Are you sick of dietary propaganda?
This week’s guest has been wiping the floor with ridiculous, government-mandated, top-down nutrition recommendations for decades now.
And she actually demonstrates that decreased health actually correlates with increased recommendations from the government. Thanks Uncle Sam.
So, returning to the show this week is, of course, international bestselling author Nora Gedgaudas.
Nora is certified in clinical nutrition and neurofeedback and is the bestselling author of Primal Body, Primal Mind and Primal Fat Burner as well as Rethinking Fatigue—a cutting edge approach to adrenal health.
Nora is the real deal, and I do believe that more people need to be listening to her and her message right now. There is so much wisdom in what she has to say.
In this episode we’re talking about:
- What to do about dietary propaganda
- How to eat and supplement for a robust immune system
- What Pottenger’s Cats tell us about diet and nutrition
- Alzheimer’s disease and how it’s affecting her family life
- How to maintain brain health and age gracefully
- And tons more…
Let’s go hang out with Nora.
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Nora Gedgaudas: Dietary Propaganda & How to Optimize Health
Abel: Alright folks, returning to the show today is Nora Gedgaudas, an international best-selling author, ancestrally based nutrition consultant, and board-certified clinical neurofeedback specialist.
And the only person I know who spent an entire summer living with wild wolves.
Welcome back to the show, Nora.
Oh, thank you all. It’s great to be here, Abel, and yeah, the wolves were the four-legged variety, by the way.
When I was in the music business it was the two-legged variety.
Abel: There you go, yeah. Oh, I forgot to say earlier. My mom says hi.
Oh, hey. Hi.
Abel: You’re one of our heroes, and I mean that.
You’re one of the people who have been talking about something that wasn’t really popular when you were first talking about it.
When paleo started picking up, it was all about lean meats. It was about canola oil, wasn’t it? And some other kind of wacky stuff.
Yes. Oh yeah, we won’t name names there, but yeah.
Abel: And you really started this message that was more fat-centric, nose to tail, the stuff that the people who want the easy version aren’t willing to do.
The people who are trying to sell and market the easy version of all this stuff, aren’t willing to go there.
So, let’s just bring people up to speed, because it’s been a few years.
Some people might not even know where you’re coming from these days. Let’s catch them up.
Right. Well, where I’m coming from, actually, isn’t too different from where it was a decade ago, in terms of the core message.
What’s happened is that it has deepened, it has broadened, it has dimensionalized even more.
More and more evidence seems to be coming to the fore every day supporting what it is that I’m promoting.
And even all the popularity of fasting and everything else, I was discussing those mechanisms more than a decade ago.
Abel: Yeah, you were.
And guess what? You can get all of the benefits of fasting without ever having to deprive yourself of nutrition.
And this is something that I’m increasingly concerned about, actually, because with all the fasting going on and people deciding that the best thing to do is not eat.
I don’t have any qualms with intermittent or occasional fasting. The problem is the benefits are intermittent and occasional.
Right? And you’re also running the risk in an era where we have depleted soils and contaminants in our air, water and food supply and all kinds of things, of really running into nutritional deficiencies, really not getting enough nutrition.
And that’s the thing. People think that they’re making up for their crappy diet on the couple of days a week they decide not to eat or whatever.
Really long-term, you may be drawing yourself into a vortex you may not be able to find your way out of very easily.
Those chickens will come home to roost sooner or later. So it’s hard to know exactly where to start with all of this.
But like so many people in the ancestral health genre, I was sort of gobsmacked when I started to think in terms of, “How did we evolve and what were the selective pressures that shaped our physiological make-up, our nutritional requirements and things?”
And that seemed like such a logical starting place, but that’s just what it is for me, it’s a starting place. It’s not the whole enchilada.
So when I found myself on the crest of a wave that became the Paleo movement, I felt a little bit like the odd one out in a way, because I said, “Well yes, these principles are really the only rational starting place that we have.”
But just because our ancestors did something or just because something grew out of the ground and they could chew it up and swallow it and not drop dead, doesn’t mean that food was optimal for them any more than it might be optimal for us.
How would we know?
And where I went with that in part were some of the basic principles in human longevity research.
How do we cross-pollinate these concepts in a way to better optimize those ancestral principles for better optimized health?
But also I wanted to also find ways of optimizing those principles for the uniquely challenging and toxic world that we live in today.
And that’s something else that seemed to get neglected by the so-called Paleo movement, was just not really taking into account this is a very different world that we live in today then was the world of our prehistoric ancestors.
They would not even have begun to have fathomed what it is we have to put up with, and they had a much more pristine environment.
And certainly I was also early on influenced a lot by the work of Weston A. Price, and I’m sure your viewers are totally familiar with him.
You may not know this, I’m actually on the board of the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.
Yes, the 67-year-old organization, not the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is a whole different… yeah, we won’t go there.
Abel: The distinction is so weird to me, but okay.
I know. Well, and we’re working on that, actually.
There are a lot of big and really cool changes coming, and we’re doing indigenous outreach now and all this stuff.
Abel: Right on.
So I’m very much a part of revamping that organization and bringing it into the light of the 21st century because we have to do it.
Abel: Yeah, thank goodness.
They’ve been curating now and serving as the repository of the work of not only the entire work of Weston A. Price—our organization owns everything that he ever wrote, every picture he ever took, every letter, every paper, everything.
We also own the entire repository of the work of Francis Pottenger, including, we have all of the remains of all the Pottenger’s cats in our store room.
I’ve held them in my hands, it’s amazing.
Abel: That’s… wow.
It’s so cool.
What Pottenger’s Cats Tell Us About Diet & Nutrition
Abel: For people who don’t know what Pottenger’s cats are, I think that’s a really important thing that I haven’t heard mentioned, actually, in a while.
It’s one of those other little stories that’s being lost. Catch us up on that, too.
Right. It’s one of the more important—it’s a very, very compelling message. There seems to be an important message in it for us.
Francis Pottenger was a doctor.
He wanted to see what the effects of increasingly processed foods, I guess, were going to have on the health and well-being, and longevity, and all kinds of parameters, of living mammals, and he used cats for the experiment.
And one group of cats got a diet that was natural to cats, raw meat and all that kind of a thing.
Another group of cats got cooked food and another group of cats got a bunch of processed crap.
I believe there were up to 10 generations of cats involved.
And the first generation, there were certainly some minor health differences, but throughout the course of the study, with each subsequent generation, you began to see a total deterioration in the animals that were getting the cooked food, but especially the processed food.
And it was showing up increasingly in the progeny.
Not just in birth defects and skeletal abnormalities and organ malformations, and things like that but also all kinds of neuroticism.
Just clearly, really serious neurological issues that were developing in the subsequent generations.
Abel: Life-long and permanent, right? Built into these next generations.
Yeah, right. Built into them, yeah.
And by the 10th generation, the processed food cats couldn’t reproduce at all.
But what was so interesting and what is more, I guess, optimistic in all of this is that he found that if he took one of these heavily deteriorated progeny of cats that were eating nothing but processed crap and he restored the diet to that of a diet that is natural for a cat, you could bring the health of the species back within four generations.
Abel: Wow, I didn’t know that part.
Yes, and that’s the part that is—the first part is like a total buzz kill, right?
But the last part is like, “Wow, we can actually do something about this.”
It isn’t that we’re all destined to be just like a deformed shell of what we evolved into before the end of the last ice age.
There is every potential to take that back, to take back the size of our brains, to take back our health and well-being.
But we have to do it and we certainly can’t rely upon the mainstream health authorities and whatever else to lead us in that direction.
This has got to be grassroots, literally and figuratively.
Abel: And there’s a lot of money that has the opposite message, trying to make schools all vegan, you can’t even brown bag your food in.
Yeah, in the UK right now and in France even, in France of all places, whatever, in Germany, these things are happening and a lot of that actually has to do with the interest.
Well, I think it’s an unholy collusion really between the interests of transnational corporate interests, which I brought quite a bit of attention to in some recent talks I’ve given.
And I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dr. Gary Fettke from Australia.
Abel: A little bit.
Yeah, he has a talk out there that you have to see to believe, and it’s completely mind-blowing and it even surprised me.
Where the interests of, basically, a religious cult called the—well, I think of them that way anyway—the Seventh-day Adventist have basically taken over the interests of the medical industry and the food industry, and whatever else.
And they have, in insidious ways, seeped into having a profound influence on government dietary guidelines and making sure that the “Animal foods, bad; plant diets, good” message reaches things on a global scale.
Ellen G. White, who was the founder of the Seventh-day Adventist church, she had this idea that animal-source foods were bad not based on any kind of evidence.
Not based on any kind of scientific evidence or anything like that, but on what she claimed were visions.
And it wasn’t enough for her followers to follow those dictates but what she preached to the extreme was what she called medical evangelism, that the message had to get out there.
And honestly, at this point, the whole life medicine thing, whenever you see the life medicine moniker, whatever else, that’s a Seventh-day Adventist church.
That’s their influence on what mainstream medicine is recommending as a healthy diet and lifestyle.
And some of it, It’s insidious because some of this stuff, it’s like, “Yeah, don’t drink, don’t smoke, exercise,” most of it is a healthy message.
And then they seep in, “And by the way, stay away from animal-source foods.”
And anyway, it’s taken over.
And yes, there are some school systems now that are controlled by those interests that have not only decided to institute vegan lunches in the lunch room, but they are even banning the ability of kids to brown bag meat-related, animal-source foods into the schools.
And that is—well, it’s not only insane, it’s genocide.
Abel: Right. I think so.
There are nutrients that human beings require—and children especially require—that can really only be gotten from animal-source foods and we have always gotten from there.
Animal-Sourced Foods for Brain Health
Abel: And one of the things that initially attracted me to your work specifically was because you’ve been working with brains for a very long time.
And a lot of your nutritional work is around feeding and nurturing growing brains, especially, but keeping brains healthy as they age, too.
And a lot of people need to be reminded that the brain runs on fat, is made up of fat.
And isn’t this thing that just you can eat like a cow and it’s fine and you never have to worry about it.
It’s a little more pernicious than that.
Well, it is, and it’s not just that the brain is made… it’s not just fat that we think of; just a blob of fat.
But it’s also the architecture of our brains, and the kinds of fats that make up our brains are truly unique in all of the animal kingdom, and even among primates.
And the two fatty acids most responsible for our unique human cognition, for instance, are the 20 and 22 carbon fatty acids, arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid.
Both of which are found exclusively within the human food supply, or from the human food supply, exclusively from animal-source foods.
You cannot get these things from plant-based foods, and our capacity to synthesize DHA from plant-based foods is pretty much non-existent.
We cannot do it.
Say, if you’re of northern European descent, Celtic descent or Native descent in any manner, shape, or form, you can’t make those conversions from plant-based omega-3s at all into EPA.
Yeah, no, you can’t make any. You can’t make those conversions because you’re missing the desaturase enzyme.
The first one, actually, in the entire sequence of events needed for that elongation to happen.
The delta-6 desaturase, you don’t make that enzyme, so you can’t make those conversions.
You have to get your omega-3s from those preformed sources that come from animals allowed to eat what’s natural for them, which is usually green forage and or wild-caught fish or whatever, from cold waters.
And so that’s part of it.
If you have thyroid problems, if you have certain nutritional deficiencies, there are all kinds of things that can interfere with that elongation process.
But say, for instance, nope, you’re not from any of those ethnic backgrounds, your health is perfect, etcetera.
You’re lucky to be able to convert maybe 6% of that alpha-linolenic acid from walnuts, or flax oil, or chia oil, or sacha inchi oil, or whatever it is, maybe 6% at EPA.
You’re not likely to make any DHA from that at all. And if DHA isn’t in your diet, it isn’t in your brain either.If DHA isn’t in your diet, it isn’t in your brain, either. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
And in one study that was done, the brains of vegetarians had on average 31% less DHA then somebody eating the standard American diet.
Vegans had 58% less DHA.
Abel: Oh my gosh.
That has tragic, cataclysmic really, ramifications for your neurological health long term, right?
But it’s not just about those fats. It’s also what comes with animal fat is also fat-soluble nutrients.
Certain ones that can only be gotten from animal-source foods, like vitamin A, true vitamin A, retinal, not beta-carotene, they’re not the same.
Beta-carotene is pro-vitamin A, and again, only under optimal circumstances.
It can take 20 units of beta-carotene to make a single unit of vitamin A in some cases, and children can’t make that at all.
And many people, especially if you have hepatic issues, you have thyroid issues, forget being able to do that at all.
There’s no possible way, even under the best of circumstances, to meet your vitamin A requirements with beta-carotene or any other carotenoid, astaxanthin, whatever.
And here’s part of the problem with this. Prior to World War II, the primary focus of anti-infective therapy was vitamin A.
It is quite literally the single most important vitamin, even more than D3, for the functioning of your immune system and your ability to fend off things like viruses and whatever else.
And they find that people, for instance, people exposed to measles, the only ones in danger of any kind of risk of mortality are the ones that are deficient in vitamin A.
If you have sufficient vitamin A, you’re fine. It’s just like a little flu bug, it comes and it goes.
So our capacity for fending off all the superbugs and all of the things that people… all the fear mongering going on around all kinds of plagues and pandemics and whatever else.
Rather than thinking about quarantining yourself and hiding under a rock with a face mask on, think about shoring up your innate immunity.Our innate immunity is really rather extraordinary. @NoraGadgaudas Click To Tweet
And you combine that with—Vitamin A works very well with zinc, which is, by the way, best available sources and the most bioavailable sources are animal-source foods.
Zinc has to be ionized in your digestive tract by hydrochloric acid in order to be absorbed.
And if you’re just eating a bunch of pumpkin seeds and expecting to get a bunch of zinc from that, good luck with that.
There are going to be phytates in the pumpkin seeds that bind the zinc anyway, and other minerals contained in it, and you still need hydrochloric acid in order to ionize the zinc to make it bioavailable for us.
And that’s the thing. We human beings have a hydrochloric acid-based digestive system—not a fermentative one that is characteristic of those animals that are designed to eat a diet that is exclusively comprised of carbohydrates.
In other words, plants.
We can eat plants. Yeah, we’re supposedly omnivores.We can eat plants. Yeah, we're supposedly omnivores. @NoraGadgaudas Click To Tweet
But that concept doesn’t imply in any way, shape or form, that plants are equally nourishing to us, to animal-source foods. It just means we can eat them.
And I believe the magic in plants is not the vitamins and minerals in them.
They’re really poorly available to us, and we don’t have the fermentative capacity to transform all that cellulose and whatever’s locked up in that cellulose into nutrients in any meaningful quantity for our best health and well-being.
What plants have that I think are their magic for us, and particularly in today’s world versus maybe our prehistoric ancestors maybe needed them less, and it’s the phytochemicals in them.
Many of them maybe medicinally beneficial. There are a lot of health benefits that are well-documented as associated with the number of different phytochemicals.
And the broader the variety, seemingly, the healthier our immune function.
What is not terribly well-known is that these phytochemicals are also present in animal-source foods because the animals have consumed them as well, and may be concentrating them in ways that we can also benefit from.
But I believe the name of the game with respect to immune health is the health robustness and diversity of our gastrointestinal flora or microbiome.
And the best way to enhance that is through dietary diversity.
And not just diversity of plant foods, but diversity of animal-source foods.
Abel: Yeah, so you’re not going to get there with chicken breasts and steaks.
Right, right, exactly. And it’s just there’s way too much emphasis on that stuff.
“Hey, a big thick juicy steak, slab of bacon.“
I know you like bacon though.
Abel: Oh, it’s delicious. But it’s a condiment that makes veggies more palatable, that makes organ meats more palatable.
I’m a big fan of bacon, but it’s got to be the right stuff, right?
From the right kinds of animals, right? And that’s just it.
There’s a lot of bacon out there that’s like garbage.
It’s laden with sugar and all kinds of preservatives, and it comes from pigs that have been fed God knows what in confinement and full of stress hormones, and whatever else.
And most bacon is not particularly good for you, but if you look.
So, one of the other fat-soluble nutrients that is the darling of the nutritional industry is vitamin D3.
Richest natural source of D3, lard, pork fat, from a pastured pork.Richest natural source of D3 is lard, pork fat, from a pastured pork. @NoraGadgaudas Click To Tweet
Abel: A big difference.
In other words, from a pig that has been allowed to live in fresh air and sunshine, not in enclosed, confined conditions, but out in fresh air and sunshine, and able to eat a variety of natural foods, and not a bunch of junk and grains or whatever else.
They actually produce huge amounts of D3.
And so, yeah, whoever knew lard could be a health food.
It can, but again all this stuff sort of depends on where and how you’re sourcing the food that you consume.
One of the things I’m really fond of saying is that the health of the meat and fat you consume depends on the health of the animal that meat and fat came from.
Right? And whether that animal got what it needed in alignment with its evolutionary and genetic heritage, right?
Abel: Right. Otherwise you’re dealing with eating Pottenger’s cats, and we don’t know what that does to us, right?
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
Abel: Something like that. Mixing metaphors a little bit, but…
Well, and another one of my favorite questions is, and it was actually a title of a chapter in my first book is, “What generation of Pottenger’s cats are you?”
Because we’re all…
Abel: We’re seeing it play out.
We are seeing it play out. A great place to go and look. It’s like a human wildlife preserve. You walk into like a conventional grocery store.
I won’t name names, but we all know what they are.
And you take a look at the health of people walking around in that store, look at what they’re putting on the conveyor belt, and just pay attention, pay attention.
Abel: Watch them get out of their cars and into their cars, too. That’s really interesting.
If they can do it without a walker or something like that, an oxygen tank or whatever.
According to the World Health Organization, the vast majority of everybody on the planet right now, like 90% of the planet, has at least 1 ailment. With more than 50% having at least 5.90% of the planet has at least 1 ailment, with more than 50% having at least 5. @NoraGadgaudas Click To Tweet
Tangible Threats vs Invisible Threats
So, we don’t have the wiggle room that our prehistoric ancestors had.
We don’t even have the wiggle room of our great grandparents, our grandparents, or even our parents for that matter.
But here is sort of the rub, and here’s our Achilles’ heel as a species, is the fact that we are, as a creature that evolved in the wild, we’re fundamentally wired for what I refer to as tangible threats.
Saber-toothed cat jumps out from behind a bush chases you around, that’s pretty tangible.
Cantankerous woolly mammoth comes at you, stampeding at you, that’s pretty tangible.
A warring tribe comes into your camp, or maybe there is a volcanic eruption, or a major season or a climate change or even a famine.
Those things are tangible to us, and we are wired to know that that’s something we need to pay attention to, and we need to protect ourselves from it in some way.
But we have this unfortunate sense of complacency in modern life because we’re fairly insulated from the things that used to be the tangible threats that we had to put up with once upon a time.
We’re all living in comfortable 70, 72-degree climate-controlled environments.
I don’t give a rats ass if you live in Minnesota in February, winter ain’t coming for you anymore.
And we don’t have to take more than one or two steps in any direction to grab a handful of something we call food and shove it in our faces.
We’re protected from the elements and from things that used to like to eat us and whatever else.
And so, we have this false sense of complacency thinking—I sometimes joke that we’re like boiling frogs thinking we’re sitting in a hot tub in Vegas.
And gradually what is taking us out, what is destroying our health and what is destroying the potential we have to survive as a species is almost entirely intangible to us.
Most of what threatens us is invisible.Most of what threatens us is invisible. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
It’s contaminants in our air, water, and food supply. It’s nutrient depleted soils. It’s radiation contamination. It’s EMF pollution.
It’s GMOs and whatever else is raining down on us from the sky.
And it’s the sociopathic ideations of transnational corporate interests utilizing the grand theater that is mainstream television to basically socially engineer us into thinking that everything’s hunky-dory and all we have to do is listen to what they tell us to do and whatever else.
Or watch Dancing with the Stars and numb yourself out with beer and Cheez Doodles, and everything’s going to be cool.
And that’s just it. We have to make a conscious effort to care about what we can’t see, and that’s the tough part.
Look, I’m all about shining the brightest flashlight in the darkest places.
That has been kind of my M.O. from the time I was a little kid, which didn’t ingratiate me necessarily to my family, nor does it ingratiate me to the powers that be or anybody that wants to think certain things.
But it’s who I am, and I don’t know how to not do that.
We all have to be willing to look at things that may provide us with answers that we may not want to hear.
And I’m not interested in telling people what they want to hear to improve my popularity ratings or my bank account.
I’ve had it up to here with predatory marketing and even within a lot of these popular ancestrally related genres and all kinds of things.
I’m sick and tired of all of that.
And what gets me up in the morning, what got me up in the morning for more than 20 years in clinical practice was human suffering.
Seeing people being unfairly taken advantage of based on the political, or religious, or corporate economic interests of others, and left to be confused and facing all sorts of misinformation and disinformation to the point of cynicism.
I want to see people self-empowered.
I want to see people have the information they need to know what they need to do.
Once you actually see something, it’s hard to unsee it.
And so I’m really, really passionate about helping people to see what they need to.
And I try to help them connect some of the same dots I have, so that they go, “Oh my God, how did I never see that?”
I feel like that is my best strength in what I do.
Through a lot of unique dot connecting, connect different concepts, ideas, fields and things that many people might not otherwise think to connect, and show people how it all fits together.
Like if I’m thinking about a particular dietary approach, it’s not enough for there to be a few papers out extolling the virtues of that particular dietary approach.
I want to look at human anatomy and physiology, I want to look at longevity research.
I want to look at all of the things that I can possibly converge from every direction to connect at the same place.
And if there’s one or two papers that say this, but it’s not in alignment with our genetic makeup, or our physiological, or anatomical makeup, or something like that, it doesn’t fly with me.
If it’s not something that we would have consistently consumed as a species, had access to, and most consistently consumed over close to 3 million years.
Something that just came on the scene a few hundred years ago, to me, is probably not something that everybody is going to require.
Or the absence of which is not going to constitute a deficiency.
So again, animal-source foods are the thing that characterizes, really, more than any other primate species.
We developed a uniquely voracious appetite for animal fats.
Abel: And it grew our brains. It wasn’t the vegan diet that did that.
That grew our brain. Right.
Shortly after we swung out of the trees, and stood up on two legs and developed opposable thumbs, and figured out how to start scavenging, there were huge climatic changes that caused certain members of certain primate species to develop and become a little bit intrepid and do something a little differently and that has basically snowballed over the last couple 3 million years into…
Well, at least up until about 10,000 years ago, into what we ultimately became.
And what a lot of people don’t realize is that since we developed agriculture, we actually have lost in the last 10,000 years close to a 11% of our brain volume.Since we developed agriculture in the last 10,000 years, we have actually lost close to 11% of our brain volume. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
We went from a diet that was close to 90% animal-source foods, and maybe a smattering of plant foods here and there, to now flip flopping this into relying on a limited number of crops.
And you have to understand in the wild, we would have had a much broader diversity of phytochemicals available to us through different plant foods during different seasons.
And we went from that to relatively narrow scope of plant-based foods, and we also began consuming them in a way that displaced the animal-source foods that actually forged us in the first place.
Abel: There aren’t a ton of people just chowing down on liver.
Not a ton, and there should be way more.
And I’m here to tell you that when I do the math on this, the ultimate super-food on the planet hands down is liver.The ultimate superfood on the planet hands down is liver. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
Abel: And you don’t need much.
Abel: And it gives you a whole lot of stuff.
Richest natural source of vitamin A on the planet, also one of the richest natural sources of heme iron, which as a human primate species we are uniquely adapted to requiring to build our blood.
The iron in animal-source foods, the heme iron present in animal-source foods is very different from the iron in, say, spinach, which is poorly available anyway.
And it’s much less toxic to us and we make much better use of it.
I’ve seen people turn their anemia around in a couple of days just eating a few servings of liver.
But a lot of people don’t realize, there’s four times more vitamin C in a 100 grams of liver than there is in an entire apple.
Liver has everything. I’m not saying you can live on entirely liver and nothing else.
What I’m saying is that when I talk about animal-source foods, I’m talking about the whole nose to tail shtick.
I’m talking about all the organs and tissues. But liver and heart, and things like that have always been among the most coveted animal-source foods.
Our prehistoric ancestries consumed them preferentially.
Some of what we think of as meat was stuff that many indigenous tribes fed to their dogs.
Abel: Yeah, the muscle meats.
Right. Yeah. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with eating a good juicy steak.
I’m saying we need variety in animal-source foods, just as we do plant foods.
And the more you do that, the less vulnerable you are to things like immune reactivity to foods.
Dietary diversity helps to offset that by increasing the diversity of your microbiome.
And there are fermentable fibers in meat just as there are in plants, and so you don’t have to eat plants.
It’s interesting that of the three major macro-nutrients; proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, the only one for which there is no scientifically established human dietary requirement is carbohydrates.
We can get everything we need, quite literally from a wide variety of carefully sourced animal-source foods.
And we can meet all of our requirements in a way that is completely impossible on an exclusively plant-based diet.
Abel: Even if you have GMO bleeding fake meat burgers.
Yeah, thank you Bill Gates for that.
And that’s the other thing. We need to consider what the financial interests are behind what is driving current vegan propaganda.
Abel: It’s getting creepy. They have so much money right now, so much oomph behind them—the guy who made Titanic and Avatar just like throwing out these ridiculous documentaries.
James Cameron, right? Well, and he owns a financial interest in all of that, too.
Abel: I’m sure.
Yeah, yeah. So we have to consider where the money is coming from.
There’s no basis for vegetarianism, and especially veganism anywhere in the human fossil record, anywhere in our genetic heritage. It doesn’t exist.There's no basis for vegetarianism, and especially veganism anywhere in the human fossil record, anywhere in our genetic heritage. It doesn't exist. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
Even in the non-human primates that we evolved from most closely, none of them were vegetarian or vegan.
All of them ate some amount of animal-source foods that they hunted and killed themselves.
20% of the diet of a chimp is meat, but they also have a gut that is roughly 52% fermentatively based, so they’re far better suited to a diet that is higher in fibers, vegetables, and greens, and fruit, and stuff like that.
Because they have bacteria in their gut that can then take all that stuff and transform it into a much more nutritionally complex and viable source of nutrition for them.
But even a chimp doesn’t get more than 30% of its calories from carbohydrates, even though they’re eating mostly carbohydrates.
And in fact, even a cow gets 70% of its calories, not from carbohydrates which it eats all day long, but from short chain fatty acids from the bacterial fermentation of all the fiber they eat.
Now, we humans, the fermentative portion of our digestive tract makes up only about 20% of it.
And so whatever the internal wildlife are doing in there to synthesize things is mostly slated for them, not really for us.
Yeah, they produce some butyrate, some short chain fatty acids, but those can’t do much to energize us.
It’s mainly for the health of the colon and for the internal wildlife there. Not really for the rest of us.
We’re designed to get all of the nutrients that we require, which is a much more sophisticated complement of nutrients, a much more diverse complement of fats and fat soluble nutrients from basically herbivorous animals that have painstakingly synthesized them for us.
And so for us, it’s a hydrochloric acid-based digestive system that isn’t just necessary to break down the complete protein, which we do require, but also that hydrochloric acid is also necessary for the health of the rest of our digestive process.
That pH signalling, helps to signal the rest of our digestive process. It is absolutely necessary for in, say, cleaving B12 from its protein matrix, so that we can then use intrinsic factor to absorb it further down our digestive tract.
It’s absolutely required to absorb most of the minerals in your diet as well.
We have to be producing hydrochloric acid.
So if you’re eating a plant-based protein that’s already in its peptide format where hydrochloric acid isn’t required for its absorption, well, what are you really doing in that equation?
What you’re doing is you’re preventing the production of something that you need to actually absorb the minerals that are in that food.
And you’re also setting up some really dysfunctional signaling that is going to ultimately result, long-term, in digestive issues.
You’re setting yourself up for biliary problems, gallbladder issues.
You’re setting yourself up for the potential overgrowth of bacteria and also inviting other pathogens and parasites into the equation.
I mean, hydrochloric acid is our first defense against food-borne pathogens, parasites, and illness.
And so look at the stable isotopic evidence that has been generated through now decades of research through the Max Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
They took human bone collagen samples from various periods throughout our evolutionary history, and analyzed them for determining where were we getting and what were we eating?
What was in there? What was dominating our diet?
What shocked even me about those discoveries, and it’s been consistent throughout all periods of our evolutionary history, is that not only were we effectively carnivores where there was really no evidence of plant protein in there at all, but we were higher level carnivores than bears, wolves, foxes and other predators we co-evolved with.
And I think my take on this is, how we got that way was that we had a sophisticated enough brain and the capacity because of that to develop sophisticated technologies.
That allowed us to successfully hunt these mega herbivores, that we call megafauna.
And we share the planet with more than 120 species more, well, 240 species plus megafauna throughout the vast majority of our evolutionary history.
Half of which, the biggest ones and the ones that we most preferentially hunted, died off about 11,000 to 13,000 years ago at the end of the, what we call the end of the last Ice Age.
We’re still in it, we’re just in a period of glacial retreat as opposed to glacial advance.
And when they all died off—and it was a bottleneck—it was something that occurred actually rather suddenly.
And when you see the extinction curve on that, it’s just like a huge spike during that narrow period.
It wasn’t us that killed them all off, it was a cataclysmic thing. And it killed off a bunch of us, too.
The Clovis culture disappeared at the same time, and all of those things.
But what we were left with was much leaner, much smaller, much more fleet of foot, much more difficult to catch.
We still were very focused on fat as a preferential thing to go after. It just became harder to get it, right?
And this was something that I really took away. This was something that really stood out to me from Weston Price’s work, to kind of dovetail back to that again.
Because, look, he spent more than a decade traveling over 100,000 miles around the planet looking at dozens of indigenous and traditional cultures that were still doing things the old way.
I really envy the guy.
Abel: That must have been so cool.
It was such a narrow window of opportunity. Wasn’t it?
Man, it was. We had just developed air travel, but still all these cultures were thriving.
And so there was that narrow window of opportunity that could never have existed before that or after that.
He went in and he studied the health and the diets of all of these different societies.
And he also looked at what was happening to people that were culturing and going into modernization and whatever, moving into modern societies, and what was happening to them, and their kids.
But obviously, what he determined was that those people that were living closest to what their ancestors had done for millennia, they were just extraordinarily healthy and robust.
And just free of the diseases and the skeletal abnormalities and birth defects and dental problems and everything else that characterize modern-day society.
So what a lot of people—and even some of those claiming to represent his work—took away from that is sort of this notion of just eat real food.
Because the diets of a lot of these different cultures, the diets of the Aboriginals in the outback of Australia were going to be very different from that of the Inuit, or very different from those in the jungles of South America or Africa or whatever.
So because of the eco-diversity, it was thought that, “Well, just eat real food, and that’s all there is to it.”
But he was a pretty smart guy and he asked himself this question, that I’m very glad that he asked.
He asked himself, “What did all of the healthiest people I studied, what were the dietary inclusions?”
There were dietary principles that they all had in common.
And there were a couple of things that came up, one of which was in all of the healthiest people groups that he studied that were the most free from physical and mental disease—none of them were anywhere even close to vegetarian or vegan.
They all ate as many animal-source foods as were available to them.
He looked really hard for vegan culture out there somewhere, he thought he’d find one. He couldn’t find one anywhere.
There was just zero example of that, and it disappointed him.
But he did find that the more animal-source food, the more variety of animal-source foods that were available to a particular culture, the better they did.
But in addition to that, the most important food, the most venerated food, the most sought after food in every one of these people groups that had the most robust health, were those foods that were highest in fat, mainly animal fat and fat soluble nutrients.
And in my view, therein lies the bedrock foundational basis for what is optimal for every living human being.
And then on top of that, you can layer things that may add to that in some way, and hopefully not take away.
I think that there are many fibrous vegetables and greens that have something to offer us because of the phytochemicals they contain.
Now, not everybody tolerates them. People have oxalate problems or they have nightshade problems or they have whatever. And, okay, don’t eat those foods.
But again, if you can incorporate a certain amount of dietary diversity, taking in some phytochemical-rich plant-based foods that you tolerate well, I think you’re most likely only enhancing the equation.
You’re not going to take away from it.
But animal-source foods of uncompromising quality and sourcing are foundational to every single one of us.
I don’t care who you are, we all share a common hunter-gatherer ancestry.I don't care who you are, we all share a common hunter-gatherer ancestry. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
And those principles are the only rational starting place any of us have when trying to figure out what is the optimal way to eat.
And again, I take and I cross-pollinate that with longevity research.
And taking a look at the selective pressures that we’re facing today, which I think are far more hostile and scary than anything our ancestors had to put up with.
And trying to put that together in a way that gives us the best chance we have of optimizing our health or having any semblance of health, frankly, in today’s world.
Abel: And then reading through your newer book compared to the other one, Primal Body, Primal Mind, from 2009, wasn’t it?
Originally, and then it was revamped and republished in a much better way in 2011.
Abel: Yeah, okay.
I always tell people, “Go for the 2011 version.” I’m embarrassed by the 2009 version. Anyway.
An Architecture for Optimizing Health
Abel: But in any case, you’re not someone who’s going from, “I’m the face of carnivore and I’m the face of keto, and I’m the face of paleo, and I’m the face of whatever is…”
You’re not doing that at all.
And also, your message, from what I’ve seen anyway, while you do make adjustments for all of the education that you’ve had and all the learning that’s been done, and all the science and all of that, for the most part, I’m not seeing you dart from idea to idea and change your stance on many things at all.
I don’t care which way the wind is blowing, I’m an oak tree here.
I’m going to stand my ground and say, “Look, I have connected far too many dots,” and that’s the thing that gives what I talk about in terms of a foundational dietary scaffolding, if you will.
Or an architecture for optimizing health.
There’s a lot of different stuff holding it up, it’s not just one little pillar of this string of scientific studies or this string of who-knows-who paid-for whatever scientific study.
Things have to make sense from a lot of different angles before I am going to stand up and say, “This is a principle I’m willing to stand behind, I’m willing to put my name on and stand behind, and I believe it will stand the test of time.”
We’re not talking about fad related stuff here and I get a little dismayed when I see what’s happening.
Look, it’s going to happen to any idea that starts to take hold.
An idea becomes popular and then industry moves in and attempts to co-opt it.
And then newcomers come into the mix and see a financial opportunity, an entrepreneurial opportunity.
And they cut and paste from other people’s work and they get their marketing teams together, and turn it into something that they think they can get out there in a bigger way.
And it turns into something that really deservedly should be called a fad.
And I see this happening with so much of what goes on in the so-called paleo movements and even the keto movement.
Abel: For sure.
I am all about a fat-based ketogenic approach to things. But it has to make sense from an ancestral perspective.
It’s got to be uncompromising and not based on a bunch of snack foods with cellophane-wrapped whatever with cavemen stamped on the labels, and cookies and cream keto bars, and things like that.
I’m embarrassed by so much of what I see going on and all of that. It’s frustrating today because it takes away from what is foundationally incredibly sound concept.
A series of concepts that I’m trying to share.
Abel: And you have to do the work.
Abel: You’ve got to do it.
And to think in these more foundational terms and just don’t let yourself be seduced by every marketing effort out there.
It’s not all bad, but it’s very confusing and confounding.
And somebody says, “Well, I did the keto diet and it did this or that to me.”
It’s like, “Well, what version of that was it?”
Because there are many different versions of paleo and there’s many different versions of keto as there are people claiming to practice them.
And what I try to do is bring it back to its most uncompromising foundational substrate.
And really try to optimize these concepts in the way where you may think of that as rigid but, look, if you’re going to…
If you reach for the stars, you might hit the moon.
And I’m not going to tell people what they want to hear just so I can make a fast buck.
That, “Oh, it’s okay. Just as long as you’re doing what you should do 80% of the time, that’s cool.”
Or “Everything in moderation,” or “Everybody’s different.”
Don’t get me freaking started on that. Nutritional politics? I’m sorry, I’m not a politician.
Abel: No, you’re not and I’m thankful that you’re not because we need you. We don’t need more politicians right now.
Right. When somebody’s telling you that, “Well, you just have to find what’s right for you.”
Everyone wants to believe they’re that special snowflake that is, “I just know what’s right for me and I do better with low fat, high carb,” or “I do better on vegan.”
Look, what defines us as a species is not our differences, it’s those things that we share in common.What defines us as a species is not our differences, it's those things that we share in common. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
And, yes, there is a foundational viable human diet.
There is a human diet that is absolutely required by every single one of us if we want to have any semblance of health at all.
But I absolutely acknowledge such a thing as bio-individuality.
And I spent more than 20 years in clinical practice better than most at ferreting out those nuances that define individual needs and restrictions. I’m really good at that.
But again, that’s nuance, that’s layered. It is meant to be layered on top of that foundational substrate.
And if all you’re focusing on is your bio-individual stuff and you don’t have those foundations intact, you will never get the results you’re looking for long-term.
There’s just no possible way you could ever optimize your health, you’ll forever chase.
You’ll be chasing after effluvia and you’ll be missing the point of your health altogether, and that’s the problem that everyone wants to make it.
Well, I’m not going to quote quotes because it’ll be obvious who I’m talking about.
But we all have some individual needs, but we have to realize that, again, what defines us as a species is what we have in common.
And, yeah, we may have individual unique fingerprints, but we all have fingers.
And that’s where we have to start, that’s where we have to start.
And so, anyway, yeah, I get a little worked up about some of this stuff because I just see way too much politicking going on and, unfortunately, they’re playing off of what people want to hear.
Abel: Right, and it’s tough. It’s tough because you see a lot of people doing great work.
But they’re doing a whole lot of that too, and it’s like the monster that we’re all fighting is so much bigger than any of that stuff.
It is, I know.
Abel: But at the same time, these words are really important. And if people are confused about what they mean.
I was really surprised by how quickly “keto” took off as a term. And even the people who were supposedly practicing it have no idea what it means.
And it’s like, “Oh, goodness me.”
I know, they layer fasting on top of that and whatever and it’s like, “Oh my god.”
So there’s a validity in each of these concepts, but the problem is it’s been taken over by so many convoluted interests that ultimately it’s more confusing than anything for people.
So, what I’ve done is, I’ve found myself struggling to fit myself like a square peg into a round hole.
Abel: I feel the same way, yeah.
When I get up on the stage in these ancestral health conferences and things and I find myself trying to explain why what I’m talking about is a little different from what you might think.
Abel: Yeah, just hold it down. You’ve got to hold it down. You are.
So, here’s my way of doing that.
What I’ve done is, mostly in a fit of pique and in a desire to claim some control over my own terminology, I decided to create my own term for what I promote and that term is Primalgenic.
I’ve legally trademarked it so that it can never mean anything other than the meaning I give it and it really wasn’t an effort at marketing, so to speak, because I don’t think that way.
I really don’t think that way. If I did, I’d actually have some money.
But I’m passionate about safe-guarding these concepts in a way that cannot be taken over by all kinds of special interests that want to just capitalize on a fad.
And so, Primalgenic, I actually have a free webinar. People can go to primalgenic.com and they can sign up, and it’ll explain what Primalgenic is, and how I came to that, and what the 12 different pillars are that hold it all up.
It’s not just one or two things. I’m really trying to create something that’s going to stand the test of time.
Abel: That is important to really define what those boundaries are and what the meaning of things.
I think the internet has ruined words for us. It’s ruined the meaning of words.I think the internet has ruined words for us. It's ruined the meaning of words. Click To Tweet
We can no longer have conversations about what things mean because everyone has a different definition for the same word, and that’s more problematic than most people realize.
So, yeah, I totally get it, you coming up with your own term as a protective. That’s what I tried to do with the Wild Diet, as well.
I’m not trying to own ‘Wild.’ The whole point is you can’t own Wild.
You’re kind of a wild guy, but yeah.
Abel: Maybe, but it’s mostly not in the sense that I want to trademark Wild and sell Wild supplements. You know what I mean?
No, but that concept means something.
Wild means something, it means something unadulterated by modern industrialization, in theory.
Abel: Yeah, but even that word is polluted by Girls Gone Wild and stuff like that, too. So, it’s subliminal.
Oh, this was another thing I wanted to talk to you about real quick because we are running out of time.
Abel: In some of the vegan documentaries and stuff like that, the subliminal tricks that they’re using.
Because everyone’s just posturing and they’re like, “You’ve got to watch Game Changers and you’ve got to watch this.”
And I’m just like, “Okay, let’s see what they’re up to,” and it’s like, “Wow, this is dark.”
It’s insidious, it is dark. Look, it’s marketing, people, it is marketing. There’s a massive amount of money in it.
Look, I can’t think of a single transnational corporate interest on planet Earth that wouldn’t be heavily invested in every man, woman and child on this planet consuming an entirely carbohydrate-based diet because it’s cheap and very easy to produce.
It’s almost immeasurably profitable.
And I was using the example that you can’t make a 5000% profit on a grass-fed steak like you can a box of cereal.You can't make a 5000% profit on a grass-fed steak like you can a box of cereal. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
And anybody consuming a diet like that is going to be kept more or less perpetually hungry because what carbohydrates are for us, metabolically, is kindling.
So, I’ll finish this analogy and then I’ll give you my take.
If in case your audiences aren’t familiar with my wood stove analogy, it’ll help you understand what this is about.
But just think of who stands to profit from all of that, right?
Of course, everybody immediately thinks, Monsanto and yeah, or Bayer as it is, now.
But the number one customer for big oil is big agribusiness. So there’s that.
There’s the chemical industry producing all the pesticides, herbicides, all the chemicals being thrown on to agricultural lands.
There is the phosphate mining industry, strip mining all over the place. Just destroying the environment as a way of creating artificial fertilizer to keep those mono crops going.
There is the pharmaceutical industry that is profiting massively from metabolically based diseases, and everything else coming from modern industrialized food supplies.
Blood sugar drugs alone are $137 billion a year business.
The less healthy we are, the more pharmaceutical company’s profit, the more of the medical industry profits, the more Jenny Craig profits, and undertakers are making out pretty well, too.
And just, the list goes on and on and on as to who’s profiting.
The people are not making out very well, or the rest of us that are bought into this whole mainstream idea that the base of the human dietary pyramid is supposed to be something that we didn’t consume until a few thousand years ago, really.
And then the whole genetically modified nightmare. Pretty soon, it’s all going to be The Island of Dr. Moreau.
And they’re figuring out how to genetically modify animals and fish, and whatever else too.
We’re seeing the end of an era of our species in its current intended incarnation.
We’re moving into transhumanism and everything else.
You need to understand that back in 2013, the National Defense Authorization Act was signed into law, that made it entirely legal for corporations and government interests—which are corporate interests, because we know that our entire political landscape, I don’t care what side of the fence you’re on, I’m telling you, it’s all owned by the same people.
That it is perfectly legal for them to propagandize you on the news, in the media, in any manner, shape, or form they choose without you knowing it—that was signed into law back in 2013.It is perfectly legal for them to propagandize you on the news, in the media, in any manner, shape or form they choose without you knowing it—that was signed into law back in 2013. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
And this is… it’s terrifying really, because what we have is…
Abel: I would have loved to have been able to vote on that, wouldn’t you?
I didn’t vote for that.
None of us. None of us would have voted for that.
And that’s just it. None of us have voted for a lot of what we’re getting.None of us have voted for a lot of what we're getting. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
And we’re losing the ability to be able to do that.
And so, we have to understand that the mainstream news—actually, all of the mainstream media, print, radio and television media—are owned by no more than six corporate interests.
Abel: Now, a lot of podcasts, too. A lot of YouTube channels, a lot of podcasts, a lot of social media. And you don’t know who is owned.
Well, and guess what.
A lot of the ones that aren’t owned by those interests now are actually being pulled.
There are Facebook pages of people representing more independent interests and whatever else, that are actually questioning some of those mainstream assumptions and are getting pulled—being called fake news and taken down.
YouTube channels are going dark.
Abel: We’ve taken some hits. We’ve taken that ourselves.
I’ll bet. Yup.
And so, if you aren’t in lock step with the mainstream narrative, your message is going to be, at best, completely sublimated, or may be taken away entirely.
And this needs… We need to consider this completely terrifying, right?
Abel: I think so. People don’t realize how terrifying that is.
The idea that I know which words I’m not allowed to say and then I won’t be able to upload to YouTube anymore, if it’s in the title.
Or if I mention that word right now, it’s just…
We know. I know what the word is. Yep.
Abel: It’s not just one word though. It started with one word and now it’s a whole list. It’s a whole list of words.
And if you’re not supposed to think about the white polar bear, good luck making it through the interview without thinking about the white polar bear the whole time.
Right, exactly, we have to pick and choose our language very carefully or you’re going to get taken down.
And there are industry sock puppets that infiltrate people’s Facebook pages and all this kind of a thing.
A lot of trolls are actually for hire. They go in there and intentionally implement.
Abel: Absolutely, armies of them.
Yep, absolutely. Designed to do this.
Abel: So it’s so great to see you holding your ground.
It’s what I do.
How to Maintain Brain Health & Age Gracefully
Abel: Very inspiring. It’s so important that you do, because there just aren’t that many of us left in a lot of cases and we need each other.
But we do have a little bit more time, and I just want to kind of have you raise the stakes about this, too.
Because a lot of people don’t realize that they’re already starting down the road of dementia and potentially Alzheimer’s, and other things that could compromise their brains and lives.
So, maybe you can just speak to that for a little bit from a personal perspective.
Well, right. Well, the first thing I bring up with all of this is that we need to consider what the selective pressures were that shaped our unique human brain and its architecture in the first place.
And if you still have a brain and you want to keep it, you have to start there, okay?
I know there are all these little protocols and supplements and things that people have that they put together that can help.
I’m telling you, unless you’re dealing with this foundationally, you’re just not going to be able…
We’re all at extremely high risk now of dementia and Alzheimer’s and all of these things, and we need to pay close attention to what our brains are made of and what they require for their optimal functioning, before we start layering all kinds of extra supplements on top of that, right?
I’m not opposed to supplements.
I actually think, I don’t know how anybody gets by without some supplementation because, frankly, what we need just isn’t in our soils anymore, even.
You can be eating totally organic food, but it just isn’t going to have the same rich complement of nutrients that may have existed in their wild counterparts and for wild animals in the environment that they have thrived in.
So, we have to take all this stuff into consideration.
But look, my mom is dying of advanced Alzheimer’s disease now. And in recent months I’ve come into at long last, in my view, the ability to be the one primarily overseeing her care.
Unfortunately, she’s really in her end stages, but even so, even so I’ve been able to go in and make radical changes to her diet.
She was being fed just appalling things that I had no control over. It was very, very frustrating.
Abel: And really common at end of life for people.
It is, “Oh, you know, they’re dying, just let them eat what they want.”
So it’s not about quantity of life, right? It’s about quality of life.
I know I was on Dave Asprey’s podcast, and he’s like, “So I think I’m going to live 180 years.”
I don’t remember what he said exactly, “How long are you going to live?”
And I said, “I could get hit by a bus soon as I walk out of here. I don’t know.”
What matters to me isn’t how long I live, it’s the quality of my life during whatever time I have. It’s my ability to have my mobility, and to have my cognitive functioning intact, my ability to recognize and appreciate all of these things.
And people that have ever given my life meaning, that’s what it’s about.
And so again, my mom probably isn’t very long for this world. But in the time she has left, I want her to be able to experience happiness and to be able to interact in a meaningful way with people around her.
I want her to have some semblance of meaning in her life. And she’s getting that back right now.
It’s not reversing her disease, but it is giving her a window of humanity through which she can hopefully hang on to when she takes her last breath. And that’s what matters.
So she went from totally bedridden, and a borderline vegetative state where she was just totally agitated and occasionally combative, and whatever else.
And within a couple of months, I had caregivers sending me footage of her sitting at the kitchen table feeding herself.
And she was looking good, and sitting in front of the window looking out over the ocean with her feet up on a chair and taking that in, in a way that she could appreciate.
That’s what it’s about, right?
I just went and visited her a couple of weeks ago and she was able to recognize me.
Abel: Wow. We just recently lost our grandmother, and she was in her late 90s, and we went through a similar thing.
It’s always been a tough battle, once she wasn’t really feeding herself as much anymore.
Abel: Trying to fight off all the terrible things that they’re trying to hand to her, the cakes and the cookies.
Just all the glucose and the sucrose, and the chemicals and all the stuff that someone who’s close to the end of life, anyway, just like can’t handle anymore.
And there’s going to be a steep drop off if you don’t take extra care at any time.
And there was just a few last moments of lucidity, of clear thinking and being lucid.
I’m shivering, kind of like getting goosebumps right now, just thinking about that because they’re so important.
Right. I went in there with steel-toed boots, and I got rid of the people that were not taking care of her the way they were supposed to.
And I put together a whole new medical team and I fired the old medical team.
I put a new medical team together that are actually really open to what I do and really embracing of that, and willing to help support.
And facilitate that, and look at my mom not as a job to do, or as just another patient number whatever, but as a human being.
Where there’s caring and loving compassion and just the desire to do whatever is possible to restore quality of life and dignity in these end stages.Where there's caring and loving compassion, and just the desire to do whatever is possible to restore quality of life and dignity in these end stages. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
And it’s exhausting for me to do what I do, because like I say, some days I’ve made 10 calls and sent 10 emails or whatever on my mom’s behalf before the sun has even come up.
And most of my day right now is being eaten up by all of this.
What’s good about all that though, is that number one, it’s the privilege of being able to do this for my mom, a person that has known me longer than I’ve known me.
And took me… I returned a portion of the favor, anyway.
But also what I’m learning from this goes way beyond what the nutritional dos and don’ts are, what the potential nutritional benefits are, and supplements and whatever else in a certain way.
I’m learning a lot about that even as I go, even with all I knew going in.
I have such a rich new plethora of understanding that is just really making a difference.
But I’m also learning about what it takes to care for someone that can’t take care of themselves, and particularly from a distance, as is true with so many people.
Like none of my siblings or I actually live where my mom lives.
People retire in Florida and Arizona or whatever, and they’re not necessarily living where the rest of the family is living.
And so you’re having to trust a lot of people to be as interested in the welfare of your loved ones as you are, and it’s really hard to do that.
But there are things that you can do and I’ve figured it out, I think.
I think I figured out some really, really helpful things in that way. So at some point, I’m hoping to be able to provide that education, as well.
It’s not about, “Well, this certain protocol for Alzheimer’s.”
Look, there’s a lot we can do to prevent Alzheimer’s way before it starts.
We need to understand that there’s an autoimmune component. We need to understand that there is a brain-based diabetes component. And we need to address things from that perspective.
And yes, there are certain supplements that can enhance certain things.
Certain medications, whatever, that are going to interfere with whatever progress you hope to make, and those are all important to know.
But there is a very human side of all of this that is also really, really, really important to understand.
And I’ve just been shocked at how very few people actually understand that part of it.
Abel: Yeah. And there’s a tendency to dehumanize all of this somehow, which is so confusing.
Yeah, I think a lot of what happens within families is people realize that their loved one is on their way out.
And oftentimes it’s a defense mechanism where people will start to kind of separate themselves a little bit.
Subconsciously, they’re separating themselves out, they can’t deal maybe on some level or they just don’t want to think about it. Maybe because they’re afraid of how it might end up for them, or I don’t know what.
And because of the huge amount of work involved and because when you see the person that raised you that was this extraordinary person and they’re a shell of what they were.
And they’ve just fallen apart in ways that… the loss of dignity, and the loss of so much is just really hard to take.
When you have the capacity for feeling, it’s a hard hit. And so I get that. But so, we separate ourselves out.
And I think too, caregiving, and the kind of caregiving that works with these populations, our most helpless and vulnerable people, suffering people in the world, is exhaustive work.
And these are the most poorly paid people on the planet. They make minimum wage for wiping someone else’s ass all day long.These are the most poorly paid people on the planet. They make minimum wage for wiping someone else's ass all day long. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
They have my total respect.
These are Mother Teresa’s doing this kind of work. But it’s a fast track to burn out for a lot of them.
And after a while, it’s the person laying in front of them, they’re trying to raise their own families and feed their own kids and pay for daycare, whatever, on minimum wage.
And that person laying in front of them may be combative or whatever else. And it’s just another diaper change.
It’s just, that person becomes a project and not a human being that may be frightened and confused and lonely and in need of meaningful human connection, right?
So, it’s doing things that bring that into the equation. And that, I find, has actually been my toughest challenge.
But I’ve figured out ways of doing it and ways of safeguarding and potential conflicts of interest.
And things like that that sometimes enter into these types of caregiver agencies and things like that.
There are all kinds of things you can do. And so I’m learning a lot about that.
And I hope to be able to share that with people, at some point, because I’m in the baby boomer generation. We’re all heading in that direction.
Hopefully, I like to think, I’m not going to suffer the same fate as my mom.
But so many people I love and care about, probably will in this world. And we need to be prepared for that because it’s overwhelming the healthcare system now.
Abel: Yeah. And our health is under attack—whether we’re young, old, anywhere in between.
And so it’s more important than ever to put your shields up, practice dietary self-defense, and defense over your own consciousness.
This is a battle that’s uphill and it’s not easy.
And this other thing I’m fond of saying, that nobody in this world will ever care more about your health and well-being than you.Nobody in this world will ever care more about your health and well-being than you. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
It doesn’t mean you have to develop an understanding about your health and well-being at a PhD level.
But it is really important to take the steps to come to understand something about this machine that we inhabit and know how to nurture it in the best possible way.
And the more that you understand—and I am all about giving people those tools so that they are armed and ready when they go into their doctor’s office, they know how to ask intelligent questions.
They know how to question certain things, right?
And also where it is that they may need to take responsibility for their own health in certain ways, rather than just simply turning it over and entrusting it to someone whose best interests may not lie with yours, but may instead lie with profit.
Right? We all have to safeguard our own best health and well-being. And we have to all learn to connect the right dots if we’re going to do that.
And it’s not just if we’re going to be optimally healthy, much less have some semblance of health.
But also that’s what’s going to be necessary for us to survive as a species.What's going to be necessary for us to survive as a species. @NoraGedgaudas Click To Tweet
Where to Find Nora Gedgaudas
Abel: Totally. Well Nora, your work is so important.
What’s the best place to find you and your books and all the other stuff that you’re working on?
Right, right, so my books are all over Amazon, and they’re in bookstores.
Primal Body, Primal Mind was my first one (discussed on the Fat-Burning Man show right here).
I have a book called Rethinking Fatigue: What Your Adrenals Are Really Telling You and What You Can Do About It.
It kind of brings the whole idea of adrenal fatigue and burn out into the light of the 21st century and dispels a bunch of misconceptions around that.
And then my most recent book, Primal Fat Burner, and that’s published by Simon and Schuster and that’s widely available on Amazon and in bookstores, and things like that, as well.
I also teach some courses. I have a 52-week certification course I called Primal Restoration, and I don’t have a bad review from anybody that’s been through that program.
And every week, I get on and I do a live Q and A with students, and whatever else.
And a lot of them are practitioners of all different kinds—medical doctors, naturopaths, chiropractors, health coaches, net nutritionists.
But also just lay people that are really interested in taking a deeper dive into all of this, and learning what they need to know to better safeguard their own health and well-being.
You know, everybody’s welcome for that. And so, I’m really proud of that program.
I just released something I call the Primalgenic Plan, a 3-week meal-by-meal total health transformation program.
It’s based on all the concepts we’ve been talking about here, but it’s designed to help handhold people through the process of adopting this dietary approach.
It helps people with goal setting, it helps people with overcoming sticking points, and troubleshooting, and also knowing how to sort out all the myths and misconceptions.
And there’s just a whole host of other detailed information.
One of the things that I’m also kind of proud to say is that this is, at least potentially, the most affordable way to eat optimally well in existence.
And there’s information on the program that will help you figure that out. And this can actually be less expensive than the Standard American Diet, but there are tricks to that.
There are tricks to knowing, “Hey, look, if you’re shopping at Whole Paycheck, Whole Foods, or whatever, then yeah, it’s going to be more expensive, but it doesn’t need to be.”
And this is not the carnivore diet, by the way.
And I have an article on my blog right now, about the carnivore diet and my beef with that, so to speak.
I encourage people to look at that, because this is not necessarily a high-meat diet.
It is definitely based on animal-source foods, but it moderates protein intake, for reasons that you’ll learn about.
There are very good reasons to think about it that way.
And so, the Primalgenic Plan is probably my single most requested program to date.
And that is, I mean, I’m actually really almost surprised at the feedback I’m getting. It’s just so overwhelmingly positive, and people are just really experiencing some wonderful, wonderful, wonderful things as a result of that.
And so, it’s really already starting to pour in. But anyway, I encourage people to check it out, that’s primalgenic.com.
My blog is at primalbody-primalmind.com, and a bunch of other information.
And, if you’re interested in my other stuff, primalcourses.com, for my certification program, and all of that.
So, I got some stuff going, but yeah, it keeps me busy. It keeps me a little bit out of trouble, anyways.
Abel: Something like that.
Something like that.
Abel: Any of you who haven’t explored Nora’s work, and I don’t say this very often, but she is the real deal.
Please, dive in, go into it, read the books, help support her. Nora, I wish I could clone you a thousand times.
Oh, man. Well, I’m a Gemini, so you got at least two of me going.
Abel: There you go. Well, thanks once again for taking the time.
I’m going to have to do this much more often. I would love to have you back.
I would love to, yeah. I completely adore you, and I greatly respect what you do.
You’re really truly one of the few good ones.
Abel: Thank you for saying that, and thanks for coming on.
It’s the truth, man. Yeah, thanks.
Before You Go…
Here’s a review that really tickled me when it came in for my new audiobook and book, Designer Babies Still Get Scabies—which you get for free with your sign up to our new Patreon channel, by the way.
This is from Trish. She rated it five out of five stars, and says:
“I’m not usually into poetry but I loved this book.
I’m generally not a big fan of poetry, but I happen to run into this book and really enjoyed it.
Some poems are sardonic and thought-provoking, particularly, around American culture. While others are light fun and laugh out loud funny.
Then there are touching love poems and pieces about losing everything in the fire. It’s amazing how much meaning can be packed into such a small space through poetry.
I so much enjoyed reading a few poems at night before lights out and will miss this book. Heck, maybe I’ll read it again.”
Trish, thank you so much. This is one of my favorite reviews that I’ve read so far around this book.
There are so many things that you said there that warm my heart and I really appreciate you taking the time to write in. I can tell that you’ve really read this book.
I tried to pack Designer Babies Still Get Scabies with meaning. And so, you can fly right through it and have fun with it if you want to, and just giggle or skip by the ones that are a little bit tougher.
But if you really spend some time with some of these poems, you’ll find that there’s more meaning in it than less. Words can mean multiple things, and so I have a lot of fun with that.
And also, if you haven’t heard the audiobook yet, it’s great fun and I’m giving it away for almost nothing for a limited time. Just throw a few bucks into the tip jar over on our Patreon channel.
That’s a new spot where I can connect with you directly as our community.
We started up a new discord channel that hooks right in and you get instant access to that, so I had a lot of fun chatting with people in video for the new coaching program that I just started all over the world, as well as through our new community chat.
So, there’s a lot going on.
And I really appreciate those of you who have gotten in touch about some of these new more artistic projects. Now, more than ever, I think we can see the need for art.
For me, anyways it helps me release some of the tension that has been built up by all of the horrible things happening around us in the external world, which to a large degree is outside of our control.
But what we can do is say no. So protest songs are going to be a big part of what you’re hearing from the channels coming out soon, as well as some more laid back stuff at the end of this episode.
I just recorded an improv piano piece, slightly hung over, I do admit. And it’s just a little bit more of chill-out music. I really find that music and art can pacify us, and help us cope a little bit better, and put us into a better energetic state. It can lift us up instead of bring us down, if you’re playing the right thing and listening to the right thing anyway.
Make sure to check out the various social media channels that are definitely censored now.
You can still find us in some places, but boy, are we buried.
We’re never going away. Just keep on digging you’ll get to us eventually.
But I’m glad you’re here. Here on FatBurningMan.com is the best place to find our work, censorship-free.
Now, one more thing, if you do want one-on-one coaching with me, I do have a couple of spots that are ready for coaching session.
So, whether you’re a small business or an entrepreneur trying to transition online, I’ve mentored many people over the years and I really appreciate doing that because to be a podcast or musician, writer, or whatever, you have to be an entrepreneur, too, especially right now.
And I would argue that almost everyone needs to be an entrepreneur. So, that’s a big part of the coaching that I’m doing.
As well as if you just want to know how to dial this in, reduce your body fat or get stronger, faster, train for something, I’m here to help. And so is my team, and so is our community.
And if you go to our Patreon channel, then you’re going to find different ways where you can help support us and find coaching and join our community.
We’ve got a lot going on as I’ve said. So, once again, I really appreciate you clicking the like button, subscribing in all these various places, signing up for our new Patreon channel that’s going to be less censored and less shadow banned than the other platforms, where it’s really getting ugly out there.
So, if you’re looking for truth, if you’re looking for direct interaction with me and the team and the community then be sure to get in touch, because we’re here for you.
That’s why we’re doing this and we really believe in what we do.
What did you think of this episode with Nora Gedgaudas? Drop a comment below to share your thoughts!
I remember once I asked Nora if she has any relation to Lithuania because her surname is Lithuanian!! And she confirmed!! I am a doctor from Lithuania and I admire this woman and her work like theres no tomorrow!! I clicked so fast when I saw notification about this episode!!!
Abel James says
I agree, Nora is one of my very favorite people to talk (and listen) to! Thank you for listening 🙂
Wow, My answer was answered, thanks to You. I was wondering the same since I’m Lithuanian as well. Where are You based, it would be awesome to get in touch.
This episode was awesome. I learned some new things and I feel inspired. I REALLY appreciate how honest and straightforward both of you are. If more people would be genuine and willing to learn, grow, think critically, and adjust accordingly, the world would be a better place. 🙂 Thanks for your work and example!
Abel James says
You are so right, thank you for the kind words Nicki!