30-Day Clean Paleo Challenge Update 2

The original announcement and first update are here and here, just in case you want to join us. A couple dozen or so have informally signed up, so you can check out their comments too, as we go along. In the end, those comments from real folks living everyday lives are going to be the true value to this series.

You may be wondering…is this what Richard’s going to do for a whole month? Nope. I was not expecting so many people to jump on my insanity bandwagon, but because they so generously did, I feel it’s best to have daily or near daily updates for the first week, just so everyone knows it’s really real. Then perhaps a couple or three updates next week and then taper it off going into the finish.

But I do have two unrelated, kick-ass posts in draft, and one should be up shortly after this goes up. So stop by again later.

One thing is becoming very clear to me, something I knew before but has been made more real in the last few days: don’t go out to eat; eat at home, fix it yourself. I haven’t been to a restaurant in days and days, and it’s beginning to show a difference. No matter what instructions you give, you really don’t know what you’re in for. My advice in general? When you do go out, save it for a 100% protein meal, i.e., fish, a big steak, or something else that’s grilled or broiled. This minimizes the crap. If you do have vegetables, ask them to be steamed, then add olive oil if they have it (risky, because it may be olive flavored soy oil, unless it’s high end Italian or Greek) or, perhaps butter, so long as it comes in some sort of container where you can verify it’s really butter and not fuck-you-up margarine made by assholes and promoted by cheap conmen. But best of all, try to stay out of restaurants most of the time.

I cooked breakfast for myself and Beatrice yesterday morning, at like 7AM, before she went to work. I believe I already mentioned that I decided to use a bit of raw pecans and raw hazelnuts for things, and so this was about 1/2 cup each of frozen berries, just a sprinkle of the nuts, about 1/4 cup each of 100% pure, not from concentrate pineapple juice, and just enough coconut milk to cover, about 1/3 cup each. Then I scrambled 5 eggs in ghee where Bea got the equivalent of two and I got 3. Right after, I fried up three slices of hickory smoked, uncured quality bacon from Whole Foods for myself. Sorry, no pics.

For lunch, I had a Big Salad with an entire can of wild, shallow line-caught tuna from High Seas, arguably the best in the world, packed raw in its own juices and cooked once, in the can (commercial branss cook, pack with water or oil, and cook again to seal the cans). There’s no draining the can, at all — ever. The juice is so tasty you’ll either mix it back in with the fish, or just drink it. It’s really that good.

Big Slad
Big Salad

I dressed it with my dijon vinaigrette and yes, I do need to do a video to demonstrate how easy it is to get an expert emulsification in under a minute.

Dijon Vinegrette
Dijon Vinaigrette

For dinner I just had some leftover cold chicken from the fridge, and that was it.

In yesterday’s post, I showed you a very large sweet potato of which I only ate about half or so. I had dressed it with ghee, and asked my wife to save it. By the way, sweet potatoes are both the white skinned, yellow flesh ones, as well as the darker skinned, orange flesh ones you see at the supermarket. I much prefer the yellow flesh ones. Much prefer. But the orange flesh ones are most definitely not “yams.” Please stop the confusion. You have likely never eaten a bite of actual yam in your life, unless you’ve had a vegetable measuring 4 feet and more in your house. I dunno, perhaps there’s canned stuff about, but I’m guessing it’s really just orange flesh sweet potato.

…So I took the leftovers, added one egg, whipped it up, and fried it in some coconut oil.

Sweet Poato Pankaces
Sweet Poato Pankaces

That’s it: baked sweet potato with a little ghee, an egg, some salt & pepper…fried on medium low heat in coconut oil. Then I fried two jumbo eggs in coconut oil.

With Eggs
With Eggs

Now, I dunno about you, but when I was a kid and pancakes with syrup were a regular part of breakfast (along with bacon or sausage & eggs), I used to marvel at how some people would either put their eggs on top of their syrupped pancakes, or otherwise let things get all messed up — such as letting their bacon or sausage get syrup on them, or God forbid, actually dipping them.

The horror.

Well, I always kept my shit separated, never consolidated. But at the same time, this dish here, with the sweet potatoes & egg, as well as the coconut oil? It really did make for a pleasantly semi-sweet ordeal. Try it.



Alright, let’s go folks. How’s it going for you?

Update 3

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Richard Nikoley

I started writing Free The Animal in late 2003 as just a little thing to try. 20 years later, turns out I've written over 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from diet, health, lifestyle...to philosophy, politics, social antagonism, adventure travel, expat living, location and time independent—while you sleep— income by geoarbitrage, and food pics. I intended to travel the world "homeless," but the Covidiocy Panicdemic squashed that. I became an American expat living in Thailand. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. ... I leave the toilet seat up. Read More


  1. […] RSS ← Self-Experiment Time: Squeaky Clean Paleo for 30 Days 30-Day Clean Paleo Challenge Update 2 […]

  2. CP on November 9, 2011 at 11:59

    I think I want to do this 30-day experiment, out of sheer curiosity. I’m far from a strict Paleo person (my love of pizza and white rice being the main culprits), but over the last couple of years I’ve become a firm believer in eating real food above anything else. The one thing that sticks out is the part about not eating out. I progressively started doing that three years ago, and 44 pounds later (from 250 to 206) I can say that it’s the single biggest change you can make on the journey to being lighter and healthier. Most of us don’t realize how much crap goes into preparing restaurants meals, which is reason enough to avoid it as much as possible. That was a hard thing to do for someone that lives in a big city and spends most of his day stuck in an office, but I don’t regret it. Best of all, I don’t really miss it. Now let’s see if I can lay off the rice and pizza for a month and get myself under 200lbs.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 9, 2011 at 12:07

      If I was going to have little choice but to eat out a lot, I’d stick primarily to southeast Asian: Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Laotian.

  3. shirtless nation on November 9, 2011 at 12:04

    don’t forget to ake the picture with yourself

  4. […] and instead have been cooking at home a lot more. Just a few minutes ago I was reading a post on Richard’s blog and saw that he mentioned the same sort of thing regarding […]

  5. Jan on November 9, 2011 at 12:28

    Oh, I love a good pancake sammich: http://www.janssushibar.com/?p=12453

  6. Glenn on November 9, 2011 at 13:11

    Dead on regarding the eating out; so tough to really know what you’re eating — much easier to fix meals at home! My plan for the month is to only eat at home or brown bag it whenever possible, and for those occasional times when neither is convenient, well, sounds like a good time to IF. I realize this isn’t feasible for everyone, but it’s definitely workable for my situation.

  7. LXV on November 9, 2011 at 13:32

    Most restaraunts use a blend of canola oil and margarine for grilling and griddle cooking. Unless you’re eating super high end, just assume that to be the case. (You can always tell the server you have a sensitivity to vegetable and canola oils and ask that your meal be cooked in butter of course)

  8. michelle on November 9, 2011 at 13:57

    Looks great Richard! Do you have a recipe for your Dijon dressing!?

    • Richard Nikoley on November 9, 2011 at 14:11

      Dijon mustard, EVOO, apple cider or red wine vinegar, salt & pepper.

      For a large salad that serves 4, a heaping tsp of the mustard, then enough EVOO to round out the quantity you need to dress the salad. Then add the vinegar about a tsp at a time, whisking (I use a fork) vigorously in between each addition until it magically emulsifies. Add salt & pepper to taste.

  9. Jeanie on November 9, 2011 at 17:54

    OK, Richard. You just pushed us over the cliff. We are on board, too! We are specifically eliminating the last remaining dairy (heavy cream in our tea). We have just come off a trip to the Bay Area visiting relatives and friends and needed to get back on program! Thanks for the inspiration!

  10. Sharyn on November 9, 2011 at 18:45

    I’m on board.
    Already *mostly* paleo, this 30 day challenge for me is trying to drop the dairy fix. So far so good, managed to find some ghee in the supermarket today and I’m surviving with coconut milk in my coffee.
    Day 2 I struck the first obstacle – I’m doing some volunteer building work on earthquake damage in my local city, and the grateful home owners, who are Thai, made us fried rice with fried egg on top for lunch. No way out without causing offence. What can I say – yum yum yum but no idea of the oil and I haven’t eaten rice in yonks.

  11. Julien on November 9, 2011 at 18:53

    Hi Richard,

    Many thanks for the canned tuna brand: it’s difficult to sort the best from the worst in terms of canned food! I just added it in my primal/paleo directory for further reference 😉 )

    Your blog is in there too 😉


  12. Remnant on November 9, 2011 at 19:18

    “I used to marvel at how some people would either put their eggs on top of their syrupped pancakes, or otherwise let things get all messed up — such as letting their bacon or sausage get syrup on them, or God forbid, actually dipping them.

    The horror.”

    LOL. I have never really had a sweet tooth, and when I was a kid I went pretty easy on the maple syrup with pancakes. But one things I did love was to dip the sausage in maple syrup. And even now, just about the only time I ever whip out the maple syrup is when I eat sausages. Although these days I am more likely to eat sausages with homemade sauerkraut rather than with syrup.

  13. Steven on November 10, 2011 at 10:58

    I was doing a Whole 30 anyway so I am in… so is the girlfriend… we are both paleo followers as well… I got her on to help her with her hashimotos… but felt that we needed to tighten down the hatches and decided to run the Whole 30. We are 4 days in at the point and things are going very well… I am cutting out fruit and nuts as well. I just got an order of grass feed butter and coconut oil in from tropical traditions. Also, their cocofed eggs are pretty fantastic if you are looking to avoid soy in your eggs.

    • julianne on November 10, 2011 at 13:32

      My best result with Hashimotos was whole 30, with the auto-immune variation. No eggs, nuts or seeds, nightshades, as well as dairy, grains, legumes and alcohol.
      I did a blog post on my auto-immune 30 day challenge FYI
      I’d definitely recommend this variation for a trial for those battling auto-immune conditions

      • Steven on November 10, 2011 at 14:36



        Thanks for the infor I will have her read your blog. I have been having her read a lot of Chris Kresser’s stuff as of late.

  14. Theresa on November 10, 2011 at 14:36

    Oh goodness, sweet potato pancakes are absolutely delicious. I just made my first batch a few minutes ago. Thank you for enlightening me.

  15. […] 30-Day Clean Paleo Challenge Update 2 […]

  16. amanda on November 24, 2011 at 20:30


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