My Potato Reset.
Potatoes are not the devil, people.
In 2010, the head of the Washington State Potato Commission even lived off of only potatoes for 60 days straight. He wanted to prove that potatoes are completely healthy and in turn, improved all his cholesterol (because plants have ZERO cholesterol) and even lost weight. A quick Google search will show you many people who continue to do so to improve their heart-health. I don't think that's a long-term solution but just proves that it's not going to make you fat or sick.
Check it out: Getting Well On 20 Potatoes A Day
Your brain needs complex carbohydrates to function and it ticks me off that all the media and 'research' over the years has demonized carbs. Diets that cut out healthy, whole foods like fruit, grains, seeds and potatoes just seems wrong to me. Many meat-heavy diets have short-term weight loss benefits but in the long run they are largely unsustainable and increase your chances of chronic illness later in life. IT'S SCIENCE.
Anyway - I could write a rant 171 pages long but I won't. Here are my thoughts and meals for my mini potato experiment...
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.
DAY 1 - AM I GOING TO DIE AT WORK WITHOUT COFFEE?
Weight: 229 lbs
Thoughts: The food was amazing and delicious and I didn't really feel hungry throughout the day but I was in a huge mind-haze (I think) due to lack of coffee and it being my first day back at work after a long weekend off. Feeling pretty quit-y in the afternoon but confident and full by the evening, so good stuff.
What I ate: Mashed potatoes with sauteéd spinach and onion, topped with salsa. Mixed veg salad with baked white potato and maple/mustard vinaigrette. Sweet potato noodles with cauliflower/veg bolognese sauce. Lots of hot/cold water with lemon and ginger. Cucumbers and tomatoes with balsamic for snacks in between.
DAY 2 - THIS AIN'T SO BAD!
Weight: 226 lbs
Thoughts: Much better feelings today. Food all still really tasty and found our bottle of 'fancy' balsamic (steeped with herbs) so snacks are really tasty. Don't believe the scale down three pounds. Waiting until the end of the week to see if it sticks - but if it does - then that's pretty fantastic. Work day with no coffee felt WAY better than yesterday.
What I ate: Mixed veg salad with baked sweet potato and maple/mustard vinaigrette (yes for breakfast.) Leftover sweet potato noodles with cauliflower/veg bolognese sauce. White potato and green onion hash browns with sauteéd veg and salsa. More hot/cold lemon water and cucumber and tomato for snacks in between.
DAY 3 - DINNER AT A FRIEND'S HOUSE?
Weight: 224 lbs
Thoughts: Feeling hungry in between meals. Realize I need to prep more potatoes for snacks instead of just tomato and cucumber. I noticed the baby carrots tasted really, really sweet. I also picked up this low-sodium, no sugar herb mix and used that on the cucumber and tomato. Very tasty. Bit of a sweet craving in the afternoon. Had to make dinner at a friend's house but it was super easy to prepare and turned out delicious - so that's a good point.
What I ate: Leftover hash browns with the veg and salsa. Salad with baked potato and maple/mustard vinaigrette. Baked, cubed red potato with sauteéd mushrooms, onions and spinach topped with potato-based nacho 'cheese' sauce (OMG it's so good.) More hot/cold lemon water and cucumber and tomato for snacks in between plus baby carrots just plain out of the bag.
DAY 4 - FRIDAY = FRENCH FRIES
Weight: 223 lbs
Thoughts: Really good day at work. Felt ok with everything except in the afternoon and evening pretty hungry because again, I didn't prep enough food to snack on. Fries in the evening took too long and I didn't have salad prepped for a snack. This was my own fault.
What I ate: Leftover baked red potato with veg and nacho 'cheese' sauce. Salad with baked sweet potato and maple/mustard vinaigrette. Mixed veg salad and homemade fries done in the AirFryer with homemade mushroom and onion gravy. More hot/cold lemon water and cucumber and tomato for snacks in between plus baby carrots just plain out of the bag. Used 'fancy' balsamic and the herb mix on the snacks - really good.
DAY 5 - SWEET POTATO SATURDAY
Thoughts: Food was so delicious today but took long to prepare because Frank was sleeping off his night shift and I had to move slow and quiet like a mouse. The sweet potato with maple really hit the spot for the sweet cravings. Today (Saturday) was hard without a cup of coffee but that feeling only lasted a few minutes. Afternoon got a bit frustrating because the pockets took longer than expected to bake but omg - so good. Went to a friend's place in the evening but prepared with salad and cauliflower snacks and it really hit the spot for hanging out and having snacks with friends. Had a bunch of soda water with lime to feel like I was having a drink with everyone. Tasty!
What I ate: Mashed sweet potato with maple syrup and cinnamon. Tomato with herb mix. Stuffed mashed potato 'pocket' with sauteéd mushroom, green onion, spinach and yellow pepper with low-sodium fajita spices. Mixed veg salad with maple/mustard vinaigrette. Baked cauliflower tossed in hot sauce.
DAY 6 - OK, I'M DONE?
Weight: 223 lbs
Thoughts: I originally wanted to do 7 full days, and as I write this in the AM I still have lots of leftovers and Day 6 may still prove to be a potato-y one, but I have decided to stop one day early. Day 4 and 5 I did not prep properly and found myself super hungry in the afternoon with no quick way to get more to eat. However, drinking my first cup of coffee in actually over 6 days it's 'just ok' - and for me to say that about coffee is a little crazy. (The Potato Reset says to limit coffee but I had decided to go cold turkey.)
What I ate: Coffee with unsweetened almond milk. A plate of tomato, avocado and radish with the herb mix. Mixed veg salad with maple/mustard vinaigrette. Sweet potato and veg soup. Four pitted dates. Zucchini noodles with mixed veg marinara sauce. Tiny bowl of vegan chilli.
In the end I am really, really glad I did this. It really hit home when I had my first sip of coffee Sunday morning and I didn't explode with pleasure. It wasn't prepared much differently from what I drank before (sugar and unsweetened almond milk; I left out the sugar) and I was expecting some crazy, life-altering moment of bliss. It was 'just ok.' Like, it tasted good and I kind of bounced off the walls all day (and I felt like I could see through time) but.... Hmmm. A few days later and I'm feeling super confident about sticking to whole foods and staying off the processed stuff and snacks (mostly) going forward. I guess my reset was more successful mentally... but I did lose 6 lbs!
I found it somewhat hard to stick to at the end because I wasn't desperate to lose weight and I felt healthy before starting. For someone who needs a bit of a reset or a jump-start to healthier eating; I totally recommend it. For people who are currently eating meat and dairy; this would allow you to shed pounds like you would not believe. It would really show you that those types of foods weigh you down not only in pounds but in how you feel all day long.
I also think my gastric-bypass stomach made a big difference in how full I felt as things that are smooth like mashed potatoes slide right through and don't sit around making me feel full (I am missing the bottom part of my stomach where your food sits and digests in acid for a bit first before passing into your intestines - eeew gross, I know.) So I think others would feel fuller longer than I did. Also - starting this at 'that time of the month' or when you're super busy is also not a good idea. Plan for success, people!
My only advice is to make more per meal than you think you're going to need and don't be afraid to snack on potatoes all day long!
You can find out more about the Potato Reset here.