MIA-Where Have I Been? Simply Spuds #2

MIA-Where Have I Been? Simply Spuds #2

 MIA-Where Have I Been?

Simply Spuds #2

Life is such a journey, isn't it? As I shared in my last blog post, it has a mind of its own and sometimes we get caught up in the trap of "busyness" in the midst of our "business"! I am still alive and kicking...and still very much Whole Foods Plant Based. I have found a place to come home to within the WFPBNO, Starch Based community and will embrace it forever, this way of eating simply, founded on Simply Spuds!

So...let me catch you up to speed!

Last February, Dr. McDougall had an Advanced Study Weekend that he invited Andrew Spud Fit Taylor to attend and tell his story why he had chosen the lowly potato for a mono-food diet for an entire year and what that had translated into. My husband overheard me mention that Andrew Taylor was attending and surprised me with air fare to the weekend. Oh-my-goodness! I was on my way to meet the two men who started it all!

Wow, what a weekend that was! The line up of speakers was amazing and needless to say the experience was life changing! I was ready to hit the road running!

Shortly after returning, a girlfriend and I had planned on attending the Home and Garden Show in Denver that year. At the show I met an organic farmer who knew of Andrew Spud Fit Taylor's story. After visiting  with him, I was gifted with a whole bag of organic potatoes! Thank you Andrew! The reason I was at the show was that we had been having structural foundation issues with our home and I wanted to interview some reputable restoration companies. After scheduling for them to come out to our home we discovered we had too much repair work for us to handle, so our home of 20+ years is being downsized, minimized, upgraded with new paint, flooring and cosmetics to help us sell it next summer when we put it on the market. We've been living out of our 5th wheel in the meantime, which is another story in and of itself! So, hitting the road running, literally came to a halting stop!

One thing I have realized through this journey however, is that in the past I would have turned to food to help me through the emotional ups and downs of this transition. Walking through Spud Fit helped prepare me to not look to food for emotional support, but to keep my food simple and my life interesting. And interesting has indeed been an understatement!


Andrew Spud Fit Taylor

So life has been put on the back burner in many ways, such as keeping up with my good intentions of being current with this blog. But it has been an exciting year nonetheless. I received a promotion at work, took over active leadership in the Women's Ministry at our church, was able to travel to California for the study weekend and have been working on our house in between all the nooks and crannies of available time. My husband also has a very new business and his time has been spent nurturing and building it as it grows. So it goes to say, I have a very, very full plate.

July brought Veg Fest and a whole new WFPB world in Denver opened up to me. I was able to again take advantage of listening to the wisdom of many speakers, Dr. Alan Goldhamer being one of my very favorites. He is one passionate man! Tons of food presenters, exhibitors and speakers made for a well rounded weekend.

At VegFest I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Kelley Williamson and Jerry Casados who organized our very first Colorado Plant Based and Wellness Summit where I had the privilege of again hearing from  experts such as Chef AJ and John Pierre to Dr. Steven Lewanda and Chef Del Stroufe. To top it off, they invited me to share as well at the weekend and I was able to encourage others with the story of my journey!

This summer, I also was able to attend a presentation by Stephen Ritz - The Plant Man from the Bronx. What an amazing person, a true example of how one soul can change the world around them.

So, what's next? 

The only purpose of this journal is to in some way encourage others, who like me, have stopped and started diets too many times to count; who have become discouraged and despondent over their health, their weight and their medical future; who have sadly resigned themselves to living life in the fat lane. Let me encourage you that one meal at a time, one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, one year at a time...we can all get there. As Andrew likes to say, "Why think about what will happen if you fail? Why not think about what will happen if you succeed?"

I plan for this site to be a resource for those seeking true health. Enough about my story, I want to help  you with yours. So future journal entries will be about the basic things people question when they start this lifestyle. Why Starch based? Where will I get my protein, calcium, etc? What should my day look like? What to do in social settings? How to dine out? How do I explain this to my friends and family? The questions that we are confronted with that can either make or break our success. Am I an expert? Heavens, a resounding NO! But I have access to so much and a passion to share it. 

P.S. Here is a link to a You Tube Video of an interview I had with Andrew after the Advanced Study Weekend in February https://youtu.be/tRN6k2IFlwY











Meet me on Face Book at Simply Spuds...join me on this unpredictable journey as we travel this wonderful planet called "Home"!





Credit Where Credit is Due-Simply Spuds #1

Where to start? This journey began so long ago I'd like to start this out "Once upon a time"... Seriously, I have started, struggled and failed this journey towards a healthy eating lifestyle - so many times, it really feels like the longest story ever told! The beginning of my journey began...

...Back in 1996, I attended a Dental Convention in Denver, Colorado. One of the seminars to choose from was on diet and health. Thinking that this would be of a lighter nature than dental insurance, front office management and numbers, I decided to attend. The speaker was Dr. John McDougall and it was here I was first introduced to Veganism, or rather a whole foods/plan based/no oil approach to eating. The idea appealed to me...longevity, health, clarity of mind, physical fitness, quality of life as we age...who wouldn't give this a second thought. Arriving back at home with the best of intentions I began my journey...for the first time! With no guide book, no internet resources to draw upon, and no support network - what began quickly, ended quickly. Figuring it was another fad and something that wouldn't work for me, I became discouraged and let things go. There was a Jenny Craig franchise close by and I soon found myself enrolling in their program. I thought it was awesome! Food delivered, a weekly weigh in, coaching and proven results! What more could I want? It worked...for a while! It cost $300 a month back in 1996 for one person to dine a la Jenny Craig. My conscience wouldn't allow for me to spend that much of our monthly budget on "just me" for very long and once again I found myself without direction and soon gaining weight. Months went by, then years and complacency began to set in. I was just another fat person after all. With PCOS, thyroid problems, gall bladder issues and a very healthy appetite, I assumed I would be living life in the fat lane! I expended short spurts of diet energy now and then, but that's all it was, short spurts! I bought diet books, tried gyms, purchased exercise equipment, all to no avail. I truly became an armchair dieter! Being married to a meat loving, potatoes and gravy, cinnamon bun kind of a guy, didn't help either. I loved to bake and between the sweet and savory, I was becoming unhealthy, tired, depressed and stressed! But, back in the recesses of my mind I always remembered Dr. John McDougall and the seeds planted at that Dental Convention.

Speed up to 2004...coming home from an appointment, our vehicle was rear ended and I was injured, eventually needing back surgery. With 2 rods and 6 screws in my spine and an 18 month recovery period, it didn't take long to realize that life had changed forever. Mobility, range of motion and physical freedom had definitely been compromised. On average, I gained about 5 pounds a year and would rationalize that I just couldn't be as active as I once was, I had so many physical limitations. I was predestined to be fat and unhealthy. I would read books, watch DVD's and read more books...but I never put things into practice. I did not practice what I preached. By this time I had collected quite a few of Dr. McDougall's books...head knowledge, but no heart knowledge!

Knowing I was unhappy with my weight, my daughter gifted me a membership to Weight Watchers. I jumped in with both feet and soon found the weight coming off...something was working! I was finally losing! Unfortunately, relational problems put me back on the emotional roller coaster, I became even more depressed and fell off the wagon again, turning to food for emotional support and comfort. The weight piled on and I soon topped out at 265 lbs. Coming home from work, I would collapse on the couch; I had no energy, I slept...a lot...I would eat to satisfy my emotional needs and as a result developed a very unhealthy relationship with food. Gall Stones were still a recurrent problem, RA and Fibromyalgia were being investigated. Life was miserable and I was miserable.


Sitting on the couch over Labor Day Weekend 2016, surfing the internet, I came across a Face Book post by a man named Andrew Taylor. Like me, he also appreciated the lifestyle diet supported by Dr. John McDougall. Andrew also suffered from depression and he had an addictive relationship with food. His reasoning was if an alcoholic overcame his addictions to alcohol by removing alcohol from his diet, then a food addict could overcome their addiction to food by simplifying their diet. So, Andrew reasoned that he could go on a Mono food diet, one food and remove all others. But what would that one food be? Based on Dr. John McDougall's book "The Starch Solution" and some personal research, Andrew reasoned that the potato would be his one food. The potato in and of itself is almost 100% nutritionally complete. So, on January 1, 2015, Andrew began a year long journey to health. He would eat only potatoes, cooked in a variety of ways, with various toppings, sauces, and gravies with the understanding that these condiments must be 100% oil free. This immediately grabbed my attention. I loved potatoes...this was something I knew in my heart of hearts I could do.

Since September 5, 2016, I have lost an average of 1/4-1/2 lb. per day for a total of 45 lbs. As I write this, that is approximately four months ago. My life has changed forever. It began with Dr. McDougall in 1996 and has come full circle with Andrew Taylor in 2016...a 20 year journey, a journey I now embrace with all the passion and energy of my being. Andrew has developed a website called www.spudfit.com. His FB handle is "Andrew Spud Fit Taylor." I am part of a wonderful support group on FB called "The Spud Fit Challenge". It is a closed, member only group that has a nominal membership fee. This is my go to, my support group, my diet family, my inspiration. I will be forever grateful to Andrew for leading the way. He took Dr. McDougall's recommended way of eating one step further and made it super simple...Simply Spuds! Dr. McDougall likewise has a wonderfully resourceful website with a member's only forum that discusses a multitude of health topics. There are also many McDougall FB groups one can join.



The success of the humble potato is the reason for this website and blog. Simplicity is the denominator. The only choices I have for the day are "How am I going to cook my potatoes? Boil, bake, steam, mash...let's see!" I use oil free salsa, BBQ sauce, ketchup, lemon juice spritz, nutritional yeast, maple syrup, herbs, spices and plain old S & P. The satiety of the potato is amazing. I am full, I have no cravings, I eat when I am hungry and I eat until I am full. I am not grouchy, in fact it's the opposite. I have such a general sense of well-being it is amazing. I no longer suffer from depression. I am no longer tempted by foods of any kind. I have tons of energy. On my day off, I am usually done all my housework by 10 am, laundry and all. I sleep better, wake up with no alarm and go to bed earlier. I am well rested! The "small" clothes in my closet are now all too big! I truly can say I have nothing to wear...lol! I'm looking forward to one heck of a shopping spree come spring! I have my annual physical coming up next week and can hardly wait to see the results of my exam and blood work. I will be sure to share :)

Working in a dental office, it is so rewarding when patients I haven't seen in 6 months say "Something's different about you...you look amazing...your skin is beautiful...you're shrinking...you can't be the mother of a 27 year old...no way you've been married 34 years..." and on and on. I blush to remember all of the wonderful compliments I have received and then I share my story of eating spuds...simply spuds...and this wonderful journey I am on.

You are what you do consistently, if you consistently eat well then success is unavoidable.
— Andrew Spud Fit Taylor

So you see, I cannot take credit for losing this weight on my own. Credit must go where credit is due. It goes to two very special men that I have never met in person, but who have changed my life forever. Thank you Dr. McDougall and Andrew Taylor from the bottom of my heart!