—> Starch Solution Review <—
What is the Starch Solution?
You can google, youtube, Read Dr. Mcdougall’s book (the pioneer of the The Starch Solution), etc. But… basically the starch solution is a vegan diet, where the majority of what you consume is starch based carbohydrates. This means: potatoes, whole grains and legumes (beans + lentils). It is a high carb… low fat/ low protein diet. It is basically the opposite of anything you read you should eat. Fuel your body with carbs all day every day (as the substance of your diet).
Why I tried the Starch Solution?
My husband Steven tried The Starch Solution… and this was his starch solution review: his energy levels sky-rocketed!
Low energy is a battle I fight significantly. I’ve been tested for anemia, and the result is that my iron levels are fine. I’m still so tired though… so I’m convinced there is more to the story.
Like many I struggle with the afternoon slump. You know what I’m talking about… 2/3 PM rolls around, and it’s time to hibernate! This is unfortunate for me, because this is my daughter’s nap time. Her nap time = my prime time… AKA my only 2 hour span of the day where I can do whatever the heck I want. As a stay-at-home-mom I could nap myself… but there are a lot of other business projects that I aspire to accomplish. I must find the cure for the afternoon dip!
The starch diet… I gave it a whirl… nothing to loose and here is my Starch Solution Review:
Starch Solution Review
- Energy levels increased: A lot. Literally, I was bouncing off the walls, and I couldn’t sit still.
- Increased energy for high intensity workouts.
- Food was delicious (to me).
- If you’re dieting, calorie counting is not required.
- I didn’t feel restricted – but I don’t love animal products anyhow.
- Healthy bowel movements: Sorry for TMI, but to me this is an excellent indicator of how my body is processing the food I consume.
- Mental clarity and mental energy.
- Satiation – I felt full for a long time, and didn’t crave snacks between meals.
- Meal preparation was easy: Bake potatoes in bulk. Make a red lentil chili in bulk. Cook quinoa and other grains (rice, pasta, etc.) in bulk. Eat throughout the week.
- I made meals easy – but there are other ways to get creative if you like to cook every night.
- Acid reflux: I experienced quite a bit of acid reflux. Perhaps this is a symptom that would subside over time as my body got more used to the diet. I was strictly compliant for just 7 days, so I’m not sure.
- Getting adequate calories: Potatoes aren’t calorie loaded – and so I had to make a conscious effort to eat enough. Eating that many carbs in one sitting several times a day takes some getting used to…but I’m confident that this “con” would work itself out over more time.
- Concern over calcium/ b12 intake: Guys – I’m a calcium freak. Dr. McDougall claims that adequate calcium can be achieved through eating this way, but my daughter does not like eating a lot of starch. For children on this diet – I’m not sure where adequate calcium consumption comes in (unless you breastfeed them forever??). Or give them supplements? The only supplement encouraged by this diet is a b12 supplement (like most vegan diets).
- Someone somewhere reported a study saying that young children need at least 500 mg. of calcium/ day. Was this study funded by the milk industry? Are we all just brainwashed into thinking that we need to drink milk and eat cheese/ yogurt every day? I don’t know… and I’m on the hunt for answers to these questions. Comment below if you have any input!
- Feeling limited when dining out – most dining out doesn’t cater to starch solution dieters.
Why I Quit the Starch Solution
Overall I really liked it. I stopped being 100% compliant only because we went out to dinner a few times and it was hard to remain consistent. I like to live a little and experience pizza from time to time I guess.. and sushi… and some other vices on occasion.
I’m glad I tried The Starch Solution though, because I was missing out on slow digesting complex carbohydrates in my diet. Eating starch regularly, not fearing it, and making it a large substance of my diet is something that I will stick with from now on. Will I be 100% a compliant to this diet? Probably not… but 75% … probably yes.
Take Home of my Starch Solution Review/ Experience
We live in a highly technical world where we are bombarded with a lot of messages – especially about health and eating practices. We are told the same “studies” over and over again..
You need X amount of protein/ day
You need X amount of Calcium/ day
Carbs will make you fat – don’t eat them
Eat protein all day every day
Etc. Etc. Etc.
The best thing I learned from the Starch Solution diet is this:
… don’t fear carbs – whole, unprocessed starch-based carbs…
Low glycemic carbs found in whole grains, potatoes and rice keep you full, make you feel satiated, and will provide lasting energy that doesn’t spike and drop your blood sugar levels.
For a long time I didn’t eat many carbs. I was under the impression that I would “get fat” if I ate carbs, so I force fed myself a lot of chicken, eggs and lettuce..
and I’ve been TIRED!
Since adding more slow digesting starch based carbohydrates into my diet – yes for every meal – EVEN DINNER! Has game changed me. I feel a million times better, and my workouts – night and day. I am able to work SO much harder at the gym.
Do I think it is necessary to eat this way 100% of the time? No. I enjoy participating in dinner parties and get togethers, and I also like eggs and fish from time to time.
I think Americans on average eat Waaaaaay too many animal products and I think we are too obsessed with eating protein. I think any diet that encourages eating more plant based foods is fantastic.
All and all… if you are ever considering such an experiment as The Starch Solution – I think you should give it a go… see how you feel. I’m definitely into it.
Pregnancy and the Starch Solution
My last little rant is this. In his article titled The McDougall Diet for Pregnancy, Dr. Mcdougall claims that pregnancy is not a time to compromise a starch based diet. As a mother trying to have another baby, I’m interested in an optimal pregnancy diet. Read this article to learn more (The McDougall Diet for Pregnancy)… but I noted the following claim by McDougall:
- Since pregnant women have been advised to eat a “well balanced diet”, pregnancy has become a more like sickness for most women:
- They are constantly feeling sick and constipated
- Many gain more weight than necessary
- Gestational diabetes has increased
- The number of cesarian sections have increased, and
- Birth defects have increased.
I’m not a doctor, and I can’t speak for everyone… but my personal opinion on this is that the problem is not necessarily that we are eating animal products… but that we are eating too many processed products.
… Also I brewed an 8 lb. 12 oz baby in my 5 foot tall body… and during pregnancy my weight went from 105 lbs to 147 lbs. Part of me considers this:
If I hadn’t consumed so many animal products during my pregnancy… MAYBE I wouldn’t have gained so much excess weight… and MAYBE my daughter would have been a more “average” birth weight.
I also want to note that all animal products were repulsive to me in the first trimester. According to McDougall… this was my body’s way of reducing the intake of toxic chemicals that are found in large concentrations in animal products. Aversion to animal products is common during the first trimester for many women, and so I found this to be interesting.
That concludes this Starch Solution Review. Have any of you tried a starch-based diet? What did you think of it?
Thanks so much for visiting Kitchen Of Eatin’. I value my readers very much, and I want to provide them with the best content possible. If you would… please complete a brief 3 question survey so that I can learn how to better serve you! CLICK HERE TO BEGIN THE SURVEY… And Thank You – you’re feedback means the world 🙂
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products that use, love and highly recommend; at no additional cost to you, I may get a commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support in this way!