Paleo industry leaders converge in Austin, tout diet at 3-day conference
Thousands of people from around the country are in Austin this weekend for a health and wellness conference called Paleo f(x).
Paleo, commonly known as the caveman diet is known for being high in protein and low in carbs. It allows for unlimited meat, nuts and fruit, but eliminates bread, dairy and starchy vegetables.
The diet craze is popular enough, that Austin has a restaurant that caters specifically to the diet.
"We're fully gluten free, but we also don't use soy, corn or peanuts," said Naomi Seifter, Owner and CEO of Picnik.
Seifter founded Picnik for people with food allergies, who are gluten intolerant, or just want to avoid certain things like eggs or sugar.
"We have pancakes, we have French toast, but we're using flours like cassava flour or coconut flour so our intention is to make it taste exactly the same as what you would expect from any other restaurant but just with better ingredients," Seifter said.
Fitness industry leaders from across the country converged on Austin this weekend for a three-day conference to tout the latest paleo friendly products.
"We're not saying to go out and hunt and gather your own food, but we are saying broccoli is closer to what we would've been eating than Pop Tarts," said Caitlin Allday with Paleo University.
Doctor Adam Brittain says there's no one diet that works for everyone.
"A lot of people in the medical community frown on paleo because it's high in fat," Brittain said.
Brittain adds Paleo could put some people at risk for heart disease.
"Especially if you're eating lots of red meat and nuts and avocados. That's a lot of fat in a per ounce diet," Brittain said.
Allday is a nutrition coach and says there are some misconceptions about the Paleo lifestyle.
"Figure out what works for your body. Maybe you're an athlete and you need more protein so you eat more protein, but I know I have days where I don't eat any protein," Allday said.
At the Picnik restaurant on Burnet Road, Seifter says patrons keep coming back because they can count on the menu to cater to their dietary needs.
"People are really used to going out to restaurants around the country and feeling bad after they get home and they don't know what it comes from. We produce the same thing in a way that makes people feel alive and vibrant," Seifter said.