The Potato Cleanse

Relatively recently I tried The Potato Cleanse (or The Potato Diet). I tried it as a recommendation from a various vegan sources online. You can do a quick Google or YouTube search and find tons of groups and videos about this “cleanse.”

I am not the kind of person that believes in cleanses, for the most part. Our bodies have organs that rid the body of toxins far better than any juice or diet can. Maybe this belief that a cleanse actually flushes your body of harmful things comes from a simple diet change. When we change our diet and eat whole plant foods and no longer consume processed chemical garbage the body naturally goes through its own detox process. I do think cleanses can be a good thing if they are a diet and lifestyle change for the better. But the reality here is that the object we are consuming during the cleanse is not actually “cleansing” us; rather it gives the kidneys and liver an opportunity to slurp out the rest of the toxins in our body (since they are not processing the normal day-to-day things we eat) that would normally just sit there. Kind of like taking the trash out every day for a year or two and never actually washing the can out.

The Basics

  • Most Calories should be coming from potatoes of any kind
  • You can eat any other non-starch vegetable (leafy greens, broccoli, etc…)
  • A few tablespoons of maple syrup or sugar is fine
  • Any sauce that is oil/fat-free and vegan is allowed

Benefits

  • The potato cleanse is supposed to help you think about the relationship that you have with food.
  • Potatoes are super filling and nearly nutritionally complete.
  • You eat fewer calories because they aren’t as calorically dense but are very satiating. Therefore, you easily lose weight.
  • Helps people transition to a high carb, plant-based or starch based lifestyle.
  • With good results it becomes more evident to people that carbohydrates are a good thing and not fattening.

Potatoes are pretty bland and can only be cooked in so many ways. Therefore, it is a pretty boring diet. Overeating can be caused by having too many choices and varieties of foods.

I joined the potato cleanse bandwagon to see if it would sort of “jumpstart” my weight loss. I committed to a week on the cleanse at first just to see if I was capable. My track record with other diet changes that I’ve tried in the past just didn’t last long. Being a serial overeater has prevented me from sticking with any healthy lifestyle for more than a few days or so. Potatoes are my favorite food so this diet was super exciting and seemed absolutely doable for me.

The first day of the cleanse was smooth sailing. I had baked oil free fries with ketchup for breakfast, mashed potatoes and Hain’s vegetarian fat-free brown gravy for lunch and a potato/veggie stir-fry style dish for dinner. I found it was pretty difficult to overeat on potato meals because every time I ate I would feel really stuffed and unable to finish my meal, which is unusual for me. This seemed promising!

You can see my potato cleanse meals on my Instagram or to see other ideas check the hashtag #thepotatocleanse on IG or Twitter. People on the cleanse have been really crafty and created an awesome nacho cheeze sauce made from potatoes and carrot or bell peppers and even a ranch dressing and mayo made from potatoes! I’ve tried them all and they are delicious! Join The Potato Cleanse Facebook group to see all the recipes.

On the second and subsequent days I experienced some undesirable effects. The main one being bloating and gas. I assumed it was something that would pass over time but I experienced this with great discomfort for the entire week while I was on the cleanse. Because of my quasi-side effects I opted to continue the cleanse but on modified terms.

I continued eating potatoes for 1 meal a day for the next 2 weeks and felt much better. The bloating and gas had completely gone away and I was still feeling much fuller than usual and, in turn, eating less that I usually would during the day.

I still often eat potatoes for one or two meals each day several times per week because it is a great way to reduce the amount of calories and still get the satisfied feeling that it seems I am always looking for.

Results

After the first week I did see a drop in weight quicker than I would see with my regular diet and exercise. I lost 3 pounds at the end of the week and I was quite happy with that. I am continuing to lose weight at a much slower pace now but those 3 pounds seemed like a great testament to the cleanse.

I would recommend this cleanse if you are considering it. I don’t think it is for everyone but I think it is worth a try. You will not be lacking anything in your diet and it is completely healthy (just look at Andrew Taylor of SpudFit). My relationship with potatoes hasn’t changed, I still love them and will continue on eating them.

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