Primal Body, Primal Mind

Primal Body, Primal Mind : Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life

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Examining the healthy lives of our pre-agricultural Paleolithic ancestors and the marked decline in stature, bone density, and dental health and the increase in birth defects, malnutrition, and disease following the implementation of the agricultural lifestyle, Nora Gedgaudas shows how our modern grain- and carbohydrate-heavy low-fat diets are a far cry from the high-fat, moderate-protein hunter-gatherer diets we are genetically programmed for, leading not only to lifelong weight gain but also to cravings, mood disorders, cognitive problems, and "diseases of civilization"--such as cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance), heart disease, and mental illness. Applying modern discoveries to the basic hunter-gatherer diet, she culls from vast research in evolutionary physiology, biochemistry, metabolism, nutrition, and chronic and degenerative disease to unveil a holistic lifestyle for true mind-body health and longevity. Revealing the primal origins and physiological basis for a high-fat, moderate-protein, starch-free diet and the importance of adequate omega-3 intake--critical to our brain and nervous system but sorely lacking in most people's diets--she explains the nutritional problems of grains, gluten, soy, dairy, and starchy vegetables; which natural fats promote health and which (such as canola oil) harm it; the crucial role of vitamin D in cancer and disease prevention; the importance of saturated fat and cholesterol; and how diet affects mental health, memory, cognitive function, hormonal balance, and cellular aging. With step-by-step guidelines, recipes, and meal recommendations, this book offers sustainable strategies for a primally based, yet modern approach to diet and exercise to reduce stress and anxiety, lose weight, improve sleep and mood, increase energy and immunity, enhance brain function, save money on groceries, and live longer and happier.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 152 x 226 x 28mm | 979.98g
  • Inner Traditions Bear and Company
  • Healing Arts Press
  • Rochester, United States
  • English
  • Special edition
  • 10th Anniversary edition
  • 28 b&w illustrations
  • 1594774137
  • 9781594774133
  • 893

About Nora T. Gedgaudas

Nora T. Gedgaudas, CNS, CNT, is a certified nutritional therapist and neurofeedback specialist with a private practice. A member of the Nutritional Therapy Association, the National Association of Nutritional Professionals, the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, and the Weston A. Price Foundation, she lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Review quote

"... it is splendid and solid ..." LewRockwell.com, August 2011 "In addition to addressing large health issues with clarity and precision, Gedgaudas provides step-by-step guidelines and meal recommendations, giving her work even more utility, while tossing in moments of humor for good measure." ForeWord Magazine, September 2011 "This book provides a range of new information. It is an excellent resource for those of us who believe in the importance of grass fed animal fats as a crucial source of Omega-3." Bruce Ward, Holistic Results, November 2011 "If you want to really know about how your brain and body work, read this book!" Thom Hartmann, author of The Edison Gene: ADHD and the Gift of the Hunter Child "This is one of the best health information books I have read in a long time." Annette Epifano, New Connexion, November 2011 "A fascinating read that not only motivates you to change your diet but also provides the practical tools to do so." Merikah Robertson, Common Ground "Primal Body, Primal Mind is so much more than just another "what to eat" book - it explains in everyday terms why eating like our Paleolithic ancestors works. With ample research to back up her claims, certified nutritional therapist Nora Gedgaudas reveals what we are and are not genetically programmed to eat." Healthy Referral, July 2012 "I consider Nora's work to be the definitive statement on the nutritional needs of the brain. It is required reading for all of my patients and for anyone with an interest in maintaining their own vitality throughout their life." Glen Zielinski, D.C., D.A.C.N.B., assistant professor of clinical neurology at Carrick Institute for "It's a health plan so easy even an unga bunga caveman can do it! Gedgaudas uses humor, science-based facts, and common sense to debunk many of the myths we have been told about weight and health control in the 21st century. In the world of healthy high-fat, low-carb nutrition research and education, this is yet another book to complement your healthy lifestyle change." Jimmy Moore, author of Livin' la Vida Low Carb "Nora explores where our dietary requirements originated and how they affect our mood and vulnerability to diseases and explains the complex issues of nutrient assimilation, digestion gluten sensitivity, and celiac disease. Find out if you're a fat burner or a sugar burner, learn the bad news about gluten, soy, milk proteins, and the nutritional bases for depression, ADHD, and other common disorders. This book is so much more than another 'what to eat' book." Julie Holland, M.D., author of The Pot Book and Weekends at Bellevue "Primal Body, Primal Mind is the best nutritional book I have ever read. It covers everything. I have already bought 3 copies to give to worthy friends. A gold mine of great information." Louise L. Hay, Hay House Publishing "Nora Gedgaudas is a warrior fighting for our collective health. For 2.6 million years humans knew what to eat: animal fat and protein. On that diet, we grew tall, strong, and disease-free. That primal pattern is still there, laid down like a labyrinth circling out of our DNA, and Nora is ready to guide us. This book is fabulous." Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth "These days, hormones are a hot topic. In Primal Body, Primal Mind, Gedgaudas focuses on those hormones that are commonly imbalanced and problematic to the American population, contributing to symptoms such as weight gain, low energy, poor mood, and even premature aging. In clear and simple terms Nora describes the root of these problems and outlines solutions that are effective and easy to apply. This is the book you want to read." Janet R. Lang, D.C., author, educator, and founder of Restorative Endocrinology "Nora Gedgaudas lights a path toward dietary discretion and natural health that obliterates much of the standard dietary doctrine along the way. Larger truths have a tendency to be simple. It is so here as well." Siegfried Othmer, Ph.D., coauthor of ADD: The 20 Hour Solution and chief scientist at the EEG Instit "One of the best books I have read dealing with nutrition and lifestyle for optimal health." David Perlmutter, MD, FACN, ABIHM, author of, The Better Brain Book and Power Up Your Brain: The Neu "Every so often, you encounter a gem among the dross competing for your attention. Such is the case with Primal Body, Primal Mind, written by Nora Gedgaudas." Mark Steinberg, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist and Clinical Neuropsychologist "In my opinion, Primal Body, Primal Mind is the best book so far ever done on the Paleolithic diet. Despite the rich and detailed amount of science included in Nora Gedgaudas's excellent book, even Britney Spears could understand it." Charles Poliquin, Poliquin Strength Institute, Olympic and World Champion Strength Coach "Nora Gedgaudas has loaded Primal Body, Primal Mind with the information and resources essential for anyone who hopes to survive the 21st century in mental and physical health." Julia Ross, author of The Diet Cure and The Mood Cure and executive director of the Recovery Systems "When you read Nora's work, rest assured you are not reading a regurgitated version of whatever is in fashion, but instead the careful harvest of decades of careful research, application and observation ." Elaine Fawcett, MJ., NT., Health Journalist and Nutritional Therapist "... Primal Body, Primal Mind reveals how the coming of agriculture resulted in a marked decline in stature, bone density, dental health, with a corresponding rise in birth defects, malnutrition, and disease directly related to an agriculturally-based life style... Primal Body Primal Mind is an enthusiastically recommended addition to personal, academic, and community library Health & Nutrition instructional reference collections." Midwest Book Review, August 2011 "If you are serious about changing your eating habits to a healthier regimen, you should consider reading Primal Body, Primal Mind. Following Gedgaudas' suggestions will not only give you a healthier body but also a clearer and more functional mind." ReaderViews, August 2011

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Back cover copy

HEALTH / NUTRITION "Nora Gedgaudas is a warrior fighting for our collective health. For 2.6 million years humans knew what to eat: animal fat and protein. On that diet, we grew tall, strong, and disease-free. That primal pattern is still there, laid down like a labyrinth circling out of our DNA, and Nora is ready to guide us. This book is fabulous." --Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth Examining the healthy lives of our pre-agricultural Paleolithic ancestors and the marked decline in stature, bone density, and dental health as well as the increase in birth defects, malnutrition, and disease following the implementation of the agricultural lifestyle, Nora Gedgaudas shows how our modern grain- and carbohydrate-heavy low-fat diets are a far cry from the high-fat, moderate-protein hunter-gatherer diets we are genetically programmed for, leading not only to lifelong weight gain but also to cravings, mood disorders, cognitive problems, and "diseases of civilization"--such as cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome (insulin resistance), heart disease, and mental illness. Applying modern discoveries to the basic hunter-gatherer diet, she culls from vast research in evolutionary physiology, biochemistry, metabolism, nutrition, and chronic and degenerative disease to unveil a holistic lifestyle for true mind-body health and longevity. Revealing the primal origins and physiological basis for a high-fat, moderate-protein, starch-free diet and the importance of adequate omega-3 intake--critical to our brain and nervous system but sorely lacking in most people's diets--she explains the nutritional problems of grains, gluten, soy, dairy, and starchy vegetables; which natural fats promote health and which (such as canola oil) harm it; the crucial role of vitamin D in cancer and disease prevention; the importance of saturated fat and cholesterol; and how diet affects mental health, memory, cognitive function, hormonal balance, and cellular aging. With step-by-step guidelines, recipes, and meal recommendations, this book offers sustainable strategies for a primally based yet modern approach to diet and exercise to reduce stress and anxiety, lose weight, improve sleep and mood, increase energy and immunity, enhance brain function, save money on groceries, and live longer and happier. NORA T. GEDGAUDAS, CNS, CNT, is a certified nutritional therapist and neurofeedback specialist with a private practice. A member of the Nutritional Therapy Association, the National Association of Nutritional Professionals, the Nutrition and Metabolism Society, and the Weston A. Price Foundation, she lives in Portland, Oregon.

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Table of contents

Illustration Permissions Foreword by Mark Steinberg, Ph.D. Foreword by Brent Pottenger Preface Introduction Part One Primal Body 1 A Look at Where Our Dietary Requirements Originated 2 So, What's for Dinner? 3 Grains: Are They Really a Health Food? 4 So What about Soy? 5 Digestion and Nutrient Assimilation: A North-to-South Journey 6 Your Gut and the Immune Connection 7 Dietary Fats: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 8 Dispelling the Cholesterol Myth 9 Vitamin D: What All da Buzz Is About 10 Making the Omega-3 Fatty Acids Connection 11 The Tyranny of Trans Fats 12 So, How Much Natural Fat Do I Need, Anyway? 13 Carbohydrate Metabolism 14 Leptin: The Lord and Master of Your Hormonal Kingdom 15 Weight Management 101 and the Path to Type 2 Diabetes 16 Taming the Carb-craving Monster 17 High Fructose Corn Syrup: A Sticky Wicket Best Avoided 18 What about Fiber as an Essential Carbohydrate? 19 Adrenal Exhaustion: A Uniquely Modern Epidemic 20 A Word about Water 21 Understanding the Role of Protein 22 Our Primordial Past: Understanding Mother Nature's Plan and Where We Fit In 23 Using Insulin and Leptin to Our Advantage Part Two Primal Mind 24 Feeding Your Brain: Why It Matters 25 How Important Is Fat to the Brain? 26 Where Does ADD/ADHD Fit In to All of This? 27 Relief from Anxiety and Depression in Our Uncertain World 28 What about Food Allergies and Sensitivities? 29 The Impact of Modern Dietary and Environmental Stress on the Brain Part Three Paradise Lost 30 Surviving in a Modern World 31 What Generation of Pottenger's Cat Are You? Appendix A Where to Start? Appendix B Sample Menus Appendix C Protein Content in Foods Appendix D An Abbreviated Guide to Supplementation Appendix E The Weston A. Price Foundation Appendix F Pyroluria Appendix G Paleo/Traditional Diet Resources and Related Websites Appendix H Recommended Reading References About the Author Index

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Customer reviews

Finally a book I can unreservedly recommend! I've been very interested in books on diet for a while now, but this one really stood out. It doesn't miss out anything vital nor have anything in it that is so wrong that unreservedly recommending it is difficult. It's so well done and the most complete book on diet I have found so far. This book is a pretty good summary/amalgamation of many of the very best books on diet I have found, such as Eat Fat, Lose Fat: The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats by Sally Fallon, Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan, Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck, Know Your Fats : The Complete Primer for Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils and Cholesterol by Mary G. Enig, The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food by Kaayla T. Daniel, The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth About Losing Weight, Being Healthy, and Feeling Younger by Nancy Deville.... Plus: Gut and Psychology Syndrome by Natasha Campbell-McBride, Traditional Foods Are Your Best Medicine: Improving Health and Longevity with Native Nutrition by Ronald F. Schmid, The Cholesterol Myths: Exposing the Fallacy That Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease by Uffe Ravnskov and The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series) by Mark Sisson. What is also wonderful about this book is that it is also a book about health and treating illness. It deals with the topic of health in some depth and does NOT just tell you to eat well and as your ancestors did and everything will be fine. The author acknowledges, as many do not, that while yes following a diet as close to our ancestors as we can get is essential this is not all we need to do to stay healthy and to improve disease states. In other words, having an optimal diet that suits your genes gets you at least 70% there and is the most important step for health, but there are other areas we need to look at as well. This book explains that we are facing far more assaults on our bodies than our ancestors did due to pollution and chemical exposures and so we need to raise the levels of antioxidants and other nutrients we take in accordingly. Supplements are essential. We also need to do what we can, whether we have health issues yet or not, to get the chemicals that we couldn't avoid out of our bodies through nutrient supplements and also methods such as FIR sauna use, green drinks, body brushing and so on. How much vitamin C we need, for example, isn't set in stone from one person to the next, nor even one day to the next. How much we need depends on how many chemicals our body has to detoxify. When our chemical load goes up, so too does our need for all sorts of nutrients and antioxidants, such as vitamin C. There is also significant biochemical individuality between people and some of us need far more of certain substances and nutrients than others. The fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E, and also omega 3s from fish oil and fermented cod liver oil are so important, and low-fat diets are to be avoided, but some of us may also need coenzymated B vitamins, sublingual B12, B1 as benfotiamine, carnitine, ALC, RALA, CoQ10, iodine, magnesium and extra vitamin C, this book explains. Assessing whether or not you need betaine HCl, probiotics and digestive enzymes with meals is also key, as you are not what you eat, but what you can actually digest! As the description of the book says, this book combines, `Your body's Paleolithic needs with modern nutritional and medical research for complete mind-body wellness.' This book provides information on: 1. The basic principles and foods of the hunter-gatherer diet; meats, eggs (if tolerated), non-starchy vegetables, healthy oils, and small amounts of nuts, seeds and fruits. Avoid processed foods, trans fats and oxidised oils, plus anything you are allergic to, plus sugar and high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes and fruit juices. A high-fat, moderate protein and green vegetable filled diet is the way to go! 2. Why we are not suited genetically to eat foods such as grains and legumes, and especially not in large amounts, and the many problems these foods can and do cause. 3. Why we are not suited genetically to eat dairy products. (Although the book does recommend fermented and raw dairy products to some extent, for those that can tolerate them.) 4. Why adrenal or thyroid problems cannot be fixed until you deal with your leptin problems, through following a non-high-carbohydrate diet. 5. Which supplements are most important and which we all need to take and why, and how to make sure you buy only good-quality supplements. Some basic information is included on dosages. 6. Why following a low-calorie diet wont extend your lifespan unless the diet helps keep insulin levels low and why supplementing individual hormones which test as low can be problematic. 7. Why there is little point treating a person for a psychological issue if they have significant nutritional deficits and these deficits are best treated first and then other psychologically-based assistance given, if it is still needed. 8. Hunter-gatherers did NOT die young, as is often stated and human health actually deteriorated when agriculture was introduced. 9. Grass-fed/pastured and organic meats and eggs are best, along with home-grown or organic fruits, nuts and vegetables. 10. Those facing serious illness and gut problem are advised to follow the GAPS diet program (which describes a low-fibre easy to digest diet with lots of stocks, unrefined sea salt, meat and vegetable soups, eggs, liver and good oils) and also recipes from Sally Fallon's excellent Nourishing Traditions book. This book tells us that we need to stop being self indulgent and grow up, and eat what our bodies need for health. Not just what brings us superficial comfort. That isn't an easy thing to do, but that doesn't mean it is not worth striving for. It really is worth getting through those first few fairly awful days of switching over to a fat-burning metabolism (instead of a carb-burning one). My only criticisms of this book are minor and are that I feel it could have highlighted the benefits of very nutrient rich foods such as bone broths and liver a bit more, been a bit more educated about the history of the beneficial use and complete safety of larger amounts of vitamin C and have at least mentioned the possibility of grounding or earthing as the best way (aside from avoidance) of improving problems caused by EMF radiation - as per the new book on grounding co-authored by Dr Sinatra (Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever?). Because this book does provide such a great summary of all the books listed above, it can also be a bit light-on for theory in some areas and so reading some of the books listed above may also be a good idea for anyone with a real interest in some of these topics - even though this book does in fact contain all the practical information on diet needed. For example, the information on fats is far more detailed in `Know Your Fats' and the book by Gary Taubes contains far more detailed information on why the saturated fat = heart disease hypothesis is wrong and how high insulin levels from high carbohydrate intake cause weight gain. So it just depends how much you want to read and in how much depth. Having said that, this book also contains lots of information that isn't in any of the other books listed above, which is pretty impressive. For those who need more information on health, supplements, extensive health testing, detoxification issues and want more specific information on FIR sauna use and how to safely go about it the book Detoxify or Die by Dr Sherry Rogers is essential extra reading. These two books would go very well together, for anyone facing serious illness (as I am). While `Primal Body, Primal Mind' contains all the practical information you need to change your diet, extra information about precautions and expected healing reactions is pretty important if you're seriously ill and about to start any type of detoxification or supplementation program and the aforementioned book by Sherry Rogers provides this. 'Primal Body, Primal Mind' is also surprisingly easy to read, thanks in part to all the short little chapters on each topic, and the author has a great writing style. The book is also very well referenced and the arguments given are convincing, logical and compelling. I also love that this book completely lacks the self-aggrandising tone (and comments) that some nutrition books have. The author's lack of a huge ego is also seen in the way she so wholeheartedly recommends other great groups, websites and books such as those run by the Weston A. Price Foundation and its members. The author also recommends not taking her word for it and reading as much of her reference material (and other relevant material) as possible. It is so clear that this author's only agenda is genuinely helping people by promoting the most accurate, unbiased and helpful health information. I'd like to thank the author for writing this book. It is a huge achievement. I hope it is as widely read as it deserves to be, and gets lots of very positive reviews as well. ps. I have a severe neurological and cardiovascular disease called M.E., but am slowly improving month by month (after more than a decade of slow worsening) through dietary, nutritional and detoxification interventions - as described in books such as this one. Quotes from the book: "The brain and body simply have to have certain raw materials to work with in order to function properly." Nora T. Gedgaudas. "All of the structure and function of the human body are built from and run on nutrients. ALL of them." Janet Langshow more
by lynn mcwilliams