast with others foodie friends, some you know and many you meet there. Everyone is very friendly, fascinating and has a story.
- After breakfast, walk to any of the speakers presentations that sound riveting to you and while walking through the hallway, say hi to Chris Kresser, Sally Fallon-Morell or Dr. Natasha Cambpell-McBride. Yep, everyday at the conference is just like that. It is so awesome.
- Attend any sessions and take notes and pictures. What I loved most about this is that you can walk into a sessions while it has already started and quietly walk out and head over to another session. The hardest part was picking just one, as many excellent talks were happening all at the same time.
- Visit the real food and other educational vendors and make more connections.
- Sample all of the free food, healthy fats, broth and drinks throughout the day, I loved this!
- Head over to lunch which was always a full buffet of grass fed, local, and fermented food options. Find friends to sit with and there is always new foodie friends to meet at our large tables. You never have to worry about bad vegetable oils or questionable ingredients in your food. And the best part, after you finish your nutritious REAL FOOD meal – no kitchen to clean …. awwww, slice of heaven.
- Head over to another round of powerful presenters, take notes and pictures and be prepared to be blown away by the presenters information and the attendees questions.
- Dinner time! We met up in the bar area first with a bunch of my favorite real food bloggers (you will see below), I was holding back my excitement the entire time!! Then head over to dinner and dig in to unlimited amounts of REAL FOOD and excellent conversations.
- We mingled and socialized back at the gorgeous hotel lobby next to the fireplace, sharing stories and making life long connections with other compassionate health conscious folks.
- Admire the stunning view at night. Get to bed really late (it was worth every second!), sleep sound in our peaceful rooms, then get up and do it all over again!
So, what were my highlights from my first WAPF conference. There were SO many, here are some of my highlights!
- Hanging out with my wing woman, Kelly of Kelly the Kitchen Kop. We are local friends and Kelly was on the board with me we in our home town in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Thanks so very much Kel! I really appreciate YOU.
- Getting to meet and form an instant bond with Jill, Kelly's blog assistant. She is so fun, funny, intelligent, and so compassionate. Oh and did I mention funny -we laughed together all weekend. I know we will be life long friends.
- Hands down getting to meet, talk with and have dinner with the blogging rockstars who I have admired for YEARS was so inspiring; Katie – the Wellness Mama (P.S. I am holding her brand new hard cover gorgeous cookbook “ The Wellness Mama Cookbook: Simple Recipes for Healthier Families” that I will be doing a review for very soon – so stay tuned!), Genevieve of Mama Natural (and happy baby Paloma) and Heather of Mommypotamus (and sweet Levi) and their wonderful spouses. They are so down to earth and super friendly, I feel so blessed to have been in their company.
- I meet the wonderful, brilliant and talented Sarah Pope of The Healthy Home Economist, the inspiring Kristen of Food Renegade and my hero of many years Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride author of GAPS.
- I meet a very interesting fellow at the kombucha bar. We cheers and toasted with our icy cold kombucha bottles to such as wonderful event. Turns out it was Denise Minger's confidante ( love Denise and her book Death by Food Pyramid!) We talked for quite sometime at the event. It was great meeting you Scott! Then on Sunday, they were walking past me and I got to chat with and meet Denise! I just love her and her enthusiasm. She gave a talk to roughly 1,500 attendees at our awards dinner on Saturday night. She was smart, super funny, witty and on-point.
- I meet and socialized with Mark McAfee, Founder and Owner of Organic Pastures Dairy. The country's largest real milk operation located in Fresno, CA. He is fascinating and beaming with real food enthusiasm.
- Ever hear of the brilliant site Farm Match? I hadn't until the Wise Traditions conference. It's a site that allows you to type in your zip code and check off anything you are looking for in terms of farm fresh food and gives you not only the farms that offer it, but also the people who are interested in the food, milk, meat, eggs, etc too! I LOVE that. To me, real food is also about coming together and forming friendships with others who appreciate health and nutrition and REAL FOOD. So, I had the pleasure of meeting the man behind the Farm Match site, Max Kane. He also has a mind blowing story of health recovery. Max once suffered from crohn's disease due to the effects of the SAD diet. He turned his health around by eating raw food (literally, he eats raw meats too – check out the photo) and raw milk. This lifestyle and diet change saved his life, way to go Max! You are an inspiration to me and many others.
- I not only had the pleasure of listening to her talk, but I meet her and she had dinner with me and our group of real food bloggers: Lierre Kieth, author of The Vegetarian Myth. She is full of soul, earthly connection, compassion and love. Along with my new real food friend Jill of Farm Food Blog, another awesome real food friend I mentioned earlier, Jill, Kelly's assistant and my good friend and conference wing woman Kelly.
- I meet and bonded with Raine of Nourishing Ourselves and Agriculture Society, we have a lot in common and she is so down to earth.
- Here are some WAPF chapter friends from back home in Michigan.
- Hannah Crum, the kombucha mamma of Kombucha Kamp, is delightful. When she walks into the room, everyone is mesmerized by her positive and good ju-ju. She is a blast!
- I had the chance to see and talk to Rami Nagel, my favorite Heal Tooth Decay author. He has actually just written a new book called How to Heal Gum Disease.
- I meet Jenny from Nourished Kitchen (one of my absolute fav fermenting blogs!) and her family.
- I had the honor of meeting and talking with Annie Dru of Lardmouth and her beautiful assistant Taylor, who teach ancestral cuisine. We had a blast talking about California, the Pacific Ocean and snorkling. I plan to visit there soon!
- I meet at chatted with Dr. Allison Seabecker, who specializes in gut health and SIBO. I'm a huge fan of hers.
- Hearing Chris Kresser speak on debunking the acid-alkaline myth, I was so humbled. AND the information he shared, blew my mind. He stated that the pH of your urine and blood have nothing to do with the actual pH of foods/drinks you consume. Wow!
- Just breathing the same air as Sally Fallon-Morell was exhilarating. I attended several of her talks and was frantically taking notes because she is a walking real food global encyclopedia. Because, as I tell my clients, the teeth Do tell the tale.
- So … these are just some of my highlights, but the entire trip was so amazing! I was over the moon to be there, can you tell?
Some of My Notes and Presenters Pictures
Be sure to check out my facebook page, where I posted many pictures live during the conference and speakers notes throughout the conference. CLICK here for my facebook page, scroll down to see my conference notes and pictures.
Check out Mama Natural's short and sweet highlights video at our conference:
I hope this article has inspired you to attend the next Wise Traditions conference which will be in Anaheim, CA at the Anaheim Marriott November 6-9, 2015. I absolutely will be there, I am hooked! Will you be there?