Help with v2 of the Free the Animal Book

Because of being a consistent best-seller for Hyperink since publishing my book last January, I’ve been approached to do a “Version 2” of the book.

Blog To Book Free The Animal small

As you can see, the cover has already been changed—this, in response to reader feedback. This is why I went with this publishing start-up in the first place. I wanted to write only one book about “paleo,” and I wanted the easy and fast ability to keep it fresh and relevant as my own thinking evolves, as things change, as new information is incorporated into the general paleo landscape.

So we’re now on that task. Here are some posts since the publishing I think could be relevant in whole or part, or a sentence here and there, or even a change in threads:

So there’s the “short list,” posts since sometime in December when work on the book began, inspired from all paleo posts on the blog to that point. Of course, I don’t really expect readers to go through those to advise me this way or that way (though anyone is welcome to do so). In fact, the list serves as a repository for the editors to go through and incorporate into the book as changes, additions, corrections…in short, continuing evolution.

You can help by posting comments about what you might want to see added, removed, edited, expanded, or whatever else.

As always, this book has one solid goal: be the absolute very best intro into the paleo diet and lifestyle out there, constantly fresh, new, relevant. I figure that’s how I serve my readers, commenters and the general public the best. Nobody familiar with all this really needs another book that much. What you need is the best book to give or recommend to folks who are curious.

Update: Well this is timely. A very nice review of the book from Steven Gray.

Writer, blogger and entrepreneur Richard Nikoley is one of the more colorful and unique characters in the paleo blogosphere. He and I are very different people and I don’t agree with him on everything by a long shot. The posts on his blog, Free the Animal, are blunt, confrontational, often delivered with unabashed profanity…but they are also downright entertaining. His take-no-prisoners attitude, especially pronounced when met with stupidity or bad reasoning, often provides much-needed doses of reality for the paleo community, whose information-cycling bloggers often seem to exist in a grass-fed and organically-pastured netherworld of online pontification.

Go take a look at the rest.

Memberships are $10 monthly, $20 quarterly, or $65 annually. The cost of two premium coffees per month. Every membership helps finance the travel to write, photo, and film from interesting places and share the experiences with you.


  1. Rip @ MIPWID on June 4, 2012 at 13:32

    Richard, I think your recent successes on a moderate carb approach deserve a prominent mention. Despite the oft-given examples of the Kitavans et al, people still seem to be convinced that low-carb is the be all and end all, especially when it comes to paleo.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 4, 2012 at 14:27

      Yes, I agree. LC needs to become just another tool. One some individual may use a lot or a little, depending.

      • Sean on June 4, 2012 at 15:15

        I thought Kurt Harris summed it up well when he was talking to Robb Wolfe a while back (if I remember right, and Kurt’s might’ve changed his opinion), LC is therapeutic. Therapy is not the same thing as optimal for healthy people. If you are healthy you don’t want to undergo chemo, etc. If you are suffering from something like type II diabetes, then cutting way down on the carbs is probably the best thing. That doesn’t mean it is optimal for a healthy person.

      • EatLessMoveMoore on June 4, 2012 at 21:44

        What makes LC fairly unique among other nutritional approaches, however, is the way in which (some of) its adherents tend to defend it when it demonstrably no longer works for them. Check out the various LC forums – not to mention the prominent personalities running them – and you’ll find example after example of people gaining and losing the same 20, 30, 40 lbs. Over and over and over. Another example: Take the average attendee of AHS, and then compare them to your average person on, say, a low carb cruise… Dare to question any of this and you will be called a ‘hater’ (or far worse). Where’s the science, the objectivity, in that? Cult/religion, anyone?

      • Sean on June 5, 2012 at 03:12

        I don’t think the average attendee of AHS (or presenter) was ever morbidly obese like Jimmy and many others. Richard, of course, was pretty damn fat. It’s true, that paleo or post-paleo tends to be much more science oriented. In fact the reason so many paleos really consider themselves post-paleo (myself included) is the dogmatic stuff that accrued to the paleo label. Whether LC is more cultish than other dietary approaches is a pretty iffy thing in my book. How about low fat? I can remember watching a BBC doc where a doctor went to a factory where they made low-fat mayo, they replace the fat with starch of course. The doctor’s (who was classic thin-fat, BTW) only caveat was that people ought to be aware that there was still *some* fat left in the mayo.

      • rob on June 5, 2012 at 04:51

        I’ve dropped 7 pounds since I started carbing up after almost a year of no progress.

        I was looking at it like a journey of

        A > B

        rather than

        A > B > C > D

        Some people might get to B and decide they like it there and see no reason to upset the apple cart, so they stick to low carb like glue.

  2. Sean on June 4, 2012 at 13:57

    I’d like to suggest the addition of more cowbell.

  3. LeonRover on June 4, 2012 at 15:27

    Combine your interests.

    New Title:


    SubTitle: F**k the Animal

  4. Paleophil on June 4, 2012 at 16:39

    How about a guest post from your wife with her own perspective on her dietary/health success story, and anything else that might be of interest, especially to women? Perhaps it might help further broaden your blog’s appeal?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 4, 2012 at 16:49

      Ha, Paleophil.

      I’ve been talking to her about doing exactly that. We’ll see.

      • jofjltncb6 on June 5, 2012 at 14:05

        This should probably terrify you…

        …and I say that without ever having met your wife or really knowing anything about her at all.

      • Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2012 at 16:16

        On the contrary.

        I love Beatrice because she always had a mind of her own and as much as I ever tried, I could never get her to subjugate that part of her to me.

        Only her bod.

        She knows exactly what she’s doing and always has. She has never needed me financially. She’s already set for life, and we maintain separate finances as every rational couple ought to do.

        She is the total opposite of me, socially and on many other levels.

  5. Kate Ground on June 4, 2012 at 19:44

    Tell your dear wife there are a lot of women here interested in her point of view..

  6. Gene on June 4, 2012 at 21:49

    i really like the new cover. the word DIET in giant letter was off-putting.

  7. J. Stanton on June 5, 2012 at 01:07

    Congratulations on the Steven Gray review! He has excellent taste in books.


    • Kate Ground on June 5, 2012 at 08:08

      My wish list expands

    • Richard Nikoley on June 6, 2012 at 13:57

      Wow, J.

      That is awesome to such an extent that is shames me for not paying much more attention to you, the book (I began reading it on a camping trip, the trip ended, I got busy….) and even to Steven Gray. The review alone signals to me the insight of this man so as of right now, I’m going to pay attention to him, more to you, and so on.

      We do need to do that video interview and it goes without saying that you have a guest post spot here any time you want. Human sociology, please, or thereabouts.

      You gonna be at Harvard in August?

      • J. Stanton on June 7, 2012 at 08:37

        Richard, I will absolutely be at Harvard in August, for the same reason you will — and I look forward to seeing you and Beatrice again.

        Email sent re: interview.


  8. Shelley on June 5, 2012 at 04:23

    I am really impressed with Dr. Wahls’ recovery. I think the sooner we move a bit away from the macronutrients and focus more on the synergism of micronutrients, I think we will begin to see great changes in our health (at least based on my experiments).

  9. Shelley on June 5, 2012 at 04:31

    Also, some Vit. D/Mg discussion would be great. Interestingly, living in FL, I didn’t think I needed to supplement with Vit. D (I have never had my levels checked), but I have started taking about 4000 IUs (too much?) that is included in other foods.

    What I have noticed is that I can now spend a great deal of time outside without sunscreen and not get a wicked sunburn! I wonder if this has anything to do with either or both Vit. D and Mg, though, I’ve also started taking 4mg of astaxanthin with the same hopes of preventing burns.

  10. Jscott on June 5, 2012 at 06:59

    The post or two you made after dining with Dave Asprey struck me as a good fit within your Paleo Framework ( The ‘how we deal with daily life’ stuff is helpful for thought shifting.

  11. Pauline on June 5, 2012 at 07:26

    Hi Richard, I like the new cover design for your book. I think it brings the right focus to your website, blogging history and all those great links and conversations. I have wanted to mention for a while, that you are have been a incredible resource for me in my own journey to learn about things like intermittent fasting, cold and its effects, low carb/medium carb, calories and how they count and exercise. Plus all those you have given an opportunity to express their views/videos/websites. Your willingness to experiment with ideas that seem to contradict some of your earlier theories. Great stuff!

  12. Kate Ground on June 5, 2012 at 08:32

    Pauline just wants her name in the book! No, she is right. All she say…that’s why I keep coming back. Very cool idea. But now i have to buy another copy. It is worth it. Not sure I like the new cover, though. Doesn’t stand out like the other. I can go straight to it on my kindle.

  13. When the author shares your book review... - Steven Gray Steven Gray: Photographer and Writer on June 5, 2012 at 09:04

    […] case you missed it, author Richard Nikoley was kind enough to acknowledge my review of his book Free the Animal: How to Lose Weight and Fat on the Paleo Diet yesterday on […]

  14. Pauline on June 5, 2012 at 09:50

    I think if you bought Richard’s book (version 1) it will automatically update (with Version 2) via internet. Richard, not sure I am on the right track with this though, so your thoughts?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2012 at 11:47

      I’m not sure, Pauline.

      I am increasing the price to 7.99 with the new version. No idea how that might effect anything. What I do know is that publisher and I have debated about an entire republishing as Second Edition vs and update and have decided to go with the latter, as publishing date is still fresh. We’ll do a republish on a new edition sometime in 2013.

      So, if folks can get updated copies, no prob here. I’m mostly interested on the market for new peeps.

  15. Jason H on June 5, 2012 at 13:58

    Hey Richard – quick question. What are your thoughts on the safety of the Super K supplement by LEF?

    I’ve been taking it for 3 months, but am worried about the potential clotting effects. Do you think it can increase risk of stroke or other vascular problems?

    The main question: Is it overkill?

    • Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2012 at 16:08

      I took it for a long while myself. I’m not aware of any dangers or risks. Now I take the fermented CLO and butter oil from Green Pastures and the results in smoothness of teeth are far more profound.

  16. EF on June 5, 2012 at 15:12

    To me, your “Synthesis” post substantially changed your dietary philospohy as you represent it. I started out low carb then moved to paleo as well. But I am also slowing realizing there is no magic to low carb as you stated in the “Synthesis” post. I think calories count, but there is far more going on than the simple math of calories in, calories out. Food quality, FR, hormones, etc. all play a part. How much? I think that is the heart of the “battle.”

    I think an expansion of your thoughts on “Synthesis” would be extremely helpful.

    Set Point and Hunger is interesting to me too. I just read Shangri La Diet by Seth Roberts and, despite the ease at which people dismiss it, there is real science there too. Ever given thought to that science/philosphy?

    As always, thanks for your contributions to my knowledge of my well being.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2012 at 16:24

      Seth is a friend who gives me far more than I give back, and as such am ashamed to admit I’ve not read the book.

      • EF on June 6, 2012 at 08:03

        It’s an easy read – You could bang it out in a few hours.

    • Paleophil on June 6, 2012 at 16:02

      It’s odd that Shangri La generated not just dismissals, but also plenty of angry responses on teh Internets. Seth Roberts, a friendly, helpful guy, offers plenty of free information about the easiest diet in history (you just ADD a smidgeon of food to your existing diet–you don’t have to cut out a single food), including the science behind it, it works for lots of people, he doesn’t force anyone to do it, doesn’t claim it’s right for everyone, there’s no law that says you have to try it, and the response of a bunch of folks who have never tried it is to … get angry and ridicule the diet? WTH?

  17. patrick on June 5, 2012 at 15:36

    I liked your K2-mk4 posts and that’s why I still visit your blog. I have added a lot of butter and ghee to the diet, but still am not sold on going on the internet to buy butter oil (though you make a persuasive case).

  18. Paul d on June 5, 2012 at 15:54

    Hi Richard,

    I would like to see you take it up a notch personally and really lean out. That way for beginners you could have a “welcome to the diet and here is what I did” to lose weight initially and then when LC no longer worked for me, just like it stops working for a lot of
    people here is what I did to lose the pounds you then target. And ye, it might impact the orthorexic and 100% paleo crowd when they see this change. Paul d

    • Richard Nikoley on June 5, 2012 at 16:26

      Great advice, Paul, and it is on my mind. Especially on my mind.

      • Paleophil on June 6, 2012 at 16:33

        If cold therapy doesn’t get you to your goal, Richard, maybe this version of Seth Robert’s Shangri La approach might do the trick–adding a small amount of meat and fat to your diet, such as sliced roast beef or roast pork or steak with butter, eaten while wearing nose clips to block the odor (he says the food is still enjoyable), with one hour of no eating before and after?

  19. Pauline on June 6, 2012 at 01:50

    Richard, I am always hesitant after I have posted a comment, its just in my nature to be embarrassed by what I have spontaneously sent off into the blogosphere. The internet is a funny place, I don’t quite trust the fact that I am in the room with people I have never met face to face, whom I can’t look in the eye and get a real sense of who they are. Most often I turn away and think, that’s the last time I comment. But I always seem to come back for more. Even my poems have left me feeling shaken and cut up for a while. Its the writer and thinker in me. I recognise the writer and thinker in you and others here online. I don’t know how many times I have thought, well I am now over and out! But the articles and comments pull me right back in. This is an interesting thing to experience. That’s why your blog keeps rolling, it has this effect on me and many others out there too.

  20. Andy on June 10, 2012 at 05:30

    “Synthesis: Low-Carb and Food Reward/Palatability, and Why Calories Count” was great!

    I would find a chapter about skepticism towards science and BS journalism interesting, something like this: ( related video)

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