Got Milk? Part 2: The Dietary and Exercise Experiment

The other day I posted this: Got Milk? What’s so bad about milk? Count me surprised. At 80 comments so far, the vast majority are supportive, most drinking some milk themselves. And many also report the exact sort of benefits I’ve been seeing over the last weeks. More on that later.

The very few detractors mainly focussed on the acid-alkaline balance (i.e., first it grows bones and teeth but then apparently leeches them away <huh?>), the paleo argument that other adult mammals don’t drink milk (just like they don’t cook their food or concoct complex recipes combining many foods at once), and insulin growth factors, i.e., it’s insulinogenic (and of course you don’t want any insulin </sarcasm>). Of course, lactose intolerance, allergies, and other digestion problems are well known and totally valid.

My main argument is this: what if you tolerate it, it makes you feel good (mental focus, energy, well being, ambition), begins to radically alter your body composition in a matter of days, and it’s highly nutritious and bioavailable? Secondarily—and something I don’t recall being objected to in that previous post—the real purpose of weaning.

How about stop and consider the evolutionary purpose of weaning. Was it because milk is overnight a bad thing for you; or, rather, is it because the mother needs to get on and get ready to bear another offspring? Seems obvious to me.

And commenter “Dr. Curmudgeon Geeadded something else I had not considered.

I consider milk more “paleo” than broccoli or coconut.

There’re only 2 things in nature that are designed to be consumed—milk & fruits.

Hmm. Most of us are familiar with why fruits are evolutionarily designed to be consumed by some animal—either to disperse seeds by eating the flesh and discarding the seed, or to pass through the digestive tract to be dispersed that way.

Other plants pretty much all have one form of defense or other from being eaten: chemical defenses from mild toxins, to outright poisons. And animals as well have defenses: claws, teeth, fast running legs, stealth, camouflage, climbing ability, burrowing ability, etc. There’s really no such thing as a sacrificial animal (…except human beings, of course <grin>). But milk? 100% designed for the consumption of another animal. No, not human beings, but it’s certainly a lot closer than everything else if you’re talking about sourcing animal foods.

In short, I have come to find the whole paleo debate over milk to be somewhat religious or “just so” and without much evolutionary logic behind it—and particularly when most Paleos eat other forms of dairy. It’s a real, whole, nutritious and bioavailable food.

Alright, so it’s been about two weeks now that I first introduced this regularly, just to see what would happen. So what happened? Exclusively good things. Not a single negative. The first week it was just a couple of glasses per day. All last week I upped it to more like 1-2 quarts per day (700-1,400 calories of whole milk).

The Saint Benoit comes out like this per 8 oz serving:

  • 170 calories
  • 10g fat (8g saturated) = 53%
  • 12g carb = 28%
  • 8g protein = 19%

I have also added Organic Pastures raw milk and combine the two, just in case there’s something to the idea of raw being better, which I don’t honestly know (S Benoit is pasteurized at 145F, the lowest allowed). Per 8 oz serving:

  • 150 calories
  • 8g fat (5g saturated) = 48%
  • 12g carb = 32%
  • 8g protein = 21%

Seems to me that’s a pretty decent 50/30/20 macronutrient ratio of fat, carb, protein. At 30% of calories, even a 2,500 calorie per day diet is under 200g of carbohydrate—and that’s assuming the diet was 100% whole milk.

So after the first week with no problems, I conceived of an experiment. The idea: could the use of milk and its high nutrition at about 50% of total daily calories, along with other highly nutritious foods like eggs, organ meats, shellfish and such make it easy to:

  1. Reduce total caloric intake substantially without constant hunger (like in VLC when fat, but your own body fat is making up the difference) but while carbs are at about 30% of calories?
  2. Retain or even gain lean mass while losing fat (significant caloric reduction = weight loss) owing to the growth factors inherent in milk?

But this time I really wanted to establish a caloric baseline by eating ad libitum this past week, but with at least one, up to two quarts of the milk. I didn’t want to fool or prejudice myself, so I only logged the foods and amount of milk without doing caloric tracking as I went along. Then today I put it into FitDay and guess what? Comes out to an average of about 2,400 calories per day, just what I come out to if I use an online calculator (2,445 to be exact).

Something else happened concurrently. I think I finally got to the bottom of my continuinig problem with the herniated cervical disc. This December will be 2 years since that happened (I blogged quite a lot about it back then). Long story short, it put me down, with chronic 24/7 pain and severe weakness in my right arm for months. I finally got control of it, but each time I’ve gone back to the gym it flares up again—usually for 2-3 weeks. Needless to say, I’ve been very gun-shy about the gym.

The last time this happened was my workout with Skyler Tanner and Dr. Doug McGuff in Austin. All was fine for about 5 days or so, and then bam! Three weeks of misery ensued, but I was just plain tired of whining about it on the blog yet again. I don’t know why, but something just told me it was the overhead press.

I’ve decided that because of my age and because of this condition, I’m just going to get sensible and just to the plain old Body by Science routine, with two modifications: I’m adding in deadlifts because I love them, and the overhead press is going to be just “light vaginal conditioning.” So that’s what I did a week ago. Even after so long, DLs at 135×5 to warm up and then 205x5x3 were not difficult. Leg press cable machine at 360x5x3 was fine too (I’ll eventually get to the BBS routine of heavier and using time under load, but I want to recondition first in a manner to which I’m accustomed). Everything else went fine including the light overhead press. A full week, and not so much as a tinge of pain from the injury; and I know I hit all the spots just right because I was marvelously sore for days.

So starting tomorrow, my workout day:

  1. ~ 2,000 calories per day, 1,000-1,400 coming from whole milk (I’ll tweak that as I go along, upping or lowering the milk ratio to achieve the best feelings of satiation in the face of a 450 calorie deficit initially)
  2. One BBS style workout per week
  3. One 24-30 hour fast per week, sometimes in advance of the workout in order to work out deeply fasted—but not always
  4. One quart of milk consumed within the 2-hr window following the workout
  5. Recalculate daily caloric consumption with each 5 pounds lost (I vary between 185-188.5 right now, depending on water retention, i.e., daily)

In terms of nutrition beyond the milk: liver, oysters, clams, mussels, eggs, sushi, cottage cheese, lots of soups & stews made with stock & veggies & meats, light amounts of meat (mostly in the soups and stews). I will not be adding unnecessary fat to stuff (I’ve never been too much into that anyway beyond butter on a steak). I’ll probably have a scoop or two of real ice cream now and then.

It’s been quite some time now that I’ve had a very poor attitude in just about every respect. I know nobody’s noticed that, but it’s true! There have been many times where I’ve considered just fading away on this whole diet and nutrition thing altogether. Not even the emails and comments I get was enough, anymore. I just felt run down, crappy—I never use that stupid word “depressed.”

Anyway, I feel transformed in the space of two weeks and though my weight remained stable in spite of all that milk, my body composition and just plain old “look” is changing almost daily to the point where I’m excited about hopefully making this work right and taking another step in the Progress Picture direction.

It’s amazing what a can-do mental attitude and motivation can do.

Fuck. Milk? Who’da thought?

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  1. Chuck Currie on October 20, 2012 at 17:14

    Fuckin-A-Milk! Looking forward to the next results post.

    “The land of MILK and HONEY” There was a reason people that is what paradise was like.


    • Chuck Currie on October 20, 2012 at 17:16

      “thought” you moron. “…people thought that…”

    • LeonRover on October 21, 2012 at 07:10

      Ahhh – “paradise” – puts me in mind of:

      “Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
      A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse–and Thou
      Beside me singing in the Wilderness–
      And Wilderness is Paradise enow.

      “How sweet is mortal Sovranty!”–think some:
      Others–“How blest the Paradise to come!”
      Ah, take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest;
      Oh, the brave music of a distant Drum!”

      This Fitzgerald being male, never endured a contraction and left (temporal) dilation to Einstein.


      • marie on October 21, 2012 at 13:43

        “and left (temporal) dilation to Einstein.” -but apparently didn’t leave the time-warp inherent in the 1000 year-old poem. (smile)
        And perhaps this part, with Le Gallienne’s translation, is more ‘heavenly’ :

        “To all of us the thought of heaven is dear—
        Why not be sure of it and make it here?
        No doubt there is a heaven yonder too,
        But ’tis so far away—and you are near.

        Men talk of heaven,—there is no heaven but here;
        Men talk of hell,—there is no hell but here;
        Men of hereafters talk, and future lives,—
        O love, there is no other life—but here.”

      • LeonRover on October 22, 2012 at 04:49

        “O love, there is no other life—but here.”

        S’absolument! and note –
        “O life, there is no other love-but here”

        “thus tho’ we cannot make our Sun
        stand still, yet will we make Him run”

        Sol Victus.

        Also – “. . take the Cash in hand and waive the Rest. . ”


      • marie on October 22, 2012 at 06:39

        I Marvel at your blazing iambic tetrameter (she says, coyly).

  2. Catherine in the BVI on October 20, 2012 at 17:17

    Yo, Raw Milk is the bomb

    Our teeth appear bright white and remineralized ( according to our two different dentists )

    I drive to Jimbos in Carlsbad and usually drink a quart in traffic, on the I-5

    Did you know you can freeze it? Si, se puede!

  3. VW on October 20, 2012 at 17:58

    Congrats on the progress.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 18:01

      I wouldn’t call it progress as much as I’d call it definitely enough preliminary info to continue and make it structured. I’m very confident that if I do this, positive progress will come. Very confident. The almost daily noticeable morphing of body comp is quite encouraging.

  4. Doug McGuff, MD on October 20, 2012 at 18:04


    Careful on the deadlift. It may have been a culprit in your neck impingement. If you are going to do them, get a tutorial from Doug Holland in Shreveport, LA. You can contact him through the directory on the BBS blog.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 18:08


      I’d always assumed it was the deadlift. Taking it very easy and only an overhand grip on that right arm. Also, the gym just got a real DL platform with the padding and the large size plates. I recall you mentioning my slamming it in that rack and the energy that could be transferred. Now I’m setting it down like a feather onto several inches of shock absorber.

      Very nice so far. I’ll check into Doug Holland.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 18:14

        Just saw his once per month DL workout, 366# at a body weight of 153# (plus 12 oz after the beer).

        Laf. That was awesome.

      • Danny J Albers on October 21, 2012 at 03:27

        You get almost all the same benefits doing very heavy dumbbell deadlifts or doing trap bar deadlifts but without the same strain on your posterior chain.

        A lot of elite martial artists I have worked and trained with, and even Ross Enamait of preferentially uses the trap bar deadlift. I am pretty sure its because it lets them keep boxing or rolling the next day without so much pain.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 04:59

        The gym has a trap bar now, so I’ll try it out. It’s funny, though. DLs did used to make my lower back hurt. I switched to Sumo style, got up to the mid 200s with no problem, switched back to classic, but back to 185 at the time, built up to 325 for 5 reps and have never had a lower back issue since.

      • Skyler Tanner on October 21, 2012 at 08:04

        Use that trap bar, Richard. Not only is it better on your back and shoulder, but you don’t have to worry about decelerating the bar from smacking your balls. You can be more aggressive without worrying…win!

  5. JGibson706 on October 20, 2012 at 19:24

    I know that when I consume the traditional store-bought milk (even the supposedly high quality stuff), I may as well resign myself to two weeks of sinus infections, and hadn’t consumed it in a couple of years. Over the past couple of months, though my girlfriend has been bringing home ice cream (Jeni’s) which is made from grass-fed milk. I splurged (okay, gorged) on it a couple of times. No sinus infection. I was attributing it to the fact that it was summer and just the time of year where I tolerate things that FUBAR my sinuses better than usual. Now you have me wondering. Guess I’ll have to conduct an experiment sometime soon and see what it does for me.

  6. Skyler Tanner on October 20, 2012 at 19:31


    Love me some deadlifting. I even posted a tribute to Doug Holland on youtube. The sickness (as he’s called) has sent me all sorts of crazy workout videos over the years. He even taught me that a good beer is a good idea right after a workout. Totally paleo.

  7. SArah on October 20, 2012 at 19:41

    “light vaginal conditioning.”
    Can’t get enough of that, but did you write that in paragraph 13 just to test if we were reading all of the article?
    ps. yes to milk.

    • marie on October 20, 2012 at 20:22

      Laf! At first I thought typo for “light vagal conditioning” since he’s worried about cervical problem, but yeah, it works to just get the women laughing. The guys on the other hand seem to be suffering more from ADD…(smile)

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 21:24

      I put that in a comment on the first thread, got a laugh, and Im always a sucker for a laugh.

      • LeonRover on October 21, 2012 at 07:01

        Hey Rich,

        “light vaginal conditioning” – an interesting subconscious verbal link. It is a felicity worthy of Lewis Carroll.

        I suggest the following plausibility:

        Recognising that you have been a “pain in the neck” to many interwebbers, you developed a neck injury, specifically “cervical herniation” – as a psycho-somatic self-injury.

        To fix your problem you now need “light cervical conditioning” – verbalised as “light vaginal conditioning”, another form of psycho-somaticism – via the following path:

        neck->cervix (cervical) -> cervix uteri -> vagina (vaginal)

        Now, imagine that DurianRider had suffered similarly – he might have decided on some “light veganal conditioning”.

        Other musings led me to “light mammary conditioning” – and the memory (mammary?) that at the age of 13 I began to be conditioned by the “budding mammae” of my girl contemporaries! Alas, they only had eyes for boys 3 to 4 years older.

        Listen to Dino –

        (M*m**ries Are Made of This).

        The phrases “Mamma Mia” and “Yo’ Mamma” may now be viewed in a new light!

        And I am reminded that the Greek “colpo”, meaning narrow or neck, also is used for vagina. (Lends to an interesting speculation as how Anthony Colpo’s name might seem among Athenian body-builders.)


      • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 09:42


      • marie on October 21, 2012 at 13:58

        Ahaha! O.k. LeonRover, you certainly don’t have ADD.
        And ‘colpo’ meaning also “trick’ in modern Athenian, Anthony’s name would be doubly revered. :)

      • LeonRover on October 22, 2012 at 04:52

        “trick” as “cozen” or “knee-trembler” ??

      • marie on October 22, 2012 at 06:27

        laf! Both! Such a fine word all around.

      • LeonRover on October 22, 2012 at 15:42

        So, Marie, Hallowe’en is nigh

        Trick or Treat ?

      • marie on October 22, 2012 at 17:49

        Ah, it depends if Tam Lin be there. For then at the mirk and midnight hour, I must succeed a several tricks, to win my earthly knight.

      • LeonRover on October 23, 2012 at 09:28

        Mmmm – I now see thro’ yr disguise, you actually Reynardette, and yr fave band is:
        Тамлин –

        Google this – – it hits my hotspots!

        I guess you not up for a Treat!


      • marie on October 23, 2012 at 09:59

        Ah well, I should have better said “I must Defeat several tricks, to win my earthly knight.”
        A single word. Only a horseshoe is as powerful.

        As for that treat, Yes Please (smile) – after suffering through that band, I can use it!

      • LeonRover on October 24, 2012 at 04:20

        So, Renardine – Heah yo’ Treat, no Trick needed.

        Just imagine my voice and substitute “moi” for “toi”.


      • marie on October 24, 2012 at 10:06

        Hmm, all the more reason to prefer this rose,
        for when “your rose is in bloom a light hits the gloom on the grey”


      • marie on October 24, 2012 at 06:19

        A Greek-French singer, piquant. (smile)
        Et puis, this sentiment, perhaps a treat for you :

      • LeonRover on October 24, 2012 at 07:49

        Ahh, but “La Vie en Rose” ends up as –

        “Ash on an old man’s sleeve
        Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.

        Dust in the air suspended
        Marks the place where a story ended.”


      • LeonRover on October 24, 2012 at 10:31


  8. Skyler Tanner on October 20, 2012 at 19:41

    Oh and I suspect this is why the paleo + milk guys are actually anabolic: all of that “grow a baby calf” stuff that helps the growth along.

    Or here is a simple prescription, akin to your very successful Leangains days:

    Non-workout days: meat, fowl, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, roots, tubers, bulbs, herbs, spices, animal fats, avocados, and coconut etc. etc.

    Workout days: all of the above plus 1 quart to 1/2 gallon of milk post workout.

    Get Hyooge.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 21:26

      Exactly where Im planning to take this after an initial probably a month with the milk daily.

      I figure its a lot better than protein powders.

      • LeonRover on October 21, 2012 at 07:27

        I have been eating more dairy foods recently and found that:

        There is just too much liquid in Milk – but

        Cottage Cheese has 10-11 gms Protein/100 gms(ml) vs 5-6 gm for Milk,
        (I can also get a lo-fat version)

        when dissatisfied with the taste, I add some Pure Cream – also ups the Fat proportion,

        I also use Farm Probiotic Yoghurt.

        So Rich – you now eat Potato and Dairy, when will you add BEANS ????


      • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 09:52

        I have often added heavy cream to cottage cheese, ice cream too. I’ve also found that when you can find large curd cottage cheese, it has far more of the mildly sour whey, which I find super delicious.

        Beans, ha. Well, just yesterday I slow cooked a crock of wild kill ground elk chili, with properly soaked kidney beans. But I’ve always had some beans, now and then, though not often. My wife her family are Mexican so I have to make a pot of pinto beans a few times per year, but always properly soaked over night, and it makes a huge difference. Then I make refried with lard with the leftovers, usually enjoyed with eggs for breakfast.

        There are a couple of Mexican restaurants around here that make their retried beans with their own rendered lard. You can absolutely taste the difference.

      • LeonRover on October 21, 2012 at 10:50

        Reminds me of 1st experience of Texas Chilli CookOffs a generation ago – oh, yeah, when Chillis was still local to Houston, fajitas had just become the rage & the Huntsville Prison Rodeo was still goin’ strong.

        Some good memories.

      • LeonRover on October 21, 2012 at 13:31

        PS “re-tried beans?” Waaal, BTW, Ah only “try mah beans” onct – they either guilty or non-guilty (farty or non-farty).


      • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 16:35

        That’s auto-correct on the iPad. Guess this one wasn’t made in Mexico. :)

        But it kinda works either way. Retried is more general, since they weren’t fried in the 1st place.

      • LeonRover on October 22, 2012 at 11:40

        Reprieved beans, then.

  9. jimmyisgettingrippedagain on October 20, 2012 at 20:05

    +1 on the milk Richard. I take mine as kefir – tastes like shit at first but it keeps you regular. Make it myself from organic grassfed milk. I also supplement with amino acids. Get the aminos designed to calm your mind and help you sleep, not just the BCAAs. Chuck in some BCAA for workouts if you like, but the milk will probably do. 1,400 calories of milk will probably get you about 5 grams of leucine a day. 1,400 calories of beef will probably get you about 20grams of leucine a day.

    Remember, even Berkhan fuels with BCAA prior to working out. He’s not really working out completely fasted – he’s fueled on BCAA.

    • jimmyisgettingrippedagain on October 20, 2012 at 20:14

      Forgot to mention: the comment section in your last milk post mentioned some 96 year old cunt who lived on milk butter and almonds. You said he had nice delts or something like that. Well fuck me, almonds are packed with leucine. The old cunt has been gorging on leucine.

      • jimmyisgettingrippedagain on October 20, 2012 at 20:21

        Also forgot to mention, get ripped, update your book and watch that fucker move up the amazon sales rank dude. People buy books written by dudes with abs man. Shred those fucking things Richard. Above all else though, don’t hurt yourself at the gym for christ’s (or whatever) sake!

      • jimmyisgettingrippedagain on October 20, 2012 at 20:24

        Get shredded for that gorgeous wife of your’s dude. She deserves it!

      • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 21:33

        Jesus, you can say that again. It’s not only that it takes you out of the game but that your mental and physical go to shit. I had been in the gym twice per week for three years straight. I’m well aware of the difference. It doesn’t really take much. A little goes a very long way.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 21:29

      Yea, when I was working with Matrin prior to the injury, I was taking 10g BCAA (Purple Wrath) pre workout. Love the niacin rush. I still have some left so I think I’ll start that again.

  10. Matt on October 20, 2012 at 20:19

    Just drop the deadlift from the top! Don’t worry about the negative unless your goal is to build mass. The negative on a deadlift is where your going to hurt yourself

    • Richard Nikoley on October 20, 2012 at 21:34

      I’ll look into that, Matt. I’ll have to ask the gym folks if its ok though. I’m a bit shy.

  11. el-bo on October 21, 2012 at 01:28

    nothing like happening on fresh inspiration….good for you :)

    • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 01:32

      Hey, how are you el-bo? Been a long time since I’ve seen you here.

      • el-bo on October 21, 2012 at 03:38

        doing well, cheers for asking :)

        always lurking around here….in between the dramas have found quite a few little inspirations and ideas inspiring me to make my own changes

  12. Andrew on October 21, 2012 at 01:50

    Thanks for this, Richard. Been thinking about integrating raw pastured milk myself, and I don’t give a shit if it’s not ‘paleo.’

    The Organic Pastures cultured butter is amazing, btw. Costs a frickin’ fortune, but excellent.

  13. Gene on October 21, 2012 at 04:27

    Enjoying this series of posts. I’ve been on a mass gain experiment using Poliquin’s German Volume Training, but have had a lot of trouble getting the amount of calories/protein etc. needed to make a lot of headway because of cost and time constraints. I’ve been looking at using high grade whey powder (still costly) and also considering hitting up the grass-fed milk produced all around the UK. Your thoughts seem to echo my own in regards to the reticence of many Paleo types to drinking milk. I don’t see what all the fuss is about outside of the the potential carbohydrate content for the heavily insulin-resistant. Otherwise, I thought fat, protein and IGF-1 were supposed to be our friends when getting anabolic. I’m curious to see if this starts a conversation in the Paleo community about this stuff. I remember when grass fed cream was a no-go, and that has shifted. As the fear of (some) carbs subsides in the light of evidence, perhaps we’ll see the same in regard to less fat-heavy forms of dairy.

  14. rob on October 21, 2012 at 05:11

    Shame Kahlua has so much sugar in it

    Otherwise you could live off White Russians

  15. RG on October 21, 2012 at 06:31

    Milk is nasty (personal opinion)- haven’t touched it since childhood-

    however- the reason it is not paleo- is because milk comes from farming- for instance, hunters did not track game for milk- that came later when they starting herding ungulates for meat, skins, milk, etc.

    so if you’re a purist- you wouldn’t drink milk- however, if you actually like milk- go for it

    • Norma on October 21, 2012 at 07:34

      RG, totally agree. Even as a baby, per my mother, I wouldn’t drink the stuff. I have never had a glass of milk in my life. I did, in my Fat Life, enjoy TONS of it with cereal, however, and of course used it in coffee, etc. Since I started eating clean (not strict Paleo except for two Whole 30s, and not exactly primal, but a 98% whole foods, non-processed diet) I’ve eliminated both milk and cereal and kind of just walked away from cheese as well, save for a sprinkle of feta on salad now and then. I do eat about 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt a day just so I have something to mix my ground flaxseed in. When I was a SAD eater, I snacked on cheese all the time and it was a mandatory addition to salads and sandwiches. Pizza was a twice-weekly meal. But much like diet soda (of which I used to drink six-eight cans a day), when I ditched processed foods, I lost my taste for dairy. I agree with your reasoning (farming) of why milk/dairy isn’t Paleo, but also with your assessment that if someone is a fan of it (shudder), it’s not heresy to include it in a whole-foods diet.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 09:33


      So then, all your meat is wild? It’s not from farming?

      Recent research moved back the clock on when humans began selectively hunting from 400k years to 2 million. It was believed they scavenged kills, but, instead, they selected, and they selected different from the carnivores who select for weak and small. One hypothesis is that they waited in trees and simply dropped down on selected prey.

      I’m sure they would have never selected for a lactating female, though. That part of the animal is forbidden to consume.

      • RG on October 21, 2012 at 11:42

        Come on Nikoley-

        bogus rebuttal

        being paleo means replicating (to the extent possible) the eating habits of our non-agrarian past . .and that includes eating “farmed meat”

        It’s a lock our ancestors weren’t running after lactating ungulates w/ the hope of squeezing some milk into a gourd

      • rob on October 21, 2012 at 12:22

        There were ancient civilizations where as a rite of manhood boys would follow around captive young cattle until they gave birth, and then before the calf took a single sip the young male as a rite of passage would insert himself between the cow and the calf and suck vigorously at the cow’s teats.

        His success would earn him standing in the tribe and mark him as ready to do battle.

        This has been documented in over 200 peer-reviewed papers, dating back to 1659.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 16:37

        But certainly not farmed dairy. That part of the animal is forbidden. The Gods have spoken.

    • Rob on October 22, 2012 at 14:58


      Where do you do your hunting?

  16. John on October 21, 2012 at 08:38

    I like the raw milk from Organic Pastures. They certainly do good work. I think there is something to the raw argument. Also, when it comes to pasteurization, we generally don’t think of different levels, but they must exist. Think of a steak. We all know the difference between rare, medium, well done, and burnt. I’m betting most commercially available milk is pasteurized in the well done to burnt category, while Saint Benoit sounds more like rare to me, and probably pretty close in nutrition (maybe even a bit better) than raw, although both are going to far outweigh the benefits of ultra-pasteurized or the high heat stuff.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 12:31


      I love Organic Pastures, Clarevele, not so much, at least the batches I’ve tasted. But I can surely attest that side by side, since I can get both OP and SB within 5 minutes—the OP from Lunardi’s and SB from Whole Foods (right across the street form one another in Los Gatos)—the SB is way richer. Also, yellowish while the OP is white. The SB is kinda like the richness of half & half.

  17. EF on October 21, 2012 at 09:56

    Thoughtful post. It is nice to see someone supporting milk with logic instead of the knee-jerk “it is not paleo” argument. I really am coming around to the nutrient density argument for eating. More nutrients is less hunger is less eating. For that reason, along with eggs for a growing chicken, milk is up there in terms of good real foods.

  18. Craig on October 21, 2012 at 10:29

    Hello Richard,

    First time commenting, but have been reading your blog for a long time. Your view on governments, politicians and a host of other things mirrors my own and it is great to see someone tell it like it is.

    Firstly on milk, its unfortunate but I am actually allergic to milk in that it causes terrible acne and who knows what else. I figured this out about 10 years to late, and drastically reduced my consumption around a year ago. Interestingly, I found out that it probably isn’t the lactose (carb) faction in milk that is the issue, but the casein (protein) faction. Most modern cows have a type of casein referred to as “A1” type, which is far more prevalent than the “A2” type which would probably be considered the “paleo” type. A1 seems to be the the genetic variant which causes allergies in a many people, and it apparently appeared relatively recently in history around about when domestication of cattle occurred. See wiki for more detail: Your Saint Benoit Jeresey milk will actually contain more A2 type casein than regular store bought milk from Holstein cows. But enough about that.

    I remember reading about your neck issue from deadlifting and watching your videos from a couple of months back. In your last video in July there are two things that I would suggest you do differently form wise. The first would be to setup a little closer to the bar, so that when you are standing and about to descend to grip, the bar is in the middle of your foot as viewed from the side. This will put your shins roughly an inch from the bar. Then when you descend and grab the bar, your shins should touch when you are in the starting position. Many people start with the bar too far forward towards the toes, and it messes up the mechanics of the lift and generally puts more pressure onto the back instead of distributing it more evenly between the back and legs.
    Secondly, and I would think more pertinent to your neck problem, is that when you begin the lift you “look up” and into the mirror while lifting. Perhaps you only look in the mirror sometimes, but I would suggest not doing this at all. This will make the lift more natural and make you focus more on what your body is actually doing. A fancy name for this is proprioception. The next thing would be not to look up at all either. Instead at the start of the lift and throughout the lift, maintain a neutral spinal/neck alignment, which would result in you looking roughly 4-5 feet infront of you at the start of the lift. I remember tweaking my neck in the past when looking up and now always stay neutral without any problems. There is some disagreement in the lifting community on this, however I have found that this works best for me. The above deadlifting advice comes from a trainer named Mark Rippetoe. I realize this has into somewhat of an essay, however I thought this could perhaps benefit others as well.

    That is all,


    P.s. Hat tip to Danny Albers, Ross Enamait is awesome.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 12:38


      Thanks. Yes, I’ve looked into the A1/2 issue and as I recall the Jerseys are more A2. Also, I think I recall that in Europe, the dairy cows are A2.

      Thanks for the advice on the DL. Yes, now that they have a DL platform at the gym I stand opposite the mirror and am keeping my neck neutral. I’ll check to make sure of the starting position though, but I think it’s naturally at the shins. Once you realize you really aren’t going to be scraping your shins when pulling properly, it’s the way to go.

  19. Ben on October 21, 2012 at 10:47

    I hope this is the reason he wasn’t MORE of a “prick”. Come on.

  20. Cow on October 21, 2012 at 13:37

    That right, Richard, suck it down, take it in, take it all in. Kneel down before almighty Cow who resurrect you strength and optimisms. Accept Cow Overlord as you savior into you heart and yea, shall you be restored and forgiven for you many, many …many sins.

    • jimmyisgettingrippedagain on October 23, 2012 at 03:31

      Cow, you won’t have Richard genuflecting at your soft milky udders when he writes a post on BBQ beef short ribs! Yum! BBQ cow with secret sauce!

      • jimmyisgettingrippedagain on October 23, 2012 at 03:32

        I’ll smother you in secret sauce myself you tasty cow…

  21. metjush on October 21, 2012 at 13:55

    the crucial difference I think there is between (human) breast milk and other milks (cow, sheep, goat, whatever) is the fatty acid composition – breast milk has double the amount of lauric acid (oh yes, the same everyone loves in coconut oil) than the other milks. sure, it’s still not coconut, but perhaps there is a reason for the lauric acid content in our breast milk… dunno, just wondering aloud… thoughts, anyone?

  22. Teddy P on October 21, 2012 at 13:58

    Goat/cow milk is not quite similar macrowise- at least 3 times the protein for goat/cow (<1% protein vs ~3% for cow)

    • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 16:43

      The stuff I have is about 20% of calories for protein.

      • Teddy P on October 22, 2012 at 15:45

        The percentages above were by weight. Human milk is about 5% protein by calories.

      • Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2012 at 16:06

        Ah, that explains it. Water must account for 80-90% by weight.

  23. Andrew on October 21, 2012 at 14:37

    Charles, you talk nothing but shit about people everywhere on the web. How about you apologize first?

  24. Mari on October 21, 2012 at 15:17

    I used to love milk, but unfortunately 1) commercial milk definitely does not love me these days and 2) raw milk is illegal to buy in my state unless I buy a “cow share” since the only way you can get raw milk is if you own the cow. I have had raw milk and I’ve had no digestive problems with it, but cow shares are stupidly expensive. I’ve gotten used to going without dairy outside of Kerrygold butter but I’ve glanced at goat’s milk from time to time.

  25. the 3volution of j3nn on October 21, 2012 at 15:55

    I don’t have a dog in this race. I love dairy–all dairy. If my digestive track and rest of my body do, I am not sure. I think if you can tolerate it and it’s not detrimental to your health in any other way, then it’s definitely something to include. I believe it has a ton of benefits, both physically and mentally. It’s not for everyone, but what is?!

    Side note: I once read that milk is the one food you can live off of indefinitely.

  26. Danny Roddy on October 21, 2012 at 20:26

    “….but with at least one, up to two quarts of the milk.”

    “…along with other highly nutritious foods like eggs, organ meats, shellfish…”

    It’s getting kinda Peatarded in here Richard.

    • Bob on October 21, 2012 at 20:45

      You’re an admitted community college dropout, Roddy. Who are you to run around shitting on people?

    • Richard Nikoley on October 21, 2012 at 20:58

      Hi Danny.

      You know, I often think about that dinner with you, I and Grace (dr BG) at LB Steak. Grace and I had lunch this summer at Left Bank down the street.

      Hope you’re doing well.

      As to Peat, I really don’t really know. I just chart my own course. I can’t say that I have ever read a Peat post or whatever it is he does. It doesn’t matter to me. Everything that comes to me and I blog about it a result of my own tweaking.

      • Danny Roddy on October 22, 2012 at 12:06


        I should have added a winking smiley face to that comment.

        I’m in the Bay area now, next time Patrick V. is up let’s get some steaks.

    • Robert Palmer on October 23, 2012 at 09:12


      Richard, welcome to the dark side. (Too corny?) And I worry that you’ll think of me as a moralizing dick for this, but it might be worth your time to read a few of Peat’s/Danny’s articles to perhaps get a better understanding of what you’re experiencing and learn a few ideas that you might experiment with in the same way you’ve been experimenting with milk consumption. I say all that because that advice has been working for me (and therefore am grateful for Danny writing what he does).

      • Richard Nikoley on October 23, 2012 at 09:27


        Yea, I don’t discount I could find out a thing or two. I quit paying attention when I heard his a couple of years back advocating essentially refined sugar. Now Im not a Puritan of anything–I’ll have a scoop of ice cream now and then–but if you want some sugar, plenty of sources in real foods.

        Anything you can point me to?

      • Danny Roddy on October 23, 2012 at 16:50


        For what it’s worth, most of the arguments launched at Peat are by people that have no fucking clue what he’s talking about.

        My understanding of his work (context) is in its infancy and I’ve been reading/writing about him for two years.

        As for him advocating white sugar, again the context needs to be established, but:

        “A daily diet that includes two quarts of milk and a quart of orange juice provides enough fructose and other sugars for general resistance to stress, but larger amounts of fruit juice, honey, or other sugars can protect against increased stress, and can reverse some of the established degenerative conditions.
        Refined granulated sugar is extremely pure, but it lacks all of the essential nutrients, so it should be considered as a temporary therapeutic material, or as an occasional substitute when good fruit isn’t available, or when available honey is allergenic.” -RP

        You drinking milk, and feeling better (mood),—may—be related to parathyroid hormone (PTH).

  27. LeonRover on October 22, 2012 at 05:00

    Would Evie Concur ? I rather doubt it.

    And neither would Melissa.

    Hey Man, yr Freudian ships are slowing.

    Maybe the Zetas are in line for a Contract . . . . . ?

  28. rob on October 22, 2012 at 07:44

    I don’t do the dead lift because of the “you’re doing it wrong” factor, seems like everyone in the universe does it wrong, I figure if an exercise is that hard to do correctly then fuck it.

    • Gene on October 23, 2012 at 01:55

      Hmmm…I reckon we’d been lifting things from the ground in that way for a good long while before Coach Rippetoe had anything to say about form. Surely a quick go-around with a trainer could help fix any form issues, but I found that with just a little information and a mirror, I figured it out pretty quickly.

      • rob on October 23, 2012 at 05:13

        I don’t really see it as essential. On alternate days I do

        overhead press
        incline press
        close-grip bench


        I figure that’s plenty, along with the 25 miles I run each week.

  29. Nicole on October 22, 2012 at 09:04

    Um, who’d have thought it? Ray Peat, for one. You’ve heard of him, I’m sure.

  30. A.B. Dada on October 22, 2012 at 10:53

    I missed the first post, but I’ll follow through with what I’m surprised others didn’t bring up:

    Casein brings with it opiods (casomorphines) which can be “addicting” in some ways.

    I usually tell my friends who are diagnosed with bipolar or higher addictions to get rid of dairy, completely. The theory goes that milk (human and cattle) contains casomorphines to calm the baby and bond it to the mother. The natural weaning process allows the infant to break that chemical connection but retain the “emotional” bond.

    While it’s completely anecdotal, and I’d say N=25 or so, all of my friends with bipolar issues or chemical dependencies can correlate eating dairy with a build up to a manic or “falling off the wagon” stage. Again, this isn’t scientific whatsoever, it just builds to my hyperreward theory of why so many modern humans are so sad/disappointed/depressed all the time.

    I personally don’t SEEM to have an issue with dairy — I prefer raw, aged imported cheeses — but I have noticed that I do tend to over-eat on days that add cream to my coffee. Again, that’s anecdotal and biased, but I’m throwing it out there.

  31. Gabriella Kadar on October 22, 2012 at 19:16

    Richard, in re: cervical herniated discs: (from personal experience, C4 and C5 were causing tremendous crushing pain. That started in 1996.)

    The ‘bridge pose’ in yoga was what stopped the pain. I attended beginner Hatha Yoga classes and correlated that whenever the class included this pose, I was out of pain for the next few days. Eventually the pain went away entirely.

    The MediFlow pillow helped but when sleeping on my side, if the top arm wasn’t supported by another pillow, that arm would go entirely dead numb. And I mean dead to the point that I had to grab it with the other arm to shake it back to life. I thought maybe one day it would become permanent. Two hours later I’d wake up because the other arm would be dead and go through the rigaramole again.

    The arms going dead numb at night didn’t fully end until I started sleeping in the Mayan hammock. In over 14 months there has been only one occurence of slightly numb arm. Even though there’s no pillow, my neck does not get stiff.

    I’ve tried sleeping in a bed a couple of times during these months and it’s been awful. Maybe I need a softer bed. But a softer bed gives me low back pain. So now I”m in trouble: I don’t want to travel anywhere unless I can hook up a hammock someplace.

    I no longer promote hammocks as a bed replacement because if anyone actually goes ahead and does it, they’ll never want to go back to sleeping in a conventional bed. And that might have serious ramifications.

    (I wrap around a wool duvet and can actually keep a heating pad in the sacral area all night because hammocks on their own are not warm. On the flip side, since there is airflow, there’s no dust mites. No need for sheets, pillows, pillowcases etc. Low maintenance and I can vacuum under the thing. The problem is the cats: Oscar chews my toes or kneecaps through the duvet in the morning when he’s hungry. Some mornings I’ve got a couple of cats sleeping on top of me. That’s not too bad. It’s that they jump onto me and launch themselves off my full bladder in the morning when theyre running around going nutsie.)

    It’s great though when I’m all toasty warm and the window is open, I’m breathing cold, fresh air … camping. Love it.


    • Richard Nikoley on October 22, 2012 at 21:37

      I’ll give the bridge pose a try, though I’m pain free now since early September. Just had my 2nd gym day, 8 days from the first and zero problems. Actually kicked up my DL from 205 to 225 and it was easier than last week.

      I absolutely hate hammocks. I like laying flat.

      Anyway, my manifestation was different. Only my right arm is affected. I only had slight numbness, infrequently, right on my forearm aligned with my thumb, going down to the thumb. I had either stabbing pain in the lower part of my trapezius, or, throbbing, aching pain in my entire deltoid. This was by far the worst. Ice would work, but only for a short time. Then I learned from John Sarno that the pain is caused by diminished oxygen to the muscle, from diminished blood flow. What fixed that was a heating pad on low. I’d just lay in bed on my left side and drape the heating pad over my right upper arm and within minutes the pain would diminish enough to get to sleep.

      But I’m pretty stoked. I worked out pretty hard today, and in terms of “light vaginal conditioning” for the overhead press, did like 15-20 reps at 35 pounds. I used to do those at like 80 on the machine and was doing standing shoulder presses at 135 for 6-8 reps x 2. At this point, just going to do enough to get some blood flow to those muscles.

  32. Todd on October 22, 2012 at 22:13

    I’m bummed. I used to love to drink milk growing up. It is so satisfying. I probably averaged about a quart to a half-gallon a day, but when I learned about Paleo, I blindly followed the Paleo gods infinite wisdom. So I gave it up cold turkey. The only milk I’ve really had in the 2ish years I’ve been eating mostly paleo has come from milk kefir, which I started making about 6 months ago. So when I read this little gem of a series on milk, I got excited. I had 3 cups of milk last night, and when I woke up today I thought I had the first hint of a cold. A little coughing in the shower, and I felt like I had to constantly clear my throat. Shit. It dawned on me that my congestion was from the milk. I never had that problem before when I was a regular milk drinker. I was really hoping I would have no problems incorporating milk back into my diet, but I guess I’m SOL.


  33. Olga on October 23, 2012 at 05:15

    Hi Richard,
    I’ve slowly been coming to the same conclusion about milk. I think the only reason humans are the only animal who keeps drinking milk past weening, is that we have imposable thumbs! If I pour my cat a saucer of milk, he laps it up pretty quickly.

    I agree, that if a food will sustain the life of a new born for at least 6 months, then certainly there’s nothing wrong with it. The other thing I question is the notion that drinking milk will impair the absorption of minerals, such as iron, during that meal. A baby surly must double it’s blood volume before it’s weened, not to mention, all the minerals required for growth, so there’s no way that milk will impair mineral absorption.

    The other thing I wonder about is this… I’ve been pretty low carb for years, but have found lately that increasing my glucose intake to around 70-100 g per day makes me feel better. I wonder also, how bad plain white bread is as a quick source of pure starch. I’m not talking about going nuts with bread or anything, but as a quick one piece of toast now and again, or even once per day, as long as you don’t start craving it all the time. I think it can be agreed that nearly every centenarian now living is either a bread or rice eater. So, it can’t be pure evil for everyone. It also seems to me that those with the most problems with eating wheat, were once low fat vegetarians or vegans. Is it possible that using a small amount of bread as a means to hold a VERY large pat of butter, renders it a little less harmful? These are just some of the thoughts rattling around in my head. I have come to the conclusion that if something doesn’t make sense in the face of evolution or what I know to be biological fact, I will ignore it until it becomes fact. Thanks so much for sharing your N=1 experiments.

  34. golooraam on October 23, 2012 at 15:43

    Hi Richard!

    what a great blog post – per your text, I tried a bottle of St. Benoit, and voila, then bought another bottle! delicious

    I consumed a liter on the days I workout over the weekend. Have you found a difference in how you feel compared to when you ingest Organic Pastures (raw milk)

    I bought some of both during my lunch hour today – I must say I agree with you, the St. Benoit tastes phenomenal

    I plan on having a nice workout dinner tomorrow of lightly cooked pastured chicken livers and a couple glasses of raw milk

    • Richard Nikoley on October 23, 2012 at 15:52

      No diff in how I feel.

      I got 4 liters of SB and a Half gallon of OP and mixed them. No diff in feeling. Side by side taste test, goes to SB by far. Since yeaserday, just SB. It’s actually less expensive, too. I turn in my bottles at WF so it’s $4 per liter vs $10 now for OP for a half gallon ($4 diff per gallon). Was $7 for a 1/2 when I used to buy from time to time until WF dropped raw milk.

      My conclusion is that SB minimally processes at 145F pasturization, cream still mixes very easily (easier still with raw milk) and it’s quite less expensive and comes in very nice glass jars I take a certain joy in returning for credit.

      I’m a total SB whore, now. A dirty whore.

  35. steve on October 24, 2012 at 04:28

    have you been reading Ray Peat? Fruit, milk, oysters, liver… this is pure Ray.

    I’m totally into Ray Peat but I still haven’t wrapped my head around milk consumption. Ray recommends a half gallon of milk a day. He’s also a big fan of ice cream, and who doesn’t like ice cream. ;-)

    • Richard Nikoley on October 24, 2012 at 07:36


      Yea, there are some previous comments to that effect. I wasn’t aware. Of course, have been blogging about liver for a long time, nutrient density in general, but milk was always an indulgence. I still don’t know if I’ll always consume regularly but it sure does deliver the feel good goods to me.

  36. golooraam on October 24, 2012 at 08:28

    hmmm, maybe I’ll switch exclusively then to SB
    looking forward to my dinner of marin sun farms chicken livers (cooked lightly in butter), a sweet potato, and bunch of milk

  37. CCM on October 26, 2012 at 23:25

    Glad you’re feeling better, Richard. Chronic pain is a bitch. You’re not the only one healing from pain with milk. Some reasons for superiority of raw milk vs. pasteurized is that enzymes are intact, including: lactoferrin (potent anti-cancer and anti-pathogenic); lactoperoxidase (anti-microbial); phosphatase (allows absorption of Ca and other minerals). Vitamin A, D, K2 are heat-sensitive and harmed by pasteurization – even low temps. And, of course, lactic-acid producing bacteria so healing for our gut are destroyed by heat – and possibly made allergenic in heat-processing.

  38. Dr. Curmudgeon Gee on October 28, 2012 at 00:11

    sometimes i make hot cocoa out of SB.

    (Brown Cow cream top yogurt is also good.
    i like it plain)


  39. […] fellow mortal enemy of religion in all forms, points out that if you have the right genetics, milk is a a nearly perfect food. Continue the thought with this idea: the ability to drink milk was an spectacular mutation that […]

  40. Gene on October 31, 2012 at 13:32

    I’ve been drinking 1L of non-homogenised full fat milk now and again over the past few weeks. The past couple of times have been post-workout on my heavy lifting days (I’m doing Poliquin’s German Volume Training). Besides not having any immediate ill effects on my digestion or generating any other apparent symptoms, there is one thing that I have noticed on each of the days I’ve done the experiment: I sleep better. Now, perhaps this is simply the result of adding some carbohydrates back into my diet (I follow low-ish carb Paleo diet with periodic carb re-feeds), or the downstream effects of insulin, or tryptophan or merely a coincidence, but I’m going to see if I can start tracking the relationship. My sleep hasn’t been a huge issue, but I do have a tendency to wake up at least a couple of times during the night. My first waking is ALWAYS after about 3.5-4 hours, representing my first sleep cycle, but after that I have been experiencing more wake-ups until I get up after a total 8-9 hours. On my milk days, those secondary wakings are fewer, or at least they seem to be.

  41. […] I'm excited about a lot, again and finally. So, with my milk escapades and back in the gym, I've gained 2 nice solid pounds in the last three weeks. That is, my shirt is tighter around the […]

  42. Gordon on November 8, 2012 at 09:55

    Regarding: “There’re only 2 things in nature that are designed to be consumed—milk & fruits.”

    One could also add honey (ie. nectar) to that list.

  43. […] nearly a month ago when I did my second Got Milk? post I laid out a plan to consume a lot of milk, do my weekly Body by Science inspired workouts, […]

  44. aminoKing on November 17, 2012 at 15:51

    “Fuck. Milk? Who’da thought?”

    Lyle McDonald would have thought.

  45. Paula on November 18, 2012 at 03:57

    I love “real” milk. Has been my post workout drink for 4 years. 2 big cups of it. 52 yo and 114#. Has to be raw milk from Jersey or Guersney cows. Pasteurized stuff is bad, highly allergenic and contributes to many diseases.

  46. kevin on July 28, 2013 at 13:37

    Organic pastures used to be the largest distributor of clean wholesome, 100% grass fed raw milk. THEY HAVE RECENTLY CHANGED THIS FACT. Without their customers knowledge or approval, they started feeding their cows CORN! They’re also using so called “organic mineral supplement”. As most health advocates know, corn is horribly unhealthy and will in turn make the milk an unhealthy source of sugar (weight gain). This company has turned against it’s customers and is hoping that the customers won’t notice. Check out their website for verification that this product is now poisoned with CORN and artificial supplements. Their products are no longer clean, their cows are no longer 100% grass fed. Please post something warning their customers that Organic Pastures has gone to the dark side. Thank you.

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