Reader Input, Results, Q&A

A bit busy right now, so let me just round up a bunch of things in one post. You know the drill.

  • Reader Bud sends a link to an article along so that we know that diabetes in America is now costing $200 billion per year. Of course, if this and other similar blogs were "required reading," costs would drop to under a 10th of that in time. Well, at least we can be grateful that so many generous Americans are so anxiously clamoring to pay for everybody else's avoidable health problems via "universal healthcare." Good luck with that. Spending other people's money is so much fun.
  • Reader Tex says: "As an occasional reader of your 'old' libertarian blog, I stumbled upon
    Free The Animal just a few weeks ago. I've found it utterly riveting so far. […] what you're putting out there
    right now makes a lot more sense than most of the health-industry nonsense
    I've endured so far."
    Then he asks: "…is there some kind of omnibus post somewhere which
    offers an introduction/summary to/of your project thus far? Trawling
    through blog archives isn't an ideal way to grasp the essentials of what
    you're doing."
    Answer: In addition to a forthcoming book project, I should have up a brief summary post very shortly to serve as a reference and resource for just this sort of thing. The basics.
  • Reader Jim objects to my 'Eggs are trying to kill you' post: "I take issue with the comment that Chickens in cages (regardless of how one feels about the quality of life) have a nutritionally different EGG. The egg is one complete system, it is either 100% functional for the creation of life, or it is a defective and fails. Eating bugs or whatnot should make no difference. Now the MEAT of the chicken could be impacted by being deficient diet, but I do not believe there is any measurable difference in wild, freerange, or caged chicken EGGS." Answer: Actually, the blog I linked two gave a pretty good and plausible references for nutritional differences. And, let's not conflate base reproductive viability with optimal nutrition. That said, he also makes a good point. Factory eggs are highly nutritious (I eat them often), though way not nearly as tasty as those with deep orange yolks. You're better off with eggs via any source than with no eggs.
  • Reader Jeff says and asks: "My Dad has lost 20# doing it the "free the animal" way. His only complaint is that he is getting some loose skin as the fat melts away. He is almost 70 and is concerned that he might be stuck with the extra skin. […] Your transformation is profound and I wonder if you have any experience with looser skin and what to do about it." Answer: Well, first congrats to you and your 70-yr-old dad. Skin or not, that has to be a real win. Unfortunately, it seems this is an area ripe for scams in the form of various lotions, creams, peels and such. I chased around some links concerning hydration, time, and exercise but nothing looked super real to me. The best advice I found was to keep losing body fat, i.e., leaning out, and/or putting on more lean mass. Otherwise, cosmetic surgery is probably the only solution.
  • Reader Nicky asks: "I'm assuming you at least drink water on your fast day, but are you truly not hungry and do you have enough energy for your workouts? Do you have an 'extra big meal' last meal before you fast? […] is fasting conducive to a really active lifestyle?" Answer: Yep, water when thirsty; also, unsweetened black coffee or tea. I sometimes have a preparatory large meal, but not usually. My favorite way is to fast in an unplanned way, i.e., just suddenly realizing that I'm just going to skip this meal, maybe even the next one. Skip dinner and go to bed early sometimes. Active lifestyle? Well, when you really get into fasting in an "evolutionary sense" as we advocate around here, I think it's very conducive to an active lifestyle. Always workout hungry.
  • Reader Chris reports on progress: "Lost approx 4lb this week – 2 times previous average

    Feel less bloated- beginning to look less swollen

    Tastes or tastebuds beginning to change – have less deisre for sweets /
    my sweetened tea and soda (I have one per day) do not taste as good.

    I am no longer leaving any of my veggies and root veggies on the plate-
    I WANT to eat them / they are tasting better to me. As to workout- I am now at ZERO cardio – I have weened myself off of all
    aerobic classes, and machines – not easy to do after 20 plus years of
    "experience" – I do 2 trainings per week / 2 pillates or yoga for core /
    2 boxing sessions for interval training / 2-3 days of 40 minutes
    walking / THAT IS IT / I am spending half of the time that I used to on
    a weekly basis and am making strides that I never thought possible." Way to go, Chris.

  • My dad emails in: "Down 22# now at 185." It's probably because he fixes himself meals like this (that's cauliflower on the side, not potato):
Steak dinner
  • Reader Elliot asks: "Could you point me to any information concerning the negative
    nutritional aspects of legumes? I know they probably weren't easily
    accessible in the stone age, but I have a hard time thinking what harm
    a plate of fresh green beans would do to me."
    Answer: It seems that pretty much all legumes, including green beans contain some amount of phytohaemagglutinin, a toxic lectin (kidney and pinto beans are apparently the most toxic). Soaking and/or fermenting seems to help. I doubt it's a big issue when consumption is infrequent. I do have green beans sometimes (cooked with bacon), but those or any other beans are just not a common food choice for me, anymore.

            Richard Nikoley

            I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

            1 Comment

            1. Monica on November 18, 2008 at 15:08

              Thanks for your defense of my egg post. 🙂 I would agree entirely with you though, that any eggs are better than none and I feel no guilt in buying them when I do.

              Your blog is basically great evidence that we are what we eat… in a sort of indirect way. makes complete sense that other organisms would not be an exception to this.

              Don't know if you have ever read Weston A Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, but there are hundreds of examples that he presents that adequately illustrate the ability for a species (humans!) to survive generation after generation despite non-optimal nutrition. Eventually it will catch up to us.

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