My Weekend at the Take Back Your Health Conference April 2012

My Weekend at the Take Back Your Health Conference April 2012

. 4 min read

A few short weeks ago, I got to speak at the Take Back Your Health Conference. What an awesome experience it was! I met so many great people and left feeling so renewed.

I can’t tell you how many stories I heard over the weekend of hope and healing. If you are struggling with your health (or you’re just looking for inspiration), I highly recommend that you check it out — they’ll have another conference coming up in October of this year.

With Robin Shirley, founder of the Take Back Your Health Conference
With Robin Shirley, founder of the Take Back Your Health Conference

Robin Shirley, the founder of the Take Back Your Health Conference, pictured above, is such an inspiring person.

I think she’s like 24 years old (or 23?) and she started this conference last year. When I was that age, I didn’t even know what I was doing with my life. I can only imagine where Robin will be when she is my age (43). She’s going to make some serious waves in this world!

With Kimberly Hartke
With Kimberly Hartke

Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for the Weston A. Price Foundation. She blogs at Hartke is Online. And she’s a very good friend of mine. I feel honored to know such a passionate person who is doing so much for the real food movement.

With Doina Stutz and son

CHEESESELAVE reader, Doina Stutz was the winner of 2 free tickets to the Take Back Your Health conference. (Yes, people really do win cool stuff on this blog!)

Totally serendipitously, I got to meet her and her son (Was his name Jonathan? Am I remembering that wrong? I hope not!).

It was so fun to meet them. What an awesome young man, and what an amazing homeschooling mom. I was so impressed by this teenager. He was polite, confident, self-assured, very intelligent — just like most homeschooled teens I meet. And no wonder — his mom, Doina is so strong and so smart and clearly an independent thinker.

Robin Shirley, the SurThrival team, and me

Daniel Vitalis and his whole team at SurThrival are totally AWESOME! I seriously fell in love with this group of folks. What a great attitude, and what fabulous work they are doing.

OK, so I splurged on some of their elk antler velvet. I figured what the heck — maybe it will help with my fertility and hormones. I’ve been taking it for two weeks.

A week ago, I stopped needed reading glasses to work on the computer. Found myself working at the computer for six or seven hours and then looking up and realizing, Wow, I haven’t been wearing my glasses.

You can even see the glasses on my head in the photo above (with Doina and son). Honestly, guys, I have not worn my glasses in weeks.

The elk antler velvet was the only thing I added to my diet. I didn’t change anything else.

I’m still a bit stunned, and waiting to see if this is for real. But ya’ll, if it is, I’m going to be taking this stuff until I’m in my rocking chair.

With Scott Gryzbek of Zukay Live Foods
With Scott Gryzbek and his adorable son Jacob of Zukay Live Foods

Scott Gryzbek of Zukay Live Foods is one of my very favorite real food producers. And a good friend.

If you haven’t tried his kvass (a tasty fermented vegetable drink), you need to. I especially love the Super Gold. Love the name — like a Neil Diamond song, or a 1970s disco album. The taste?  It’s like a Bloody Mary without the vodka. (Actually, adding the vodka is not a bad idea.)


After the conference, Kimberly Hartke graciously brought me home for dinner.

Keith and Kimberly Hartke

She and her husband, Keith, a real estate broker, live in a breathtaking octagonal house on the lake. I guess when you marry a successful realtor, primo digs are part of the package.

Kimberly Hartke's backyard

Idyllic, eh?

Kimberly Hartke, feeding me cheese on her boat

So we get on the boat and Kimberly is feeding us cheese, crackers and wine. With the sunset and the whole golden hour thing going on. Just glorious.


You should go to the next Take Back Your Health conference — coming up this October 27-28, 2012.

I can’t guarantee that Kimberly and Keith will take you out on their boat, or that your eyesight will be restored with elk antler velvet. But I bet that you will have a magical, inspiring weekend. It’s just that kind of conference.