Nora Gedgaudas is a certified nutritional therapist and clinical neurofeedback specialist. She first became interested in health and diet in college where she was enrolled in a pre-med program. She struggled with depression throughout her life. Deciding that nutrition rather than drugs was the way to health, she took a graduate course at the University of Minnesota, but dropped out after being disillusioned by the dull, inaccurate information presented. In 1991, Gedgaudas worked on a research project studying wolves in the Arctic. The exposure to the Inuit people and their Ice-Age-like lifestyle gave her new ideas about meat-based diets and the role of dietary fat. After reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston Price, she came up with her own plan, which became Primal Body, Primal Mind, a #1 bestseller on Amazon. Gedgaudas has given speeches at many universities including Harvard and Berkeley, done TV appearances including on The Dr. Oz Show and CBS News, and written many articles for magazines and periodicals. She also hosted a radio show on VoiceAmerica called Primal Body-Primal Mind Radio. Gedgaudas runs a neurofeedback clinic in Portland, Oregon.
Nora Gedgaudas’s Diet
Following decades of research, Gedgaudas developed her Primal Diet, popularly called the Paleo Diet. The basic idea is to eat and live like our Stone Age ancestors did. That means consuming exclusively whole foods like meat, fish, eggs and vegetables, and avoiding all refined and processed ‘modern’ items including grains, sugar, milk and vegetable oils, and anything that has developed since the Agricultural Revolution. Gedgaudas’ diet is high in fat because she says the human body was designed to run on fat. By following this primitive diet, Gedgaudas says you can cure just about anything that ails you, from chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer, to mental diseases including anxiety and depression. Gedgaudas believes her diet is easy to follow and does not think anyone need count calories, macros, or do any other type of weighing or measuring to follow it.
- Low Carbs 10% 10%
- Medium Protein 40% 40%
- High Fat 60% 60%
Fat is Your Friend
Fat has become the modern villain, but Gedgaudas says this is a mistake and that saturated fats are not the cause of heart disease. She says they only become problematic when combined with refined carbs.
Cut Out the Middleman
Gedgaudas says that by eating unprocessed, organic foods, especially ones that are homegrown or from a farmer’s market, you can heal your body and mind, and eliminate cravings and fatigue.
Feed Your Brain
Gedgaudas is especially keen on fatty fish for its omega-3 content because of its role in brain and nervous system health.
Cure Your Allergies
Gedgaudas’ primal diet is free from many of the allergy-inducing foods, including wheat and soy.
Skip the Drive-Thru
Gedgaudas not only advocates taking a hard pass on fast food because of the ingredients, she also thinks it’s very important to take the time to slow down and enjoy your food, and also to chew it thoroughly.
Vitamin D Is Key
Gedgaudas believes the widespread deficiency of vitamin D is another culprit behind many problems, from cancer to food allergies.
What to Eat
Fresh Herbs & Spices
What to Avoid
Industrial Animal Products
Any food not found in nature
Gedgaudas on the Primal Diet
‘The bottom line is that we had access to most if not all of our dietary or physiological requirements long before the agricultural revolution, and those requirements have not changed.’
Gedgaudas on the Brain in Your Gut
‘The gut has more neurons than the brain!..The brain and gut are inextricably linked.’
Gedgaudas on Measuring Foods
‘The optimal human diet is not something that should have to require overly careful formulations by calories or percentages, much less by blood type.’
Gedgaudas on the Importance of Omega-3s
‘As much as 10% of human brain size has been lost in just the last century alone, likely due to the decreased amount of available dietary EPA and DHA, and the increased consumption of processed foods.’
Gedgaudas on Fat
‘Do not fear naturally occurring fat.’
Gedgaudas on Carbs
‘This is a critical and very fundamental point to remember: we don’t ever have to eat any sugar or starch of any kind at all in order to be optimally healthy.’
Nora Gedgaudas’s Fitness Routine
Exercise Is an Adjunct
Gedgaudas believes that you must start with diet in order to be healthy, and that the foods you eat take priority over lengthy gym sessions.
Short & Sweet
Gedgaudas recommends short, intense workouts lasting no longer than 20 minutes, which she says is more like our primal ancestors would have exercised. Longer cardio sessions should be avoided.
Gedgaudas recommends weight-bearing exercise for strong bones.
Stretch For It
Gedgaudas also believes yoga offers health benefits, including strength and flexibility.
A Nora Gedgaudas Routine
High intensity exercise lasting 20 min or less
Gedgaudas on our Ancestors’ Exercise
‘Our prehistoric ancestors did not wear running shoes or have gym memberships. But they did move quite a lot.’
Gedgaudas on the Importance of Regular Exercise
‘We simply cannot negate the importance of frequent daily movement and human interaction as an essential complementary component of daily life.’
Gedgaudas on Keeping Exercise Fun
‘[Ancient humans] regularly engaged in physical play. They danced. And they engaged with one another as a community.’
Gedgaudas on Magic Bullets
‘No magic pill will ever take the place of a diet and lifestyle that honors our primal physiology.’
Gedgaudas on Exercise
‘Movement is indeed medicine!’
Nora Gedgaudas’s Supplements
Gedgaudas advocates getting all of your nutrients through food, but if your diet is less than ideal, supplementing is a smart idea. Omega-3 essential fatty acids are called ‘essential’ for a reason. We need them for a healthy brain and healthy body.
Gedgaudas says coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) may be one of the single most important nutrients for proper heart function. Organ meats such as liver and heart contain a lot. But if those don’t appeal, you can always supplement.
Vitamin D is another must-have in Gedgaudas’ book. While she would like everyone to get out in the sunshine to obtain this essential nutrient, it isn’t always possible for those who live in northern climates, so taking a supplement can help.
Along with vitamin D, vitamins A, E, and K can only be absorbed when there is fat available to help. They are used by the immune system and contain antioxidant properties amongst other things. If you are eating a low-fat diet, be sure to have some fat, and also consider supplementing these essential vitamins.
Nora Gedgaudas’s Lifestyle
Sleep Like a Caveperson
Gedgaudas says that the right diet can help improve every aspect of your health and life, including better sleep.
Rise & Help
Gedgaudas says what gets her out of bed in the morning is helping to empower people who are being taken advantage of by corporate or political interests.
Health Issues on Every Branch
Gedgaudas says her family tree is full of disease: heart problems, cancer, autoimmune disorders, obesity, you name it, one of her close relatives has it.
Gedgaudas was a pioneer of the brain training technology known as neurofeedback, which is a type of biofeedback in which brain waves are monitored. She has been running a private practice since 2002.
Help for Burnout
Gedgaudas has also written a book on solving the problem of adrenal fatigue, which she says often has nothing to do with the adrenal glands and may instead be due to autoimmune disorders, environmental toxins, and of course, diet.
Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost
Gedgaudas’ long and varied career includes working as a professional musician and fitness trainer, along with doing research on arctic wolves. She also advocates for shamanism and engaging in spiritual journeying.
Gedgaudas on her Heredity
‘My genetics actually suck.’
Gedgaudas on Taking the Easy Life for Granted
‘We have this false sense of complacency thinking. I sometimes joke that we’re like boiling frogs thinking we’re sitting in a hot tub in Vegas.’
Gedgaudas on Hidden Dangers of Modern Life
‘Most of what threatens us is invisible.’
Gedgaudas on Teaching Others
‘It has been wisely stated that it is abjectly impossible to actually teach anyone anything. The best one can do is inspire others to learn.’
Gedgaudas on Drug Companies
‘Perhaps the biggest obstacle to a more rational debate about…health problems is the simple fact that too many of the people we turn to for advice on such matters — our doctors — are tied to the makers of drugs.’
Primal Mind, Primal Body
Primal Fat Burner