This past weekend I attended the Paleo Solution seminar put on by Robb Wolf. It was well organized, timed and executed. I will preface this “review” with the fact that I really dig everything Robb is doing with regards to the paleo “movement”. Much like myself, Robb just wants to help people achieve and experience health. He isn’t trying to accomplish it by making a magical ratio that can be achieved by eating molecularly-baked goods, by selling very well made, and delicious (but expensive) protein powder or by withholding information that is only available for purchase. If you’ve been listening to the podcast and reading what Robb puts out on his website, then you’ve probably heard almost everything that is in the seminar at one point or another. The seminar puts it all together into one presentation, which is difficult to do (otherwise others would be doing it). Thanks Robb (and Nikki).
- Robb’s example (himself) of how a set of beliefs can drive you into disease was a great start point for the seminar – if we are not changing people’s belief systems about food, then we will not be changing what people want to eat and therefore what people are eating.
- While the seminar was essentially 7 hours of straight lecture with an hour long lunch break, the flow was great, and the small “breaks” for questions were enough of a mental de-load before continuing with the material
- I’m glad there weren’t “pee breaks” or food breaks (aside from lunch and question periods) as there is usually a lot of time lost to trying to reign folks back into the lecture room, which happens at just about every other seminar I’ve been to
- The basic science review was in depth enough for the sciencey folks and I believe simple enough for those new to some of the concepts (the intestinal mucosa, immune cells and their response, etc.)
- Robb presents a compelling argument as to why grains, legumes and pseudo-grains are sub-optimal foods and how they contribute to chronic disease
- Explaining how we can use the study of paleolithic peoples and their diet and lifestyle to ask the right questions was well explained and great examples are presented
o Going from anthropological observations to clinical observations to clinical testing to mechanistic theory to mechanistic validation help to explain how to ask the right questions and a great path to create progress
- Digestion, Gut permeability, auto-immunity, metabolic derangement, lifestyle and implementation were all touched upon and well explained
- Robb took the time to provide case studies/anecdotes about people who have benefitted from different approaches to improving ones diet, but didn’t rely on it for his explanations and theories.
- References were provided and explored – ideas and theories had good scientific backing
- It all makes sense – I wasn’t left with “yeah, but…”
- It was only one day – Seriously this could be two or more days if we really wanted to geek out with the science/biochemistry involved with everything
o It would be sweet to see a Robb Wolf, Mat Lalonde and Dr. Cordain 3 day seminar at some point – maybe even aimed at health care providers/those involved with educating clients/patients versus those interested in the information personally?
- A little more time could be spent on the acute sepsis/injury effect on insulin resistance mechanisms and their explanation – it may be a combination of these concepts being towards the end of the day (being a little mentally fried) and that I think Robb may have been a little speedier with getting through this area of the seminar
- Further effects of Palmitic acid could be explored (a la the explanation by Mat Lalonde in the recent podcast re: fasting/eating very low carb versus eating so many carbs that palmitic acid is abundant)
- It could be nice to stay together for a lunch designed by Robb at the venue of the seminar – although I know this would require more planning and probably a more expensive price-tag for the seminar
All together it was one of the better seminars I’ve been to in regard to content, flow and guiding principles. It drives home the fact that the answers we find are largely determined by the questions we ask. And if we ask questions without some sort of base, guiding principles, we end up with the jumbling of answers that is the current state of health and nutritional science.
Thanks again, Robb. Cheers Everyone!
Dr. Adam Ball