How the Paleo Diet Works

OK, well, one way it works

(Animals were harmed in the making of this picture) 


But just how big are they? Really big

Really really big
Really really big

Here’s a one minute video showing a glimpse of my process, what else is on the menu, and the mountain setting

Cooking Dinner from Richard Nikoley on Vimeo.

Here’s how it tuned out, without the 3-green salad pictured

Steak and Mash
Steak and Mash

Shameful to admit, but I did not finish either the steak or the taters. …But I’ll get to the rest of the steak later.

In other news, the above or something like it would not have produced this result:

A 12-YEAR-OLD girl in Scotland brought up by her parents on a strict vegan diet has been admitted to hospital with a degenerative bone condition said to have left her with the spine of an 80-year-old woman.

I love it when sometimes in comments I’ll post a link to Vegan Baby Deaths and I get someone replying in dropped context that, "omnivore babies die too." Yes, they do, but not from a diet based in ideology as opposed to human animal needs.

Show me a news story where a child’s death was attributed to too much meat, veggies, eggs & dairy.

Stop The vegan Menace in its tracks. Share this with your Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers. You might be instrumental in getting a young, impressionable parent to think twice. You might foil the ideological designs of vegan Baby Butchers.


  1. Jennifer on March 13, 2011 at 15:08

    Poor little girl. I’d worry as much about her brain as her spine at this point, after twelve years with no animal fats. It’s a wonder she’s still alive.

  2. Paleo Steph on March 13, 2011 at 15:24

    mmmmm…. look at those steaks…. nom nom nom

  3. JP on March 13, 2011 at 15:30

    Mmmmmmm that looks delicious.

  4. Zach on March 13, 2011 at 15:31

    Haha, you are really putting the boots to the vegans these days. I like it.

  5. Nigel Kinbrum on March 13, 2011 at 15:36

    Dayum! Those are huge steaks.

    • Tim Starr on March 13, 2011 at 16:25

      Nah, they look like just 8-oz to me, tiny, unless they’re a lot thicker than they look in the pic. I don’t even count ’em until they’re 16-oz, and have no trouble finishing a 20-oz porterhouse.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2011 at 17:03

        Those 6 steaks weighed in at a total of almost 12 pounds. Three were a bit less than a pound, three more. The biggest went to me.

        I can often eat 2-3 pounds in a sitting or in space of a few hours, but with the party atmosphere and alcohol that supersede my appetiite .

      • jordan on March 13, 2011 at 17:55

        I’ve never had my jaw literally drop because of a picture..

        Did you carve them yourself? I assume so, because the cost would be ridiculous otherwise.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2011 at 22:46


        Carved by the local butcher. $6 pound.

      • jordan on March 14, 2011 at 10:48

        That’s an amazing price. I can only get rib eyes from the local regular butcher, $24/kg or something crazy like that. Doesn’t bode well for the holiday today, namsayin

  6. Sue on March 13, 2011 at 15:40

    Apparently the parents of the 12 year old were some big-shots in the vegan community.

    “Dr Faisal Ahmed, the consultant treating the child, said he believed the dangers of forcing children to follow a strict vegan diet needed to be highlighted. “Something like this needs publicity,” he said. However, he refused to blame the parents, who are understood to be well-known figures in Glasgow’s vegan community: “We shouldn’t name and shame \. Mum feels guilty about the whole thing and feels bad about it.”

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2011 at 16:53

      Well, someone has to do it.


      You screwed your child for life. Choke on it.

    • Carla on March 14, 2011 at 03:23

      My gosh, “we should not name and shame… mom feels guilty about the whole thing”?????!!1 are they kidding me? It is not like the child woke up one day in that condition! How does one not see one’s child CLEARLY not thriving?

      So just because the parents are some “hot shots in the vegan world” they should not be exposed? heck if people who are supposed to know the ins and outs of a so-called healthy diet are capable of such a mess, imagine those who haven’t a clue. Not that these people had a clue… but I guess you know what I mean…

      I could rant on this forever.

  7. Sue on March 13, 2011 at 15:48

    This was interesting from the news article as well:

    “Professor Tom Sanders, head of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, warned that while most vegan parents give their children vitamin and mineral supplements, there was a core of hardliners putting their children’s health at risk.

    He said: “Some of them think we’re still monkeys that can live on fruit and nuts.”

  8. Kim on March 13, 2011 at 15:51

    I love that: “vegan baby butchers” The sad thing is that babies and children depend on their parents to make informed and healthy choices for them. This just shows how vegan diets are in essense child abuse and as such SHOULD be prosecuted.

    • Liz Downunder on March 15, 2011 at 23:59

      True. But I have had people suggest as much when I’ve told them that I feed my children animal fat, raw dairy and very little in the way of grains. There was a tv ad here a while back that had a (actual) doctor implying that parents who give their children butter are abusing them (yes, it was an ad for some type of margarine). It’s all fucked up…

  9. Rip on March 13, 2011 at 15:57

    So, most vegan parents give their children vitamin and mineral supplements…and claim that a vegan diet is a human’s natural state of being.

    Perhaps they’d like to explain how we lived before the advent of farming.

    • Kim on March 13, 2011 at 16:16

      It’s not just the begining of agriculture, it’s how could a vegan have survived during the Ice Age? There was quite literally hardly any vegetation in Europe. If you didn’t eat meat, you wouldn’t survive.

      • julianne on March 13, 2011 at 16:19

        And without B12 supplements – the next generation wouldn’t survive now. Only supplementation makes it possible

      • Lori on March 13, 2011 at 17:48

        Don’t know if you’re old enough to remember Euell Gibbons, and his Grape Nuts commercial, “Have you ever eaten a pine tree? Many parts are edible…”

        Yeah, you bet, Euell. Enjoy that twig. Don’t mind me while I eat this Kalua Pig.

      • Erik on March 13, 2011 at 20:26

        Well, many parts ARE edible… they just provide relatively little nutrition and, well, you’re eating wood. That’s why the only places you really find people eating pine trees are where it’s too cold for other plants and there’s no game available.

        Fortunately, ice-age era man had plenty of game to munch on, and didn’t have to slowly die of starvation or malnutrition on a diet of pine underbark.

      • EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 20:59

        Aloha Lori, wife just picked some up though its for later this week tonight is brisket, potatoes, and cabbage :)

  10. Lute Nikoley on March 13, 2011 at 16:19

    Ribeye steaks along with the sauce, mashed spuds and salad, absolutely delicious. And, I ate my whole steak, sala and mash.

  11. wozza on March 13, 2011 at 16:29

    Potatoes are not paleo. I’m happy for you to eat them, and they look delicious, and you’ve done a great job cooking them, but please stop calling them paleo. They are not. You need to come up with other name that reflects your perspective, one that includes potatoes.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2011 at 17:04


      Oh go fuck off, and search the blog before you make a silly ass of yourself.

      Did I mention to go fuck off?

      • Carla on March 14, 2011 at 03:33

        LMAO! Richard you are evil hahahahahaha

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2011 at 17:08

      Clue for the dumbshit: nothing in that meal is “paleo”

      Almost nothing you eat is “paleo”

    • jordan on March 13, 2011 at 17:56

      Yeah, don’t you know Paleo belongs to that commenter?

    • Matthew on March 14, 2011 at 08:24

      LOL. Someone’s afraid of a little glucose, eh wozza? A few saponins, tannins, and lechtins never hurt a healthy gut. researchmorz dude!

      Richard, ribeye is bar none my fav cut of beef.

  12. EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 17:04

    Wozza we aren’t eating auroch and mammoth either. While over generalizing paleo would make it useless, making it strictly dogmatic would make it fruit-fondler useless. Most people goal isn’t paleolithic food re-enactment but avoiding the bulk of the neolithic foods that seem to diminish health. Starchy tubers were likely consumed from time to time, if not the modern potato.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 13, 2011 at 17:10

      EdwinB says it so much better and patiently than I.

      • J. Stanton - on March 13, 2011 at 18:48

        If we weren’t consuming starchy tubers in the Paleolithic, we wouldn’t have lots of amylase in our saliva – far in excess of chimpanzees. The anti-tuber ‘paleo’ crowd doesn’t seem to have a good explanation for that one.

        I’m glad I was able to inspire another classic Nikoley rant with my link!

      • EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 19:08

        You know its wiki so grain of salt and all that but this line seems to be a intellectual middle finger to some of the fruit-fondlers:

        “The salivary amylase levels found in the human lineage are six to eight times higher in humans than in chimpanzees, which are mostly fruit eaters and ingest little starch relative to humans.”

        American Scientist. March–April 2010.

    • Carla on March 14, 2011 at 03:34

      Amen Edwin!

  13. Mango on March 13, 2011 at 17:15

    Richard, I think logic fails you. Have you really any idea how many children are successfully raised on a vegan diet? Of course every so often something is bound to go wrong, that’s just law of probability. To state that there are no news stories about a child’s death attributable to too much meat, veggies, eggs & dairy shows me how little you read the news, or how little knowledge you actually have on diet, and how it can effect both young and adult. Eating too much meat etc, (as you yourself state) can and often does lead to obesity, and can and has caused premature death on many occasions. I have no doubt that if one eats ones ominvorous diet more sensibly, more in moderation, one can live the 3 score and 10 and more, of course one can, ample proof for that, but there’s absolutely no reason why a vegan from birth, provided no accident, cannot live a comparable lifespan or more. To state otherwise is just folly, ignoring the fact that there are 3rd generation vegans alive today, and attempts to make feeble excuses that veganism is undoable.

    • Mango on March 13, 2011 at 17:33

      here you go richard, just what you asked for:

      now, IF I WERE to posted a blog post and say this is proof that an omniovorous diet doesn’t work, you would of course, even if only inwardly, protest.

      this is exactly what you asked for “Show me a news story where a child’s death was attributed to too much meat, veggies, eggs & dairy.” this is one of countless.

      • EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 17:40

        Welcome back Mango. I’m going to question your reading comprehension. Re-read the article and show me where it gives any mention to the composition of the child’s diet other than a general allusion to “too much”.

      • Mango on March 13, 2011 at 18:02

        OK,.. seriously Edwin, do you at all imagine that if this child had been vegan, or even vegetarian, they would not have plastered that fact all over the news article?

      • EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 18:10

        Mango given the body mass and age of the child you know she wasn’t eating too many apples or too many steaks. This kid was likely guzzling and gorging on processed carbohydrates. In the context of the child’s age its the only food source that wouldn’t trigger saitiety and would produce that level of fat and mass so quickly.

      • Mango on March 13, 2011 at 18:14

        I’m not disagreeing, but really, so what? it is still a news article richard requested. I merely try to show that people can make mistakes whatever diet they feed them.

      • EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 18:16

        Mango absolutely no regular readers here would advocate consumption of processed carbohydrates particularaly for a 3 year old child.

      • Mango on March 13, 2011 at 18:20

        And no doubt, the majority of vegans would do a better job at feeding their children too.. so your point?

      • Nigel Kinbrum on March 13, 2011 at 18:37

        “And no doubt…” Assume, much?

      • Sue on March 13, 2011 at 22:45

        Big, bloody mistake they made for a 12 year old to have the spine of an 80 year old!

      • EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 18:23

        Mango again you seem like a well intentioned person. I stopped by your website, you’re a bit kooky but well meaning within your own frame of reference. I never like feeling like a bully it’s not in my nature. Bear in mind when you come here you are going to get a disproportionate response. There’s more people here who are going to be pro-paleo than leaning to the frutarian side. It’s a bit rough and tumble here. That and there’s a pretty much unrestrained flow of idea here theres no close censoring for instance like at the 30bananas a day site.

        Just bear it in mind you seem like the sensitive type, and you are almost guaranteed openly hostile confrantation here.

      • Mango on March 13, 2011 at 18:27

        Thanks for the thumbs up. I don’t fear debate or criticism, but I do acknowledge that I am likely once more wasting my time here.. so well, I’ll make the executive decision, I’m out of here (for now.. no promises though).. bye.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on March 15, 2011 at 01:09

        Obesity kills – who knew? What has that got to do with meat, veggies, eggs & dairy?

        From Rusk:- “A 2009 survey by the Children’s Food Campaign found that Farley’s Rusks were 29 percent sugar and called into question their nutritive value for children.”

        Sugar is vegan.

      • Stabby on March 13, 2011 at 18:05

        Gotta love the plain assertion “too much meat makes you fat”, okay you vegans sure do know your biochemistry of energy regulation.

        Here is one for ya

        Don’t blow a synapse trying to read it

      • Mango on March 13, 2011 at 18:11

        Stabby, where have I asserted too much meat makes one fat? You guys have a habit of jumping to silly conclusions and misquoting. I was merely responding to Richards challenge that there were no articles about omnivore kids dieing from too much food.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on March 13, 2011 at 18:33

        Nice example of vegan retardation. Richard wrote “Show me a news story where a child’s death was attributed to too much meat, veggies, eggs & dairy.”

        Did your news story attribute the death to too much meat, veggies, eggs & dairy? No.

        Please try harder next time. Without enough B12 & DHA in your diet, it’s going to be difficult.

      • tracker on March 13, 2011 at 19:17

        LOL, good one. Saturated fat is required for brain development, and really helps thought processes and even depression. Someone should start telling these vegans to up their intake of coconut fat. It could really help them with the critical thinking skills.

      • Carla on March 14, 2011 at 03:38

        I was just thinking the same Nigel! That kid was probably downing sodas and all sorts of frankenfoods. I can bet he wasn’t eating too much fruit, veggies or steak.

      • el-bo on March 13, 2011 at 19:21

        the article is about deficiency….why is anyone comparing that to an abundant diet of any sort ??

      • Al Ciampa on March 14, 2011 at 00:32

        “I was merely responding to Richards challenge that there were no articles about omnivore kids dieing from too much food.”


        You misread. Richard is asking for “a news story where a child’s death was attributed to too much meat, veggies, eggs & dairy.”

        This is hardly an omnivore diet – especially since we here know that Richard is indicating heavy animal and veggies as garnishment.

        Good to see you back, but don’t jump the gun – these fuckers will attack!


      • Zach on March 13, 2011 at 18:09

        Mango you are simply pathetic. Not a word in that article talks about what the child ate. They could of been a vegetarian eating nothing but soda and cereal for all we know.

        Keep grasping mango, its hilarious.

      • el-bo on March 13, 2011 at 19:32

        “Not a word in that article talks about what the child ate. They could of been a vegetarian eating nothing but soda and cereal for all we know.”

        EXACTLY….case dismissed….

        you were talking about the vegan deaths, right ?? ’cause i’m bored with going through richard’s embedded google links at the head of this propaganda – fest with all of them, either, not mentioning the contents of the diet or showing clear lack of knowledge about baby nutrition (and their own nutrition)

        what a load of nonsense

        baby food is mother’s milk….PERIOD…..adequate nutrition for the mother needs to be provided far, and above, her own needs (which many vegans have no fucking idea about, anyways)

      • bob r on March 13, 2011 at 22:51

        It is *extremely* hard to take you seriously AT ALL when you write crap like this:
        his is exactly what you asked for “Show me a news story where a child’s death was attributed to too much meat, veggies, eggs & dairy.” this is one of countless.

        The linked article does not include even *one* of the words “meat”, “veggies”, “eggs” OR “dairy”.

      • Carla on March 14, 2011 at 03:39

        Thank you!

      • Paul C on March 14, 2011 at 07:20

        The larger point here is Richard and Mango both know that connecting health problems to belief systems is an invalid argument, and both are illustrating how incredibly easy it is to make the connection and have others believe it.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2011 at 07:58

        So let me guess, Paul, you’re shocked, shocked that a vegan child would be malnourished. And so many others as well.

        And you must be equally shocked that kids fed ad libitum sugar drinks and processed foods end up obese.

        It’s just an association and everyone ought to just put it out of their minds. Correlation does not equal causation.

        Moreover, correlation is a sure bet that you’ve identified what is surely not the proximate cause.

      • Paul C on March 14, 2011 at 09:11

        Often I click the article links and read them, because I have been taught, partially by you Richard, that you must do your own work to verify information. Upon reading the article you linked, I was not surprised to read that a lack of Vitamin D was the most likely cause of the girl’s health problem.

        Now at this point I had two thoughts. First, that a vegan diet must have supplements as it is a belief system not a diet, and Vitamin D can be one of those supplements, therefore this girl was not given a proper diet even by vegan standards, which most would agree must include supplements. My second thought was that many paleo experts recommend vitamin D supplements as well, and I have read accounts of other non-vegan children having ricketts, so this problem can be viewed separately from veganism.

        Given those two thoughts, I then believed this is the point Mango was trying to get at, with his illogical connection between his link and meat, although that wasn’t clear from the way he posted. Now with all of these layers floating around in my head, I perhaps began to invent ironies and meanings where none was intended.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2011 at 10:47

        Us Paleos supplement D typically in some quest as to what might be more optimal.

        You don’t need to supplement to avoid rickets. You need to eat nutritious foods and it really likely doesn’t take that much especially if you get even a bit of sun during the year.

        The problem is that this girl was prevented from eating any food with any level of vitamin D. And do to the lack of fat and cholesterol in the diet, who knows if D supps would have done much good anyway.

      • Paul C on March 15, 2011 at 11:13

        Now this is what I am talking about. I began to feel this was a vitamin D conversation more than a vegan = evil conversation, and that is probably what set Mango off.

        I’ll save the vitamin D questions for the next D post.

    • Melissa McEwen on March 13, 2011 at 18:30

      Some of my relatives raised a child vegan. However they were vegan for ethical reasons, not because of some monkey humans are naturally vegan fairytale, so they supplemented accordingly. Rational vegans can have children without serious deficiencies.

      • el-bo on March 13, 2011 at 19:38

        “Rational vegans can have children without serious deficiencies.”

        and all was not lost…..thanks for your logic, melissa

      • Melissa McEwen on March 13, 2011 at 20:38

        If I were a rational vegan I would stay far far far away from the likes of Mango. You don’t want to be guilty by association. These fairytales do harm people- this article Richard posted is one out of many I’ve read.

        I have disagreements with these folks, but if you are a vegan who is realistic about what the diet means, which is animal rights rather than some idea about humans being naturally vegan, Messina and Jack Norris publish some actual science articles. They don’t argue it’s the optimal diet for humans. They argue that animals are important to them and that requires some supplementation. I don’t see why some vegans are so upset by that idea…supplements are no big deal.

      • el-bo on March 14, 2011 at 09:22

        “If I were a rational vegan I would stay far far far away from the likes of Mango”

        i find a lot of what he says to be fine, and i think he has a good manner…i don’t agree with fruitarianism, in its trues sense, but i celebrate his right to the choice

        “but if you are a vegan who is realistic about what the diet means, which is animal rights rather than some idea about humans being naturally vegan,”

        well, we both agree on the pointlessness of the second…but, there is enough anecdotal evidence to support a 3rd motivation – health….and yes, that would very likely include supplementation of some kind, dependent on environmental (as well as other) factors

        “I don’t see why some vegans are so upset by that idea…supplements are no big deal.”

        EX-ACTLY…thanks for being open-minded enough, and willing to ‘buck’ certain trends around here

    • tracker on March 13, 2011 at 19:15

      “Eating too much meat etc, (as you yourself state) can and often does lead to obesity,…”

      I bet it really burns your biscuits, doesn’t it? I mean the paleo diet and all. It’s the antithesis of everything vegan and we all feel fucking great eating this way, and many of us have lost a lot of weight eating meat, eggs, (and for those of us who eat dairy) butter and cheese. So while you’re trying to choke down your nasty tofu and your dry sprouts, we’re lathering butter on our yummy delicious venison tenderloin (that I shot myself no less) :P

    • RunsWithDeer on March 14, 2011 at 07:01

      Funny, eating nothing but meat did the exact opposite: cured my obesity. But hey, 150 pounds lost and kept off for 10 years is nothing, right?

      No fruit, no starch. And I eat as much game as I can catch. Only thing that breaks the rules is my homemade wine. But hey at least we know the converted sugar (ethanol) is poison.

  14. Ned Kock on March 13, 2011 at 17:25

    Richard, have you considered a foray in the food show business?

    Here is what I would like to see in a future prime time TV show schedule on a highly regarded food channel:
    – Eating Paleo with Richard
    – Iron Chef
    – Chopped
    – Healthy Eating with Dave

    The last one would have Dave talking about how to prepare delicious “healthy” meals with whole grains and low fat foods; with exception of “good” omega-6 fats like those in seed oils.

    This is why Dave is fourth, and will be kicked out of the schedule soon due to poor ratings … maybe.

  15. chuck on March 13, 2011 at 17:54

    The example you provided lacks a diet. What did that child eat? Also, based on what you’ve written, you have no idea what causes obesity.

  16. Michael on March 13, 2011 at 18:08

    Steak: YUM!

    Vegan child: prosecute the parents for neglect

  17. EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 18:15

    For reference Mango, I’m 6’1 and a 173 pounds today (i’d rather be at 190ish). I eat probably 1 pound of red meat a day, and 3 gallons of milk a week – I’m not strictly paleo and do very well with dairy.

    I really don’t do any cardio unless you count my hour or more long deadlift sessions 2-3 times per week, and manual labor 2-3 times per week.

    All that red meat is sure making me fat!

    • Mango on March 13, 2011 at 18:19

      Edwin, for the record, I never supposed red meat makes one fat.

      • EdwinB on March 13, 2011 at 18:27

        For the record frutarianism is good in one sense that it eliminates the processed crap that is probably negatively impacting people’s health. Unfortunately it also eliminates healthy fats and animal proteins.

        For overweight people with large fat stores frutarianism may very likely show short improvement in their health. For the mid or long term I think it swings over into more harmful than helpful.

      • J. Stanton - on March 13, 2011 at 19:33

        That’s what I think, and I wrote an article about it: “Vegans Are Cannibals”

      • el-bo on March 13, 2011 at 19:51

        “It’s because vegan diets—especially raw vegan diets—are so short on calories and basic nutritional needs, that during those early stages, the new vegan’s body is eating itself!”

        the whole article is built on this false premise…..there is no such thing as a vegan diet, just as there is no such thing as a paleo diet….sure, you might eat from a set of foods, and eliminate others, but what is on your daily menu will be not be the same for everyone, all of the time (vegan or paleo)

        nutritional needs, though having base values, will vary according to many factors (vegan or paleo)…calories, the same

        some paleo’s aren’t gonna be eating enough and the same goes for vegans…..

        but you obviously missed the article about harley…he aint undereating….he aint under nourished and he is still on an up after 4 years, despite there being nothing much left to cannibalise (intentionally so)

        even if you could prove your ass-umptions to have any statistical significance, it completely neglects the ideas put forward by doug graham, that health and abundant nutrition comes with an, at first, unmanageable amount of calories….

        anyone who wishes to lose weight is encouraged to not go any lower than a 100 (or so ) calories defecit from bmr+activity, due to not being able to fill nutrient quota and the, normal, hunger and cravings associated with not eating enough (dieting)…if anything, the advice would be to burn a little extra to engineer that defecit…

        eating enough is key, for all areas

      • el-bo on March 13, 2011 at 19:39

        “I never supposed red meat makes one fat.”

        although at 3 years paleo (i might be wrong), something’s keeping richard on the wrong side of portly :)

      • Elysa on March 14, 2011 at 08:01


        Ex weight loss counselor here. I worked for LA Weight Loss and Jenny Craig. I’ve counseled roughly 2000 people, and at least 700 of those were people I signed up myself so did the intital interview with.

        Not a single one of my clients came to me telling me they eat perfectly and they don’t know why they are fat. (I’m talking fat people here. Not those few very active mesomorphs who can’t seem to drop the last 10-15 lbs.) All of them admit to eating mostly processed food and way too much of it.

        As to which diet works? LAWL, which is protein and green veg based, minimal starch, fruit and dairy (but unfortunately low fat) works wonders on most people. I saw people get off numerous medications including antidepressants and saw a few insulin dependent diabetics get upgraded to food controlled diabetics.

        Jenny Craig, on the other hand, which is just low fat, low calorie, processed white flour, works for oh, 25-30% of people–mostly the Kirstie Alleys of this world who just need to eat less. It leaves the rest of the population ravenous yet still fat.

        And please look up Chris Kataan’s “Mango” character on YouTube. You’ll be taken a little more seriously if you change your name. Really. Not trying to be mean here, but, really.

      • Jules on March 16, 2011 at 06:35

        I second your recommendation- when I came across Mango’s first comment, I thought “you can’t have-a the Mango!” And now that song is stuck in my head :( Mango…

      • Sue on March 14, 2011 at 15:23

        Portly? Doesn’t look Portly to me.

  18. Joseph on March 13, 2011 at 19:06

    I’ll go as far as to say that I could probably live happily for a month or so on nothing but fruit, if I did it right (which means that I would need avocados and coconut in abundance). I would probably lean out a bit, eating my fat stores, muscles, and organs (not too much on the latter two); it would take longer to turn me into the spitting image of sick Dr. Graham.

    But kids aren’t as resilient: they don’t have all the non-essential mass that I have (as a 180-190 lb male with something like 10% bodyfat). Starvation rations aren’t kind to them.

    That’s my hunch, as a non-scientist who has followed recent developments in our understanding of human nutrition with increasing interest.

    The real problem I have with Mango’s rejoinder to Richard is that the hormonal factor is ignored: from what I understand, we are not what we eat; we are what we do with what we eat, and that is determined by hormones — a circumstance that explains how I can eat all day and not gain a pound, while my lactating, insulin-resistant wife need only look at food to put on 10 lbs. Perhaps if Richard were to be a little clearer about the need for a good hormonal profile (and the fact that a diet of meat, veggies, eggs, and dairy supports this in most kids, including human milk as dairy), the Mangos of the world might take him a little more seriously (and think twice before trying to refute him with the reality that kids die of obesity as well as starvation: I bet the kid in his link was stuffing his face with chips, corn syrup, and God knows what other indigestible poisons pumped into “food products” by greedy profiteers, but who knows?).

  19. J J Jason on March 13, 2011 at 19:48

    How do you prevent from getting rock hard poop with so much meat? What if you don’t consume coconut oil, which wasn’t universally available to hunter gatherers thousands of years ago?

    • Zach on March 13, 2011 at 20:00

      I eat almost exclusively meat, eggs and dairy with fruit and veg as an after thought. Things are quick and easy in the bathroom. I also eat zero coconut products, what of it?

      • J J Jason on March 13, 2011 at 20:32

        Richard often uses a fair bit of coconut oil/cream in his recipes.

      • RunsWithDeer on March 14, 2011 at 07:05

        That’s because it’s delicious.

        But constipation isn’t something that comes with eating meat, contrary to popular mythology. I didn’t have coconut products available for many years (not much available in the middle of nowhere) and did just fine.

    • Erik on March 13, 2011 at 21:19

      The obligate carnivores of the world manage to move their bowels somehow. You can get plenty of helpful fat from that meat you eat (ancient humans and even modern hunter-gatherers favor that fatty parts of the animal).

      Eat real food and your digestive tract will take care of itself.

      • J J Jason on March 14, 2011 at 01:22

        Yeah, I guess the answer is add more fat which is what I was doing. I added enough butter to go to the toilet properly, which was quite a lot. I got a blood test and my blood lipids have all gone up. Richard consumes coconut oil and his all improved, but coconut oil (MCT oil) wasn’t universally available to hunter gatherers thousands of years ago.

        I don’t know of anyone who has tested the effects of organ meats on blood lipids which are supposedly high in fat. Too gross for me to try! For me, coconut will have to do. It would be really good if we knew the effect of organ meats on blood lipids of nationalities, i.e. most of us, who have evolved over 10,000 years worth of generations on agricultural foods.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2011 at 02:17

        Strange as it may sound JJ, after reading Sarno and his works on TMS and back pain I have to wonder how much toilet problems are all in the mind. This is mentioned in his books quite extensively, along with allergies, heartburn and other things.

        I realized that there’s a chance my own issues in that area that stopped long ago, now, are simply because I stopped thinking about it.

        But I don’t know for sure.

        As to coconut oil, I do not go hog wild on the stuff. I use less of it than I do butter, or probably olive oil on salads. My use of coconut milk in curries is also rather sporadic.

      • gallier2 on March 14, 2011 at 04:07

        Agriculture didn’t make people stop eating offals. People around the world do still today. The dropping of this important food group is imho a relative new phenomenon (less than 50 years).

      • Nigel Kinbrum on March 14, 2011 at 01:59

        Connective tissue is animal fibre/fiber. Eat the gristley bits (I do)!

      • Joseph on March 14, 2011 at 07:46

        Gristle is good food. I have discovered that I really like it.

    • J. Stanton - on March 14, 2011 at 01:53

      My poops are fine: I crap a lot less since going “paleo”, which makes sense because meat is completely digested. But they are neither painful nor unusual.

      However, I’ve noticed that cheating with gluten often gives me rock-hard poops.

      • rob on March 14, 2011 at 09:28

        “The Rock Hard Poops” would be a good name for a band

      • Erin (Primalvore) on June 11, 2011 at 15:33

        oh…my…god…I just pulled a muscle in my side laughing

  20. keithallenlaw on March 13, 2011 at 21:23

    Hey Richard. Looks awesome.

    I do have this burning question, and I really want your un-inhibited response. I gotta a feeling I’m gonna love it too, so here goes. Is there any merit to the whole food combining theory? I read long ago that mixing protein and starch at the same meal will neutralize and rot because one is acid and one is alkaline. I did practice this for a while and for me it does seem to help with digestion. This leads me to believe that I have digestion issues mixing the two, or I just have this silly belief engraved in my skull from them damn hygienist.
    I would also like to think that the early hunter gather wouldn’t be eating the two at the same time. I’m confused and would like your reasoning. Thanks!

    • julianne on March 13, 2011 at 23:39

      From a nutrition biochemistry its nuts. We digest all foods quite happily together and send out different enzymes in response to what enters the stomach and gut. One enzyme that digests fat for example does not interfere with one that digests protein. Many foods we eat has all three macronutrients, e.g nuts for example have protein, carbs and fat, to say we aren’t meant to eat foods macronutrients together just makes no sense.

      Here is my theory for why this type of diet works: most people end up eating the majority of their meals as protein and non starch veggies, they feel good – most people feel good eating this type of paleo meal.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2011 at 10:59

      No, I don’t tae any stock in food combining stuff. I go with how I feel which is generally that if I truly want to pig out, it should be 90% meat. 50/50 veggies & meat works. But if I go heavy on the starch, I want it to be a pretty light meal. A heavy meal with lots of protein fat AND starch will put me to sleep.

  21. Ken on March 14, 2011 at 01:09

    Do you have any good spleen or liver recipes?

    • Nigel Kinbrum on March 14, 2011 at 02:10

      Have you tried Fava beans & a nice Chianti?

    • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2011 at 10:43

      For liver, I marinade in fresh lemon juice for a couple hours and fry in bacon drippings along with onions. Make sure to do the onions very crispy. You want to get them started first. They take a long time.

  22. rob on March 14, 2011 at 04:35

    I think the parents in the case of the starved girl were also abstaining from traditional health care, probably taking her to some kind of quack homeopath, because if a child suffers multiple fractures a doctor is probably going to contact the authorities unless there is a good explanation for why the kid keeps suffering fractures.

    • Ciaran on March 14, 2011 at 05:54

      There is a group at the University of Glasgow who have occupied the old postgrad building and serve only vegan meals. They also teach “homeopathic first aid”. So I wouldn’t put it past Glasgow vegans that they never sought proper medical advice.

      • Rob Beyerlein on March 14, 2011 at 08:06

        What is homeopathic first aid? No epinephrine if you go into V-Fib, no atropine if your heart stops?

      • Ciaran on March 14, 2011 at 18:01

        I would imagine it was absolute nonsense. Despite the venue being labelled as for all, I wouldn’t be particularly welcome there so have no idea what they actually teach.

      • Nigel Kinbrum on March 15, 2011 at 04:51

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    Due to poor dietary habits, the frequency of overweight patients is increasing every day, resulting in a significant number ofcomplications associated with this disease, aging and premature death. There are also negative social effects and psychological.Overweight people are often teased and this leads to emotional problems not so easily expressed face.

  25. Rob Beyerlein on March 14, 2011 at 08:01

    Great post as always Richard, I still have some work to do before i get my reduction to look like yours does. Now to Mango…you have said a couple times after your original post that you never said eating red meat makes you fat. Your words “Eating too much meat etc, (as you yourself state) can and often does lead to obesity, and can and has caused premature death on many occasions.” So, you can say you are being misquoted, but lets call a spade a spade, if you say meat leads to obesity, people who eat it are going to call your bluff. It is the same as reading that article and having you come to this site to argue the virtues of your dietary methodology. Now lets get to the science…too much meat as you put it leads to obesity in your viewpoint. So you are supporting one of two beliefs, either A) saturated fat makes you fat or B) too much protein makes you fat. If your claim is A, i direct you to this study If your claim is B, i’m not sure where to begin. We could discuss the thermic effect of feeding from protein, or the research that shows that the body’s ability to convert excess aminos to glucose then adipose through de novo lipogenesis is so poor that the body uses far too much energy turning protein to body fat that the actual fatty acid turnover would make the process thermodynamically negative. Too many calories make you fat, insulin resistance makes you obese. In my line of work i see an average of 20 open-heart surgery patients a week, i have found that total cholesterol is often between 140-180, and that the only number that is extremely poor is HDL, which i often see around 30-40. Based on your statements, these people should have fairly clean arteries. But, they don’t, they have triple vessel disease, stents, congestive heart failure and require grafting (CABG with LIMA). Yet, i find in your arguments and the arguments of others who come to this site to argue for veganism you will cite CNN, you will site PCRM, but rarely will you tackle the data in pubmed. Step up to the plate, validate your claims with peer-reviewed journal articles, I will even take on arguments with “n=1” data as i have just provided from my clinical practice. But, for the love of God, stop posting articles that don’t even state a viewpoint you’re espousing the article to back-up.

  26. TJ on March 14, 2011 at 08:48

    I bet these vegan parents would be throwing a shit fit if someone was feeding their dog a diet that ruined its spine.

  27. Christ on March 14, 2011 at 09:02

    irrefutable evidence that god wants us to eat bananas

    if meat causes obesity then why don’t sumo’s fatten up on steak and chicken?…what ignorance.That rattling noise in your head is your atrophied brain,not a loose flax seed.

    I used to feel sorry for these people until I realized it’s actually a religion masquerading as a diet. I stopped arguing with zealots many,many years ago.

    • el-bo on March 14, 2011 at 09:11

      that’s not irrefutable evidence; this is

      “I used to feel sorry for these people until I realized it’s actually a religion masquerading as a diet. I stopped arguing with zealots many,many years ago.”

      not all vegans are zealots, just as not all meat eaters are fat-headed idiots

    • Christ on March 14, 2011 at 12:24

      thanks,that’s the one I meant ot post.
      Of course not all are zealots,just the ones who comment on Paleo websites.

      • el-bo on March 14, 2011 at 12:51

        “Of course not all are zealots,just the ones who comment on Paleo websites.”

        what a coincidence

      • Christ on March 15, 2011 at 09:05

        I don’t really know what that means as a “Paleo eater” I don’t troll vegans sites.

        Vegans who proselytize are zealots.

        It’s really quite simple logic,the likes of which escape the true believers.

      • el-bo on March 15, 2011 at 09:14

        “I don’t really know what that means”

        it was a joke :)

        “Vegans who proselytize are zealots.”

        a zealot doesn’t necessarily proselytise, but someone who proselytises needs, first, to be a zealot…so, you are correct….care to name anyone on here that’s trying to convert y’all to veganism ?? perhaps quoting examples

  28. lalo on March 14, 2011 at 10:15

    tasty, i miss potatos, now that i ditched milk im going to give the potato one last chance

    btw this was my meal today

  29. EdwinB on March 14, 2011 at 10:22

    30bananas a day quotes to a pregnant women before she miscarried. I’m not suggesting that the fruit-fondler diet contributed to her miscarrying but it seems like an insanely risky time to be experimenting with such a radical diet. I have compassion for the woman but little for the fruit fondlers:

    “your craving for eggs and rice crackers just means you are under carbed. If you dont have enough fruit around, and you start craving things like that, by all means eat boiled sweet potatoes/potatoes or a bowl of sprouted brown rice with steamed veggies. Eggs are fat/protein/cholesterol and they wont do anything good for you or your baby, but the rice will and is a proper choice to fill up on when you dont have fruit. Please just clean the eggs/dairy/meat out of your fridge and stock up on CARBS, be it from fruit or grains, you need to eat! If you are craving things it simply means you and baby are hungry!

    “I really look forward to being pregnant and giving birth on this diet/lifestyle myself one day. You go girl!”

    Eggs won’t do anything good for your baby? Fuck you! Fetal humans aren’t cotton candy spun from whole fructose. I sincerely hope you curb stomp Durian Rider in the debate Richard. The fruit-cult is one more facet of the vegan mindlessness/

    • zach on March 14, 2011 at 10:53

      Wow which fruit fucker did you quote that from? They shouls be sued and locked up for giving advice like that.

      • EdwinB on March 14, 2011 at 11:02

        It’s straight off the 30banananas a day website. I didn’t attach names for it out of sympathy for the woman who had miscarried, figured that didn’t need to be bouncing around the web.

      • Zach on March 14, 2011 at 14:27

        I just wanted to know that name of the person giving the advice, If it was Durian himself.

      • EdwinB on March 14, 2011 at 15:06

        Nada, it was another female-frutarian.

    • Sue on March 14, 2011 at 15:30

      She may have miscarried regardless but such dietary advice is so wrong.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 14, 2011 at 15:40

        “She may have miscarried regardless”

        Absolutely. Women do it all the time. What would be interesting is to see a study looking at miscarriage rates for those on human diets (i.e., clean, whole, pre-agricultural, omnivorous).

      • EdwinB on March 14, 2011 at 15:59

        Yeah I definitely don’t want to imply causation. This whole frutarianism thing though seems to be de-evolution and intellectual regression. Seriously though what sorts of morons think a nutrient dense food like an egg is going to harm a fetus?

        I’m curious to see how women’s hormonal profiles are on a frutarian diet.

      • Sue on March 14, 2011 at 17:54

        Also interesting to look at fertility/infertility.

      • Pam Maltzman on March 15, 2011 at 08:58

        Well, I don’t have a definitive answer on this, but: There is a link between polycystic ovarian syndrome and high carbs. Some of the more aware doctors will treat these women with metformin, which in some cases allows them to conceive where they could not before.

        I used to know someone who was eating a stupid high-carb diet (lots of cereal, fruit juice, etc.), and she was feeling oh-so-virtuous about it… but she could not conceive, and was diagnosed with the above syndrome. I didn’t preach at her that she should change her diet, but I later read about metformin as a treatment for this.

        I would bet that a lot of today’s fertility problems are directly related to the anti-fat hysteria which is still very popular.

      • Asclepius on March 15, 2011 at 03:52

        Have a look at the Giesson study. It looked at raw foodism and its effects on fertility. Richard Wrangham covers this in ‘Catching Fire’.

        This piece of research from Germany found that unlike women (vegetarian or otherwise), on cooked diets who ‘rarely fail to menstruate’, female raw-foodists ‘had a lower BMI and that this was associated with partial or total menorrhea’. Wrangham notes that ‘ovarian function predictably declines in women suffering from extreme energy depletion, such as marathon runners and anorexics’. Research has also identified a decline in sexual function amongst raw-foodist males. The prospect of an infertile-state has a greater liklihood amongst traditional foragers (as evidenced by nutritional stress present in bones and teeth of HG remains), who would not have the quality of food available to those middle classes in the Giessen study.

      • Sue on March 15, 2011 at 04:51


      • Celeste on March 27, 2011 at 22:54


        This is my first time to your site. I wanted to respond to your interest in a study on women eating a “real” diet.

        Here’s my story:

        I followed the recommendations of the Weston A. Price Foundation 5 months before and during my twin pregnancy. I got pregnant on our very first try, at 35 years of age. No fertility issues so common amongst women my age.

        I ate a lot of eggs 4+/day, organ meats, cod liver oil, pasture butter, grass fed beef and lamb, etc. With twins, a gal needs to chow, and even so, I still woke up at 4 am every night in need of a meal (not a snack).

        I carried the twins to term (not the norm).
        I had no labor pain (not the norm). Seriously. Weston Price noted traditional peoples reported easy child births often.
        I delivered both out the va-jay-jay. No knife, which is the norm with twins.
        I was all belly… not much fat accumulated elsewhere on my body.
        They were 6lbs 15oz and 6 lbs 2oz and could come home from the hospital with me.

        After birth:
        They did not cry often, and were noted to be very peaceful/”good” babies.
        They started sleeping through the night (12 hours) at 4.5 months. They RARELY wake up in the middle of the night (maybe 2x each and they are 15 months now).
        We didn’t know when they were teething, until a tooth popped through. No drama, or night waking.
        They are rarely, rarely sick and are not immunized.
        Their first food was NOT rice cereal. It was pureed organ meats with veggies and fat.
        They are strong, top of the growth chart, smart, and peaceful (because they are nourished).

        They are boy -girl twins. The consistencies with sleep, teething, immunity, and little crying are not due to them being genetically identical. It’s nutrition during pregnancy and after.

        I attribute my success during and after pregnancy to my diet heavy in grass fed meat, saturated fats, veggies, lacto-fermented foods, and cod liver oil (I live in the mountains of Colorado, so fish selections are slim).

    • Jules on March 16, 2011 at 06:59

      How awful :( Hopefully things will go better for her next time, and hopefully she’ll choose a healthy diet. I was just tooling around on the site (it’s become a guilty pleasure of mine), and there was a thread about being sad at “seeing other people’s kids being deprived of fruit.” Some of them seemed sensible about not pushing their veganism on their children, but some are bragging about filling their kids with dates and bananas, and one in particular appears to have raised her toddler LFRV (“my son was eating fruit and veggies 100% until around 2 and a half “). THAT scares me. Do these people not know how crucial fat is for these little kids?! Hopefully there’s more to the story, maybe the baby at least got avocados and coconut, but who knows…

  30. Kris @ Health Blog on March 14, 2011 at 14:23

    I can’t believe someone would actually recommend this kind of horror to a pregnant woman, this is a serious matter and should be illegal.

    • EdwinB on March 14, 2011 at 14:31

      To make it worse that particular website smashes and discourages all dissent. So via the website anyway no one could say hey maybe its a bad idea while you are pregnant.

  31. Pam Maltzman on March 15, 2011 at 08:39

    Mmmm… well, those steaks are almost big enough for me. But seriously, I don’t get it when people say that one serving of steak is only 3 or 4 ounces. Hell, if I had a steak that small, I’d probably never remember eating it!!! Besides which, I’m an Amazon woman who is bigger than many men!! Well, recently I decided that one of my favorite cuts of steak is a tri-tip. I buy them on-sale at supermarkets, and they are affordable. I have to have them rare, whereas my sig. other has to have them at least medium well, so I usually take off some slices while it’s still bleeding. My sweetie calls me a Neanderthal woman. Mmmm. As my cash flow improves, I’ll be trying some of the grass-fed stuff–maybe. But we’re also moving (hopefully by the end of this year) to a part of Arizona where there are some ranchers who sell directly to consumers, and I’ll also be trying some locally-grown goat, sheep, home-grown chickens, and beef.

  32. Healthy Meal Plans With The Paleo Diet » The Paleolithic Diet InfoGraphic - a Free Diet Blog from 3FC on June 9, 2011 at 14:01

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