Primal Body Primal Mind – Beyond the Paleo Diet: for Total Health and a Longer Life
In this introductory video for her book, Primal Body Primal Mind, Nora Gedgaudas explains the philosophy behind the “primal” approach to diet and health. It is not, as you might assume, just a simple “go back to the basics with a paleo diet cookbook” idea, but rather a stark realization that our civilized society, food, and environment are posing some real challenges for us in terms of our health. Changes have occurred in how we live today that our bodies have not grown accustomed to. Those changes are also occurring much more rapidly than they have in the past.
So, it is time to learn something about what is happening to us, and how our bodies are supposed to work in terms of nutrition. It is time for us individually to find our own way through diet and lifestyle changes that can help us.
In his foreword for Primal Body Primal Mind, Brent Pottenger provided an astute perspective on what is at stake. Physicians have long followed the Hippocratic Oath “First do no harm” in their treatment of illness and injury. In terms of nutrition, however, how would one “first do no harm”? If your doctor prescribes that you go on a low fat diet, for example, he would have to examine the health advantages and risks of such a diet as compared to the ideal diet for you. And that’s where the problem is. We are, at present, deeply divided across the academic, nutritional, and medical fields on what the ideal diet is.
This is the core rationale for the primal diet. We have been on this earth for 2.6 Million years and 100,000 generations. During more than 95% of that time our diet (the primal diet) was quite stable – mostly protein and fat with a few vegetables and fruit in season. Only in the last 5% of our time on the earth have we been introduced to grains and high levels of carbohydrates and the shocking number of food additives we now consider normal. It just simply isn’t natural for us to eat this stuff – as satisfying as it may seem. It will theoretically take thousands more generations for our bodies to adapt to these changes in our diet. Understanding the primal diet – and how our bodies metabolize food, is therefore the critical first step to improving our diets – and our health. That will then define the baseline (ideal) diet our bodies were made for. Then, and only then can we follow the “first do no harm” guideline in tinkering with our diet to make improvements.
Since the release of Primal Body Primal Mind, concepts illustrated in the book have continued to gain traction. Paleo and other primal diets are continuing to be gain momentum. A number of online leaders in the low carb field are discussing combining low carb and Paleo concepts. More recently, William Davis, M.D., released his book, Wheat Belly, which reflects and broadens some of the issues brought up in Primal Body Primal Mind about the health risks of wheat and gluten.
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Tagged with: Nora Gedgaudas
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