White Potatoes - can I trust them?


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Hi all!

 

I know that the rules have been changed and white potatoes are now allowed on the Whole30. However, I don't really know if I can trust them and if it's really a good idea to include them in my diet at this stage.

 

Why were they first eliminated from and then reintroduced into the program? I remember reading something about it, but have been searching all over and can't find the page or website again. I might have been brainwashed into thinking they're bad. Too many calories, too many carbs, not appreciated in nearly all the diets I have tried so far, so I'm a bit hesitant now to eat them while it's all going so well and I'm feeling great. But I'm really struggling with eating enough breakfast because the thought of veggies in the morning puts me off food altogether, and including a portion of roast potatoes to go with the protein of eggs and the fat of bulletproof coffee would go a long way! Somehow sweet potatoes just don't do it for me. Yet.

 

I'm hoping you'll share some of your stories with me - what are your experiences with white potatoes? Did you find them to negatively impact weight loss, concentration, or cravings? How much of them are you actually eating, and when? Should I give it a try, or might it be better to wait until reintroduction, even if it's just for peace of mind?

 

Thanks for your help! Love this forum!

Ina

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As I understand it, they were originally excluded mainly because if they were allowed, people would be likely to eat fries and chips, and fall back on potatoes in general rather than branching out and trying new and different vegetables. The rules were updated because they felt that it would be more consistent to allow them, but exclude fries and chips, sort of the way cocoa is allowed but not if you're using it to make dessert-like foods.

Personally I eat potatoes occasionally, just because I like them, but I'm kind of glad that they weren't allowed when I did my first whole30 because I feel like I would have been less likely to try as many other vegetables.

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Thank you so much Shannon, that makes perfect sense! Luckily my relationship with potatoes isn't any more unhealthy than my relationship with food in general and I'm really intending to eat them as a breakfast addition only. Should I not be able to control myself they'll have to go, but I barely purchased potatoes before Whole30 so I might be on a safer side.

 

Well, that's one piece of information on the pro-potatoes-side. Any cons?  :unsure:

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potatoes are a nutritious vegetable. no worries there. That said, the idea of eating them "as a breakfast addition only" did raise my alarms a little bit. I'm not sure if this is you, but I often see people who can't get their heads around eating vegetables for breakfast. If using potatoes (hash browns?) as that veggie stops you from branching out away from traditional "breakfast food" that wouldn't be good. So, as long as you are also eating other kinds and varieties of vegetables, including at breakfast, I give the green light.

 

ps. not a whole30 rule in the slightest, but several of us have learned that we do better eating the really starchy veggies later in the day. eating them early can cause elevated hunger and eating them later can help with sleep.

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I eat cold sauerkraut with my eggs at breakfast. It is a convenient time to make sure I gain the benefit of consuming some fermented food each day. I don't think I would have imagined eating cold sauerkraut when I first began this journey, but now it seems completely natural. 

 

Like Shannon, I was glad that white potatoes were not allowed in my generation. :) I learned to eat turnips and rutabagas more often because white potatoes were out. I even made turnip salad when I wanted some of my mother's potato salad for the fourth of July. 

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Thank you for your help! I really do hate the idea of veggies in the morning. It just doesn't sound/look/smell appealing in the slightest, but I'm trying to get used to a new way of breakfast while still eating something healthy and filling. I hope my tastes will change over time when my body adapts and Meal 1 may then turn greener, but in the meantime I need another solution to make it to lunch without snacking... With all due respect to the health benefits and meal template rules, if I don't like it I won't force myself to eat it. I'm trying to turn my relationship with food into something more positive, not make it even worse. 

But weirdly enough (or maybe not, being German  :) ), I'm not completely appalled by the idea of sauerkraut for breakfast. It's cheap, easily available, quickly heated, goes well with some bacon and an egg on top - I can see breakfast potential! I haven't really read up on the benefits of fermented foods, but it can't hurt and I will actually give this a try. Thanks Tom!

 
It's good to know that in general potatoes do seem to be fine as long as they're not replacing the greens and are enjoyed in moderation. I'll look out for some of the side effects that were mentioned to see if it works for me, too.
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Guten Morgen, Ina.  Thank you for asking about the potatoes, I've been wondering that myself.  April was my first Whole30 and I definitely helped myself to white potatoes, roasting with carrots, making hash browns to go with breakfast, etc.  Then I had doubts as well and backed off.  Starting another round of Whole30, my plan is to enjoy them sparingly this time.  

 

I wanted to share with you an uber yummy breakfast that has become a weekly staple:  Sweet potato and Kale hash topped with spinach olive eggs over easy...cramming in veggies anywhere I can!  It's also delicious with regular potatoes if you don't care for the sweet.  Just grate the potato and shred the kale over EVOO in a pan, cooking slow and low until crispy and set aside.  Then in the same pan, break up black olives and spinach, then break eggs over and cook with salt and pepper till you like them, top hash and savor.  

 

Happy Belly to you, and thanks again for bringing up the topic!

Erin

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With all due respect to the health benefits and meal template rules, if I don't like it I won't force myself to eat it. I'm trying to turn my relationship with food into something more positive, not make it even worse. 

 

hmm, maybe try it first? The whole30 does ask you to open your mind a little bit, not to force something, but more as an experiment. If you don't even make an attempt you are selling yourself short.

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I found that shredded zucchini (shred it in advance and let it drain for a nicer texture) and butternut squash were good gateway vegetables for breakfast.  Also, pureed cauliflower has a porridge-like quality that can help with the transition.  And I could eat eggs with salsa and avocado every day.  Bell peppers, spinach (mentioned above) and broccoli are also pretty standard savory omelette fillings.

 

On the topic of potatoes, I love that they're cheap, easy to make and keep well.  And a good serotonin boost for late in the day.  That said, I learned pretty quickly that I can't make mashed potatoes in any sort of quantity.  They are food without brakes for me.  

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Gateway vegetable! This is wonderful! I love it  :D I probably couldn't handle mashed potatoes either, it's a childhood comfort food and way too close to previous bad habits.

 

I really really do appreciate you all trying to get me to where, apparently, I should be, and I'm definitely taking notes of your suggestions and hope to be able to use them later on. But don't think I haven't tried to just suck (or rather eat) it up - twice I've made a spinach egg dish and tried to finish, needless to say that it's made my aversion even worse. And a spinach omelette is a very harmless meal. I don't have the ambition to be the best Whole30er that's ever been, but I definitely do have the desire to start my day happy and this doesn't involve gagging over my coffee. 

 

Erin - good to know that I'm not the only one who's a bit suspicious about potatoes. I'd be interested to know if you see any differences to your previous Whole30. And thanks so much for sharing your recipe. It sounds absolutely delicious and just made it on my emergency dinner list. Here's to hoping that it'll make it on the leftovers-for-breakfast list eventually! 

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This is a really great post for me because I'm with the OP in that I'm still on the thought of traditional breakfast and potatoes seem to be the best option.  I am trying to broaden my horizons and think of it being Meal 1 but it's only day 3...I appreciate all the ideas on here.

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I personally find spinach a little too slimy at meal 1 and rarely eat it that way anymore (though I used to). I usually saute kale and scramble my eggs into that as it is a tougher green so doesn't get so squishy. I also eat raw kraut with my first meal as often as I remember.

 

One thing I haven't seen mentioned on potatoes is that they are nightshades so could cause digestive stress for some. I've found I need to peel potatoes or I get stomach discomfort.

 

I've personally found that adding starchy vegetables to my first meal can make me more hungry. I usually only include them if I've worked out super early and done a pre-workout meal and am having meal 1 after my workout. 

 

As in all things your mileage my vary. Keep trying different things and see where it takes you. Think of it as an adventure!

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But weirdly enough (or maybe not, being German  :) ), I'm not completely appalled by the idea of sauerkraut for breakfast. It's cheap, easily available, quickly heated, goes well with some bacon and an egg on top - I can see breakfast potential! 

 

I'm German, too, and am crazy about cabbage.  Though not fermented, this braised cabbage is unbelievably amazing.  I'll make a pan and eat it for a week with eggs or leftovers for breakfast.  http://nomnompaleo.com/post/1356598429/worlds-best-braised-green-cabbage

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Even pre whole30 I always liked a chicken korma for breakfast - maybe because of the mild coconut flavour. You could add veg to the curry itself and serve over cauliflower rice... 

 

Sauerkraut can be eaten heated? Who knew?  :huh:

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I was equally surprised to hear that sauerkraut is eaten cold. I guess in its cold state you get the probiotics (?), but somehow it never occurred to me. My favourite version is seasoned with caraway and some bacon, but it seems that anything goes  :)

 

Loving the Nom Nom Paleo recipe, but again, not quite there yet to have it for breakfast. I'll start by trying the potatoes and sauerkraut (though not simultaneously), pay close attention to the effects and see where it takes me. It's probably just a matter of adjusting, and until then this will definitely be an improvement over the current state of meal 1. Thanks for all your help!

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I don't know how you did your spinach when you tried it with eggs for breakfast, but I find plain old sauteed spinach sort of slimy. However, I can put my eggs and a couple of handfuls of spinach with some salt and pepper in a blender or food processor so that the spinach ends up blended completely into the eggs, chopped up so much you don't get that texture anymore. Then I just cook the mixture the way I would scrambled eggs. They're green, which is a little weird, but the texture is more acceptable to me, so if I want to get my greens in at breakfast, I do that.

 

You might also try chunky cold salads at breakfast. Something like this Belly Dance Beet Salad would work. Or sometimes I chop up a bunch of vegetables I like raw -- for me, it's usually zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, jicama, snap peas, cucumber, carrots, celery, and just a little bit of fruit, like a handful of blueberries or maybe an apple. I make enough for several days, and squeeze a lemon or lime over the whole thing. You could add fresh herbs if you wanted. 

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I don't know how you did your spinach when you tried it with eggs for breakfast, but I find plain old sauteed spinach sort of slimy. However, I can put my eggs and a couple of handfuls of spinach with some salt and pepper in a blender or food processor so that the spinach ends up blended completely into the eggs, chopped up so much you don't get that texture anymore. Then I just cook the mixture the way I would scrambled eggs. They're green, which is a little weird, but the texture is more acceptable to me, so if I want to get my greens in at breakfast, I do that.

This is exactly what I do - I add spinach, kale & onion and scramble as normal then serve up with chopped tomato, avocado & mackerel - If it's good enough for Dr Suess it's good enough for me!

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