I was swamped with work recently, so I just now got around to reading Richard Nikoley’s excellent new e-book Free The Animal: Lose Weight & Fat With The Paleo Diet.  (Sorry, Richard … would you consider labeling me fashionably late?)

The “e-book” part is important.  I don’t own a Kindle or other digital reader because I enjoy the feel of an old-fashioned paper book in my hands, but I have a digital copy of this one stored on my computer, and I’m glad I do.  Throughout the book, Nikoley cites blog posts (from his own blog and many others), online articles and YouTube videos as resources and –- you’ve got to like this –- embedded links to those resources right there on the page.

Great feature.  As much as I believe in tracking down sources, sometimes I don’t feel like glancing back and forth between a bibliography and my computer screen while trying to accurately type in a URL that’s 75 characters long. With the e-book, I just click the link.

(For those who buy the paperback book, Nikoley provides the URL of a web page with all the same links, by the way.)

But enough about the joys of hyperlinks. I enjoyed this book because it’s Richard Nikoley being Richard Nikoley:  analytical, humorous, encouraging, provocative and — as you know if you read his Free the Animal blog — occasionally pissed off!

Weaving together strands of evolutionary logic, findings from research, and personal experiences, Nikoley argues the case the book’s title suggests:  the key to lasting weight loss and superior health is to stop following the advice peddled by the anti-fat hysterics and to eat like our paleo ancestors:

Good health is natural. It’s not something that needs to be industrialized or drug-induced. By eating natural foods available to us, humans can enjoy good health and longevity. Technology should not separate us from or destroy the natural or man-made habitats we and non-human animals need to live and thrive in good health. The key to being lean, strong, and healthy is in your head. Use your intuition, just like animals do… The burden is squarely on you. Modern institutions only want to sell you stuff. They don’t care about your belly or health. They care about their bottom line and your spending.

Free The Animal: Lose Weight & Fat With The Paleo Diet is an easy read (you can tackle it in an afternoon), but covers a lot of ground.  The easiest way to describe the topics covered is to list the chapter titles:

  • The Paleo, Primal, Ancestral Lifestyle
  • Your Inner Animal
  • The Standard American Diet And Other Diet Health Disasters
  • Fat Is King
  • The Cholesterol Con
  • Natural Disease Prevention
  • Eat Like A Caveman
  • The Power Of Fasting
  • Evolutionary Exercise And Fitness
  • A Primal Weight Loss Plan
  • Recipes And Supplements
  • Success Stories

Before describing what a paleo diet is and why you should be living on one, Nikoley explains what’s wrong with the diet the “experts” keep pushing on us.  Did I mention that he gets a little hot under the collar now and then?  Well, here’s why:

… Another reason grain is said to be healthier than animal fat—the real reason, in my opinion— is that if you do a little research, you’ll find that the ADA is in the pay of the world’s leading companies promoting and profiting from obesity and ill-health by producing cheap, highly processed “food.” You have to dig deep, but if you look at the fine print of any alphabet soup “health” institution website, you can usually find who’s paying them to admonish you with unhealthful advice. The American Dietetic Association is sponsored by Aramark, Coca-Cola, Hershey, National Dairy Council, Abbott, CoroWise, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Pepsico, Unilever, Soyjoy . . . you get the idea. The American Diabetes Association’s list of sponsors is essentially the same, with the big drug companies thrown in. Do you think these companies are paying the ADAs to diss sugar-water drinks, processed foods and other sources of carbohydrate overload? And if not, how kindly are the ADAs going to take to having its affiliated dietitians and nutritionists contradicting ADA guidelines and policy?

… Think about it: fatty meats and eggs are wonderful, nutritious foods with literally millions of years of evolutionary credentials, not to mention the visceral pleasure almost anyone in their right mind gets from eating them. Yet they get tossed aside by self-important minions. And who are the self-important minions? The experts who have been telling us for years that fat is unhealthy, that’s who. The ones who have blood on their hands, as far as I’m concerned. They have, through their arrogant ignorance and disregard for the unassailable logic of human evolution, condemned millions upon millions to moribund lives of physical unattractiveness, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and the list goes on. As we can see by looking around or looking it up, the statistics get worse year after year, in the very face of the experts’ changing advice. But do they ever show humility? No, the best we get is more authoritarian arrogance. “You eat too much. You don’t exercise enough. You haven’t been listening to us and you’re not properly following our diktats.”

In the chapter on Natural Disease Prevention, he relates a personal story about the power of paleo diets to overcomes diseases –- one that’s similar to hundreds of personal stories I’ve heard from Fat Head fans:

My mom, in her early 70s, is a Type 2 diabetic. I have witnessed that the “help” she used to get from the medical establishment went beyond malpractice. When she was diagnosed some years ago, there was considerable confusion about what she ought to eat. She was aware of the low-carb advice, but her doctors were telling her to eat low-fat—advice that is pervasive throughout the medical community. As we all know, it is very hard to maintain a low-carb diet that’s also low in fat. You have to eat something. Making up the difference with protein can get very unpleasant. Just in terms of sheer mass, fat is more than twice as energy efficient as either protein or carbs. On this recommended low-fat diet, my mom’s blood glucose levels kept creeping up. She’d have huge swings, with spikes well over 200 and more.

To put that in perspective, a normal pancreas will release enough insulin to keep blood glucose no higher than about 145 mg/dL as an absolute spike; normal is in a range of about 80–100. Finally, the doctors determined she had to go on the self-administered shots. She’s no dummy. She could see the downward progression. Type 2s always get worse and worse.

Then my mom went on a super low-carb diet, with no concern for how much fat or protein she ate. She consumed no grains, no grain products, and very limited fruit. Her blood glucose quickly stabilized between 85 and about 105 most of the time. She had been used to shooting two types of insulin, a fast-acting and a time-release; a few weeks into the new diet, she was able to drop the fast acting one. Then, she and my dad hitched up the 5th-wheel trailer for a camping trip. She forgot her insulin at home. They were only a couple of hours away, so it could have been acquired, but she decided to just monitor her blood glucose level closely instead of going home. It stayed in the healthy range: she went the whole weekend without a shot.

One of the reasons I enjoy Nikoley’s blog is that (like yours truly) he’s a libertarian who believes in providing information and then encouraging people to experiment and find their own path.  He doesn’t expect people to follow orders, and he doesn’t issue any.  There’s no “do exactly what I say or you’ll stay fat and then die” nonsense here.  He spends part of one chapter explaining the benefits of grass-fed beef and organic foods, but then writes this:

However, I want to be as inclusive as possible. You can reap the benefits of Paleo by buying food from grocery chains. I also don’t want to discourage someone from the Paleo scene because they feel they don’t measure up if all they can reasonably source is grain-finished meat due to budget or other considerations. It’s a personal choice. Your emphasis should be on getting results first.

I don’t force myself to be a Paleo “purist.” I go out to eat, attend dinner parties at vegetarian friends’ houses, and indulge a little during the holidays. But concentrating on real food and passing on processed carbohydrates has resulted in 60 pounds of fat loss, massive reduction in blood pressure, cessation of prescription medications, fabulous lean muscle and strength gains, and a host of other lifestyle improvements.

I first learned about the benefits of intermittent fasting from Nikoley’s blog.  (I just finished a 24-hour fast last night, in fact.)  If you’ve never tried it, he describes how to get started in the chapter titled The Power Of Fasting. Trust me, once you’ve fasted a few times, you’ll wonder why you ever thought you had to eat three or four times per day, day in and day out.

The chapter on exercise is good too.  Like me, Nikoley used to walk for miles and miles, then wonder why he didn’t lose weight.  (He actually gained 25 pounds over a few years, despite walking thousands of miles.)  I still walk for pleasure, but I’ve learned from people like Nikoley, Fred Hahn and Dr. Doug McGuff that the best exercise for health and weight control is brief, intense exertion.  That’s the method that allowed Nikoley to lose more weight and vastly increase his strength — at age 50.

One of the real pleasures of being a blogger is hearing from readers who’ve made dramatic improvements in their health.  Nikoley passes on some reader success stories in the last chapter (complete with before-and-after pictures), but finishes the book by pointing out what more and more of us have realized:  sure, it’s great that overweight and sick people can re-claim their health and vitality, but it didn’t have to be this way.  If not for the misguided “experts” out there, we wouldn’t have needed to find a road to recovery:

Every single day in this country and around the world, people are subjected to conventional “wisdom” and advice from the likes of Oprah, Dr. Oz, the medical and drug company establishment, the government-institution establishment, the industrial-agriculture food establishment, the talking heads in the media establishment, and health columnists. What kind of advice? Advice that keeps people in their 20s and 30s, and even children, in many cases, obese, immobile, and sick. What’s worse, it keeps them dependent on a system constructed for others’ profit.

And isn’t that what it’s really all about, at the end of the day? The authorities don’t want you using your own mind. They want nothing to do with your reasonable and rational self-experimentation on your own body. No, what they want is for you to recognize their “superior” intelligence and privileged access to information only they know how to properly interpret. They want you to need them—to always look to them for your answers.

They want you to be skeptical—but only towards information that contradicts their diktats. They want to be the authority, the last and final word, always and forever, and they aren’t going to give that up without a fight.

Well, they’ve got themselves a fight.

Damned right they do.

Keep fighting, Richard.  You’re one of the reasons we’re going to win.

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43 Responses to “Review: Free The Animal (the book)”
  1. Auntie M says:

    I love his Free the Animal blog for his attitude in general. Richard tells it like he sees it, and really doesn’t care if you like it or not. :)

    I’ve bought the book for my Kindle, but haven’t had time to read it yet. The Kindle is great for travel, since I used to carry ten or more books with me on trips, and I would still run out of things to read. It’s nice that you can read the e-books with a computer, too.

    I like my MP3 player for that reason. It’ll hold 100 hours worth of audiobooks, and I can listen to a book when, say, standing in an airport security line that’s moving at a snail’s pace.

  2. Rob says:

    Tom,

    You’ve just sold me on another book. Your interviews and book reviews are extremely helpful. I really appreciate your continued research.

    Thanks again,

    Rob

    It’s my pleasure, of course. My policy is to only post reviews of the books I recommend. I’ve received some that I read and set aside.

  3. Be says:

    Standing Ovation for Richard and you both for fighting this every day. Mark my words, they are coming after us and as two of the best voices out there you take a risk everyday. “They” will try to silence you. Ask Steve Cooksey. Look at the rules they are trying to impose in our schools, communities, and countries.

    As fellow libertarians, I think you both understand that the root is much more duplicitous than a “health concern”. As you quoted, “The authorities don’t want you using your own mind. They want nothing to do with your reasonable and rational self-experimentation on your own body”. Or your own life.

    Oh, and if anyone wants to know who “they” are just ask yourself how you vote with your ballot and wallet – maybe you are “they”!

    I’m simultaneously amused and disturbed when people who understand how badly the government screwed up on dietary advice nonetheless want to keep the big government programs — we just have to get the right people with the right beliefs in there, ya see.

    It’ll never happen. The people who want to control your life never have the “right” beliefs, because they never have your best interests at heart.

  4. Devin says:

    I might just have to get this book since I just finished with Wheat Belly. It pisses me off, too, that these experts have been feeding me lies about nutrition since I was in Kindergarten. And I’ve been fat since 2nd grade and I’ve always blamed myself. I remember being in elementary school having kids teasing me and me buying into the lies that I was lazy and undisciplined and it was all my fault. I was 8 for Pete’s sake! I was the kid of kid who played outside afterschool every day until the streetlights came on– basketball, soldier, cops and robbers, Power Rangers, snowball wars, everything. And I played soccer, basketball, and baseball on teams and took karate. I wasn’t a lazy kid.

    But still to this day I get those annoying, usually genetically skinny, people who look down their noses and tell me I’m lazy and eat junk all day and that’s why I’m fat. But I’m working on it. I’ve been following a loosely Primal diet for about three months now and, although I don’t like weighing myself, the tape measurer is showing some awesome results as are my clothes that are now hanging off me. But people who dole out bad advice while looking down on those who follow it without results piss me off everyday. And now I’m even getting into arguments with my (mostly overweight) 2nd grade students who tell me rolls and breadsticks are healthy and my sausages and beef jerky I bring for lunch to go with the school’s salad bar aren’t healthy. They’re going to end up statistics– just more overweight, diabetic Navajos. And it’s all because of these government programs forcing “healthy” food onto the rez and offering classes telling them to eat low-fat and lots of whole grains all while looking down their noses and blaming the Navajos themselves. Makes me sick.

    Well said. Your anger is justified.

  5. LCNana says:

    In my case “THEY” are the dictocracts who have decided I shall have NO fat on my meat. Search as hard as I can in one of the most popular stores in my town (which by the way has the best veggies and fruits) I cannot find any fat on any of the meat. It’s trimmed away. And when I ask the “butcher” he says they get it that way from the supplier. When I complain, he says others complain that it’s still too fatty.

    Things are really getting bad, especially when one lives in a small town and the choices are miles away. But with a little diligence we can find hunks of good ole pork shoulder, and pork hocks and chicken with the skin, etc. and there’s always bacon!! And butter, and coconut oil, and heavy cream. Good post, Tom.

    Since this post is about Richard’s book, I think I can say I wish he did not have such a foul mouth on his blog. I have stopped reading it because of that. It’s not particularly amusing, and if that’s a representation of “libertarianism” I’ll pass. I was amused, though, to read that he had “cleaned” up his book (which was composed somewhat from his blog) because it might offend. If he thinks it’s ok to be a potty mouth in public on his blog, why not in his e-book?

    Well, I’m a libertarian and I avoid the four-letter words on my blog, as does libertarian Dr. Mike Eades. That’s just Richard’s style.

    Save the bacon grease, then add it to those overly-trimmed meats while cooking.

  6. I love the diatribes. I absolutely LOVE them. Richard is right on point on every one of them. And I’m looking forward to being a success story, but at least now I am on the right path. So many people aren’t. What hurts me the most is that I have overweight friends who look at me, see that I’m getting results and then tell me that what I’m doing can’t be healthy!
    I can walk. And for those of you who haven’t been gigantically overweight, let me tell you that simply being able to walk in the store, to be able to walk from my car to the house, to walk around my own home without having to stop for a rest, that’s HUGE. I haven’t run in over a decade, because I can’t. I see people striding, running, jumping, and playing sports, and I feel such jealousy. I want that. I don’t want to look like a model or super-star athlete. I just want to be able to use my body the way it was designed. And I am offended, disgusted, and down-right furious at the people who put out this “advice” that has made me what I am today.
    I didn’t have to waste 20 years being fat and miserable! I could have been a happy, active kid. And I want that for my children. So if I have them, I’ll raise them on low-carb. And they can have what I didn’t.

    Thinking back on my adolescent and teen years (not to mention a big chunk of my adult life) is what makes me angry as well. I didn’t have to be the fat, insecure kid. I would have been just fine as a lean, less-insecure kid.

  7. Jan says:

    I, too, am libertarian and avoid (excessive) cursing on my blog. It is, indeed, just Richard’s style.

    I read Free The Animal religiously (the wording of which would amuse Richard), and haven’t felt the need to buy the book for my Kindle. You’ve changed my mind.

    As anyone who knows me on a personal can tell you, I’m not offended by profanity. I can spew expletives with the best of them when I’m annoyed.

    But I made the decision years ago, when I started as a standup comedian, to keep it clean on stage. I’ve extended that decision (mostly) to my blogs.

  8. Thanks Tom. Really cool.

    On the issue of profanity, I explicitly worked with the editors to try and keep the outrage, but without the profanity. I wanted the book to be a reasonably short primer on Paleo that goes beyond—into vitamin D, K2, fasting, etc—but that stood a chance of actually being read and passed along and recommended. So, yea, work & grandma safe.

    On libertarianism, here’s a taste, from only yesterday (no profanity either). Kurt Harris commented: “One of your best posts ever.”

    http://freetheanimal.com/2012/02/whos-the-worstest-of-them-all.html

    It’s my third successive post in defense of Steve Cooksey, Diabetes Warrior against the investigation and actions of the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition against his blogging activities.

    Thanks again, Tom.

    That is one of your best. Great book, Richard.

  9. Hilary Kyro says:

    Echo the standing O, for both Tom and Richard! Thank you, that I have the ability to stand because of the applied knowledge I’ve acquired @ Fathead and because I refused to obey all the “No Brainer” instructions of government-paid health authorities. Thank you for your rage against, “The Grape Nuts of Wrath”. The Carbage-based Food Pyramid is not an honest mistake; it’s the wisdom of centuries of painful oppression. SAD is the proven recipe to raise sheepish people; just sprinkle the sheeple with drugs and media imagery if you want them to be more aggressive, passive, Spartan, consumptive or to fall breathlessly in love with their government doctors, double-chinned teachers and Dear Leaders.
    We will win; those who work, think and eat as natural champions…who think Liberty is more than having free diabetes supplies delivered to your door. The Butter-Beans are growing stronger and wiser while the Wheaties grow tumors and lists of complaints about freedom, the free market and meat. They sell fear, pain and humiliation, we sell steak, sizzle and inflation-proof sexy bodies.
    Tom, could you beat Dr. Oz at arm wrestling? Strategy hint: everything Oz knows about the human body he learned from textbooks, the arteries he has removed and misdiagnosing failures in his lawn sprinkler.

    I don’t know, but I’d happily go arm-to-arm with The Great Oz.

  10. Firebird says:

    I too am a libertarian, and am dismayed that here in NJ, there was a hearing yesterday at the state legislature about the benefits of raw milk. You can buy liquor and cigarettes, but not raw milk.

    I don’t like being told what I can or cannot put into my body, especially from a governor who is morbidly obese.

    Of course, they’ll let you eat all the mutant grains you want.

  11. Kevin says:

    Another great post and commentary.

    I noticed that whenever diets are ranked, Paleo, Atkins, etc. are ALWAYS as the bottom of the list, despite the fact they always mention “participants did lose a significant amount of weight” followed by some comment such as “but experts are concerned about all that fat”.

    One other more general tidbit I’ve learned from your blog is to cringe whenever I see the word “expert” in a journalistic publication. It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s like you could so “Experts agree that reading Internet blogs may increase your chance of getting colon cancer.”

    Getting rid of grains alone has made me feel about 100x more energetic. Thanks for everything you do.

    Be wary whenever journalists write something like “Experts say … ” or “Experts agree …” because the true statement would always be “Some experts say …”

    Making a blanket statement and attributing it to experts is how journalists state their own opinions while maintaining the appearance of being objective.

  12. LCNana says:

    Just got back from Wegman’s in NY state – thank goodness we can still get across the borders – that will be next I guess – no cross border food shopping…anyway mini-rant here (and no profanity) but the nice big organic eggs that I love to buy are labelled 25% LESS FAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So they’ve gotten to the chickens now!!!!!!!!! But they’re not going to defeat me. I’ll just buy their nice organic butter and add even more to their less fat eggs. That’ll show ‘em.

    What a world.

    Well, that’s a solution, I guess. I’m looking forward to pulling eggs out of our own hen house.

  13. Ash Simmonds says:

    I’ve always been a big meat eater – I have a real bloodlust for food with a face – I probably average 700g/25oz of meat a day, this wasn’t a problem until my early-mid 20′s when I moved in with a girlfriend and went from just eating meat and veg to also eating a lot of pasta and bread and rice and noodles and desserts like she did on her low-fat diet, being told these were healthier options than my mammoth steaks (which I still ate as well).

    What bakes my noodle is that all the right information was out there, and has been for centuries, it was just squashed by government dogma. It always felt right to eat a lot of fat and meat, and despite that making me feel awesome and heavy carb meals making me feel crap I still kept the high carb AND fat lifestyle for a decade. Nowadays I just listen to my body, it’s the highest authority.

  14. Ash Simmonds says:

    Oh and not to spam the page but I found this information out recently – my friend’s mother in law is one of the leading nutritional scientists who developed the “healthy” food pyramid…

    Oh, lordy … no wonder your friend thinks grains are health food.

  15. Markus says:

    Like the reviews of different books and stuff and now it seems you have introduced me to yet another blogger! aces=)

    I was hoping you would help me with another thing though. I watched the daily show and the guest was Dr Agus. He started by saying we’re treating the symptom not the actual underlying cause. (from memory) Statements like “we have the technology, why are we not treating the cause..”

    I realise your blog and speeches have made me somewhat skeptical so I want to ask this:

    As an example this doc mentioned inflammation as something that causes CVD and cancer. And his solution to this was to take an aspirin a day. That to me sounds like a bit like much of the “scientific” stuff out there. The magic effect of the lifelong drug just because someone has found some observational study that suggest low inflammtion = lower risk of cancer/cvd. Then someone says HEY! aspirin lowers inflammation = jackpot!

    Have you ever heard of any such magical effect caused by aspirin?

    I dont want to unjustly paint the guy in any negative light so you can watch the interview here (6m11s):

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-february-2-2012/david-agus

    I’m not getting any sound for the clip, but if his solution is to take an aspirin, that’s still treating a symptom. Yes, inflammation may cause heart disease, but what’s causing the inflammation? A lousy, grain-filled diet is a good guess.

  16. Liz says:

    Sorry to vent about this, but my situation has to do with a vegan meal that is being forced upon me.

    I live in NYC and just bought a ticket for a 4 hour-theater showcase, which includes dinner and dessert. They just emailed me now and said the dinner will be tofu and noodles with vegetarian spring rolls. I wrote them back and asked why there wasn’t a meat-based option. I made it clear that my digestive system won’t be able to handle such food; I used to be a vegetarian and am in no criticizing vegetarian food CHOICES.
    Do you want to know we she wrote back?
    “Since we are only able to provide one dish…we went with a vegan and gluten-free option to be able to accommodate everyone’s needs. I promise it is delicious and filling!”

    I can’t stand being ignored and glossed-over. My guess is that the restaurant supplying the food can’t get rid of tofu fast enough (b/c it’s a Frankenfood, if you ask me), so they’re loading up the theater menu to get rid of it. I’m a student who has to really watch her budget, so I splurge on dinner and theater only to be left having to pay full price to bring my own meal? So ridiculous.

    Serving a vegan meal is accommodating everyone’s needs? They must be joking.

  17. Liz says:

    It’s true. I’m actually furious over it and wish I could refund the ticket.

  18. Mike says:

    “Keep fighting, Richard. You’re one of the reasons we’re going to win.”

    Not to be a downer,but,here is a reason our battle will get more difficult.We all know about SOPA,PIPA,and ACTA bills being created to stop software piracy,and what ever else they want us to think it’s for.In reality,it’s just a way for The U.S. gov to gain total control over the internet,to censor the free sharing of info,such as,this site.They know we are on to them,and want to go back,to pre-internet days,where all we knew,is what they told the papers,and 10 pm news.Remember those days? We believed just about whatever they told us.Ok,now for some good news.Check out this lunch lecture,by Donald W Miller MD. He makes great use of FAT HEAD. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRe9z32NZHY

    I’m flattered.

    They’ll never be able to drag us back to pre-internet days, even if they try. That genie’s out of the bottle.

  19. David Evans says:

    RE: Dr. Agus “take an aspirin a day to prevent heart disease and cancer”

    These studies show that aspirin INCREASES heart disease and cancer.

    http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.com/2010/05/aspirin.html

    http://healthydietsandscience.blogspot.com/2011/12/statins-increase-risk-of-colon-adenomas.html

  20. Marilyn says:

    @ Kevin. Definition of an expert: An ex- is a has-been, and a spurt is a drip under pressure. Just remember that. :-)

    @LCNana. I remember Wegmans! It’s been a long time now. Tell me it isn’t true about those eggs.!!!!!

    @ Markus. I recently read — unfortunately, I never keep these things — that aspirin does more harm than good — things like stomach bleeding and other lovely things.

  21. Monica says:

    Bought it and read it last night. I started IF about six weeks ago, and what a difference it has made for me! It’s hard to explain to others who haven’t done it how freeing it feels. I used to plan what I was going to eat next as I was eating! It was better on LC, but I still thought about food way too often. Since I started IF, I go through my busy day and DO NOT THINK of food. I have a great meal at the end of the day and I’m done. Wow! So amazing!

    Because of this book, I am going to start exercising in a fasted state. That’s what I am missing, I think. I’m excited (for the first time ever!) about moving my body.

    I love this lifestyle!

    Once you try IF, you realize how easy it is to go for long periods without eating. I checked my glucose levels after a 24-hour fast, and they were normal. That wouldn’t have been the case when I lived on a high-carb diet. I’d get the low-blood-sugar shakes.

  22. Janelle says:

    Devin, get your hands on Dr. Jay Wortman’s excellent video My Big Fat Diet. (Then show it to your students!)

    Described as “Supersize Me meets Northern Exposure in My Big, Fat Diet when the Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay gives up sugar and junk food, returning to a traditional style of eating for a year to fight obesity and diabetes,” on the website (I have no idea how Supersize Me fits in), this CBC production is a must-see for paleo and low carb proponents and opponents alike.

    I second that. Great documentary:

    http://www.mybigfatdiet.net/

  23. palo says:

    Great review. I will add this book to my collection.

    I enjoy Richard’s site but based on his posts, he projects what seems like an uncontrollable anger and I’m concerned that anger may affect his health.

    I hope I’m wrong.

    I’ve met Richard and he’s a happy guy. When he lets loose, he’s expressing his disgust for all the misinformation out there. I do the same by poking fun at the “experts.”

    • Frenchy says:

      Richard’s weight seems pretty uncontrollable, too, given the size of his paunch.

      I take it you haven’t seen him in person.

  24. Kevin says:

    Just a note to the posts expressing anger at the authorities for misinformation which has damaged us all. I share your pain but short of getting a time machine I think it’s incumbent upon us all to spread the word. Let’s organize as “Fatheads” and make it our personal mission to spread the message. Educate, not legislate!!!
    Oh and I think Tom should be our leader!!! In the words of our soon to be incarcerated former governor (Illinois if you haven’t figured it out) “What you have here Tom is Effin’ golden”. Apologies for the near profanity!!!

    Absolutely, the key is to spread the word.

    We don’t need a leader, just lots and lots of dedicated individuals.

  25. Underground says:

    The truth comes out. Too late for many, but certainly not all.

    And yet another horrible, though not surprising, recommendation for women to prevent diabetes.
    http://www.lifescript.com/health/centers/diabetes_2/articles/13_ways_to_prevent_diabetes.aspx?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=diabetes2#disqus_thread

    I’ve seen worse, but trade meat for soy? That’s just goofy.

  26. Ray Kelley says:

    I got a Kindle for Christmas, and I have yet to “buy” a book for it. For the most part, I’m just as happy downloading free public domain texts of classic literature off of Project Guttenburg and the like. But I think I’ll buy this one. Sounds like a visceral and cathartic read.

    Heck, the Kindle version is only $3.99 and well worth it.

  27. “I enjoy Richard’s site but based on his posts, he projects what seems like an uncontrollable anger and I’m concerned that anger may affect his health.”

    Ha, palo. Bless you. It’s just that I don’t want to spend thousands on professional therapy, because that’s what it would take. :)

  28. Mike says:

    @David Evans.Yep, Aspirin does OPPOSITE of what they tell you it does,as far as helping to prevent heart disease.Here is some nice work,that will explain why,and also correct common misconceptions about Omega-6.Ignore the sales pitch for a product if you want,but read the entire pdf.

    http://www.wellnesshealth.com/img.asp?id=20379

  29. Becky says:

    @ LCNana: I can attest that a nice piece of steak cooked in bacon fat is uh-may-zing! Especially if you cook some mushrooms after– they soak up the flavor of the bacon and the steak. Mmmmm.
    Tom, this really isn’t related to this post, but I have an interesting observation for you. I’m slowly switching my two overweight cats from cheapo cat food to raw chicken. I notice that after they eat a serving of chicken (the portion of which is always smaller than the portion of cat food they eat in one sitting) they are energetic* (read: naughty) and need to play for a long time before they get tired. When they eat their cat food (which, of course is loaded with grains), they both need a nap. I guess it’s just another indication that grains are garbage for genetically omnivorous animals.

    Absolutely. Cats are hunters, not farmers.

  30. David Evans says:

    @ Mike

    Thanks for the link.

    Loads of useful information in the pdf.

  31. Sally Myles says:

    LCNana – I live in the UK, and I find you’re right about meat….. I now struggle to find bacon with a nice ridge of fat along the back. Luckily my grocery store has a proper butcher that sells proper cuts of beef like brisket (what you in the US use for a pot roast, I believe) but even he the other day tried to sell me a cut that was excessively lean with no marbling. I opted for the fattier piece as my son and I now both fight over the nearly-crispy bit of hot beef fat you get the minute you take the meat out of the oven. I usually claim cooks’ privilege on the fat, but as he is my chick and I want him to have the best bits I grudgingly give it up… We also buy pork belly a lot, again for the fat, and my butcher sells lamb ribs, which are amazing, and a quarter of the price of lamb chops (the best bit on which is the fat) if you can ever find them, try them, cooked long or barbecued they’re little lamby pieces of heaven.

  32. Mark. Gooley says:

    I bought the book and I’m reading it using the Kindle app on my phone. Not much I don’t already know, but I think it’s worth the money.

    Here in the US one can sometimes find “lamb breast” which is basically ribs and fat with some meat. It used to be almost given away in the UK and Ireland and probably Australia and New Zealand as well. It’s the only cut of lamb that approaches a sane price here, and I assume that it’s the same thing that Sally is writing about.

  33. Underground says:

    I was looking for some recipies and happened across this site with some very good sounding paleo condiment recipies. Ketchup without all the HFCS and whatnot.

    http://paleodietlifestyle.com/homemade-paleo-condiments/#s1

  34. Aaron Curl says:

    LCNana and others who are “offended” by Richards cussing,
    May I suggest a copy of The Four Agreements written by Ruiz. The one agreement that stands out is this….Don’t Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

    I don’t know what triggered me to write this but I did. I read quite a few paleo blogs and always read the comments. I have read so many comments about cussing making people not read blogs anymore it just gets old. I highly suggest EVERYONE read Ruiz’s book to help with peoples NEEDLESS suffering.

  35. Makro says:

    Report from the Swedish front:

    Since non-cholesterol-frightened low-carb, high-fat diets (LCHF in these parts) first popped onto the radar a few years ago, sales of margarine have “more than halved”. Fun stuff.

    Linky for those of you fluent in Swedish (or Google Translate):

    http://www.dn.se/ekonomi/nyckelhalet-lockar-farre

    A very positive development.

  36. FrankG says:

    @LCNana – as above, cook your steak in bacon fat AND when you set it to stand for 5 minutes after cooking put some butter on top to melt!

    @Liz – regarding your forced vegan meal: all I can say is …

    “It’s an ethical thing… I don’t think humans should be treated like this”

    and please enjoy another priceless gem from the British comedy duo of Mitchell and Webb.. this is their sideways take on Vegetarians… PG warning though

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKTsWjbjQ8E

  37. Rocky says:

    The FDA has made their position very clear: We do not have the right to ingest whatever we want. We have the right to ingest only what they decree is acceptable.

    That pretty much sums it up.

  38. Ray Kelley says:

    All right, so I did indeed buy this over the weekend and have already finished my first read-through. Well worth the 3.99 indeed, Tom. I’m gonna read back through it again with the 3G turned on so I can read all the hyperlinks.

    I’d already made a lot of progress before discovering Fat Head last March, and after assimilating the information I’d gleaned from that, my progress really spiked. Now I’m gonna take the info in this book and see what I can accomplish in 2012.

    I’m bookmarking the blog, too. Bad language doesn’t bother me; I read Cracked regularly.

    Just following the hyperlinks could lead to many hours of good reading.

  39. Stacie says:

    @Dr. Agus- “The End of Illness”. My library had a copy of this book in the new books section. I looked through it a little bit. According to Dr. Agus, “Until proven otherwise, everyone over the age of 40 should be taking a statin.” WOW! It sounds like HRT. I then decided that it would be more profitable, and a better use of my time, to join my daughter for craft and storytime!!

    Oh my lord … how about if we DON’T take drugs until someone proves they actually work?

  40. Mike says:

    Tom, I have tried the low carb thing. Generally, water weight is lost. Ketogenic, fasting, low carb etc. What do they all result in? Caloric restriction. While I agree loading up on processed carbs is bad, I think at the end of the day, caloric restriction and resistance training are the only two truths to fat loss.

    I also lost no actual weight from going near keto, aside from water. What have been your fat loss results to date? Have you eliminated all walking? I am also into my fourth week of Body By Science weight training. Mike

    I’ve lost about 30 pounds of body fat. That would be a heck of a lot of water. To burn body fat, you need to give your body a reason to tap stored fat, but you also need to be ABLE to efficiently burn fat. That’s where the diet comes in. If you can’t tap your fat stores to make up for the fuel shortage, your body will respond by slowing your metabolism, burning muscle tissue, or both. That’s why so many diets fail.

  41. Beatrice Webb says:

    Richard doesn’t seem to care much about his own belly, either, given the size of his paunch.

    I’ve met him in person. I didn’t see much of a paunch.

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