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~ Paleo, starchy vegetables and potatoes ~

Monday, March 12, 2012

... I stopped by the Paleo Life Style website and found this article that I thought would interest those of you who want to include starches like "white potatoes" in your diet.
Another misconception running around in the Paleo community is that starchy vegetables are unhealthy and that regular white potatoes are especially bad. The bias against starchy vegetables probably comes from the low-carb ideas about a healthy paleo diet.

Itís important to understand that our ancestors probably enjoyed caloric-dense starchy vegetables as much as they could once they knew how to cook them properly, which dates back a very long time ago. The amount of amylase, an enzyme that digests starch, in our saliva is much higher than in most other mammals, showing that we became adapted to eat and digest starchy vegetables.

We now know than an optimal diet is not a long-term zero or very low carb diet and that some amount of carbohydrates is healthy and desirable. In fact, in a discussion about the perfect macro-nutrient ratio, it has been established that 20% of our calories as carbs is probably optimal. Obtaining that amount of carbohydrates by eating only non-starchy vegetables is very difficult if not impossible and is not necessary at all. Many people understand the need for at least some carbohydrates, but choose fruits instead of starchy vegetables to fulfill that need. This is fine as long as fruits are eaten in very moderate amount, but the fructose content of most fruits makes them problematic in too high amount.

Contrary to the simple sugars like glucose and fructose found in fruits, starchy vegetables are often mostly starch, a polymer of glucose molecules. Starch is broken to simple glucose molecules in our digestive systems and our bodies ends up only dealing with glucose, which is a sugar that can be used by all our cells for energy, contrary to the toxic fructose.

Therefore, as a source of carbohydrate, starchy vegetables, provided that they donít contain toxic proteins, are often healthier than most fruits. They are also often very nutritive and contain high amounts of some key minerals and vitamins.

Of course, the story is almost never all black or white and two main subgroups of people might want to take it slow on the starchy vegetables:

Metabolically deranged people: Those with a broken metabolism that isnít insulin sensitive anymore might find it hard not to overeat starchy vegetables and might struggle to lose weight if they eat just a little too much of them. Those people often do better if they go on a lower carbohydrate diet for a while in order to heal and help their body learn to use fat as a source of energy. Some people might never be able to go on a higher carb diet, but most people end up being able to include healthy amounts of carbohydrates without problems after a while.

People with digestive issues such as bacterial overgrowth: Some people with digestive issues and IBS-like symptoms, especially those suffering from bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine, have a hard time breaking down starch and should limit their overall starch consumption.

emoticonWhite potatoes emoticon

Regular white potatoes are a vegetable that has received its load of hatred from the Paleo diet community in general, often without reason. Itís already established that, like eggplants, tomatoes and bell peppers, potatoes are in the nightshade family of vegetables and can create problems for those already sensitive to other nightshades. Unlike other nightshades though, most of the toxins are found in the skin of potatoes and not in their flesh. We now have access to simple tools to detoxify vegetables such as potatoes: potato peelers.

Potatoes, especially green potatoes and those with green spots (try not to pick those), also contain saponins, mainly solanine and chaconine, which are also toxic in high dose. Once again, the major part of those compounds is found in the skin and is easily removable. Many studies have failed to demonstrate that the amount of those compounds found in commercially available potatoes could be detrimental to our health.

Itís very important to keep in mind that virtually all vegetables contain some amounts of toxins. Potatoes are no exception, but are often not any worse than other commonly eaten vegetables. This is why itís a good idea to eat a diet thatís diverse when it comes to plants.

I myself have been dealing with digestive issues and many otherwise healthy food choices are still off limits for me. In spite of that, I tolerate potatoes pretty well and include them as a source of healthy carbohydrates in my diet. Many people are in similar situations where they struggle to properly digest many sources of carbohydrates while peeled and cooked potatoes are just fine.

Potatoes are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and magnesium. Potatoes are also a source of complete protein and can be eaten exclusively in periods of scarcity without the risk being protein deficient. Many cultures have thrived on diets very high in potatoes

Iíve abstained from including recipes with regular potatoes in the past in order not to confuse people, but I can not stay on the safe side anymore and have to speak the truth in whatís really healthy and whatís not. Iíve already done so in showing that most nuts and seeds are often suboptimal, even if many people swear by them. The association against potatoes is strong and will take a long time for some people to break.

Some people with digestive issues might still want to abstain from potatoes, like they should already do for other nightshade vegetables like tomatoes or peppers, but most healthy people can eat potatoes, without the skin, and benefit from them. Starting now, some of the recipes on this site will feature potatoes. If youíre still not sure about eating potatoes from everything youíve heard around the Paleo diet circles, now is the time to practice your skeptic muscle, try them for yourself and see how it goes.

Click here for the article:


... after my 21 day challenge, I will be adding peeling white potatoes back in to up my carbs. Stay tuned, "white rice" is now also accepted in the paleo diet!

~ Dee emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS_TOAD 3/14/2012 9:29AM

    I love baked potatoes, but as in all things, moderation!

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MELTNSUE 3/13/2012 8:49PM

    Thanks Dee. I have been allowing the kids the occasional potato ever since I heard Robb Wolf say they were okay as long as you stay away from the skin. They'll be glad to see me ease up on them a bit more. emoticon

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ANGELIA.R 3/12/2012 3:04PM

    Love potatoes!
Eat them once in a while. I prefer Yukon gold's though! With a bit of butter and garlic!

White rice hasn't been added back in yet, but we'll see.

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LADYROSE 3/12/2012 1:35PM

    Nice - I like when folks help to make the 'forbidden' stuff less, well, taboo. Thing is, people in general insist on doing non-paleo workouts (ie lots of higher intensity cardio) and eating low carb, then burning out. So sad when the tasty tubers are there to help with replacing the glycogen!

It's funny, I go in phases where I can't get enough sweet potatoes (usally deficient in A at that point) but lately I've been all about white potatoes - must be the potassium. :)

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HEALTHY4ME 3/12/2012 12:40PM

    Thanks I am still finding it so hard to know what to eat other than meat meat, veggies and fruit and nuts...

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MYLADY4 3/12/2012 12:24PM

    Thanks for this validation. I am training for a half marathon and reading Paleo for Athletes and he says that carbs should be increased too. I don't mind a good red potato, sweet potato or fingerlings and now I know I should really have some more of these. Now to just figure out WHEN to eat these.

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JUSTBIRDY 3/12/2012 11:26AM

    zero carb isn't optimal for me, either. I enjoy my squash and non-starchy tubers. thanx!!!

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GOPINTOS 3/12/2012 11:25AM

    I am just starting to learn, and found this very interesting. (Especially since I have a 50# bag sitting in my basement....)

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EXOTEC 3/12/2012 11:24AM

    Nice compiled blog. I do like potatoes in moderation. I try to stay away from too many starchy things, but I will occasionally share a tater with the DH, or make some mashed that I can portion out into smaller "doses". Truly though, if I'm tempted toward starchy veggies, I prefer the yams/sweet potatoes, or peas. I resist those too, but do sometimes give in and have small amounts. I don't feel that complete restriction of ALL starchy veggies is necessary, at least for me. I'm sure everyone has their requirements and those are unique to us all.

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~ Paleo diet reminders...

Sunday, March 11, 2012

... so I am not losing anything! emoticon and I have been eating all primal/paleo foods and exercising. So I stopped by "The Paleo Diet website, hosted by Robb Wolf and saw the following. I thought it would be a good reminder for me and anyone who is following the Paleo lifestyle and may be having problems with losing or maintaining their weight.
These are the questions Robb suggests that we ask ourselves:

1-Have you taken before pictures as is detailed in the Paleo Solution? Are you taking progress photos?... emoticon *NO, don't do photos, but I do look in the mirror and my reflection is enough to motivate me... progress in the form of my clothes fitting looser is what I am aiming for.*

2-Are you getting 8-9 hrs of sleep per night in a pitch dark room. I do not give
two squirts about your excuse here! DO IT... emoticon *NO, but working on it!*

Inadequate sleep cock-blocks fat loss. And give me a break! Iím asking you to SLEEP! How much easier can I make this?

3-What is your primary and secondary performance goals? If itís run a marathonÖoh, so help me! ...

*Primary goal: reduce LDL level & increase bone density
*Secondary goal: lose weight/inches, look better in my clothes emoticon

4-Give some thought about what a reasonable portion size is. Lead with protein, have ďlotsĒ of veggies, donít go wild on the fat sources so we can get both appetite suppression via the protein AND a mild calorie restriction. K?

Follow the protocol folks, read the FAQ and re-read the implementation chapter of the book. This stuff will work, donít fight it!

To see the article in its entirety, click on the link below:


For me, the question that hits home is #4. I have been eating too much "food and fat". I realize now that although I am eating all the "right" primal/paleo foods, I have to focus on "reasonable portion size"... there is such a thing as "having too much of a good thing!" emoticon ... so I will focus on the following:

1.) Protein
2.) Lots of veggies
3.) Fruit in moderation
4.) Fat in moderation

... I am not posting my weight, sorry... Tomorrow starts week 2 of the 21 day challenge... here we go, wish me luck! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Thanks for sharing! The second one made me laugh...sleep is one I still have to work on too, I enjoyed reading the no-excuses pep talk!

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MONA_MONA 3/13/2012 8:13PM

    when I was eating Paleo, I really had to watch my fat intake otherwise I'd either gain or not see any results.

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ALLISON145 3/12/2012 2:29PM

    See, this is why I have trouble being "OK" with a higher calorie day even if I'm all primal. I know folks will want to smack me for this, but I firmly believe that calories still count. Maybe not as "exact" as conventional wisdom would say (the whole 3500 calorie equation), but eating 2200 calories of primal will give you different results than eating 1500 calories of primal. I wouldn't think folks could argue that point, but they sure do. I actually got a random sparkmail from someone last week who wanted to explain low carb to me because I said something about calories on someone else's blog. LOL! I'm like, "I KNOW, sister - I'm Paleo!" Haha!

Let's rock week 2 - we can do this!!! Glad to be home with my regular routine again, let me tell you!


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FIT_GROOVY_GURL 3/12/2012 9:05AM

    emoticon blog!! My husband and I started paleo 3 weeks ago and the progress we are seeing is good. We could work a little more on #4 ourselves too.

Best of luck on your 21 day challenge emoticon

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FITB4-40 3/12/2012 8:28AM

    Great blog. The tips are certainly something I would benefit from following. Good luck with your second week of the 21 day challenge!

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JUSTBIRDY 3/12/2012 12:05AM

    what a fun diagram!

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EXOTEC 3/11/2012 11:45PM

    I have been doing some version of these diets for a couple years now. It's wonderful for me!

I eat the majority of my calories in fats. I am a bona fide bacon junkie. I cook in bacon renderings or coconut oil, I use a lot of good whole pastured butter, and any milk we have (which isn't much) is from the same source.

We are lucky to have a great independent grocer that supports local producers, and I love their beautiful fresh veggies. We get lots of those there.

We eat nuts and fruit in moderation, and no grains, legumes, or starchy veggies if possible. We do occasionally have some oatmeal, but that's on the approval of our endocrinologist, who is the one who set us on this path to begin with.

The only time I insist upon "lean meats" is if I'm buying commercially-raised meat. It's the omega-6s in grain-fed or -finished meat that's the problem. Not so with pastured animals (including poultry and eggs). We do use small amounts of artificial sweeteners ... but mostly I use a bit of honey or maple syrup if I absolutely have to have something. It's fairly rare, and usually in cooking or the like. I like cheese, and eat some in moderation.

While you're checking the websites, also look in on "Mark's Daily Apple" - the Primal version of low carb. He has some helpful insight too.

Above all, low-carb is about making it right for your own body. That's a trial and error thing, and you'll find great suggestions and experience from others who are in the lifestyle. Keep us posted on what's working for you - who knows, it might work for some of us too!

Thanks for the graphic and the link

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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/11/2012 10:17PM

    Very interesting. I need to get into this too when I can get some time for myself.

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HEALTHY4ME 3/11/2012 9:42PM

    I too am having issues with number 4. have done well getting grain out ( other than oatmeal 2-3 x wk) and greek yogurt 2-3 x wk...

But am going to go to Triciam9 page and see what she says as am having a lot of bowel biz.... more so in last 2 wks ( 4 x day loose) sorry TMI, and have been doing this since jan 16 so why suddenly now.

Good luck figuring it out.... I agree with Paleo, ds does it, but then I think of vegetarian or a more veggie with some meat ( feel I am eating too much meat cos not sure what else to eat!)

okay saga going on here LOL

oh she doesnt have a spark page to go to. awww

Comment edited on: 3/11/2012 9:43:13 PM

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TRICIAM9 3/11/2012 6:56PM

  Good luck!

Paleo seems to work for some people, but other people's digestive systems seem to have trouble adjusting to it, especially if you are suddenly eating a lot of meat and are not used to it. It's usually best to change your food plan gradually so it won't be too much of a shock to your system.

Also, when you start a new or more vigorous exercise program, your body often holds onto water weight for a while because your muscles are healing. So it can often take some time to see results when you make healthy changes.

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~ ... shoe order cancelled, ordered another pair ~

Saturday, March 10, 2012

... OH NO... The Order was cancelled, out of stock, so I had to order some other shoes, this is what I ordered, Avia Women's Walking Shoe I hope they feel comfortable ... I was so looking forward to getting those other shoes... oh well, they are very popular and my size 8 seems to be popular too! These cost 59.00 (71.00) total... I should get them next week and will definitely let you know how and if they work out!... Hopefully I can get the others ones later when they get some more in stock, it won't hurt to have a couple of pairs of walking shoes to rotate with. I am walking 2+ miles per day.

~ Dee emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRS_TOAD 3/12/2012 9:04AM

    Definitely let us know how they work out. I'm in need of a new pair of shoes and am hunting around for a good pair. After all, Heidi keeps me running!


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MORTICIAADDAMS 3/11/2012 10:19PM

    I have so much trouble with shoes. I have duck feet and always buy the same pair of sneakers but now they have gotten rid of the ones I like in the stores here. ARRGHH!

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BABY_GIRL69 3/11/2012 7:13PM

    Don't you just hate when that happens? Glad you were able to find another pair you like.

God bless,


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WRWW13 3/11/2012 6:11PM

    Wooo Hooo- great idea -New shoes - I am also a Size 8 and they seem to be the first ones to sell out.

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JUSTBIRDY 3/10/2012 5:51PM


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AKASHA66 3/10/2012 6:25AM

    Those look good and stable. I use New Balance running shoes for walking. The dr told me no matter how good they look, change them regularly. At the rate I walk, I can't get more than 9 months to a year out of a new pair that I use for walking. The shoe specialist at the running store told me exactly the same thing.

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MONIEE2 3/10/2012 12:18AM


Not sure what brand the others were, but it looks a good shoe.

Keep up the good work...


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~ ... my Body Rock workout! ~

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

My workout today was Jari Love's Body Rock ... This dvd also has a cardio dance segment, but I didn't do this one. I had heard that the dance segment wasn't that good and got low reviews, however, it looks like fun to me and I will be adding it to ST segment for more of a calorie burn.

This workout was non-stop. For about 38 minutes, Jari covered every major muscle. Like Cathe, Jari loves low ends and pulse squats emoticon I had to stop a few times, but I got through them. All in all, I love this workout, the music is good and it's not too long... just when I thought "I can't take this any more!" emoticon the exercise was over.
... off to eat dinner... Primal Blueprint day 3 of the 21 day challenge... so far so good...

~ Dee (... this is for you DEB)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    i love dance videos. I was checking out the primal blueprint 21 day plan last night. I'm still not ready to take the plunge yet. LOL.

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DARKCHILD 3/8/2012 9:09PM


Comment edited on: 3/8/2012 9:10:26 PM

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ATHENA130 3/8/2012 7:59PM

    Great job Dee! Body Rock sounds great - I'm going to have to try it one of these days.

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    Thanks for telling us about this! I am always on the prowl to find variety and challenge.

Congratulations on your positive attitude and your effort!

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ALISHAB3 3/8/2012 1:23PM

    Cathe always burns my butt!!! Those low end pulses emoticonmake me get doms for days.

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DGFOWLER 3/8/2012 10:04AM

    emoticon WooHoo.!!!! Congrats for making it through. See how strong you really are? And you doubted yourself.. Shame on you... lol.... emoticon Donna

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MRS_TOAD 3/8/2012 9:28AM

    You are my fitness inspiration! So often I get stuck in a rut and then your blog inspires me to change it up! Thanks.

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FITGIRL15 3/8/2012 8:38AM

    So cool! FInding a workout that you like is half the battle!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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~ My new walking shoes ~

Sunday, March 04, 2012

... I have been walking home from work lately and by the time I get home my feet are killing me... they felt like they were on fire!... Today I spent some time looking for comfortable walking shoes. In the past, Easy Spirit had a great walking shoe, but they no longer make this shoe... So I had to do a little research and found a brand, although kinda pricey, had a 5 emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon rating for comfort and they will look good with my jeans!... here's what they look like ... hopefully I get them sometime next week. These shoes cost $109.00 with shipping... I sure hope they feel comfortable! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETMETO50 3/7/2012 12:40PM

    you must let us know when you get them...every pair of shoes I get make me blister and they say that is not normal but it doesn't matter if I am sized properly or spend tons of money etc my feet just rebel! I would love to know how these work out, maybe I will look into a pair!

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DARKCHILD 3/5/2012 11:47AM

    I love this brand of shoes...if these feel anything like the ones I've had for years, it's like walking on pillows or clouds. And they last forever...remember, you get what you pay for...expensive at first but cheaper in the long run. Happy walking emoticon

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MRS_TOAD 3/5/2012 8:18AM

    I got a couple friends that swear by these shoes! Good luck with them. emoticon

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    The company did away with my favorite shoes too and I was so irritated. I am very hard to fit. I hope you like the new shoes.

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ALLISON145 3/4/2012 9:39PM

    HOT looking shoes, for sure! Hope they feel as good as they look. :)


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BABY_GIRL69 3/4/2012 5:57PM

    WOW! Glad you found the right shoe with the right fit.

God bless & enjoy!


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CROWLEY123 3/4/2012 3:44PM

    I was just describing the same thing to my husband. My feet burn when I walk on asphalt, no ptoblem on the treadmill. Maybe I'll look for the Borns and see if they work for me. Thanks for the tip!

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