Links & Quick Hits

~ For those who watched my MovNat series, here’s an album of about 87 photos of action and food I put up. Also, check out Robb Wolfe’s blow-by-blow take on things. He attended the expansion course the week following me. That’s day 1 but you can navigate around to find days 2-5.

~ May paleo buddy, Karen de Coster, did an interview with another buddy, Mark Sisson; at Lew Rockwell.

The whole Primal/Paleo/Evo (and low-carb) movement has been gathering steam for a few years now. With all that’s going on – and the occasional colorful characters we offer up – it can’t help but attract the attention of mainstream media now and then. I think the coolest part of all this is the melding of 21st century information technology with our low-tech "back to basics" lifestyle approach. Prior to the Internet it was very difficult to amass enough of this primal "collective conscious" to legitimately take on the medical establishment or Big Pharma, or to convince people that government health programs are a joke and that we’re each on our own.

~ My post on the film Race to Nowhere generated quite a lot of comments, discussion and reasoned disagreement (School, Inc: Race to Nowhere). Now comes young and bright Erica Goldson and her Coxsackie-Athens Valedictorian Speech 2010.

I am graduating. I should look at this as a positive experience, especially being at the top of my class. However, in retrospect, I cannot say that I am any more intelligent than my peers. I can attest that I am only the best at doing what I am told and working the system. Yet, here I stand, and I am supposed to be proud that I have completed this period of indoctrination. I will leave in the fall to go on to the next phase expected of me, in order to receive a paper document that certifies that I am capable of work. But I contest that I am a human being, a thinker, an adventurer – not a worker. A worker is someone who is trapped within repetition – a slave of the system set up before him. But now, I have successfully shown that I was the best slave.

You’ll want to read the whole thing, which isn’t long. I find it interesting how the Daily Freeman included a quote that wasn’t even in the speech (while not quoting anything that was). And then there’s The Daily Mail with its lukewarm coverage for mass consumption. Wonder why.

~ Via Peter at Hyperlipid, perhaps taking the equivalent resveratrol in 2,000 glasses of wine per day isn’t such a good idea.

Earlier studies have shown that resveratrol could induce death in several human cancer cell lines in culture. Here we report our observation that resveratrol can also promote the growth of certain human cancer cells when they are grown either in culture or in athymic nude mice as xenografts.

How about lots of nutritious real food?

~ Shoemaker Merrell is coming out with a minimalist line for barefooters.

~ So guess what happened when journalist Susan Allport decided on an n=1 self experiment to see what would happen if she loaded up on omega-6 fats for a month. Well, a couple of things. First, Doprah decided not to publish it.

Journalist and author, Susan Allport, sold Oprah magazine on the idea of a “super-size me ” version of eating a high omega-6 fat diet for 30 days. …

Although Susan willingly subjected her body to a daily dietary omega-6 bombardment for 30-days and chronicled her omega odyssey, Oprah magazine decided not to publish it. Susan got paid for her efforts—but that wasn’t the point. Susan wanted to raise awareness of the harmful health effects of eating excess omega-6 fats, and so she approached me with her story.

The results speak volumes to me about the dopey Doprah.

While body weight remained the same, body fat increased in the abdominal area by nearly ½-pound. Fat was also increased in the trunk region, where notably, lean body mass decreased. Metabolic rate also decreased from 1367 to 1291 calories.

In just 30 days, brachial artery dilation dropped by 22%, a change much larger than the day-to-day variation of this test. The amplitude of this changed surprised everyone involved in this project. Susan’s arteries were also stiffer, as revealed by the ultrasound scan, which indicates blood vessels are less able to expand and contract.

Go figure. And here’s another report on omega-6 troubles via Science Daily.

~ And on the super fun front, you must check out the wonderfully sweet Veronica Garza. Health problems? You name it.

My senior year of high school I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a condition of having a low platelet count. I was treated with Prednisone and gained a significant amount of weight as a side effect of the treatment. In 2004, I was diagnosed with lupus, an autoimmune disease that frequently caused achy joints, fatigue, sun sensitivity, and issues with my kidneys.

Then she followed her loving brother’s advice, went primal and crossfit, and, well…

I have not needed to see a doctor in over a year now, and I rarely ever deal with the symptoms I was dealing with before. I feel stronger and healthier, which is the most important thing for me. It’s an added bonus that I have lost 40 lbs. and dropped from a size 14 to a size 6 in less than a year.

Although I have a long way to go, I have come a long way. In less than 1 year, I have competed in two CrossFit competitions and tested my bravery and skill against some amazing athletes. In March 2010, I competed in the CrossFit South Texas Sectional in Austin, TX and received 21st place. In May 2010, I competed with the G7 Athletics Affiliate team at the South Central Regional in Fort Worth, TX.

Most importantly, I feel healthier, happier, fit, and more confident. Every day I am challenged with a new workout in the gym, but I know that every day I will get through it. This attitude now extends to every aspect of my life. I now realize that I am capable of achieving things that I never thought possible.

Now take a look. You have to get to the very end to see her deadlift 300#.

G7 Stories – Veronica Garza from G7 Athletics on Vimeo.

I won’t hit 300# for a couple of weeks.

~ And to close up on super humor, here’s Lewis Black on Milk & Water. Funny as shit. Note that I do not give "foul language" warnings. :)

Alright, comment away.

Since Covid killed my Cabo San Lucas vacation-rental business in 2021, this is my day job. I can't do it without you. Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. Two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance this work I do, and if you like what I do, please chip in. No grandiose pitches.


  1. anonymous chris on August 2, 2010 at 17:15

    Damn that Lewis Black is hilarious. Hey Richard as long as your throwing around links have you checked out

    Food, flora and felines

    Currently there are some lifted Sisson graphics put typically she’s posting arguably the most competent photography in the paleoshere. Welcome back.

  2. Michael on August 2, 2010 at 17:33

    You liked Veronica’s dead lift, I liked her clean and jerk. She can work out with me any day of the week. :-) Great transformation!

  3. Skyler Tanner on August 2, 2010 at 17:48

    I see your 300# DL and raise you a 370# DL:

    I like to keep these around to show that strong doesn’t mean bulky for women.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 2, 2010 at 18:30

      She makes it look easy. This essentially confirms what I’ve been thinking and even discussed with my trainer today in trying to rectify my shit form in back squats.

      Gains in these big lifts are hugely about CNS. When you pull a personal best in DL by say, 25# or more, it takes practice to get your nervous system to not just say ‘fuck YOU, I ain’t doin’ it.’

      • Alan on August 2, 2010 at 20:21

        Damn, this is annoying being limited in what I can deadlift. As an amputee (R arm, R leg) I can only lift what my grip can hold. I guess I’ll just have to keep working on improving the grip.
        Love the site.

      • Richard Nikoley on August 2, 2010 at 20:29

        Alan, I wouldn’t think of blowing smoke up your ass by saying anything other than that must just fucking suck.

        But it’s admirable that it doesn’t defeat you, because I wouldn’t blame you if it did.

      • Richard Nikoley on August 2, 2010 at 20:32

        …and, if you want to tell the story,p please feel free.

        I’f not, that’s perfectly fine.

      • Alan on August 15, 2010 at 03:24

        Not much to tell Richard. I had a motorcycle accident in 1987 at the age of 30, lost my right arm and right leg and spent the next 20 years sitting on my arse eating and drinking all the wrong things. I didn’t put on a lot of weight or anything but I wasn’t impressed with how I was looking and feeling and when my father, 20 years my senior and veteran lifter, was fitter and stronger and looked better I decided it was time to do something. I had to build my own gym and design my own routines to some extent and going Paleo was a big part but I’m very happy with the results.
        You can view my photos on:
        Anything else you want to know just ask. Thanks for the interest.
        Love your blog, keep up the great work.

    • Brad on August 3, 2010 at 18:00

      Laura is a beast! I worked with her briefly at an Athletic Club in Atlanta. She left to start up her own Crossfit facility, which is now an official affiliate. Check it out:

  4. Paul C on August 2, 2010 at 20:47

    Lewis Black is a very perceptive guy.

    I’m right there with you Richard. 305lb calculated max DL in 2 weeks. I never dreamed of lifting that much, but now I’m envisioning 400 a year from now. I feel like I’m made of different stuff now.

    Here’s the latest thing to upset me. At work we have a yearly health assessment that is required if you are using the company insurance. You take a questionnaire and have blood work done, then you get a grade from A to D. Some of the questions were things like “The foods I eat are: 1) mostly high fat 2) A mix of high and low fat foods 3) mostly low fat”. I’m going to get dinged on a lot of these questions. The grade doesn’t matter for anything other than pride and some lame incentive, but I get pretty steamed at the questions. Another was “The grains I eat are: 1) Mostly whole grains 2) Some whole grains and some refined grains 3) Mostly refined grains 4) I am on a gluten/wheat free diet as recommended by my physician”.

  5. Monica on August 2, 2010 at 20:58

    Totally awesome first video. I just started doing CrossFit, too, and it’s great. I wish I had started this a long time ago.

  6. Carla on August 3, 2010 at 01:26

    Awesome first video. Man, I thought I was strong… hahaha compared to her, I am a beginner! :))
    Great post by the way. Loads of info. I particularly like the link re the Omega 6 try out.

  7. Mike on August 3, 2010 at 07:45

    Wicked CF vid, Richard! She has 300#, DeMarco may have 370#, but I see an easy 405# in you.

    Off topic, but I sent my wife the link to your pictures of Vernazza and Manarola…the seed is planted! Bwhahaha!

  8. Chaohinon on August 3, 2010 at 10:09

    I dunno, I find the approach to the O6 experiment rather limited. After all, it involved eating a lot of soybean, sunflower, safflower, etc. Rancid, processed, frankenfood.

    It would make more sense to try a few different versions of the 06 experiment. One based around the nasty vegetable oils, another based around “real food” 06 sources like nuts, avocado, etc., and a third including both groups.

    I suspect that, just like what the Kitavans have shown us when it comes to carbohydrates, the real danger lies in processed frankenfood.

  9. John Campbell on August 3, 2010 at 10:48

    Richard, you should put a warning on that Lewis Black video –

    Do Not Drink Anything While Watching This Video That You Do Not Want Sprayed on Your Laptop or Coming Out Your Nose

    I want him to skewer a lot more sacred cows – that was a great start on nutritional ones.

    Thank you for that.

  10. Brain Cancer : : My Journey to CrossFit - Cancer Health Center on August 3, 2010 at 12:07

    […] A year ago, it looks like she was doing overhead squats with approximately 30 lbs. Now she’s deadlifting 300 pounds! Holy cow! (HT to Richard Nikoley of Free The Animal). […]

  11. Nicola on August 3, 2010 at 18:11

    I don’t know about the cancer but I do know that Resveratrol (more specifically Japanese Knotweed) and switching to a paleo diet cured my Lyme Disease when antibiotics failed. I took very high doses for many months but it did work.

    • Scott Miller on August 14, 2010 at 14:52

      Resveratrol is unquestionably the most potent anti-cancer molecule yet discovered. So many studies confirm this. Peter is entirely out-of-the-loop on reservatrol, apparently. Kind of a shame, since I usuaally think he’s right on the money. Supplements, I’m guessing, are outside his expertise.

      • Richard Nikoley on August 14, 2010 at 15:24

        Scott, is there any line at all as to what might be considered an effective, safe dose and what might have unintended consequences? After all, H2O is toxic at certain levels. While a better analogy exists I’m sure, anti-cancer drugs are undoubtedly more potent than resveratrol and indeed while it may be a stretch to call any dose of chemo a “safe” dose, there are at least not only lots of studies but tens of thousands of case studies confirming that chemo is effective in a not insignificant percentage of cases, especially when administered in ideal circumstances (early, otherwise health patient, etc.).

  12. Flying Burrito on August 4, 2010 at 20:54

    So how many of you involved with that MovNat expedition were covered in poison ivy afterward?! Or does Paleo cure that too! Meanwhile, check out this great little clip of Erwan Le Corre poetry in motion (if everyone hasn’t seen it already):

  13. 08/06/10 – Friday Sprints on August 5, 2010 at 19:04

    […] Links & Quick Hits – Free The Animal […]

  14. Primal Toad on August 5, 2010 at 18:53

    I just watched the photo slideshow of MovNat on flickr… You have no idea how jealous I am of you. I must attend one of these next year – must!!

  15. CaribbeanVacationer on August 7, 2010 at 07:23


    What are your thoughts on Brian Peskin. He says fish oil is damaging and an overload of derivatives, not parent omega 3 and 6. He says we need a bit more 6 than 3 but PARENT. Brian Peskin could be right.

    As far as fish oil,taking it is absolutely NOT imitating the Inuits. They actually eat whale blubber and seal meat and fat. They certainly do not eat processed fish oil. They eat fish but the other far outweighs the fish.

    So to accurately emulate the Inuits going out and eating whale blubber is the ideal if that is possible. That is actually what they do and all the nutrients together working in synergy vitamin A, C selenium etc probably are responsible for low CAD. Whose to say it is DHA EPA and DPA when there are so many things in whale blubber? And furthermore, the diet is only one factor of the Inuits lifestyle.

    Be very, very careful with high doses of fish oil. You could have a lot of oxidative damage. Matt Metzgar has great articles with studies on the downside of the fish oil hype, as well as his personal experience.

    • Mike on August 7, 2010 at 18:28

      I think Mary Enig summed up Peskin nicely:

      I enjoy and highly respect Matt’s writing, but I believe his own personal negative experience with fish oil has made his postings biased.

      I’ve been taking approx 5-6g of EPA/DHA per day for 3 years now; upwards of 9g when I was dealing with shoulder bursitis (which was dealt with nicely). My lab values continue to yearly astonish my physician, espeically my trigs, and I can, at 36, continue to be competative with the guys 15 years my junior.

      If you look at the studies done on fish oil AND| look at the data that folks like Robb Wolf and James Fitzgerald have gathered, it’s easy to make an informed decision and not just blindly decide to dose or not to dose. Every single athlete I’ve ever dealt with, including myself, has benefited both in performance and recovery once fish oil was added.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 7, 2010 at 10:20

      I listened to Jimmy’s interview with Peskin, did some checking, including email with Dr Stephan Guyenet and came away less than convinced. I take 2g of salmon oil, 1g CLO and 500mg of krill oil most days.

  16. Weekend Link Love | on August 8, 2010 at 08:17

    […] went wrong, America? Free the Animal found a hilarious stand-up set by comedian Lewis Black on the current problem with milk and water. Fair warning, Black drops more F-Bombs than Joe Biden at a health care bill approval […]

  17. liz on August 8, 2010 at 10:57

    alright, this video was just amazing.

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