In my view Nora Gedgaudas’ Primal Fat Burner is just the latest in a long line of fad diets. Its front cover proclaims you can “Live Longer, Slow Aging, Super-Power Your Brain, and Save Your Life with a High-Fat, Low-Carb Paleo Diet.”
The book also includes a disclaimer from the author and publisher that they are not providing any professional medical or health services and readers should consult their own health services provider.
I can’t help wondering how many people are taken in by the hype of the paleo diet, especially as she is co-author of Going Paleo with Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans, who has been criticised by doctors for giving misleading and inaccurate medical advice.
As far as I can find, despite the string of letters after her name, Gedgaudas has no university/college level qualifications. It seems that very early in her university career she “realized that conventional forms of ‘higher education’ were not ever going to teach me what I wanted and passionately needed to know” (source: Primal Body, Primal Mind) . Her knowledge comes from her own reading and study, with any qualifications appearing to be in the fields of holistic health and nutrition such as NTP, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certified, and trademarked, by the Nutritional Therapy Association in America.
The book’s style is somewhat didactic, viz: ‘Becoming a primal fat burner is not a program for dietary dilettantes…really for the person seriously committed…and someone who isn’t afraid of challenging the status quo’ (page 92). The cynic in me wonders whether this approach is designed to shift the blame for any less than optimal results to the individual rather than problems with the program.
It’s also a hard diet to follow as it calls for organic produce, grass fed meat, exotic Himalayan or Celtic sea salt plus home produced ingredients such as bone broth and coconut yoghurt – all of which are difficult and/or expensive to find and time consuming to make. I also seriously doubt that recommendation to eat more offal will be very popular.
I found only one recipe that I was prepared to make as it required no special ingredients and did not take long to prepare (see the photo above). I do take issue with its name however: Best Ever Chicken Salad (page 235). It was tasty and filling, especially when served as suggested over a bed of greens and fresh veggies – but Best Ever? I don’t think so.
Reviewed by Jan Kershaw
Rating out of 10: 6
Released by: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: February 2017