Friday, September 30, 2016

30 Days Hath Spudtember!

Well, I did it!  30 days of potatoes.

My experience pales in comparison to Andrew "SpudFit" Taylor, who just completed his 9th month, with 3 to go!

The Results

The results were great. I'd wanted to drop 10 pounds before Winter hits, and I did...12 to be exact.

My blood sugar readings dropped over the month, FBG went from 90's to 70's. I found if I ate a massive amount (3+ pounds) of potatoes at a meal, my postprandial would hit nearly 200mg/dl within the first hour and be back in the 70's at 3 hours. But, an average sized meal, a potato or two, would barely cause a blip...100mg/dl maybe and back to normal within the hour.

Most incredible has been my blood pressure.  I have a portable blood pressure machine on my desk at work and checked frequently.  My normal 125/80 blood pressure went down to 110/60.

I continued to jog almost daily the entire month and exercised as normal. I had plenty of energy, but also found that it was taking a shovel-full potatoes to fill me up.  Some days I'd eat 6 pounds or more.  The big intake caused weight loss to slow, and boredom to become a real factor.

Oh, and, I sent a "sample" off to uBiome for a report on my gut bacteria at day 3, and will take another in the morning after day 30.  I'll tell you about the results when I get them back.

The Food

I ate approximately 70 meals of potatoes, with many potato snacks. During that time, there was a single roast beef discretion and a salad and a beer at a restaurant this week when I spent the day in town helping a friend out.  There were also many nibbles of fresh produce as I scurried to preserve carrots, beets, kale, and other garden goodies throughout the month...not to mention filling jars with over 30 pounds of raw, local-as-it-gets, honey. But every meal consisted of many potatoes and minimal extras. I used lots of salt, ketchup, and vinegar. Towards the end of the month, I found I was happiest on freshly made roasted wedges and French fries from my new air fryer. Mashed potatoes are good, too, but I like something to gnaw on when I eat, ya know? I was eating an average of 5 pounds per day when eating to satiety, but found I could get by easily on 3 pounds.

The Future

I plan on doing another full month next year if I gain a couple pounds over summer, but I'll wait until October or November when my garden is a frozen memory. Maybe ending at Thanksgiving.

If anyone wants to join Andrew on a guided tour of a month eating just potatoes, he has extended Spudtember into Octuber and re-opened his closed Facebook group. If you do not mind paying $10 or so to join, you'll get a lot of personal attention, free e-books and seminars, and you'll meet some really, really nice people who just want to talk about eating potatoes for a month.  We had over 500 members in Spudtember, not sure how many will be there for Octuber, but lots...I'd bet a potato on it!

Going forward, I intend to read and re-read Angelo Coppola's (free!) Plant Paleo posts and incorporate a high plant, low meat, lower fat diet into my life. I've become intensely aware this month of how much food I eat out of habit and desire for a snack. I'll forego the cheese and peanut butter, oily sardines, and buttered veggies for less fat alternatives, while not being afraid to eat any real food. I cannot wait for my first bowl of oatmeal in the morning! Oh, and my Spring chickens started laying eggs last week, so there's a nice collection waiting for a Sunday omelette.


I can wholeheartedly recommend a month-long potato diet for anyone who wants to try. Back-to-back 3-5 day hacks are always a good alternative. And, keep in mind, this is not a plan that you need to be 100% compliant with. But, the more days that you keep to the purest forms of potatoes, the more weight you will lose. Lots written around here on how to do it!

Any meal in which the primary ingredient is "potatoes" is as healthy a meal as you will ever eat. I'd bet the potato farm on it!

Any questions?


  1. Your BP and BS are so interesting. Will be interesting to see biome information too but it seems to take a long time to get results back from that.

    1. Just checked and my first report is ready! It looks interesting. My top-5 genera are:

      Bacteroides: 55.26%
      Roseburia: 8.30%
      Alistipes: 7.26%
      Blautia: 3.15%
      Akkermansia: 2.66%

      The only time I EVER see any Akkermansia is when I am doing a potato diet. This is one of the most elusive, seen as the "weight loss" bacteria. There is an arm's race to put Akkermansia in probiotic supplements. Looks like maybe I have found a better way to get it, lol.

      The rest of my Top-5 are all well-know starch eaters and butyrate producers. Akkermansia is a mucin degrader. Now I am really curious to see my Day 30 results...sending off in the morning.

    2. Huh! I sent one right at the start of my fiber challenge. I don't think it's back, but I was waiting for an e-mail to know to check. I'll go check. I'm not up on these reports all that much, so I'll have a lot to learn.

    3. I think they stopped sending emails, you have to check on your own. I am torn on uBiome. Their "dashboard" seems so authoritative, but it's based on a very error-prone system. They have the disclaimers scattered about, but I feel people are being misled a bit by others who seem to think that these tests are 100% accurate and actionable.

  2. Paula (Tim's Proud Mom!)September 30, 2016 at 1:26 PM

    Proud of you Tim. We keep bragging up your book when people notice our weight loss. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thanks, Mom! Can't wait to see you guys next summer.

  3. Just had my physical. I used ADF (alternate day fasting) in September instead of potatoes. Fasted for 4 alternate days from 9/13 to 9/19, then again 3 times 9/26 to 9/30.

    Lately I've been hitting 187 and even creeping up to 190#. But at the clinic, I weighed 79.6kg (175#) with a height of 182 cm. That's a BMI of 24 on the nose! I got over the line with ease!

    Broke the fast with miso soup (seaweed and tofu), RS oatmeal and RS potatoes (both in fridge overnight).

    1. That's awesome. I like ADF. never tried for long, but seems a really good tactic for those that can handle longer fasts. I'm really looking forward to some oatmeal and eggs in the morning!

  4. Hi Tim, thanks for sharing your journey!

    I wonder if one additional factor that helps you with the potato diet/hacking is that your potatoes are home grown, in great soil with probably (I'm guessing) minimal pesticides.

    I'm in Hong Kong and I've been contemplating trying a few days of only potatoes, but unless I want to pay $6-8 USD for only 2 pounds of organic potatoes (from Australia or US), my other option is $1.50 for 2 pounds of standard US baking potatoes (which I am guessing are grown with and covered in tons of chemicals).
    In the past when my partner and I have tried a multi-day potato hack, we didn't really experience any of the great results or feelings that many people report.

    I'm wondering if its the poor quality of potatoes....

    1. "I'm wondering if its the poor quality of potatoes...."

      It might easily be the case.

    2. My book was recently translated into Chinese, so maybe this will all change soon, lol. Are there lots of different yams available? They should make a very good food to hack with, 3-5 days especially.

      I imagine that getting good yams in the US is similar to finding potatoes in Asia. Most yams here are really sweet potatoes.

      Good luck!

    3. I did not know that most yams here were really sweet potatoes. I have not bought yams because I thought they aren't the same as sweet potatoes - they seem to have more moisture than the typical sweet potatoes I buy. Welp, learn something new everyday!


    4. Gina, the orange things are 'Louisiana yams'. They are not 'batatas'. The real sweet potatoes have cream or purple coloured flesh. They can have different colours of skin. The nicest ones (as far as I'm concerned) are the ones with burgundy skins and cream coloured flesh.

      Then you have the African yams which can be very large. These have either white or yellow flesh.

      Here's the wikipedia entry. Be confused. Be very confused. This whole subject of what is a yam and what is a sweet potato can get really complicated.

      Thing is both the real sweet potato and the African yam cannot be eaten raw. Unlike regular potatoes.

    5. Thanks for the info - I certainly am confused! I looked it up once and thought that by buying the lighter colored ones I was getting sweet potatoes so I have kind of stuck with that. I think the orange ones in the stores here (South Dakota) at least have more moisture content (I thought real sweet potatoes were "dryer") and so I thought they were yams. I haven't seen any with burgundy skins but will plan in trying them if I ever do. I haven't tried the purple ones either.

      So yeah, I am pretty confused but since Tim said most yams here are really sweet potatoes, I am going with that!

      Thanks again!

    6. I think the stores have no idea when they put them out in displays. I've asked and just get strange looks. That said, both sweet potatoes and yams are good foods. It probably does not matter what you get when you buy them, they are all good. But, I have always been hesitant to recommend a full-fledged mono-diet of things labeled yams or sweet potatoes because I have never really looked hard at the nutritional profiles for the exact species being sold.

    7. That makes sense. Thanks!

  5. Congrats on the thirty days, Tim! Did you happen to see this study?

    Essentially, researchers are suggesting that in addition to being able to taste sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savory (umami) flavors, there is a sixth. They propose we call it "starchy."

    The presence of amylase in our saliva (which breaks down starches), the ability to taste starch, and now with the apparent ability to taste starch independently of sweetness...the anti-starch argument is on shaky ground, as far as the evolutionary clues go.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Here's an article in IFL Science:

    3. Yep. Seen it. You've heard of the mental disorder amylophagia?

      "Amylophagia is a form of pica which is characterized by the compulsive consumption of purified starch in excessive amounts. UnlikeCornstarch the traditional starchy staples that are found in a traditional diet, such as potatoes or rice, patients with this condition have a strong craving to eat refined starches including laundry and cornstarch. Eating cornstarch and similar starchy foods in large quantities can be a serious health hazard. This is because cornstarch is produced through chemical processes and has limited nutritional benefits. Amylophagia most commonly occurs in pregnant women, but can occur in other demographics."

      Call me crazy, but I think that if someone craves starch, they probably need it.