I’ve been doing quite a bit of “body hacking” over the past year or so with my diet. My first effort was simply reducing the amount of sugar to see the effects on various weight and blood metrics. After sharing and discussing my efforts with my good friend Steve Hudson, he recommended Wheat Belly and Grain Brain, which encouraged me to monitor my carbohydrate consumption, particularly with regards to wheat. While I’m still in the midst of this diet experiment, I decided to read another book that Steve shared and recommended to me – Primal Body, Primal Mind: Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life by Nora T. Gedgaudas. I wanted to read this book to see if there were any additional recommendations and ideas that I could add into either my diet or activity/exercise routines.
I took a lot of electronic notes while reading Primal Body, Primal Mind. Nora goes into a lot of detail behind the physiological processes of the human body and how our modern diet affects these processes. While a lot of the information is similar to what I found in Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter (and Wheat Belly as well), this book goes into more detail. I found it very interesting, although it did make for tedious reading in spots. I wouldn’t knock the book here, but it is something that you should prepared for should you decide to read it.
If anything Primal Body, Primal Mind reinforces what I had already read. There were a few new concepts that I was able to take away and incorporate into my “experiment”, but a lot of the suggestions were too technical for my liking. There was also a heavy emphasis on supplements, which I’m not very fond of. The book makes a clear case for supplements, and I get it. I just don’t like taking pills for two primary reasons:
- Number one, I’m not convinced that there is a good understanding of how these supplements could interact with one another, especially when applied to a person’s specific body chemistry. I get concerned that I could introduce problems that I’m not aware of.
- Supplements are not well controlled substances. There can be wide variations in the quality of supplements which makes me nervous that they could do more harm than good if they are not chosen carefully. I don’t feel as though I have enough knowledge to make these decisions, and I get concerned about internet recommendations because of the amount of affiliate revenue sites can make by recommending certain brands of products.
On the other hand, I liked that Nora shows how the concepts of the book can be put into practice. In the appendices of the book, she covers how to get started changing your diet,; example menus covering breakfast, lunch and dinner; and links to lots of other sites for additional resources, ideas, recipe recommendations, and more.
If you’re interested in getting started on the road to better health through diet, Primal Body, Primal Mind isn’t the first book I’d recommend. I’d recommend starting with Grain Brain first, as it’s a little less technical. Primal Body, Primal Mind is a good book if you’re looking to take a deeper dive into the concepts presented in Grain Brain. In fact, the amount of information contained in the appendices can make the book worth getting if you’re looking to take things up a notch beyond what is discussed in Grain Brain.