So this week I’m deciding to do this crazy thing called the potato cleanse. What is the potato cleanse you ask? Well great question, but it’s simple really, you only eat potatoes for however long it takes to reset yourself, which is exactly what I need.
Aaron’s parents just made the cross-country trip just in time for his graduation. They stayed for about a week before making the trip back to Ohio so they got to do the whole touristy charade, which was great don’t get me wrong but being a going site seeing and always being in the care doesn’t really include too many meals at home. We had vegan pizza, and vegan burgers, and vegan sausage, and vegan pizza, and vegan BBQ and Chipotle and did I mention vegan pizza.. and ice cream.. oh, the ice cream. It was incredible, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s amazing that there are all of these vegan options available for us to smash on but moderation is key. So a detox of all of the processed goodness that has been the last two weeks of my life was entirely necessary.
The potato diet or cleanse or whatever you see fit is not the most popular way to reset the systems but as far as I’m concerned, it damn well should be. A juice fast or detox is probably what most would consider when needing a cleansing but potatoes man, turn to the potatoes. The diet first got big when Chris Voigt decided to eat 20 potatoes a day for 60 days to stand for the potato when everyone else was against it which you can read more about here: Getting Well on Twenty Potatoes
Chris’s story is a great one for sure, but watching High Carb Hannah on YouTube is what inspired me to give it a try! Hannah intended to do the cleanse for 2 weeks but ended up hanging in there for 30 days. On her channel she has an entire playlist for the challenge and has some pretty crafty potato recipes included.
The rules of the potato diet are easy peasy:
Eat potatoes: russets, reds, yams, sweet potatoes, yukons, etc.
Non-starchy vegetables are also allowed to make for less bland meals, in as much volume as you care for but most of your calories should be coming from potatoes
Leafy greens are also allowed following the same lines as the veggies
2 tbsp of sweeteners like agave and maple syrup are allowed per day
Fat-free condiments are also okay as well as herbs and spices
Stick to drinking water, cut the caffeine and the artificial flavors
Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full
No special kit or teas to buy, no gimmicks, just spuds. Potatoes are so close to being nutritionally complete that you don’t need to worry. A full day of eating only potatoes gives you ~40 grams of fiber, 50 grams of proteins with complete aminos, vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamin, and zinc, 220 mg of calcium and not to mention potatoes are so filling and satisfying. Whether you want to try a cleanse, or an elimination diet, kick start weight loss, or just challenge yourself to start healthier eating, the potato diet is where to start.
Last Saturday my boyfriend and I made a trip up to Grass Valley, California to visit one of the longest running animal sanctuaries in the country. We left early, around 6:30 and headed north towards Sacramento. Neither of us had been to a sanctuary before and we definitely picked the right one to start with.
We arrived a little before 11:00a which was when the tour was set to begin and got checked in. Our tour group ended up being around 10-15 people and we had quite a few members of the sanctuary leading us along. Before getting to meet the animals, our group was educated on some of the cruelties in animal agriculture. They had a small museum of donated cages displaying the living conditions of chickens, pigs and small calves in the veal industry. After a brief description of how the animals are forced to live their lives in these factories and warehouses we began our tour.
First, we got to meet the sheep. Upon entering, we were instructed which of our new found friends liked people and that we were encouraged to feed and pet and which were more skiddish and thus we needed to be respectful of their space. We then went to see the cows (one of them had just passed away so to respect their mourning period we did not actually get to meet them), the goats, the bunnies that we got to feed with the food we were allowed to bring, the chickens and finally to see the pigs.
This trip was one that I have wanted to do since going vegan and I was so so happy when Aaron surprised me with the tickets. All of the staff members, the volunteers, and the interns that we met along the way were very nice and very knowledgeable. I thought that the realness of the animal agriculture industry was presented in a way that wouldn’t disrespect a carnivores choices but simply open them up to the brutality that they are funding without them feeling personally attacked. It can be extremely hard to teach and explain the reasons of choosing to go vegan and at Animal Place the educational and respectful way of education on animal cruelty was certainly in full effect.
Hey there! Thanks for reading my piece called “Seasons Passed.” This was a poem I wrote for my dad before I left to move across the country. We really only got close after I moved out of the house in August of 2015 when I was 18 and in this poem I refer to some of the great times we shared together in the summer of 2016.
Something that had been on my bucket list for forever was to see a field of sunflowers. Last summer my dad read an article about a field of sunflowers not too far from where we live. Maria’s Field of Hope is 50 acres of field that was created and is sustained through sponsors who donate to Prayers for Maria a childhood glioma cancer foundation. The field was absolutely beautiful, however due to the nature of it’s purpose, there were a lot of stories of children who lost their lives to cancer posted on cards on flowers spread throughout the field. While it was inspiring that so many have contributed to the cause, it became apparent how many had been affected by similar circumstance.. needless to say we left with a very heavy heart.
We also went strawberry picking for the first time. Though it doesn’t seem like much it was a great time spent together. We had planned to go a few times this summer but now that I am across the country, that does not seem very likely. I’m so happy that we went last summer because if we would have waited and said “there’s always next year,” (which is the excuse for too many things) it would have been something that we never would have been able to do together and to me that means the world. (I also snuck a Beatles reference in there because he absolutely loves The Beatles.)
I feel so lucky that our relationship finally grew and that after all those years, he is my best friend. Growing up I was always jealous my friends who were so close with their parents because I never had that with either of mine. It is not a triumph however, I could simply care less that I have reached the same level as my friends who have a far more normal family dynamic, it just means the world to me that someone I can never get rid of, even if I wanted to, is finally someone who I can tell anything and everything to. If you have that, never take it for granted, and if you don’t, never give up on it.
I just wrapped up my second year of school and decided to make a big move. The door was open to leave my small town and head to the West Coast.. and there was no way I was staying in Ohio. My boyfriend booked a flight home (he had already been living in California) and we set out to leave that next morning. Looking back on our trip, first and foremost I miss the road but secondly, I think it went far better than either of us had anticipated. A 38 hour drive sounds pretty awful regardless of how you want to look at it but I was hopeful that as long as my best friend was at my side, I would see sunny California in no time.
Days before I was set to leave, I had all of my family get together for dinner, and more importantly cake and ice cream. All of my family being together at once is an extremely rare and risky occasion and throwing the fact that in less than a week I would be living on the other side of the country, there was plenty of room for it to go less than smoothly. Thankfully it went great and the cake was phenomenal. Looking back, I’m glad that we had our goodbyes then instead of right before I left. If I would have waited to see everyone right as I was setting out to hit the road, it would have been so much harder to take off without looking back. I saw my grandparents and my pups the morning before I left and as they waved us off with watery eyes and bittersweet smiles, I held it together far better than I thought I would. So my first tip of advice is get your goodbyes out of the way because if you’re anything like me, waiting until the day of would result in crying until there was nothing left to cry and about a two hour pounding headache.
Our first stop was the Windy City of Chicago. From where I lived, Chicago is about a 6 hour drive without traffic. I decided to drive the first leg of our trip and it wasn’t all that bad, except for one thing: tolls. All in all, getting to Chicago and through Illinois I would bet it cost more than $30 in tolls, to me that seems outrageous but it seemed like a good trade off at the time for continuing on the fastest route. East Chicago was a little strange to say the least. A section of the highway was closed for construction and the detour took us through what I would assume to be a small town on the outskirts of the city, except for the sole fact that we did not see a single person for miles. It was like a ghost town, an old rusty industrialized ghost town that seemed to be out of an episode of The Walking Dead. We got dinner at The Chicago Diner in Logan Square. They pride themselves on being meat free since ’83 and that’s totally awesome not to mention the food was great. We walked a little downtown after dinner, I really wanted to see The Bean but it was so late that it was closed. We drove a couple hours outside of Chicago the first night before we got some sleep. We pulled off in the middle of nowhere in Illinois to get some gas and decided some sleep was necessary. Sleeping in the car is not the most ideal nor comfortable plan, but I was so refreshed the next morning after such a long day the day before.
Denver, Colorado was our next destination but to get there we had to drive through the rest of Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska. Let me tell you now, what. a. drag. Chicago was a nice change in scenery because without that, it would have been 18 hours of farm lands and flat fields.
Driving through Colorado was beautiful and I really don’t know how to put it in to words. It was a terrain that I had never seen before. The skies were so blue and the clouds were white and fluffy for as far as you could see. The rolling hills were endless and we got to see a couple tumbleweeds, which was cool. I also got to drive it as the sun slowly falling which was so unbelievably beautiful. The city of Denver had never been a place on my travel radar but after being there I so desperately want to go back. Granted we did not get to see much of the city but what we did see we both loved so much. The people that we encountered were very laid back and pretty namaste. Most people seemed to have tattoos which is very different than the place that I am from. We had some great eats for a late night dinner and breakfast the next morning. We will definitely be making a road trip back there. The Rocky mountains were another high point through Colorado. I had never seen the mountains before and I really wanted to see the national park but now I think that driving them was enough. We drove through all the of peaks and valley’s and winding roads of the snow capped terrain and it was awesome. The change in elevation did make us really thirsty and made our ears pop for what felt like forever though.
Utah was our next feat that had plenty of beauty to offer as well. There were endless rock formations and viewpoints that we drove passed, another refreshing change in terrain. One specifically was called Black Dragon canyon that we stopped at for what ended up being a couple of hours (even though it was just a viewpoint it was so nice to be out of the car). Through this state rest stops were really far apart and cities were scarce. We got down to two pegs on my gas gauge, driving through some really big rocks at night with little cell service before we really though twice about it. Luckily we made it to gas station that was only (ONLY) about 40 miles away.
Vegas was the next on our hit list but I don’t have much to tell of it. We were driving through Vegas at about 2 am and decided we needed food or the closest thing to it which landed us at taco bell. We drove through what I assume to be the bustling downtown area of Las Vegas with all the flashing lights and high profile brands but that was about it. I have never had the desire to see Vegas and it was late so we did not bother to get out. Thinking back, Las Vegas is a place you have to see even without the booze and gambling, because it is such an epicenter for true American culture on every level, plus that was the brightest city I have ever seen in my life.
After hitting Vegas, the end was in sight. It was the middle of the night and the last leg of our journey was to drive through California, from the Mojave to the Bay Area. Driving the Mojave was beautiful, and I can only imagine what it would have been like if we drove it in the daylight. Seeing the looming mountains in the distance under the glow of the moonlight was something that I will never forget, don’t get me wrong, but a trip back is certainly due. I never knew how long this state was and I don’t think I ever want to be reminded. The change of scenery from desert to the golden rolling hills was great but it seemed like the hills went on forever especially having been driving all night, the last three hours was gruesome.
My journey was one that I had never anticipated I would actually do and so early on in my life. It was quite the experience and one that I believe everyone needs. Staying in my comfort zone was never my thing and I have always wanted to see different places. There is so much to see and you certainly don’t have to move across the country to start adventuring. If you do however, let this be your warning, you’ll finish one journey itching to start your next.