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.
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.
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)