The Savory Institute

Nora Gedgaudas and Allan SavoryI spent this last weekend attending the Artisans of the Grasslands (Savory Institute) conference in the San Francisco Bay area.  What a wonderful collection of speakers and attendees!  I gave my talk on Sustainably Optimizing Human and Planetary Health to a terrific and highly receptive audience Saturday afternoon.  I also managed to squeeze in some quality time with my friends, Allan Savory and his wonderful wife, Jody Butterfield.  I do believe they have absolutely figured out “the” solution to a great many ills plaguing our world and encourage everyone alive on planet earth to support their efforts.  For anyone that has not already watched Allan’s 2013 TED talk (among the most widely watched of all TED talks), I urge you to take a few minutes to do so.

I also believe that the answer to spreading this message (the message behind Holistic Management) en masse may just lie in the message of health.  This is what clearly reaches people closest to where they live.  According to a major new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2013, published in The Lancet in June of 2015, over 95% of the world’s population has health problems, with over a third having more than five health-related issues compromising them!  In the year 2013 no more than one in 20 people were free of any form of illness (4.3%).  And right now in the US the number one source of bankruptcy is simply a bad diagnosis.  The WHO tells us that cancer rates are supposed to increase by 70% over the next 20 years (and frankly, I believe this number may well be low).  Autoimmunity (the greatest, most insidious and most invisible health burden of our time) currently plagues an estimated 53 million Americans—more than heart disease and cancer combined. Also, according to the WHO, by the year 2020 “depression will be the single greatest health burden in the world.”  And depression is anything but an outward (“big picture”)-focused affliction in those suffering from it (I know…I was once its victim).  Given the economic climate worldwide currently (a trend so aptly predicted by Sir James Goldsmith’s 1994 warning about globalization—underscoring the reasons so many are leaving the land and seeking refuge that isn’t there in cities today) most people today are thoroughly preoccupied with mere survival. This is why I believe we all may sometimes feel as though we are spinning our wheels when it comes to reaching others. I believe that this is largely by design, as nothing is more malleable and controllable than a populace living in fear, economic strain, ill health and desperation. And if that bad diagnosis arrives (and more often than not today, it does) then how focused is anyone going to be on the big picture? How focused is anyone going to be on “saving the world” or addressing injustices when they are merely struggling to survive?

The beauty of what the Savory Institute promotes is that it potentially solves so much with its singular objective. I like to think I was able to successfully tie much of this together in my talk on Saturday. Ultimately, I believe that our combined objectives can not only be profoundly synergistic, but also extremely affordable and accessible for the average person— if done the right way.

You all already know from my book that although I advocate strongly for the importance of healthfully produced (100% pastured) animal source dietary meat and fat for optimal health, I also make a strong case for strictly moderating that protein intake—meeting but not exceeding our basic dietary requirements. This is not typical of most popularly promoted versions of the popular “Paleo Diet,” but instead I apply those basic “Paleo principles” to the modern science of human longevity, while also taking into account the uniquely challenging world we live in today.  What this effectively accomplishes is the cultivation of a primarily fat burning metabolism, which is infinitely more efficient than a carbohydrate burning metabolism (albeit far less profitable for multinational industry).  This also has the potential to make anyone’s grocery bill much more affordable while automatically leaving far more high quality nutrient dense food to go around for everyone.   How much more effectively could we feed the world if industrialized nations only consumed what they truly needed to for optimal health?

Nothing in the wilds of Nature normally takes more than it needs in order to survive. We are the only species that habitually devours everything in our path, in perpetual excess of what we need.   If the case can be made for cultivating a fat burning metabolism that eliminates the constant craving or need for replenishment and indulgence, then it’s easier to make the case for spending all that saved money on far better quality nutrition.   And a more physically/mentally healthy and mentally stable population is in a position to make far better and more rational decisions, better choices and becomes capable of entertaining greater visions.  Only then is it possible to see and more actively and effectively care about the bigger picture, and the future.

Not everyone is inclined to think about saving the world today (sadly), but literally everyone needs to eat.  Most people in the world today are desperately concerned about their health and the health of their families. This isn’t just about reaching people in cities (even as that is where most of the population is moving to).  I believe that there is an opportunity for new strength in our greater combined objectives.

The following is a testimonial graciously offered to me by Allan Savory, who experienced positive changes in his own health following the implementation of what he read in my book, Primal Body, Primal Mind a few years ago:

“Without question in my mind we owe a great debt to people like Nora Gedgaudas leading enlightened thinking about the food we eat guided by the millions of years of our own evolution in synergy with all other life forms on land and in oceans.  Where reductionist science, biased all too often by corporate greed, has it seems persistently got our diets precisely wrong she is one of the few getting it right and providing a platform of sound principles from nature that we can build upon as knowledge increases.  I cannot recommend her book strongly enough to anyone concerned with their own, or their children’s, mental and physical health.”  ~Allan Savory

For more information concerning the objectives of the Savory Institute and what you can do to help, please go to www.savoryinstitute.org.

Allan Savory

Announcing The Dawn of A New Ancestral Community

THE FOUNDATION FOR NUTRITIONAL WISDOM

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Yes—the rumors you may have heard in the street are true.

Somewhat forged from the fires of controversy (a whole other story), this newly launched non-profit organization, the Foundation For Nutritional Wisdom (FFNW) emerges from a very real and encompassing need.  Until now, both the Paleo/Primal communities and the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) communities have shared an awkward and strained relationship, at best. While many Paleo/Primal adherents have made an effort to find some sense of home within the WAPF, that effort has often been met with less than open arms. In fact, it has been made more than clear in the last year through an article published and comments made by the very longtime president of the WAPF, Sally Fallon-Morrell that we in the Paleo/Primal community are flat-out personae non grata.

I, for one have been a member of the WAPF (and/or Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation) for mostly the last 20 years. I have supported many of its aims and promoted its efforts and membership to many, many people in that time. I have even spoken at some it their conferences in the past.  I have always valued the inherent wisdom in Weston A. Price’s work, and the work of other esteemed nutritional pioneers. I also greatly admired the early work and activism of Sally Fallon and particularly the now late Dr. Mary Enig, whom I had the honor of meeting and spending a couple of days with and learning from.  Together they originally represented a revolution toward understanding our own nutritional ancestral roots and the ways in which the wisdom of our ancestors might very well hold the key to our health and future as a species. As consummate activists, they also represented a certain radical, if not revolutionary ethical foundation of truth in nutritional science; distinguishing themselves apart from misguided and misguiding mainstream health authorities otherwise incestuously bound to the interests of Multinational Industry.  They were true heroes and health activists driven to make a difference.  –And make a difference, they have. No one can deny this, nor take that away from them.  We all owe a great deal to the many critical accomplishments of the Weston A. Price Foundation and its leadership.

But what started out as a seemingly open, inclusive and passionate exploration of and dedication to the truth has become increasingly tainted by more autocratic personal beliefs and agendas. There has been a growing rigidity with in the WAPF organization and–not unlike the current global political climate– a loss of democracy and a growing intolerance of philosophical differences within its ranks. Dissent or mere questioning has been met all too often with cold excommunication and/or legal threats.

Recent controversies concerning the questionable practices of one of WAPF’s most heavily and unquestioningly promoted “platinum level” sponsors have only served to underscore this cancerous problem. And far too many good people within the WAPF organization have been unjustly treated and tossed out by mere virtue of publicly telling their own truth out of a sense of personal responsibility, exposing untruths through reasonable scientific evidence (I suppose one could call it “whistleblowing”), or (god forbid) questioning WAPF authority.

To be candid, this really isn’t the kind of organization I signed up for– and I’m willing to bet it’s not what a lot of people have signed up for.  As such, other top WAPF sponsors are leaving and there are many other now former members (whether by their own choice or by excommunication) that are trapped in a sort of lost limbo of disillusioned homelessness.  This was once an organization focused on promoting the health of humans through rather diversely focused evidence put forth by a legitimately celebrated nutritional pioneer. It was once a unified front against the machinery of multinational interests. The WAPF has since somehow slipped into a mostly narrow, post-agriculturally focused nutritional agenda (with an added fixation on promoting a type of “fermented” cod liver oil not even recognized by Price, himself).  It’s almost as though any focus on our human pre-agricultural dietary history has been relegated to the back of the bus and essentially marginalized in favor of other agendas.

Something new has been needed by many of us for some time.

I was contacted by my friend, Dr. Ron Schmid, naturopathic physician and author of Traditional Foods are Your Best Medicine, The Untold Story of Milk and his newly-released book, Primal Nutrition, for which I contributed a foreword.  Although we have our minor philosophical differences, I have always respected Ron for his respectful open-mindedness, his thoughtfulness, integrity and tireless passion for doing the right thing– both as a healer and activist. His innovative product line, Dr. Ron’s Ultra-Pure is among the few I have felt comfortable recommending to others over the years without hesitation. When it comes to the details surrounding quality, Ron is the kind of stickler I genuinely value most. So when he contacted me to request my participation in the creation of a new, more inclusive Ancestral community, I was hard-pressed to say no.

This opportunity afforded by the Foundation For Nutritional Wisdom represents, for the first time ever, a true coming together of those seeking to embrace the work of nutritional pioneers such as Weston A. Price (along with other nutritional pioneers) and those embracing diet and health from a more evolutionary perspective.  In such an overlap there is great power of unified principle and a spirit of unified activism that I believe has the potential to move mountains.

These two closely related, passionately idealistic and positive, activist-oriented communities cannot afford to work in a compartmentalized fashion. The stakes in today’s dangerously industrialized and corporate-controlled world are simply too high.  Together we can have a more effective synergy not afforded by separatist attitudes.  The social and political climate of the world we live in is overly polarized as it is, after all.  And while many habitually choose to fruitlessly focus upon seemingly irreconcilable differences, it is the foundational commonalities between us that create the real power to transform that which desperately needs transformation. The very real possibilities here are truly exciting, refreshing and LONG overdue.

This organization will be more “officially” launched through an upcoming first annual conference designed to “Bring together the Paleo, Primal and Weston Price communities.”  The date of the conference is this coming November 21st – 22nd, 2015.  The location of the conference will be the Southbridge Resort & Conference Center in Southbridge, Massachusetts.

The organization’s stated mission and principles are as follows:

MISSON & PRINCIPLES

1. The Foundation’s mission is to bring together the Paleo, Primal and Weston Price communities, united by the belief that the writings of Dr. Weston Price form the core (but not the full extent) of the nutritional wisdom we need to live in optimal health. The research and ideas of current-day pioneers who have enlarged and updated nutritional knowledge for the modern world will be encouraged for presentation and open debate.

2. Democratic governance: Everyone present at the conference will become a Founding Member of the Foundation and have one vote. At the town hall meeting on Sunday morning, we will elect the Board for a one-year term. The Board will elect the officers, also for a one-year term. This procedure will be followed yearly at the annual conference.

3. The Board shall be responsive to the needs of the membership. Open discussion of any issue will be encouraged among members and the Board. Members will be encouraged to question authority. Board members shall make every attempt to see to it that authority is bottom up, rather than top down. We believe that thanks to email and iphones, democratic governance will not be difficult to achieve if we have the will.

4. The Foundation will under no circumstances officially endorse or promote any individual, product or company in any way, financially or otherwise.

It’s important to point out here that there is no dark agenda here or desire to tear down the existing Weston A. Price Foundation or its leadership.  The existing WAPF certainly has its place and will most certainly continue.  There IS a need, however to create a safe haven for otherwise disenfranchised adherents of these diverse philosophies in a way that provides an equal place around the table for everyone. The Foundation is not seeking to create some “melting pot” of homogenous philosophy, but instead a rich mosaic strengthened by its colorful contrasts.  Any tapestry takes on a whole new depth with varying threads of different colors and textures. What the FFNW is shooting for here is a multidimensional meeting of diverse minds with a certain fresh pioneering spirit that has somehow otherwise been lost in the dust of petty politics along the way.

The Foundation for Nutritional Wisdom is an organization centered on respect for nature, respect for our ancestral roots and indigenous values, and (perhaps most importantly) respect for one another.  

I hope many of you will find your way to this exciting and important historic event. For those that can’t make it, the FFNW will be offering live streaming. A vote will be cast by attendees toward the composition of the board of directors moving forward.  The Foundation’s new web site can be found here:  www.ffnw.org

The Facebook page is www.facebook.com/FoundationForNutritionalWisdom

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THE CONFERENCE SETTING

The conference will take place in a beautiful and charming country setting in Southbridge, Massachusetts, at the Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center. This small-town getaway in the heart of New England is surprisingly close in – less than an hour from Boston, Springfield, Hartford, CT and Providence, RI.

The hotel has set aside rooms just for our group at the price of $109/night (plus taxes), for single to quad occupancy. The hotel will reserve these rooms only until October 23rd, and then they will be released.

Even if you are on the fence, go ahead and make your reservation to stay for one or two nights! As we add more exciting speakers, and word gets out and attendance grows, you’ll be glad you did. Meet up with and make new friends. Bring your family and friends! Take some fun time while learning how to use nutrition to heal and move toward optimal health. Join us for a weekend retreat that could change your life. And ours.

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THE FOOD

Ah yes, the food! Wild caught salmon, grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, fresh organic vegetables and fruit, golden ghee and butter, raw milk, coconut oil, and other nutritional and culinary delights including coffee and chocolate! This hotel hosted a WAPF regional conference last fall. We’re in good hands!

Extra care has been given to the creation of an outstanding menu and the finest ingredients.

Your registration fee will include three wonderful, delicious, nutrient-dense meals – Saturday lunch buffet and banquet dinner, and Sunday morning breakfast.  Check out the menus and food donor links.

SPONSORS, EXHIBITORS & FOOD DONORS

Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics is graciously donating wild-caught salmon for our Saturday evening banquet.

US Wellness Meats is generously donating pastured chicken and grassfed beef for the lunch and banquet menus.

Dr. Ron’s Ultra-Pure, a platinum sponsor, is offering a wide variety of additive-free supplements, natural body care products, and educational materials, and hosting book signings with your favorite authors.

Ask About Being a Sponsor or Exhibitor

REGISTRATION

The early bird registration fee is just $157 and includes the educational sessions and exhibits on Saturday, the business meeting on Sunday and three meals—a lunch buffet, banquet dinner and breakfast Sunday morning. The early bird registration rate expires on Friday, October 23, 2015. After that date, registration will be $187.

The live streaming registration fee is just $47 before early bird date Friday, October 23, 2015 and $67 after.

As a Founding member of the FFNW, everyone that registers for this event will receive 10% off on all future conferences!

SEEKING WISDOM

Wisdom, regarded as one of the four cardinal virtues, is defined as the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.  But how do we find wisdom? Why should we seek it? Perhaps Native Americans understood things that we have forgotten.

“Oh Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind, whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me. I am small and weak. I need your strength and wisdom….

“Make me wise, so that I may understand the things you have taught my people. Let me learn the wisdom you have hidden in every leaf and rock. I seek strength, not that I may be greater than my brother, but so I may fight my greatest enemy – myself. Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands and straight eyes, so when life fades, as the fading sunset, my spirit may come to you without shame. ” 

– An Ogalala Lakota prayer translation

Let us seek strength and wisdom together.

Sincerely, the Conference Steering Committee:

Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD

David Gumpert

Ron Schmid, ND


THE FFNW CONFERENCE:

SPEAKERS & TOPICS

Kaayla Daniel, PhD, author of The Whole Soy Story and coauthor of Nourishing Broth

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Hook, Line and Stinker: The Truth About Fermented Cod Liver Oil

Kaayla, a certified nutritionist and acclaimed author, is the former Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and recipient of the Foundation’s 2005 Integrity in Science award. She is at the center of the ongoing storm over “fermented” cod liver oil. She will rock your world with the shocking details. Tonight, she’ll be part of our team of keynote speakers.

Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind and Rethinking Fatigue

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Primal/Paleo Diets and Weston Price’s Teachings

Nora is a unifying figure in the world of alternative medicine and nutrition. Her best-selling book Primal Body, Primal Mind is meticulously researched, brilliant and innovative. Learn how the principles she has integrated can help you heal disease and move to optimal health.

Joan Grinzi, Executive Director of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation

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Gleanings: What Dr. Price Really Said

PPNF recently published in the Foundation’s quarterly journal “The Search for the Best Cod Liver Oil,” as well as a report cataloguing all of Dr. Price’s writings on cod liver oil and butter oil. Learn what he actually wrote – or didn’t write – about fermented cod liver oil, butter oil, and much more from an expert and outstanding speaker.

David Gumpert, author of The Raw Milk Revolution and The Raw Milk Answer Book

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Grassfed Dairy in Paleo, Primal, and Weston Price Diets

David is the go-to guy about what happens in the world of raw milk. His blog, The Complete Patient, is widely read and well respected. His objective reporting and discoveries about the fermented cod liver oil controversy led him to work with Kaayla Daniel and Ron Schmid in laying the groundwork for this new foundation. In this talk, he’ll address why grassfed raw milk and milk products may play an important role in healing diets. Tonight, he’ll share the keynote podium with Drs. Daniel and Schmid and others.

Randy Hartnell, Owner of Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics

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Seafood in Paleo/Primal/Weston Price Diets

Randy is all you’d expect in an ex-fisherman, and more. He’ll share what Weston Price wrote about seafood in traditional cultures, and the role of seafood in a healing and health building diet. Learn the difference between pollock and cod, and a pollock liver and a cod liver. Hint: they’re not the same.

Ron Schmid, ND, author of The Untold Story of Milk and Primal Nutrition

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How I Nearly Died But Then Recovered from Advanced Heart Failure 

Ron’s dietary principles for recovery from chronic disease incorporate ideas from paleo, primal and Weston Price diets. Based on his 34 years in practice as a naturopathic physician, he reports, “Almost anyone following these principles experiences dramatic improvements in health. Often, serious chronic diseases disappear, and stay disappeared as long as the principles are followed. In this talk, I will spell out exactly what these principles are. I’m retired. I play tennis and write. I want to share what I have learned with anyone who will listen!” Ron will also explain why he is convinced that fermented cod liver oil caused the heart failure that nearly killed him in 2012.

Panel Discussion: What Can the Paleo, Primal and Weston A. Price Communities Teach Each Other

AND MORE EXCITING SPEAKERS AND DEVELOPMENTS TO COME…

Read more about the proposed mission and governing principles of this new organization at the website:  www.ffnw.org

Registration for those physically attending is now available online or by mail.  Livestreaming registration is coming soon!

Click for the conference schedule

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Join The Paleo Way Tribe

nora the paleo wayNot a day goes by where I don’t receive a heartfelt “thank you” email from those that have read my book, Primal Body, Primal Mind and whose lives were positively and immeasurably transformed by it. Still, there is the occasional email from a fan who read my book and found themselves not quite knowing what to do next. You see, I never really intended to write a recipe/meal plan book and although I do okay for myself in the kitchen at home, I have never had to cook for a large family and I have always just sort of taken the intuitive approach when it comes to putting things together at mealtime. It is clear, though, that some folks need more handholding than others, and many people really do want those recipes, along with the more detailed “how to” aspect, step-by-step, when it comes to implementing this lifestyle.

Well, this is your lucky day!

I have partnered with Australian TV star and celebrity chef, Pete Evans, Australian celebrity fitness coach, Luke Hines, and a whole team of first-rate experts in the creation of the first ever, fully comprehensive 10-week Activation Paleo online program, designed to hand-hold you through the process of adopting this way of life. It’s called The Paleo Way and there is absolutely nothing else like it anywhere on the Internet or on earth. No expense has been spared in creating the ultimate online health program for those wanting to embrace the most advanced and cutting edge available version of the Paleo lifestyle. In addition to unbelievably delicious, easy and affordable recipes, there is a well thought out step-by-step plan that is easy to follow, great articles written by each of us (with substantial new content each month), shopping lists, videos and more! We also supply a complete support program that includes a weekly live Q&A forum led by each of our experts (including me) where members can ask questions, plus an active and positive community support group (so you will never have to feel alone).

The cost for the 10-week Activation Program membership is just $89!

Nowhere else will you ever find more bang for your buck when it comes to this level of quality, hand-holding and comprehensive access to everything you need to know for taking charge of your health.

I am extremely proud of the quality of this program and the team we have put together to help bring it to you. Now there is nothing that can possibly hold you back. Go to www.thepaleoway.com today and join the tribe!

~ Nora

PS. Here is one of the awesome recipes we have on The Paleo Way program:

Chicken salad with green goddess dressing 

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Chicken salad is one of those dishes that just seems to bring a smile to everyone’s face. It is easy, delicious and very good for you. I love how you can make a chicken salad shine by taking inspiration from around the world, using spice rubs for the chicken or exotic dressings and sauces. Always use free-range organic chicken, as it not only tastes better but is also better nutritionally for you. Free-range chickens eat a natural diet, which translates to a healthier product for our own bodies. There are thousands of recipes for green goddess dressing and this is one of my all time favourites. Please play around with it and create your own signature version! 

Serves: 4 

Preparation time: 10 minutes  

Difficulty: Easy

Allergens: Nuts and seafood


Ingredients:

2 large handfuls lettuce, torn

3 radishes, thinly sliced

1 handful of watercress

2 tablespoons walnut oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

2 skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cooked and sliced into thick pieces 

Green Goddess Dressing (see BELOW) to serve

3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (activated if possible) 

zest of 1 lemon 

Preparation:

To make the salad, gently wash the lettuce and dry. Combine the lettuce, radish and watercress in a bowl and gently mix with the walnut oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Smear a generous amount of green goddess dressing onto two plates. Place the salad next to the dressing and arrange the chicken on top. Season with a little salt and pepper then scatter over the walnuts, lemon zest and a little more walnut oil if desired.

Green Goddess Dressing  

½ avocado

3 tablespoons coconut milk 

3 tablespoons lemon juice 

1 garlic clove, finely chopped 

2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped 

½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped 

3 tablespoons basil leaves, roughly chopped 

1 tablespoon tarragon leaves, roughly chopped 

¼ teaspoon sea salt 

125 ml extra-virgin olive oil 

Preparation:

Place all the ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor or blender and process until well combined.

With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and process until the dressing thickens and the herbs are finely chopped. Sore refrigerated for up to 5 days.

GETTING DOWN TO THE WIRE!

JG-My-HOpe-For-Health-BWOn this day of Thanksgiving I want to reach out and thank all of you–in the most heartfelt possible way— who have contributed monetarily to this profoundly worthy cause following my last article where I introduced Kama Trudgen and the nine women seeking to transform their own health and the health of their Yolngu community. Both Kama and the women in her care are deeply moved by the outpouring of support they are receiving from all of you. To them, this is a beautiful miracle—but they are still short of their essential monetary goal to make their humble need (and dream) a reality.

The Australian Indigenous Health Project launched by Kama and her husband, Tim has already raised just over $41,000 in donations from caring people, but this is still short of the $54,000 needed in order for ALL these deserving and health-challenged women to receive the help they need. They have just 11 days to reach this goal now and time is rapidly ticking…

Keep in mind, that these women are not asking for any sort of “handout”, but instead for an opportunity to create real, foundational self-empowerment. Lives are literally at stake in a very real way in this, and quite possibly the very future survival of other similarly suffering Aboriginal people groups throughout Australia who have a real potential to benefit from the success this project can offer. It is an opportunity for all of us to help right a grievous wrong and potentially even inspire indigenous people groups everywhere if this program is successful and the news of that is allowed to spread far and wide (which I will personally see to, to the extent I can).

There is also a very real urgency in all of this, as more people in the community are succumbing as I write this to entirely preventable ill health and even death—even since my earlier blog post a few days ago! My most recent email from Kama had this to say:

“I am trying to support these incredible ladies on a journey to rediscover their health, but along the way many of their very close family members have died. This is so heartbreaking, as it is often from preventable diseases that these guys are only just coming to understand. They have such a beautiful vision to help their community, but they are not there yet, and it is too late for many people that we love. It makes it feel very urgent, but at the same time nothing moves very quickly at all, which is a challenging tension. Of the three ladies who have worked most closely with me, one is now caring for her Dad who has recently been diagnosed with cancer, one recently buried her husband, and the other her youngest sister died suddenly and unexpectedly a few months ago from a stroke, leaving behind a little son not much older than Eli. The funeral is only just about to start next week- as there is a queue of constant funerals here. Pretty depressing stuff, but the reality here…”

It is impossible for any of us to fathom the intense grief and pain these women live with as an ongoing daily reality. And it doesn’t have to be this way! WE can actually do something about it!

Some people ask the question Why the need to go anywhere? Why not simply do all this right where they are?

Kama is not paid to do the work she is doing (nor is she asking to be—regardless of how deserving she obviously is) and resources in Galiwin’ku are severely limited. Also, Kama herself has a two-year-old son and many other personal and community responsibilities, making it impossible for her to single-handedly simply create some kind of health retreat locally on her own from scratch with zero available infrastructure. Eventually, creating a local educational/health center run by and for this community is the goal– but first these women need to come to some measure of restoration of their own compromised health before they can hope to spread health to the rest of their community. That is why their traveling to this health retreat is so critical. As Kama rightfully points out:You cannot expect the people who need the retreat themselves to be able to build it. They need to be empowered first to have the knowledge and skills to create it for their community.” 

Kama went on to more optimistically share:

“We are now well past our tipping point, which means THIS IS HAPPENING!! We are super excited!! We have enough funds (at least to start) and that means we can go ahead with a smaller group. But we still hope to take the whole group along to Living Valley Springs, so that they can support each other, build knowledge, and be a strong transformative force when they return to Galiwin’ku. The more women we can take the stronger the foundation of this work.”

They are less than $13,000 away from reaching the goal that will allow all of these deserving women to take the next critical step in their healing, but time is running out—in more ways than one. Compared to many other worthwhile charities, the amount of money that is being sought here is minute— especially considering the very real life-and-death difference it will make. And it IS reachable!

As soon as I finish writing this post my plan is to go back to the Hope for Health site and contribute yet again. I am hoping many of you are willing and/or able to follow suit and do the same. If everyone my earlier post reached would have contributed just $10 we would have already far-exceeded the goal. Your moral support and heartfelt positive intentions are deeply appreciated and needed here— but the unfortunate bottom line, real-world practical need right now is money.

If there is any possibility at all that you can contribute more to this beautiful, life-saving cause, here is the link yet again:

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THANK YOU!

~ Nora

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The Australian Indigenous Health Project

Some-of-the-ladies-being-cheeky-Groupshot-HFHMany of you reading this know, I spent the month of July touring throughout Australia on what was called The Paleo Way tour. Following the tour I had the extraordinary privilege to spend some quality time in Australia’s Outback— more specifically, Uluru.

Uluru was at one time referred to as Ayers rock, but then rightfully renamed with its original name given by its original stewards, the Aṉaŋu people. I wrote more about my time in the Outback in my last blog post.

While there I saw a great many Aboriginal people. Many were simply going about their business, shopping in the local market and traveling to and from the local village where they live (off limits to tourists), called Mutitjulu. Others actually work in tandem with the Park service, functioning as expert guides and/or providing education about the history and way of life of their people. Others still are fortunate enough to be artistically gifted and sell their wares (mostly paintings, baskets and carvings) throughout the park where tourists frequent. Few are entirely fluent in English, and those that do speak English often mix their native tongue in with English words in a way that makes it very hard to have an easy conversation. The Aṉaŋu guides working for the Park service seemed to me to be the most readily fluent.

The state of health among Australia’s Aboriginal population that I was able to witness was beyond deplorable. Obesity there is virtually ubiquitous and I watched many individuals walking with considerable difficulty simply because of this. Many are missing multiple teeth. Never have I seen a more blunt example of “manifest destiny’s” fait accompli. The local grocery market is overflowing with anything but that which I would personally identify as “food”. There was little recognizable happiness in the faces of many of the Aboriginal people that I encountered, and it was plain to see just how different their lives must be compared to the time (while many were still living off the land) when Weston Price visited these communities in the 1930’s. Back then; Dr. Price was overwhelmingly impressed with the health, strength and vigor of the Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal ManPhoto of an Australian Aboriginal man, circa 1901
Aboriginal hunter1922 photograph of an Aboriginal hunter (from the National Museum of Australia)

 

For as long as I can remember, I have felt a love, passion and special allegiance for indigenous cultures. I have been passionate about what they knew that could teach us more about who and what we are—and also how to live in sustainable symbiosis with the world around us. When I first arrived at the mode of thinking I now passionately promote about diet and health from an evolutionary perspective, I immediately recognized that the population that would stand to benefit most from this information would be indigenous people groups. It has been a bit of a dream of mine to find a way to share some of this information with people groups who we modern Europeans owe the most (and whose traditional history and spiritual wisdom means so much to me).

As far as I’m concerned, the deepest genocide committed by European encroachment upon native aboriginal people groups throughout the world was not by guns— but through food. There can be no faster way to conquer and destroy a people than through drugging them with nutrient- and spiritually-devoid, addictive foods (and food-like substances) and simultaneously destroying their health. Traditionally, all indigenous peoples recognized the inherent sacred connection between themselves and the animals they hunted and accepted the meat from their hunts as a sacrament of power. The famous Lakota holy man, Black Elk once aptly commented on the white man’s food. When he saw the sad and passively resigned state of the livestock white men casually slaughtered for food he commented, “How can there be any power in a food like that?” —Little did he know what else was coming. His heart would have shattered.

A REMARKABLE CONNECTION – SERENDIPITY!

A remarkable connection

A trained medical doctor named Kama Trudgen (pictured above, on left) recently contacted me. She lives in a remote Indigenous Community in North East Arnhem Land, Australia. The particular Aboriginal people group she works with there are the Yolngu. She was representing a program she helped create called “The Australian Indigenous Health Project”. She knew of my work speaking in Australia about nutrition from an evolutionary perspective she shares and decided to reach out. I’m so glad she did!

She said, “I did some reading about your work, and it just felt like your approach and ideas were consistent with what we are doing, and that you would understand this and might connect with it!” She also said, “It feels like everyone is still caught in the low fat paradigm, and its killing people, especially here!”

After acknowledging our common ground she proceeded to tell me her story. Here it is, in her own truly inspired, and eloquent words:

“I am trained as a medical doctor, and am now doing additional studies in Natural Medicine/Nutrition, where my real passion lies. My husband and I do community development work here, and we have had the unexpected joy of stumbling upon an incredible breakthrough of Hope for the Health of this community.

After my hospital years I got halfway through general practice training, and was working in an Aboriginal Medical Centre in Darwin, and my husband was doing consultancy work in Arnhem Land, and we realised we both needed to get outside the system to be able to meet people where they were at and come alongside them. So we left our nice secure jobs and started this work…

My husband and I moved to Galiwin’ku five years ago to start a community development project that was all about grass roots empowerment, supporting local people to achieve their own goals and endeavors. (Though) I am a trained medical doctor; I have a real passion for nutrition and preventative medicine. I always hoped that I could support people with health related goals, but we were focused on being responsive, and not directing agendas and ideas, so we continued to help with those enterprises we were asked to help with, whatever they involved. In the meantime we were learning language and building up relationships and connections in the community. In that time I observed a lot about people’s health behaviours, diet, lifestyle, and about the projects that were going on in the community aimed to improve health, but failing.

After being here about 4 years (the end of 2013) a dear friend named Dianne who I call ‘Mother’ in the Yolngu kinship system asked me to help her with her health. We talked a lot, but the information was not connecting. When she got sick, I felt like I just had to show her, and that’s why I offered to cook for her, and it’s like it just came alive for her, and she was suddenly starving for more information. Before this she literally did not believe me that eating differently would change how she felt at all!

Dianne had been wheelchair bound with unstable ischemic heart disease and uncontrolled diabetes. With some simple nourishing foods on board, she went from being unable to walk short distances without feeling extremely breathless, to experiencing a new level of energy and vitality. She rapidly lost weight, her blood sugar levels normalized, and she was able to walk up hills with ease. Empowered to understand she could transform her own health, she was hungry for more information and tools to continue this new way of living.

Dianne’s recovery was so profound that other community members saw it as evidence for the first time that proper nutrition was powerful and effective! Before this experience Dianne literally did not believe me that eating differently would change how she felt at all! The current generation of Yolngu people have literally only known this state of ill health. White flour, sugar, powdered milk, black tea and soft drinks are the staple diet now. Nutrition programs in the community are still promoting artificial sweeteners and low fat processed foods as “healthy” options.

The current generation has literally only known this state of ill health.

I had no idea that this simple offering of mine (to cook for her) would change her life, and lead to a chain reaction that is spreading Hope across this remote community.

Chronic Disease is responsible for 80% of the mortality gap between Indigenous and non Indigenous Australians. We know this is preventable, but Yolngu people do not. As my amazing Yolngu Mother has now discovered: “Before colonisation we trusted that the food from the land was good for us. When Balanda (white man) food was introduced to us we believed it was good too…Yolngu have started eating more and more Balanda food, without having the knowledge about how it should be eaten…High rates of chronic disease are killing my community. People have chronic disease because of poor nutrition.”

I am now supporting an incredible group of women from this community, as they rediscover their lost vitality and are empowered to take back control of their health. They want to take this all the way, and create a local Health Retreat where people can experience the power of real foods, and combine this with their own traditional methods of healing. As a first step they want to travel to an established health retreat. They are all dealing with chronic diseases themselves, and they know they need to conquer their own health first before they can be catalysts for healing in their community. They want to experience, learn and build their capacity, and bring this back to their community.
Basically what I have been promoting is to completely empower the Yolngu traditional diet. This consists of fresh locally caught/hunted seafood, wallaby, magpie goose, turtle, fruits/berries, some root vegetables etc., etc. Sadly people love these foods, but don’t value them, and have become highly dependent on the local store. There is actually research that shows that people’s health is inversely proportional to the distance they live to a shop- eek! The majority of the population is now living mainly on white four and sugar and black tea, often with margarine and syrup and soft drinks. So, I am trying to help people now to work through what on earth they can eat (if they can’t go hunting) and they cut out these foods. There are huge challenges here, as often alternatives are not available in the local store (although they are working with us slowly to try and resolve this). Also they need the skills to understand and make the choices about foods that are in packages. The simple rule I have been saying is to eat food the way God made it- so that includes all their traditional foods, plus fruit, veg, meat (free range if possible), eggs, nuts, seeds. I am trying to get people to avoid wheat/gluten all together. I encourage coconut oil and organic butter, coconut milk and yoghurt.

I am now supporting an incredible group of women from this community on a journey to rediscover their lost vitality and be empowered to take back control of their health by returning to Real Foods.

Yolngu still maintain much of their own language and culture, but colonisation is actively still occurring before our eyes, usually through people and programs trying to “help”. The health crisis is only going to get worse before it gets better, with chronic disease affecting younger and younger people, as the current generation have known nothing but processed food from since they were in the womb. (There are still some people alive today who as children were living here before any significant contact with white people, who had a completely traditional lifestyle for part of their life).

Yolngu people are not used to a society full of lies in the form of advertising. They don’t understand why foods would be sold if they are bad for you. And to confuse things more there are still Dieticians, etc. running programs for this community promoting artificial sweeteners and other processed rubbish as “healthy” foods.

Sticking with the “system” and its recommendations is so safe and easy, as you don’t have to think, challenge, cause a stir. –Pity it is so often wrong. I must admit I have had some fear and trepidation as I have started to encourage, for example, the use of coconut oil and other quality saturated fats here…

I wanted to send you a short clip of Dianne, my amazing Yolngu mother, but alas it’s not working on the Internet, so I will have to put the transcript below. It is Dianne speaking a few years ago, about what life is like for Yolngu people. Dianne is just the most incredible woman. Yolgnu are disempowered on so many levels, including a crippling welfare dependency. I know I am biased by personal passion here, but without the foundation of health, how do a disempowered people group find the strength and courage to overcome this. To be honest I was quite stunned to discover in the changes of the few women working closest with me, that what is often labeled as Yolngu being lazy and unmotivated, is actually malnutrition. They literally don’t have energy!”

JG-My-HOpe-For-Health-BW

Kama’s ‘Mother’, Diane said:

“Here we are living in a state of disempowerment. Gone is our inner strength. There is our strength–held by strangers. We are walking around like dead people. That is how we are living now. In this situation we are animated by a foreign culture. Our wills are compelled, directed by foreigners. But we do not posses the inner power, to raise our own will to action for ourselves. We are living in dependency, we are dependent on others. People coming from distant places. And so we are dependent. We are living like that— while our elders were living with inner confidence and resolve. –With life, like with real life. Then a person thrived. Such a time is finished, struck down. We want support. We want…Where is there…..From where will it come…..support? Where can we really find support for us? This is the kind of support we require. A spirit lifting person. Restoring, giving purpose and meaning to life. Empowering.”

Kama went on to say,

“I know the reality is that most of us are actually “walking around like dead people”, as she describes Yolngu, and we need to truly be learning from each other across cultures to actually realise this. What is happening in Yolngu communities in Australia is like a giant magnifying glass, where everything that is screwed up about our system is concentrated and horrifyingly visible.

What we don’t realise in the Dominant Culture is that the system that disempowers Yolngu also disempowers us.

Health is the little piece of the puzzle that I want to contribute to. I feel that Yolngu rediscovering their health will be powerful not only for their own people, but for us all!”

Astonishingly articulate, remarkable, passionate…and right on the money.

Kama and I have been in considerable contact of late and she consented to having some of what we discussed privately over email shared with all of you. What you have just read was selectively condensed from several email correspondences we have recently shared. Kama is an extraordinary human being and her work is perhaps even more important than she realizes. To me the success of this program has clear potential implications for many other similar communities throughout Australia.

One doesn’t typically hear words like: “I am a trained medical doctor” and “passionate about nutrition and prevention” in the same sentence. I am deeply impressed. It actually tells me a lot about Kama. She no longer practices conventional medicine, as she has found food to be the true, more powerful healing medicine.

By now, many of you reading this are undoubtedly as convinced as I that Kama’s work needs to be supported. She sent me the following link (below the photo) to the crowd-funding page she and her husband created for this project. Kama works strictly as a volunteer with this and her husband is paid a meager half salary for what he does. This is a labor of love and of passion for doing the right thing, in the right way, for people group that deserves more than any other to be helped in this way.

I have provided the link here and hope that all of you will find it in your hearts to contribute at least something to this worthy cause. I, myself hope to travel to this community early next year to meet with an offer what support I am personally able. –And yes, I have contributed to this fund, myself.

Be sure to watch this incredible short video!

Kama says:

“These women want to take this all the way, and create a local Health Retreat in Arnhem Land where Yolngu people can experience the power of real foods, and combine this with their own traditional methods of healing. A place where people can receive education about nourishing foods in their own language, as well as skills to cook and understand food labels. As a first step they want to travel to an established health retreat, Living Valley Springs. They are all dealing with chronic diseases themselves, and they know they need to conquer their own health first before they can be catalysts for healing in their community. They want to experience, learn and build their capacity, and bring this back to their community.

Please partner with us on this incredible journey!

Please follow this link, hear their story, their dream, and please Donate to help their first step! We need to raise these funds before the 8th of December, so please jump on board for this exciting ride!” ~Kama Trudgen

ANY amount you are able to contribute would be a miracle for Kama and the Yolngu people. The way I see it, any work committed to restoring the foundational/traditional health of Aboriginal people goes a long way toward healing the soul of the world.

support now button

kama and friend

Kama and Dianne

Kama with her ‘Mother’, Dianne

 
“Here in Galiwin’ku Yolngu are suffering. There are funerals all the time. Life expectancy is short for Yolngu. So many people, both young and old are affected by Chronic Disease. This is getting worse…We don’t want to continue in this way, going through all this pain and suffering. We want a different future for this community…We want you to partner with us in nurturing and celebrating Life and wellbeing. We want Yolngu to have a quality and enjoyment of life that other Australians enjoy. My experience has shown us that with deep knowledge and experience this is possible.”

~ Dianne Biritjalawuy

Please help these women get to Living Valley Springs Health Retreat and bring Hope to this community to overcome its current health crisis!

support now button

Rethinking Fatigue Video

Source: Peak Moment TV on Youtube 

“What people really think of as adrenal fatigue or burnout rarely has anything to do with the adrenals themselves.” Nora Gedgaudas dispels myths, and illuminates various forms of brain dysregulation that can affect our response to stress, as well as our energy levels. She also discusses the importance of a daily sleep-and-activity rhythm based on natural light and dark, a low-carbohydrate diet and supportive supplements. Nora is the author of a new e-book Rethinking Fatigue —What Your Adrenals are Really Telling You and What You Can Do About It.

Rethinking-Fatigue-Mock-Book-Shot

“Nora Gedgaudas’ Rethinking Fatigue is dense with fascinating, cutting-edge information that’s easy to understand and use.  A brilliant new work.”          ~ Dr. Chris Decker

buy_amazon_buttonibook button

 

But how do you get enough calcium if you don’t eat dairy?

Calcium Supplements

 

OK–I am addressing the popular question concerning why I don’t recommend calcium supplements. Basically, the American public has been completely bamboozled by the American Dairy Association to believe that calcium is somehow the most important mineral ever and that we should all want to get as much of it in our diets or supplementally as possible (“don’t forget to take your Tums!”). There is no rational foundation for this.

 

Calcium is, in fact, the single most abundant mineral in our food supply. Even if you completely avoid dairy products (which isn’t the worst idea in the world, btw) there would still be plenty of existing calcium in other foods to meet anyone’s daily requirements. If, for some reason you truly are deficient in calcium, the problem isn’t likely to be a “deficiency” of dietary calcium. The problem is much more likely to relate to deficiencies in essential cofactors (i.e., magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D3, vitamin A, vitamin K2, boron…etc.) OR– very commonly— an issue with insufficient hydrochloric acid production, absolutely required for the proper ionization of calcium so that it may be properly absorbed. Hormonal imbalances and errant signaling can also contribute improper calcium metabolism. If these happen to be your issues, then calcium isn’t going to be the only thing you are likely missing and calcium supplementation is anything but advised.

 

Just because you’re sucking down calcium supplements (and I don’t care from what source) it doesn’t mean that the calcium is necessarily going where you want it to go. You are far more likely to wind up calcifying things that were never meant to be calcified; such as your cardiovascular tissue (arteries and heart), your brain tissue, your joints (ever hear of bone spurs?) and whatever else. There is literally NO reason to waste money on calcium supplements for “bone health”.

 

There are quite a number of nutrients essential for the formation of healthy bone, of which calcium is only one– and is the least likely to be dietarily deficient. Calcium gives bones their hardness, however it is the collagen protein in bone that gives it its strength and flexibility and is far much more likely to be diminished in osteoporosis due to factors that I have little space to elaborate on here (though I did write a chapter about some of this in my book, Primal Body, Primal Mind). Sufficient bone calcium without sufficient collagen protein makes for dense looking bone scans, but otherwise leads to very brittle bones.

 

Furthermore, a meta-analysis study in the British Medical Journal a couple of years ago showed that calcium supplementation actually can augment the risk of a heart attack by as much as 30% [“Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis” BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c3691 (Published 30 July 2010)]. The authors of the study additionally pointed out that taking calcium supplements improves bone density only by a marginal amount at best. They said that the minor beneficial effects of supplemental calcium on bone density were greatly outweighed by the potential cardiovascular/heart attack risks. Excess intracellular calcium can actually increase undesirable spasms and contractility of cardiovascular tissue (and is a hallmark of cellular sickness, impairment and aging), while it is MAGNESIUM (something many people are far more likely to be deficient in) that is essential for healthy cardiovascular and parasympathetic functioning– along with about 400 other things. Magnesium is also far less efficiently retained in the body.

 

Even in those with insufficient bone calcium, the same individuals with poor bone density scans typically have abnormal calcium deposits elsewhere in the body where they don’t belong. In fact, excess calcium can even lead to problems with building sufficient protein matrix in bones. The issue isn’t whether you’re getting “enough” dietary calcium almost ever. Once again, it boils down to digestion/ionization, absorption and proper utilization balanced by sufficient necessary co-factors.

 

Save your money on over-hyped (and potentially deleterious) calcium supplements. Enjoy your bone broth but also make sure you’re getting plenty of fat-soluble nutrients and other good stuff.

 

~ Nora

 

Pili Nuts

 

 

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…But The Best Revenge Is Living Well!

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

So–there’s a story behind this eBook:

Some time ago, a good friend of mine was planning on launching a website that was designed to provide information and support for individuals who were suffering through relationship breakups.  There was actually quite a lot of very good stuff happening with that website and some very good ideas going into it—but the Universe interfered and it just didn’t end up happening.  Such is life, I guess.  At any rate, while the whole thing was still in its developing stages this friend of mine had asked if I would write an eBook for the website on the subject of what actually happens in the body when a person is going through this type of acute emotional trauma and what could be done nutritionally to support a person in a way that would help them to get through it in the best way possible. I realized this was actually a really good idea and set about creating a short but very useful eBook on the subject.  Having been through something like this a number of years back I immediately recognized all the things that I had been through emotionally and physically as a result of that painful trauma. I found that I was eager to share what I had learned.

In the end, the eBook turned out great–the website project unfortunately didn’t. 

It turns out that statistically more relationship breakups happen in February than any other time of the year (having something, I think to do paradoxically with Valentine’s Day).  Not trying to be cynical, but it did seem like a good idea in light of all that to release this eBook now.  I think this eBook, Breaking Up Is Hard To Do…But the Best Revenge Is Living Well is fairly rich with valuable information that anyone going through a breakup can genuinely benefit from.

That said, I think a lot of what’s in this book is actually quite applicable to any acutely stressful situation.  Many people nowadays are losing jobs, homes and experiencing other traumatic events that challenge their self-esteem and feelings of self-worth, not to mention challenging your adrenal health, brain health and health of your immune system plus all the rest all at the same time.  Quite a lot of us don’t know how to deal with this sort of thing particularly well.  Although I have an outstanding eBook on adrenal issues coming out shortly (The Fatigue Factor:  What your Adrenals Are REALLY Telling You and What You Can Do About It), this particular eBook is useful for those going through particularly difficult emotional challenges in their lives. 

If you happen to be going through a relationship breakup, or are experiencing an emotionally difficult, stressful challenge in some other area of your life I think you are likely to find the information in this eBook valuable. Learn what could be done nutritionally to support a yourself in a way that would help you get through a difficult time in the best way possible. 

BUY IT NOW!

Buy ebook

I sincerely wish you all the best,

~Nora Gedgaudas

First of all, it’s a lovely book! It’s very compassionate and inspiring, and I felt all built-up and psyched after I read it! It’s kind of a two-fer, too. All the great nutritional information is certainly useful for any kind of stressful period in one’s life–breakup or otherwise–but it’s also just a wonderful presentation in a nutshell of how to eat well–with the added benefit of some sound advice on how to think about life. Plus the tone is so sweet and down to earth, and Nora’s awesome sense of humor comes right through on every page. I’d recommend this book in a second to anybody. Some lousy breakup or other is something we’ve certainly all been through, and the book is unquestionably great for that, but even if one is just going about one’s business, it’s still a great read–with a nice, decent dopamine hit thrown in for good measure.   ~ Dr. Chris Decker