Get the Young Ones; Rule the World (In a Good Way)


Please stick with it and don’t beat yourself up about the chocolate cake. Don’t do that. The paleo-ish lifestyle is powerful; powerful enough that it can easily withstand the occasional indiscretion. Don’t set yourself up for failure and the consequent guilt trip to which we have all been conditioned since birth…because I can pretty much guarantee you’ll have many more pieces of chocolate cake over your lifetime. For me, it’ll be pecan pie. Don’t sweat it. Feel it, make it a very good while before you do it again and you’ll be fine. You’re already a hero unto yourself and the only thing that can change that is you.

Now, you have knowledge. You are becoming an authority — an authority over your own life, health and especially: well being. Soon, you will know with certainty that nobody in the world has the slightest clue about you that even comes close to the knowledge you have and the keen sense you’re developing. And because of your youth, you’ll probably gain it much sooner. We’re no different, physiologically, from any wild animal with no access to healthcare, a safety net or any other contrived mechanism designed to train you into the human zoo — the hive and the hill. Doesn’t mean you can’t break a bone, catch a dangerous pathogen, or have something else go haywire that no diet can fix. Then, you thank your lucky stars for the pioneers and you go and get yourself fixed if you can.

But never fall into the trap of needing the regurgitative diktats of conventional, mass market "wisdom." It’s a fool’s paradise designed to make you, and keep you, dependent.

…That was my response to to 16 yr-old M, a female of the human species, in reply to this email.

I stumbled upon your website today (which always happens with transformations in my life) after searching for soap-free cleansers. I am 16 and after years of being overweight and battling acne and what seems to me like depression, I decided to start working for what I want.

So I’ve made drastic changes to my entire lifestyle, and now I am extra happy that I’ve found your website and the paleo life way. I’ve lost 10 pounds since the beginning of this year, when I happened to start this diet thing, not even a real "new years resolution" to begin with. And I’ve learned enough now to know it’s a total lifestyle change forever. I look forward to a life apart from the SAD diet and lifestyle.

Anyway all that to say, I have started reading your posts since January for the paleo life way for beginners, and most recently, the one about the rare 18 year old guy who is doing the Atkin’s diet and all of this. So here’s another young one who is sick of unhealthiness, falsehood, and self-destruction! And it’s kinda difficult at the beginning right now…I ate a huge piece of chocolate cake today. But it made me never want to eat one again, and now I have found your website and further changes to my life will be promptly made. The paleo lifestyle sounds absolutely wonderful and what I’ve been trying to learn about or find for a while.

Thank you!

I don’t think I’m ever going to a have a tired or resistant bone in my body for the young folks. Amongst all the bullshit uttered daily over the airwaves, the admonition that these people are the future is unimpeachable — well, at least in principle. The Nomenclatura use them just as much as they use the poor, the unfortunate and whoever else they can expropriate, to heap guilt upon you for 1) enjoying your own life too much and, 2) not sacrificing enough. But that’s what parasites do.

Make the world a better place by encouraging young people to be better, more honest, with far more integrity than demonstrated by ours and previous generations (which, in terms of public service, is generally dismal).

So now go let your Facebook and Twitter adult friends know that the kids say "thanks" (not). Buttons are up top.

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. Laurie D. on March 2, 2011 at 18:00

    When my father attended my daughter’s graduation, as we watched the graduates walk up the aisle to the stage, he said something I will never forget, “Look at those faces.” he said. “You can see the promise in their eyes.” This from a gruff, 80 year old Navy veteran, who despite dropping out of school in 10th grade to fight in WWII, was one of the smartest people I knew. I miss my dad, who died a couple of years later, and I try to remember his words when I teach my high school classes. Sometimes those young ones are complete asses, but that promise is always in their eyes.

  2. keithallenlaw on March 2, 2011 at 18:33

    That was a moving response Richard. I felt like it was addressed to me as well.
    Why, because I still fall. And I plan to fall again. And I won’t resort to self-abasement

    Do you think planning my so called falls are destructive? What I mean is, all week long I am carb free, except for about 3 weekly Avocados. But one day on the weekend I end up binging on some cake and milk. I’m not sure if this is a problem I should worry about or to just say fuck it and enjoy it. It doesn’t cause any ill effects unless I over do it. Maybe a sweet potato or two might stop this weekend carb load. Anyway, this is probably my own salvational thing I must work out, but always enjoy you angle. I think your post above has given me the answer. Thanks Richard.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 2, 2011 at 18:38


      Yea, the more and more I’m coming to the opinion that VLC is ONLY appropriate for those who need to loose a lot AND can handle it. If you can’t without resorting to junk carbs, then add some good or decent cards. I think potatoes are an excellent way. Rice is not too bad either, just not a whole lot and always with a lot of good fat to slow absorption. A Thai curry with rice is ideal.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 2, 2011 at 18:39

        …because of the super high fat coconut milk, in case that wasn’t clear.

      • keithallenlaw on March 2, 2011 at 19:12

        I gotcha. Trust me, I enjoy daily spoon fulls of coconut oil. That has helped a lot
        with my carb suppressing, and too rapid of weight loss. I had a hard time in the beginning convincing myself to up my fat to 60-70%. Now that I have, things are getting better. Maybe I should try coconut milk. Cant say I ever have. Any good sources? And thanks for turning me on to Life Extension products. I’m using their D drops and K complex. Good friendly people willing to help. OK, lets not turn this into a nutritional topic. Thanks Richard.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 2, 2011 at 19:18

        Some of the best is the frozen, fresh stuff in some Asian markets that comes in plastic packets, if you have that available. in terms of canned, Thai Kitchen is passable, but I very much like the Whole Foods 360 organic. It doesn’t clump up like the TK does.

        Always get full fat, never the light.

      • Richard Nikoley on March 2, 2011 at 19:20

        And search the blog for curry. Most of them use coconut milk, so you know how to use it.

        At MovNat this summer, every morning we had a bowl with about 2/3 cup of C milk, with sliced banana, blueberries, perhaps some other fruit, and some nuts. haven’t done that since, but i have been thinking about it.

      • J. Stanton on March 3, 2011 at 00:29

        Quick beginner Thai curry: coconut milk, curry paste, a sprinkling of dried basil and cilantro, and a tiny spritz of fish sauce.

        Quantity is critical to fish sauce: too little and it’s bland, too much and it’s…well…liquid anchovies. You’ll know when you get it right because it’ll suddenly taste like you’re at a restaurant.


  3. Sean on March 2, 2011 at 19:07

    Thanks for this Richard, I am a youth and and paleo and anarcho among other things. But that list of descriptions is too long to elaborate. Just really wanna say thanks for this. I basically went paleo once I discovered your blog here. Not only have you been an influence with regards to my personal health and taking responsibility, but also with my Fuck it philosophy I have been developing before going paleo. Being un apologetic and giving a Fuck all for those who would try to bring me down.

    I guess I’m just trying to say that you love youth, or at least appreciate us when we break through the CW. But we also have a special place for the elders who have kept that youthful-ness. You are the one that have fulfilled that promise you see in us, and aid our courage to keep persevering.


    • Richard Nikoley on March 2, 2011 at 19:14


      My deepest regret is that I had NONE of this information at your age. Not a hint of it.

      As my book will detail, i didn’t begin my real life until I was 29 years old. What a fucking waste.

      Consider yourself lucky. I so envy you, but only in a good way. You go grab everything from life as early and as soon as you can and lift your middle finger high (not that pussy flipoff, with the index & third finger riding high) to anyone and anything that unjustly stands in your way.

      Be the best you can be. because society would prefer you fit in. Fuck that. It may not seem like it but you’ll one day realize how tragically short life is, especially when it takes you three decades to even get started.

      • George Phillips on March 3, 2011 at 02:03


        “My deepest regret is that I had NONE of this information at your age. Not a hint of it.”

        I know what you mean. But I’m so glad I started getting the ‘information’ last year! (At age 58)

        Now I’m moving forward (maintaining a 50lb weight loss with ease and fabulous meals)…it’s never too late!……. and I’ve got children with grand children who, I’m happy to say, are just beginning to want to get the information too.

        Thank you!

      • Joseph on March 4, 2011 at 13:27

        “I didn’t begin my real life until I was 29 years old.” This makes me feel a little better about how things shook out in my case. I’m 29 as of last month. In my case, the closest thing I have had to a break between “real life” and “unreal life” occurred when I was somewhere between 25 and 27 (when I finally outgrew some naive ideas about epistemology that I had taken from a conservation religious background). But I guess I am still too young to know how clean the break is going to look as the clock keeps ticking and I keep developing.

        Right now, all things considered, it looks pretty good. I still have all the same core values in my real life that I had in my unreal one: family, friends, intellectual curiosity, and physical health. My choice of a profession is a little dodgy (my run to academia was originally driven by the desire to be a religious apologist!), but I’m not the only one in that boat, and I think I will be able to get some kind of work (enough to keep eggs on the table for my wife and kids, hopefully some fish too!). The hardest thing about the whole experience (losing my religion and getting a life?) has been dealing with good friends and family who are not always able to recognize that I am the same person post crisis as before–as moral as I ever was (I don’t claim perfection), even if I don’t cast a pall of pious rhetoric over my moral decisions (or defer abjectly to others who do).

        You can see why I am interested in your book, Richard.

      • Bushrat on March 4, 2011 at 20:36

        “i didn’t begin my real life until I was 29 years old. What a fucking waste.”

        I know the feeling. I began my real life a bit over a year ago. I am 25 now and I look back on a lot of wasted time. I could have left school and 16 and the only worthwhile things I would have missed out on was reading a few Shakespeare plays (which hopefully I would have chosen to read anyway. There is more value in a single Shakespeare play than all the social sciences courses in existence) and studying the law and the legal system (invaluable for navigating our modern bureacratic society). Nine years in which I could have achieved a lot. At the age I am now my grandfather had a child and my father was married.

        I don’t like to blame others for my own shortcomings (responsibility being one of the big markers of maturing) but it seems, upon reflection, that society encourages people to remain uncaring, unmotivated kids forever. There is no emphasis on you to grow up, no great trial to force you into adulthood, rite of passage etc.

        In my case I was lucky enough to stumble upon some wisdom that forced me to pull my head out of my arse and wonder what the hell I was doing with life and make a conscious effort to improve. Then I was diagnosed with a chronic disorder and that forced me to really stop procrastinating and get a move on (nothing like reflecting on the fleetingness of life to inspire you to do something, anything). That led me to research the effects of nutrition on the human body which led me to primal/paleo which led me to the point where I am now. A university drop out working a shit job and for the first time actually living.

        I just wonder how many people today don’t get that shot at a real life, or have it delayed, because they don’t have the luck to stumble over the right inspiration, or have that major event that kicks them out of their stupor?

  4. Austin on March 2, 2011 at 21:13

    Good stuff Richard. The all or nothing mentality is usually what stops people from sustainable, permanent weight loss and improvements in health. I keep telling people I never gave up the following:

    single malt
    creme brule

    And the list goes on. You CAN have your cake and eat it, just not so much of it so often. Moderation and common sense is key. Having a donut or two with your coffee once a week is fine(assuming you’re healthy, active, and eating right most of the time). Eating a whole damned box of it at one sitting in front of the idiot box is not!

    • Paul C on March 3, 2011 at 06:39

      Moderation is definitely easier when primal, the main differences for me being I never get shaky if not eating for 4+ hours, and rarely have the urge to stuff myself. I’m having an issue with dark chocolate moderation though. I have a bar of Chocolove 65% with crystallized ginger that I think should be classified as a controlled substance. I’m not really concerned though as my body fat % keeps falling (15.2%, lowest ever) and lean mass keeps rising. The guilt issue in nutrition is a big deal. Before primal I would not have said that guilt played a big part in my eating habits, but now the guilt factor is very clear and has been greatly reduced.

  5. Austin on March 2, 2011 at 21:16

    And yes, I wish I had this information when I was in my 20s but as it is I’m damned grateful to have even stumbled upon this at all.

  6. Gary Wu on March 3, 2011 at 13:39

    This brings to mind Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. What he tried to do was admirable even if he’s not Paleo. Imagine how much more we can change people’s lives if we can teach people about this diet and lifestyle while they’re still in grade school.

    Now, what are the chances that a school district will allow someone to go in and change all the kids’ lunch menus to be Paleo? How long do you think we’re away from making this happen?

    It’s a long, uphill battle it seems.

  7. Marilee on March 3, 2011 at 07:03

    One of the best comments I’ve ever read from you.

  8. John (JRM) on March 4, 2011 at 05:19

    That was a great response Richard! Very, very nice.

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