Up Yours! Veggie Challenge

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AKA: Eat Lots of Veggies Like Heather Challenge
By Jeannine Elder @BananaWisdom

Heather has lost over 270 lbs eating a lot of veggies along with some starches. I’ve never in my life seen someone eat so many veggies! So naturally, being my veggie inspiration I asked for her guidance. I will not be eating EXACTLY like Heather but she gave me some guidelines and allowed for some adaptations to help me get those veggies down the hatch. If you take the principles outlined below, remove the tahini and maple syrup, add in beans and it would be much closer to how she actually eats.

I am 41, I have Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism, I’m a junk-food-aholic and veggie snob. I celebrated my 6 year veganaversary on May 20th. It goes to show not all vegans eat just rabbit food all day, if I did I’d be at my goal weight by now!  Over the past few months I’ve been getting serious about retraining my tastebuds to love veggies and shed the last of my weight – which had been stalled for over 3 years. In February I ate nothing but potatoes and lost 8 lbs and took my taste buds for a test run with broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus live on YouTube – and I didn’t gag! This was a huge milestone for me! I continued with potatoes and added in veggies. I’ve lost over 21 pounds total, averaging 1-2 lbs per week. My friend Hannah (High Carb Hannah) saw my success and passion for potatoes and gave me the Potato Cleanse Facebook group!

Now I’m ready to UP my veggie game! This is how I’ll be eating for the next week. Feel free to adapt to suit your needs. If you are on the Potato Cleanse proper, please adapt the recipes to not include fat, fruits or legumes (highlighted in red). I will be vlogging my veggie challenge on YouTube and I hope that I inspire you to UP YOURS!

Basic Rules:

  • Consume 1 lb of leafy greens per day
  • Consume at least 1 lb of veggies per day
  • Sequence Food: leafy greens > veggies > starch
  • No oil, minimal salt, no flour or processed sugar
  • Fruit is okay in small quantities
  • One small serving of fat is allowed per day, but not required and it’s best to pair with your leafy greens
  • No snacking in between meals. Being truly hungry will make your meals taste much better

Fruit Examples:

  • add a chopped apple to salad to make it more interesting
  • sliced strawberries added to spinach salad
  • a few small dates to sweeten a homemade dressing
  • dessert if needed: nice cream made with 1 banana and a cup of frozen berries

Fat Examples:

  • oil free hummus with tahini (if you like it without tahini go without)
  • half an avocado on salad if you wish
  • a dressing made with a small amount of nut butter

Prep for the Day:

  • Roughly measure out 1 lb of leafy greens for your day and divide it into three containers
  • What does one pound of leafy greens look like? A family 16 oz. or 454g container of greens
  • Plan out your veggies aim for at least 1 lb but it’s likely you will end up eating a pound per meal because you will be hungry for it! One pound of baby carrots is a 16 oz. or 454g bag. Take a look at all the packaged convenience-veggies in the produce section to give you an idea what a pound of veggies looks like for various types of veggies
  • Eat as much leafy greens and veggies as you want!
  • Where’s the starch?? Don’t worry, there will be starches with dinner (in my case, potatoes or sweet potatoes)

Breakfast – Giant Salad

Take 1/3 of your leafy greens for the day and top with your favorite salad veggies such as cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw, chopped bell peppers, cucumber, zucchini and celery. Add a chopped apple or some berries if needed. Top with a tasty no-oil, dressing. *This is where I will have my ONE fat serving, if any, in the form of a dressing with tahini in it.

Lunch – Giant Salad + Extra Veggies

Take 1/3 of your leafy greens for the day and top with your favorite salad veggies. Plus you’ll have a side or two of veggies. You will be hungry! Examples of veggie sides: steamed broccoli/cauliflower, a pound of carrot sticks, collard or purple cabbage wraps filled with shredded coleslaw. IF you are still not satisfied you can add one potato with lunch.

Dinner – Giant Salad + Veggies + Starch

Take the last 1/3 of your your veggies for the day and top with your favorite salad veggies. Plus you’ll have a side of veggies perhaps even a veggie soup. And finally, potatoes! YAY! Any potato cleanse friendly potato dish: mashed, boiled, baked, shredded hash browns, oven baked fries, etc. It’s likely I won’t be able to eat more than 2 lbs of potatoes based on my experience of eating potatoes for the past four months. So I will prepare approximately 2 lbs of potatoes.


Recipe Ideas / Inspiration

Sauces / Dressings

Note: Heather enjoys most of her salads with salsa or a balsamic/mustard dressing.

High Carb Hannah’s Nacho Cheese Sauce
*Adapted to have less sodium*
2 small red or yellow potatoes
1/2 an onion (not chopped)
1/2 a red bell pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt alternative (original recipe calls for 1 tsp salt)
2 tbsp salsa (if salsa is high in sodium, omit salt alternative)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp hot sauce (original recipe called for 1 tbsp) *optional
Directions: Boil potatoes and onion until soft, place everything in a blender along with 1/4 cup of the cooking water and blend until smooth.

Mustard Balsamic Dressing
2 tbsp Stone Ground Mustard
2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 tsp Pure Maple Syrup (optional)

Lazy SOS Free Ketchup
1/2 cup strained tomatoes (store bought jar, no added salt)
1 tsp Italian Herb blend

Potato Strong’s Cheese Sauce
I prefer this with regular yellow potatoes.
http://potatostrong.com/cheeze-sauce/

Salsa Fresca
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2015/05/salsa-fresca.html

Creamy Balsamic Dressing *Beans*
Potato Cleansers – try making this with some boiled potatoes instead of beans.
http://nutmegnotebook.com/2016/11/creamy-balsamic-dressing/

Banana Blondie’s Citrus Tahini Dressing ADAPTED *Tahini* FAT
https://thrivingplantbased.com/recipes/
You should get at least 6 servings out of this, reduce amounts if you won’t use up within 3 days.
2 large oranges, peeled and seeds removed (original called for OJ)
3 tbsp of Lemon Juice
3 tbsp of Tahini (if you hate tahini try it with another nut or seed butter)
2 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
3 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp of Raw Ginger Root or less
2 tbsp of Maple Syrup
1 small clove of Garlic (optional)
Directions: Blend all ingredients in Vitamix until smooth

Spicy Peanut Slaw Dressing *Peanut Powder & Fruit*
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2017/03/spicy-peanut-slaw-dressing.html

Zucchini Garlic Dressing *Tahini & Chickpeas* FAT
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2016/12/zucchini-garlic-dressing.html

Garlicky Kale Salad *Tahini & Chickpeas* FAT
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2016/06/garlicky-kale-salad.html

Fat Free Hummus *Tahini & Chickpeas* FAT
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2017/01/fat-free-hummus.html

Low Fat Sweet Potato Hummus *Tahini & Chickpeas* FAT
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2015/05/low-fat-sweet-potato-hummus.html


Veggie Sides

Crispy Cheezy Roasted Cauliflower
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2017/04/crispy-cheezy-roasted-cauliflower.html

Spinach and Sweet Potato Stuffed Mushrooms
Omit walnuts if you already had a fat planned for that day. I don’t like whole mushrooms so I’m going to sauté the stuffing on the stovetop and stuff into lettuce wraps
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2016/04/spinach-and-sweet-potato-stuffed.html

Cabbage Soup
Great to have for dinner as your vegetable dish. Serve with your 1/3 salad and starch.
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2016/02/vegetable-cabbage-soup.html

Cauliflower Taco Stuffing *FAT*
Use 1/4 cup walnuts. Half the soy sauce. Replace salt with Bensons Table Tasty or Herbamare. Half the chipotle seasoning, it’s stimulating for me.
Note: Potato cleansers – you could try this without the walnuts.
http://www.mrsplantintexas.com/2015/05/cauliflower-walnut-taco-meat.html


Potato Sides

Banana Wisdom’s Potato Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Veggies

 

Potato Pancakes Grilled & Baked

 

Crispy Shredded Hash Browns from Scratch:

 

Broccoli Cheddar Soup *counts as both potato and veggie*
Recipe is written out on Plant Meal Planner or watch video on YouTube for free:

 

Oven Baked Fries
Wash and cut 3-4 potatoes (approx 2 lbs) into thick fries. Coat in favourite spices. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 420°F for 40 minutes.

Baked Potato
Wash and pierce 3-4 (approx 2 lbs) potatoes, place directly on rack or on baking sheet. Bake at 420°F for 40-60 minutes, until soft.

Baked Sweet Potatoes
Wash the place 2 medium sweet potatoes on a parchment lined baking sheet. Do not pierce. Bake at 420°F for 40-60 minutes, until soft and liquid bubbling out.

Mashed Potatoes
Wash, peel and cut 3-4 potatoes (approx 2 lbs). Boil until fork tender. Drain water. Add in 1/4 cup no-salt added veggie broth or non dairy milk and your favourite spices. Mash until smooth. For fun, you could add chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and cumin for “taco potatoes” then serve in lettuce wraps.


 

Printable Downloadable PDF: UpYours_VeggieChallenge
This was done rather quickly so please excuse any typos or grammatical errors. Time is not on my side at the moment but many expressed interest in joining me so here it is, with all it’s flaws.

Follow My Challenge on YouTube: Banana Wisdom

8 Week Potato Diet Weight Loss Results

When I looked at the progress photos I was amazed to see my back-boobs were gone! I’ve decided to continue with this plan until I reach my goal weight, I will however include a small amount of fruit going forward – with the exception of when I run a 7 Day Potato Challenge in my group, I’ll be follow the rules along with the group.

8 Week Potato Diet Results!

I couldn’t be more excited to share this with you all! My potato diet is going fantastic and the weight is coming off at a very healthy rate. For the first 4 weeks I ate only potatoes. Then I added non-starchy veggies and later some fruit in small amounts.

There’s been a lot of people requesting a recipe and guide for this plan so I’m making it happen!  Stay tuned for more info on that.

Potato Diet Weight Loss Progress – Week 6

Half way through March and I’m on week 6 of the potato diet. For the first 4 weeks I ate nothing but potatoes then added in veggies and the occasional fruit.

I’m down 10.6 pounds so far – keep in mind I did not come from a shitty diet, I’m also 41 and I have Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism. This weight loss is solid and coming off at a healthy rate.
Check out this video to see what I eat in a typical day:

My 260lb “Secret”

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I shared this photo on Instagram the other day and I was quite taken back by how many people who’ve I’ve gotten to know over the years on Social Media that don’t know my story!  It got me thinking… why don’t I talk about this more? I think part of it is because I feel like my weight loss story is too messy and imperfect. And I still have a ways to go.

Honestly sometimes I really do forget how much I’ve changed. Plus I feel like my story doesn’t count because I didn’t lose all the weight in one go.  Some of it was pre Vegan and some of it post Vegan.  I even yo yo’d a little as a Vegan, leaving many people wondering why I’m not already slim. I guess I just wish I had one of those perfect weight loss stories: “Woman Loses 80lbs in 1 year Doing _____ Diet!”.

I’m 41, I have Hashimoto’s Hypothyroidism and one of my thyroid nodules is possibly cancerous. For now I feel it’s safe, the nodule is doing it’s job and keeping the cancer contained. The only option presented to me so far is to remove my thyroid and do a full biopsy. No thanks, I like the rest of my thyroid.

I’m 41 and feeling 1000 times better than I did in my early 30’s.

My 6 year Veganniversary is coming up on May 20th! It’s only been in the last couple of years that I have (slowly) learned that processed foods, vegan or not, make me feel worse. I’ve learned this lesson over and over – I’m sure some of you can relate! It’s like burning my hand on a hot stove over and over!

I’m currently on a “potato cleanse” – not really a cleanse per say but I’m learning so much about true hunger, satiety, emotional cravings, stress cravings, hormone cravings. I ate only potatoes for one month, then added in veggies. More recently I’ve adding in a little fruit here and there if I feel like it.

Here’s the amazing thing: I couldn’t stomach most vegetables unless hidden in a recipe with loads of sauce. But even then, I hated broccoli no matter how hidden it was. After 28 days of eating only potatoes, I’m able to stomach my most hated vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts and asparagus!

If you want to follow along my story and cheer me on in finally becoming a “skinny bitch” you can find me here: https://www.youtube.com/c/bananawisdom

Potato Diet Week 5 Weight Loss Results

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February 28th marked the end of the first phase of the potato diet/potato cleanse where I ate ONLY potatoes for an entire 4 weeks.  March 1st I started adding in non-starchy vegetables and greens. I’m also allowing for the odd fruit here and there.

I have to admit, I put a lot of pressure on vegetables this week as did many others. “Your weight loss is going to speed up like CRAZY” one commenter said. So you can imagine when I snuck in an early weigh in on the weekend and saw that the scale went UP half a pound I was a little nervous about my official weekly weigh in – especially because my weekly weigh-ins are published on YouTube for all the world to see.

Here’s what I ate on day 36 of the potato diet and my weight results after 5 weeks:

Potato Diet Results – I Ate Only Potatoes for an Entire Month!

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I’ve wanted to try this for a couple of years but thought it was CRAZY and most likely that I would fail: eat nothing but potatoes for an entire month.  It was an experiement to see if I could lose weight eating all the fries, hash browns, mashed potatoes I wanted – and most importantly, get over my junk food addiction.  Inspired by “Spud Fit” Andrew Taylor, High Carb Hannah’s Potato Cleanse, and the Potato Man himself Dr. McDougall, I finally got the nerve to try this.

Something amazing happened, I suspected my taste buds would change slightly and they did, but much more than I ever expected. I’m absolutely blown away! This is my story about how I went from a finicky eater to a vegetable lover.  Prior to the potato diet, I could not eat broccoli without gagging. Brussels Sprouts? Hell no! Even something as mild as romaine lettuce had to be smothered in hummus for me to eat it.

I always knew that I needed to get more veggies in my diet, especially if I want to lose weight and take my health to another level of awesomeness.  I’m so happy I’ve been able to expand my vegetable menu.

Here’s a couple of videos that sum up what I got out of the challenge. First up is my results video, and the second is taste testing my most hated veggies – originally recorded live on YouTube.

 

Sweet Potato Pie Ice Cream

No dairy, no refined sugars, no crap!  Four simple ingredients: sweet potatoes, almond milk, cinnamon and maple syrup (optional). If you don’t eat it all in one sitting it freezes well – just leave it out of the freezer for 10 minutes before serving.

I encourage you to get creative with this and try different variations. How about a tbsp of cacao powder? Navitas Naturals Cacao is by far my favorite.  How about some Chai spices? I’m very curious to know what variations you come up with.

Also, you can easily make this as a pudding instead by using refrigerated sweet potatoes instead of frozen.

This recipe is suitable for those on the Potato Challenge / Potato Diet / Potato Cleanse. If you are on McDougall’s Maximum Weight Loss or Chef AJ’s Ultimate Weight Loss omit the maple syrup and ad a smidgen more almond milk.

Enjoy!

Recipe video here:

 

Potato Diet for Food Addiction

My cravings are almost non existent but when I do get them they are so much less intense. I no longer feel like I’m going BATTY for something sweet or snacky. Seriously, if you have a junk food addiction you have to try this!!

I will be on an all potato diet for the month of February. That’s right, potatoes only. Potatoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve only been hungry for lunch and dinner these days. And like I said earlier, my cravings are almost gone!

Want to follow along on YouTube? Check out what I ate on Day 10: