Week 1 of My Four Week Spudtacular Adventure

I’m super excited to have made it through the first week of my potato hack diet!  I’ve learned a few things along the way – about potatoes, and about myself!  Today I’m going to share my discoveries, my struggles, and a couple hints to help you if you’ve decided to follow along with me now, or in the future!

First of all…I did lose weight!!! I lost a total of 5.2 pounds.  I admit I’m a little disappointed in this number, as I expected to lose a little more. I was actually down 6.8 pounds at one point, so I have found the weight loss to be a little frustrating for me.  I really expected to see a gradual downward trend on the scale, but instead I saw a decrease in my weight on days 2, 3, 4, and 6, with slight upticks day 5 and 7.  Then again today I was surprised to see another increase.  What’s the cause? I’m not sure.  I’ve been 100% faithful to the plan…I have, however, had an issue with constipation (sorry if that’s TMI – just tying to keep it real).  I thoroughly expected the opposite problem to be honest, but I feel like this probably accounts for the fluctuating weight.  In the end, as far as weight loss goes, I’m still happy with a 5.2 lb. loss – I don’t believe I’ve ever had that kind of success with any other diet I’ve tried!

Oil Free Oven Fries | cookeatbehealthy

Oil Free Oven Fries ~ Place cut potatoes on parchment lined baking sheet, sprinkle with a tiny bit of salt and pepper, bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. 

The first 3 days on nothing but plain potatoes was pretty tough – not gonna lie!  The first day was a breeze, the second – not so bad, the third – ugh! On day 4 I was so excited for dinner because I was incorporating the veggies I’d planned to add in.  I made myself a sauce/gravy with tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and organic beef stock thickened with potato starch.  I gotta tell you – it was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten!  😉  I’ll share the recipe at the end of this post!

As for my hunger levels…let’s just say you’d have noticed a rumbly in my tumbly had you been near me!  But all in all, while I have been hungry, I haven’t been uncomfortably hungry very often!  I have slept pretty well, kept up walking on the treadmill or the elliptical 6 out of the first 7 days, and other than being very cranky on day 7, I think I’ve fared pretty well.  I feel like day 7 (yesterday) has been the worst so far!  I really felt the sugar withdrawal kick into high gear and most the day was spent with my teeth clenched trying to just survive the day by sheer willpower!  Thankfully today has been a better day! 😀  

Hopefully yesterday was the worst day as far as kicking the sugar addiction goes!  I have noticed I’m feeling better in general, and that I’m much less gassy (again – sorry if that’s TMI) and I attribute that to avoiding all dairy products.  Perhaps gluten plays a part in that as well, but typically I find that dairy tends to be pretty disagreeable for me- more so than gluten anyway.

Cold Boiled Potatoes | cookeatbehealthy.com

Cold Boiled Potatoes 

As for my meals themselves I’ve learned a few things.  My favorite potato is the Yukon Gold.  I find it less dry, creamier, and more flavorful than reds or russets.  I bought some blue or purple potatoes and I have mixed feelings about them.  The golds make good mashed, hash browns, and oven fries.  Cold boiled potatoes make a great snack or quick lunch.  In fact, cold is soooo much better than warmed in the microwave – that just dries them out waaaay too much!  My favorite breakfast is hash browns from raw grated Yukon Golds.  I dribble a teensy amount of EVOO in a nonstick pan, wipe it out with a paper towel so there’s barely a whisper of oil left in the pan, the cook the potatoes until crispy and brown, flip them and cook until brown and softened.  I find the whole process only takes 4-5 minutes.  Seasoned with a little sprinkle of salt, pepper, and rosemary…delish!

Pan frying with little to no oil is really difficult, so I recommend babysitting your potatoes while they’re cooking, and adding water or organic chicken stock if they stick to the pan too much.  I find this technique works well when cooking cubed boiled potatoes.  Today for lunch I cubed some blues that I boiled yesterday, pan fried them with a little chicken stock, seasoned them with chili powder, and finished the dish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice!  The stock combined with the starch of the potatoes and the seasoning almost made a sauce for the potatoes, and the lime juice gave the dish a fresh zing!  The point is – experiment and see what works for you and your palate!

On to Week 2…we’ll see what challenges this week brings, but hopefully it’ll come with more successes than failures!  Weather providing, we’re planning to be out of town Thursday, so I’ll just have to see how that goes.  I shouldn’t think I’ll have too much trouble finding a baked potato somewhere for my lunch…fingers crossed!

Mashed Potatoes with Vegetable Gravy | cookeatbehealthy.com

Mashed Potatoes with Vegetable Gravy

So here’s the deal…my recipe plug-in refuses to work today so here’s the recipe for the vegetable gravy:

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes 

2 bell peppers, sliced

1 onion, thinly sliced

8-10 baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced

4 cups organic beef stock, divided

4 tsp potato starch 

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine vegetables, seasonings, and 3 1/2 cups beef stock in a stock pot.

Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 50-60 minutes until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced by about 25%.

Combine potato starch with reserved beef stock and mix well.

Bring vegetables to a rolling boil, and slowly add starch slurry, stirring the entire time.  Add more dissolved starch or more stock as needed to attain desired consistency.

Serve over mashed potatoes made with boiled Yukon Golds and reserved potato water or a little chicken stock.

Place a serving of potatoes in a bowl, ladle on gravy, and enjoy…you’ve earned it! 👍