The people at Nourishing Australia put together a fantastic seminar with Nora Gedgaudas, author of international best-selling book Primal Body, Primal Mind – Beyond the Paleo Diet for Total Health and a Longer Life. Nora is one of the big names in the Paleosphere, although her approach is not entirely Paleo (hence the title of her book). I first read about Nora’s work shortly after the latest Ancestral Health Symposium thanks to American bloggers and was so impressed with her articles that bought a ticket as soon as I found out she’d be touring Australia.
Nora visited Sydney, Armidale and the Gold Coast. The seminar in Sydney took place in the University of New South Wales and had Bruce Ward and Costa Georgiadis (from the SBS show Garden Odyssey) as guest speakers.
Time fell short to cover all the interesting aspects of Primal living. Nora did her best to summarize in a few hours the contents of her book, based on her own experience and the results she has seen in her patients (she is a certified nutritional therapist and neurofeedback practicioner). She talked about the physiological and psychological impact of gluten and sugar, the role of dietary fats, and the importance of being active. BTW, she’s 50 and looks fabulous, much younger than lots of people in their thirties I know.
Bruce Ward talked about how grass feeding cattle helps restore soil and environment balance in a sustainable manner. Costa Georgiadis in his unique style encouraged the audience to choose produce over products.
Given that it was a full-day affair, Paleo-friendly food was provided by Agapé Organic Restaurant. They did a pretty good job at keeping attendees well fed. There was also free water, coffee and tea.
Morning tea was a box containing an organic pumpkin, spinach & basil frittata; a ham, tomato & cheddar frittata; a sustainable Malborough king salmon, pear, chilli, chive & royal quinoa tartare; corn chips; and an organic Wagyu & pork meatball, cherry tomato relish. I wonder who was responsible for the few glitches (cheese, quinoa, corn); my guess is that the people in charge of organising catering were not that familiar with the Paleo way. Having been to Agapé and knowing their menu is very heavy on the grains, I wasn’t expecting a flawless food offering at the seminar. Since it was a fairly small amount I ate both the quinoa and the cheese-containing frittata but steered clear from the corn chips.
Food was ok but not spectacular; the frittatas and the meatball were on the dry side. I think it’s understandable because they had to pre-produce over a hundred boxes for the event.
There was an expo going on during the breaks. There were books, wines, the people from G.R.U.B. meats (unfortunately not offering any samples), etc. It seems that the people from Nui coconut products did well with the sales that day.
Nui personal care products
Nui choco-coconut spread
A novel product for me was Kitsa’s Kitchen organic sauerkraut. Contrary to the average pale and unappetising (but delicious) fermented cabbage, Kitsa’s come in a range of pink shades depending on the ingredients (fruit, dried fruit, etc). I tried a couple and liked them, as well as a pink almond spread they had on display.
Kitsa’s Kitchen organic sauerkraut
Kitsa’s Kitchen organic sauerkraut
Lunch consisted in two boxes plus dessert. Box number one contained three organic salads: roasted vegetable & honey mustard dressing; broccoli, daikon, carrot, zucchini, adzuki & miso sesame dressing; and beetroot, parsley, sultana & honey yoghurt dressing. Again there were a few glitches (beans and dairy) but the taste was great.
Box number two contained organic roast grass fed Wagyu beef and roast chicken. Both meats were cold, which is again understandable. The portions were very generous, especially considering it was only two hours after we had morning tea!
Dessert was spiced poach pear and cream (what’s up with the dairy, dude!?). There was definitely some form of sugar involved in the poaching process and I couldn’t resist the temptation of polishing off the cream, it was delicious and definitely not as bad as eating a muffin.
Water with lemon slice, dessert
I found it ironic that one of Nora’s main point was that Primal food is more satiating and nutrient dense so you don’t have to eat as much and as often, but yet we were fed every two hours (and spent a lot of time sitting on our bums). At least afternoon tea was much lighter than the previous two meals: a box containing organic carrot, zucchini & celery sticks, organic spiced carrot dip, organic cheddar cheese, and an organic Medjool date. Seriously dude, we’re not vegetarians, you don’t have to include dairy in every meal to sell us the illusion of protein. The cheese was left aside, the dip was excellent and the date was a delicious treat.
I paid $195 for my ticket and must say that it was absolutely worth it, even without considering the food. Nora has both the knowledge and the ability to inspire people to live better lives. Check out her website, I believe everyone can benefit from her insights.