Nora Gedgaudas is a widely recognized expert on what is popularly referred to as the “Paleo diet”. She is the author of the international best-selling book, Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and A Longer Life. She is also the author of the best selling ebook: Rethinking Fatigue: What Your Adrenals Are Really Telling You and What You Can Do About It.
Nora is an experienced nutritional consultant, speaker and educator, widely interviewed on national and international radio, popular podcasts, online summits, television and film. Her own popular podcasts are widely listened to on iTunes and are available for free download. She maintains a private practice in Portland, Oregon as both a Board-Certified nutritional consultant and a Board-Certified clinical Neurofeedback Specialist. She is currently working on her next upcoming book, to be published by Simon & Schuster (Atria) in December of 2016/January 2017.
You can find Nora’s most personal interview here.
The FULL Bio
Who is she, really?
Nora’s colorful and diverse history includes time spent as a professional musician, an American Council on Exercise-certified personal fitness trainer, work in veterinary medicine and also in the field of wildlife science–even having spent a full summer living less than 500 miles from the North Pole with a family of wild wolves studying their behavior up close (and I mean close). As Nora would say, “It’s been quite a wild ride…”
Raised in a prominent medical family, Nora’s earliest passion for health, diet and nutrition began back in about 1978 as a college student while in a university pre-med program. Her interest in the subject of nutrition was sparked through a lifelong struggle with depression, along with a series of serendipitous events that lead her to become a voracious reader and researcher on the subject. It seemed logical to her in no uncertain terms that food and nutrients (rather than allopathic medicine) was utterly foundational and the single most important path to true health and freedom from disease. Her passion for the subject bordered on obsession.
Nora enrolled in a graduate-level course in nutritional science as an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota, convinced she would get the most cutting-edge, advanced possible information to feed her insatiable interests. This course had been designed for health care professionals and physicians, so (as Nora says) “I was sure I was getting some pretty high-level information. I went into the class already considerably informed, expecting to become more so. I found myself utterly SHOCKED at how woefully inadequate, limited and incomplete; along with how dry, dull and dead the course material really was—and how many inaccuracies and outdated facts were being presented as ‘higher education'”. She left the program, completely disillusioned. “I realized that conventional forms of ‘higher education’ were not ever going to teach me what I wanted and passionately needed to know.”
In 1991 Nora traveled to Ellesmere Island in Canada’s High Arctic archipelago to assist the world-renowned and preeminent wolf biologist, Dr. L. David Mech in behavioral research of an extremely remote family of wolves on the High Arctic tundra over the course of a summer. Exposure to Inuit culture at Resolute Bay and the experience of living in what was ostensibly an “Ice-Age-like” environment sparked new thinking in Nora about the widely accepted (and largely negative) ideas officially sanctioned and popularized about meat-based diets and dietary fat (in particular). Some years later, Nora stumbled across a book that radically revolutionized her dietary views and inspired a whole new life trajectory. This book was entitled: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Dr. Weston A. Price—arguably the most important book on diet and health ever written (…well, besides Primal Body, Primal Mind). 😀
At last, it all made sense. An ancestral approach to diet and health was destined to form the foundational framework for the future dots Nora would uniquely connect, that so many others had missed along the way.
The inspiration of Dr. Price’s incredible work ultimately led Nora down a deeper trajectory of studying the more prehistoric origins of our human dietary requirements from an evolutionary perspective. After studying many, many hundreds of scholarly and scientific sources of literature and the work of polar explorers and anthropologists (while spending untold hours in biomedical and university libraries prior to the advent of the considerably more convenient internet), Nora arrived at a unique understanding about the selective pressures that served to literally design the physiological makeup of our Paleolithic Homo sapiens ancestors…and, thus, our modern human nutritional requirements. Through 3.4 million years of hominid evolution there were certain consistent principles which invariably prevailed and which ultimately honed our Paleolithic ancestors toward the establishment of our species, and their primitive physical excellence.
At last—she’d found the “Holy Grail” of nutritional foundations that liberated her from all the conflicting dietary information/misinformation and confusion that so inundated the field. It all finally made sense. Over two decades of massive research and exploration eventually consolidated into a cohesive, solidly rational, practical (and ever deepening) philosophical framework that Nora developed for optimizing human health.
Nora has since completed many hundreds of hours of high quality continuing education (which she continues to pursue to this very day)— always seeking out the most innovative and unique thinkers/educators in the field of healthcare practice and research who were and are on the cutting edge of the rapidly growing fields of functional medicine and functional nutrition. Nora additionally modified her focus to include modern-day longevity research, and a careful consideration of the unique health and environmental challenges faced by our species today, allowing for the refinement of these ancestral principles into the soundest possible foundation for present-day optimal health.
In early 1997, following her liberation from close to 35 years of moderate to severe depression using a unique form of pioneering brain training neurotechnology Nora ultimately became a full-time and passionate practitioner of Neurofeedback. After many years of working in various clinical settings and supervising successful clinics (as well as 2 years of running the Midwest office for the world’s largest neurofeedback organization), Nora ultimately went on to open her own highly successful private practice at the end of 2002 in Portland, Oregon, where she still resides today.
Nora’s special highly dimensional brand of broad expertise includes brain health, neurotechnology, nutrition and mental health, autoimmunity, thyroid health, adrenal health and dysfunction, food sensitivity issues, ancestral (Paleo) diets and fat-based, ketogenic dietary approaches to optimized wellness. She is also becoming a recognized voice in the area of shamanistic study and human consciousness.
Apart from her roughly 20-years of experience in clinical practice combining Neurofeedback with quality nutritional consultation and Nutritional Therapy Nora went on to become a resoundingly successful author of two ground-breaking, best-selling books, Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and A Longer Life (which spent close to a week as #1 in all health and medical-related categories on Amazon.com) and her eBook, Rethinking Fatigue: What Your Adrenals are Really Telling You and What You Can Do About It (foreword written by functional medicine pioneer, Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS) which additionally spent time as #1 on Amazon books in the categories of Endocrinology and Metabolism, as well as Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia). Nora additionally co-authored the book, Going Paleo: Your Complete Guide To Changing the Way You Look and Feel, For Good (published by Pan McMillan books in Australia) with international celebrity chef, Pete Evans. This book also enjoyed an extended position as Australia’s number one best-selling book in 2015. Nora was also a contributing author to the highly successful book written by Jimmy Moore titled, Keto-Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low Carb, High Fat Diet.
In 2015 Nora was invited to contribute a substantial chapter on the subject of Nutrition and the Brain to an academic book titled Restoring the Brain: Neurofeedback As An Integrative Approach To Health (edited by Hanno W. Kirk), which has since been read by the Dalai Lama, at his own request (with the book handed to him directly by the editor in person, after being invited to a private meeting with His Holiness in Dharmasal, India. Read the story here.
Nora’s next full-length book (book title and release date to be announced) is being published by Simon & Schuster (Atria) and will be in all bookstores by the end of 2016/early 2017. The foreword to this upcoming book was written by New York Times best-selling author and Medical Neurologist, David Perlmutter, MD.
Nora has published numerous articles in popular periodicals, including Townsend Letter, Well-Being Journal (US), PALEO magazine, New Dawn magazine, The Paleo Way magazine (in Australia), and Experience Life magazine. She has also had articles written about her in PALEO magazine, a large feature article about her written by journalist, Eloise King for Australia’s number one health magazine, The Well Being Journal (“Natural Born Leader ~ Nora Gedgaudas: The Story Behind The World’s Leading Paleo Health Expert.”) and Nora has had feature articles written about her in Sydney, Australia’s Daily News, Weekend (“Teaching Healthy Habits”) and Australia’s Daily Liberal (“Pathway To Paleo On Tour”).
Today Nora is a highly experienced and sought after nutritional consultant, international speaker and educator, and is widely interviewed on national and international radio, popular podcasts, online summits, television and film. Nora has appeared as a guest on The Dr. Oz Show, CBS News, KRON Television Morning Show (Bay Area, San Francisco), Sydney, Australia’s Today and Sunrise Show, as well as Coast To Coast AM, Bulletproof Radio, The Solari Report, Sanitas Radio, The Thom Hartmann Radio Show, SOTT Radio, Time Monk Radio, Red Ice Radio, The Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Show, and she has been additionally interviewed by US News and World Report. Her own popular Voice America Radio podcasts are widely listened to on iTunes and are available for free download.
Nora has spoken at numerous universities, nationally and internationally, including Harvard University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, University of Portland, University of New South Wales (Sydney, AU), the University of New England (AU) and Bond University (AU). Nora has also been invited to speak at The National College of Naturopathic Medicine on separate occasions. She was additionally invited to speak at the University of Colorado, Boulder this upcoming August of 2016, as part of the annual Ancestral Health Society Symposium.
Nora is also onboard as the Expert Nutritionist for the highly successful and international online program, The Paleo Way, (which is largely based upon her work) and co-founded by international celebrity chef, Pete Evans in Australia, where Nora was the first to initiate the now popular and flourishing Paleo movement several years ago. Nora has also served as a trainer for the State of Washington Institute of Mental Health, illuminating nutrition’s impact on mental health for State healthcare workers at all levels and has also created popular coursework on the Paleo Diet for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is on the board of advisors for PALEO magazine and Ben Greenfield Fitness. She is also a founding board member for the new Hunt Gather Grow Foundation, a rapidly growing non-profit organization, “dedicated to bringing the real-food communities together”. She maintains a private practice in Portland, Oregon as both a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP/CNT), Board-Certified Holistic Nutrition (BCHN)/consultant and a Board-Certified clinical Neurofeedback Specialist (CNS), as well as a Certified Gluten Practitioner (CGP).
Nora is a member of, supporter and/or affiliated with the following organizations:
EEG Affiliates (founding member)
Ancestral Health Society (AHS) (founding member)
Integrative Medicine for Mental Health (IMMH) (speaker)
Nutritional Therapy Association (member and shareholder)
National Association of Nutritional Professionals (NANP) (member)
The National Health Federation (member)
The Savory Institute (member)
International College of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine (ICHNFM) (member)
Nutrition and Metabolism Society (member)
Hunt Gather Grow Foundation (founding and elected board member)
Price-Pottenger Nutritional Foundation (member)
Nourishing Australia (speaker and supporter)
Weston A. Price Foundation (speaker and member)
MINDD Foundation (Australia) (speaker and supporter)
So…what the heck is this frozen pile of rocks, anyway…and why am I using it as my logo?
The word “Inuksuk” is an Inuit word, essentially translating to “Stone Man”. Many of you are aware I have spent considerable time in the High Arctic and feel a special connection to that place. So that is part of it. What many people do not realize, however, is that the closest we have on earth to a modern-day people group who represent our Ice Age ancestors and who are still largely eating an Ice Age diet are the peoples of the Arctic. The inuksuk is a worthy symbol of that way of life. It is a Primal, ancient icon.
Throughout the Arctic, newer and ancient inuksuit (the plural for inuksuk) stand everywhere as navigational landmarks on an otherwise featureless landscape. They are designed to help point the way to where you are going and also to help you know where you are along the way. They were and are used as a point of reference, a marker for travel routes, fishing places, hunting grounds, food caches and even sacred locations.
I’m guessing by now the reason for my use of this symbolism is obvious.
To me the inuksuk is a signpost—a way of helping people to navigate the often confusing and harsh landscape of nutritional lore. It is there to help keep you reminded of where you are in your journey to health and the solid bedrock of foundation you must travel upon to reach your best destination. It is a reminder that we are all creatures of the Ice Age–those frozen winters of unimaginable duration and other extreme conditions throughout the planet (even where it wasn’t frozen) that we have endured in one way or another throughout our evolutionary history. We have lived in mostly complacent ignorance of this part of our history for the last 11,500 years during this unusually warm and temperate period…a mere eye blink in earth’s grander cycle.
It was during this tiny, seemingly insignificant 11,500 year spike of solar warmth in the grand Milankovitch Cycle that we have experienced literally the whole of human civilization and agriculture. We are, nonetheless, still that 2.5 million year-old Ice Age creature in our fundamental design, whether we are aware of that or not. We are not fundamentally agricultural beings, we are Primal beings.
Let the inuksuk be your reminder.