Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Paleo Meatballs & Mash

This week's guest post is from the beautiful Chantel from EvoPrime Fitness in Airlie Beach. I have known Chantel for a few years now - she is the other half of our amazing friend Jan, who worked with us at Primal Fitness in Sydney. Lucky for us, Jan stayed in contact after he moved to one of the most beautiful places in Australia (It is where Brangelina recently dined), and to this day, Chantel and Jan remain very close, lifelong friends of ours. Check out the cute couple with their ViPR baby:

Take it away, Chantel:

Well I have never shared a recipe before so I am a little bit excited about it. I love cooking and I love eating, however my work/home/study life usually puts a dampener on my creative time in the kitchen. But that's all about to change... I am working on freeing myself up to engage in more of the things that I enjoy to do, and creative cooking is definitely one of them!

Tuesday morning I was driving to work thinking about all that needed doing this day. The conversation went back and forth with myself in my head, and eventually got to the dreaded question of ..... what's for dinner?! What miracle creation can I produce with the limited  produce available in my refrigerator for dinner? I had some pork mince that needed to be used up, so my protein was sorted and I thought it might be cool to make them into meatballs (pretty creative for me). The rest would be conjured up with whatever vegetables I had available.

Do you ever have those mornings where you get into the car and drive on autopilot, so consumed in thought that by the time you have worked through your entire schedule you are at your destination thinking, "Jeez that was quick. How did I even get here?" If this is you too,  I am here to tell you that this is very hazardous and I'm suggesting you STOP IT!!!! Why, you ask - because that's not living in the present. Enjoy your beautiful scenic tour and music before you start your days work. I promise, you will walk through your work doors more refreshed, happy and ready for what's ahead! And the second reason... Have you seen the side of my car? 

Anyway, before I give you the recipe, I have to tell you what is so good about my meatballs and mash that made me want to share it with you.
  1. They were super delicious and a bit "gourmet!"
  2. I used ingredients that are staples in my house, and should be in yours.
  3. I used ingredients that are whole foods (no canned, bottled, or sachet sauces)
  4. It was easy to make (especially with a thermomix, more on that to come)
  5. No sugar, gluten, dairy (except some organic butter, because that guy is definitely welcomed) or any other disruptive food additives.

 Ok, so now that you are convinced as to why to give them a go, here is HOW!

By the way, I have just realised one important reason why I have been holding back sharing recipes with you all - I have a thermomix (if you don't know what this is or someone who has one, sorry but you haven't lived). It makes chopping, cooking, steaming super easy and super quick so I find myself not even knowing how to convert what I cook to normal pots and pans and oven talk. But I've decided to not be so selfish and try!!! Kate Callaghan it's seriously time you invest!!!!! With your skills you will be dangerous with this in your kitchen!!!!

(Kate's note re Thermomix pushing - I'm considering it, although I do kind of like working with multiple pots and pans and hanging out in the kitchen, tasting as I go. Not sure my husband agrees, considering he is left to deal with the aftermath)

Meatballs & Mash

It tastes better than it looks, I promise!
Still working on my presentation skills!

  • 400g of pork mince
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 capsicum
  • 1 egg
  • Sprinkle of coconut flour
  • Fresh herbs from my garden (chives, parsley, mint) (If you're reading this, not sure if Chantel has enough herbs in her garden for everyone, so you may need to source your own. Just sayin')

 Napoli Sauce
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water (to adjust consistency)

Cauliflower Mash
  • 1/2 cauliflower
  • Butter (grass fed, organic)
  • Yeast Flakes
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Chop garlic, onion, vegetables and herbs in a food processor (or thermomix bowl). Transfer to mixing bowl
  2. Add pork mince and egg and combine (easiest to use your hands). If too runny, sprinkle with some coconut flour to absorb excess moisture
  3. Roll in hands to make small rissoles/meatballs
  4. Now this is where it gets challenging. I steamed my meatballs in the varoma part of the thermomix for 25 mins. So alternatively you could bake your meatballs in the oven, steam them, or cook slowly on the pan with coconut oil.

Napoli Sauce
  1. Add all ingredients into the food processor (thermomix) and blend to form a liquid
  2. Add water if the mixture is too thick. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat in saucepan or thermomix.

Cauliflower mash
  1. Boil/steam cauliflower in pot or thermomix
  2. Strain water and add cauliflower to food processor/thermomix or mash with fork
  3. Add tablespoon of butter, salt, pepper and yeast flakes to cauliflower mash (I don't know about you but these yeast flakes remind me of parmesan cheese) 

 Serve mash on bottom, meatballs and sauce over the top. Garnish with fresh herbs.

Well I was pretty chuffed with myself after a hard day that my car park creation was a quick and tasty success. Made easier of course with my "Thermy" (pet name for my thermomix). So what do you think? No need for traditional pasta and bottled sauce when you have this easy alternative.
Thermomix in action, steaming the meatballs
P.S. If you are wondering, no I'm not a thermomix consultant. Its just a joy to work with and legitimately easier. I still have a slow cooker and pots and pans :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Hypothalamic Amenorrhoea - these things take time

Image by MONICA Reyes via Pinterest
To say I am impatient is a bit of an understatement. When I want to do something, I want to do it yesterday. My dad used to say to me:

“Lou Lou*, there’s no doubt about it – you’re a doer!”

*My middle name is Louise. Although, he often now calls me Luci. Pretty sure it has nothing to do with my middle name. Should I be offended that Luci is the name of our dog?

My amazing husband is also very cognizant of my “need-to-do-this-right-now-or-else” attitude. Although he often takes the approach of:

“Patience, my love. Patience”

Whatever. I’m a doer! My daddy told me so! And so when it came to baby-making, I applied the same amount of “OK, let’s do this” attitude, thinking if we start trying now (June 2013), then the baby will arrive around March next year, so I will be well and truly clear of university responsibilities. I apologized to my best friend – there was a high chance that I would either be pregnant or with child on her 30th birthday (9th March 2014). How lovely it is to dream….

Now, as you may know (if you have read my previous posts on the matter HERE, HERE and HERE), there was one minor glitch in this lady’s plan – a menstrual cycle that had been M.I.A for quite some time.

“That’s OK”, my friends would say, “I know a girl who had a cousin who dated a girl whose mother conceived when she didn’t have a period”**. Sweet. Back on track.

**May or may not be an accurate recollection of the conversation. Admittedly, quite a few friends mentioned that you could indeed ovulate without menstruating. I have since done the research and they were correct! Yay!

However, I knew it wasn’t ideal. I knew the best plan of attack would be to get my menstrual cycle regular – then I would truly back on fertile grounds.

Image by Erin Karolchyk via Pinterest
As I mentioned in my previous post on the matter, my first period in 2 years returned in September last year while I was in Broome. Then I returned home to Sydney apparently leaving my monthlies back in Western Australia. It was a little disappointing, but part of me expected it, for some reason.

We moved to New Zealand on Christmas Eve. Over the new year period, I partied like it was 1999 (only this time I was legally old enough to drink) – I was fed up with being “good” all the time, getting no evident results on the lady-time front. Early January this year it returned – I was pretty excited! So was my husband. And my family. Yep – everyone heard about it! It probably sounds odd to hear someone say they are excited about getting their monthlies –a time when your skin breaks out, you become a bit of an irrational, short-tempered bitch, your tummy cramps and bloats and you can’t don’t want to have sex. Sounds pretty shit, right? Any guys reading this are probably squirming up their face right now. Have you ever noticed that most males freak out when you say “period”. Try it – it’s fun! Anyway, the whole thing is exciting if you’re in my boat – it signals that things are starting to work again. And when you want a baby, there is nothing more important than the baby-maker. That’s not rocket science.

Image by Joanna Rodarte via Pinterest
OK let’s back-track a little.combination of factors: low carb diet, high intensity exercise, high stress life….. It’s really not surprising that my thyroid shut up shop! When you have low thyroid, you can experience a number of symptoms:
  • Low energy (tick – always loved my coffee to get me going)
  • Cold hands and feet (my husband can vouch for this one)
  • Dry skin (like a crocodile. Sexy, right?)
  • Weight gain (well, I had been trying to gain weight, but it did seem to happen at a pretty rapid rate)
  • Low basal body temperature (mine was frequently dipping into "hypothermia")
  • Menstrual cycle problems – BOOM!

 There are others, but I’m sure you know how to use Dr Google.

So I had a thyroid problem. The solution? Medication. I don’t like pharmaceutical drugs. I think they mess with our system and are too often handed out like lollies. However, if I wanted my body to start functioning properly, something had to be done. Luckily, I could be put on thyroid extract – dessicated pig thyroid! Yummy! Thyroid extract has the advantage of providing everything your thyroid requires, rather than just T4 (thyroxine), the inactive form of thyroid hormone which needs to be converted to the active form, T3 (triiodothyronine – try saying that 10 times fast!).

Anywho, a few weeks ago I had to go to a local NZ doctor to get a new script for my pig pills. She sent me for some blood tests to get a baseline of where my thyroid hormones are at. For shits and giggles, I thought:

 “While you’re getting some blood, let’s find out if I’m ovulating”….

The results came back –

Dr: “Your progesterone is very low, which means you aren’t ovulating, which I guess you already knew….”

Me: “Mmm hmmm. Yes, I guessed that was the case” – I lied, smiling on the outside, but dying a little on the inside. (For some reason, if you work as a health practitioner and you know about biochemistry, you somehow don't require the usual bedside manner) 

I’m not great with emotions, so I didn’t cry then and there. Or on the 40 minute drive home. It wasn’t until my mother-in-law’s dog chewed my sports bra that everything came unstuck and I threw a massive tanty. Why, when I have done everything right, was this happening to me? For more than 2 years I have tried pretty much everything to make myself fertile. What have I tried, you ask?

  • Acupuncture
  • Acuenergetics
  • Ayurvedic massage
  • Chiropractic
  • Kinesiology
  • Reflexology
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Raw food
  • Cooked food
  • More carbs
  • More fat
  • More protein
  • More food in general
  • Weight gain
  • Less exercise
  • Different exercise
  • Herbal teas
  • Naturopathy
  • Herbal medicine
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements
  • Desiccated adrenal gland
  • Desiccated testicle – yep, you read right – bull’s balls. Check them out below
  • Abstaining from caffeine
  • Abstaining from alcohol
  • Sleeping in a pitch black room – I card-boarded up my windows to block out the light
  • Crystal healing
  • Ayahuasca
  • Shamanism

 That’s just what I can remember off the top of my head. I am sure there’s more. Long list, right? Sometimes it is tempting to just give up and go down the medical route. But that’s not what I am about. I am determined to fix this the natural way – not just for me, but for all of the other females in my position. If I can fix myself, then I am in a much better position to be able to help others, right? I am slowly working through a truck-load of scientific literature. I say slowly because the studies I am reading are pretty technical and full of “science-ese” (as Denise Minger would call the language of science). But I will get there. And when I do, I will be sure to share what I have learnt. I've got your back, ladies! 

As we speak, I have my period. That’s two in two months! The last was a 38 day cycle – verging on regularity (ideally they should be 28-35 days long). It has taken me this long to get my period back. I’m guessing it will just take a little longer for ovulation to kick back in.

Image by Tina B via Pinterest
So stay tuned, friends – these things take time, but we are making progress! Thank you all for your continued support – it means a lot! xx

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

A journey of inspiration, transformation and self-love

Today I feel so blessed to be able to share the transformational story of one of my amazing clients and friends - Emma. This isn't just about a journey of weight loss. As you will read, it is a total mind and body backflip (or forward flip…). To describe Emma as inspirational is a huge understatement. To be honest, I can't express in words the true beauty of this gorgeous woman. As I write now, trying to think of how to describe her, I am starting to tear up. What I can say is that I am so grateful that Emma came into my life. She says that I changed her life, but the impact that she had on mine is second to none. Thank you for continuing to inspire me and for sharing such a personal, honest and detailed story, you gorgeous soul! You truly are an incredible warrior (and she can push 200+kg on the sled - beat that guys!!)! 

**Emphasis mine (Kate speaking, here). 

Emma's amazing physical transformation
When Kate asked if I would write on her blog I truly felt honoured and then slightly panicked, as I thought if I was going to write about my weight loss journey, I wanted to write the whole truth. I then became a little hesitant, as I have kept a lot of this to myself (or just family and close friends). Over the last few months I have recently started to talked about my past, and what I got from it is a sense of relief. Freedom. The ability to let go and move forward. I have never felt better.

My weight and how I look has completely consumed my life. One would think if you were that obsessed, you would be skinny! When I was a child I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.  From the day I was diagnosed, to the end of high school, I was weighed and measured every visit to the hospital. Everything was mapped out on medical charts and my parents kept a record of my weight, height and measurements. I could tell you the exact weight I was throughout my entire life.  The doctors would say 'Emma needs to lose some weight' my mother would agree and then continue to feed us Chinese takeaway, pizza etc. Don't get me wrong I love my mother to bits. She just hated spending any time in the kitchen, so we ate out a bit or got takeaway. My grandmother was the same. In fact she resented the fact of being a housewife. The foundation of healthy eating wasn't important to us growing up I guess.

In my last year of high school I put on quite a bit of weight that my skirt button needed to be loosened. To be honest I really can't remember anything happening that year apart from sitting on my arse eating and studying.

Going into my first year of Uni, extremely overweight, depressed, trying to figure out what didn't make me look fat to wear each day was torture. I hated myself. To the point that I no longer wanted to live and attempted suicide. The pain of feeling so overweight and unhappy was too much to handle anymore.  I never got any support from this. My family, once I was discharged from hospital, never talked about it again. The psychiatrist who I was forced to see made me weigh myself in front of him. I remember crying so hard telling him I didn't want to. I still to this day question his way of practice. 

After this, my best friend got me into Weight Watchers, and I started to lose some weight and feel a little better. I started going out with my friends.  This led to me going out every weekend and getting completely wasted taking whatever drugs I could get hold of. I got to a point that if I didn't have any drugs I wouldn't go out. I used to go to work high, and I overdosed one night out. Looking back I knew this was a huge way of escaping and gaining a false sense of confidence. 

In this time I met my boyfriend who was both verbally and mentally abusive. He would say things like 'I'm going home to smash your christmas present you fu$@en fat whale' or 'I'm not attracted to you as when I first met you, as you've let yourself go'. This toxic relationship went on for 7 years. Yep! 7 years! I don't know how I let this go on. In this time I used food for comfort. I was miserable. The photo of me in the pink T shirt was taken by him on holidays at my heaviest - 95kg. My weight yo-yoed the whole time I was with him - until the end of 2009, when I finally called it quits. I was broken exhausted and sick of crying. I lost friends from this relationship. My whole family openly hated him. I had little to no self worth, confidence, or self esteem. 

After breaking up with him I started to hang out with my sister a lot more. She took me to my first Body Attack class and I loved it. I had lost probably 13kg in a period of 2-3 years mainly from just going to Body Attack and running. After a holiday in NZ, I changed gyms to continue training with my sister. It was here that I met my trainer Brad, he helped me to get from 77kg to 69kg, not once but twice! 

A 4 month holiday around the Middle East and Europe, and I had put the weight, plus a few extra kilos, back on. I got home to several people at work telling me I got fat on holidays. Thanks jerks as if I wasn't already aware of this! I was straight back into the gym. At first it was fine I lost weight. However I became fixated on achieving a number on the scales. I would weigh myself several times a day. I got close to my weight loss goal, however nothing mentally had changed. I still looked in the mirror and saw a fat person. I still wasn't happy

At this point I had already met Kate from going to her Body Attack classes. One of her classes she said she was a nutritionist. I thought this would be the answer. If I changed my diet, I would lose more weight and then I would be happy. Changing to a paleo lifestyle was hard. I had to change a lot. I had to learn how to cook. I had to quit Diet Coke, of which I drank easily 9L a week.  My new way of eating came with a lot of backlash from family and friends. I found it very isolating and difficult when it came to going out with friends. I know I sent Kate hundreds of photos of food making sure it was ok as everyone else was telling me it was too fattening, that's why your not losing weight. It was true I wasn't losing weight, but I wasn't gaining any either. I thought that if I train harder, I'll start to loose more weight. So I would train 2-3hrs a day everyday. I sometimes would run 18k after 3hrs sleep then head straight onto a 12hr nightshift. 

I worked permanent nights to fit in with my workout schedule. In fact I put everything in my life to the side to achieve my weight loss goal.  My friends were concerned. My boss said that my outside life was impacting on my work. Brad had threatened to ban me from training. Yet I continued to do this. I was constantly injured with shin splints, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis. I lived off little to no sleep. I knew I needed to cut back. 

Emma (right) has since taken up yoga
to improve her flexibility ;)
Recently, Brad and I worked on slowly starting to cut back the hours of training I would do a week. I've now cut back to working out 5-6 hours a week combining the training I love to do. Cross fit, attack and pump. I learnt a whole new and fun way to train from Kate. I've stopped obsessing about a number on the scales and get up everyday and point out something I love about myself. I also write down something I'm grateful for. Might be something small, like I'm grateful I didn't have to set my alarm for 6am! (Totally love a good sleep in)!! I try and focus on what I can do rather than what I can't. I have also realised that I have spent so much of my life second guessing myself, and hating myself. 

It's time to start loving who I am. 

As Oprah says "this is the body you've been given, love what you got".  Life's pretty amazing when you stop looking at it half empty!  I am so grateful to Kate who, aside from her continuous guidance with nutrition and fitness, has helped me to heal from the inside out and that has been the hardest part of my whole journey. It's something I work on everyday.

At my farewell, with Emma pinky-swearing to visit me in NZ

Monday, 10 February 2014

Free Paleo Magazine subscription for YOU!

Howdy folks! Just a quick on today as I am EXTREMELY busy! Not really. As you are probably aware, I am currently in transition mode from Australia to New Zealand. From Sydney to either Wanaka or Queenstown (yes, there has been a spanner thrown in the works). From "where is the space" to "where are the people". From hustle and bustle to "Aaahhh - now this is life". You get the picture. Yep, we are pretty relaxed at the moment and trying to make the most of it before we hit the ground running. Hopefully I will have some VERY exciting new for you all next week. 

In the meantime, I have some VERY exciting news for you today. The lovely people over at Paleo Magazine asked if I wanted to contribute my article on Coconut Flesh for their fantastic online mag. Some of their other contributors include Chris Kresser, Mark Sisson and Abel James. It's a pretty awesome magazine. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity (after playing hard to get at first, of course ;) ). 

So this was exciting news for me, which you may or may not care about. But the exciting news for YOU (overuse of capitals today, perhaps? I'm just EXCITED! Big Kev style), is that they have offered my readers a FREE (with flashing lights) 3 month subscription to Paleo Magazine. All you need to do is click on this link RIGHT HERE and be in the possession of an iPad or iPhone. Easy! 

In case you were wondering who "Big Kev" is. Image source.
Why would you want to download this magazine? Because it is full of brilliant health and fitness advice from top experts in the industry AND lots of yummy recipes from people like Civilised Caveman (my favourite recipe, and all round awesome, dude in the Paleo-sphere). So, in case your mouse didn't find the link above, you can go HERE to download your free mag. You won't be charged a cent, unless you want to be. 

Now go forth and fill your brains with some Paleo goodness! 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Should you eat white potatoes?

I was going to make the title “You say potato, I say potato”, but the written word doesn’t really convey that sentence very well now, does it? I’d have to spell it out like they do in the Oxford: “pohtahtoh” and that would just be too confusing.

Secondly, I figured a title asking a provocative question would be more effective at sucking you in. “Oh my god!! Should I eat white potatoes? I must check this out!”

Was I right or was I right? (Lesson number one to get people to agree with you: don’t provide options for disagreement).

Now, we are going to get to the topic of white potatoes, but first I want to leave you hanging just a little to update you on some personal information, most of which you probably couldn’t give a rats-arse about. Whatever, it’s my blog. I can do what I want. (But really, if you have to make an important potato decision in the next few minutes, feel free to scroll down to the promised information).

Update #1 – I’m now living in New Zealand and it’s sweet as, eh bro!?
If you didn’t already know, I married a kiwi a few years back. Kiwi men are pretty great, actually. Especially mine. That’s why I agreed to come back to the mother ship with him. We spent the last month doing a little tiki-tour around the south island (you can see some pics HERE in my last post) to see where we felt comfortable (and where had the best kombucha) and where we might like to settle down. We decided on Wanaka. Here is a gratuitous shot of said place:

Image via lakewanaka.co.nz
Visitors welcome! The ski-fields in the winter are apparently the best in the country. During the summer it's pretty amazing, too. 

Update #2 – I’m writing stuff in other places
Yep! I’m cheating on this blog with a couple of other sites. I’m becoming a blog tart:
a) Woman.com.au – you can check out my first post HERE 
b) I Quit Sugar – I mostly write in the forums, which are only accessed by people completing the program, but occasionally I will offer my “expert” opinion on matters of interest, such as coffee HERE

Check them out and let me know what you think!

Update #3 – I’m writing an ebook
 I realise this could have nestled under “Update #2”, however I wanted to add an extra update to make myself seem more important.

I started writing a little ebook on health and wellness this morning. I’m planning on it not being a monster of a book. More of a get-started primer. If you’re lucky, it may be free, at least for those of you who are good at bribery. More on this as it progresses. Progression may be slow as I tend to get distracted by things like Grey’s Anatomy and trampolines:

Jumping on the trampoline with my 4yr old niece, Lucy
Back to the spuds

Do you ever say things because everyone else says them? Or because they sound right? Or because potatoes taste too good to possibly be good for you? Or because Mr Potato-Head rubbed you up the wrong way? 

Look at him - all smug and potatoey! Image source
A few years ago, I was home in the country with my parents. My mum cooks a pretty mean baked dinner – something I look forward to (and specifically request) each time I go home. This time I shunned the baked white potatoes exclaiming, with mild disgust and an air of arrogance:

“O.M.G! White potatoes are pretty much just piles of sugar. They are nothing else. They are no good for you! (and I am the source of all knowledge because I’m a dietitian!)”

And I proceeded to sit smugly, enjoying my baked dinner sans-white potato (but loaded with sweet potato), knowing (thinking) that my blood sugar levels would thank me later.

My Dad tried to tell me otherwise, stating that he once went on a diet where he ate loads of potatoes every day. He said he felt amazing and that he actually lost weight. “It must have been something else that you were doing. It could not have been the potatoes”, I said. Dismissive little shit, I was.

Where did this “potatoes=sugar=poison” mindset come from?
  1. Paleo diet enthusiasts. Back in the day, all carbs were bad as they cause blood sugar to rise and insulin to release, which is the devil hormone (not really) as it promotes fat storage (among many other important processes), therefore carbs suck. And potatoes are a great source of carbs. Therefore potatoes suck. We now know better. Carbs aren’t so bad (for most people, especially those who exercise and are free of chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity). More on this in an upcoming post. It was also thought that ‘taters don’t have anything in them BUT carbs. You’ll see evidence to the contrary below
  2. Mainstream dietetics. Yep, this was one of those situations where both camps (paleo vs mainstream dietitians) agreed on something. Potatoes are high on the glycemic index (higher than table sugar, infact), meaning, as mentioned above, they cause a large spike in blood sugar. I don’t really agree with the glycemic index. I wrote about why on I Quit Sugar, which you can read HERE.
  3. Potatoes are white. Sugar is white. Cocaine is white. Uncool by association, I suspect. 

Are the ‘taters really all that bad?

As it turns out, and as you may have guessed already, no. No they are not. Now, it is no secret that I have a bit of an obsession with sweet potatoes. They are delicious morsels of goodness in every way shape and form. But for the sake of this post, I want to compare the nutritional content of the sweet and white potato. Let’s do so by way of an easy-to-view table, previously constructed by yours truly. I’ve even highlighted some points of interest:

Potato vs Sweet Potato per 100g

New (white) potato
Sweet potato
Dietary fibre
Total sugars
Available carbohydrate
Thiamin (B1)
Riboflavin (B2)
Niacin (B3)
Niacin Equivalents
Total folates
Dietary folate equivalents
Alpha carotene
Beta carotene
Beta carotene equivalents
Retinol equivalents
Vitamin C
Source: NUTTAB 2010 Online Searchable Database

OK, let’s go through some of the highlighted points:

  1. White potatoes have slightly more protein than sweet potatoes, although I would not recommend counting on either as a bioavailable (available to the body) source of protein. The best protein comes from animal sources. Sorry vego friends.
  2. Sweet potatoes have more fructose than white potatoes, and the ratio of fructose:glucose is higher in sweet potatoes. Why does this matter? Glucose is easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Fructose, not so much. If paired in equal amounts with glucose, there shouldn’t be a problem – you could view glucose as a bit of a vehicle for fructose. If there is more fructose than glucose, this could spell issues for people with digestive problems, especially those who cannot tolerate FODMAPS.
  3. White potatoes have a considerably higher starch content, which breaks down to glucose to be used for energy or to replace glycogen stores (glucose which is stored in the liver and muscle). Note: this starch content comes in handy when cooked potatoes are cooled for ~24hrs, producing “resistant starch” which, more evidence is proving, has some pretty nifty beneficial effects on the gut flora and digestion.
  4. Sweet potatoes have a higher calcium content. Would you have thought of these little babies as a source of calcium? No? Good. You would have to eat a shite-load to get anywhere near the mainstream recommendations of 1,000mg per day.
  5. White potatoes have around double the content of magnesium and potassium! Going by the NHMRC nutrient reference values, 100g of potato (about 1 large new potato) provides ~27% of your daily requirements for potassium. Fun fact: 100g of banana (about 1 medium) provides ~346mg of potassium. And this: 100mL of coconut water provides ~200mg of potassium. Conclusion: potatoes shit all over these other sources! Just in case you were wondering, potassium is important for blood pressure regulation and heart health, maintaining electrolyte balance within he body, kidney health and more!
  6. Sweet potatoes blow white potatoes out of the water when it comes to beta-carotene, which is a precursor for vitamin A. The daily recommendations for vitamin A, expressed as retinol equivalents is 700ug/day (micrograms/day). A 100g serve of sweet potato provides more than 10 times that amount! Wowsers! Vitamin A helps maintain normal reproduction, vision and immune function. Note that beta-carotene (and other carotenoids) are precursors for vitamin A. Just because there is a tonne of the precursor in the food, this doesn’t mean you are going to be able to convert it all to its usable, vitamin A form. Pre-formed vitamin A is only found in animal products, such as liver, eggs and grass-fed butter, so best you go and make some pate! 

So there you have it! The ‘taters aren’t so shabby after all, are they? I certainly have enjoyed adding them back into my diet. Here’s how I like to munch on them:

Image by Norma Miller via pinterest
  1. Peeled and roasted in duck fat and sea salt until they are crispy. If you haven’t tried potatoes this way, you haven’t lived.
  2. Boiled/steamed and served with a great big dollop of grass-fed butter. Note: boiling will reduce the potassium content by about 50% as it is lost to the surrounding water
  3. Boiled/steamed and mashed with butter and chives, or cumin, or both!
  4. Cooked, cooled and eaten with a smattering of sea salt OR thrown into a potato salad with some homemade mayo. 

 Now go and enjoy some yummy, AND nutritious, potatoes my friends!

Nutrition information sources: