Usually, when I want to tune up my diet, I return to raw vegan foods for a while — salads, nut dips, smoothies, etc. I actually love all of those things, anyway, and they’re super-healthy no matter what diet you’re following. So, if/when I slip back into eating too much pizza (and/or other rich food that makes me gain weight), raw vegan food offers a dependable reset. I talk about this in what somehow became a mini-viral post of mine:
What I Do When I Want to Drop Weight Quickly, Healthily, and Without Going Hungry
A quick post about raw vegan foods.
This time around, though, my wife found some interesting stories about the “all-potato diet.” Yep, you guessed it: For this diet, you consume pretty much 100% potatoes.
If you’re like me, the phrase “pretty much 100%” makes little sense. Something is either 100% or it’s not, right? Well, sure. But, this diet has a few optional variations. Ideally, it means 100% potatoes, with zero anything else — not even salt or herbs for some people!
Others allow salt and/or herbs, others allow a little ketchup or other condiments, and some encourage adding additional veggies. At some point, this diet becomes a “mostly potato” diet, I suppose.
But anyway, it’s meant to be an experimental thing (not permanent), and is said to have many surprising benefits (weight loss, cholesterol improvement, sugar level improvement, etc.). Some do it for a week, some two, some months, and a few much longer. (Again, I’m not recommending this as a lifestyle — just an experimental reset kind of thing.)
Here’s What I Did
I figured, whatever my variation, I’d always disallow oil. That was my big rule. At the start, I also wanted to do no ketchup, BBQ sauce, etc.
The first day, I ate only baked potatoes with salt and pepper — breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It got boring fast, to be honest, even though that’s how I always eat baked potatoes. Plus, it was just way, way, way, too much baked potato. I thought on day one: There’s no damn way I’m going to do this for a couple weeks (which was my goal).
Then we thought of cutting the potatoes into wedges or fries and baking them that way. I’d coat them with some salt and pepper, and do up a tray. Without any oil, they generally stick to the baking sheet, which is a pain. But, they do eventually come off. And I found them much tastier this way. (Though, I if I were to do this long-term, I’d want to look into ways to reduce ingestion of acrylamide, which is a potential health hazard related to overcooked starchy foods. Separate issue, though. Google it if concerned.)
But the wedges also got boring pretty quickly. So, we tried various things — sprinkling garlic powder on them, sprinkling the Indian spice chat on them, etc. Also quickly boring, for me. I needed a damn sauce if I was going to get through this challenge!
So, I hit up the grocery store to see if there were any low-cal ketchups or BBQ sauces. Sure enough, there was a “Simple Truth Organic Ketchup” with “50% less sugar & sodium.” It has 15 calories per tablespoon. And there was a “Sweet Baby Ray’s No Sugar Added” variety of BBQ sauce. It had just 7.5 calories per tablespoon. So, for 45 extra calories per all-potato meal, I could have two tablespoons each of ketchup and BBQ sauce on the side at each meal.
And this really made the difference for me! It was smooth sailing after adding the BBQ and ketchup (though, again, in moderation). Though yeah, it was still a little monotonous, to be honest. But, I only planed on doing it for a week, just to see how I feel.
Actually, I feel pretty good. Feels like I dropped maybe 5 pounds or so. (I didn’t weigh myself, but I do have a lighter feeling.) I had zero bloating or heartburn and, though the potatoes were monotonous, they did at least fill me up each time I ate them.
I did find myself looking longingly at other foods at the store, which wasn’t much fun. But, I stuck to it anyway.
All in all, I don’t think I could stand it long term. (And that’s coming from someone who once managed more than two full years on 100% raw vegan foods!)
It’s day eight now, and I decided to continue potatoes for a bit longer, but only for dinner. For breakfast, I’m doing smoothies. For lunch, soup. We’ll see how that goes for another few weeks. And then I’ll try to keep up with a more healthy vegetarian lifestyle going forward (though I’m definitely going to have pizza on my birthday in a few days!).