Can you live off potatoes?
As much as I'm an advocate of just eating healthy, normal food and avoiding crazy fad diets... I also like to challenge myself. (That's just to make me feel better for anyone who reads this and thinks what I'm doing is a fad diet.)
A few months ago I started seeing posts on Instagram about a 'Potato Reset' program where people were resetting their taste for junk food (and losing weight) eating mainly potatoes and non-starchy veg. The basic theory is that you cut out fat and sugar and you fill up on potatoes and non-starchy vegetables. The potatoes keep you full for a long time and the lack of sauces and processed foods reset your cravings and tastebuds.
Looking into the official Potato Reset website the founder (Jeannie the Potato Queen) may have no formal education in nutrition but she is sharing her amazing journey from being overweight with a chronic autoimmune disease to thriving on a whole-foods, plant-based diet and using her self-made program of a potato 'cleanse' to continue losing weight and staying off the vegan junk food train.
The comments and followers seem to indicate real success with the added bonus of moderate to large amounts of weight loss. I'm not a huge fan of potatoes or fad diets but I've needed something to kick start me again after my ankle injury and the weight I gained back after the successful part of my gastric bypass surgery (350 lbs down to 180 lbs up to 230 lbs.)
Being the anal-retentive, thorough person I am; I needed to do the research and find out if this was legit before I started doing it.
Many vegans will be familiar with Dr. John A. McDougall. He promotes a low-fat, starch-based vegan diet. His research and theory is that this is a more historically natural diet that keeps people lean with good nutrition. After working for years as a doctor for 5000 people on a sugar plantation in Hawaii with first, second and third generation employees from a variety of Asian countries. The first generation grew up on rice (a starch) and vegetables. And as the kids and grandkids adopted a Western diet (abandoning starch) the chronic disease that was missing from the older generation started to creep in. We're talking arthritis, MS, diabetes and heart disease. These are people with the same genetics and family lines doing the same type of work for generations in the same environment. The only difference - no starch and too much meat & processed foods.
His research also found that other scientists had been reporting the same results for a 100+ years. That when cultures abandoned starches and adopted high-fat, high-sugar diets... that's when disease set in. This is not old news. Recent research shows that many tribes (depending on location) of neanderthals lived on completely plant-based diets. Zero meat consumption. Many studies have found that carbohydrates actually helped early man actually develop bigger brains.
Even if you just look at the nutrition facts of a potato. A medium potato has about 167 calories with 18% fiber and 70% of the vitamin C needed in an average diet. With 5 grams of protein and comprising of 80% complex carbohydrates it's literally designed to keep you full for a long time. But all the fad diets of the past and different 'health' sources have totally demonized our poor friend the potato (and other complex carbohydrates.) Zero fat, zero cholesterol and zero sodium. Why do people hate them so much?!
The above is a super condensed version of the articles I read including info about The China Study (the most comprehensive study of diet and nutrition) but based on all my previous thoughts that complex carbohydrates are not our enemy, the research I've done over the past year after going vegan and the fact that I'll still be eating super healthy and can't hurt myself - the choice was made. I'm going to try it!
My main goal is to challenge myself to see if I can actually stick to it for a week. After a week I will reassess and try a second week. I hope to curb my cravings for coffee and processed food and hopefully lose a little weight. Mostly I wanted to be able to say that I did it and tried!
DAY 0 - PREP DAY
Weight: 229 lbs
Goals: To not drink coffee all day (reset suggests the least amount of caffeine possible plus I drink mine with sugar and almond milk.) To eat some of the left over food that's not on the reset list. To get groceries. To meal plan and prep a bit for the week. To start with a reset-compliant dinner so I'll have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.
What I ate: Tofu scramble with red pepper and onions. Hot water with lime, ginger and turmeric. Pita crackers, carrots & hummus. Left over hakka noodles with veg and tofu nuggets. Two baked potatoes with High Carb Hannah's nacho cheese sauce (this turned out to be the shizzle!!) and salsa.