Monday, April 25, 2011

You say potato, I say maybe

Move that body: 2.2-mile walk with Denali


Welcome back, potatoes. Oh, how I have missed thee!

As you may or may not remember, I gave up potatoes for Lent. I thought it would be a good way for me to return to making better choices and rid my diet of french fries. It seemed so easy to give them up. After all, I could have sweet potatoes and turnips, fruit and carrots. However, having “slipped” three times – a potato cake was in an Arby’s breakfast wrap, a birthday baked potato and preggo blahs required a Happy Meal – it was evident that it was far more difficult than it seemed initially.

Here’s what I learned:

POTATO *Where there’s a meal, there’s a potato. Breakfast = Hash browns, hash brown casserole, American fries, home fries. Lunch = French fries. Dinner = Baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, au gratin potatoes. It’s nearly impossible to go out to eat and not have to refuse a potato option.

*Potatoes are like ninjas. Vegetable soup – it has potato. An appetizer salad from Rose Angelis in Chicago – it has potato. A breakfast wrap – it has potato. You really have to watch what you are ordering and how it’s prepared.

*Giving up one “unhealthy” food doesn’t automatically mean you’ll make a healthy choice. About once a week, I venture to the hospital across the street to buy lunch at the cafeteria. The food isn’t all that good but it’s convenient and reminds of me college. Anyway, without potatoes, I could have easily picked up two vegetables but on more than one occasion, I subbed out the potato for mac and cheese. Good mac and cheese but unhealthy mac and cheese.

*Rutabagas are good. During active weight loss, my go-to for fry alternatives was the turnip. However, I couldn’t find the root vegetable one day and ended up with a rutabaga. YUM! Or as yum as you can get without indulging in deep-fried salty goodness.

*I didn’t miss the taste of potatoes – I missed the convenience. Potatoes are so easy to prepare and plan into a meal, and it requires much more thought for me to plan in non-potato options (especially if I want to pick something Mark likes).

*Giving up a food won’t kill you.

*I need to continue with a potato restriction of some kind so I can continue to make better choices.

How did you do on your Lenten sacrifices? Did you learn anything?


  1. Have you tried the fingerling potatos? I posted a pic of my blog a few weesk ago "mini spuds."

    They are on sale at Scott's this week for $1 per bag! There are purple, red, gold. All colors. I would venture thease are a healthier spud than the regular ones we tend to eat for baked potatos (the big ones, I don't even know what they are called... Russert?)

    Anyway, just an idea on something different to try.

  2. Didn't give up anything for lent - probably should have, I'd be better off now had I done so. I heard once (and maybe it was even from you) that if potatoes are half your meal - it doesn't count in any way as healthy (and it's surprising how easy pairing chips - even baked, is with a sandwich or fries with a fast food "meal"). Good post for creating awareness of the laziness of how the American eating has become. Congrats on your awesome Lent accomplishment - pretty sure I couldn't have done it.

  3. I would never be able to give up potatoes for 40 days, great job!!