Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rockstar Edition: THE AHS 2011

Admission: I partied like a R O C K S T A R . *big wink /squeeze*

How about you???

Living (or re-living like me) vicariously through the Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) roundups and reviews?

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 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 CLINICAL INSTRUCTOR 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/ 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 (OKAY... 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...


Jimmy Moore said...

Dr. BG, I hate that I didn't get to meet you in person at AHS11. I've read your blog and known of you for a long time. It would be my honor to have you as a guest on my if you're interested. Email me at

Nom Nom Paleo said...

Hi Dr. B G! Meeting you and M was one of my highlights from AHS! Hubby and I will be doing MovNat next weekend so I'm even more jazzed after reading your ringing endorsement. I'll be on the lookout for Clifton's twitching pecs!

formfireglassworks said...

Great post! So sad I missed the AHS - will definitely be there next year.

You rocked it at MovNat - helpful, funny and quite a character - thanks for making it so much fun, and your sis is a stitch. Am taking your supplement advice, and am working on that mindfulness aspect Erwan discussed, with help from a book suggestion from Dr. Emily Deans.

-Amy Holms

Unknown said...

Thanks for this review. Sounds like a must attend for next year.

Dr. B G said...


I love so much!! Ck your inbox later today!!

Nom Nom, Sistah!!

You can't miss Clifton's pecs... or his shimmering abs or his (blankety blank blank blank fill in body part)! He's HUGE! And like Erwan moves like a bird or waterfall. Will look forward to that write up soon! Wear plenty of sunscreen (preferably wheat bran free/gluten free -- my sister couldn't use mine) even w/sunscreen I guess I'm not used to 8hrs in the sun and my face is still peeling off - but it is a good remembrance of our Sunday doing MovNat getting our adaptability gene expression grooving!


I'm sorry I saw your msg at wellsphere but unfortunately I couldn't remember my passwrd to respond. Thank you for writing in! Amy YOU'RE A RIOT! Your twins are so lucky!!! I told my sister afterwards, did you see that GIRL! She did nearly everything -- you can tell she rocks at xfit! I love your artistic jewelry too!


I think you once wrote that Jack LaLanne probably cried at night... You know what? I think his spirit was alive and touching us at AHS -- it was like Physical Culture 2.0 or 3.0! Strength, flexibility, nutrition, lifestyles... My talk discussed juicing, raw enzymes and things I hope he (and Francis Pottenger) would be proud of...

Love ur BLOG -- it's like my daily bread and Buddha.


Mike said...

Can you believe I actually *had* a ticket, my bags packed, and my Visa ready to get red-hot, but I couldn't get the time off work (I love my job, but...DAMN).

Would have loved to meet you in person, and taken in the lectures and wicked atmosphere!!

Next year ;)

Dr. B G said...


Well we missed you a ton!!!!!

I didn't get my feel-on you, boo.

AHS was a huge chance to meet a ton coaches and box owners!! Just like attending a nutri cert, the audience were so totally HAWWWT!!!!! Really it was hard to restrain myself...

Your EMT/fire station are so lucky to have you and whoever got your AHS ticket!


J. Stanton said...

Doctor! I'm glad to vicariously re-live Friday's dinner with you...that was a high-powered table of rockstars all around. So glad you could join us.


Dr. B G said...


Good hearing from you! I was so honored to be invited. OMG IT WAS AWESOME!!

Until more memories are made,

Anonymous said...

Dr BG! I just wanted to tell you again how great it was to meet you (at MovNat) after reading your blog for so long. Hope to see you again at AHS next year!

James (& Laura)

Dr. B G said...


Were you wearing Vibrams and your beautiful wife is a physician (who you initiated into paleo/primal ideology)??! Thank you kindly for reading!

It was so great to meet you too!! I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday learning how to tap into special energy and playfulness with a group of hawwwt FREAKS!


David said...

Very cool. Great summary, G. Wish I could've been there.

Dr. B G said...


YESSS then we can meet!!! I'm rooting for Harvard for the local... let's descend upon Boston next year!


Matt B said...

I just watched your presentation on the Ancestral Health site and if it's not too big a request, I was hoping you could address (ideally in a blog post, or at least in brief) your unpresented slides? I would very much like to hear a brief talk through the elemental diet, your conclusions, and your personal story. Here's to longer presentation slots at next year's AHS!!

Enrique said...

Dear Dr. BG,

Is your presentation ever going to be made available somewhere?

Your presentation at AHS is the most interesting at least to me!

Thank you so much!

Keep up the amazing good job!

Dr. B G said...


Matt B,

Thank you for taking the time for watching! I have several things I'll be laying out on the blog later. I'm sorry for the delays but the citations for my portion will be up later when I get some time. Additionally I'll address all of your questions!


Unknown said...

It was so awesome to meet and chat with you and your sister at AHS and MovNat! Thanks for the kind words - it means a lot, as I do care about the study and application of ancestral health! (I'm a clinical instructor, though, not a professor - at HMS you have to be promoted to what is typically the lowliest rank at other schools). If you are ever on the east coast, give me a holler.

Dr. B G said...

Emily!! It was totally AWESOME hanging with you at AHS and MovNat!!!! My sister and I loved meeting you in person! Thank you for the clarification. Definitely when I'm in Mass. I'll ring you. If you are in Shanghai let me know!! We'll be out here part time 9mos out of the year. Talk soon, G

Anonymous said...

A great briefing G, I can't stand to wait to see as many presentations as possible! So much great stuff from so many great minds it's mind-boggling.

Jimmy is right, we need YOU on his seminal podcast ASAP!

- Neo

Jen - Personal Trainer Miami Beach said...

Sounds like this meeting was a lot of fun. I am pretty new to the "community" but I think it would be a good idea to attend a similar seminar in the near future to get to know likeminded people and learn more about paleo/primal/lowcarb etc.

Thanks for writing this blog and sharing your experiences!



Ra said...

Great talk at the AHS. I wrote an email to you