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

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,240 ratings  ·  108 reviews
Combining your body’s Paleolithic needs with modern nutritional and medical research for complete mind-body wellness

• Provides sustainable diet strategies to curb sugar cravings, promote fat burning and weight loss, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and moods, increase energy and immunity, and enhance memory and brain function

• Shows ho
...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 27th 2011 by Healing Arts Press (first published 2009)
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Why We Get Fat by Gary TaubesGood Calories, Bad Calories by Gary TaubesWheat Belly by William  DavisThe Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living by Jeff S. VolekDr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution by Robert C. Atkins
Best of Low Carb Books
11th out of 69 books — 66 voters
Practical Paleo by Diane SanfilippoIt Starts with Food by Dallas HartwigThe Primal Blueprint by Mark SissonWell Fed by Melissa JoulwanThe Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf
Best Paleo/Primal Books
28th out of 92 books — 121 voters


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Community Reviews

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Jodi
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 b
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Carol
Mixed feelings about this book.
The author does seem to know a lot about nutrition and diet-related medical issues.
Some of the topics she covers are ones that I have seen addressed elsewhere before, such as the dubious nature of viewing cholesterol levels as an ironclad guide to heart health, and the overprescription of statins.
Some of the topics are new to me, such as the chemical breakdown of glutein and how it may affect the body.

I agree with the author that sugar is a damaging and disproporti
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Ron
I was very disappointed in the book. If you are looking for a "food religion" book you might like it. The analogy I told others was that she goes into excruciating detail about the evils of yellow and the at the end she would summarize by saying that "see I have proven yellow is bad. - just like that awful green and purple". If she had stuck to the science on carbs, insulin, corn, etc it would have been fine but her tirades on GMO's, the wireless waves from your home Internet router and other su ...more
Marie
I have a lot of criticism for this book already and I am on page 22. She is making a lot of generalizations about Hunter and gather lifestyles that she is not substantiating. When I look to her sources they are only other articles and books about the paleo diet and not books about anthropology and archaeology. I am also skeptical of her nutrition claims agaisnt all grains. I know plenty of ancedotal evidence that shows that diets high in healthy grains, lean meats, accompained by active lifestyl ...more
Fossilresin
Skimmed a lot, this one's long. Helped cement my commitment...sugar=cancer! But such tasty cancer...
Brittney
Overall this book is a must read. For starters, it's extremely thorough and Gedgaudas is very knowledgeable on nutrition, disease and medication - and it's effects on the body. She does a great job explaining why sugar should be avoided at all costs and why grains are simply not necessary and why it makes sense to avoid them completely. I also liked how she explained why protein should take a moderate place in our diet; she does a great job expressing that we're brainwashed into thinking we need ...more
ryn
advocates a very-low-carb or ketogenic diet. good on protein & fat functions in the body. good info on gluten, especially testing and psychological/emotional connections, in particular the ADHD chapter.

poor rating for two reasons: first, the anthropology is poor and the "ketosis for everyone" approach is unfounded; second, because the writing and tone are relentlessly alarmist, breathless, and snarky, and it gets old fast.
Hdawg
Almost everything about this book is phenomenally dissected with a scrupulous and scientific eye. I'd recommend this book to anyone who is concerned about their current state of health.

However, I don't agree with Nora's perspective regarding longevity (chapter 22). Her material is clearly dated. Nora is a staunch believer that longevity is inexpicibly linked to lower insulin levels, low carbohydrate intake, and low calorie consumption, and states a 2009 study that "proves it." She goes into gre
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Lana
There is a lot to say about this book. It's a big one, a doozy, and there were times I thought I'd reach the conclusion of my natural life before I finished it.

The information it contains is THOROUGH. Ms. Gedgaudas gives a comprehensive unpacking of nutrition, both how conventional wisdom is deeply flawed, and how a "Paleo/Primal" lifestyle can be beneficial.

That said, she veered sharply into fear mongering at times. One of the beginning chapters on gluten is absolutely terrifying. Basically: G
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Robin Anderson
While there are some over-generalizations in this book, I found it to be substantially a good guide to modern nutrition. I have followed her diet recommendations for five weeks, as an experiment, and have lost nine pounds. I no longer feel hungry all of the time, and I am sleeping better. My normally clogged head is clear. So, I am grateful to her for her efforts. I have since joined the Weston A. Price Foundation, which she recommends and am eating grass-fed, grass-finished meat, organic veggie ...more
Jane Botten
If you are interested in living the healthiest life, this is a great book. Nora advises on household chemicals, diet, health etc. I was a little doubtful about some of her alternative information, but I did learn loads from this book.
Steve Harrison
A superb book about how our food should be medicine instead of poison. And a damning indictment of the food industry.

I have been on an adapted paleo diet for a couple of years and have never felt better in my life, but Primal Body, Primal Mind has inspired me to go even further in maintaining and improving my health.

A book everyone should read!
Joshua Buhs
Some 120 years ago, apologizing for putting into a market already glutted with them yet another book on eclipses, the Reverend William Lynn demured, "Is this not a little one?"

Gedgaudus cannot even take refuge in that. Her book is thick. And the question is, why?

Anyone who pays a whit of attention to American diet books and recommended eating practices knows that over the last thirty years those claiming that the evil in the American diet is not fat but processed carbohydrates have been gaining
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Jiri Majer
One of the most interesting book about food I have read. I discovered paleo diet in May 2014 and started to follow it - partially. My daughter calls my approach "false paleo diet":-). But I could see first benefits of it already after a few weeks. This book provided me with more facts why it works and why we should be really carefull listening to mainstream food advisors. There are many interesting facts described in the book - some of theme were really revolutionary. I spent substantial time go ...more
Manda
I liked how detailed this book was. I enjoyed that the author focused on the science behind the theory of the paleo diet instead of focusing on foods and recipes, however, at the end i was not convinced that the paleo diet is for me. The author states that "everything in moderation" does not apply to the paleo diet because even the smallest amount of straying will cause damage. I will not be making that kind of commitment to this diet. That being said, there was other information in this book th ...more
Russ
There is a lot of useful information in here - it's all presented as fact although a lot is still no yet completely understood. The writing style is comically over-stated and dramatic (i think my life is in peril for about 10 different nutritional reasons by chapter 3). It's also quite repetitive.

I did appreciate the layout of the text and the information it provided; and there were a handful of nuggets (eg the idea that the fruit in paleo time is probably much different -- less fructose and obv
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Sasha
The author writes that the book came together as she wanted to explain things to her neurofeedback clients. The problem I have is the same I have with many books on these subjects... I already have enough rough knowledge of this stuff, I am looking for more clear and specific solutions, and useful information I don't already have. I don't want to be the choir that is preached to, I want to get healthy--not just relatively better, but healthy. And once digestion is already impaired, doing this is ...more
Ayla
After I read this book, I was convinced that the diet that Nora suggests in this book was "the one" for me. I have tried many different ways of eating in the past, attempting to fix things about my body that I thought were problems. Nora tells us, with great clarity and many references to studies, that we should all eschew carbohydrates and eat lots of vegetables, lots of fat (from both animals and plants), and some animal-derived protein (no more than about 6 oz per day). If you feel like getti ...more
Sue Schlinglof
This is by far the best book I have read on nutrition out of the 23 books I have read on the subject. I read the forwards first and then the last chapter and appendices because I wanted the bottom line before I got into all the details. I then started on chapter 14 and read to chapter 23 and was wowed. I then started at chapter 1 and read to chapter 13. The first 4 chapters are pretty dry and were not terribly interesting to me. From chapter 5 on I was hooked and looking forward to reading more. ...more
Bruce
This book is organized in classic toilet reading style in chapters of 2-4 pages. As the style suggests, the information here is broad but superficial, and in fact contains =incorrect= summaries of more in-depth works.

For instance she gets "Your body's many cries for water" by Dr. Batmanghelidj dead wrong-- it's not drink lots of pure filtered water, it's add a wee bit of salt to the water you are drinking, especially 30 min before meals and upon awakening.

SO read this as an introduction only to
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Deb
This book is amazing. It's based on medical and scientific research (all sited so you could go looking yourself if you wanted), and explains just what is going on in the body with our current, accepted "healthy eating" diet of grains, veggies, protein and fat (in that order). Nora Gedgaudas explains how in this era of low-fat/no-fat, vegetarian/vegan, whole-grain carbs eating we're a society that is fatter and sicker than we've ever been in the history of humans (barring infections and accidents ...more
Alejandra
While there is a TON of useful information, this book reads like a text book, and gives new meaning to beating the dead horse.

A+ for the quality of information and research. I am the kind of person who will read up on the mentioned sources, and I found it to be mostly credible(which can be hard to come by in the nutrition world of fads.) I appreciated the digging into the "why" of human ancestry, and biological makeup. It allows for the reader to make an educated decision whether to agree or di
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Elizabeth
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lynley
I became interested in reading this book after listening to Nora Gedgaudas' podcast (which is also called 'Primal Body Primal Mind' - you can find it on iTunes). If you've listened to all of those podcasts you may not get all that much out of the book, as she generously covers almost everything on there for free, but I'm a visual learner, so I appreciate having the same information written down.

Until I try living this way for a longish period of time I don't really feel qualified to even give th
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Mochalove
Most people today are generally unhealthy - our current eating habits, lifestyles and daily stress levels all come together to make us into human time bombs waiting to explode from a disease or ailment. In our daily lives we are constantly bombarded by toxins, either through the foods that we eat, which are laden with chemicals or through our living environment in which toxins can be found from everything to the soap you wash with, to the cell phone that you talk on daily.

With all the miracle c
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Janie
This is a reference book. She wrote it for an audience who will read the 4 chapters that pertain most to them and may or may not read any of the rest of it. This means that there is plenty of repetition. This is appropriate to a reference book, though it can incite tedium in someone reading it through like a novel.

I read it cover to cover. I learned a lot and am more eager than ever to learn more chemistry. I agree with most of it (which doesn't happen a lot). If I were giving someone (all other
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Casey
This book tried to handle too many subjects with too much in-depth info about each topic. She goes where few other Primal authors go - saying EMF is dangerous, advocating drinking water that has been micro-restructured (huh?). I didn't go away from this book thinking she had presented strong arguments for these lifestyle changes. It was interesting to hear about the links she's made to mental illness and cognitive decline - I wish she would have gone more in-depth here, as I was previewing this ...more
Xzs
This book is a must have. I did notice some discrepancies in the information presented....and I've heard many arguments for and against ketosis... However, this is an excellent source book, containing an absolute wealth of information. It will be placed on the same shelf as Nutrition and Physical Degeneration...it's not that good, but it belongs on the same shelf!! Big fan...if only I could implement more of the protocols!
Heidi Garrett
This is the second book I read on keto adaption and it came highly recommended. For me, however, there was simply too much detail. Perhaps, I'd already done enough research so that a lot of the information didn't feel new, but overall it just felt like a lot. If you're going to read this book, I recommend you read this one first, then you might not need to read anything else on the subject.
Brooklyn James
Thought-provoking book that deserves consideration from any reader interested in improving their diet and the way the body responds to the foods we give it. For the most part, it was interesting and informational. She kind of lost me with the supplements section. However, I feel I came away from the book wiser about my food choices and the physiology of my 'primal' body. I would certainly recommend this book!
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“And here’s the kicker: food manufacturers are using a gasoline additive known as hexane to process soy products (and some vegetable oils). Soybeans are soaked in large vats of hexane to assist in the extraction of substances such as protein and oils from them. An independent lab has found hexane residue in soy-based foods, but the FDA does not require any testing for hexane, even in baby foods. It is used by the food industry because it is cheap to do so and because the FDA lets them get away with it. The soy industry is incredibly powerful and influential. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lists hexane, incidentally, as a hazardous chemical.” 1 likes
“fully fifty-five diseases are known to be caused by gluten (Farrell and Kelly 2002). Among these are heart disease, cancer, nearly all autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, irritable bowel syndrome and other gastrointestinal disorders, gallbladder disease, Hashimoto’s disease (an autoimmune thyroid disorder responsible for up to 90 percent of all low-functioning thyroid issues), migraines, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease), neuropathies (having normal EMG readings), and most other degenerative neurological disorders as well as autism, which is technically an autoimmune brain disorder.” 0 likes
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