The Big Changes Coming to Free the Animal

When you’re in a slump, what do you do but get out of it? How do you get out of it but change what you’re doing to something else, calculated to be better?

As a brief history, I spent a good deal of 2012 being embroiled in various dramas around the Paleosphere in my own style of rant. Fun while it lasted, I suppose, but why even do it in the first place? Boredom. There’s only so many posts one can do on saturated fat, cholesterol, progress reports, success stories, food porn—over and over again. So my bad. Should have thought of this sooner, but at least the drama is far out of mind, now. So now when I see or hear of it, I laugh and think: pathetic. Clearly, I deserved the same treatment back then.

So what am I changing, calculated to be better for myself and others? In three foundational words: help more people. Sorry, but nit picking what others are doing in their own efforts to help more people actually helps no one. It probably hurts some people because those people needing help get distracted to minutiae, losing focus on the 80% that matters. In terms of the Pareto Principle, drama and nit-picking focusses on the 20% that’s just plain irrelevant in the wide scope of things. No more for me. Those who want drama—an endless spew on what’s wrong with everyone else—know where to find it. Knock yourselves out. You’re on your own.

In the meantime, I’m drafting a post for tomorrow on the 13 Best Resources For Information On Low Carb, perhaps some with a few warts & all. Yep, no foolin’. So here’s how it goes from now on: everyone doing a decent 80% or better good job out there, you get my solemn nod and my promotion from time-to-time. That’s the way it’s going to be at Free the Animal.

…If you look at the menu bar up top, the side bar at the right, and the archives, here’s some immediate changes:

  1. I’ve consolidated and merged the whole disorganized mess of categories into just a few: Health & Fitness, Society & Culture, Self-Help & Lifestyle, Success Stories, and Recipes. There’s an additional category to add as soon as I write a few posts for it: Debt & Finance.
  2. All the About Me stuff on the sidebar has been moved to the About page, along with a few other things.

What this means is that yes, the blog has expanded to roughly what it was in the year or so I was blogging all sorts of stuff as well as paleo and “Food Porn.” However, there was quite a bit of pure political drama in that, and it holds little interest for me anymore. I prefer the wider social philosophy topics.

The other thing it means is that this makes it easier for you to choose what you want to read, to the exclusion of all else. “Home” is everything, and each other menu item gives you only those posts categorized as such. I’ll look into getting an RSS up for each category soon.

So this blog is morphing into a help you to help yourself resource in a bunch of broad areas, all under the roof and upon the foundation of looking at things from a human animal or evolutionary framework.

…As far as the road ahead, well:

  1. I’m not interested in a bunch of commercialism, i.e., paid ads & stuff. Unless you are producing and selling your own product or service where you get the gross margin and not someone else, there’s little money in it unless you either have enormous traffic or, you promote the hell out of it—thus buying yourself a job.
  2. Not interested in producing podcasts.
  3. Not interested in doing anything but the off-the-cuff video interviews here & there.
  4. Not interested in maintaining a forum, free or paid.
  5. Doing paid diet/health/fitness consulting is an item of interest, but only in terms of real food, nutrition, dietary intake. Writing generalized blogs is not the same as one-on-one. For other aspects, I would require partnerships with qualified physical trainers and medical practitioners.

I’m also not doing any more unpaid speaking gigs at other people’s events. Not submitting for AHS13 turned out to be a great decision for me. I no longer have the “privilege” of living up to the standards of a bunch of Drama Queens for free, and at the expense of my own time and travel. I wish AHS all success going forward and don’t regret anything I’ve done to promote it. But participation under the current way of doing things is just not for me. The time and effort I spend on the blog is plenty of pro bono work.

And so this leaves me with one real option to my mind in the nearer, possibly one other. I will be outlining it in the months to come for subscribers to my free newsletter (see top of the right sidebar to sign up). I’ll be pumping out another issue in the next day or so and will make it public, so that everyone can see how I intend to handle it in passing along “off blog” information and tidbits. After that, it goes private, for subscribers only.

In terms of the future category Debt & Finance, that’s where my “real life” for the past 20 years has focussed. I’m in the midst of writing a self-help book for a new website: (nothing there, yet) that will also offer one-on-one coaching for settling your own unsecured debts, 30-40 cents on the dollar on average, over an average 2-year period. That’ll give me an opportunity to offer some free tips and advice here, cross promoting to a paid site where I’m well qualified to give such advice, generally or specifically to individuals, families and small businesses.

And that’s all, folks.

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. Connie on February 13, 2013 at 15:28

    Nice about the “help your help yourself”! Thanks – appreciate it and looking forward to the info!

  2. […] The Animal / Posted on: February 13, 2013 Free The Animal – When you’re in a slump, what do you do but get out of it? How do you get out of it […]

  3. […] The Animal / Posted on: February 13, 2013 Free The Animal – When you’re in a slump, what do you do but get out of it? How do you get out of it […]

  4. Gordon Shannon on February 13, 2013 at 15:53

    Sounds good. I’ll stick around.

  5. Gabe on February 13, 2013 at 17:12

    Exciting times, Richard!

    I think people often forget that nutrition and fitness aren’t ends in themselves, but part of your overall quality of life. On the subject of helping people, I can think of no better example than your tribute to Jorge. You turned a personal loss into a powerful yet loving kick in the ass to examine and get more out of our own lives.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2013 at 18:43

      Yea, I need to think about that more. It was his birthday just a few days ago. Everyone misses him terribly.

  6. tatertot on February 14, 2013 at 09:17

    “I’m not interested in a bunch of commercialism, i.e., paid ads & stuff. Unless you are producing and selling your own product or service where you get the gross margin and not someone else, there’s little money in it unless you either have enormous traffic or, you promote the hell out of it—thus buying yourself a job.:

    Hey, Richard – Check this guy out:

    He has hand-made and is now ‘mass’ producing a vest that fits special gel packs for getting cold workouts.

    Eric, is not associated with any website, company, or person, just doing it on his own. I found him searching for info on BAT, and have gotten to know him quite well. If you are looking for an unencumbered upstart, here’s your guy. I have no interest in his company, but would love to see him succeed. Any advice?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2013 at 09:25

      Actually, I have the vest. He sent me one to evaluate but I have been remiss in checking it out—due a bunch of other stuff that came out. However, I am pulling it off the shelves and giving it a month, now that I’m on a pretty disciplined daily regime (most disciplined in years—much more on that later).

      The few times I did use it, having no idea whether it’s effective for fat burning, BAT, etc., it is at least a pretty nice soothing experience.

  7. Rafa on February 13, 2013 at 23:11

    Good luck Richard

    Seems to be the right way. Sometimes it’s better to stop, look around and stare back to see how much of past is burning.

    Best wishes, we are looking for you.

    Thanks anyway.

  8. CatherineakaCate on February 14, 2013 at 09:55

    Damn, what about us people that don’t need any help??!!
    I’m sure I will check it out though, just in case 😉

  9. Candice on February 14, 2013 at 13:55

    Looking forward to more on the debt and finance. After reading your post about ignoring the voicemails and getting them to offer you a compromise we have decided to stop paying, ignore the calls and wait for them to make an offer. Hope our bank performs as expected.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 14, 2013 at 14:48

      Do keep in mind there’s a big difference between secured debt like a home or car, and unsecured like a credit card. We deal 90% in credit cards.

      In terms of mortgages, one will generally need to jump through the hoops for some sort of modification depending on all the factors. For a second position loan, if there’s little equity or, if upside down, most banks won’t even foreclose, because they’re paying money to get nothing. So in that case, seconds (thirds, etc) are pretty easy to settle, but you won’t even near get to that place for months, typically, because they have to run it through their collection gauntlet first.

  10. Bay Area Sparky on February 14, 2013 at 18:18

    Looking forward to following you on the trails ahead, Richard.

    • Bay Area Sparky on February 14, 2013 at 18:18

      (with bare feet, of course)

  11. […] ← The Big Changes Coming to Free the Animal […]

  12. Jen on February 16, 2013 at 06:29

    Sounds like some good changes. I look forward to it!

  13. PalaioGreek on February 19, 2013 at 09:06

    Good news !
    Concentrate on the positive stuff Animal friend !
    One webdesign tip: I think you have one category too much adn it uses two lines which is a bit ugly.
    Maybe move “Archives” right above the search box ?
    Keep up the great work!

    • Richard Nikoley on February 19, 2013 at 09:12


      Actually, we’re working on a design to completely change out the menu with a graphical one. But in the meantime, that’s a good suggestion.

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