I Went To Wise Traditions 2011 And Got a T-Shirt

This past weekend I went to Dallas with husband and kids in tow for a whirlwind 4 days of eating glorious food, meeting long-time internet friends face-to-face, speaking on a panel, and taking fervent notes as I sat in educational talks. I sampled Bubonic Tonic, ate salmon roe, and piled a never-ending supply of raw, golden butter from grass-fed cows onto just about every bite of food I ate.

I laughed at corny jokes, marveled at things I never knew I never knew, and got downright inspired to change the world one blog post at a time.

You know how it goes, right?

Perhaps my greatest inspiration came from finally meeting many of my fellow Real Food Media bloggers. I talk with some of these folks semi-regularly on the phone. I’ve seen their videos. I exchange emails with them weekly. I felt like I knew them already. It was great to finally put form to face and give these guys a real life hug.

Here we all are.

Top: John from Organic Spark, Christine from Butter Belle, Kelly from Kelly The Kitchen Kop, Jill from Farm Food Blog, Emily from Holistic Kid, and Ann Marie from Cheeseslave.

Middle: Molly from Organic Spark, Jenny from Nourished Kitchen, Debbie from Grass Fed Momma, Me (in the smokin’ hot orange leather jacket), Alex from Feed Me Like You Mean It, and Kim from The Nourishing Cook.

Seated: Sarah from The Healthy Home Economist, Heather from Mommypotamus, Kathryn from SCD Kat, Jill from Real Food Forager, and Brenda from The Well Fed Homestead.

I can’t believe so many of us made it!

I also thoroughly enjoyed catching up with Heather from Mommypotamus. We actually went to college together! If you had told either one of us back then in our ramen-eating, Cheeto-loving days that we would not only get married, but have KIDS, and that we would be real food bloggers, I don’t think either one of us would have believed you. In the pic below, Heather and I are hanging out with Emily from Holistic Kid sampling the Pinapple Kombucha from Fab Ferments. (No! That’s not beer. It’s kombucha. Kombucha. I swear it!)

I also got to meet some new people, like Matt Stone from 180 Degree Health who also spoke on the panel with me Friday night. Here we are below with Debbie from Grass-Fed Momma. Those two are a riot! I felt like such a third wheel when they got joking.

And speaking of being on the Real Food Bloggers Panel, here’s the obligatory shot of my mouth hanging open while words are spilling out.

Of course, I enjoyed delicious farm-fresh meal after delicious farm-fresh meal, all weekend long. We’re talking smoked salmon, braunsweiger, all-beef sausages, pot roasts, steaks, various delectable late-summer veggies, soups, and enough butter to carve a life-sized car. Here I am sitting next to Ann Marie’s little one at lunch the day after she got bit by a dog. (Can you believe it? She just bounced right back and was dancing at the Fund’s dinner that night.)

I spent one of my favorite lunches getting to know the folks at the Farm To Consumer Legal Defense Fund. We’re going to take over the world. Watch us. Pictured below are the President, Pete Kennedy and Gene’ Walls.

At the Fund’s dinner Thursday night they awarded John Moody the first ever don’t-tread-on-me award for his inspired handling of the “quarantine” of his Kentucky buying club’s milk (which I wrote about here). He didn’t get a plaque. He got a door mat.

On Saturday, I milled around the exhibits sampling nourishing foods and fizzy drinks. And although I thought I’d perfected my homemade mayonnaise, I was completely blown away by the mayo at Wilderness Family Naturals. I bought some. And I’m worried. I’m worried that when the mayo I bought from them is all gone, I won’t be able to go back to my homemade stuff. Here’s Annette Fischer of Wilderness Family Naturals just after I sampled her to-die-for blend. Isn’t she beautiful?

On Sunday I was finally able to hear some complete lectures. Saturday and Friday I was too busy popping in and out, nursing my toddler, and meeting people. Don’t worry; I bought the complete conference recordings. So, I’ll be able to watch the DVDs from the big sessions and watch the slide shows synced to audio from the smaller sessions.

One of the most interesting talks I sat in on was with Dr. Thomas Cowan. He spoke on the healthfulness of fevers in children. Of course, this isn’t a surprise. Most of us natural mommas don’t immediately turn to Tylenol when our babies get fevers. Instead we trust that the fever is an effective immune response, and that if we let it run its course and guide it to its end our children will heal faster and have a stronger immune system for it. But did you know that before chemo and radiation therapies were invented in the 1930s, the go-to form of cancer treatment was to induce fevers? They would get terminal, stage 4 cancer patients (people with no hope of survival) infected with high-fever inducing diseases. When their immune system successfully fought off the fever, not only was the infection gone but so was the cancer! They had success rates ranging from 20-30%. According to what we knew about infectious diseases, this kind of therapy shouldn’t work. Cancer is not an infectious disease. It shouldn’t be fought off by a fever, but it is! It turns out that when you induce a genuine fever that’s an immunological response, it starts a cascade of other effects inside the body which are protective against cancer. So, every time you let yourself or your child fight off a fever instead of reaching for the Tylenol, you’re actually improving their innate cancer fighting abilities for later in life!

Here’s Dr. Cowan wowing us with this mind-blowing bit of information.

All in all, the conference was out of this world amazing. Next year’s conference is in Santa Clara, CA, and you bet I’m going!

(all photos shared by cheeselsave)


  1. says

    Kristen, you’re making me sad again that it’s all over and we have to wait another whole year before the next one. :(

    I loved reading this whole post, but my favorite line was “I laughed at corny jokes, marveled at things I never knew I never knew, and got downright inspired to change the world one blog post at a time.”

    That says it all!


    • KristenM says

      I know what you mean! I really wish I had been able to stay Sunday night. The pics of you all around the fire sent chills down my spine. I’ve got to know what you talked about! I’ll probably get even more pumped.

      I also felt particularly inspired when I wrote, “We’re going to take over the world. Watch us.”

    • KristenM says

      Oh you should! I feel like a teenager with all my enthusiasm, but this conference was GREAT. You wanna know the real kicker? I didn’t even get the full conference experience. My husband watched my kids all day every day and visited with our Dallas family (while he himself was sick), so I often left early, arrived late, and took long breaks to nurse my toddler. And despite all that, I still think this conference ROCKED.

  2. Debbie Ypung says

    Super to meet you ! All of the real food peeps got me fired up to take over the world too! Oh Matt and I are just silly and goofy. It keeps us from going nuts. 😉
    Xo Deb xo

  3. says

    Is the conference kid friendly? Next year I will have a 9 month old and a 3 year old. My husband and I were thinking of waiting to attend until 2013 when the kids are older. I really don’t want to wait that long though :(

    Also, I’m curious about the Real Food Bloggers Panel. What did you guys have to do? Answer questions?

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • KristenM says

      Children younger than 13 aren’t allowed in the sessions (unless they’re nursing infants, and even then they have a separate nursing room for you to go into with a live conference feed if your little one gets fussy). They do have a children’s program that’s pretty great, but you’ve got to pay to enroll your kids in it. That’s not a big deal, but you do need to budget for it if you want to bring your whole family.

      The bloggers panel had us talk for a few minutes about our unique blogs and approach to blogging, and then it was mostly Q&A from the audience and the moderator (David Gumpert of the Complete Patient blog).

  4. AmberU says

    My best friend and I couldn’t swing the price of the tickets so we came on Sunday to check out the vendors. I bought 2 jars of that mayo..wowsa!! But my best friend did get her and I tickets for the Farm Tour for a early Christmas present. Now that was amazing! Great seeing all these farms that I buy from up close and personal. It almost made up for not attending the conference.

  5. says


    I found your post through Debbie Young’s FB page, and found Heather so pretty I went to her website and bought her book, Nourished Baby. I intend to post a review of it (a good one!) and was wondering if I could use that photo of her when I talk about how I found out about Mommypotamus. Would that be OK?


  6. says

    Awesome conference – learned lots and met lots of really interesting folks! Off to the Freedom Food/Raw Milk Rally next Wednesday. Hope to see you there – strength in numbers!!!!!


  7. says

    This was fun to read. I had a plane ticket and hotel reservation with a friend to go to WAPF this year. My kids both got sick and I got to stay home. But reading this made me feel like I was there!

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