New on ABC News Nightline: “Eating Really is Rocket Science”

Well they may as well have. Not that there's not some -- a tiny little bit -- of valid info in this seven minute video, but it's just so damn muddled, so inconsistent, so many fucked & wrong messages that I have to conclude it's an overall disvalue. Two thumbs down, way down...All this does is make people give up.

Please don't fall for the silly delusion that a piece like this in some way -- in any way -- represents real progress toward an insanely fulfilling, sustainable nutritional lifestyle based on Real Food. Where it's not a step backwards, it's no help at all.

And wait till you see what the Total Fuckers at some stupid weight loss camp give a poor fat kid for lunch: "a veggie burger, baked beans and 4oz of leek soup." Yea, there's a sustainable diet for life that's gonna make him and fat kids all over just jump the right up shouting "Sign Me Up, Mom!" Stupid, stupid fucks. And evil. I hope the crooks -- who charge "thousands of dollars" -- get a particularly nasty case of salmonella. 

An hour or so ago I was in a pretty good mood.

And don't even get me started on the "First Lady;" even beyond the obscene presumptuousness of such a collectivist non-concept -- my wife is the First Lady -- she's somewhat genetically blessed. If the considerable fat in her ass was more displaced, few except the completely hopeless would think she had any room to talk.

...Oh, and shit oh dear why not: Audrae Erickson, Ignominious Pres. of the Corn Refiner's Association, is just a high priced whore. Spreading legs -- or butt cheeks for that matter -- can be a metaphor.

Update: This is how bad it is and it's going to get worse now that everyone has to pay for everyone else's "health" care: Supreme Court nominee Kagan Declines To Say Gov't Has No Power to Tell Americans What To Eat. So there's your daily Leviathan and your "Land of the Free" update, all in one.

Meatza Invades la France. Vive le Paleo en France!

This is really cool. You remember meatza, right? Well, one of the readers here, Paul Merino took the idea on over to a restaurant he frequents, Fratelli Pasta Bar in Sophia-Antipolis, France. The video below is of somewhat camera shy chef Gabriel Bellenger thanking me for the recipe. I'll give you the translation of the short video below.

Fratelli Restaurant Meatza Workshop with Gabriel Bellenger from Richard Nikoley on Vimeo.


Gabriel: Richard is the guy who did it, right?

Paul: Richard Nikoley. Who popularized Meatza on his blog "Free The Animal".

Gabriel: I must prepare myself, Paul. I am not mentally ready [to record].

Paul: The Paleo shock.

Gabriel: It is Richard, right?

Paul: Nikoley.

Gabriel: Ready?

Paul: Ready.

Gabriel: Alright, we are here live from France, Sophia-Antipolis [a high-tech park immersed in Mediterranean nature], at the 'Fratelli' restaurant. My name is Gabriel, and I wish to thank Richard Nikoley for his Meatza recipe. Which is the newcomer of Paleo in France.

Paul: Excellent. Thank you Gabriel.

Gabriel: Thanks to Paul! Thanks to Paul which was and is a customer of my restaurant, and who introduced me to the Paleo. It is with him now that we have experimented with the Meatza of Richard Nikoley. So Thanks to everyone [in the US Paleo community]. We will see.

That's just great. Wonderful. And here's a photo of the finished product (click on it for hi-res).

Meatza in France
Meatza in France

Oh, and according to Paul in his email, looks like it's going on the menu:

We are going to refine the cost structure and sourcing strategy for the ingredients, in order to make it available to everyone at a reasonable price.

Then Paul added in a subsequent email that,

The point is that when Gabriel took over the restaurant about 1 year ago, he turned this pasta bar into a... mainly salad bar. His business inclination toward fresh and healthy combination of vegetables and proteins, made me a loyal customer and made him the ideal candidate for discussing - and now progressively rolling out - Paleo.

Vive le Paleo en France!

Pork & Fruit: Good Together

For some reason, pork is simply one of those meats that, to me, seems -- even intuitively -- to go well with...well, just about any fruit I can think of.

I've done carnitas with persimmons and I've done them with apples.

Last night I was wondering what to cook and noticed I had a 1 lb package of Trader Joe's carnitas in the fridge. Then I looked on the counter. There was a basket of oranges Beatrice had picked up a few days back (and which I hardly ever eat), and now, a basket of cherries she had picked up just that afternoon. And that was it; I was off and running. Here's what became of it in 10 minutes flat. Click on the image for the hi-res version.

Carnitas with Fruit
Carnitas with Fruit

I grabbed one orange and a handful of cherries. While I peeled the orange & pitted the cherries, I got my broiler fired up and a good tablespoon of butter going in a sauce pan. Then, half the orange and half the cherries went onto the cookie sheet with the pork, under the broiler set on low.

In the meantime I sauteed the other half of the fruit in the butter and after only a couple of minutes mashed it all up and then ran it through a wire mesh to get rid of the fiber.

Too delicious. I'm gonna have to do it again with the other package of carnitas I have.

Minimalist Shoes Revisited: Showdown: Vibran Five Fingers vs. SoftStar Runamocs

Alright. Here's just the video. And here's Mark Sisson's Link Love mention that resulted in a few...uh...defensive comments here and there. That's cool. The video is intended to help. And here's the post that started it all: Out with the Vibram Five Fingers and in with the Soft Star RunAmoc.

Minimalist Shoes Revisited from Richard Nikoley on Vimeo.

Sunday Rock: Rush, The Trees

Had to be Rush today. For one, I haven't put them up in a while. Second, have your heard about the new film, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage? Here's the trailer.

A friend clued me in this morning. And, it turns out VH-1 is airing it. Luckily, by the time I got it all groked, I found that the next showing was just in 20 minutes. Got the DVR in gear and hope to watch it later tonight.

So here's a nifty live version of The Trees. You might detect that the tempo was slower in these earlier versions.

Of course, a libertarian such as myself couldn't possibly put up that song without including the lyrics. A veritable picture of democracy (socialism, they are one in the same, differing only in practical degree, not principle).

There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their please.
The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade.
There is trouble in the forest,
And the creatures all have fled,
As the maples scream "Oppression!"
And the oaks just shake their heads
So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
"The oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light."
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe, and saw.

Real Results: Primal in Philly

While sipping my morning coffee and checking email I came across a Google alert for "Free the Animal" that included a link to this article in Philadelphia Magazine:


It's the story of Timothy Haas and how he lost those 71 pounds in six months eating primally.

Timothy Haas Treansformation
Timothy Haas Transformation

How cool is that? And even more, how cool is this paragraph, from the article:

Then, at a Christmas party for my son’s Civil Air Patrol squadron last December, I started a game of keep-away with the cadets — I nearly dropped to the ground after 10 minutes. I knew I had to do something. I had a vague idea of going Atkins/low-carb again since it had worked quickly the last time, but my plan wasn’t set until New Year’s Day when my wife sent me a link to Free The Animal, an ongoing record of one man’s impressive weight loss following the tenets of “primal” living.

As I've always said, these are my favorite kinds of posts and make it all worthwhile. This is what it's all about. A hearty congratulations to Timothy.

Not Bullshit #1

No Bullshit, except perhaps standing in line for 6 hours to get a dammed iPhone 4. I guess I have an 'i' addiction.

Not Bullshit #1 from Richard Nikoley on Vimeo.

Big Meals to Fuel Big Workouts and Big Gains

In the process of losing the 60 pounds I've lost I became averse to appetite, by which I mean that when I got hungry I'd eat pretty good -- you've seen the food porn -- but hardly ever with a voracious or gluttonous attitude. I just really got out of the habit of eating a lot, or often. This was good.

What I've done is to gradually accustom myself to eating big...really big; for me. Today's post workout meal, after nine days of rest from the gym -- and eating less each day because -- was records on deadlift, standing press, and seated cable rows. After that and a few other exercises I downed 1,420 kcal in a single meal. Yea, carbage was involved, but not huge.

Anyway, this is not the typical food porn, it's fixed only for me (another factor), but it's what I'm doing right now. You see, I have a specific goal and I'm going to attain it. It requires real attention to diet in a way that's paleoesque but not necessarily how I would eat normally, short the goal I'm intent on attaining. (Click all images for hi-res.)

Steak Eggs
Steak & Eggs

That was a post-workout "break-fast." What you don't see is the cup of cottage cheese and the shake I downed for another big whack of protein.

Her's a pound of roast beef, chopped & crisped under the broiler with a bit of beef stock for moisture.

Roast Beef
Roast Beef

First helping.

Roast Beef and More Protein
Roast Beef and More Protein

And then I finished off the rest of the beef.

At first this was hard and I drank a lot of the protein needed to make the impressive strength gains I've made in the gym in a couple of months. How much protein exactly on workout and rest days?  I can't say exactly and I don't really know "the formula" in any case if there even is such a thing, but should it be any mystery that lots of protein is needed to make really big gains? Maybe it's not required, long term, but I don't want to wait another three years. I want these gains in months! And plus, I've simply found that I dig lifting bigger and bigger. I just do.

This is very, very different from what was going on before, where I had respect from trainers other than my own. Now I get a bit of awe. This is not a body-builder gym by any means (...oh so far from it -- it's an old-fat-fuck, downtown-lawyer gym; they call it a "club") so some of them -- standard cert-holder p-trainers -- are quite interested in what I'm up to. Today one of the newer trainers came into the room where I was doing some post-workout intervals on the stationary bike and, having seen me do my DLs and standing presses earlier said, "Dude, you're gettin' strong!" Believe me: he's 20-sumthin' and I'm pushin' 50. That's music every day.

And I'm just getting started. A 300 conventional deadlift would have been unimaginable three months ago. Now it's just a matter of a few weeks away and I taste it. Can I hit 500? That will surely take more time and serious effort. I'm not committed to that goal, yet, but I'm thinking about it.

I wrote earlier that I downed 1420 calories post workout today. I had a lot of roast beef, cottage cheese, mashed potato, cantaloupe and a big glass of coconut water. Here was my second meal, tonight.


Basic grilled grassfed burger & mash. The sauce was of my recent batch of bone stock -- of which I have photos and may do a post on soon.

I dunno... Maybe it's obvious. I suppose just getting lean is a great goal. It's what I wanted to do and then I bounced 175-180 for a year and never got much stronger, or leaner. I still bounce 175-180, the difference being I'm hugely stronger and visibly more muscular and lean.

I'll take it; and plus, I'm not finished.

Out with the Vibram Five Fingers and in with the Soft Star RunAmoc

Let me just get this out of the way: Vibram Five Fingers shoes are...'Just OK' for me. Sure, I loved them, at first, but I later realized that was mostly the novelty of it. It wore off and pretty quickly. I still suspect they're destined for the fad dustbin.

See, I had long been into the mechanics of walking, having independently re-discovered and then trained myself how to walk -- even in common athletic shoes (I have a pair of Nike SPARQs that I often walk in and workout in). So the Vibram 5Fs made perfect sense in that regard, but only at first, for me. Minimalist, safe, et cetera. So frankly, I have a few issues with them (I have two pair, as in my interview at

  1. I don't care how good you get at getting your toes in, it's a pain in the ass. I don't see this changing.
  2. You don't need your toes individually free -- integral to the footwear itself -- for most activities. It suffices that they are free somewhere, like inside your footwear.
  3. They just aren't very socially "acceptable," by which I mean not having to explain that you're not as weird as you look. I like to live simple, so I like to basically wear the same thing all the time. Right now it's flip flops, mostly, and those are acceptable at all places casual. When going out more specially I'll don my Sanuk Sidewalk Surfers or my dress moccasins from Terra Plana (which specific model they no longer make).
  4. Whether you call it Morton's toe, Roman toe, or Greek toe, I've got one. My second toe is about 1/8 to 1/4" longer than the so-called "big" toe. Consequently, for relatively short walks or gym activity, they're fine. But a long hike really gets that long toe hurting, like when you jam a finger.

But I think that even if I were to sweep all of the foregoing aside I still wouldn't be very bullish on them. On the other hand I do have them to thank for motivating me to the next step, which is simply to go barefoot. It was shortly after I received mine when one night -- as I was donning them to take the dogs out for two blocks -- that I just tossed them aside and went barefoot. I've been doing it ever since, without ever so much as a scrape. You naturally train yourself to lighten your step when you encounter something sharp. Now, I will say that this is over asphalt & pavement. I also walk barefoot in the dirt sometimes but that's a far greater challenge -- though I'm getting better at it.

In the meantime I've found what I consider the ideal shoe for walking, hiking, jogging casual wear. I've now worn them to two functions with khaki trousers and they looked perfectly fine. Moreover, you feel as though you're barefoot. I hate to abuse the word "literally" but it's pretty damn close. I suppose you can literally feel a certain way (barefoot), while not literally being barefoot. See, one thing about the V5Fs is that I could never wait to get them [the hell] off my feet. Functional? Yes, especially in strenuous athletic activity such as sprinting or crossfit, but then I want my SPARQs the hell off too. I've never understood some folk's desire to lounge around the house with them on; or are those just photo ops? But that's the cool thing about this find. Hey, I can't even stand to wear house shoes or slippers unless it's really damn cold. The only time ever was when I had a pair of moccasins without any lining. Just bare leather. These are even better.

So let me present the RunAmoc from Soft Star Shoes. Click to enlarge.

Soft Star RunAmok
Soft Star RunAmok

Pictured above is the one with the 5mm trail sole. I completely and without hesitation opted for the 2mm street sole. Here's the difference.

Trail or Street
Trail or Street

I've found the 2mm soles perfectly adequate, even for walking on dirt with pebbles. I would not even consider more than doubling the thickness. Oh, and by the way, guess who make the soles? Vibram does, and they make it out of that super hard & dense rubber that's used in rock climbing shoes and such.

The other big, huge thing is the perforated leather. You get all the support you need without the sweat factory. And this is why I can even lounge around in them at home -- though I'm typically barefoot anyway. It's just that if I come in from an outing I find that I have no burning desire to get them the hell off my feet. You can truly feel the breeze from all the holes. Big plus, for me. I'm going to get another pair so that I have a set that stays pristine for going out. I feel perfectly confident wearing them in all but the most formal of settings.

I'm not to the point where I'll be outright ditching my V5Fs and in fact I plan to take them along on my upcoming July excursion to MovNat in West Virginia. However, three days after I return from WV Beatrice & I are off to Monterosso al Mare in the Cinque Terre region of Italy for a week. I plan on taking my flip flops and my RunAmoks.

Update: I've now done a video comparison between the two and have addressed some of the objections to my post. Some of the objections were voiced in comments over at Mark Sisson's blog.

Paleo Sunday Rock: John Barleycorn Must Die

Actually, folk performed by a rock band would be a better description. I'm talking about Steve Winwood & Traffic performing John Barleycorn (Must Die) from the album by the same name.

I found a delightful live performance from 1973 on YouTube.

And so what's the Paleo connection? Well, it turns out that "John Barleycorn" is a personification of the cereal grain barley in this 16th century or older English folk song.

But here's the deal: the meaning can be taken both ways. Many versions abound and in the later ones it appears to be a celebration of the barley crop; i.e., it has to die in order to provide the bread, beer, and whiskey made from it.

But not so fast. According to that Wikipedia link above, earlier versions had an opposite meaning, that "John Barleycorn" must die for all the havoc it causes.

Earlier versions resemble Burns's only in personifying the barley, and sometimes in having the barley be foully treated or murdered by various artisans. Burns' version, however, omits their motives. In an early seventeenth century version, the mysterious kings of Burns's version were in fact ordinary men laid low by drink, who sought their revenge on John Barleycorn for that offense:

Sir John Barley-Corn fought in a Bowl,
who won the Victory,
Which made them all to chafe and swear,
that Barley-Corn must dye.

Another early version features John Barleycorn's revenge on the miller:

Mault gave the Miller such a blow,
That from [h]is horse he fell full low,
He taught him his master Mault for to know
you neuer saw the like sir.

I think I'll stick with the original meaning.