The snow is lightly falling; it crunches under my feet. Skiers are gracefully gliding down the mountain ahead, the sun rising behind the picturesque backdrop. Each morning, I enter the atrium outside of the conference room. The smell of coffee is in the air, the sound of laughter and energized conversation permeates the space. There is, of course, heavy cream (so. much. heavy cream) on every table. With a feeling of excitement for the day ahead, I enter the conference room.
This was how each day of Low Carb Breckenridge, a 3-day annual ski conference in the Rocky Mountains, began. The conference is organized each year by Dr. Jeffry Gerber of Denver, CO (aka Denver’s Diet Doctor), and Dr. Rod Tayler of Melbourne, Australia (of Low Carb Down Under). These two docs worked tirelessly since last years’ conference in Vail to put together an all-star low carb lineup, including Nina Teicholz, Dr. Jason Fung, Dr. Eric Westman, Ivor Cummins, Zoe Harcombe and many more. And trust me when I say, this conference did not disappoint.
Speakers and attendees alike traveled the world to join in the fun! So many countries were represented among the 260+ people present: Australia, England, Ireland, Korea, Sweden, New Zealand, Germany, South Africa, the United States, Canada and more! Though we all came from different places, there was a common theme: a love and understanding of low-carb high-fat nutrition (plus, you know, bacon). The buzzy, ketone-fueled energy throughout each day was tangible, as the globe-trotting group made connections, networked, and of course, made lifelong friendships.
The topics covered at the conference ran the gamut! From the latest scientific research on metabolic disease and cancer to discussions on implementing change to food policy, from the importance of gut health to the importance of physical activity, from how to use new data systems and medical technology to bio-hack your health to simple, practical tips for implementing your ketogenic lifestyle-it was all available at your fingertips. Researchers, bloggers, medical doctors and providers, authors, lawyers, and even engineers (the guys to find if you want to geek out on some DATA!) represented the lineup of speakers, who of course dropped some serious knowledge during their presentations. What diversity!
Also, the conference offered continuing medical education (CME) credits for healthcare professionals, which speaks to the quality of information presented. This was incredibly beneficial as three quarters of the audience were health care professionals that require annual CME credits to keep their licenses updated. It’s exciting that low carb nutrition conferences are being recognized (finally!) for presenting legitimate medical information worthy of CME credit!
What I noticed throughout the duration of the conference, however, was that we all, speakers and attendees alike, were learning from each other, which is why attendance of NON medical professionals is so important as well! Though the conference offered a live-streaming option, which thousands of viewers from around the world took part in, there was no comparison to the in-person experience, bonding and comradery, in addition to the astounding amounts of information shared among participants.
Not to mention, this was one rocking party! Each evening, including the night before the conference, people found various ways to enjoy each other’s company. Dinners, drinks, skiing, conversation and laughter, and exploring the quaint and beautiful town of Breckenridge made this a truly fun experience to be had by all. And getting to personally hang out with the low carb celebrity of your choice? It’s the sugar-free icing on top!
Unfortunately, some were affected by altitude sickness and freezing temperatures this year- always a possibility at 9600′ in the winter. And then there was that little (ahem, huge) bit of snow flurries (blizzard.) that made travel slightly inconvenient (a monumental mess) the day before the conference. But we were all so determined to get there that we drove through it (and around it, as it were due to road closures) in order to get there and start the first day of the conference off right! If only there was a warm and sunny place at sea level in which to ski… Of course, you really can’t beat the views of majestic, snow-capped mountains, and most everyone acclimated quickly and were able to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
Dr. Jeff and Dr. Rod wish to thank each and every person who attended. Although live stream is no longer available for purchase, post-production quality recordings will be available online over the coming months. Here is the conference schedule in case you missed it.
If you didn’t attend the conference this year, don’t worry! Plans for 2018 are already in the works, taking into consideration all suggestions made by attendees and speakers this year, which means the conference will only continue to improve. I, for one, have already marked my calendar. We’ll see you next year and will be sure to include an oxygen bar!