Last weekend, I came back from the Keto Live Conference, which took place from 13 to 17 June in the amazing setting of Berguen, Switzerland. There were so many highlights, incredible lectures and connections made that it’s impossible to discuss everything in a short blog here! But here goes…
At Zurich airport, I met up with Dr Wafaa Abdel-Hadi, who I run the Recovery Fundamentals Programme with, and Dr Nasha Winters, the author of the book “The Metabolic Approach to Cancer”. It was a joyful reunion after so many years! We enjoyed the incredible train journey via Chur to Berguen chatting, catching up and taking in the amazing scenery on the way.
Every single day at the conference was packed- starting at 6.30am with Pilates (which I never managed to drag myself out of bed for!), then lectures starting from 8.30am till 6pm, followed by our workshop and dinner. After dinner, participants had the opportunity to watch a documentary or a similar educational programme. No boredom- but due to the stunning setting of the conference in the middle of the beautiful mountains and with easy access to walks, there was no shortage of Vitamin-D-opportunities, nature fixes and social get togethers during breaks.
The workshops I co-led with Elena Gross from Keto Swiss and Dorian Greenow from Keto Mojo were a great success. Within an hour, we packed in as much practical info, clinical pearls and tools to go into and maintain therapeutic ketosis. I emphasised the importance of being “carb savvy” not just with what we eat, but also with respect to food quality, timing and macro sequences. Then I talked about lifestyle aspects and how they can become more and more important as we’re making a low-carb lifestyle sustainable. Finally, I explained the basics of epigenetics and outlined the value of nutrigenomic testing and how to use it to tailor a lower carb regime.
Every workshop ended with a solid 30-minute Q&A session with all three of us, and we were amazed at how engaged and enthusiastic the participants were after such a long day!
Wednesday was the “cancer-focused” day and both Dr Nasha and Dr Wafaa covered a lot of ground outlining the ins and outs of metabolic therapies for oncology patients. Dr Zsofia Clemens from Hungary demonstrated how they use a “paleo-ketogenic diet” in their clinic, which was very insightful and showed another slightly different approach. The evening, however, was probably one of the highlights (oh well, at least for me!) because Brad and Maggie Jones let us have a glimpse of their amazing documentary “CancerEvolution“. The film is still in the making but we had the privilege to be shown a few excerpts, and I promise it’s going to be brilliant! It highlights the somewhat twisted history of cancer research (and how it was driven by serendipity and not just science), how it went down the “genetic route” after the second world war but that finding the needle in the haystack (the Cancer Genome Atlas Programme) didn’t yield the promised or hoped-for results. You can go and check out the Youtube Channel to see some more short clips and I promise I’ll let you know when the full documentary gets released.
I also want to give a special shoutout to the amazing researchers and clinicians giving us invaluable insights into the link between metabolic health and mental health, from Dr Georgia Ede to Dr Iain Campbell and Dr Ignacio Cuaranta. You can watch this hugely insightful and honest interview between Iain Campbell and Matt Baszucki who discuss the mood-stabilising effects of a ketogenic diet.
It is truly wonderful to see that research into the ketogenic metabolic approach is gaining so much traction in the medical field and that its application now goes far beyond managing epilepsy or diabetes. It is an honour to be part of this emerging field and to witness that it is finally getting the attention it deserves.