Monday, April 11, 2016

Ancestral Potato Hackers?

Maybe this potato hack thing is ingrained in us, evolutionarily. Here is proof that potato hacking predates even Homo sapiens.

From, Do Animals Have Culture

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  1. This being Japan, of course she was eating sweet potatoes.

  2. I’ve done the potato hack maybe 6-7 times. And I have historical data! Here were my 1st three attempts back in 2014.

    start/length: 2014/9/21 (6 days)
    weight/loss: 172.2 – 169.3 (3# loss)

    start/length: 2014/10/20 (9 days)
    weight/loss: 176.1 – 172.4 (4# loss)

    start/length: 2014/12/2 (7 days)
    weight/loss: 177 – 174.2 (5# loss)

    As you can see, I was slowly gaining weight that fall. This is purely seasonal, and has nothing to do with the potato hack – I am always slimmest right around the autumnal equinox, always heaviest around the vernal equinox. I have 5 years of daily weight data to back this up.

    Since I had no weight problems at the time, I lost little weight. Currently, at 62 years of age, height just under 6 feet, and now weigh around 185# -- been eating more, lifting weights, taking creatine, so now have more fat and muscle. Been taking a break from trying to keep weight off this past year.

    I did another potato hack 2 weeks ago, for 7 days. Again, lost around 5#, gained it back within a week. I conclude that, for me, 7 days is simply too long. I lose energy and mental focus in the last 3 days. So, as Tim suggests, probably a 3-5 day hack is ideal for me.

    I used salt and vinegar, but every day I also ate a little styrofoam container of natto – it comes with a little package of secret sauce! That was my only concession to taste and pleasure. By day 4 I was really really tired of my May Queen spuds.

    Will probably do a shorter hack again next month.

  3. Hello Tim, Just read your book. Nice work and great blog.

    You recently had a gall bladder removal. I am just wondering if that could have anything to do with the potato hack. Not for the potatoes, but for the lack of fat in a diet that is 4+ days long. If the liver does not use the bile produced everyday and it sits there for 4+ days, it may coagulate into stone like material that may cause the distress that you went thru. Any thoughts on this.

    1. Fair question. My gallbladder problems started several years before I tried the potato hack. I believe they were caused by some meds I was on for high triglycerides (Gemfibrozil). Also, my mom and dad both had gallstones and gallbladders removed, so there's that.

      As to the potato hack and the possibility of forming gallstones. I am not concerned, nor are the many people I have asked that same question to. There were some studies done that showed beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt that very low calorie, zero fat diets quickly led to gallstone formation, like in 2 weeks. The potato hack does not fit the same low calorie pattern of those diets, and, almost as a nod from Mother Nature, potatoes are one of the few plants that actually cause a release of CCK and a gallbladder contraction. In fact, the meal I ate just prior to my final gallbladder attack was a large serving of potatoes and a cup of coffee. Coffee also causes gallbladder emptying.

      So, you'll notice that the potato hack is short, 3-5 days, and allows all the coffee you want. If any sludge does begin to form over 3-5 days, it should quickly be removed at the first fatty meal.

      People regularly fast for as long as a typical potato hack, yet this is never seen as a gallstone issue.


    2. Thanks Tim, That was really prompt.
      Due to semi religious reasons - I fast for 8 days twice a year, once at the vernal equinox and once at the autumn equinox. Traditionally only potatoes , water chestnut flour (or fresh), buck wheat and amaranth are eaten during this time.
      Last month I decided to use this time to potato hack. I used only boiled potatoes with salt and some lime juice. The first 3 days I felt I could taste something like bile a few minutes after finishing the meal - like a reflux symptom. It subsided eventually. That left me wondering about the Gall bladder question.

      The hack went very well. I did not lose much weight, may be 2 lbs. But the overall feeling was welcome. In fact, I think, I just to maintain a similar feeling of satiation and fullness, I am eating a little less nowadays.

      Thanks again for responding.

  4. THAT was fun to read! Terri F

  5. I add three ounces of inexpensive non-iodized sea salt per gallon of cooking water to approximate seawater. (Seawater weighs about 8.6#/gal.) After pouring off the water I have perfectly salted potatoes for the mashed taters that are my preference. After adding a few grinds of fresh black pepper, my taters are perfectly seasoned.

    James H.

  6. Slightly off topic - Did any of you see this? I know we've discussed cooling potatoes and rice to increase resistant starch - but pasta as well?

    1. Sure. And bread as well. Stale bread is high in RS. Retrogradation of starch is technically "staling." People turn their noses up at "day old" bread and leftovers,but this is the healthiest way to eat!

    2. Silly question, but where does toast fit in? Or cold toast?

    3. It fits perfectly in the space between your upper and lower jaw. hahahaha

      Toast = Good source of RS from bread. Hot or cold. The Wheat Belly guy realized quickly that he was taking away the one source of most people's RS by banning bread and secretly added a new recommended food: raw potatoes