I’ve learned a tremendous amount from every Take Back Your Health Conference held here in the DC area since the event’s inception in 2011. It’s been so rewarding to watch the conference grow, It’s especially exciting that its founder, health coach Robin Shirley, is expecting her first child later in the fall! If you haven’t made it to TBYH before, be sure to catch it this year!
This fall I’ve had the opportunity to attend several events at which I’ve learned great information on health and wellness that I’m using at home and at my children’s school. My reaction to these learning opportunities tends to be first elation, then the heavy weight of responsibility, thinking about all the things I need to research and do for my health and my family’s health, and then the desire to write about what I’ve learned, both to process it for myself and to get up here on the site.
And yet, what most of those events have had as their fundamental lesson is the importance of reducing stress! And the importance of cultivating an atmosphere of gratitude. So rather than bemoan the fact that I haven’t yet done in-depth reporting on all of these events, I’m going to shift my perspective to consider it a gift that I got to go to them and that I can share them with you in this fall recap.
Okay, I’ve rolled up my sleeves so here we go!
The fall health and wellness season launched for me at the end of the summer, when I gathered five other panelists to address the topic of “Supporting Children’s Emotional Health” with me at Holistic Moms Arlington/Alexandria’s August meeting.
We talked about positive parenting, calming ourselves and modeling healthy coping strategies for our children, food as trigger or healer, energy healing modalities (Reiki, Accunect and hypnotherapy) and bodywork (craniosacral therapy, chiropractic and massage), spiritual coaching, and more. We then did a daytime meeting repeat in October, at which got another demo of Accunect, read the children’s book Anh’s Anger and talked more about our challenges and shared strategies.
Different diets work for different people, but there is certainly a growing interest in grain-free eating these days, especially for issues related to inflammation and autoimmune conditions. I remember thinking that a cookbook for gluten-free kids sounded like a great idea when I first saw something about Eat Like a Dinosaur shortly after it was released in 2012. Since then, authors Stacy Toth and Matt McCarry, the Northern Virginia-based couple behind PaleoParents.com, have become rock stars in the health and wellness community and the Paleo world. Their personal story of transformation is incredibly inspiring.
Eat Like a Dinosaur is a cheery delight with a story about kids who feel better when they change their diet, family-friendly recipes, and everything you need to get started on a life without gluten.
Beyond Bacon shows just how much diversity there is to be found in cooking with pastured pigs. The photography is beautiful, and in addition to the amazing recipes, it really lays out a vision for sustainable farming and eating.
I am humbled to note that in the time it has taken me to execute on this Mindful Healthy Life concept I had when Beyond Bacon was released in the summer of 2013, Stacy — a mom of three with a full-time job — has done a bunch of speaking (including to the Arlington/Alexandria Holistic Moms chapter in December 2013) and won the title of NOVA’s Strongest Woman, and she and her husband Matt McCarry have penned a third book, Real Life Paleo.
I can’t wait to get my hands on Real Life Paleo on Sunday at the Take Back Your Health Conference and will do a giveaway on the new book at some point down the line, probably with a recap of the conference talk. But for now, I wouldn’t want to stop you from ordering your own copy or buying one in person! Every writer knows how important early sales are. So the winner of the giveaway can get started with the first two Paleo Parents books, Eat Like a Dinosaur and Beyond Bacon.
Meet Stacy this weekend at the TBYH conference. Sunday morning, November 2, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of ThePaleoMom.com (author of The Paleo Approach) speaks at 9:00 about using diet to manage immune and autoimmune diseases, Stacy Toth speaks at 11:00 about a three-phased approach to going Paleo, and there’s a panel at 12 noon with both women and two doctors (click here for the full schedule).
If that’s not enough for you, check out the Real Life Paleo book release event on November 4 at the Barnes & Noble in Bethesda. We have to be out of town and would love to hear how the Election Day event goes!
Stacy and Matt write in their newsletter of the November 4 event that they will be signing books and giving out door prize packs valued at over $300 each featuring some of their favorite vendors: Pure Indian Ghee, Paleo Treats, Exo Protein Bars, and treats made by Out of the Box Bakery from the book. Let them know you’re coming by RSVPing to Eventbrite at bit.ly/RLPreleaseparty or to via Meetup at the Paleo Parents & Friends group. More info on the whole U.S. book tour for Real Life Paleo is at http://TVPBookTour.bit.ly/
Also through the Paleo Friends Meetup group is Stacy and Matt’s annual costumed no-candy Halloween party on November 1, which this year features Sarah Ballantyne as special guest at the Toth/McCarry Northern Virginia home. If you are not nearly-concurrently on a soccer field, at a birthday party or at a housewarming like me on Saturday, get yourself into the group to RSVP for this not-to-be-missed event.
We’ll run this giveaway of the Paleo Parents’ first two books for a full week, concluding on Friday, November 8.
The local conference phenomenon known as Take Back Your Health is coming back to Arlington on November 1 and 2 before it makes its Los Angeles debut next April. Conference founder and NoVA native Robin Shirley has followed her dream of moving out to Santa Monica but is keeping a foot firmly in the DC health & wellness community.
When I first interviewed Robin back in 2011, I was pretty amazed at how much she’d accomplished at such a young age, just 23 at the time. Creating a widely successful conference just a few years after leaving college to reclaim her own health from Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis and chronic Lyme disease — and way younger than I did anything noteworthy — seemed pretty impressive.
And all the conferences have been great. I’ve attended each of the TBYH events and have learned, roughly, a ton. Most I’ve attended on my own, but in April 2012, the hotel was a weekend escape for me and my kids from home renovations. My son got his Ayurvedic pulses read (and my kids got their photo taken – scroll down here for the blue eyes and redheaded mullet of my youngest). My whole family then somehow managed to spend three hours at the TBYH holiday market last December (thank you, iSchool for the Future and Kreative Kids for the crafts!)
The speakers Robin has brought through over the years have been pretty amazing, including Dr. John Douillard of LifeSpa on Ayurveda, Sally Fallon Morrell of the Weston A. Price Foundation on traditional diets, Lisa Wilson from the Raw Food Institute on juicing and Ann Marie Michaels from Village Green Network (and formerly of Cheeseslave blog) on healing from food allergies.
This November, the tradition continues. For parents in particular, the talks may be life-changing. Dr. Teresa Fuller, a pediatrician who joined the staff of National Integrated Health Associates earlier this year, will be speaking on the topic of “Raising a Brain-Healthy Child” on Saturday morning at 10:00.
Then, on Sunday morning, two huge names in family-friendly Paleo eating take the stage. Fairfax-based food star Stacy Toth of PaleoParents.com and the Northern Virginia Paleo Parents & Friends Meetup group will talk about “Paleo for Real Life: an Easy 3 Phased Approach for a Lifetime of Health” at 11:00 a.m. (based on The Paleo Parents’ new book Real Life Paleo) and her podcast partner Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of PaleoMom.com and author of The Paleo Approach will address “The Paleo Approach: Using Diet to Manage Immune & Autoimmune Diseases.”
Click here for the full schedule and topic titles. Children 17 and under may attend for free with a parent, but there is no special space or childcare, so parents are asked to keep them seated and quiet. If they need to move, the exhibit hall should provide a welcome distraction. Tickets are available for the weekend and for each day individually.
I’m running a giveaway for one free conference registration, closing at 12 noon on Wednesday, October 29. To get more entries, sign up for the Mindful Healthy Life email list (for blog posts delivered to your in box and a quarterly seasonal newsletter), like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. You can also gain entries by following TBYH on social media and commenting below.
And for anyone who doesn’t win the giveaway, Mindful Healthy Life readers can use the discount code “mindfulhealthy” for 20% off the conference registration through October 31.
Edited to add our referral code for those who want to attend future editions of Take Back Your Health. Please use http://www.profcs.com/app/?af=1636700 to register, and a portion of your ticket sale will come back to Mindful Healthy Life. Thank you for your support!
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