Poor Poor Matt Stone

I think it’s time to expose some serious hypocrisy on the part of Matt Stone. I take no particular pleasure in it and frankly, had reservations about doing it, so sent out some email probes to people whose opinions I respect and received unanimous encouragement to move forward. One of the rules I try to follow is to save my ire for the truly bad stuff out there. I think it’s counter productive to fight with people who are largely on your side.

But is Matt Stone on “our” side at all? As always with what I’m going to reveal, you be the judge. And, you know, I don’t follow him on Twitter anymore but when people alert me to stuff like this

@DianaHsieh Nikoley’s health/nutrition/lifestyle advice is some of the most metabolically-destructive advice I have found in all my studies.

…I just have to shake my head. Hyperbole, much? Here, check out all the people whose metabolisms have been destroyed.

First, a little background. Way back when, Matt Stone and some of his readers began showing up in comments promoting something they were calling the “High Everything Diet.” I believe I called it right back when I blogged about it: HED: High Everything Diet (If eating garbage is your problem, just eat more of it).

Fast forward to a couple of months back where suddenly, Matt Stone was all over the place in comments on various blogs I follow, and here too. He reached out to me and we began some correspondence. Well, then it resulted in this nonsense: Richard Nikoley has a “Low Body Temperature” and “Edema?” You be the judge.

Even at that point I was prepared to let it slide and just move forward. Until this.

This e-mail sent to me the other day by a prolific paleo blogger that was tired of being sick and infertile and decided to abandon her Paleo ways says it all. My kudos to Mark Sisson. His “Primal Challenge” may just be the thing that solves this population problem, saving mankind from walking over the edge of the overpopulation cliff. And the best thing about it is that the metabolism slows down so much that delayed stomach emptying can still give women the satisfaction of feeling pregnant even though they are far from it! […]

Please, for the love of the planet – its resources, and more, please leave this blog immediately and seek the sage advice of the real heroes of humanity such as Mark Sisson and kurt harris… and dare I say Richard Nikoley – a guy who lost weight exercising, fasting, and eating a low-carb diet to the point where he has become the almighty guru of everlasting health and a sustainable planet!

I decided that Stone had simply been duplicitous all along in an effort to elevate himself above those who have earned their readership and influence through consistent hard work and proven results for many over significant time. But rather than create a raucous over it, I simply chose to ignore him and, above all, to afford him no aid whatsoever in promoting his efforts.

And then he attacked Jimmy Moore: Poor Poor Jimmy Moore. I don’t know about you, but this sort of fake compassion makes me want to vomit.

Jimmy is such a good guy. It really is upsetting to see Jimmy digging himself deeper and deeper into the low-carb dungeon. But Jimmy is trapped.

Even still, I just shook my head and let it pass. Jimmy can defend himself and on top of that, the only reason people know of Jimmy’s difficulties is because he’s meticulously honest about reporting everything, with photos to boot. And that includes his successes too, like the 20 pounds he’s taken off in the last two weeks following a dietary regime prescribed by two low-carb doctors who actually treat real live obese patients.

Then, a few days back a reader tweeted me with a link to one of Matt Stone’s recent videos asking, “Ya notice, Matt’s lookin’ puffy faced. Hope his thyroid’s okay….” So then I began to wonder. If you go to Matt’s blog, what you see on the header is a photo of a young man who, while not ripped is certainly lean & healthy looking. On a lark, today, I set out to compare a photo from his main website with a screen clip from that video.

Matt Stone Before After
Matt Stone Before & After

Looks like a carb face to me. Ok, but what if the video image through compression just makes him appear that way. You know how they say that TV puts 10 pounds on you. Benefit of the doubt? So I checked something else, his recent video on making Steak Tartare. First, let’s look at another image from his blog demonstrating a perfectly respectable flat tummy.

Flat Respectable
Flat & Respectable

And here’s a screen clip from that video of an entirely recomposed tummy.

Pretty Doughy
Pretty Doughy

Now, in case you think that’s just catching him at a bad moment, represents a bad angle or whatever, then watch the whole video and see if that isn’t entirely fair and representative.

If this is the way Matt wants to go about pursuing “health” then it’s really none of my business. Notice — unless I’ve missed it — that he’s not much into talking about LDL particle size, vitamin D levels, systemic chronic inflammation often signaled by “carb face,” coronary calcium scores, etc. That’s fine too. But dishing out uninvited “health” advice to fellow bloggers when he seems to have some “metabolic” issues of his own? Or, is it just that High Everything Diet (HED) is really Too Much Food (TMF)?

I’ll finish by saying something nice. In spite of the apparent hypocrisy, he does seem to at least be following his own advice. Question is, do you want to follow it? Or, perhaps you can do just what he said to do in that quote above and “…please leave [his] blog immediately and seek the sage advice of the real heroes of humanity such as Mark Sisson and kurt harris…

Mark Sisson
Mark Sisson

Well, I guess he did mention me, too. I still have more “metabolic destruction” to go in order get to the kind of metabolic havoc Mark & Kurt have wreaked on themselves. I’ve done about an additional 7 pounds of harmful metabo-destruction since this photo was taken

Richard Nikoley
Richard Nikoley

I’m 49, Mark is 55, Kurt is 49. Matt’s blog says he’s 32. We’ll see what he looks like at 50 — in 18 years.

Update: the Modern Paleo Blog weighs in on the matter.


  1. Alcinda Moore on March 26, 2010 at 17:48

    I’ve not been a fan of Matt for a while now. I first heard about him when he followed me on Twitter. The first few entries I read on his blog seemed reasonable, so I followed him too. After a few more I quit following him….and shortly after he stopped following me.

    I read the post on Jimmy and just shook my head. He’s not the type to “listen” to any arguments that I might post in comments (kind like Campbell!!), so I don’t bother.

    I always get a kick out of these young people that profess to know what it’s like for us “older” folks! I’m 55 and have battled weight problems all my life. (Actually since about 3rd grade) I try my best to stick to low carb and paleo, but I’m also not perfect and still struggling. I know my sweet tooth is part of my problem, but more than that is my damaged metabolism. Not damaged because of low carb or paleo, but damaged from trying for years to stick to a low fat diet!!

    At 55, oh no make that 56, I am MUCH healthier than I was at 33! And at 33 my metabolic issues hadn’t even really shown up yet…or at least not full force! Matt is on his way…..he’s definitely pudgy and has a gut! The belly is one of the first signs of problems!!!

    The guy is a know it all. And he’s getting fat. He’s one of those with a little knowledge, but for the most part doesn’t have a clue! He’ll be (hopefully) a flash in the pan.

    Oh and I also have to mention I sure wouldn’t eat that food he prepared! I am NOT a nut about germs. I believe that for the most part we worry too much about them. But his hands were all over the place!! And I almost choked when he tasted it, then put the spoon back in to mix more!! I thought he was just making one serving….but two plates straightened out that idea!

  2. Chris G on March 26, 2010 at 17:13

    LOL….he definitely had that coming.

  3. troglo on March 26, 2010 at 17:13


    Gnarly comeback Richard my man.

  4. Skyler Tanner on March 26, 2010 at 17:27

    Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

  5. Rick on March 26, 2010 at 17:28

    Had to be done, and well done. Matt’s post on Jimmy was sloppy, opportunistic, and the psuedo-concern he expressed about Jimmy was nauseating. That’s pretty much how he seems to operate though.

    I thought Matt was looking a little puffy! The paleo gurus are looking good!

  6. Jeff on March 26, 2010 at 17:34

    Nicely done. “Carb face” for sure. I saw the video and agree that he doesn’t look like the pig picture anymore. Good takedown.

  7. Jimbeaux on March 26, 2010 at 17:38

    Awesome! I love Jimmy Moore – guy puts it out there and lets the whole world see his ups and downs and still treats Matt with respect and kindness.

    • Natalie on March 27, 2010 at 04:00

      Yes! I was well and truly impressed by Jimmy’s grace. If it were me I would have gone in phasers set to ‘curse that mother out’ but Jimmy was 100% class. I’d rather regain a little weight and keep my dignity like Jimmy has than be thin(ner) and concern troll.

  8. BMcD on March 26, 2010 at 17:41

    Well done my friend. Pitch perfect. Let his own words and deeds damn him.

  9. Jeanie on March 26, 2010 at 17:43

    Awesome, Richard. I had emailed Jimmy after that came out to let him know how I felt about it. He said his wife gets crazy when stuff like that happens, but somehow he lets it roll off his back. He’s a prince of a guy. Very, very glad that you wrote this. Like everyone else has said, he had it coming. Now if he would just go away!!

  10. Diana Hsieh on March 27, 2010 at 07:48

    I’ve got some thoughts on the proper response to Matt Stone over on Modern Paleo this morning:

    In short, I think the guy should be shunned by paleo (and low-carb) folks.

  11. Mark L on March 26, 2010 at 17:49

    Thanks for this post, Richard – useful perspective. I’ve been reading Stone for a while (more so after he started appearing everywhere in various comment sections, as you noted), and it’s resulted in a bit of cognitive dissonance for me. I’m genuinely interested in alternative viewpoints, and in falisfying my own opinions about nutrition (which basically align with you, Kurt, Mark et al after two years of tinkering). Stone seems like a pretty thoughtful and well-read guy, coming up with interesting takes on various issues (albeit a few that somewhat confound my personal clarity, such as it is, about the best way to eat).

    But then there was the online “diagnosis” he made of you – which seemed way out of line, just beyond the pale. I wanted to give the guy the benefit of the doubt – he was mixing it up to generate some good discussion, stimulate ideas, whatever. But the post about Jimmy was just as troubling – especially because his empathy for Jimmy struck me as deeply insincere (Stone never pretended to have any empathy for you, of course!) Anyway, I’m not sure how many times he should get the benefit of the doubt when baldly calling people out who are clearly doing thoughtful, careful, analysis in this arena.

    Obviously we need room for different opinions – we should all be trying to falsify our assumptions – but with Stone I’m now thinking, WTF is his problem with basic respect, and is the HED making him angry and spiteful?

  12. Jimbeaux on March 26, 2010 at 17:54

    Oh crap! I am in Matt’s downline! Dismiss my comments Matt.

  13. mrfreddy on March 26, 2010 at 17:54

    I dropped the guy off my twitter account awhile back too, too much noise, not much signal.

  14. suzan on March 26, 2010 at 18:12

    The best thing to do with Matt is to ignore his blog and his comments, and maybe he will go away. Good post Richard, thanks.

  15. trinik on March 26, 2010 at 18:16

    day-um brother, mark and kurt you are not…put that shirt back on man.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 26, 2010 at 18:56


      Don’t recognize your name as a frequent commenter so will just asume you’re the standard ignoramus. Don’t worry, I get lots of them.

      As I stated in the post, I do have a ways to go yet, but I am headed in the right direction, “destroying my metabolism” in the process, unlike Stone who’s getting that all-important body temp up to astounding heights.

      You want shirts?

      Here’s some.




      Now go fuck off.

      • Gina on March 26, 2010 at 22:38

        Richard! I have to say I love your guts (I hope you are smiling)…why on earth anyone would ever say that to you and not expect a slap in the face is beyond me. Keep the shirt off pics coming. you are an inspiration!

      • Susan in Spokane on March 27, 2010 at 12:18

        Ditto! Your pics have helped me stay inspired as well! Just keep moving forward and keep the pictures coming. I too am in my mid-fifties. I have been following your blog, the Eades’, Jimmy, Peter and Dr. Harris among others. Matt just didn’t ring right with me when he showed up and began commenting on the various blogs. Never had a need or desire to check him out. Hope your spanking keeps him in the corner for a while.

      • golooraam on March 27, 2010 at 06:30

        well said Richard

        You have done great, I am 36 and am working hard to reach your level…

        the greatest part is that you see it as a journey and a WOL

      • Rick on March 27, 2010 at 09:34

        I’ve been following Matt’s blog for some time. I think his approach is pretty much WAPF.

        If this post accomplishes anything, I hope it encourages Matt to put up more of his own personal success/failures, with pics, and progress details, much like Richard and Jimmy do. (Probably not the easiest thing to do, leaving yourself open to the planet)

      • Michael on March 27, 2010 at 15:55

        In all seriousness I actually want a shirt – A FTA shirt that is. I thought they existed but I can’t seem to find them in the store. Are there FTA shirts?

      • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2010 at 08:55


        Yea I took that down to save some space in advance of moving everything to a “store” page of its own including stuff from Amazon. I’ll probably do a different design of t-shirt later, and simple — just one style and probably just some clever text like:

        (it’s not what you think)

        But if you still want one of the others, here’s the link:


  16. O Primitivo on March 27, 2010 at 08:20

    Good posting Richard! I think Jimmy Moore deserves a lot more of respect for all the impressive work he’s done and is doing today. And I never heard of this “carb face” guy until now, his blog is quite irrelevant when compared to those of Sisson, Stephan, Matez, Tourgeman, Davis, Hyperlipid, Nikoley, etc. Real gurus will allways have these kind of intellectual parasites around, who can’t do any better that criticize those on the constructive side.

  17. Katelyn on March 26, 2010 at 19:00

    Rich, you look great! I would go for your body over Matt’s ;)

    • Richard Nikoley on March 26, 2010 at 19:05


      Thank you Kat. I’m just going to keep plugging away.

  18. LAM on March 26, 2010 at 19:04

    Matt has obviously gained the weight on HED because doing low-carb/Paleo ruined his metabolism. After his metabolism heals with HED the weight will melt right off. Obviously. [/sarcasm]

    • Richard Nikoley on March 26, 2010 at 19:07


      Yea, I figure that might be the most common counter to this. But he’s been at it about a year, now, judging by the date when this all first cam up in April ’09.

  19. Jimmy Moore on March 26, 2010 at 19:13

    Thanks for your response to Matt Stone, Richard. Well done, my friend.

  20. Kurt G Harris MD on March 26, 2010 at 19:26

    Fat does not make you fat, but butter, which is almost all fat, makes you fat.

    Eating low carb will not make you lose weight, unless it does, in which case it is going to destroy your thyroid and adrenal glands, but if it doesn’t it is because you are leptin resistant and the only way to cure leptin resistance is to eat more carbohydrate and gain more fat, even though you were obese and leptin resistant and maybe even hypothyroid when you ate 55% of your calories as carbohydrate.

    I have learned a lot about metabolism on the internets lately : )

    • Kevan on March 26, 2010 at 20:06

      Haha, I got a good laugh out of your comment, Dr. Harris :)

    • Gina on March 26, 2010 at 22:42

      Not only looking great in the shirt off pic but a sense of humor and a brilliant mind…*sigh* life is good!

  21. Scott Miller on March 26, 2010 at 19:29

    Glad you nailed him, Richard. He’s a wannabe who shows up in everyone’s comments ALWAYS trying to self-promote and/or say something controversial to attract attention. His tiresome tactics are as easy to spot as an elephant (rather appropriate now) behind a light pole.

    Matt is against low carbs and a pro-whole-grain guy. The pro-grain part is really hurting him. And unless he stays active like the moderate-carb H-G’s did, even simple starch carbs will eventually catch up with him. And that’s clearly what’s happened.

    I always tell people, don’t follow any dietary advice from someone who you do not want to look like. Matt Stone, here’s your key to that club. Larger chairs provided!

  22. Melissa on March 26, 2010 at 19:34

    It’s totally hilarious because you pretty much so exactly what Matt Stone sort of says everyone should do….potatoes, vegetables, meat…not too extreme with low carb….OH; OOOPPS, you forget the McDonalds.

    Geez, if people did make us infertile me and my follow paleo gals would have lots less to worry about. One of my paleo friends recently got pregnant and while she is happy about it, she wasn’t really trying for another child.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 26, 2010 at 21:01

      I do cycle carbs, Melissa, but I make up for it with IF and especially, HIIT: lot’s of various burpees, sprints, medicine ball tosses, pushups, pullups, squats, lunges and on and on.

      I’ve dropped a few pounds over the last few weeks and am finally leaning out even more.

      And my previously cold hands & feet? Now they sweat. Supping with iodine and more seafood in the diet totally did the trick. Happy camper, me.

      • golooraam on March 27, 2010 at 06:57

        Hi Richard,

        Thanks for the shrimp recommendation. My parents are from the eastern part of India, where the dietary mainstays are fish and rice (including a lot of shrimp if you can afford it).

        What iodine supplement do you use again?

        Thanks – Jay

      • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 08:57

        I use Iodoral, 12.5mg per day, i.e. one pill. Some people initially take upwards of 50mg in some sort of effort I don’t fully understand to flush out bromine which I guess interferes with thyroid function.

        I just figured I’d sup with a level that is the average daily intake in Japan and just let it be. Too many variables to know exactly what cause is, but since I’ve been taking it the issues I had with cold hands and feet went entirely away. I’m back to walking the dogs barefoot in the cold evenings.

      • Michael on March 27, 2010 at 15:58

        Hey Richard, how does using iodized salt compare to supplementation? Thanks.

      • Gina on March 27, 2010 at 18:14

        That’s why they started putting iodine in salt, supplement for everyone, trouble is we don’t all need it at those levels (consider people eating at fast food restaurants daily or school foods) and causes it’s own set of problems. Eat seaweeds.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2010 at 08:57

        Michael, in my view ionization of salt was simply enough to prevent goiter, just as fortification of dairy with vitamin D was jjust enough to prevent goiter.

        Neither are optimally sufficient. That said, I don’t consider the level of supplementation I do necessary for most. I do it because of my longstanding thyroid condition.

      • phil on March 28, 2010 at 18:31

        I have to thank you for that post. My mother has had thyroid issues (her brother too) and she has said it has helped with her IBS and energy level as noticed so far. She is not paleo but she is talking about going to 25 mg per day. Like you i think for me 12.5 is enough.

  23. William on March 26, 2010 at 20:07

    If losing over fifty pounds from my wheat belly body, and if derailing my continuous racing heart, and if decades of swollen and pain ridden joints have magically vanished, and if turning a fifty-five year old man into a high octane, wild animal who can out perform the twenty to twenty-five year old set in most of life’s offerings, then yes, by all means, Richard Nikoley’s health/nutrition/lifestyle advice is some of the most metabolically-destructive advice that has been encountered for this happy traveller of life. And while I have a bounty of respect for Kurt Harris and Mark Sisson, it was the “ill advice” from the web pages of Free The Animal, that initially put me on a spiral… to good health, happiness, and a ravenous appetite for life. And just point out so someone doesn’t get a swell head, guru’s, and messiahs matter not. Good science with evidence [not agendas] is what counts.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 26, 2010 at 21:06

      Are you trying to make me weep, William?

      I’m truly touched. This, especially:

      “…turning a fifty-five year old man into a high octane, wild animal who can out perform the twenty to twenty-five year old set in most of life’s offerings…”

      Well I was only 46 when I realized I had to do something. I have no idea how to explain going from dying to having a passion for life unless you’ve been there. But from comments so far I think this group for one gets it.

  24. Tim Rangitsch on March 26, 2010 at 20:37

    Boooh yah! I certainly skim around the web, looking to disprove/challenge the information I currently hold true. Things change, I question, I dig, I learn, and I implement for myself. I observe and understand. Matt Stone has been waging some sort of publicity campaign of late, and it seems to be founded on simply being a contrarian.

    I owe a debt of gratitude for the information and analysis put out there by the likes of Nikoley, Sisson, Eades, Moore, Harris, Guynet, etc. Even the likes of Matt Stone, Anthony Colpo, T. Collin Campbell, Dean Ornish have helped me synthesize my personal nutrition, lifestyle, exercise approach as seeking out opposing information does indeed make correct “paleo” leaning ideas gleam all the more brightly.

    Thanks Richard! Thanks Jimmy! Thanks Kurt! and well, stick it Matt….

  25. Rob A on March 26, 2010 at 20:55

    Hi Richard,

    I recently found my way into this whole paleosphere, which I’llinclude Matt’s site in, and discovered your blog in the last week or two. This is my first comment, and I feel a little silly coming to the rescue of a guy I know only through a blog. That said- I don’t think you’ve given Matt a fair shake His aim, as far as I can tell, is to help people come to a place of underlying robust health that allows them to look and feel good without restricting any macronutrient, or indeed much of any real food. The fact that he has apparently gained weight on the High Everything Diet seems consistent with I understand of its mechanism through his writing.

    The ideas is- you didn’t become unhealthy in a few days, and maybe not even in just your lifetime (given the role of heredity and what I would identify as epigenetic factors), and so the process of healing yourself may take a while and may not look pretty at least for a bit. He’s talking about attaining the sort of metabolism that allows some people to just not get sick, and to eat apparently whatever they want and retain their energy levels, mood and body composition. He writes a fair bit about Dr Diana Schwarzbein, an endocrinologist who argues that we need to get well hormonally in order to effectively and safely lose weight. Losing weight is not the end goal, but a side effect of having a healthy metabolic/hormonal system, one which isn’t leptin or insulin resistant for example Further, Matt and Dr Schwarzbein argue that a low-carb diet can diminish the thyroid function of one who already experiences metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, etc. And that yes, you can indeed get lean and feel a boost of energy relative to how you might have ate before, but potentially at the cost of exacerbating hypothryoidism over the long-term, a condition which I undertsnad you’ve commented about previously. One consequence of this might be even more pronounced intolerance to carbohydrates, and this, I think, is what Matt was writing about with respect to Jimmy. Now Jimmy, if you’re reading this- I fully support you and wish you only the best in your pursuit of health, however you are able to attain it. You do great work, I really appreciate and enjoy your interviews and am so grateful for the honesty and kindness you show your guests and readers.

    That said- I can see Matt’s concern: increasing carbohyrdate intolerance is a road I don’t want to pursue. How is it that some people, including many native folks recently and historically, ate carbohydrate foods to their apparent content without experiencing the sort of hyperinsulinemia that Jimmy experiences? Are they just genetically blessed? Is there anything we can do to achieve their level of carbohydrate tolerance so that we need not pursue open-ended eggfests to regain our health and ability to live and enjoy life?

    So my understanding of the idea behind the HED is: we can utilize it to regain (maybe for the first time in our lives) a healthy robust metabolism that does not become increasingly locked in to every-more restrictive food plans, which aside from potential nutritional inadequacies, can present a potent psychological toll on us. Utilizing the findings of (the unfortunately and mistakenly fat-phobic vegetarian) Dr Joel Fuhrman, maybe we can increase our insulin sensitivity by eeating a high-complex carbohydrate diet for three to four weeks, allegedly shown to reduce fasting insulin levels dramatically If that’s true, that consuming starch can maybe ironically make us more capable of eating carbohydrates, and responding to tem appropriately, then maybe we don’t have to live our lives out witout them, and without spiralling us into weight gain, energy slumps and bad moods.

    Now, it’s an open question in my mind whether a high metabolism, as evidenced by high basal body temperature, really does allow us to eat starchy food without consequence. It’s also an open question as to whether a HED diet will raise our basal body temperature and thus metabolism, and whether the weight gain consequences of overfeeding are just temporary side effects, or a long term problem. It’s also an open question whether healing really needs to take this circuitous route, or whether how we look is and ought to be a reliable indicator of our being on the right path. I don’t know- I’d like to believe that our bodies really are the wonderfully powerful, healing entities I imagine them to be, that we don’t need to gain ‘rebound weight’ on our path to a healthy lean body composition. Maybe that’s so, and I really appreciate everyone out there on that path, and wish you well- I look to you all to learn. I also know that I don’t want to feel the lethargy and depression I have experienced after eating carbs, and I want to be able to enjoy my partner’s potatos and fresh grown sweet corn from the garden, and homemade fresh sourdough bread made of locally grown chemical free grain. I want those things, and if the HED offers some possibility that I can enjoy those things in a way that nourishes and sustains my body as well as my connection to the land, I want to explore it.

    I’ve been a primitivist of sorts for six or eight years, and now a permaculturist and small farmer, and I’m not unfamiliar with the problems of grain agriculture. I know that we see a marked delcine in health wherever it arises, not to be regained for many generations. I know we see ecological devastation, war, slavery, famine, and patriarchy following on the heels of grain-fed Empire. And yet, as permaculture principles suggest, the opposite is also true. I see small farmers I know who are growing grain mindfully and with love, seeking to reconnect to this food that maybe is not even a food according to some, but who grow it anyway, and I don’t want to turn my back on them. My palatte does not want to turn my back on them either, not for my whole life. I see in Matt’s writing the possibility that indeed, I can eat the food I grow and people I know and care for grow, with full enjoyment of it, and trust in its capacity to nurture and sustain me, and connect me more closely to the ground I live on and near.

    Maybe it’s all wrong, and we really just can’t tolerate grains, specifically, or carbohydrates generally all that well. Maybe when we take them out and have the shitty side effects I know I’ve had sometimes, it really is because we’ve cleaned the proverbial windshield and now any dirt or smudge becomes glaringly obvious, and we ought to simply heed the call to avoid the offending substance.

    And yet- does it all end in an eggfest for each of us? Will we beome increasingly less able to eat even those carby foods that give us at least psychological pleasure, like home-grown potatos and sweet corn? Foods that enable us to live more self-sufficent, ecologically integrated lives? I cast my vote with the potatos and squash and home grown grain.

    And so right now, I want to ride this line of inquiry out, see where it leads. I like what Matt writes about, and although he may come off as abrasive or arrogant, he seems in my mind sincere and thoughtful. I don’t think his ideas are worth dismissing, and certainly not without a fair and accurate accounting of them.

    Thanks for reading, Richard. I do wish you the best in your continud path, and hope that I can continue to learn from everyone in this ‘sphere trying to live healthy and full lives.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 26, 2010 at 21:41


      “I recently found my way into this whole paleosphere”


      “and I feel a little silly”

      And perhaps you should. But, let me first say that I always appreciate good writing and yours is.

      I don’t know how many damn times I and other 40-50 year olds and beyond are going to have to say it: how long do we have to go to FUCKING KNOW that we don’t tolerate grains and heavy starch loads regularly?

      Jesus fucking Christ, already.

      If I got back a face like Matt’s? Next thing I’d eat is a 40 S&W round from my Sig-Sauer.

      Good luck with Stone, and by the way, he’s been at this for about a year. How long do you want to keep getting fatter and fatter?

      • Rob A on March 27, 2010 at 05:21

        Hi Richard,

        I haven’t written publicly at length for a while, and I did put a lot of effort into my response, and so I appreciate your recognition of my writing. Many thanks.

        I certainly don’t want to disregard your experience and that of others in your age cohort, and I sincerely do wish you the best. And- in the interests of fairness- your and others
        difficulty with grains and starchy foods does not undermine the argument, and does fit within the framework of what Matt writes of. It does not invalidate the notion that healing the metabolism might be a core issue. Older folks, people who may have a higher tissue concentration of omega-6 fats, for example , which may slow metabolism, might have a longer, harder time regaining equilibrium. That could explain why you know you’re not tolerant of starches- your metabolism has lost its flexibility to consume them. Now, I mean to make no diagnosis of you, and I certainly defer to your own sense of how your bdy works. I only offer this as a story that might provide an alternate framework to make sense of experiences.

        Maybe it’s impossible to regain equilibrium. Maybe the whole pursuit is off-base and a diversion- does theis fabled equilibrium’ exist? I don’t know and want to defer this argument to others. I do know that I want a way out of restrictive eating plans so that my partner and family don’t drive themselves up the walls cortorting themselves ever more dramatically to accomodate my delicate parameters for health. And I do want to stand up for argumentative honesty- pointing out that Matt has ‘carb-face’ doesn’t necessarily disprove the idea that healing our metabolism and hormonal health is central, or that increasingly restrictive eating plans might have long-term unforeseen consequences in marked contrast to our initial results.

        In some ways, it would be easier intellectually and emotionally for me if indeed the paleo orientation were the last word. I long for certainty and simplicity, and the primal path offers it, in a fairly complehensive framework that makes so much sense. And yet, at the edge of my awareness lies these issues of metabolism and having the ability to not restrict foods and so forth, and the reality of healthy carb-eating populations. That question of whether I can experience that nags at me. And so, as I said, I feel compelled to ride this line of inquiry out and see where it leads.

        To Richard, and Jimmy and Mark and Kurt and all the paleo folks out there, I do wish you the very best. I’ll continue to read your words and these sorts of discussions. I really sincerely do want to learn from you all, and integrate all that I can from others’ experiences.

        Best regards,

      • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 09:12


        Do yourself a favor and go through my Food Porn to see how I eat virtually every day.

        There’s nothing at all wrong with my “metabolism.” I think Stone is utterly full of bullshit. I got fat because I ate neolithic crap and hit 40. Even with a thyroid condition going back years and a TSH of 16, I lost 60 pounds eating as you’ll see above.

        Here’s the huge gaping hole in Stone’s bullshit: gene expression. This is far more fundamental than his hocus-pokus on “metabolism.” So that, even with a thyroid condition (probably as a result of soy-based formula and other neolithic crap) I was able to override that through mimicking my ancestral milieu. Namely, brief and intermittent periods of fasting to mimic slim pickings or food sourcing failure and brief period of explosive and intense workouts (one hour per week, total, never more). And I walk more than 4 miles per day, just about every day.

        Do some googling about intermittent fasting to learn of the manny significant benefits to gene expression that are so profound as to make everything else pale in comparison. For example, are you aware that so profound is the cellular response to temporary starvation that in cases of cancer where a person is on chemo, a 3-5 day fast before chemo will take the cancer-to-good cell kill ratio from 1:1 to 30:1? They’ve demonstrated this on live rats and on human cancer cells in vitro.

        Gene expression will trump “metabolism” for most people most of the time. The foremost authority on that from an evolutionary perspective is probably Art De Vany who has a subscription blog.


      • Vickilynn on March 27, 2010 at 06:06

        Dear Richard,

        I am here because of the recommendation of someone I admire ~ Jimmy Moore. He placed a link of Facebook so those of us following the Matt Stone “Poor Jimmy” saga could get the next chapter, your response.

        I must say that while you have important things to say, they are negated by the prolific use of profanity and taking the precious name of Jesus in the middle of a nauseating expletive.

        I just thought you ought to know that what you have to say need not turn people away by your offensive profanity.

        I’m sure you’ll tell me to F-off as well, but my point should be considered if you really think you have something important to say.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 09:23

        “they are negated by the prolific use of profanity and taking the precious name of Jesus in the middle of a nauseating expletive.”

        Well, they aren’t in the slightest bit negated. Dropping an f-bomb has never changed a FACT in the history of the world.

        Now, you may not like that, to each his own and I take no pleasure in offending good people. And I’m absolutely without a doubt certain that you are.

        You are probably not aware that I’m a product of a fundamentalist Baptist upbringing, educated in one of their schools and then off to divinity school. Then I found religion held no value for me, it’s been that way for more than 20 years, and thankfully I have been able to influence family members enough to curtail or stop outright some of the havoc wreaked in their lives by purveyors of guilt & shame in the name of a “precious” Jesus.

        Onward, and I wish you well.

      • chris on March 27, 2010 at 13:05

        Ah man Richard, “guilt & shame”? People use all sorts of means to gain power and control over others including of course religion. But you have to acknowledge how extraordinary Jesus’ message of love and peace was/is relative to the world-view of the time. God is love. Jesus’ life is a demonstration of, and call to, selflessness (love). Good message as far as the major religions go.

        Dig the site man, really do. Good luck on the last few fat-pounds.

      • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 14:57

        “You are probably not aware that I’m a product of a fundamentalist Baptist upbringing, educated in one of their schools and then off to divinity school. Then I found religion held no value for me, ”

        I also had a fundamentalist Baptist upbringing. And some other paleos I know were also bought up in fundamentalism. I wonder how common this is along with the libertarian/anarchist slant.

      • Jeanie on March 27, 2010 at 10:06

        As you’ve already said, you are not a regular to Richard’s blog. If you were, you’d know that he has tried to clean up his language, but just had to be himself. Most of his regular readers will know that we prefer him that way! If you don’t like it, don’t read it. But for the rest of us, Richard is da bomb!

    • Gina on March 26, 2010 at 22:48

      I am sure you have already read it but the answers to your questions are unpacked in Gary Taubes “Good Calories Bad Calories” and if you have not yet read it…grab a copy it sit back and enjoy the ride!

    • Katelyn on March 27, 2010 at 14:28

      I think being carbohydrate intolerant is fantastic! I hope I get sick eating a lettuce leaf because then my body just loves meat and fat—and from my health and looking at my body in the mirror, it does. What is the point of eating crappy food for psychological pleasure when you can eat delicious food–meat and fat– and look great?

  26. Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 11:38

    Here’s just one example of Stone’s blind spot when it comes to evolutionary principles.

    Meet Brad Pilon, another guy with an obviously broken metabolism.

    He actually has a degree in nutrition. He also wrote the book on fasting, literally. Eat Stop Eat.


    Now, watch this concerning fasting & exercise.


    Now learn about autophagy, a cellular level repair mechanism kicked in by fasting. This is why new research is suggesting that IF confers the same or better potential life extension benefits as caloric restriction, without the chronic element.


    Now meet Martin Berkhan, a trainer who uses IF in combination with workouts to obtain amazing results for all these “metabolically broken” clients.



    This is why gene expression and not “fixing a broken metabolism” is the real, scientific name of the game and why Matt Stone is utterly full of shit.

    Animals don’t hunt on full bellies. A simple, fundamental truth that in itself undercuts virtually the totality of Stone’s HED nonsense.

    • In on March 27, 2010 at 23:16

      Matt Stone is utterly full of shit

      I disagree. Best to separate the man from his ideas. I welcome Matt’s idea’s as a challenge to the stale flavored paleo/lc community. In rebuttal to your argument:

      First, we know very little about how gene’s are expressed in response to evironment. It is self-evident that part of that expression takes into account longer term internal events such as development and growth. The idea of metabolic healing certainly is not inconsistent with the idea of gene expression. It certainly isn’t as simple as your argument claims.

      Second I don’t think you or many of the others adequately address or caution against the evidence of the dangers of PUFAs in the diet. This seems to me to be a major mistep on the part of paleo advocates since in a modern western society it is very difficult to avoid pufas (like paleolithic peoples naturally did) if you are avoiding carbs. This became clear to me only after reading Matt’s blog.

      Paleo bloggers should be commended for seeing through the profit driven CW, but they can’t rest on thier laurels or they will degenerate into dogmatic ideology. Its not a good sign when one critical thinking, insightful blogger completely dismisses another critical thinking insightful blogger. Since I suspect the motive in that is personal, perhaps for that reason it is wrong for Matt to rub people the way he does. I don’t know.

      • gallier2 on March 28, 2010 at 02:58

        Second I don’t think you or many of the others adequately address or caution against the evidence of the dangers of PUFAs in the diet.

        Are you kidding? Richard’s, Kurt’s, Stephan’s, Chris’, Peter’s blog are full of warnings against PUFAs; it’s the main subject for that last years on them. There’s not a week going by where there is no study promoting PUFA that is shred to pieces by these people.
        And before accusing people of being dogmatic, look in a mirror. This accusation pops every time Matt Stone or Lyle McDonald and his circle wankers are the subject on these blogs. But , if you had followed these blogs as long as I do, you would have seen, how open to new ideas these people are. Lindenbergs Kitava study as analysed by Stephan had the biggest impact on separating paleo from low-carb, it was remarquable how it started in cognitive dissonance way, there were these smoking , high carb eating wilds and none of the maladies all carbs were accused of. But what happened? If these bloggers had been as you accuse them of, they would have rationalized or ignored or downplayed these results, but no they integrated that data and modified their hypotheses accordingly and came up with a better theory. This is the true work of scientists.
        So the accusations of pretentious nitwits with no track record are slowly getting boring.

      • In on March 28, 2010 at 09:32

        I followed Art, Richard and MDA for over a year, despite frequent admonishment to eat a high fat diet, I recall little about PUFAs. I’m only claiming this is a weak spot in their advice since they advocate a high fat diet. Matt strongly made this point to me. I only recently started following Matt and Stephan’s blog and they are both excellent on that point.

        Reread my comment more carefully. I accused no one of dogmatism, I only pointed out the danger of Richard’s (and your) dismissal of Matt’s ideas. I think Matt is a good thinker and his ideas deserve a deeper analysis than Richard is willing to give him simply because Matt annoys him. That was the point of my comment. The oversensitive, tertiary comments are what is boring me.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on March 28, 2010 at 12:04

        Well spend some time with Stephan and Peter and Kurt. We talk about it all the time.

        You are correct that Matt is to be commended for emphasizing PUFA, and he is not afraid of saturated fat. These are both very good.

        But the idea that overeating to reset your metabolism (not re-feeds, but long term) is a totally unproven extrapolation from some of Schwarzbein’s ideas. The main mistake is Matt’s confusion of peripheral and liver insulin sensitivity. Short term changes in whole body glucose handling with increased carbs in the diet is a well-established phenomenon related to PERIPHERAL IR that has nothing to do with healing your liver by overeating for months on purpose. Your OGTT test will improve on going from VLC to 150 g/day in about 3 days. It does not take, not would there be any benefit to, eating to the point of abdominal obesity to achieve this. And it’s not an achievement anyway, just an adaptation to carbohydrate in the diet.

        Also, the Barnesian emphasis on body temperature abstracted from other clinical measures of thyroid function as the definition of “hypometabolism” is really in the realm of pseudoscience (yes, I have read both Schwarzbein and Barnes).

      • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2010 at 12:49

        Thanks Kurt. Indeed, and I tend to go with De Vany on this one as he has always been about highly varied intensity in workouts, varied sources of food, intermittent fasting.

        Looking at it another way, that sort of lifestyle promotes acute stressors that drive positive expression of genes, just as one would expect from the logic of natural selection since out in the wild things are typically highly varied and even seasonal. The simple fact of our survival dictates that acute stressors make us more adaptive, increasing chances for survival and passing on those genes.

        On the other hand, Matt’s approach is to create a chronic stress through long-term overeating, even to the point of adding significant fat tissue.

        Given the high variability of nature, who is even to know whether we’re designed to always run at a “high metabolism,” let alone one that runs at the same rate 24/7, or, that we’re supposed to have the same constant body temperature 365 days of the year. We already know that BT drops at night when we sleep. Maybe dropping during the winter of an ice age was somehow adaptive, protective, expressive in terms of critical genes.

        As I’ve already said, Matt’s huge blind spot is a sense of the logic of natural selection in a hostile, highly varied, sweltering hot to icy cold environment with feast/famine aspects in terms of sourcing food and he seems wholly ignorant to the gene expression these acute stresses will induce.

        For example, how about that working out fasted promotes significantly greater post-workout gene expression for hypertrophy factors than working out in a fed state — just exactly as would be predicted from the logic of natural selection because predatory hunts are going to be in a fasted state (animals don’t hunt on full bellies) and some hunts are going to fail.


        By the way, let me alert you and everyone else to a pretty comprehensive recent blog post by physicist Robert McLeod on all things thyroid. Not a light read by any means but I emailed Mike Eades about it and he said it was very good.


        That’s for those of you who might be interested in rigorous science with multiple references to actual studies and not just hand-waving and quotes from two authors.

      • In on March 28, 2010 at 18:18

        Interesting. When the body is adapting to carbs and glucose tolerance improves, do you know of any reason that inflammation markers would decrease, albeit temporarily?

      • Dak on March 28, 2010 at 11:47

        In: “Second I don’t think you or many of the others adequately address or caution against the evidence of the dangers of PUFAs in the diet. This seems to me to be a major mistep on the part of paleo advocates since in a modern western society it is very difficult to avoid pufas (like paleolithic peoples naturally did)”

        In: “Reread my comment more carefully”

        I strongly suggest that you might want to consider taking your own advice. Many paleo bloggers had done nothing, but encouraged others to NOT, I repeat, NOT take any PUFAs.

  27. Jeff on March 26, 2010 at 22:00

    Thumbs up! The evidence speaks for itself. Matt needs to put up or shut up. Right now he needs to quick putting that fork up to his mouth.

  28. james mooney on March 26, 2010 at 23:03

    Keep up the great work Richard! I started this lifestyle back in 97, but took a few years off in law school and paid the price! I started back up again in 06 and have never looked back. I read EVERYTHING I can get my hands on regarding this way of living and then some. It’s sort of funny, I have found that “the economics of blogging” for lack of a better term has come into play. Most of the people that I read in the Paleosphere fail to post on a regular basis. You post just about every day! Because of that, you are now the first blog I go to every single day, and have been for nearly a year! It used to be T-mag, then Devany, and now it is you, so please keep it up if you can. I usually read your blog before I go to the gym, contemplate cheating in a big way, or in general wonder if I am on the right path. You really do a lot more good than you may think. That being said, Killer fucking post today. . . needed to be said!

  29. Matthias on March 26, 2010 at 23:06

    Hi Richard,
    First of all, I think this has gotten totally ridiculous by now. I don’t even blame you for that, it’s probably more the fault off Matt’s PR strategies, but, you know, there are always two sides of a medal and I don’t think your behaviour is gonna change anything for the better either.
    Now, being a semi-regular reader of your blog, I very well understand that this is just how you roll and stuff. But I also think that acting like you (both) do, wont help spawn a debate that is absolutely necessary. Low-carb is not the end all be all and some people just wont get along with it (and I know that you acknowledge this too). There’s hardly any doubt that low-carb made me sick. Before I went low-carb, I was a healthy, active 17-year old man/boy. Not even a year later I pretty much had the worst time of my life. I ended up in the hospital for three weeks, my teeth got worse and worse and I was one depressed, lethargic mess (by the way, I did eat mostly high-quality foods). There are many people out there who have a similiar story, I know this out of experience. That’s exactly why I like Matt’s site. He is very well aware of this problem and I think many paleo-bloggers out there blindly close their eyes when confronted with this subject.

    Now I honestly don’t care what you relation to Matt is and whether you think he is a totally douchebag or not. I’ve got other things to worry. But please, don’t let this make you ignore the message that’s all behind this. I think there are many low-carbers out there who are struggling, but don’t know what to do, because most low-carb bloggers never mention any problems people might be having. I think it would be in the very own interest of the paleosphere (there, I used that word now) to adress these problems. If you people don’t adress this problem, all you will do is only help Matt gain an even bigger following (I don’t wanna say that this is either a good or a bad thing. I have my very own opinion about this, but I don’t think it is relevant at this point.) as those people have nowhere else to turn to.

    Oh and one additional thing. It’s kind of Matt’s philosophy that you have to get healthy before you can get lean and may very well gain some pounds in the process of getting healthy and he does acknowledge that his HED diet will lead to initial weight gain for most.
    A few months ago, I was ripped as hell, but felt like crap. By now, I have gained some weight, I’m still quite lean though, and feel much much better. This is another thing that I think is going wrong in the paleo/low-carb scene and society in general. People should stop obsessing over weight and try to get healthy.

    Anyways, these are just my two cents. Acutally, I do not really care how this discussion will develop and probably will stay out of this starting now, however I’d still very much appreciate a response to my comment from you, Richard.

    • Diana Hsieh on March 26, 2010 at 23:43

      Paleo need not be low carb. Paleo need not be low carb.
      Paleo need not be low carb.
      Paleo need not be low carb.
      Paleo need not be low carb.
      Paleo need not be low carb.

      Am I blue in the face yet?

      If you find that you’re not doing well eating low-carb paleo, then by all means, eat more quality carbs. Richard would be the first of many paleo advocates to tell you that. Eating “high everything,” on the other hand, is quite another matter.

      Matt is determined to knock down a paleo strawman of his own invention. In the process, he’s acting like an irresponsible, presumptuous asshole. (Yes, I’ve been on the receiving end of some of that, and it’s laughable and offensive.) That’s not “marketing strategy,” it’s “being a dishonest scumbag.” Combine that with his murky hand-waving through the science… and you have the kind of disaster that he seems to have inflicted on himself with his “initial” weight gain of 40-some pounds.

      • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 00:14

        Amen! I’m tired of people grouping paleo in with low-carb. I enjoy many high-quality high-carb foods on paleo, just not every day.

        I’m a little alarmed by some of the health problems I see low carbers suffering from. Reminds me of my vegan days when I saw a similar attitude “help I am struggling with X problem, but it must be my own fault because after all, this is the perfect diet.” For example, I know many people suffering from cramps on low-carb. I tell them to just eat a freaking young coconut or some prunes, but god no…it’s just a bag of sugar. Wrong, foods are more than just a sum of the nutrients we know about.

      • Diana Hsieh on March 27, 2010 at 08:14

        Melissa —

        Regarding reported health problems on low-carb, the critical question is one of causation versus correlation. Did eating paleo and/or low-carb cause the problem? Or did a person begin eating paleo and/or low-carb to deal with the problem, even if not yet diagnosed? Or did the person just start blogging about the problem after switching to paleo and/or low-carb?

        In my own case, my hypothyroid symptoms clearly preceded going paleo, even though I wasn’t diagnosed until recently. Almost everyone on Modern Paleo’s new PaleoThyroid list was diagnosed as hypothyroid years before switching to paleo. That’s not surprising, as hypothyroidism is exceedingly common. Moreover, wheat seems to contribute to autoimmune thyroid problems.

        With regard to Jimmy’s current battles with his weight, we have to remember that he did his body massive, massive damage by eating as he did and gaining all that weight for all those years before he began eating low-carb. I don’t think that damage can always be undone — or at least, we don’t yet know how to undo it. Also, as people have noted, he’s tended to eat lots of low-carb junk food. I really hope that he’ll be able to kick his diet soda habit for good. That might make a big difference for him.

      • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 08:30

        I agree with what you say, but I still see people suffering on low carb and not wanting to adjust their diets because they think it’s the perfect diet. The most common problems seem to be constipation and cramping.

        I really wonder how well Jimmy would do on a true paleo diet with no dairy. If I could redesign his diet I’d replace all the dairy with coconut, the eggs with lamb, and add in lots of bone/seaweed broths.

      • Gina on March 27, 2010 at 13:49

        I agree with Melissa and would also remove the diet soda (I know I know it is an addiction and it is a huge problem) along with any “fake foods” such as low carb breads and pastas etc. for good.

      • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 14:50

        Diet soda could be replaced by water kefir or kombucha.

      • gallier2 on March 27, 2010 at 01:37

        You said:

        That’s not “marketing strategy,” it’s “being a dishonest scumbag.”

        but the two are synonymus ;-)

      • Kurt G Harris MD on March 27, 2010 at 06:46

        Thanks, Diana

        Animal-based Paleo or real food approaches tend to be low carb, if that is defined with respect to the SAD, as we all start by eating something, and for most of us that something has 50 + % calories from carbs, the lions share of which is mostly sugar equivalents and bleached wheat flour.

        If we take the simple step of eliminating those two agents, we have taken out a totally empty fraction of our caloric intake, and often we are left with about 10% of calories from carbs. To the extent we replace those calories with fat and protein, we stay “low carb”. My collected experience is that this is what most people do, and this works perfectly for the vast majority, whether they were obese or not.

        But this is just one, if the easiest and often best, option. If we don’t have weight issues, or just if we feel like it for a variety of reasons, we can add back calories in the form of vegetables and non-gluten grains and tubers. If we do that then we could be anywhere from 10-50% carbs, and with normal liver insulin sensitivity (which many may never regain but many do) we could be quite healthy.

        I have not abandoned the prejudice (a la Kwasneiwski/Peter) that, ceteris paribus, beyond 10% or 50 grams a day of carbs tends to be less optimal than the 10% range, or the belief that for a rational HG there would simply be no choosing between a lamb chop and a potato, but PaNu is not really a “low carb” diet, as that is a minor element compared to the importance of minimizing excess PUFA, gluten grains and Fructose.

        Of course, some would point out that PaNu is “not really paleo”, as it does not reject the obvious benefits of pastoralism, which is neolithic in origin. My focus is health and not the “paleo” stamp of approval, so I would accept that criticism.

        The paleo label, with several of its adherents remaining staunch lipophobes, has become sort of useless anyway.

      • Diana Hsieh on March 27, 2010 at 08:06

        Dr Harris —

        Agreed. A pale-type diet is low-carb by default — and almost everyone seems to do fine on that. Robb Wolf reports that some of his clients do better with more paleo-friendly carbs (like sweet potatoes). Personally, I’ve found that I do well eating almost no carbs — or eating some paleo-friendly carbs like sweet potatoes. So long as I stay away from the grains and sugar, I’m good to go. (A WAPF-approved bowl of soaked oatmeal makes me lethargic for 36 hours!)

        On a minor note, I think the “paleo” label (broadly construed) is still useful … or at least I’ve not been able to think of anything better. (I refuse to advocate anything “primal.”) To eat a paleo-type diet means eschewing grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables. Even Cordain seems to be coming around on the issue of saturated fat.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on March 27, 2010 at 09:11

        Well, I’ve certainly had plenty of commenters, followers of Cordain mostly, who insist that PaNu is not paleo because dairy “is not paleo”. Which is true. And to the degree that one is pushing lean meats. modern fruits and lots of PUFA laden nuts, you are in paleo-fantasy land, and not thinking of clinical effects first.

        So “paleo” is a useful descriptive label in that we both know more or less what we mean by it, but I am finding it less and less useful nutritionally, as both Cordain (coming around or not) and DeVaney are so different from what I think is healthy that the label is relatively useless as a guide of what to eat.

        So I’m not arguing we should stop using the term, just that it’s not much of a guide of what to eat, unless we constrain our definition to what you and I agree on, but Cordain and many others don’t.

      • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 12:08

        I love your blog, but sometimes you tend towards nutritionism. Nuts are more than just bags of PUFAs. Most of the studies showing PUFAs are terrible use rancid isolated vegetable oils.

      • Kurt G Harris MD on March 27, 2010 at 12:51

        OK, whatever you say. I am now a “nutritionist” because I slagged a trendy food that is overrated.

        Nuts are not bags of PUFA and I never said as much. Nuts are fruits that are full of PUFA, whether rancid or fresh, and are overemphasized and often over-eaten in relation to what they offer. They are a politically correct food item that is often eaten in huge proportion relative to what they would have represented in our evolutionary past.

        My argument against excess PUFA has zero to do with rancidity, but since you brought it up, most nuts that people consume are in fact not very fresh. So there is that issue, too.

      • Gina on March 27, 2010 at 13:19

        Easy on the “Nutritionists” we are not all cut from the same cloth! Hard to see that be a dirty word….I don’t fit in the mainstream world of nutrition and have been swimming upstream for 30 years…Peace. :)

      • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 14:34

        And they often have mold in them too…

      • Scott Miller on March 28, 2010 at 14:42

        In my opinion, while paleo tends to be low-carb, it’s mis-labeled as a low-carb diet. I like to call it a natural foods diet. For years, my definition of a paleo diet has been:

        o No processed fructose
        o No gluten grains
        o No processed oils

        I was glad to see Dr. Harris basically echo this a few years after I was telling people in all the health forums I visit.

        I’ll usually add:

        o All the animal/fish meats you want (naturally fed meats are best)
        o Never low-fat anything
        o All of the colorful non-starchy vegetables you want

        So, while this diet is paleo and low-carb, it’s low-carb not as a goal, but as an emergent result.

      • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 08:26

        I guess the nomadic pastoralist diet is less catchy than PaNu

      • Gina on March 27, 2010 at 14:04

        …”but PaNu is not really a “low carb” diet, as that is a minor element compared to the importance of minimizing excess PUFA, gluten grains and Fructose.”
        Exactly!!! No need for *trying* to reduce carbs when this is followed…not to mention that for vibrant health carbs are NOT the the whole enchilada!

      • samuel on March 27, 2010 at 08:45

        “Paleo need not be low carb.”

        This post of Richard’s is about Matt’s post about Jimmy Moore’s egg diet. Jimmy is essentially Mr. Low-Carb. It only makes sense that the issue here is low-carb eating.

        But with regards to the “paleo strawman,” I don’t think it’s a strawman at all. I think Matt’s position vis a vis the paleo diet is that eating a low-carb diet, **including paleo low-carb diets**, causes or exacerbates metabolic and other health problems in a large proportion of people in the long-run. I don’t know of any paleo writer or blogger who agrees with that claim. Many may say eating high-carb is okay (a la the Kitavans), but they also think low-carb is okay and usually even prefer low-carb paleo and eat that way themselves. There is a real, non-strawman disagreement here.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 09:37


      “But I also think that acting like you (both) do”

      Distinctions, please. First of all, this blog is replete with links and praise for other bloggers in the paleosphere, primalsphere, low-carbshere and others doing mostly good work.

      I don’t go around commenting on others’ blogs in a friendly way only to slam them later. My rage is directed towards those who truly deserve it. You know, the CW crowd.

      “I think there are many low-carbers out there who are struggling, but don’t know what to do, because most low-carb bloggers never mention any problems people might be having.”

      True for some, perhaps, but not here. I have many posts asking for help on various issues like stalled weight loss, crazy lipid panels, and then there’s this:


      Also, as Diana has already answered and I have said many, many times, Paleo is not necessarily low carb. Personally, I cycle carbs, mostly in the form of potatoes. Eventually, I may move to a more seasonal posture, i.e., VLC in the late fall through winter and moderate carb from starch beginning late spring. More fasting in the winter, less to none in the summer.

      “Oh and one additional thing. It’s kind of Matt’s philosophy that you have to get healthy before you can get lean and may very well gain some pounds in the process of getting healthy and he does acknowledge that his HED diet will lead to initial weight gain for most.”

      Utterly hocus pokus. I’m not interested in Matt’s “philosophy.” I’m interested in science in the context of human evolution over millions of years and, as I have already stressed, gene expression.

      • Matthias on March 27, 2010 at 12:55

        Alright Richard, thanks for your input. Greatly appreciated.
        “Also, as Diana has already answered and I have said many, many times, Paleo is not necessarily low carb. Personally, I cycle carbs, mostly in the form of potatoes.”

        Yeah Dianah made it pretty clear that paleo mustn’t be low-carb, but my main “beef” with the paleosphere is that many people do not think that way or acknowledge this or they at least still (un)knowingly only cater to the low-carb audience and in many points make low-carb seem much superior and like it’s the ultimate solution for everybody.
        All I’m pledging for is to stop those silly personal wars and return to a healthy, reasonable debate. Yes, your behavior and Matt’s aren’t the same and I know you are very open minded on what I am talking about, I just feared a little that this personal little skirmish might stand in the way of the debate that in my opinion NEEDS to take place in the paleosphere and still doesn’t get the attention it deserves. I think Kurt did adress that whole topic a bit in his last posts and if you are reading this, Kurt, I respect that very much and hope other paleo bloggers will do the same.

        “Utterly hocus pokus. I’m not interested in Matt’s “philosophy.” I’m interested in science in the context of human evolution over millions of years and, as I have already stressed, gene expression.”

        I don’t think that changes anything. I just tried to make clear that Matt obviously is aware of this (how couldn’t he?) and that this still doesn’t interfere with the goals he is trying to reach. It just seemed very much like you dismissed that as an obvious sign of failure on his side and I don’t think it actually can be said whether that’s a failure or not.
        Someone once made the anecdote that animals will gain a lot of weight after they have been weak and sickened for some time, and why should it be different for humans? After all, we are animals as well and so this wouldn’t even interfere with your focus on an evolutionary context.

  30. Sean on March 27, 2010 at 01:24

    I don’t know much about this guy, and don’t think I want to. But I gather he is in his late 20’s/early 30’s. I was on a HED at that age, and I looked great because I was also working construction burning a ridiculous amount of calories. Too bad they didn’t have blogs back then, I could have become a fitness guru promoting the Drywall Diet – just hang ‘rock 10 hours a day and eat all the burritos and soda you want!

    A reasonable test of a lifestyle/diet is that it works on someone over 40 who doesn’t exercise 8 hours a day. Paleo does that for me and others, not to mention that I find the science behind it compelling.

  31. Sean on March 27, 2010 at 01:58

    Ah, he’s 32, I somehow skipped the last sentence. As a doctor friend says, ‘we are pretty bulletproof until we hit 40’. That’s when when the bad stuff starts to come back and haunt us.

  32. Cynthia on March 27, 2010 at 01:59

    This boy has leadership potential (in a sick sort of way like those obnoxious political pundits on TV), but IMO he’s leading people astray. Many young men think they can get away with eating most anything, until the ten pound gain every decade becomes obvious even to them. My guess is if there is any tendency to pudginess when young, then the HED will ultimately lead to carb face and wheat belly, accompanied by insulin resistance etc. The always slender may look well on it, but that doesn’t mean their health is optimal either (many slender people end up with diabetes and heart trouble).

    People need to think for themselves and pay attention to how their bodies behave, not listen to gurus. Young men especially seem susceptible to the sarcastic persuasion of Stone.

  33. Krys on March 27, 2010 at 03:23

    Let me start by saying that for the past three years (or so), since I discovered the Paleo/Primal (and to some extent Low Carb) blogosphere, there are three blogs that I faithfully read every day, without fail. Those are Mark Sisson’s MDA, Richard’s Free The Animal and Jimmy’s Livin La Vida Low Carb. And in that time, I’ve come to trust and respect the writing of all three men. They approach their blogs with a sincere honesty that many out there lack. So when I saw the blog that Matt Stone wrote about Jimmy, I was horrified (lead to by a link from Jimmy). Who the hell does he think he is, writing as if he has the answers to Jimmy’s problem? To berate Jimmy (and our community) as he did? And with an aire of superiority no less? I believe that most of us in the Paleo/Primal community will say (and advocate) that each person must do what works for them. And we are all different. What works for one, may not work for another. We get it. Obviously Stone doesn’t. So let me put this in true “Richard-esque” language…..Fuck off Matt Stone…you may be getting free publicity out of this little charade, but you will never gain respect. Real advocates for this lifestyle don’t berate people for their ups and downs. Stone, you have a long way to go before becoming even half the man that Jimmy, Mark or Richard is. Thanks Richard for calling this ass-wipe out! Keep spreading the word!

  34. jim d on March 27, 2010 at 06:21

    yup, 30 seconds on matts site and I knew he was full of bs.

  35. Rheia on March 27, 2010 at 06:29

    Thank you for this post Richard.

  36. Beulah on March 27, 2010 at 07:37

    I’ve learned some useful stuff from your blog and from Matt’s. I think both of you have a way to go in the style-and-respect department, though. I’ve been put off by your various tirades as well as by Matt’s obsession with taking down all things Paleo, his baiting of other bloggers, and his self-aggrandizement – and yes, his “Poor Jimmy Moore” post was irritatingly condescending.

    One thing that’s particularly bothered me when you lash out is your use of misogynistic language. I get the sense from your writing overall that you’re a good-hearted, egalitarian libertarian, so it doesn’t quite compute. I find it offensive when I see it, however, and it hurts your credibility.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 09:42

      “One thing that’s particularly bothered me when you lash out is your use of misogynistic language.”

      Ha! That actually gives me a belly laugh because it’s just an indication of how the written word just does not fully convey meaning.

      I’m a huge fan of poking fun at people who get “offended” by words (obviously). My wife gets it and laughs, and so do my many gay friends when I make fun of their gayness in various derogatory terms — sometimes right along with them. Or, black friends who crack me up when they call me a honkie or a cracker.

      Not a big fan of thin skins. Sorry.

      • Beulah on March 27, 2010 at 10:55

        It didn’t hurt my feelings, I just find it unappealing.

  37. Rick on March 27, 2010 at 08:53

    Kind of odd that posts from many of Matt’s followers and supporters tend to ramble on and contradict themselves, come to specious and spurious conclusions, and be more or less unreadable. Kind of like Matt!

    I was always surprised to see so many comments on his blog, given the poor quality of the content. Then I read them. It is more or less the same 5 or 6 people, attacking anyone who disagrees and making bogus, contradictory claims.

    “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits…”

  38. Ned Kock on March 27, 2010 at 09:08

    You gave Matt two gifts with your post Richard:

    (1) You increased readership of his blog at least twofold, for a short period of time at least. And his readership had already increased quite a bit after the previous round of exchanges; something he must have noticed.

    (2) You alerted him to a problem, body fat gain, that he will probably correct very soon. Many go on putting body fat for years until they get a message strong enough to do something about it.

    It was a double win for him.

    Since health improvement is such a multi-factor and long-term game, it is very hard to discredit a “contrarian” view in the short term by exposing flaws in the view.

    This is especially true when the contrarian view incorporates some elements that make sense – e.g., decrying excess fructose, bringing attention to the importance of leptin.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 09:51

      I certainly considered that Ned. So be it.

      The overriding concern was toward a sense of justice.

      Let the chips fall where they may.

  39. Chris G on March 27, 2010 at 09:18

    Like most of you, I became aware of Matt by his participation in the Paleo/low carb blogs, where he started commenting & was even allowed to guest-post or was granted interviews. Everything he’s doing is a matter of self-promotion. He’s setting himself up as a guru & selling e-books & what-not, trying to make a living at it, I expect. THe slamming others is part of that “strategy”. I’d say that is not going to be a good choice. It was utterly needless & self-destructive – making enemies of people who were inclined to be friends.

  40. Benpercent on March 27, 2010 at 09:21

    Forgive me for going slightly off topic, but in regards to the photo with the pig’s head: What’s up with its eye? Doesn’t look like good eats to me.

  41. Jimmy Moore on March 27, 2010 at 09:44

    Okay guys, I’ve got a question for you…I interviewed Matt Stone for my podcast show and that interview is scheduled to air on Monday, April 5, 2010 (the day before our very own Richard Nikoley is slated to be on the podcast). Here’s what I’d like to know from you–should I run it as planned or postpone/delete it? I’d love your thoughts!

    • Mike on March 27, 2010 at 10:14

      Easy answer: delete. Matt appears to be going the Paris Hilton route of “any PR is good PR”. Effective solution? Ignore his rantings, and carry on!

    • Jeanie on March 27, 2010 at 10:19

      Jimmy – can it!

    • James on March 27, 2010 at 10:30

      Run it. Why go out of your way to blacklist a person from the “community”? Doesn’t that seem silly? If I want to teleport myself back to high school I’ll find a Yahoo chat room. We should hold ourselves to a higher standard.

    • Tim Rangitsch on March 27, 2010 at 11:01

      Run it. You’ve run that odd Pastor, Ornish, etc. I say go man go. I for one would like to hear it, as I like ALL your podcasts.

    • Rick on March 27, 2010 at 11:09

      I think you should run it.

    • Chris on March 27, 2010 at 11:39

      Run it. Although some might feel differently it is always worth airing an opinion and a show, I think what Matt did was in the wrong tone but he doesn’t mean badly….

    • Laurie on March 27, 2010 at 11:52

      Honestly, I would delete it. By the way, I love your podcasts. I listen to them on the way to and from work – much better than the radio!

      I read several of the blogs that Matt seems to frequent with his comments. One thing I noticed early on is that he was using the blogs to get people to look at his blog. If he goes to a blog and makes a controversial comment and leaves his URL there with his signature, he is bound to get a few lookers. And, apparently, he has been very successful using this strategy. Now, his strategy seems to be making ridiculous claims about well-known bloggers on his site which generate a response in that blogger’s readers, who then go and visit his site to see what he is all about. He’s smart and a master manipulator, if nothing else. The good thing is that if anyone goes to his site, the font and color layout make you want to leave quickly. I agree with a previous commenter: ignoring the guy is the best solution.

    • Rick on March 27, 2010 at 13:10

      I’d say delete it. Although most can see through his bs, a few seem to be taken in by it. This guy is radioactive…the less exposure, the better.

    • Kaity on March 27, 2010 at 14:46

      @ Jimmy Moore – Delete it? Why? Please run it. I’ve been looking forward to it. Your podcasts rock because you interview all sorts of folks.

      @Everybody – I’ve been reading Matt’s 180 Degree Health blog regularly for almost three months now (after I realized low-carb wasn’t the dietary approach I wanted to continue for the rest of my life). Nothing I’ve read in this time has given me any reason to believe he’s not a good-hearted fellow.

      In the comments of the “Poor, Poor Jimmy Moore” post, he writes:

      “This post wasn’t meant to be a cheap shot at Jimmy. He brought up his problems and his strategy for dealing with it at his blog. 180 is a great place to discuss potential outcomes of that strategy, whereas at his site everyone is cheering him on and congratulating him. I wrote this post because I was literally fighting off tears when I read Jimmy’s post. I may not help him with such a post, but low-carb diets harm a lot of people long-term, and I hope this helps some people ‘snap out of it’ instead of blindly following the foolish oversimplification of carbs = hyperinsulinemia = death.”

      And in his latest post, “Channelling Jon Gabriel,” he says:

      “Well, I apologize if I sounded condescending or like I was “gloating” over Jimmy’s weight troubles. That was absolutely not the intent in any way. I’m still a bit perplexed as to how people could have taken it that way. Rather, it was a heartfelt message that came from a feeling that Diana Schwarzbein once expressed:”

      “It’s very hard for me to see people doing something that I know is going to harm them”

      So, I find it hard to understand the venomous comments here. Is this all a misunderstanding? I hope so. Some of you guys are starting to scare me. We’ve enough trouble with militant vegans …

    • Michael on March 27, 2010 at 16:25

      Run it….censoring ideas we disagree with is paternalistic and condescending. As an intelligent audience we can think for ourselves. But if we are never given the opportunity to think critically and judge ideas fairly, how are we supposed to discern the truth?

      Thanks for asking our opinion though!

    • In on March 27, 2010 at 22:23

      I’d personally like to hear it. Whether he’s a jackass or not, Matt has some interesting points that are innadequately addressed by the paleo /lc community, specifically pufas and the simple fact that the majority of starch eaters in the world have not been fat.

      If it were me I’d probably make my decision based upon how I would expect to feel about doing so or not several months from now.

    • JG on March 28, 2010 at 03:16

      Honestly, I’m very much a free market guy, and would love to say run it and let the people decide if he’s full of it or not, but his advice is so irresponsible that I almost think you should delete it. Ultimately, I do think you should run it, but with a disclaimer that Matt Stone has *zero* empirical evidence to back up his claims. None whatsoever. Personally, I think he’s probably the most irresponsible diet advocate imaginable. You guys on these paleo and low carb blogs rail on low fat guys and vegetarians and whatnot, but the ideas they espouse, in caloric deficit, aren’t going to harm anyone (assuming adequate whole protein). Matt Stone’s HED motherf’ing nonsense can harm someone. It’s incredibly idiotic to tell people to overeat like maniacs and gain weight to raise body temperature. You can’t even tear it down, because it’s so obviously stupid.

      • samuel on March 28, 2010 at 11:08

        My lord. Matt Stone covers and references lots of empirical evidence on his blog to support his positions.

        This whole post and comments thread is truly ridiculous.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2010 at 07:59

        “Matt Stone covers and references lots of empirical evidence on his blog to support his positions.”

        Oh yea? Where are all his reader success photos, with pictures? Now see here.


        I think the photos I included in the post constitute plenty of _actual_ empirical evidence.

    • Mark on March 28, 2010 at 15:57

      Run it. He can’t be any more out there than the Pastor.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2010 at 16:15

        Now I’ll chime in. I definitely think Jimmy should run it.

        Disclosure: when Matt posted the thing about “leave this blog immediately and seek the sage advice of…” I emailed a number of fellow bloggers to inform them of what I thought Matt was up to, what I was going to do, i.e., ignore and afford zero support, and not asking them to do anything — just informing, Jimmy asked me the same question. At that point, I said that I could not advise. Up to him. I did add that if it were me I’d can it.

        Now I think he definitely ought to run it. Matt’s fans don’t really quote science and you’ll note that there is not a single comment from a single person who says “I’ve been following Matt’s protocals for x weeks months and it happened just like he said: initial gain, ‘healed metabolism’ and now I weigh leas than when I started ”

        And yet everyone is aware that there are lots of people, especially women, who have seen their weight increase, and they’re still waiting for it to turn, kinda faithfully, like the 2nd comming of JC.

        There’s nothing to see here. Jimmy is the High Road master and this is no time to change.

  42. Alex on March 27, 2010 at 09:55

    For decades, I heavily bought into the “whole grains and beans as healthy” paradigm, and by my late 30s, I was pretty flabby. At that point, I glommed onto Weston Price and cut out the industrial seed oils and continued for a few more years to get fatter on a diet that was basically Matt Stone’s with a bit less meat. Free clue, Matt: It doesn’t matter how many billions of skinny rice-eating Asians there are. Neither you nor I are Asian, and we both turn into doughy fugly messes on starch-based diets.

    As far as reaching weight loss goals, I had expressed frustration in the comments some months ago that my body fat seems to insist on staying at around 15%. Thing is, I have never in my life counted calories, and I’ve always eaten ad libitum. For me, ad libitum paleo is naturally lower calorie than the carb-heavy diet I used to eat, so I lost most of the excess fat, but it’s not enough to really get lean. Five weeks ago, I was advised to keep a food journal, and it turns out that I eat too much. So, I’ve dropped my caloric intake by about 500 cals per day. I eat more on gym days and less on my days off from the gym. Plus I get one carb-laden, pig-out, cheat meal per week. Today marks three weeks, and I’ve lost seven pounds.

    I’m logging my food intake on FitDay.com, and it is very interesting to see the exact macronutrient breakdown. Protein is 25-30% of calories. Carbs have been as low as 13% and as high as 25%; typically they’re around 17-21%. It’s lower carb than what I used to eat, but it’s certainly not what could be accurately called “low-carb” as defined by Atkins, Eades, et al.

  43. Katerina on March 27, 2010 at 10:52

    Jimmy, I’d love it if you would run it as planned. I feel like this whole ideologies war is a bit ridiculous. To me, it’s like clashing religions, only with dietary dogma. We should respect other’s points of view and be willing to hear them out.

  44. Diana Hsieh on March 27, 2010 at 11:51

    To those of you encouraging “tolerance” of Matt Stone:

    Do you know what happens to a community when its best contributors are attacked unjustly, but people wave it off as a mere “difference of opinion” that they should endure? Well, I’ll tell you…

    The community slowly becomes an unpleasant, unfriendly cesspool. The attacks by dishonest assholes not only continue; they increase. New assholes arrive. After all, they’re welcomed into our forums, thereby enabling them to reach their coveted audience of paleo-eaters. They’re treated as part of the community — and thereby given moral sanction, as if they’re just disagreeing in a friendly way on some minor issues. Standards for behavior sink over time, so everyone is becomes less friendly and less helpful — and less tolerant of honest disagreements too.

    Over time, the major contributors to the community will grow weary of being attacked so unjustly. They’ll feel unappreciated. Many will stop working so damn hard. They’ll get fed up. — and rightly so. They’ll move on to other projects, where their efforts are better appreciated.

    Result? The community dies, thanks to your supposedly lofty neutrality.

    If that’s what you want to happen to the paleosphere, then by all means, stay neutral. Don’t exercise the courage required to see that people like Matt Stone are dishonest attention seekers, destructive to the community, and deserve to be told to go to hell. Dismiss the dispute as mere high school bickering, and remain aloof … and smug.

    Most of all though… don’t think too much about the issue, lest you feel some pangs of guilt for standing idly by while an attention-seeking asshole attacks the benefactors of the paleo community. Just think… by such inaction, you’re training yourself to be able to stare blankly, say nothing, and do nothing if ever the secret police haul off your neighbor for holding unapproved political opinions. Nice!

    The lesson? Stand up for what you value… or it won’t be yours for long.

    • Michael on March 27, 2010 at 16:38

      I agree, we need to silence him. A few cayenne laced pies should do the trick.

      I think you are jumping to some grand assumptions.

  45. Diana Hsieh on March 27, 2010 at 12:05

    One more comment…

    I have many years of building friendly communities of like-minded but contentious people. My success is largely due to one simple principle:


    95% of all the problems stem from 1% of the community, the jerks. Yes, I try my best to give people an opportunity to behave in a civilized way — just as Richard has done with Matt Stone. In the end, however, some people are determined to be jerks.

    If you tolerate the jerks, you’ve got a world of trouble on your hands, and people flee the community. If you exclude them, you’ve got a thriving community of friendly, supportive people.

    Take your pick!

    • Rick on March 27, 2010 at 13:20

      Damn right. Matt has proved himself to be deceitful time and time again. His behavior has nothing to do with a “difference of opinion” and everything to do with marketing his own obviously flawed approach.

    • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 14:32

      Matt isn’t paleo and so he isn’t part of our community. He’s not even trad WAPF. He’s just a rabble rouser.

  46. Zune on March 27, 2010 at 12:34

    Haha I would LOVE to see Matt Stone trying to pull his nonsense on Berkhan and his “poor poor” clients lol…

  47. Chris P on March 27, 2010 at 14:06

    Ok. I don’t know Matt Stone, am new here and new to paleo (about a month with great results so far). But I think Stone has at least one valid point. Regardless of how brave and honest Jimmy Moore is about his weight issues (and I’ve been reading his posts and he is very much is brave and honest), the fact remains that his weight issues are DATA. Now I’m not even sure Moore has been following paleo, but if on the supposition that he has been, if he can remain at 275 or 285 lbs while eating paleo, then that is an important piece of data. It’s a clear counterexample to the hypothesis that paleo eating will inevitably lead to a healthy weight and healthy body fat percentage. This is true regardless of whether Matt Stone is fat or thin, a jerk or a great guy, or whether or not Jimmy Moore is a great guy.

    • Melissa on March 27, 2010 at 14:31

      Jimmy Moore is not paleo! He’s a low carber. Some low carbers are paleo, but not all paleos are low carbers.

    • Kaity on March 27, 2010 at 14:57

      Agree one-hundred percent, Chris. Though Melissa’s right, Jimmy’s a low-carber. On Atkins, to be specific. He posts what he eats daily on his menu blog: http://lowcarbmenu.blogspot.com/

    • James on March 29, 2010 at 13:10

      Jimmy Moore is not a Paleo guy.
      I remember having some email communication & doing a little guest-blogging for Jimmy back in 2005.
      Nice guy, but he was all about consuming artificial sweeteners so I had to part ways.
      Low carb is not Paleo by default.

  48. Rick on March 27, 2010 at 15:34

    Jimmy’s weight issues provide evidence that pummeling diet soda and low carb frankenfoods along with the occassional cheat might just make you overweight again, especially if you are injecting this diet into a body that was once 400 pounds.

    Though Matt mentions the diet soda, he blames all of Jimmy’s problems on Jimmy being “low-carb.” Trouble is, lots of other people have had success on a low-carb diet and a paleo diet, and the approach that Matt advocates is oviously making him fat and bloated.

    Jimmy switches to a diet of real food (very low carb) and promptly drops twenty pounds. So what was valid about Matt’s point again?

    Like others have said, Matt’s game is to set up straw men and knock them down in order to mystify the masses. Don’t fall for it.

    • Chris P on March 27, 2010 at 17:15

      Point taken. If Jimmy hasn’t been following paleo (or close) then his experience is, of course, not a counterexample to the hypothesis that eating paleo will cause a person to have a healthy weight and body fat percentage. On the other hand, if was really was eating Atkins, then his experience is a counterexample to they hypothesis that eating Atkins will cause a person to have a healthy weight and body fat percentage. But I didn’t believe that anyway from my own experience, and further, that’s not what this blog is about.

    • Scott Miller on March 28, 2010 at 14:57

      >>> Jimmy’s weight issues provide evidence that pummeling diet soda and low carb frankenfoods along with the occassional cheat might just make you overweight again, especially if you are injecting this diet into a body that was once 400 pounds. <<<

      This is so true. I've written to Jimmy a few times about this (he often doesn't allow my comments to go public), that eating "low-carb" is not the end-all if you're still consuming processed crap foods. He has a willpower problem, IMO, because he gravitates towards artificial diet foods that undoubted mangle his metabolism.

  49. Rod on March 27, 2010 at 15:35

    We as a species are like goldfish in a bowl. Saity is a tremendous tool when developed but can also be like giving a monkey a violin. Pretending that behaviours have no conseqences is just that, pretending. A case of beer at an AA meeting? I dont think so but it just might make the party for a group of anal attentive ascetics. Unfortunately both are reading Mr. Stones blog which leads to a confessional experience for some and a train wreck for others and entertainment for those who have learned to surf the line between obcession and awareness.

  50. Grok on March 27, 2010 at 17:07

    I stopped looking at Matt’s stuff a while back because he started getting a little bit too rude/weird for me.

    There is probably no shortage of us in the paleo community that look better than Matt, but there are also some genetically gifted junk food eaters that look great too. I have a friend who can live on heat lamp food and still look like Arnold in his 20s. The guy is dying on the inside though.

  51. mallory on March 27, 2010 at 17:27

    i so needed this slap in the face refresher!!! thank you richard for putting him and his nonsense out there!!! i let my mind wander the blogsphere too much and he seems to pop up everywhere

    • Richard Nikoley on March 27, 2010 at 17:58

      Thanks Mallory.

      Just to reitterate something. I don’t begrudge Matt his attemps at success, even promoting his stuff in comments on other blogs. I do that too, but under two conditions, that my comment is relevant and that it’s a value add. I feel if I add something to a comment thread then my “payment” is some visits to my blog.

      I suppose Matt feels he is adding relevant value but too often I see it as too much volume, and not to bolster the post and it’s author being commented on but to be contrarian.

      If I want to disagree with a fellow blogger doing good work then I’ll either pose a ? In cments or later do a post, but not with a link, because I don’t want to cause any problems for bloggers doing good work.

      I was perfectly willing to let this pass. Jimmy is certainly competent at defending himself. But then I noted that we weren’t talking about a lean guy perfectly on the right track, but something far different as you can see from the photos posted. And he’s out scolding people for missteps he himself appears to be a victim of even as the photos he does have in his blog are woefully out of date. Mine have been too, but always in reverse.

      Hey, even with my “destroyed metabolism” I have never since this journey began backtracked more than 4 pounds, never. The fat loss has been a constant trend down, even when slow. I have never lost less than a pound per month. When I gain back 4, it’s certain a loss of 5 or more is imminent.

      If Matt wants to get serous about helping people, he now has to demonstrate that he has his own house in order. In Photos.

      I for one would like to see his reachieving of leanness via his prescriptions. The problem, however is that I can’t really trust that if he was succsessful that it would be due to HED of some version of LC, Paleo, and or IF.

  52. Michael on March 27, 2010 at 17:39

    The fact that he has apparently gained weight on the High Everything Diet seems consistent with I understand of its mechanism through his writing.

    Though Matt mentions the diet soda, he blames all of Jimmy’s problems on Jimmy being “low-carb.” Trouble is, lots of other people have had success on a low-carb diet and a paleo diet, and the approach that Matt advocates is oviously making him fat and bloated.

    You alerted him to a problem, body fat gain, that he will probably correct very soon. Many go on putting body fat for years until they get a message strong enough to do something about it.

    Matt has obviously gained the weight on HED because doing low-carb/Paleo ruined his metabolism. After his metabolism heals with HED the weight will melt right off. Obviously. [/sarcasm]

    Not to get in the way of all the comments here regarding Mr. Stone, but he didn’t gain weight on his Schwarzbein on steroids diet he gained it last summer and slightly beyond when he was off his typical protocol because of working in the wilderness and also later after finishing up his vegan diet experiment. He has blogged about it quite explicitly. Since re-adopting his typical protocol he has lost six of the twenty pounds he put on through his other dietary excursions.

    Matt isn’t paleo and so he isn’t part of our community. He’s not even trad WAPF. He’s just a rabble rouser.

    He certainly isn’t a traditional WAPFer largely because there isn’t such a thing. People often make the mistake of conflating the Weston A Price Foundation with Weston A Price. They are not always congruent in some very important areas, at least as expressed by their official public organs. While Matt certainly does not fit in the first category he clearly fits in the second.

    Further, I agree with Dr. Harris that the “paleo brand” is really losing its usefulness. People adding neolithic foods on a regular basis aren’t eating paleo, they are eating neolithic, especially since the neolithic era didn’t reject the foods of the paleo era, but simply added other foods to it. I have an upcoming post tackling this subject so I won’t blow my stuff here (Bill Simmons over at ESPN had an excellent article about giving away his best stuff on chats and other places like Twitter, and since has learned his lesson), but I think Richard’s contention in an earlier post that paleo is neither authoritative rather or dogmatic is quite apropos to this discussion.

    I also think it quite interesting that Dr. Stephan Guyenet, after one of my posts were I identified him as a paleo, wrote me via private email that he doesn’t identify himself as paleo, but rather a Weston Pricer minus the gluten (but not minus other grains).

    You are probably not aware that I’m a product of a fundamentalist Baptist upbringing, educated in one of their schools and then off to divinity school. Then I found religion held no value for me,

    I also had a fundamentalist Baptist upbringing. And some other paleos I know were also bought up in fundamentalism. I wonder how common this is along with the libertarian/anarchist slant.

    I was raised a Roman Catholic, and then ventured off into Baptist style fundamentalism for awhile, like Richard even going off to divinity school briefly (we called it seminary). Eventually grew tired of American Protestant/Catholic rationalism and its atheistic enemies, all operating on the same advanced Augustinian presuppositions informing their arguments and categories. Still, I didn’t reject Christianity outright, or embrace one if its epistemologically similar (though outwardly quite distinct) secular antagonists, but ended up Eastern Orthodox. I also became a full blown voluntaryist/anarchist and so sorry I missed the meat of the comments in Richard’s previous post.

  53. Hugh on March 27, 2010 at 18:25

    hay mat im in ur kitchen eating ur wite rice

  54. Debbie on March 27, 2010 at 19:04

    I’ve followed Matt’s blog for a while – first because my son (who is a Matt fan) recommended him, and later just because it was interesting to me to read about his wildly-swinging attitudes about what constitutes a healthy diet. I didn’t (and don’t) agree with a lot of his ideas, but I did admire his ability to try different things and make himself a guinea pig for them. But as one friend of mine put it “when Matt can transform himself into a 50-something post menopausal female who has has serious weight problems for years I might take his advice seriously”. But not until then. How can the experiences of a guy my son’s age who spends two weeks following a certain eating plan (and then another or another) have anything to do with what will work for me?

    I have one of Matt’s early ebooks which my son gave me, and it’s *all* about the benefits of low carb. :-) I’m primarily a low carber, but sort of have a foot in the paleo camp too as I believe in “real foods” and no crap like Atkins Bars and Dreamfields Pasta, etc. I don’t chow down on the mayo (nasty high PUFA soybean oil). Though Matt did have an interesting post recently about Omega6, and it was an eye-opener to see that many of the foods I do like, such as crispy chicken skin, lard, are pretty high in Omega6 too! It’s not just the vegetables oils I avoid, or the nuts I try to limit.

    I guess I’m more of a PaNu type as I do use raw cream and love my grass-fed cheese and butter. I gave up dairy for a fair while years back when I was religious about Neanderthin – but it led to no additional weight loss, and no perceived health benefits, so I added it back in and don’t regret it.

    But Matt has somehow seemed far more irritating to me lately. I tell myself that maybe he’s such a wiseass because he’s young. But my son (despite being a Matt fan) is just a bit younger than Matt and not a wiseass. And young men like Stephan Guyanet and Chris Masterjohn show you can be a young and masterful blogger without being a wiseass.

    So I have to assume it’s either a natural part of Matt’s personality, or part of his shtick to drum up business for his blog. I think I may still follow him for a while, but I suspect I’ll stop trying to post comments there – though comments from some of his other followers often make we want to take a sledgehammer to someone. These days I follow him more under the “better the devil you know” philosophy!

    And Jimmy *is* a good and gracious man. I’m so pleased he has dropped 20 pounds. I was just on the Low Carb Cruise with Jimmy earlier this month, and he is a demon karaoke performer as well. :-)

    Matt’s attack on Jimmy was totally uncalled for and meanly done, despite his protests to the contrary. Does anyone know if Matt hangs around vegan and low-fat blogs and posts his snarky comments there too? He might be doing that also, but since it’s a world I totally avoid I have no way of knowing. :-)

  55. james mooney on March 27, 2010 at 19:16

    I don’t care what ANYBODY says, getting fat is not “healing” your metabolism. Most people, once they are out of their 20’s at least, have to earn their carbs, as Charles Poliquin would say. Furthermore, it is very easy to read Matt’s stuff and leap off the wagon when you are getting off the sugar and starch. The bottom line is, very few people past the age of 30 can tolerate a HED! I will take my doctor shaking his head in disbelief at my numbers and body comp after telling him what I eat over a “high body temperature” any day! Plus, I have always thought that a fast metabolism meant fast aging.

  56. Terry O'Carroll on March 28, 2010 at 00:19

    Richard, you have stated that Matt is promoting a “High Everything Diet”. This is factually incorrect, he advocates a high saturated-fat diet, with moderate protein and carbs coming from a small amount of starch and the rest from non-starchy veg (in one part of his books he gives an example meal including “…an amount of rice about equal in size to a golf ball…” which doesn’t sound like a lot of starch to me). The HED seems to be promoted by some other character whose name escapes me at the moment.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2010 at 00:54

      Oh, I see Terry. Now that all other avenues have been exhausted and the photos right up there remain, we’re now going to redefine what he has been spouting on dozens of comment threads and his own blog for months and months.

      You sycophants crack me up.

    • Russ on March 28, 2010 at 08:04

      ..if anyone actually READ Matt’s material for more than the cherry picking the majority of you seem to do, you would understand he does not promote ANY diet. In fact, the phrase FUCK DIETS can be found quite often in his posts. Hard to take anyone seriously that obviously hasn’t truly read the material. The whole concept of 180 is to be free of “diets” and unnecessary restriction, less those items which everyone seems to agree on such as PUFA’s and EXCESS fructose – which ironically is quite “paleo”.

      This is all quite juvenile yet again; and I guess a tad bit a amusing. But back to the debate on something USEFUL please. Now if you excuse me I have to go steal my lunch money back…..really craving some Cheetos.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 28, 2010 at 09:20

        “you would understand he does not promote ANY diet”

        That’s either just a simple lie, or you’re playing semantics games. Matt has been EVERYWHERE promoting his stuff, I’ve read dozens of comments, I’ve read many of his posts going way back (and comments), and also some of his videos.

        I know very well what he’s up to as does the others who have commented on this thread.

      • Russ on March 28, 2010 at 10:23

        I had to comment on people’s (not necessarily yours, but possibily from time to time) clear misunderstanding of what Matt talks about, occasionally it gets frustrating to hear people bash something they don’t accurately understand.

        I don’t see Matt promoting any clear cut system, diet, religion, cult, or way of life for everyone to follow from here to enternity- maybe I have severe reading comprehension problems, I am polish so it’s entirely possible.

        He is not asking anyone to restrict anything save for the things most of us already agree upon as mentioned earlier. His only suggestions from my point of view seem to be limit PUFA’s/omega-6 and EXCESS fructose, eat REAL food and lots of it(i.e. don’t starve yourself). If that is a “diet” then so be it – I just don’t see it as so. HED is a method to be used by only those who may benefit from it….TEMPORARILY. No one in there right mind would recommend over-eating for the rest of one’s life and expect to lose weight or be healthy. The concept is not all that far from Schwarzbein’s principles, merely his proposal to expedite the healing process she discusses. I’m not sure if people around here claim her ideas are “bullshit” as well as I’ve only been following this place for the last few months.

        Additionally, I realize it’s called the HIGH EVERYTHING “DIET”, but you have to call it something, right? As you have said and he would most likely admit, he is afterall trying to drum up a following – and HED is a bit more catchy than “Strategic Overfeeding” or some such. Furthermore, those who have read more than a few passages also understand the play on words in the name for lack of better explanation, as HED asks you to essentially do the opposite ( or 180) of what one would normally do on a “diet”. Again, TEMPORARILY.

        Whereas many(again, not necessaily you Richard) that follow or promote LC, Paleo, or any host of other “methods” insist or espouse that there’s is the way things must be done from here on out…that there’s is only this one true way to health or success. Absolute and forever.

        I am generally not a fan of posts such as the recent Jimmy Moore one anymore than anyone else I suppose, although I didn’t see it as an ATTACK either. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion on that, just not sure if was worthy of all the attention it has gotten; while distracting us from real discussion, progress, and answers that we all desire. Just all reminds me of highschool.

        While Jimmy may not be Paleo, and Jimmy may not be following LC as those here see it to a T by consuming diet sodas and LC products as others have mentioned….he does promote himself as – and has gained fame and coin as – THE LC GUY. Therefore if he does gain weight or what not – it’s entirely reasonable then to be put to task for why that has occured. You logically then have to question if something like LC is the LONG-TERM solution. Either there are some flaws; or he is not adhering to his own system? But the questions have to be asked in the first place.

        Both Matt and I have experienced many of the benefits touted by the LC community – AT FIRST – then after some time saw a turn for the worse..which is why some of his older writings may favor LC. Point being he is not afraid to come up later and say – “oops, maybe that’s not the right answer.” At the end of the day I truly believe he does mean well and simply wants the answers we all do; his way of going about it may fall out of favor with some along the way however.

        More importantly, more time spent on this topic is less time that can be spent on all the WONDERFUL food porn one can find here!

        Just my 2.5 cents.

      • Russ on March 28, 2010 at 10:37

        ..and feel free to bash the grammar, I totally spelled “theirs” incorrectly! Again I am simply speaking from my understandings of what I read at his site – not comments he may leave at other sites, especially if they happen to be ones I don’t follow or read – I am simply NOT informed enough to offer an opinion on that specifically. But it would seem illogical that what he may write somewhere else would not jive with that he writes at his own site…

  57. suat on March 28, 2010 at 04:19

    good job Richard!
    this guy has been trying to get attention! He went to such a level even to advocate Mc Donalds ! someone needed to answer him ! hope he stop attacking low carb / paleo community and get involved improving his lifestyle

  58. John on March 28, 2010 at 18:26

    Matt Stone has simply adopted the effective (if cynical) strategy of comment-trolling.

    And he’s doing something similar by attacking Jimmy Moore right before Moore had planned to run Stone’s interview. It’s a brilliant strategy (and I’m not kidding.) If Jimmy runs the interview, he promotes Stone, and looks like a complete tool. If Jimmy pulls the interview, even better — Moore can now be painted as a corrupt cover-up artist, terrified of the Truth.

    Smart, and either way, bound to work — but what a sociopath Stone must be to betray Jimmy just as he’s giving Stone a big break!

    Either way, there’s more publicity (and backlinks) heading Stone’s way than he deserves. He’s just a sociopathic narcissist, looking for enough link-juice so he doesn’t have to get a real job.

    Stone is the nastiest character in the Paleo microclimate.

  59. Jimmy Moore on March 29, 2010 at 11:38

    I don’t ban any comments at my blog unless they are vulgar or outright disrespectful.

  60. john on March 29, 2010 at 21:14

    I guess my last comment was too ‘inflammatory’ to go through. And I guess it somehow got me banned from Kurt’s blog. I didn’t think it was that bad! Anyway, I’ll reword it: To me, Richard, Mark and Matt look healthy. Kurt looks too skinny to be healthy. I’m curious to see if others think the same, or if it’s just me.

    Also, It’s kind of funny, but your recent meal pictures match up pretty well with the way Matt eats. Potatoes, meat, etc. There’s really not that much difference.

    I eat tons of sucrose, so I’m not in either camp.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 29, 2010 at 21:40

      Matt definitely looks like a svelt, lean, great looking guy in the before pics.

      Kurt is clearly more ectomorphic. I see no problem for Dr. Kurt, but Matt is clearly headed in the wrong direction.

      It’s more about where you’re going than where you are at the moment.

  61. john on March 29, 2010 at 22:15

    Someone mentioned Matt’s followers rarely quoting science. Now I don’t ‘eat the Matt Stone way,’ but there’s plenty of evidence that body temperature is both important itself and indicative of thyroid function. Check out Broda Barnes, Ray Peat, the starvation study that Matt wrote about, and there are plenty of other thyroid experts out there. And from what I can see the scientific literature supports the temp-thyroid connection. Good thyroid function is key. Ray Peat’s got all the answers. Once you realize that saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease, it’s not that much of a leap to see that carbohydrate doesn’t either.

    “Paleo” means so many different things now, but I’m sure that many Paleo diets are very healthy. In my opinion, some pitfalls to watch out for would be:

    Not drinking coffee, tea (or possible red wine and beer) with meat. You’ve got to inhibit that iron absorption. Or give blood.

    Not eating gelatin.

    Not eating enough carbohydrate. Sugar is good for you.

    Eating fish oil, or too much PUFA from any source.

    Eating only once a day, or doing hard physical work without eating. (This is more open to debate than the rest of what I wrote).

  62. John on March 29, 2010 at 22:23

    In my opinion, some pitfalls to watch out for would be:

    Not drinking coffee, tea (or possible red wine and beer) with meat. You’ve got to inhibit that iron absorption. Or give blood.

    Not eating gelatin.

    Not eating enough carbohydrate. Sugar is good for you.

    Also, not smoking enough crack, or not hitting yourself on the head with a hammer.

    You are a wackjob.

  63. Ted on March 29, 2010 at 23:21

    I just pulled this absolute gem from Matt Stone –

    “You missed my point about carbs in Eskimo milk. It’s hard to villianize something that comprises half of human milk. Human milk is actually higher in carbohydrate than that of most other mammals. If it was optimal to be low-carb, breast milk would be pure fat and protein, but it’s not. Not even close’

    Of course, this ignores the fact that babies are vulnerable to the cold and need to gain a significant amount of body fat after exiting the womb. Also, we are born without hair and since we need to fit through the birth canal are born relatively thin. A high lactose milk is good for putting on fat and providing energy for the brain.

    He also completely ignores the fact that obligate carnivores produce plenty of lactose in their milk. I haven’t read much of him at all, but if his logic is consistent with this statement then he is in enormous trouble.

  64. Troy on March 30, 2010 at 00:17

    Yah Richard!!!! your the coolest kid on the block… heeha’heeha’!!!

    Jimmy!! Run Matts Podcast, if you have any credibility, i use to like your openmind…. Have fun eating eggs!!!


  65. Ryan Koch @ Health Matters to Me on March 30, 2010 at 09:44

    You sure that “gut” on Matt isn’t just bloat? I have some long-standing digestive problems and sometimes it looks like I have a gut when I’m really just bloating.

    And one more thing. It’s annoying to me when men pose for before and after body photos and flex their muscles and suck in their tummies. Any joe can do that and look somewhat decent.

  66. Richard Nikoley on March 30, 2010 at 10:36

    I’ve decided to close comments on this entry as pretty much anything potentially useful has been said, and Matt’s defenders have had ample opportunity to post, some of whom were very nice, helpful and pro about it.