Nikoley’s Sunday Scribbles

— Anything, not everything, but lots in-between | February 19, 2023 I’ve gone back and forth with this Newsletter thing. I won’t bore you. You’ve either born witness or you can imagine. I guess it comes down to an inability to publish a newsletter adjunct to a blog that isn’t rather like the blog it…

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Is It High-Fat or Is It “High-Fat?”

— Prepare for a no-BS dietary epiphany; scare quotes are the clue

I'm very confident in guaranteeing that by the time you finish this post, you will:

  1. Understand dietary energy balance, utilization, and storage unlike you never have before, no matter how long you've studied it
  2. Slap your forehead, exclaim ah-ha, and/or kick yourself...whichever your proclivity...once you realize how something so damn simple, that was staring you right in the face, was nonetheless so elusive.

How could you have missed it?

Well, it kinda turns out that we're all a lot more ideological, biased, and confirmation-seeking than we care to admit. Even worse, knowing that one thing is bullshit often unjustly bolsters, in our own minds, that other thing we believe to be true or far better—even when they aren't mutually exclusive or in any way co-dependent.

So, for instance, knowing that dietary extremes like vegan on the far left and carnivore on the far right are bullshit does not automatically make whatever other ideas you might have even a gram more credible or correct. You still have to establish that, and falsifying other dietary approaches is no help.

Doesn't make you right

What's most often the case—and most often overlooked by naysayers—is that if any dietary intervention holds significant popularity for a significant length of time, it's because there's something to it.

What do we have that's been around a long time?

  • Vegan
  • Low-calorie
  • Low-fat
  • Low-carb
  • Paleo
  • Whole foods
  • High-fat (or is it really "high-fat?")
  • Vegetarian
  • Ketogenic (with adequate nutrition)
  • CRON (caloric restriction optimal nutrition)
  • Intermittent fasting and TRF (time-restricted feeding)
  • Carnivore

There are probably others...this is the top-of-my-head list. I don't include total fads, hacks, superfoods, etc.

Each of those have cases to be made for them and that's why they persist...all with lots of adherents, advocates, and practitioners. A dietary intervention goes away (or never catches on) because of lack of interest in enough people—which then becomes self-fulfilling because there's no money to be made, so nobody at all is investing anything to advance it.

What I'm about to go over will dovetail into the partial validity of each of those diets. That is, it explains the successful weight loss on those diets, independent of caloric consumption. No, I've not spent a lot of time figuring out how it does so for each one. I just simply know it has to be so, intuitively, just because this thing staring you right in the face is so fundamental; it's both a priori, and a posteriori.

I have given significant thought to why it works, specifically in low-carb, "high-fat," high-protein, and ketogenic diets. And Paleo, I suppose...since Paleo has so much crossover with just about all the diets. By the end of this post, I'm going to have sound dietary advice nailed down, and it's going to be clear like never before just why that advice is the way to go for both weight loss and maintenance (including lean-mass preservation and growth).

And I'll explain this. Plus, more food photos and methods to absolute madness. Plus, a nearly unknown gym hack that delivers enormous benefit and almost anyone can do.

Before I jump into the epiphanic details, you should go over the prerequisite post: How Do You Change The Weight of the “Water Weight?” Then, grab yourself a hot beverage of choice, wait until it loses enough calories to be palatable, and just hope it doesn't lose any weight.

  • How Many Grams in a Calorie?
  • Massing It All Together
  • High-Fat or "High-Fat?"
  • My Own Habits (food, walks, swims, weights, protein, fat, carbs, sauces, cayenne, massaman, yacon, Wegovy)

How Many Grams in a Calorie?

Everybody is familiar with calories per gram of macronutrient. Four per gram of carbohydrate and protein, nine per gram of fat. It might seem trivial to invert those fractions, but have you ever done it, and having done so, sat back and contemplated what it could mean? And then, what does what it means, mean? And so on...

Oh, snap. You've gone and hit the nefarious, cruel, and downright greedy paywall. Why can't everything just be free? And why this bait and switch trickery! Well, because this isn't a hobby or side-gig for me, anymore. And, I hate popups, ear-piercing sounds, and ads for bullshit and crap you probably don't need. It's a primary source for making a living now. And, I'm good at it. Twenty years and 5,000+ posts. I'm on the cusp of things a lot. I'm right about stuff...a lot. Point-blank: that sort of thing saves you a lot more than the price of the Membership. Join now.

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How Do You Change The Weight of the “Water Weight?”

— It has been a very long time since I've seen anything new. This is new.

It must have been sometime in 2008, 15 years ago....

About a year prior, concerned about my shrinking clothing, I started going to the gym, met with some initial success, blogged about it here, and someone commented that the stuff I was kinda sorta figuring out on my own sounded a little bit like this Art DeVany guy.

The rest is the history where I lost a bunch of weight, became one of the influencers in the burgeoning paleosphere, and so on.

Looking back, I didn't really get caught up too much in the obsessions on both sides over calories. Yea, sure, I initially discounted them, then did an about-face and said they do matter, but the overall paradigm was one of human evolution where, rather than obsessing about calorie counting, you simply note that obesity and all that goes with it is a wholly modern and very recent phenomena.

In other words, whether calories count a great deal or not a wit doesn't matter. There used to be food ways that never required counting anything and nobody was obese. So, figure out what that was and kinda do that, see how it works. And of course, for those reenacting Grok, it's a pretty wide range of food, as I used to harp on over and over...from arctic to antarctic and sea level to 16,000 feet, and everything in-between.

... Getting back to the first sentence, about 15 years ago I was wondering about all this calorie is a calorie, in-out = energy-balance stuff and I read some post by Lyle McDonald on it. Big calories count guy. I recall adding a comment to the post along the lines of "how about the weight of the food itself?"

It seemed silly to me to even ask it, and it wasn't answered, and I put it out of my mind.

Until last week.

Where did the weight go?

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Getting Free of Life-Draining Alcohol (6 months; video)

— And For Me, It Was Easy This is the modern, internet-era manifestation of an age-old characteristic of humans—when, at times, being on their best behavior. Everybody has seen it. Everybody has done it. In times past, it was the telephone and before that, it was a personal visit; I’m sure. It’s an imperative sometimes;…

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Easier, Faster, Cheaper: This American is Starting a Business in Thailand

— My Eyes Popped When I Saw The Legal Bill

Yea, there were lots of headline images to choose from with guys in business suits shaking hands, making a deal.


Plus, the design is awful (I laughed out loud and knew I had to use it), so I figured you'd figure I cobbled it together myself. Nope. So, proof there's people out there just as devoid of talent as I in terms of image making.

One of the testimonials from a member includes:

I found your website at the beginning of the Paleo days and have followed you ever since. [...] The essence of the experience has been change. You go from one thing to the next as the spirit moves you. I don’t want to miss out on what’s next. — Alan from Utah

This is true. This being the 20th year, when someone asks me what I blog about, "everything" is always the answer. It's never seemed complicated to me. Essentially, fundamentally, a blog is an online journal of a predominantly personal nature. So, I have always cringed at the notion of writing about one thing for years and years and years as though I'm some objective bystander. BORING!

I have no idea how they do it. It would be like working at the same job for 20 years. And I mean, the same fucking job: no promotions, no new tech...the same damn thing day after day after day after day.

I suspect that's why single-issue bloggers eventually go off the rails into bullshit territory. You need something new for engagement's sake, but you're an ABC blog, so you can't write about XYZ. Guess you'll have to write about ABC...bullshit bullshit yada yada, or something.

Observe how Paleo went junk "food" and LC went epileptic diet (clinically ketogenic) for so many. Gotta keep the peeps engaged. I did lots of new stuff too (potato hacks, beans, gut bug stuff, etc.), but always involving an omnivorous, real food paradigm. I evolved; or rather, my understanding and flexibility with diet and nutrition improved to make things more sensible and accessible. I didn't morph into anathemas like fucking candy bars and sticks of GRASSFED!!! butter. What one eats should not be complicated, requiring continual "engaging" guidance from gurus and their flock.

Dietary "Engagement"

That said, there's a fat blurry line with a blog, and you're never going to get it perfect or just right. At times you're going to share too much; or, you're going to obsess about your own life without enough purpose or object lesson concerning what you're writing about.

That's a continual struggle and the sweet spot is that you have people on one side thinking you're sharing too much personal and on the other, those who want even more of the gory details.

In general, I think an impersonal blog or newsletter is fucking boring. I hope you do to.


To the subject matter. I'm yet again into a new thing; thus, why the foregoing introduction. And yes, I still have pending stuff to publish. My focus has been spread thin. I haven't blogged much about my trip back to the village and I'm saving some of that for when I better develop The Story of a Girl and Her Girls and publish the subsequent parts.

Those two girls are so fantastic. Check this out; it's like 20 seconds.

(Don't even get me started on the dismal state of child rearing in America...)

So, I'm back in Phuket, taking care of a bunch of stuff—including an enormous paperwork clusterfuck involving my motorcycle—and getting ready to move at the end of this month, if not sooner. Undecided where, but it will either be back to the village full time, or to Pattaya Beach where it's only a 7-hr drive to the village—and not a 2-day trip from you have to fly and the airport east or west is 2-hrs drive from the house.

Something else is afoot too.

It has to do with My Easy Way alcohol cessation, which hits the 6-month mark in 2 days. I've been reflecting on that obligatory video and post. The title of this post is testament to what that will be about; which is, there is no way to predict how it's going to go when you quit. Initially, you're focussed on the task of just not drinking, which thankfully, was ridiculously easy for me, this time, at long last. And, you're nostalgic. Perhaps you're a bit depressed because you're truly not having as much fun as you used to, so you're condemned to a slightly or way more mundane life.

So what are you gonna make of it?

If you stay the course it's almost like you can't help yourself but to rebound into making your life fun, challenging, exciting yada yada, again...only from a different perspective and motivation. What's mine? The girl and her girls. It's both the motivation and the reward.

And it doesn't come from some half-drunk, weepy, and forlorn place that's gonna be forgotten about by the time you wake up sober anyway. It's almost the opposite. I'm rather unemotional...stoic about it, even. Lemme tell ya what. Having a chick 32 years younger than you has its definite challenges...

So, what do you do? Well, anyone gets to do what they want but in my case, it adds up to being one more thing—and a rather prescient one at that—where it takes more and more to actually get me angry. And that process evolves from that conscious stoic resolve to a natural response where whatever that thing in the minute is, it's all just information. I can act on it or not, chalk it up, or forget about it.

It also serves as a reminder that I did not, in fact, know it all at the age of 30. Yet.

...I require more than just getting up everyday and writing for some hours. Right now, it's heavily weighted toward Twitter which is going well. From zero since Elon took over—my old account with 8k followers was nuked almost 2 years ago—to closing in on 400 followers. I'm figuring out the code without engaging in all the bullshit people do to get high numbers of brainless morons and they're in abundance. I don't need it. They'll never be paying members.

Here, take a look at this thread (the replies and nested replies) and tell me how many of those 200ish regurgitators are serious candidates for a paying membership. Maybe 2 or 3.

So, I'm starting a business. A real-world, physical business. Like...get up in the morning, move shit around, pound on stuff. Not just tap-tap-tap. I built a house in the province of Sisaket in the spring and summer of 2020, sitting out Covid 1.0.

I relished in that experience, and plus, rural Thais are accustomed to 10-hr day, 7-day work weeks. I got it done in 2 1/2 months with 3-4 guys...older, mature village guys who know how to do everything because they have to. They have to know how to farm rice or cassava or papaya when the pickin's good. They have to know how to raise and tend to livestock. They have to know how to build houses and commercial buildings and they're all jacks of all trades...from laying the concrete pad to setting the concrete columns to laying the concrete blocks to setting the windows to welding together the steel roof structure to running plumbing to setting time. The only things subbed out in my build was electrical, painting, the commercial interior doors, and the front 100% stainless steel gate.

Have a quick look. All cash out of pocket, about $40-45K, estimated. The land is free and clear, too. And unlike in the "land of the free," there are no property taxes whereby, you're actually leasing "your land" from the state.

What that wonderfully exciting daily experience did was to instill in me a desire to start a construction company here in Thailand.

I grew up in and around construction. Various family members were in various trades and I spent large swaths of my youth, from age 10 onward, working on construction sites. It's like blood in veins to me.

If I wanted to do this in America?

I would even get started in "The Land of the Free."


So, you get to follow along as I start and operate a construction company as an American in Thailand...ridiculously easier, faster, and cheaper than in the so-call land of the free...and utterly shameful delusion.

So here we go...details, details, details. All of them.

What Kind of Construction and Development Company?

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