scratch-mark

My Change in Heart, Mind, and Focus: Cryptocurrency Vs. “Paleo” or “Low Carb” Diet

A few nights ago I texted someone y’all know.

BTC just over 14k now. Started the Patreon gig when it was 4,500. 15k will drive the final nail into diet blogging for me.

Whereas my normal gettyup time now is 4:30-5:30am, I languished insac until 8am the next morning. After clearing my eyes, I checked the markets first thing, just as I used to do a dozen years ago when trading the S&P 500 options (SPX) on the CBOE. Here’s what I saw.

15K hit when I was sleeping and the price level said ‘goodby, for now.’

Not even a week ago, I was talking about maybe snagging another stake under 10k. I did that. $500 more into bitcoin.

But honestly, I was just looking for a clever excuse to use for what I knew for certain was coming anyway.

…Last June 9 my wife, Beatrice, retired after 35 years in the school district. For about 30 years of that time, she taught 5th and 6th grades, sometimes split classes—where she taught two grade levels at a time. But she always wanted to work with kids on a more fundamental, underlying level. She went back to school herself, after more than 15 years of teaching, and got her master’s degree in counseling.

There were no such jobs to transition to.

Eventually, in 2005—10 years of waiting later—the district experimented with academic counseling, with an equally experimental budget. It lasted two years. Her academic counseling program was hugely successful and parents and PTAs loved it uniformly and actually fought for it, but failed.

You can’t fuck with Mother Nature, and when budgetary constraints come along, the very first thing administrators do is protect themselves and find ways to cut the budget for the kids—that is, cut the budget on fulfilling their mission. Whenever you want to look pure and true evil in the eye, think on that.

Bea always took it in total stride. She’s completely unlike me, with an essential amazing grace and a roll-off-back nature like crazy and, it’s impressive. To her, it’s simple; she’s not much interested in the prescient, apropos, and most clever vitriol I can bring to bear with a wink and twinkle of eye on blogs and facebooks. She might laugh, but is never particularly enamored. Her “serious side” operates on different value standards and timescales than does mine.

She could still do that “job” in the classroom. It’s about getting to the nitty gritty. It’s finding out why the kid isn’t curious, is stressed—or whatever it is that’s preventing him or her from doing what kids naturally do, which is suck up information like sponges, with enthusiasm.

I’m helpless when it comes to this sort of true love, in admiration of her essential humanity in a context of a human life where I’m easily Mencken about a whole lot of stuff.

“Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” — HLM

The female is the absolutely essential taming influence for the male. Moreover, the female has a dual role in managing the “problem” of the male species…

The best of the females find ways to spur on the males they influence to great, greater and in the rare cases, the greatest. There’s almost always a female behind the greatest male—and that’s just biology on the most fundamental hand, and being social enough on the other.

The essential value of the female is to make the male social enough. I’m not being factious. The smartest females know how to make this fundamentally essential thing happen and it’s not for me to understand. It’s rather to be smart and prescient enough to comply with female when boundaries of paths are reached; or, in my case many times, better paths enlightened for me.

Thanks, chicks. I literally, couldn’t do it with out you; but, I’ll still be a male of the human species which means you all have endless work to do. And why would you not? I think it’s a wonderful and natural trade.

I guess I digress.

…A few weeks after retiring last June, Bea took me out to lunch with a file folder of outdated articles about making money blogging. It’s not that we particularly need more money. What it was is that in the space since retirement, she had observed me more closely than ever before.

“Richard, you need to get paid.”

Me: “Well, I have Amazon, Google, a couple other ad things, and Elixa. It comes to 1-2K monthly, on average.”

“You need people to pay you, for all the effort, time, and attention you put in.”

To her, as a never-blogger nobie, it was simply a matter of setting up a paywall that day, on a deal that’s 4,500 free posts in the making.

I knew that would be a flop, of course. But the underlying and essential idea was something I could consider. I’d really just never thought about it much. I kind of like not caring about money a whole lot. I used to care way too much and it resulted in bad things.

Through a series of circumstance I found Patreon. Initially, I thought “Okay, I’ll do a premium diet thing and bla bla bla.”

I hated the idea, knew I’d get killed for even trying. All I could do is stew, caught between my wife’s wishes and the impossibility of delivering, though I knew in the end she’d be OK. But what proper male of the human species doesn’t want to strut around and show off his colorfully erect peacock display to the female he’s nested with?

…In August it came together, something happened. Bitcoin, or more generally, cryptocurrency.

But it was rather subtle. While I couldn’t predict the future, I could easily identify a rising tide and it’s exactly what I saw. I just detected an increasing level of buzz all around me. Buzz is essential to bring it mainstream, where everyone is invested and liquidity is given. That orange circle is when I went in principally with this change for my future, with my female. I say principally—and not all in—because I wasn’t yet ready to dump my 10 years of cred in diet blogging.

So I placed a small bet and got to work creating a couple of posts to launch it on the Patreon platform where, as I reasoned, I could at least show my caring wife that I gave it a shot, and did it as smart I could think to do it—preserve what’s there already while venturing out to something new for a good she’s finally happy with.

I still remember day 1. Ground Zero. I immediately got a few Patrons at $5 monthly and they kept trickling in. I recall telling Bea at the end of the evening, when we were at 17, that we’ll be at 20 by morning. A hunerd bucks gross.

I’m at 469 Patrons at $5 monthly as I write. I was 3-months-in just yesterday, Dec 8.

But do you know of what I’m most enamored? It’s that I’m a male of the human species that gets to do what he wants, but for some inexplicable reason, cannot help but try to please the female I love so much, and am helpless about it. Yea, she checks regularly, gives me updates on the latest Patron count…

I win. 🙂

But it’s not all I win. There’s the actual deal, and, how does it compare with what I’m leaving behind, diet blogging?

How might a change in focus change your life? Well, I set out September 2 to find out—a week before launch—and this is the result after 3 months. It’s a diversification, about 40 individual and separate crypto investments, not an all-eggs-one-basket.

Yes, of course I’m in Bitcoin and it’s actually the biggest weight of the portfolio (50%ish). It’s a 100% crypto portfolio of about 40 crypto assets, some  green as much as 700% since I took a stake. Only about 5 are rouge currently. To get this list—where others try to sell you a $3,000 newsletter subscription for just one tip—you can get all 40 for $5 per month, no catch.

I’ve been up 80-90% for a couple of days and am happy to have been able to snap a shot right at the 100% mark, which is weekly buys into crypto from early September to just last week when I jumped to put $500 more into Bitcoin because I figured my limit order to buy at $8,001.01 would never fill, so I cancelled it and just took the market at a bit under $10k.

Of course, things depend. I finally got Bea to put just $250 into Bitcoin a few weeks ago in her own account and it’s worth $600-700 now, depending. She gets a kick out of looking at it and is beginning to get over that it’s too complicated to contemplate. I have an app for that, actually; where I show you how to get in now, today. Not tomorrow; today. That post is on Patreon but it’s public, so you can test drive if you like.

…In May of 2007 I wrote the first blog post of what was to become a 10-year obsession that would amount to over 3,000 blog posts, 100,000 comments, a number of speaking gigs and a lot of podcast interviews. It’s 10 years, now.

I’d gone to the gym, started trying to understand why, at 45, I was just getting fatter and fatter and fatter. The rest is history and I’ve made my mark very well, with integrity. I don’t regret anything about it. I especially don’t regret ever making much money off it.

I began like this:

  • Real food is better
  • Low carbohydrate is better
  • Cooking at home is better
  • Working out harder for shorter is better than easier for longer
  • Not eating anything regularly is better than asking what to eat all the time

I hit these deals all along the way:

  • Be mindful of vitamin D, it’s sunshine, and understand if you’re a fish out of water (dark skin in high latitudes)
  • Cholesterol is not a problem on real food diets
  • ketosis is not a particularly natural state, it’s a survival adaptation
  • Vitamin k2 (MK-4) is so potentially amazing you can’t not hook it up with D3 and get them a room
  • Eat liver
  • Drink whole milk (sometimes…nutrient dense)
  • Eat oysters, mussels, and clams
  • Whole grains have super important minerals, so the cost/benefit goes to eating some
  • The gut is the new frontier, we’ve not begun to understand probiotics and prebiotics, better to feed it willy nilly than starve it with a silly level of ignorant hubris
  • Protein is king
  • And many more things…

Where I end up:

  • Real food is better
  • Low carbohydrate doesn’t matter, calories matter
  • Cooking at home is better
  • Working out harder for shorter is better than easier for longer
  • Not eating anything regularly is better than asking what to eat all the time
  • Be mindful of vitamin D, it’s sunshine, and understand if you’re a fish out of water (dark skin in high latitudes)
  • Cholesterol is not a problem on real food diets
  • ketosis is not a particularly natural state, it’s a survival adaptation
  • Vitamin k2 (MK-4) is so potentially amazing you can’t not hook it up with D3 and get them a room
  • Eat liver
  • Drink whole milk (sometimes…nutrient dense)
  • Eat oysters, mussels, and clams
  • Whole grains have super important minerals, so the cost/benefit goes to eating some
  • The gut is the new frontier, we’ve not begun to understand probiotics and prebiotics, better to feed it willy nilly than starve it with a silly level of ignorant hubris
  • Protein is king

So, basically, 10 years to come up with something decent foundational, and other than the few ad-ons here and there, that calories count.

I spent 10 years and 3,000 posts coming to a full-circle realization that you’re fat because you eat too much too often, yet you complain you’re too hungry. Well then, you’ve gotten yourself there though self-medicating with junk food for decades. You have to do rehab or detox, or whatever. You have to reprogram your stupid dog brain.

Anyway, I just got a better gig. it doesn’t mean I’ll not keep up Ketotards, do likes and comments on FB, or any of the other things. As to this blog, I’ll post now and then, but I’m pretty sure it’s mostly going to be about the real food I cook every day.

I have months of really awesome food pics, only shared on the Facebook that has seen fit to block me 9 times, the latest of which ends tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve come to understand what a disvalue Facebook is; it’s tops. I’m not going to get into it, though. I’ll just use it as a means to get people to click away from it, and spend their money elsewhere.

My energies are in turbo-mode elsewhere, now.


Curious about Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency phenomenon? Then check out my Patreon Profile.


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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

28 Comments

  1. Shameer M. on December 10, 2017 at 11:20

    Great stuff & best of luck on your new journey! One thing I want to add is regarding Vitamin K2. Not sure if you’re aware, but there’s a new kid in town => Vitamin K2 (MK-7), which from my understanding is equally, if not more valuable, than K2 (MK-4).

    If you eat a whole foods diet containing a lot of greens, beef, eggs, butter, liver, chances are you’ll get a lot of K2 (MK-4) but K2 (Mk-7) occurs in a lot of fermented foods like miso or natto, which hardly anyone gets in their diet.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2017 at 15:20

      Thanks Shameer.

      Just got done scanning through 6,700 comments in the trash bin. About a month ago, my spam plugin seems to have broken and put ALL comments in trash. I was oblivious, focussing on Patreon. Anyway, fixed.

      Actually, I was already well aware of of mk-7 sub form way back. I’ve taken both for a long time, with the LEF K2 Complex, but i still think 4 is superior.



  2. Dave on December 10, 2017 at 13:36

    Thanks for all your writing over the years, Richard. Your integrity, wit and balls have cut through the vapid bullshit that permeates the online health blogs for may years.
    I think I must have read most of your historical posts and you helped me enormously with your (and Bea’s) input with homeschooling.
    Please do continue to post meal pics and recipes etc!

  3. foliovision on December 11, 2017 at 17:55

    Awesome post Richard. I liked your Paleo awakening. It’s more important than you imagine and your voice reached a lot more people than some of the dorky or dogmatic extremists. I would hate to each as much meat as you like. Three portions per week are all I’d like (though I could add a few portions of fish and be fine with that). And you know what – that’s natural to me. So a more Mediterranean diet but similar in spirit works for me. I don’t agree though that calories are the key. It’s exercise which is the key to eating better. Exercise makes the appetite mechanisms work which suppress the excessive eating.

    I think the comments will work if you encourage people to register. I’ve always liked registered users. Especially when you have a community like FreeTheAnimal.com. Registration the trolls under the bridge where they belong.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 11, 2017 at 18:31

      Alec,

      Perhaps with the Patreon deal I will now do exactly that. Why not?

      You know what Patreon taught me above all?

      Every single person who comments or posts on the community board ads value. Why would a troll pay to troll?

      Hell, even $1 a month extrincts trolls.

      I’m going to do it. I see the gorgeous Ivana Ilcikova just got comments fixed. So, next step tomorrow, once I read your cool email.



    • thhq on December 12, 2017 at 20:08

      Exercise is calories too foliovision.

      I ran into a Fitbit believer last weekend who had logged 18,000 steps for the day. I count that as 600-700 calories metabolized. A good days work.



  4. John on December 11, 2017 at 19:00

    And I look forward to joining you in the next evolution of personal interest, and human potential.

    Your blog has been wonderful; among the first I followed, and the last I kept up with for dietary knowledge. Thank you.

    Onward and upward and hopefully upward as fast as our portfolios.

  5. fearless on December 12, 2017 at 03:18

    Crypto kitchen? Meh. I preferred the more philosophical mantra.

    Paywalled? +1 but add the ability for users to pay other commenters and not just you. For example: charge a buck a month and up to half a user’s fees can be forwarded to other members via a cash/like button. You keep the other half plus unused cash/likes. Good commentors are rewarded and therefore encouraged to contribute further. Bad commentors and trolls will die via natural selection.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2017 at 11:53

      I have no intention of paywalling this site. I have Patreon for that.



  6. Bret on December 12, 2017 at 03:47

    Those 10 years were your investment into your future patrons, even though not intentionally so. You earned it.

    When you made your initial pitch for this crypto initiative, I could tell you were onto something and that you were ready to take us places. Signed up without hesitation. Didn’t even blink at the [mild, humble] paywall. I knew I’d get that back hundredfold, and I have.

    Thank You for doing this. You’re getting paid, and we’re getting paid, and life is good.

    You mentioned Low Carb and Paleo as the previous topics, but Anarchy has been the big draw for me. You’ve taught me that libertarians are only slightly smarter Republicans, and that Republicans are less honest Democrats…and that all three of these name brands are public toilets, as are politics in general.

    To the point, Bitcoin and the crytpos embody this ideal poignantly, beautifully. It’s the perfect segue, and I can’t wait to see where it all goes.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2017 at 11:54

      Thanks Bret, and as well for your contributions on Patreon and the Wild West of the Discord channel.



  7. John on December 12, 2017 at 10:02

    Nice, and I am really enjoying the new venture. Might sound weird, but this change in focus still seems perfectly in line with what you always blogged about. Taking a step back from diet, it seemed like it was really more about self improvement. Initially, the focus was on the physical body, now it’s moved more into the realm of business and finance…. just as important in this day and age. In some ways, modern living has been a mismatch for humans, and this has taken a toll on us physically, and also financially (through the cartel-esque practices of forcing us to use inflationary money). I don’t think either of these mismatches were necessary (even in modern life), and it’s great to see people challenging them both. You’ve done great work in the diet blogging world, but think it would be mostly diminishing returns at this point. No doubt the new Patreon is going to be a lot more rewarding, both for you and your Patreons.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 12, 2017 at 11:57

      Yep yep yep. I just had to move on in some measure. I still have the Ketotards group to poke fun of the stupidest shit and what I really liked the most all these years was getting in the kitchen and blogging the food.

      So I’ve kept a token of it, but now time to incorporate the great new thing.



  8. Matthew on December 13, 2017 at 06:24

    I think you sell yourself a lil short Richard.

    This ceased being a diet blog in say 2012 or so. Most of us here are for the personality at this point, so with that I agree with Bea.

    I’m a subscribed Patreon, loving the wave so far, though having lived (and lost A LOT) through the weed bubble in 2012, I know there will be eventually some blood.

    Anyway, having said that, I guess I’m mostly calling your bluff :-)… I’m excited for the next FTA post in 2 weeks, 3 months, a year whenever… I’m sure it will be at the expense of some other blogger or patreon or website who pisses you off and it will be gold as ever.

    cheers

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2017 at 08:06

      Hahahaha. Well, will see.

      Thanks for the patronage, Matthew. Ride the wave. I haven’t mentioned it on Patreon yet (just Discord), but I have been deep into researching trading bots. We’ll see what comes out of it.



  9. Chris Highcock on December 13, 2017 at 09:21

    Hi Richard.

    This is a good move. It is good to see you excited about a project and about what value you can provide to patrons / clients.

    What is also good is a move away from Facebook. Facebook has become too big. It is dominating the internet. years ago the internet was like the wild west – lots of different blogs and bulletin boards to explore and engage with, lots of people putting up thoughtful content. Now all is filtered through Facebook. Facebook for most people now IS the internet. That is not healthy and I would like to see a move back to more of a free market of ideas and blogs without the filter of Facebook.

    I’ll see you over in Patreon….

    Cheers

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2017 at 09:53

      Just put up the latest just now, Chris. And, what how I share it to Facebook.



  10. Harold Jenkins on December 13, 2017 at 16:19

    Richard,

    Before your change of heart takes you totally away from “Paleo” or “Low Carb”, I urge you to review Sisson’s new book: “The Keto Reset Diet.”

    Thanks.

    • Richard Nikoley on December 13, 2017 at 16:37

      This presumes I haven’t.

      I’m friends with Mark. We text regularly. I’m well aware and in fact, I’m the one who hooked him up with Luis Villasenor to give input months before publishing.

      I’m cool with Mark, he knows it.

      This isn’t anything about that. It’s just about my level of fatigue over dietary stuff, juxtaposed with what I’d just rather do. I’m not running away here, just switching it up.



    • fearless on December 13, 2017 at 22:42

      I hope you give the diet thing one more big crack later on. Maybe in a year two if you feel like it. Go for the shredded look.

      Speaking of books, Berkhan is finally releasing his. I won’t buy a copy unless it has your ticket of approval.



    • fearless on December 13, 2017 at 22:42

      *tick, not ticket.



  11. Natasha on December 16, 2017 at 08:56

    Hey Richard! I stopped in today to see what was new. What a lovely wife you have! And what a beautiful description of how women influence men. The feminists will never get it. Men and women are different, and it’s a good difference. I am trying to be a better mate to my husband. Be that good influence, as he is on me. Not that I always appreciate the bluntness of male speech… but I get the sense and pay attention to the idea being conveyed.

    I haven’t signed up for your Bitcoin adventure. I just don’t have any extra funds. But I do have an account! I purchase Helminiths… with Bitcoin. Ifnyiu ever investigate Helminith Therapy? It doesn’t seem like you need it, but I think you would would find the concept fascinating. And the leftover Bitcoin I have has jumped. When everyday people start using Bitcoins, wow….it’s something to pay attention too.

    I’m super grateful Richard, for being saved from the Low carb and Keto ***NONSENSE***. So sad when people can’t understand why it is failing them, it’s because it’s a very bad system. I remember one of those books, which claimed calories didn’t count…and so I was eating good fat like crazy, and couldn’t understand why I was slowly gaining weight. Duh! Too many calories!!!!

    I enjoy the your health and diet posts, political commentary, life experiences and doggie stories. 🙂 My pup is 1.5 years old. My very first dog. He is a Jack-chi. Looks like a rat terrier. I’m a gentle person and so training is comme ci comme se. LOL. I’ll keep at it.

    Oh! Oh! I’m also super grateful to you that I can eat potatoes. I did a diet years ago, which limited all starches. Afterwards, I lost the ability to eat potatoes! The tinitiest bit of potato or potato starch, and I had a major immune system reaction. Agonizing joints pains last 48 hours. Hot. Red. Pain. Crying. So weird. Well, after doing probiotic and prebiotic and potato starch…. I didn’t die. Instead for a while, if I didn’t consume potatoes or potato starch my body would ask for it….by giving me joint pains! Now I am normal, no reactions and my husband (half Irish and a real potato head) is grateful we cook them. Apparently, I even make really fantastic mashed potatoes now. 🙂

    Anyway, except for the swear words I had never heard before, I enjoy your writings Richard and overall, I have really benefited by your research. Thank you. And, a big Congrats to Bea on her retirement!

    • Richard Nikoley on December 19, 2017 at 20:07

      “except for the swear words I had never heard before”

      Well, then….

      🙂

      Thanks, Natasha.



  12. SeanII on December 24, 2017 at 08:34

    Richard,
    Thanks for the superb value you keep adding.
    In March this year I strained the muscles around my sternum doing chest flies in the HIT fashion. That kicked off a journey of 6+ months of cardiac investigations with the NHS and also private providers in Warsaw. I thought I was a goner, so much so, I gave my wife all my passwords!
    It was a visit to a physio in October that spotted the injury for what it is and I am now gearing up for regaining my strength in the new year. Harrowing experience.
    My eldest son is 14 and home educated. At this age we’ve always said he had to start working and in July we sent out applications to a few local companies. The replies were a confirmation of the idea that the state, for the good of the people, does corral everyone into a tight path. The companies could not hire him in any sensible even if they wanted to.
    In June I imposed a No Internet ban on myself to free up head space but when I got an email from you about your Patreon, I took immediate action. My son is now trading cryptos and contributing to your site. His mother and I meet with him each week and one thing he has to report on is his Patreon activity. Your Patreon is a youngster’s first job.
    In a way it feels like we are flipping the bird to the state but as we get busier working on setting our family free from the Path, we have less time to think of the State, the Man, the Elites, or whatever name people use to vent with.
    Today the house is busy getting the Christmas dinner ready and I was closing up some studies around my career when I decided to visit the sites I used to visit on a daily basis. It is a no surprise but a pleasure to see you moving along, embracing new challenges and sharing as genuinely as you always do.
    Thanks again for everything.
    Happy Christmas to you and your family.
    SeanII

    • fearless on December 24, 2017 at 18:10

      Is this “the Sean” from many moons ago? You know, the one that was here almost daily jousting with Richard?



    • Richard Nikoley on January 6, 2018 at 13:33

      Hey Sean, that’s a really great story and thanks for sharing.

      You’re putting your son on a path to be way out in front.

      (Fearless, no, different Sean. Coincidentally, I got a “Merry Baby Jesus Day” email from the Sean you’re talking about. He’s doing well.)



  13. Paddy on March 29, 2018 at 08:39

    How are you feeling about BTC now? I originally bought at ~$400 and sold at ~$600 thinking I was a genius. Doh!
    Good support at $3000, so thinking of taking a nibble there and averaging down to a probable bottom of ~$500.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 29, 2018 at 10:43

      All I feel about any of it is that the monetary future is crypto. My weekly auto buys of BTC and ETH (65/35) never get touched.



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