At the start of 2016 I set myself a challenge. I wanted to beat my food addiction once and for all, I wanted to take back the power food had over me. I reasoned that if an alcoholic should quit alcohol, perhaps a food addict should quit food, so I did!
My Spud Fit Academy finished ten days ago and so far I couldn’t be happier with how things have gone since then. After a full year on an all potato diet, I was very curious about how I would handle the change to including more foods back into my diet.
The number one concern was my digestive system. After so long on potatoes it seemed reasonable that my gut flora would have changed a lot and therefore my system might not have been so good at dealing with different foods. I had a breakfast party to celebrate the end, and Lavana Wholefoods prepared a wide range of delicious foods for me – smoky tofu breakfast bake, breakfast burritos, chia cups, fruit platters and more. I didn’t stuff myself but I did sample everything and then I assumed the brace position, ready for impact! Then… nothing really. Late in the afternoon I had about ten minutes’ discomfort in my stomach, followed by a bit of gas. That’s it! That’s the worst of my experience in changing back to a whole foods plant based diet. It seems that potatoes really are great for gut health, so much so that I was ready and prepared to eat other things without having actually eaten anything else for a year!
In the last month of 2016 I was still quite happy eating potatoes but I did find myself regularly thinking about what I would eat when it was over. I thought about all sorts of whole food plant based meals I could make. I looked up some websites and cook books and made plans for what I could make for myself when I was done with The Spud Fit Academy. None of it interested me though. Every time I found a new recipe or thought of another meal I could cook, my first thought was always “that seems like hard work”. I am so used to simply boiling some spuds and eating them that any more effort than that really does seem like more trouble than it’s worth. So after that first day of gastronomic splendour, I’ve really enjoyed settling back into a very minimalist way of eating. I’ve still eaten a lot of potatoes, mostly cold boiled potatoes with nothing on them. I’ve also eaten a lot of plain steamed broccoli with nothing on it. I’ve had a few mangoes and a few punnets (small boxes) of cherry tomatoes and a couple of cans of organic baked beans. That’s about it for me.
I’m happy to say that I have not eaten any junk food at all. I’ve not been at all tempted to eat anything I shouldn’t and I’ve not felt any urge to continue eating past the point of being full.
A major lesson learned from my year of spuds has been finding the inherent beauty in simplicity. I don’t need anything complicated in my food. I don’t need any entertainment from it or comfort either. I don’t need to spend precious time, effort or mental energy on planning, shopping, preparing and cleaning up after meals. I’m now very happy and comfortable with eating simply, with minimal ingredients. Food is fuel and I’m loving how it’s making me feel physically while fostering a healthy emotional detachment from it. I took a year off food and was able to move my focus to other more important things in life.
Right now I feel like dietary minimalism is the way forward for me.