How it started: Brent Pottenger like his ancestors dared to dream a dream ...
An angel named Mr. Jacobsen planted seed money, AHS was born and as they say the rest is history. Not unlike suffrage ending, for me it was powerful and freeing to attend an event where none of us needed to 'preach to the choir' or convince or persuade anyone that optimal health is within reach by embracing a few precepts modeled by our distant ancestors (more play, less grains, vary your life/n=1, more fighting, attend to gut symbionts, etc). For the initiated, we all had each other's vote for some time now, if not stark fan-following.
Everyone rocked my world!!!!!!!!! ...from fans of the blog (esp the pharmacy boys, keep up the good work and d*mn it publish something to rock the neolethal medical world), other bloggers, AHS presenters, volunteers and interviewers.
Here's my critical top ten for the peeps that attended and made this happen:
1. Prof Aaron Blaisdell ('Xavier' with lots hair), Brent Pottenger (legacy in the making), Mr. Jacobsen (king of angels and sun energy), Seth Roberts, and all the 50+ volunteers that made AHS smoothly operate and happen from behind the scenes to IN THE SCENES. Synergy in action. Awesome dream team!
2. Erwan Le Corre and Clifton Harski -- Thank you for not letting me leave my face or *ss on Muscle Beach/Venice Beach. MovNat is brilliant for all levels and all ages and my take is that it's probably more versatile and healing than crossfit or endurance workouts. I felt great afterwards. My sister noticed she had this kid-like bountiful energy she hadn't felt in years. I'd concur. My daughters were wondering why the h*ck sand was in the bed the next morning and I pleasantly remembered the funked out contortions and mobility combos we did on Sunday for the workshop including laying in the sand for some defensive/ground exercises. Honestly I am not the most coordinated therefore if I can do movenat moves than really anyone can. We swung up bars (mimicking tree branches), climbed up bars barehanded/footed, ran barefoot, jumped with a wavey-hand move, lifted gripless sandbags, and climbed on all fours in sand, on curbs and concrete. I couldn't deadlift much including my sister. Got snickered into deadlifting Erwan, but downgraded to do a functional move like dragging him ~ 4 meters [but had to stop from peeing in my pants from laughter... Do all French parkour experts smell/feel as good as Erwan? I dunno but I'd attend the seminar again to find out.] Clifton ROCKED as our torture master *scratch* I mean, instructor, and as others have mentioned he had the best agility, nimbleness and s*xxxy chest of AHS!!! [And it twitched when he got excited] I would concur with the other female elements of our group... ripping your shirts off did something. I dunno... Request: please do it earlier in the day. It's better than caffeine. Climb a tree? Tell me how high and how fast? The quiet parts of the day were when Clifton and Erwan explained the philosophy of MovNat... we need to explore and be aware of our terrain. Prepare for the predictable but expect the unexpected. Stress? We all have stress and doing MovNat is one of the best de-stressors. To a question from Amy Holms , Erwan replied that the best way to decrease stress is being with friends and family, be in Nature as Nature is the best de-stressor, listen to reggae, move and do MovNat... We all may have stress (even Erwan). Don't know about you, but I'm taking the G-R-E-E-N P-I-L-L and that's the best thing I learned from AHS.
3. Rockstars -- there are seriously too many to list but at the top for me is Denise Minger. Not only is she a glam ROCKSTAR but she can also nail any crazy-rabid vegetarian straight to down to the ground with just a whoosh of her Louboutin heels and with blinding kindness and grace. My sister and I had the honor to meet and be one of the first to greet at Prof Blaisdell's house at the pre-party and she was far more interested in hearing where we came from than to introduce herself. When she told us of her ghetto motel story (woman screaming from next thin-walled room) you just want to protect and shield her from all idiots and danger. But as we know, she's TOUGH. Anyone who can fell the myth wearing the emperor's clothes (T. Colin Campbell, the statistics hoaxster who rivals Ancel Keys) deserves glorious kudos. Tucker Max accuses the primal/ancestral movement of deficiencies of violence?? Did he listen to Minger present? She was VIOLENTLY HILARIOUS and VIOLENTLY EFFECTIVE. Period.
[BTW I think Tucker is right on. Even my peaceful futuristic explorers Spock and Captain Kirk fought effectively in hand-to-hand or weapon-assisted combat, when required. Tucker's talk was also a huge highlight]
4. Mat LaLonde -- he doesn't blog so he was under my radar. WTF. Where did he come from? He is the best brainiac warhead for the paleo/primal folks who don't want to lose credibility (like me) and who want to prevent smackdowns from core academic sciences (NOT fun, been there...). His command for plant derived chemicals and biochem belie his pretty, luminous skin and f*ckme gorgeous biceps+ quads. Is he a supergeek or strongman? Like most of AHS I think he's a renaissance guy and multitalented. Thank you for all the science language tips. It's helpful to not sound like a freak or moron, or worse both.
5. Richard Nikoley/Queen Bea, Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Seth Roberts, Gary Taubes, Keith Norris and Missus TTP, Mary and Mike Eades, Doug McGuff, Stephan Guyenet, Pedro Bastos-- These are my mainstay pillars of knowledge and wisdom and good to see them again in our AHS element (actually my VIRGIN TIME meeting Doug, the Eades, the Norrises, Pedro, having lunch w/Stephan). I refer tons of people to their blogs/books and websites (as well as the below). They cure, heal and free many of my favorite human animals, making my zoo world a better place. Thank God and Gaia for them.
6. Emily Deans and Jamie Scott -- Emily's a HARVARD-TRAINED PHYSICIAN and HARVARD PROFESSOR and SHE GETS IT. Also you'd think that with her sweet online presence she is this delicate, cerebral, tiny, white, lily flower but actually she is a *%$&@ TOTAL BAD*SS and hit the bars at MovNat with ferocity and persistence. Yes. And. She lifted sarcophilic Jamie Scott onto her BACK [ he aint heavy, he's my brother ]. Her presentation at AHS was the best physician talk IMHO that I heard; it reviewed the history of mental medicine and the recent relevant studies regarding psych on magnesium (which can reduce anxiety and important for adrenals), food toxins, gluten, and many other vital factors (no pharmaceuticals). Jamie Scott is as hunky, calm and sauve as you'd imagine and add the intoxicating NZ accent! Thanks for the tip too! I was having problems with running lately and developed hip pain and he hacked it right on. I stopped hyper-lifting my leg and pushed back more as he kindly suggested, which fixed it. I suspect MovNat was a jaunt in the Christchurch earthquake park for Jamie. It seemed effortless... From his talk, he discussed in length the implementation of the corporate primal/paleo program he is involved with. The world desparately needs more cutting edge programs like this. Can Jamie clone himself and apply these concepts at Google or Wall Street or Microsoft? Resilience? These two are the epitomy.
7. Craig Stanford. He and Caleb Finch have done amazing work in primates and studying behavior. He presented many insights from his research including a really interesting study on chimp meat-eating which occurred in a spastic frenzy for ~10 wks that coincided with the mense of the female chimps. Meaning? Who knows but similar to many things that I find fascinating about evolution is that it presents more questions than answers. This talk just geeked it out for me...
8. Melissa McEwen. For me, she is the rational voice for sustainability, evolutionary tracking and the gut microbiota. A recovering/recovered vegetarian like many who presented and attended, she speaks with authority and experience about the ancestral/primal backdrop that improved her health. Her talk exemplified 'hunting for hypotheses'. What does the literature say? Well. Not much about evolution in many circumstances. So many clues exist but without the proper context, what can we make of it? The last research she brought up in her wonderful talk was how H. pylori, a questionable pathogen, has co-evolved and migrated with humans since tens of thousands of years if not longer. Most of the world are colonized with H. pylori yet in industrial countries the carriage has diminished with sanitation and widespread antibiotic use. She brought up many potential ramifications of its extinction in industrial guts, including the increase in GI disorders and new epidemic levels of esophageal adenocarcinoma (one of the most lethal cancers in 50+ yr olds).
9. Paleo bloggers and Paleohackers. Melissa and Dallas from Whole9 are absolutely stunning, as is their awesome program. [did Melissa's gorgeous xfit gams come all the way up to my eyeballs...?] If anyone appears on Oprah or Oz, I do place my bets on the Whole9. Finally I met my Bay Area sustah from a different mutha: the stellar, hot, MiLFy Nom Nom Paleo 'M' and her ripped husband 'H' at FITBOMB, a blog cracks me the f*ck up a lot. Nom nom has a nutritional sci background and IS A PALEO PHARMAICST(I'm like HER!! and we both c*ss almost as bad as Richard and Bea! wtf). Nom nom is much cuter and does unspeakable things w/her Sous Vide and camera (see rated XXX food porn: HERE ). My sister and I had an unforgettable, fresh and unlimited Korean BBQ buffet dinner with author/blogger/thinkr J. Stanton/Gnolls.org and Jolly, gifted photographer, both are experts at knowing how to groove and chill-lax to the ultimate. [Did i gain wt? Coz i ate as much as J. but no coz I did movnat 2 days later. All the upper body/chest/back work... I think my b**bs grew like Clifton's. No. I. Am. Not. Envious. *haa!*] Others in the house were my generous and neato co-speaker Dr. Tim Gerstmar, David Despain (I think we were separated at birth), and the incredible superstar Jaminets. FYI Stanton knows how to EAT WELL as a carnivore. Must be the mohawk contingency factor. The restaurant he chose had had a one-hour-wait and somehow he charmed US ALL IN < 10-15min. The clubbing music, fermented pickles, raw salad, and meat MEAT meaaatttt (!! pork belly, stomach, organs, beef, etc) were nothing short of orgasmically perfect. What an amazing way to finish Day 1. Did you see Jolly's mouthing-watering meat pictures ? Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet are a beautiful and amazing couple. My sister and I loved every minute we had with them. We are big-time fans of their book, blog, generosity and knowledgable insights. I met some PH'ers, THEY ARE SO FUN! I've gotten PDFs and tons of (free, me-lurking) advice from them at Patrik's brilliant site. WCC Paul (dude thanxxx), Kamal (u r WAY way prettier in person), Aravind (watched you 'come out' *haa*), Gone2Croatan (love ur style, sorry didn't realize who you were (!!) next to the droll j/k Andrew/Evolvify) at Napa Grill, etc. Dinner on Day 2 was equally exciting but I was fading fast. I'm so glad to meet and hang out with my bud Christian Wernstedt from Modern Paleo.
10. Chris Masterjohn and Nora Gedgaudas tie for clinically relevant for my personal interests. Gedgaudas: Nora's talk really aligned the mental, nutritional and healing aspects of what I am into -- identifying neoLETHAL damage (mercury toxicity, gluten, EDCs, etc) and health recovery. I wish I had met her but I'm certain our paths will cross or I'll attend her seminar at some point. Masterjohn: My foray into blogging started with cardiology, so I was really appreciated Masterjohn's presentation regarding the 'molecular degeneration' in heart disease. He shredded the topic of atherosclerosis to unidentifiable pieces. HANDS DOWN. Personally out of all the videos that will go viral, I hope this ONE makes major waves. With cheer and acute sarcasm, he tackled, maimed, bled out and academically dismembered the 50+years-embedded cholesterol-heart hypothesis. He reviewed the curious history of the rabbit model for atherosclerosis (everything injected/given did not produce plaque until non-rabbit food, cholesterol, was fed) and additionally discussed the role of thyroid, omega-3 deficiency, plant/animal antioxidants and oxLDL. His charm and beguilingly, azure-blue eyes shield the courage, humor and sharp scientific scrutiny he focuses on any topic he engages in. I've asked him for help to look at stats and studies and until you meet someone in person, you really cannot appreciate the non-online PERSON. I think this is the aspect about AHS that I loved the most. Flesh. Blood. Pheromones. Yaa! Meeting friends who were online comrades over hotel or hallway hugs, hearing presentations that were aurally and visually stimulating experiences (say PHEROMONES), mutual admiration, meals, wine, sharing close company (ok, f*ndling primal biceps and brains) and PARTYING LIKE ANCESTRAL ROCKSTARS.
What a lovefest.
My theory is that like many others I'll be in withdrawal from the reward hits from the lovefest for some time...