5 Questions with Louise Knoop


I met Louise at the start of 2013 while I was having a mini-quarter life crisis about my career. I had decided that web design wasn’t my true passion and I wanted to become a Pilates teacher. At the time Louise was running a Pilates course in Cape Town that sounded perfect, so I signed up…

I rocked up on my first day to find out that I was the fattest girl in the class. Lovely. I then had to spend 2 weeks watching Louise prance around like a ray of a light with endless energy, while I sat there trying to concentrate through the hunger and brain fog that was my life. After 2 weeks of this I decided that enough was enough and I asked Louise to help me ‘be more like her’! And here we are today…

1. How long have you been Primal and what was your primary motivation?

I primally embarked in April 2012 under the professional guidance of Donal O’Neill, the Cereal Killer! I was preparing for a Pilates presentation at an international conference. I needed energy, strength and lightness. In our profession we do not get too much time for meals and snacks and there is quite a bit of anxiety around calculating teaching hours and energy refueling. Eating during an 8 hour day of teaching and demonstrating on a course can “get in the way” logistically and physically. Eating fat took away this anxiety, producing REAL hunger, which only happens every 5-8 hours…freedom!!!!

2. What is the most significant benefit you’ve experienced?

I’ve been wheat free, dairy free and meat free at various points in my life but nothing has made me feel as strong and healthy as eating FAT. The lack of cravings, energy dips and insulin charged hunger cycles have made for a far freer, productive existence. I definitely still enjoy my food, but at a time that is convenient to me and my work schedule. My hunger does not rule me, I am fat fueled and free.

The hugest physiological benefit was beating a chronic inflammation condition… more about that very personal journey here…

3. Do you ever cheat and if so, how often?

Yip, sushi once a week. Otherwise I feel no need to ‘cheat’. Fat makes me very happy. I’m very lucky to be surrounded by conscious friends who are on similar paths so I don’t feel any social pressure, rather a sense of broad-minded community and understanding. I also do not mind being ‘different’ by being true to ME. Food fueling is important to me and how I feel in my skin so I make sure I am able to get what I need or I eat before going out.

4. What’s your favourite Primal dish?

Breakfast for lunch! Omelette, eggs, bacon! I have coffee in the morning and happily only eat after 11.30am so lunch is brunch… a healthily stuffed omelette or egg dish – just this morning Clarke’s on Bree Street (Cape Town) turned their hash eggs into cauliflower hash eggs for me… DO NOT be afraid to ask for adaptations to the menu. As Prof Noakes said this week “Not one human alive should be eating wheat.” This kind of brunch keeps me going until I have tea at about 3-4pm with a small snack (I make a mean seed ‘bread’) and then dinner.

5. Random Louise fact?

I put butter on my eggs, I put butter on my cheese! Out with a bunch of (self proclaimed) Pilates Nerds in Santa Barbara last month, I surreptitiously ate the (real) butter on the table while everyone ate the whole grain bread!!

On a more serious note, I’d always considered myself open-minded but eating this way blew the doors of my mind wide open. Owning the impact Pharma and Marketing had on our every day choices and how my instinctual understandings were more spot on than I thought led me to question everything around me and find bare truths for myself. This ran concurrent with a major professional shift and personal growth for which I am beyond grateful. My new business, Prime Movement cultivates and restores natural ability on the premise that the body KNOWS. This lifestyle shuts out the ‘noise’, allowing the body to do what it does best – heal itself.

Thanks Louise – I definitely believe that our bodies have the power to heal themselves too. Thanks for your time, for sharing your wisdom with us and for being my personal Primal inspiration!

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