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Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life Paperback – May 27, 2011
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“. . . 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)
From the Author
This new extraordinary edition of Primal Body, Primal Mind has been substantially refined, updated, meticulously scientifically edited and reformatted with extra chapters and new additional illustrations. The few nay-saying comments posted to this site are mostly based on the earlier edition of this book which lacked the current edition's refinement.
No one book can possibly please everybody--and Primal Body, Primal Mind challenges a lot of comfortable assumptions (even slaying and barbequing a few sacred cows along the way)---but most of those who found fault with the previous edition will find their complaints here can no longer apply. In fact, I've used much of the prior constructive criticism as a helpful tool to elevate Primal Body, Primal Mind to a whole new standard of excellence.
I am quite proud of this new edition. I hope you enjoy it.
~ Nora Gedgaudas, Author
Top customer reviews
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For starters, Ms. Gedgaudas's writing is atrocious. Instead of building her argument step by step she skips back and forth. She frequently repeats entire arguments. As the only other negative review pointed out, there is no coherent flow to the book. She is heavy-handed with emotional language that has no place in a scientific work. And a book on diet is no place at all for political statements. She throws in random charts, graphs, and lists of diseases that are supposed to show some sort of link between the typical diet and rampant illness. But these graphics do nothing to further her argument.
Beyond the poor writing, Ms. Gedgaudas can't even decide what theory she is proposing. She claims throughout the book that we are still very much Ice Age beings and that our diet should still be what it was then. This is clearly the premise of the book as proclaimed by the title. She further defines the paleo diet as having been comprised entirely of wild game and fibrous vegetables. This is all perfectly reasonable and accurate. But then she throws it all away by claiming our ancestral diet was high in fat but low in protein. How is this possible? A high-fat diet means a carnivorous diet. If our ancestors ate as much wild game as she claims, and they almost certainly did, then they consumed much more protein than modern humans. Yet Ms. Gedgaudas asserts that our ancestors ate a high fat diet that was somehow low in protein. She is espousing an Eskimo diet while blithely ignoring the fact that most paleolithic humans did not eat like Eskimos. A diet rich in elk, caribou, and similar game animals would have been relatively low in fat and very high in protein. During the winter months our ancestors would have been exclusively carnivorous since they had no way of preserving vegetables. How can she claim our ancestors ate like this without consuming "excess" protein.
As a life-long weightlifter I have read huge volumes of information on diet. Even the trashiest of bodybuilding magazines keep current with the latest scientific research on the subject. Ms. Gedgaudas simply ignores more than seven decades of anecdotal and empirical evidence showing that high levels of protein are beneficial. According to her, any protein beyond the RDA is simply converted to sugar and then wreaks havoc on the body just the same as any other sugar. If this is so, how does she explain the entire bodybuilding community? By her theory, bodybuilders should look just as obese as those who eat excess sugar. Bodybuilders follow a diet that is almost the antithesis of what Ms. Gedgaudas proposes. Yet they are among the fittest of people. Ms. Gedgaudas doesn't even acknowledge this fact. She simply says excessive protein is as bad as sugar and expects you to believe it in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. She provides no citations to research supporting her claim.
This book is rambling, incoherent, and almost entirely without substance. The theory is poorly defined and even more poorly supported. If you are looking for solid science to support the paleo diet, look elsewhere.
Another problem I have with the book is that it is poorly edited. Even from the beginning, I could see glaring editing errors where I could see a word or words the author must have originally intended, but she changed her sentence or word choice, but forgot to take out the old word. There are punctuation errors, too, and the worst of all--a bad grammar / word error: at one point, she uses the word "themself" as in, "People consider themself...." (I don't recall the exact phrase...but she should have used "themselves.") It was very disappointing to see that. All of that got me wondering if this author perhaps self-published. She also seems to be a pretty fanatical adherent to the "Weston Price" school of thought, and belongs to that club. I was disappointed to find that she barely referred at all to the leading proponent / scientist / researcher / author promoting Paleolithic diets: Loren Cordain ("The Paleo Diet"). Oh sure, she quotes him once, and refers to his article in the bibliography. But c'mon--this guy is the point man in the whole Paleo Nutrition movement. Anyway, I notice that the book is published by "Primal Body-Primal Mind Publishing" or something like that, which is a DBA of the author's personal company she founded and by which she makes a living unrelated to Paleo concepts. It all became clear: she self-published the book (editing errors and all) with her own publishing company, promoted it, and is using it as her personal billboard or personal statement of what she considers her ideal diet / lifestyle. The problem is, while it is well-intentioned and with some science in it, I agree with other reviews that it doesn't go far enough in establishing itself as a serious, peer-accepted scientific basis for a caveman / paleo diet. Like one reviewer said, there's so much unjustified stuff thrown at you, you don't know what to believe. It's basically her 400-page advertisement for the Weston Price school of thought, which--as I understand from stuff I read on the net--is a little bit cultish and not quite in line with the more seriously-regarded Paleo / caveman researchers / proponents.