The Increasing Paleo Masturbation

A comment on my recent interview of real, which isn’t Paleo Masturbatory:

Great interview!! That’s the same here with me and my fiance…we just had reached a point where we said, “I can’t keep doing this! something’s gotta change.” 30 pounds later!! Still have many more to go…but we’re on our way!

My reply:

It is precisely for you and those like you that I refuse to engage in what is becoming the increasing “Paleo masturbation.” Pay no attention to it.

Just look out for you.

That should do it, for now.

…But godammit. There are millions of people hurting out there and virtually all I see, anymore — now there’s enough fans of “paleo” — is virtual cock stroking, quoting study after study…in an endless circle jerk of confirmation bias. Dontcha all feel good?

This is behind why I’m not doing the Bullshit videos and Whoring takedowns as much or very little, lately. I don’t mind entertaining if I can, and I do see a value to that, but in the last year, virtually all I see is people jerking each other off. Yes, I’ve always been of a mind that in terms of metaphor, the cruder the better.

For me, real food, sourced reasonably, prepared at home, was always enough; and if it wasn’t, what then?

Alright. Now I’m finished.

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. Sean on October 5, 2011 at 12:30

    Not sure what you mean by this. There are the heavily science oriented bloggers and the more lifestyle oriented “just do it” types and a healthy mix in between as far as I can see with plenty of healthy dissent mixed in. I don’t see the circle jerk–can you cite a study on that?

    • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2011 at 12:32

      Don’t you know a rant when you see it?

      There’s a trend, and it tracks with the increasing commercialization. BTW, I see EVERYTHING.

      • Sean on October 5, 2011 at 12:48

        There’s nothing I find more endearing in a fellow human being than the ability to not take themselves too seriously ;) Carry on ranting, sir.

        Also, could you link to my blog again, I got a big bump from that. I’ll make it worth your while…

  2. Tara on October 5, 2011 at 12:37

    Never have I been so afraid of clicking a link to one of your posts, Richard. LOL

  3. Jake on October 5, 2011 at 12:43

    Hahahaha. Thanks for this. I was reminded of it when I convinced one of my extended family to do paleo. And had to talk her into eating saturated fat. Seeing confirmation bias every day can certainly mess your head up.

  4. Jill on October 5, 2011 at 12:43

    huh…confused…. did I touch a nerve? eh, anyway…. still liked that interview!

    • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2011 at 12:52

      Jill, yes you touched a nerve. And good for you that you did. It was visceral, in the moment, my favorite kind of kill, nowadays,

      You inspired that blog post. That’s what you did. I count that to the good.

      • Jill on October 5, 2011 at 13:01

        hmmmm…cool ……. flattered? I read that post twice..and I’m still confused. I can see where the
        “good for you”
        “no good for you!”
        “YOUR the best”
        “no YOU are!”

        type of dialogue/mentality can get annoying. is that where you were going w this? ah well…I’m not looking for a reinforcement type “good for you” for that comment I made…. heck, I’m just excited to brag at my accomplishment.

      • Sean on October 5, 2011 at 13:17

        I think it’s more the opposite. Not to put words in Richard’s mouth I think he’s saying that people like you losing weight is what it is really all about, not the circle-jerk of people arguing over food reward or whatever.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2011 at 13:24

        That’s pretty much it, Sean, and I appreciate all the help I get.

        I have a single focus, here. And I like to make sure I remind myself of it, now and then.

      • Mountain on October 6, 2011 at 20:00

        I Sean’s comment needs to be featured, because I totally didn’t get it until now.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2011 at 13:21

        Oh, no, not at all. What I loved is how you got the essential “I can’t take this anymore” message and while I don’t expect you to understand I have bee doing this for a long time.

        Here’s the deal. If I do some post to rally the troops, so to speak, there’s often tons of comments, mutual masturbation, circle jerk and what have you. But if I do something specifically geared to folks who might just pop in here, not so much enthusiasm.

        I don’t begrudge anyone their time.

        I simply want it to be understood that what I am about here, and all I am about is enticing the newbies to give it a look, try it out.

        I love also interacting with regulars and appreciate that they seem to like my metaphorical ranting abilities. But sometimes I have to go the other way.

      • Jill on October 5, 2011 at 13:40

        ohhh!! well that makes sense. *nods*

        yeah, so I told my father-in-law we switched our diet and his response, “so? big deal. I’ve been eating that way my whole life.” he’s from mexico and get excited telling me about his fields of zucchini and his lamb who just gave birth and how they’re going to get veal and the pigs and chickens and so forth. my fiance grew up on a horse ranch, raising their own meat, growing veggies… and he didn’t start eating like crap until he moved to the US.

        I grew up on hamburger helper and cereal. so yup…I got cheesed out earlier this year when I “discovered” primal. my father in law and certain other friends are quick and blunt to inform me that “uh duh…doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that processed is bad.” in a good way, you remind me of them. maybe that’s why I keep coming back to your page eh? yeah, I don’t comment often (bad me) but couldn’t help myself today. listening to that interview in one ear and sesame street (for my toddler) in the other… thought I didn’t quite hear the interview the way is was meant to be.

      • Jill on October 5, 2011 at 13:42

        that’s why I was like “uh?” on your post..

  5. Jill on October 5, 2011 at 12:44

    oh….and he mentioned that he reached a point where he said enough is enough…was just identifying with him.

  6. BLAK_LABL on October 5, 2011 at 12:44

    Hope my tweet to you this morning didn’t trigger this – I was just proud of MY accomplishment, and finding your blog was a huge catalyst in getting the ship turned in the right direction. But I do appreciate a great rant now and again, and this one definitely qualifies.


    • Richard Nikoley on October 5, 2011 at 12:55


      I’m sorry to inform you that I prefer Red. :)

      Nope, up in comments explains the motivation for this rant.

      I’m still reeling over how thee word “Masturbation” will bring out the readers and commenters. I guess we rally are all animals.

  7. Jscott on October 5, 2011 at 12:53

    You talk about the Paleo Diet here?

  8. mhanch on October 5, 2011 at 12:59

    WonderRant Powers – Activate!

    Form of – An angry blogger!


  9. Daniel Kirsner on October 5, 2011 at 20:26

    Damn. I thought this was going to be an anti-vibrator post…

    • mhanch on October 5, 2011 at 20:41

      Nine times out of ten it’s an electric razor, but every once in a while…

      it’s a dildo. Of course it’s company policy never to, imply ownership in the event of a dildo… always use the indefinite article a dildo, never your dildo.

  10. Mimi (Gingersnaps) on October 5, 2011 at 23:40

    You mean you don’t like joining the passion play of the great and terrible Paleo orgy? ;-)

  11. Remnant on October 6, 2011 at 04:58

    I thought there was a nice ambiguity to Richard’s rant, and in a way, something is lost by providing too much clarity on it… (Although I understand that too in order not to unecessarily hurt the wrong people’s feelings.)

    My take on the rant was to see it in the context of Richard’s recent efforts to put paleo into a larger context, to move it beyond “diet” (and exercise).

    Why? The “circle jerk” is not just the linking to studies and the reach for greater-purity-than-thou (“no, it isn’t 5% carbs, its 9% carbs, well if you want to be exact about it, its. 9.46773% carbs”) and the how-many-tubers-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin paleo metaphysics (“cassava is the necter of the gods. How do I know? Because a pure, pure innocent tribe that no explorer had touched get 70% of their calories from it”).

    No, the circle jerk is also — and I know I will offend some people here — the mutual back scratching and self-congratulation over what it is we do. It’s the sharing of recipes, working exercise into our old routines, and doing it with your ipod, and so forth in order to keep everyting familiar, safe, identifiable and ordinary.

    One’s adventures in paleo should not be familiar, they should not be safe, they should not be reassuring. They should be terrifying. Terrifying … and exhilerating beyond all measure because the experience involves reaching back to something in us that is — Do I really have to say this? — something that is _Primal_, something we have been separated from by the layers of the cultural onion for God-knows-how long. It you are feeling too comfortable with it, you aren’t doing it right.

    It is not about sharing the latest gluten-free muffin recipe (“You’ll never beLIEVE its paleo!! Just use rice flour instead of wheat!! How awesome is that?!”), putting on your Virams for the half-maraton (“Actually, I have SIX pairs of Vibrams! I love the colors so much, I need lots of them!!”), and going on with all the usual commercialized, corporatized, governmentized life we live as before.

    It should be strange, it should be weird, it should be frightening and it should be rejuvinating. It should be the fear you feel when you are doing something right. “In my beginning is my end” (Eliot, East Coker). This is true for our movement: In our beginnings (our origins, our heritage, our history, our pre-history, our roots) is our end (our purpose, our meaning). We aren’t really SUV-driving, mall-shopping, Big Pharma pill-popping, convenience-food eating drones: THOSE THINGS are not our beginnings, nor are they our end! That fear you feel in your stomach from what you have been doing right, that is the sign that you are on the path to your real roots, your real beginning. “In my end is my beginning.” Once we figure out our “ends” — our purpose, our mission — that is the real start. And that is the potential in this movement.

    Any idea will take on the tinge of the culture that runs with it (e.g. socialism “with Chinese characteristics”), and paleo in America is no different. It will, and should, take on American characteristics: but think about what those charactertics are, and what they can be. Is paleo for selling books, for selling energy bars, tank tops and sweatshirts, organized runs in the park? Well, I guess at some level it is.

    But shouldn’t we honor it by going deeper than that, going down the rabbit hole, swallowing the red pill? We cannot take the easy — dare I say “dishonest”? — way with it that makes it too familiar, too unnoticable, too normal. (Principle No. 9: Dishonesty is death. A-fucking-men!!).

    We have been lied to — we have lied to ourselves — about medicine, diet, sex, education, government, social relations, and more. The way past those lies will be through the unfamiliar, not through trying to tame paleo into the comfortable rhythms of things as we already know them. Pound’s words about art resonate here with regard to health and well-being as well: “Make it new. The artist [paleo adventurer] is always beginning. Any work of art [any life lived] which is not a beginning, an invention, a discovery is of little worth. ‘Troubadour’ means a finder, one who discovers.”

    “We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exloring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time. / Through the unknown, remembered gate / When the last of earch left to discover / Is that which was the beginning.” (Eliot, Little Gidding)

    Through the unknown, remembered gate. Got that? That’s what paleo needs to be. Terrifying because it is so unknown; more terrifying when you come to realize how familiar. Onward troubadour.

    A few caveats about my own little rant above:

    – I say it aloud for my own benefit as much as for anyone else;
    – I am not advocating paleo renenactment; if that is what you get from the above, you are missing my point.
    – On the flip side, I am not making an anti-technology argument. (“Do I contradict myself? Then, I contradict myself….”)
    – I know how Richard feel’s about preachers, so maybe I should have avoided the almost Bible-thumbing tone above, but sometimes it fits the message, even a Godless one.

  12. Paul Verizzo on October 6, 2011 at 07:28

    Is this “sourced reasonably” enough: I recently got a commercial crab trap. I put a pork neck bone in the bait section and drop it off of my dock (I live on a bayou in Florida.) Voila, blue crabs. I mostly do catch and release just for the fun of it, but the big guys – and only guys – wind up in my belly.

    One hundred feet from dock to stomach……..

  13. George on October 6, 2011 at 10:35

    Haha Tara told me about this post, I had to come click for myself. Rock on man, Ill have to stop by your blog more often, this was my first time.

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  15. Darya on October 6, 2011 at 17:30

    Agreed. Thank you for this.

  16. John on October 7, 2011 at 07:53

    Ha, I know what you mean. There are some posts that I start to read, and think of Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction saying “Let’s not start sucking each other’s cocks just yet, gentleman.” Paleo masturbation is a great term for it.

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