May 05 2015

A Primal Weekend to Remember: Paleo f(x) 2015

By Mark Sisson
22 Comments

Howdy y’all! That’s something I picked up after almost a week in the thriving metropolis, Austin, Texas, for this year’s largest North American conference on all things related to Ancestral Health: Paleo f(x). If you were one of the lucky ones to attend this event and watch some of the presentations, then you know what a thrill it was to rub elbows in a hustling, bustling convention center filled with thousands of like-minded Primal/Paleo enthusiasts. The Palmer Events Center featured all the biggest companies in the Ancestral Health sphere along with over 30 expert speakers. Overall, there wasn’t a dull moment, an empty belly, or a lack of enthusiasm among the pop-up community of Primal/Paleo attendees. So let me give you the recap of my experience of this year’s show, starting with my keynote presentation.

I gave a couple of presentations, the pinnacle of which was my presentation on Tweaking the Recipe to Build an Awesome Life. It chronicled my evolving perspective on the importance of temperance, moderation and the minimum effective dose in creating the best life possible with the least amount of sacrifice. Many of us in the Primal movement joined because we wanted to become happier, healthier and more fulfilled. We thought the answer would come from avoiding all the conventional misinformation out there that made us sad, sick, and lackluster. But in our pursuit of perfection, many of us lost our way in the quagmire of health dogma. In short, we became so militant about becoming perfectly Primal, we forgot that the end goal was to attain an awesome life, not achieve an elusive perfect score. My focus for this event was to emphasize that we should swing the pendulum back the other direction to give ourselves a little more breathing room in our lifestyle and dietary choices. We’re all here to live awesome, and if that means doing something outside of what the Paleo Police deem acceptable, or indulging in a glass of wine every so often, we should go for it!

But the presentations weren’t my only opportunities to engage in meaningful dialogue about the latest topics in Ancestral Health. I also participated in several formal and informal interviews, including one with the folks over at The 21 Convention Podcast and another for an upcoming documentary on wheat by Cyndi O’Meara. Everyone at the show had a story, an idea, a dream, or a question that compelled them to attend. And that lead to days of lively, inspiring conversations and connections.

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For those of you who attended the Expo hall of the event, you might have stopped off at our Primal booth, which featured our blockbuster hit from Primal Kitchen, Primal Mayo, along with our rock star educational course, The Primal Blueprint Expert Certification Program. Needless to say, we really killed it. We sold out of all 300 jars of Primal Mayo (with people still coming by and pleading for more!) and signed up 17 more eager students to The Primal Blueprint Expert Certification Program. We also passed out swag bags filled with Grok keychains, stickers, and Primal Fuel samples to the delight of every passerby who took the time to rock a selfie with a jar of Primal Kitchen Mayo. Plus, we had the pleasure of featuring Safe Catch Tuna and Jilz Crackerz to whip up some tuna salad at lunch time–a crowd favorite, as evidenced by the swarms of patrons surrounding our booth at lunchtime each day (check out this video about Jilz Crackerz founders Jill and Ron, shot by one of our Cert graduates over at Paleo Porn).

And if that warm reception wasn’t enough, we picked up some choice honorable mentions at the Paleo f(x) awards ceremony. We took away the gold, so to speak, by winning the top awards for Best Blog for Mark’s Daily Apple and Best Podcast for The Primal Blueprint Podcast, which, if you haven’t already, should check out, download, review and subscribe to—we’ve got an archive of golden information on there from experts all across the Primal/Paleo spectrum and have a number of top authorities in the field in our pipeline for upcoming episodes.

The fun didn’t stop on the festival grounds, either. Our Primal presence filled the streets, pervading every corner of Austin for the weekend. For example, our marketing team had the pleasure of attending a good old fashion Texas BBQ dinner hosted by Tin Star Foods, featuring choice meats, soft lighting, and the company of the biggest names in Paleo/Primal blogging. I even took a moment to stop by Austin’s premier stationary Paleo food truck, Picnik, for a long awaited meet up with its owner, Naomi Seifter. As I arrived, I was greeted by bags of Primal Fuel and Primal Kitchen Mayo lining the shelves, ready to feed the hordes of Paleo/Primal aficionados congregating in the grass for a mid-show meal and kickback.

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Finally, as happens so often at these events, I was overwhelmed and humbled by the success stories I heard. So many awesome people shared their personal stories with me, or told of using the Primal Blueprint “technology” or other paleo secrets to literally save their loved ones. In sum, the show was a hit, and I don’t think anyone walked away without a renewed sense of purpose, community, energy, and excitement for the future of the Primal/Paleo movement. We’re all in this together, and Paleo f(x) really drove that home.

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

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22 thoughts on “A Primal Weekend to Remember: Paleo f(x) 2015”

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  1. Congratulations, Mark! You have the best blog out there and I’m glad to see it formally recognized! It sure has been a big help to me these past few years in my own quest for awesomeness. Thanks!

  2. Was such a joy to get to volunteer. I got to be a timekeeper on Mark’s talk. He also got to see me down the road a bit from my success story, linked to in my signature.

    I am down around 13 more lbs and much stronger: from one pullup to a dozen. So who knows? Maybe lost another 15 to 20 lbs of fat? In any case thriving.

    As is my daughter and wife. Next year it is going to be over Memorial day weekend. And they are going to add an option to have like 9 meals catered by Picnik that you can add as an option (new thing).

    There are also workshops from people like Darryl Edwards you can add. It is quite an experience. Wonderful actually. Just be ready for the heat that late in May. Ahhh our Austin summers.

    Eat lots of omega 3 and leafy greens to build up that natural sun protection. Then hope to see you, y’all.

  3. Cograts Mark! This news is terrific! I know primal living has changed just about every aspect of my life and the only thing I have found that is sustainable and enjoyable. Thank you so much! And congratulations to us all and our community!

  4. Mark you are one of the greatest influences of our generation. Sorry I missed the conference despite Austin being in my backyard (family obligations). I am however signing up for your Primal Blueprint Expert Certification Program so that I can be the guy that people at my gym come to for advice on how to turn their lives around and live life the way it was meant to be lived!

  5. “But in our pursuit of perfection, many of us lost our way in the quagmire of health dogma. In short, we became so militant about becoming perfectly Primal, we forgot that the end goal was to attain an awesome life,”

    I think this is so true. While I’m not a primal militant and, in fact, am only in the infancy of primalism, I have been put off by the militants. It’s as though there’s a percentage of folks who, in putting off the chains of the one way of life, have donned the chains of the primal way of life. Chains are chains, any way you look at it.

    Living life within a set of rules and never reaching outside of those is no less than another version of imprisonment and another newer way of not living to be awesome.

    I’m not supporting the concept of anarchy but I do reject the concept of immutability about guidelines in life. That doesn’t allow for actually getting through life with any freedom of choice. It’s not liberating at all.

    1. The conflation of food/eating with morality has been bad for our civilization. This has led to a lot of fat-shaming and simply writing off a lot of very bright and capable people because their metabolisms don’t respond well to the SAD, and our society values people that meat our cultural definition of attractive over those who don’t.

      Often, people will try to out-puritan each other by discussing how restrictive their diet is, or how many hours they spend at the gym as if they’re doing penance for some imagined sin and their suffering makes them superior. Bragging about working 60+ hours a week at an office job is similar to this.

      Personally, I enjoy living/eating primally, because the food is great and I get to make a point to play every day. I’m closer to 99/1 than 80/20, but don’t really stress about it because it’s fun and I love cooking/eating – and primal eating is quite similar to traditional fine dining.

      1. Obviously I agree. I also think a lot of people are afraid of the freedom suggested by Primal and attempt to recreate boundaries for themselves. I don’t think it’s unnatural, nor necessarily wrong…as long as they don’t fence me in.

        Signed, Former Hippy.

  6. Congrats, Mark, and thanks for sharing such an important message this year in Austin! Such an important place of healing and self-learning–that process of finding balance between strength and flexibility, between steadiness and ease…all the while maintaining integrity and authenticity (even when choosing to bend a bit or indulge).

  7. Wow, it looked like a fantastic weekend! I keep reading and hearing about the event and also about Picnik! Thank you for sharing, and a big congrats on winning best blog and new podcast!

  8. Wow Mark looks awesome in the photos! Is there any way to see some of these talks and presentations?!

  9. It was a great event, and I was honored to meet you, Mark–you are such a gracious person. Cannot wait to begin my cert, and hoping one day to work with you in the future–hey, if you ever need a representative in the Dallas-Fort Worth area…Cheers!

  10. After 5 years of being Primal, I forget to say thank you as often as I should. Thank you Mark. For everything!

  11. Another great post! To help spread encouragement to not strive for perfection, perhaps you can create a new Grok t-shirt that says “I’m 80% Primal”. I’d wear it!

    Thank you for all the great work you do.

  12. Mark’s the only one still enjoying those vibram five fingers. I miss seeing those shoes more. Good on yah Mark!

  13. Thank you Mark and all of your team for what you do on a global scale. I am sure that I speak for us Aussies that we value your life changing information and the community that has grown from this site.
    It’s great to see some recent photos of you as well.
    Between you and Sarah’s AIP protocol, I have finally found a pathway to health:)

  14. Congratulations, Mark! The kudos are well-deserved. You’re looking very good, too!

  15. Congrats Mark. I am new to primal I did the 21 day challenge in January and am now part of the bee thee wellness tribe of Vanessa and Adam Lambert. Thanks for all the great information you provide on mark’s daily Apple. Also you have to love us Texans and our ya’ll. I am going to try to attend this event next year sounds like loads of fun.

  16. Congratulations, Mark!
    Your talk on “living an awesome life” was spot on. One of my favorites of the weekend. Really enjoyed meeting you on the expo floor and appreciate the time you gave me to talk about our new Paleo Digest app.

    All the best from the team at Tasteful!