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This blog started as a way for me to share my recipes + culinary adventures, tips for vibrant health + happiness, thoughts on the latest developments in nutritional medicine + the low down on the Sydney wholefoods scene and beyond...

Reflect! ...on Nora Gedgaudas

mystaranise

Last November I went and saw Nora Gedgaudas, the author of Primal Body Primal Mind, during her Australian tour. It was an all day seminar at UNSW. While I have the utmost respect for her as an author, and I found her book very insightful, I couldn't help but feel a tad disappointed when I later reflected on the seminar. I was disappointed that she was not very specific in answering my friend's question on the need for supplements. Nora said that she thought that supplements "have a role to play" but didn't specify the circumstances in which they have a role ie in all circumstances or only some? I was disappointed that she couldn't answer my question on dairy consumption. I asked whether our ice-age ancestors consumed dairy to which she answered no, so when I asked her whether we should be consuming it she skirted around the issue saying "well there's a big question mark around that". I'm sorry but I think that's a bit of a cop out answer on such a significant issue for someone who holds themselves out as knowledge in the field of nutrition. She really avoided dealing with the whole dairy issue. (For what its worth I actually couldn't agree more with Chris Kresser's view on dairy that simply because something wasn't eaten by our hunter gatherer ancestors doesn't mean that we shouldn't eat it- we can PROVIDED 3 conditions are met: (a) its nutrient-dense - which whole unprocessed pastured dairy is, (b) its non-toxic - and whole unprocessed pastured dairy is not toxic- unlike grains/legumes which do contain toxins in the outer husk and (c) you body has the enzymes to digest it. And I'd probably add a fourth being (d) you like the taste of it and enjoy eating it.... if so then BRING IT ON!! She also couldn't answer my question on what proportion/percentage of macro-nutrients (fat, protein and carbs) a typical meal could comprise. She took a hard line on 100% avoidance of grain consumption (ok, I get that) but didn't state what the consequences were  if you very occasionally consumed it if you are not showing any untoward symptoms of grain consumption. Try as hard as you may it is virtually impossible to raise a child on a completely grain-free diet in modern society (the minute they step foot outside the house its basically the main staple of what is given to them eg at restaurants, friends houses, preschools, birthday parties etc). Nora doesn't have kids of her own so this explains her "there is no room for error"/ "you cant be half pregnant" approach. We are all human and as a parent in particular I make mistakes or bend the principles on my journey all the time, and wont the consumption of nutrient-dense foods 99% of the time compensate for the consumption of properly prepared grains the other 1% of the time? For those who saw Nora too- what were your thoughts? (Leave comments below!) Despite my above disappointments it was awesome being immersed in a community of people aspiring to raise consciousness and I made some new contacts and connected with others I hadn't seen in a while.