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…and so does Dr. McDougall.  For those of you who have no idea what the McDougall diet is, I’ll include a link at the bottom of this post in case of interest.  For this post, it’s suffice to say starches are a staple of the McDougall diet and that includes white potatoes.

I’ll admit, I thought any diet that encouraged the consumption of white potatoes had to be a scam.  Words like ‘glycemic load’ and ‘complex carbohydrate’ were foremost in my mind.  I can’t be eating white potatoes, I thought.  What about weight loss?  What about starches metabolizing as sugar?  What about inflammation?  Aren’t white potatoes evil?  For the sake of brevity in a blog post I’ll just say that, on the McDougall diet, you can have your baked and/or loaded potato and still lose weight (3lbs since the start of my Challenge!).

One of my favorite ways to eat a baked potato is slathered in chili with a drop of Tofutti Sour Cream and a sprinkling of Daiya Cheddar Cheese.  My mother was the one with the craving last night and she made black bean chili.  As always, my Mother’s chili was amazing.  She added jalapeños so the chili had the perfect bite: enough to set the tongue tingling but not burn holes in the mouth.  I eat potatoes in their entirety because I’d read somewhere the most nutrients were found directly under a potato’s skin.  I’ve come to prefer them whole.  My Mom’s black bean chili served over a baked potato and garnished with cool sour cream and a touch of salty Daiya cheddar makes for one of the most satisfying comfort meals I’ve ever consumed.

The meal is filling.  When I first started on my Vegan Trek, I would get hungry a couple of hours after consuming a grain and bean meal.  What was missing?  Fat? Maybe starch because I find the meals stay with me when I follow McDougall diet principles.  Side Note: I’m also focusing on including umami in my meals so the missing factor might not be starch at all.  Whatever the reason, last night’s meal stayed with me through errands and I wasn’t ravenous before bed.  I did test some desserts I thought conformed to the McDougall diet but, as I wasn’t hungry, a test is all I did.  More about those later.

I don’t know how I’m doing on this McDougall Challenge.  It’s hard to wrap my brain around eating pasta and potatoes and feeling as good as I feel.  I would sometimes get a touch of joint swelling in my wrists and ankles after meals and I had no idea what was causing it as a side effect of this amazing vegan lifestyle was the disappearance of 98% of my arthritis symptoms.  Whatever was causing the swelling, I’m not consuming it on the McDougall diet because I haven’t had joint pain since the start of this challenge.  This is especially miraculous because we had a bout of cold and snow last week and, if anything was going to make my joints ache, that sudden change in weather would have been it.  I sailed through it and the only notice I took was to dig out a heavier sweater.  I’m anticipating taking stock of my health at the end of thirty days and I will make a tentative declaration that the McDougall diet is going to become my McDougall lifestyle.  I can’t call anything a hardship that allows me to eat baked potatoes and doesn’t make me count calories.  Glowing health, here I come!


You can't see the potato under all that wonderful chili but, trust me, it's there.

You can’t see the potato under all that wonderful chili but, trust me, it’s there.