Sunday Morning Notes: Podcast Interview, Workouts and Vitamin D

~ I had a good time with relatively new Paleo blogger Brooks Rembert yesterday. Wasn’t sure if he wanted video or not, so I set up a table and computer in the grass in the backyard and had a great time. This is not a particularly work safe podcast, but all vitriol is reserved for Conventional Wisdom. Turns out it was audio only, but I stayed put and enjoyed the setting.

Here’s his post: Interview with Richard Nikoley. After he’d published it, he noted that there was a section where background noise was cutting me out in small sections. It’s not so much that you don’t know what’s going on (it’s the segment on Intermittent Fasting), but as someone new at this and getting his pro in order for future, he made available a version that takes that out. So you have two choices. A 30 minute and 40 minute. Fresh from backyard sunshine.

Here’s the Qs he asked and I answered and righteously ranted about everyplace I could.

  1. Tell us again how you first came to the paleo diet and how long you’ve been eating naturally.
  2. You mentioned in your book that Intermittent Fasting really kickstarted your weight loss. How did you first learn about IF and is it something you think everyone should be doing to some degree?
  3. What is your advice for parents of toddlers to get their children on board with paleo so it can be a true family affair?
  4. How do you convince people to get over their fear of fat, to put down the bagel, and eat eggs and bacon again for breakfast?
  5. You talk about cancer cells starving in a low glucose environment. Are there any doctors that you know of that actively promote low carb dieting prior to chemotherapy treatment?
  6. Were there any memorable moments at AHS this year?
  7. What advice to you have for anyone who is not quite sure if they should try a paleo diet?
  8. Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

I’m super glad he didn’t flinch with a few righteous f-bombs, BSs and a few other things thrown in. Here’s the link to his blog again: JB Primal. Good luck Brooks and I hope it helps you get your voice out there for those you want to help.

~ Skyler Tanner, who has yet to learn to spell my last name correctly in every single instance, puts this up: 21 Convention, Strength Training, and Richard Nikoley. I did a post about the experience as well.

Richard, who in case you don’t know is a misogynist, was a damn hard worker. I didn’t tell him what I was going to do to everyone else, understanding that Richard is very perceptive and detail oriented in his observations. I explained just enough get him to understand what I was attempting to get everyone to do: maintain a conscious, voluntary effort from the start of a set to the finish while letting me narrate the subtle nuances of the set. If you’re going to get all that can be earned from their protocol, you have to be able to put yourself in someone’s hands. Your focus is on controlled effort; let me (or the trainer) narrate the set, anticipate where you might stumble, and guide you to fatigue. This is no “ra-ra” trainer bullshit: I am a benevolent dictator, aware of your inability to do this on your own, and I will drag you kicking and screaming to a level of physiological stimulation you’ve never experienced. If your goal is once every 5-7 days per workout, this is the only way it’s going to work. […]

Afterwards Richard, Doug, Keith, and Michelle came over to our home for a dinner of sous vide chuck roast, caramelized butternut squash, and a chocolate gateau (all paleo). Everyone talked for hours and had a great time. The depth of Doug’s knowledge astonishes me every time I talk with him, as does the depth of his care. Richard, for all of the internet bullhorn truth-telling persona is so friendly, engaging, and curious that it’s no surprise he can distill all of this paleo stuff into posts that motivate people to take the leap. I can learn a thing or two about how to do that on this blog. That and our wives get along great, having slogged through the public education shit storm that we’re currently engaged in.

Very unfortunately—except for dearly wanting to get back to me wife unit I’d not seen but a day in 3 weeks—I had a flight that necessitated my departure far ahead of what I’d have liked. While Skyler has an excellent collection of single malt scotch—even a Japanese one I’d never sampled—I didn’t, alas, get inebriated enough to make much of a typical splash. The taxi didn’t show and Skyler being the kind of guy he is, loaded me up and took the to the airport. Hope that didn’t kill the party too much.

If it made it better, without Skyler and I there, I haven’t heard about it.

~ Emily Deans. First, I want to make my apology to Dr. Emily Deans as public as possible. Second, it’s cool to see an MD (psychiatrist), practicing clinician, really delve into this suff in an “I can prescribe you any drugs I want” sense, but at the same time, is very concerned about what benefits the cheapest supplement on Earth has for the patients she cares about.

Take a look: Homeopathic Vitamin D Not Effective for Depression.

I’ll share my clinical experience, which, being anecdotal, may not be worth much.  I’ve been more aggressive about measuring vitamin D in the last few years (as have the internists I work with), and I would say roughly 1/3 of the folks I measure (or have had a D measured in the past year by the primary care doctor) are absolutely deficient.  Meaning below 20 ng/ml.  Levels between 10-15 are common, but I’ve seen 4s and 8s as well.  The super low folks have tended to have a “sick” look: pale, circles under the eyes, bloated, tired.  (Though not everyone who is pale and tired has a low D by any means!) If I had to guess from just looking at them, I would think they might be fighting a cold or were hypothyroid.  Most of the time, the thyroid function is absolutely normal.

Most of the folks I see have depression, and typically some sort of resistant depression, and I would say 99% of people come to me having already been put on psych meds of some kind.  It’s a bit hard to generalize, each patient has his or her own particular circumstances, character strengths, education, and external stressors… but I’ve figured out that some long-term patients with ultra-low vitamin D finally responded to all the psychiatry mucking around (bolstering supports, lifestyle interventions, therapy, medication adjustment) after the D was corrected.  Shorter term patients have looked better and done better since getting D out of the basement.  I’ve never attempted an isolated D intervention (which wouldn’t be standard of care by any means).

I love it. You know I’m a fan of self experimentation. Emily gets to “experiment” (practice medicine) on others, within the tight established limits she is well aware of. At the same time, she’s basically experimenting with “sunshine”.

And she is by no means bright eyed about it: Standing on the Sun Will Not Prevent Depression.

Bottom line, I’d trust her in a minute to experiment on me.


That’s all, folks. Next post up later today is about sex and all about sex.

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. Brooks Rembert on August 26, 2012 at 12:11

    Thanks for your patience with our little issues Richard. For all of your reader’s benefit for putting up with my “newbie”-ness, if your readers would like anything from our website, they can use discount code freetheanimal at checkout to receive 20% off their entire order!

    Thanks again,

    “Grab Life”

  2. VW on August 26, 2012 at 15:37

    Bad news. Your apology to Emily Deans has been REJECTED by Melissa McEwen. 🙁

    “I still don’t think he believes he did anything wrong. He’s just worried he’s offended a high-profile blogger. Or maybe he hopes to recruit some more women to make sure all the female bloggers don’t snub him.”

    • Joe on August 26, 2012 at 15:59

      I find her behavior fascinating.

      Melissa McEwen is in her mid-twenties. Does she really think there will be no blowback to establishing herself as a harpy who, upon being miffed, will launch an endless, give-no-quarter web campaign against all imagined guilty parties?

      Is she thinking she’ll never need to get hired or do business at any point in the next five decades?

      Is she an heiress of some kind?

      It’s like watching a car crash.

      • Richard Nikoley on August 26, 2012 at 17:17

        “Is she an heiress of some kind?”

        She has explicitly told me that her family has enough money that she doesn’t need to work.

      • EatLessMoveMoore on August 26, 2012 at 17:30

        What’s a hipster without a trust fund…

      • Joe on August 26, 2012 at 17:31

        Explains everything.

        Freedom’s just another word
        For nothing left to win.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 26, 2012 at 17:23

      “Bad news. Your apology to Emily Deans has been REJECTED by Melissa McEwen.”

      Yea, like she owns the place.

      It’s actually way cool when she posts stuff like that, for various reasons. Moreover, consider how it disses Emily.

  3. Todd on August 26, 2012 at 19:19

    I think the very act of apologizing to a woman kind of nulls the whole misogynist thing.

    Its like you have a heart afterall. For shame.

  4. Skyler Tanner on August 27, 2012 at 04:30

    “If it made it better, without Skyler and I there, I haven’t heard about it.”

    Well it was certainly less loud and less vulgar.

  5. Doug McGuff on August 27, 2012 at 13:22


    I did my best to fill the loud/vulgar void.

  6. Stacy Nikoley on August 27, 2012 at 19:37

    Skyler & Doug, it was great to meet the two of you.

  7. Elenor on August 28, 2012 at 08:08

    Won’t play? Does that site not work in Firefox?

  8. Carl on September 5, 2012 at 08:05

    Who is this Melissa McEwen and Emily Deans? Looks like I missed some of the show before I found your blog.Please share more about this queens? I think you write incredibly awesome.

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