Goodbye For Now

Ten years ago this month I relaunched this blog. Before that I had a blog from 2000 to 2004. And before that I had various pre-blog personal pages going back to either late 1995 or early 1996. I’m now ready to call it quits. Or at least take an extended break.

I’ve not only lost interest in most of the topics I’ve covered in the past decade, but I’ve lost interest in sharing in general. Long time readers probably saw this day coming. The frequency and quality of content of this blog has dropped off significantly this year. I have developed new hobbies in the last year, but unlike before I don’t feel the desire to share those interests on this blog.

I will likely start some new project. It may or may not be a blog. I might use my real name or it might be anonymous. Maybe I just need a long break. I didn’t blog at all through most of 2004 and 2005, but then came back.


Photo by PROwoodleywonderworks

Thanks for reading and your comments. I will continue to host this site. Some pages might get moved, some might be deleted, but most of the content will stay online. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter. If I come out of retirement or start another cool project that I wish to share, I’ll let you know there.


Potato Diet Week 2 – Brief Update

UPDATE: The Potato Hack Diet by Tim Steele is now for sale on Amazon. It will answer all your questions. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about the Potato Diet.

In week 1, I lost 3 pounds and 0.5 inch. In week 2, I lost 1.5 pounds and 0.25 inch.

Losing 4.5 pounds in two weeks without hunger is pretty cool. Before I head into week 3, I revisited The Potato Diet page to see if I could pick up a tip to guide me back to a weekly 3 pound loss.

7. Skipping breakfast encouraged, eat twice a day, minimal snacking

I’m haven’t being doing Intermittent Fasting (IF) the past two weeks. I covered in this post that I feel much better when I have carbs prior to coffee. And since I drink coffee in the morning, pure IF is not an option for me at this time.

¡Una papa en la mañana!

In week 3, I will cut back on my morning potatoes. I’ll have one prior to my first cup of coffee to combat stress hormones and prevent “the crash” I now feel when I have coffee on an empty stomach. One potato is the next best thing to zero potatoes.

I’ll keep you posted. And due to a social commitment, I moved the Week 3 Potato Diet up one day to SUNDAY, MONDAY, TUESDAY.


Photo by JaBB


Potato Diet Week 1 – Results and Observations

UPDATE: The Potato Hack Diet by Tim Steele is now for sale on Amazon. It will answer all your questions. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about the Potato Diet.

I had no plans to post my Week 1 results, but I wanted to share how thing are going on the Potato Diet. For a background to this post see The Potato Diet – My Plan to Lose 15-20 Pounds.

Last week I ate nothing but cold boiled potatoes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Unlike my initial experiment, I decided not to weigh my intake. A big appeal to the Potato Diet is that you shouldn’t need to measure anything. It works by filling your belly with heavy low calorie potatoes. If should be very hard to eat to a caloric surplus. It should even be hard to eat to maintenance calories.

WEEK 1: -3 pounds and -0.5 inch (widest point) 🙂

My measurements were taken Sunday to Sunday. Weighing myself immediately after three days of potatoes heading into Thanksgiving wouldn’t have been a useful number if I used the regular food days to overeat. I am pleased with those numbers, but I hesitate to get excited because almost all diets start off strong. The real test will be seeing how it progresses in the next two months.


The three days I ate potatoes were highly productive. I got a lot of work done. I don’t think potatoes are magical. They might be, but I reasoned that not having to think about food and food preparation for three days freed my mind up to focus on other tasks. And as a result, I performed those tasks more efficiently.

So Cheap It is Silly

I discovered that Grocery Store Outlet sells a 3 pound bag of small potatoes for 99 cents. The idea of being able to feed yourself with real food for $1 a day in America is amazing. That is cheaper than when I ate street food in Thailand and Cambodia.

Most days I eat out for lunch. Add a cheap breakfast and a home cooked dinner and I’m looking at maybe spending $15 a day on food. Often less. If I buy 15 pounds of potatoes (that is the high estimate) a week for $5, then I’m actually pocketing $40 each and every week I am on a 3 day Potato Diet.

Many diets require an increase in spending. Special foods and supplements can be costly. The Potato Diet is so economical, I decided that even if it turns out to be unsuccessful, I might do it periodically just to pocket some extra money.


Photo by Renoir Gaither

Faster Satiety

One of the most interesting aspects to the Potato Diet is satiety is reached much quicker than when you eat normal food. When I eat a normal meal it takes so many minutes before I am full. It is a ritual that I have done thousands of times. Eating just potatoes disrupts that ritual.

Because potatoes are so filling, I started eating slower. I’ve always known eating slower was a good idea, but with the Potato Diet is more than a good idea. It you eat quickly or even normal fast, you might get a stomach ache. There were two times this happened to me. Now I am eating slower.

Exercise and Movement

My exercise did not change. I still did two weight training sessions at the gym. However, the amount of walking I normally do greatly declined. So my 3 pound weight loss was not impacted by changes to my activity. If anything, had I walked a normal amount last week, I might have lost more weight.

Eating Regular Food After 3 Days

I imagined myself eating a lot of food after 3 days of potatoes, but I didn’t. It was Thanksgiving Day and I never ate less food on that holiday. I also didn’t desire sweet foods. There is a big bowl of Halloween candy in our kitchen that I didn’t touch once. In the week after Halloween I was visiting the bowl a few times a day.

Another thing I noticed was I craved protein. More than normal. After 3 days of eating potatoes with just 5% protein, I wanted eggs, tuna and meat. This could be another pathway on why the diet works for many. It is well known that appetite is lower and calories drop when protein is increased. So my week was a cycle between two fat loss strategies. First consuming heavy low calorie potatoes to reach satiety easier and then following that up with higher protein to also increase satiety. And if you add in how the lack of taste lowered my desire to consume calorie dense foods, you have the 3 of the main dietary paths to successful fat loss as outlined in Ari Whitten’s excellent book Forever Fat Loss.

Forever Fat Loss: Escape the Low Calorie and Low Carb Diet Traps and Achieve Effortless and Permanent Fat Loss by Working with Your Biology Instead of Against It
Forever Fat Loss: Escape the Low Calorie and Low Carb Diet Traps and Achieve Effortless and Permanent Fat Loss by Working with Your Biology Instead of Against It by Ari Whitten


I am not an expert on the Potato Diet, but I will do my best to address some of the questions I’ve received in comments and elsewhere.

Q: Why are spices not allowed?

A: If one can’t eat potatoes to caloric excess it shouldn’t matter if salt or other spices are added. Adding salt is not suddenly going to make me eat an extra pound of potatoes. I suspect the benefit of not adding spices is not about restricting the amount of potatoes you consume, but your relationship with regular food. When I deprived my tongue of flavor for three days, I wanted foods with simple flavors. Eggs, fruit, baked chicken and other basic foods all tasted wonderful. Better than they did prior to depriving myself of spices for three days. Basic foods have an edge over modern foods in that we tend not to eat them to excess.

If you absolutely must have spices or you aren’t going to attempt the diet, then I say add the spices, but you won’t be getting all the benefits and **my guess** is you might be more likely to eat foods with richer flavors that are more calorie dense on the non-potato days.

Q: Why is this diet not recommended for those who eat every several hours?

On Vegetable Pharm, there is a detailed explanation. Search for the phrase “Not recommended for people who eat every 2-3 hours”. This is a warning for people that have known blood sugar issues or eating disorders to do their own research and get doctor clearance before doing the diet. For healthy people that eat every 2-3 hours (Zone Dieters), I think the Potato Diet might be a good tool to relearn what satiety feels like. Eating 5-6 small meals a day without getting full makes me more and more hungry. The potato is a good teacher. I snack less because I’m more full from the prior meal and I know I’m not getting a distracting novel flavor.

Q: Is there a difference between starchy and waxy potatoes?

A: I could not find an answer to this one. I suspect not. The calorie density per gram does not appear to vary much. If there is a difference, I suspect it is minor.

Last Words

I want to say that I still drink black coffee and espresso. Having carbs with my coffee makes me feel better. I’m far less likely to get jittery or crash. When I did Intermittent Fasting I often felt awful after drinking coffee. Not at first, but over time. This is a big reason I picked the Potato Diet over IF, even though I got results with IF years ago.


The Potato Diet – My Plan to Lose 15-20 Pounds

UPDATE: The Potato Hack Diet by Tim Steele is now for sale on Amazon. It will answer all your questions. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in learning more about the Potato Diet.

Earlier this month I posted No Hunger Games – A Day of Just Boiled Potatoes. It was a trial run of two days of eating just cold boiled potatoes. That post goes into why it is easy to go into a calorie deficit without feeling hungry if one just eats potatoes. The Potato Diet guide on Vegetable Pharm is the comprehensive guide. If you have any questions, they are likely answered there.

The two day test showed me a few things:

  1. That I could eat to satiety in a caloric deficit. No hunger.
  2. That I could sleep throughout the night and not wake up hungry.
  3. With my current coffee consumption, I found I felt much better throughout the day than I currently do when I intermittent fast. If I were not a coffee drinker, I might prefer IF, but ditching coffee as we head into a Seattle winter is not an option.

Shortly after the two day experiment, I planned to start The Potato Diet, but I caught a minor cold and then had to travel out of state for a week. Well, now I am back and feeling great. I’m ready to do my first major food experiment in a very long time. Here is my plan.

  • GOAL: Lose 15-20 pounds
  • POTATO DIET: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday every week.
  • EXERCISE: Sunday, Thursday

Continue with 3x a week until goal is met and then scale to a maintenance plan. Discontinue or scale back if I experience excessive lethargy or coldness. If after a month I fail to see at least a 5# lose, I will reassess.


I will be boiling white potatoes and consuming them cold. No salt, spices or anything. If the diet is successful and I use the Potato Diet as a maintenance tool, I might add salt or spices at that time.

Today is Day 1. I don’t plan on doing weekly updates. Maybe 1-2 updates a month. Some of you will want to know why I have picked this diet over other strategies. The short answer is I do better on simple rule diets that require minimal planning. The long answer will be the topic of a future post.


Overcoming My Only Irrational Food Fear

When it comes to healthy food, I pretty much like everything. I’m the opposite of a picky eater. I love eating new and interesting foods. Organ meat, fish eyes, insects – bring it on! When it comes to food, as of yesterday I am fearless. I even have a spreadsheet of food challenges.

What happened yesterday? I tackled my only remaining food nemesis: the orange. I told the story of how I grew to loathe oranges in the 2007 post Why I Don’t Like Oranges.

Is it OK to have just one irrational food fear? Maybe. But for me I decided it was no longer serving me. It had been almost 20 years since the airport incident. Did I really want to avoid oranges for another 10 or 20 years? No.


Photo by Suzette

I started the process of warming up to oranges years ago. In the early 2000s I started with fake orange flavors, such as Tang and orange Popsicles. In the past two years I have been drinking more and more orange juice. I started with the no pulp and then mixed in some of the pulp varieties. My issue with oranges was never really about the taste. It was the smell. I know that sounds weird, but go back and read the story link to understand where I am coming from.

Yesterday I put on some kimchi gloves and cut up an orange into slices. Kimchi gloves are those thin loose fitting clear plastic gloves sold in Korean grocery stores. Then I ate the entire orange down to the peel. Afterwards I smelled the peels. This is something that would have caused a gag reflex just a few years ago. I was fine. The smell wasn’t pleasant. It was neutral. A huge win. I defeated my fear of oranges.

I still have a few rational food fears, such as french fries cooked in vegetable oil and dark roasted coffee. But now I can eat any healthy food. I no longer have an issue with oranges. Do you have any irrational food fears? Any interest in overcoming them?