21 Day Potato Challenge
21 DAY POTATO CHALLENGE
I have taken on a body challenge to start off the New Year by eating nothing but potatoes for 21 days straight!
It probably sounds crazy if you have never heard of this before, but bear with me!
If you haven't heard of Andrew Taylor from Melbourne who took on this challenge to change his life and you're interested in changing yours... you should look him up! He ate nothing besides potatoes for an entire year!!!
Makes 21 days seems pretty easy, right?
Why did I do this?
Now Andrew Taylor explains that he did this challenge to break his addiction with food and he lost 115 pounds in the process meanwhile feeling energized, nourished and healthy!
I, on the other hand, do not need to lose that amount of weight. I chose to take on the Potato Challenge to simply curb cravings and find a new appreciation for food.
Andrew Taylor goes on to explain that it did exactly that for him. Once you eat only potatoes for so long, eating anything else is extraordinary!
I believe I am already a fairly healthy eater most of the time, but I am not perfect nor do I expect to be by doing this challenge. I enjoy trying new things and seeing how it changes my body is positive ways. And, I already love potatoes so this wasn't really the most difficult thing in the world!
What is the challenge exactly?
- Eat only potatoes - any variety which includes sweet potatoes (thank god). You should eat enough until you are comfortably full. Remember that it is not a potato eating competition either, you don't want to over-stuff yourself.
- You can use minimal herbs, spices, and fat-free sauces to add a little bit of flavor. I also used a small amount of unsweetened almond milk while making mashed potatoes.
- Take B12 vitamins the whole time.
- Coffee & tea are allowed!
I tracked all of it!
Scroll to the bottom for end results, or read through for daily/weekly updates on my emotional/physical/mental state.
Wednesday, January 3rd, 5 days before I am starting the Potato Challenge! I want my body to start to get used to only potatoes so that it doesn't get a huge shock. I am expecting to experience cleansing symptoms which include headaches, fatigue, lack of energy for the first couple of days on the challenge. Getting my body used to potatoes for every meal should help with the symptoms.
Anyways, I am going to have potatoes for breakfast today. As long as I can remember I have eaten oatmeal for breakfast. Like at least for a year and a half. I love oatmeal, it fills me up and gives me everything that I need. Time to change things up!
Sunday, January 7 - It's the day before my challenge begins. I purchased 2 massive bags of potatoes and 2 smaller bags of colorful potatoes to start me off tomorrow.
Also, I purchased a few non-starchy vegetables which are allowed during the challenge so I bought lettuce, bell peppers, carrots, and onion. There's a lot to choose from but this is how I'll start. In total it cost me 24$ for only the potatoes. I'll let you know how long it lasts me.
Wednesday, January 10 - It's day 3 and I honestly feel great! I've been going to school and dancing for 4+ hours without getting tired or hungry. A few things I have noticed so far:
- I don't snack anymore. I am usually a midnight snacker like I will eat a huge amount of food at night right before I go to bed mainly because I'm bored and craving things (usually chocolate). I don't feel like snacking on plain potatoes so I haven't snacked at all!
- I spend a lot less time thinking about food. I don't have to worry about what to make, or if I should spend 9$ on a smoothie when I'm not even hungry.
- Life feels a lot more simple. Mainly because I stopped thinking about food or what I want to eat. I already know!
- I feel full and satisfied! My biggest worry was not eating enough. I bring a decently sized Tupperware of potatoes to school for lunch and I usually don't even finish it because I am so full. It's a comfortable full too. Plain potatoes are pretty boring so once my stomach is actually full it's easy to stop eating because it's not like it's super salty and addictive.
- I hate the word "diet" when it is used in the wrong context. I am not restricting ANY calories. I am eating when I am hungry and I am stopping when I am full. No portion control, no measuring (only for the first few days to make sure I was getting enough, and I am)! This isn't a short-term diet to lose weight.
That isn't the right mindset and definitely is not a long-term solution. You should do this to reconnect with your body and understand what hunger is, what it means to feel truly full and satisfied. Fix your cravings and your sweet tooth. This is working! It is amazing how good I feel! It's a lot easier than I thought it would be.
Saturday, January 13 - It's day 6!! Almost a week! I feel really good. As I track my calorie intake on my Fitbit to make sure I am meeting the required amount to meet my activity level, I am eating fewer calories than I have before, but I feel extremely satisfied all of the time. Potatoes really are not that calorie dense, and I happen to eat them super slowly so I fill up faster. I am starting to believe potatoes are the most magical food ever!!
COST SO FAR:
The first week was $24 and I still have a massive bag of potatoes left that I have to get through. I went to Costco today and purchased the same large bag which probably won't be used for a few days. I also got about 8 sweet potatoes & a medium sized bag of little potatoes. All of that for $21! So far I have spent $45.00 (only including the potatoes) and this will definitely last me the next 10 days.
Wednesday, January 17 - DAY 10 GUYS! I am finally in the double digits! What an achievement! I'm off to the grocery store to load up on a ton of fresh, non-starchy veggies because those taste better and better as days go on. I am finding myself dreaming about green smoothies and a ton of fruit. I cannot wait to eat fruit, but I'm hanging in there. The potatoes are pretty good, ya not a lot to say! Life is easy! Baked a bunch of sweet potatoes last night so that's a treat!
Sunday, January 21 - It's been officially 2 weeks of the potato challenge. I have definitely gotten a lot leaner, I can see it in my legs & waist a lot! That is probably a mixture of the only potatoes as well as numerous hours of dance I've done these past 2 weeks. I still feel amazing, excited to eat some fruit, and really enjoying sweet potatoes with cinnamon lately.
Sunday, January 28 - IT'S THE LAST DAY!!! I DID IT!!! I am really excited to start including fruits into my diet tomorrow! I want a huge smoothie bowl loaded with bananas, almond milk, berries, chia seeds, flax seeds, topped with granola, coconut... I could go on and on and on... So yes, I am excited to start eating my usual foods again!
With that being said, I am going to be eating a lot more potatoes as well! I am not sick of them at all! I love how versatile they are and how they make me feel. I think I will start eating them for breakfast a lot more often. I always felt really good in the mornings after a nice big warm bowl of hashbrown-like potatoes with pepper & some ketchup. It's satisfying and I know that they include everything my body needs to thrive.
Potatoes are a magical, magical food. I feel absolutely incredible after eating the majority of my calories from potatoes, I have saved a huge amount of money and now I will list some specific things I have gained from this experience:
1.) I was buying a lot of things I don't need.
By this, I mean that I would buy little snacks in between classes, like protein bars, or smoothies and stuff like that... thinking that it would be beneficial! Which of course those are healthy options and there is nothing wrong with that... But I always bring enough food to school.
I always have something healthy & filling in my backpack and I would still go buy something I thought I would enjoy more. I saved a lot of money by not purchasing the extra, random snacks. If I ever for some reason don't pack a lunch then that is different but that rarely is the case.
2.) I appreciate who I am with more than what I am eating.
My meals where very bland for the most part so when I would sit down to eat, I had more time to focus on who I was with, what we were talking about, etc...rather than focusing on what it was I was eating. It's a minor detail, but I began to appreciate the people I was chatting with a lot more rather than focusing on what was on my plate.
3.) My body wants real food.
Real food to me means natural ingredients. I don't want processed junk, I want meals made from plants, herbs & spices, loads of fruit and huge salads made with fresh veggies & dressing. The only thing I found myself wanting during this challenge was mangos, bananas, and berries. My original cravings for chocolate & peanut butter are less so than they used to be.
I still have moments where I want those things because they are delicious (duh) and I cannot wait to make some delicious peanut butter chocolate banana nice-cream soon! But the majority of cravings are for fresh fruit.
4.) I am excited to eat CLEAN.
After 21 days of one food option... I AM SO STOKED TO EAT OTHER THINGS. I feel like I reset my taste buds and my digestive system. I am excited to start adding clean foods to my diet. It's been 3 weeks of the same old stuff, and now I feel like I have the chance to start over and say yes to natural foods, and I feel better saying no to processed food I used to think I "really really" wanted.
I know that I can live without the junk and be happy! I did it for 21 days! It's almost as if my mind is at ease knowing that I can turn down things that I think I want, because I know I don't really want it/need it. I am happy with my simple, delicious, healthy foods.