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Potato “Only” Diet Hack Tip: Bone Broth or Stock For Potato Diet Soup

As with my last tip on making potatoes more palatable and easy to use by roasting or grilling them, this is something that can be used anytime, not just for a bland potato hack.

Some people are fine doing the potato and only potato thing, in fact at least a couple of folks, because of that prior post, put in 5 days or so potatoes only, not even any seasoning, and seemed to be fine. Others can’t manage it at all and while still others can, they really hate it. I’m in the category where the potatoes (with salt & pepper) are fine when I’m eating them but not palatable enough that I want to eat them again soon when hungry, so I put off eating until crazy hungry and end up WAY under eating.

I’ve found a very low calorie hack for the hack that’s also highly nutritious and for both Beatrice and I, sits in the tummy so good—delivering such satiety and satisfaction, and the first night we had it, crazy restful sleep.

Here’s how you do it. Now, you can use freshly cooked potatoes, but I grill lots at a time and keep them in the fridge. With this method, you don’t even need to heat them.

First, you have to either buy or make bone stock. Chicken beef, or pork will do. I made beef via BIY Bone Broth.

IMG_0128

There’s lots of recipes on the Internet, but generally, 2 pounds of bones to a gallon of water, some veggies, cook on low many hours, strain.

It should look delicious, like this.

It should look delicious, like this.

Notice there’s not a lot of fat there (this is after sitting in the fridge all night). You can buy broth on the Internet but I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s silly to ship what’s 95% water. And it’s expensive. Here’s a new company local to me that I stumbled into at a Farmers Market a few miles away: BIY Bone Broth. “Brew it yourself,” in other words. Great idea. It’s a 2 pound, 5 oz. frozen package that you just empty into a pot, add a gallon of water, and cook a long time. You have to keep adding water as it evaporates. Right now, BIY is not shipping but you can arrange for pick-up in the San Jose or San Diego areas.

I’m hoping they get shipping and an affiliate program going, as this is something I’d be proud to have on the sidebar; and compared to the prices of already brewed broths, plus expensive shipping due to water weight, this is a bargain. For me, this rendered about 20 ladles, so 120 ounces. At $33, that’s just over $3 per delicious 12-ounce bowl of soup. Buck-fifty for a hot mug of it. And it’s crazy delicious. True food for the soul.

OK, so on to making the potato soup.

IMG_0130

Cube some potatoes from the fridge. Using roasted or grilled ads an element of flavor.

IMG_0132

Put the cubes or slices in a bowl, bring two ladles of broth to a boil, pour over cold potatoes.

In this way, your boiling hot broth is reduced to edible temperature and your potatoes heated just enough. Season to taste, and it’s really, really delicious and satisfying.

And it’s super low calorie, probably less than 100 for the 12 ounces (excluding the potatoes, but that’s the point).

As an alternative, you could use the stocks you can buy at the supermarket. I’ve tried them all, and Kitchen Basics is the tastiest and has a super-clean ingredient list. For added punch, you could reduce it by about 1/3.

OK, so hopefully this will help those who have wanted to try the potato diet hack but just can’t get over the extremely low palatability. But even if not, this is a simple dish (once everything is prepared and in your fridge) you’d be proud to serve to guests.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

33 Comments

  1. James H. on November 6, 2015 at 14:21

    The Potato Diet, and Elixa, has completely cured the chronic diarrhea I’ve had for many years. I started the Potato Diet about four weeks ago and it was slowly alleviating the problem. Today is Day 12 of the 24-day protocol of Elixa and the diarrhea has disappeared. Like, you know, gone, man. Vamoosed. Adios, muhfug. And I’m even losing weight again; six pounds in 10 days.

    My practice is to roast the taters at 350°F for an hour then cool and store them in the reefer. I usually warm them in a bit of olive oil, sometimes sautéing onions beforehand. Minced fresh garlic always accompanies the meal. I often heat bone broth with mushrooms and onions, adding the cold, cubed potatoes as you suggest. Occasionally I’ll toss in 1/4-cup of black beans to the potatoes and olive oil.

    I eat twice per day usually, occasionally only one meal. I usually take a quaff of kefir after the meal. Yesterday and today I’m drinking a mix of 3 quarts raw milk and 1 quart of kefir. I usually begin and end the day with a shake made of several prebiotics, including of course potato starch.

    Tangential: For years I’ve had a small bump on my hip at the belt line. I had it surgically removed many years ago but it returned after a few months. Oddly, after starting the Potato Diet, the bump began to slowly shrink and I think with the addition of Elixa the shrinkage has accelerated.

    I owe the paleosphere many thanks for improving my health but you and Karl Seddon are due the lion’s share of my gratitude.

    James H

    • Dan on November 9, 2015 at 14:11

      James, when you say “Elixa” what is that? Is it a food or a supplement of some kind?

  2. Karl S on November 6, 2015 at 15:30

    Hi James!

    That’s fantastic to hear!

    I recall your email from about 1 week ago and I am particularly happy that the results are persisting.

    I appreciate you sharing the progress here at FTA – our hub of all things gut health related 🙂

    Kind Regards,
    Karl (Elixa)

  3. NvN on November 6, 2015 at 20:33

    Got inspired by James’s comment. It’s high time I said thank you as well. My family and I went out to dinner tonight, and someone at the table made a remark about “all the carbs” we were eating. It took me a second to process it. Because to me, we were simply eating food. Not carbs, protein, fat, but food. It was really good Chinese. I was thinking about how much I was enjoying the meal when the carb comment came. The fact that it sounded so unnatural to me made me realize how far I have come. Mostly thanks to this blog.

    I used to be a skinny kid before moving to the US. Once here, I slowly started putting on weight. I was never overweight but people around me finally managed to convince me that I should get in a better shape, so I started lifting weights and eating moderate/low carb. I got lean but my health wasn’t perfect. Like many readers here, at some point I discovered I was gluten intolerant. I gave up wheat and felt much better.

    And then, a couple of year ago, I had a child. Because I couldn’t shake off those last 10 post-pregnancy pounds, my family got me to try keto. Slowly, I started being “that person”. Going on and on about macros, sugar, etc. Still, the weight wasn’t really budging in any sustainable way. On top of that, I had really low energy levels.

    I don’t remember how I found FTA. But I did. I was incredibly impressed by the iron article, so I started looking through the archives.

    Resistant starch supplementation? I’m always up for experimenting on myself, so I decided to try it. And that’s when I got my sleep back. The thing is, I had never realized how poor my sleep had been before. Restlessness, weird shaky leg sensations… Magnesium was kind-of/maybe-not-really helping. Potato starch fixed it. I was amazed. (And, whoa, those vivid dreams.) Something else got fixed, too. Prior to supplementing with RS, I was starting to have hypoglycemia issues. Initially, I thought it must have been because of pregnancy/nursing. I had no idea I was doing it to myself with all the low carb / keto silliness.

    RS was a success, so I kept on reading. Next thing that caught my eye? The potato hack. Whoa, what an idea. I loved it. I tried it. Well, kind of. Ok, don’t laugh. I actually stuck to my usual eggs/seafood/vegetable/fruit/dairy/meat breakfasts and lunches. The plan was to have only potatoes for dinner and late night snacks. So, after 3-4 PM it was just potatoes. I was hoping it would work because I tend to eat most of my food at night. And work it did. The first week I lost 3 pounds. It must have been a fluke, right? Water weight? Natural fluctuations? The following week? Down another 3 pounds. Then 2. And then 2 again. I got leaner than I’d ever been, with some serious ab definition. On top of that, I felt fantastic. More energetic, happier and stronger than, well, ever. How was it possible? How could it be so easy? The line on my weight loss chart looked unreal. I felt like I belonged in one of those ads: “doctors hate her: a local mom discovers how to lose weight effortlessly with this one trick.” The only explanation that made sense was that all those carbs gave me some terrible disease, which caused me to lose so much weight so fast. Either that or, well, maybe low carb wasn’t all it was cracked up to be?

    RS worked. Potatoes worked. So I kept reading. Elixa. That’s my current experiment. It’s been great so far. I have high hopes in terms of it making my food sensitivities go away. Most importantly, some things are starting to make sense.

    I had hyperemesis in pregnancy. It was like having stomach flu for 16 straight weeks, but without the temporary relief that vomiting gives you when you have a food poisoning. It was 10 times more difficult than an unmedicated childbirth. I remember reading about how populations that ate more grains had less hyperemesis. And I remember thinking this couldn’t have been in any way a real effect. Grains are evil, right? Anyway, that was just a correlation, who cares. So I never pursued that lead. Maybe it could have helped me? Maybe it could have led me to starch, resistant starch, gut bacteria?

    Then, I had antibiotics prior to giving birth and my baby was “colicky”. Despite my natural birth, nursing, etc. Maybe I could have helped him? Maybe if I had put my gut flora in order, I could have spared him some of the discomfort? I’m fixing it all now, and it’s benefiting him, too. I’m not sure how, but it is. I’ve noticed a big a difference. Especially ever since I’ve started Elixa. Does part of it make it to breastmilk? If it does, how does it make it where it needs to go? Anyway, we’re both healthier than ever and it’s thanks to RS, potatoes, Elixa and this blog. And I believe this is just the beginning. So much more to learn. (What if the microbiome is the answer to hyperemesis? Colic? Throwing it out there because these two are not likely to be problems Karl or you would be thinking about. But if Elixa, or some future iteration of it, helps with either of them, it will be huge to me and anyone who’s ever dealt with these issues.) So, again, thank you. And I’m looking forward to the microbiome book.

    • Karl S on November 10, 2015 at 13:23

      Hi NvN,

      Thank you for sharing this feedback!

      The whole topic of how a mother’s colonic microbiota can influence the microbiota within her breast milk is pretty fascinating. Not only does there seem to be a relay between the large intestine and the mammary glands, but also a link between the large intestine and the vaginal tract. This would explain why oral probiotics can influence thrush resolution.

      I think you are correct that several emetic conditions may be linked to the state of the gut flora. It is a GI response after all. Hormones (including exogeneous, such as birth control pill) can influence the gut flora, so it stands to reason that hormonal changes during pregnancy can (which is also established). So if the shift in flora was not favourable (or began from an unfavourable starting position), then it could begin the process ultimately leading to hyperemesis.

      Colic is something that has supposedly been proven NOT to be commonly caused by GI distress. However I personally do not see how some of the necessary variables could be measured. Bloating/gas production can be measured. Stool pH can be measured. Urine analysis can be performed. But I am not sure how they can measure pain within the large intestine. Not all pain would stem from gas buildup. Pain is the type of symptom that requires the patient to speak and describe. It can’t be measured quantitatively unless you start getting into EEGs and all that. When I had IBS I can say that the severe pain did not come with gas or bloating. Similarly, most people who experience excessive bloating and/or flatulence from beans (for example) would not be experiencing the kind of pain that people with UC (etc.) experience.

      Kind Regards,
      Karl (Elixa)

  4. gabkad on November 7, 2015 at 15:01

    Probably eating potatoes or complex carbs in the evening also stimulates growth hormone production hence better sleep. It’s not just melatonin. Low to nil growth hormone secretion by the pituitary gland is one of the reasons why older folks experience only a few hours of decent sleep per night.

  5. gabkad on November 7, 2015 at 16:49

    You could, without adding significant calories, kick it up a notch with sauerkraut that has shredded carrot in it. Tangy. (caraway seeds, a bit of bay leaf, peppercorns maybe. Depends on what’s in the sauerkraut.) Tangy (acid) slows down gastric emptying so it’ll stay around longer and be more satiating.

  6. Glenda on November 8, 2015 at 06:23

    My simple broth recipe: About once a year I buy beef bones and chicken feet from my local grass-fed meat & fowl rancher, and they are dirt-cheap. When I get them home I separate them into packages of one bone and a couple of feet, then put the packages in the freezer. When I run out of broth, I put one package contents into my crock pot when I get up in the morning, fill with water, add sea salt, put on low, then the night of the following day I consider it done, throw out the bone & feet, and refrigerate the broth. I know you can do more with the recipe, but I don’t bother, just keep it simple. NOTE: during the 48-hours of cooking, the “aroma” will fill your house = some find it delightful, a few think it stinks.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2015 at 07:20

      Hey glenda.

      Notice in my picture that the beef bones are all cut up. This hugely reduces cooking time. Got mine done in like 10 hours and it’s smashing. Also, it refrigerates to a complete gel, which is how you know you got it right. No chicken feet.

      Anyway, just thought I’d pass it along.

      • Glenda Moore on November 8, 2015 at 08:04

        I buy them all cut up, too, they’re anywhere from 3″ to 5″ in length and width, and the broth gels. I add chicken feet & cook for 2 days because I read somewhere that those two things make it better in some way or another, I think nutrient-wise, but I really don’t remember, maybe it was just somebody’s recipe… Next time I’ll put the crock-pot on high (since I put the bone & feet in frozen), and take it off the evening of the same day–thanks for the tips!



      • Simon on November 24, 2015 at 16:38

        Have to say I’ve never even thought about it before now. The temperature is higher by 20-30 °F but the cooking time is shorter, so maybe there’s a balance. There’s a 2007 study ( ) that showed pressure cooking broccoli resulted in less nutrient loss (Vitamin C and sulforaphane) than steaming or boiling. For longer cooking times like that of stock I would imagine the levels of any temperature sensitive nutrients to suffer so it may depend on the heat stability of whatever nutrients you are after. Minerals should be OK and my stock still gels so the gelatin also seems to remain intact.



      • Simon on November 24, 2015 at 06:05

        A pressure cooker would cut down the cooking time by about two thirds. I used to make all my stock on the hob but wouldn’t go back now; a pressure cooker is low faff, no skimming, uses less gas and results in a stronger end product. Not made beef stock for a while but you can crumble chicken leg bones between your fingers after they’ve been in the pressure cooker for 90 minutes.



      • Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2015 at 09:08

        I’ve got one, Simon, I’ll give it a try. Ran out of chicken last night, going to do beef today.

        My only concern is how high heat might compromise nutrition. Know anything about that?



      • Richard Nikoley on November 24, 2015 at 17:52

        Well, I’m not going to have it analyzed, but I’m waiting for my Fagor to depressurize now, so I can pop the lid.

        In addition to ginger root, green onion, yellow onion, carrots, medjool dates, crimini mushrooms, bay leaves and cardamon, I used about a pound of ox tales and a bit over a pound of cow femur sliced in 1/2 inch pieces.

        Should be tasty.



    • Simon on November 25, 2015 at 05:53

      How did it turn out?

      • Richard Nikoley on November 25, 2015 at 06:47

        Fail. Way too light and watery, and I cooked two hours under oressure with slight steam releasing. So dumped it all in the big stock pot, coverd it, and set it on low all night. Looks way better this morning when I turned it off.



      • Simon on November 25, 2015 at 09:25

        Two hours probably not enough for beef bones unless they’re thin, like ribs. All the recipes for pressure cooker stock I see online suggest way too short cooking times. I give my chicken bones 2 hours and would go for 4 or 5 with beef.



      • Richard Nikoley on November 25, 2015 at 09:30

        Maybe I’ll give another try next time.



  7. Corey on November 8, 2015 at 07:58

    Question about the potato diet that I can’t recall seeing mentioned – just how much potato is one supposed to eat each day? Just eat to satiety? I gather from what I’ve read that you’ll probably lose interest in eating before you manage to stuff yourself, but I’m curious if anyone has a specific amount of potato.

    Thanks.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2015 at 08:12

      Yea, that’s about it. Most find that they’ll be like 800-1,000 calories below maintenatance (this presumes little to no added fat).

      Curiously, most people drop way more weight than the numbers account for.

    • sassysquatch on November 9, 2015 at 05:40

      Corey. I usually eat around 4 Lbs of potatoes a day.

      I usually eat the yellow potatoes. I chop them in to fries, mix in a couple tbsp of coconut oil, salt and pepper to taste and bake on convection at 350 for about 55 minutes.

      Very tasty.

      • Corey on November 9, 2015 at 14:35

        4 Lbs? That seems like a ton to me. And with that volume you’re still able to drop weight? I assume you eat nothing but the potatoes, correct? I’m still trying to reprogram my brain from its low-carb mentality, so forgive me…

        But that french fries idea really sounds like a winner. I’d be worried that I could eat 10 pounds of fries.



      • sassysquatch on November 10, 2015 at 02:23

        There are around 400 calories in a pound of taters. Add in the 200 calories for the coconut oil and that’s around 1800 calories.

        I always make around 4 lbs. Sometimes I eat them all and sometimes a few are left.

        But yes, when I do a 2 to 5 day potato hack, that’s about all I will eat.

        I’m a big, fairly muscular guy, so I can eat quite a bit and still lose weight.



  8. Jamesmooney on November 8, 2015 at 09:17

    I would love to see some before and afters of this potato hack- There are a ton of photos out there of people who went “paleo” or low carb and made significant body comp changes. I don’t see one person posting these amazing results from potatoes only- words yes, photos no.

  9. johnbennett on November 10, 2015 at 13:40

    @sassysquatch
    400 cal/lb – I assume that’s as a cooked potato, based on it’s starch content. Wouldn’t the calorie content be reduced once its converted to (mostly) resistant starch? But then what would the calorie value be for the beta-hydroxybuterate that gets absorbed in the gut?

    • sassysquatch on November 11, 2015 at 12:25

      johnbennett

      When you say ‘mostly’ converted to RS – I assume you mean once they are cooled in the refrigerator? I’m no expert, but I believe the ‘conversation’ to RS is just a percent or 2….but like I say, I could be wrong.

      I prefer my taters freshly cooked and eaten. I rarely cool them down in a refrigerator.

  10. kayumochi on November 13, 2015 at 10:23

    Did the potato hack summer of 2013 I think it was, not long after the resistant starch discussion got going here at FTA. Two weeks with nothing but potatoes and potato starch. Looking back I don’t see how I did it and doubt I could do or would want to do it that long again. I was lean and muscular then and simply wanted to see what would happen if I ate only potatoes and am quite sure my gut biome was permanently affected as my weight did drop and I never gained it back. Now that my gut biome is that much more healthy after several years have gone by and after doing two rounds of Elixa this year I am tempted to give the potato hack another go just to see what will happen. Maybe 5 days or so at the first of the year.

  11. Evolutionarily on November 16, 2015 at 20:58

    Out of interest Richard how do you store that 120oz of broth; do you freeze any? Thanks

    • Richard Nikoley on November 17, 2015 at 07:12

      In the fridge, because we’re going through it in about a week. That batch made soup for two of us three evenings, with sometimes a half bowl left for lunch the next day, plus about 6 mugs of straight broth, which is damn delicious. Excellent alternative to morning coffee.

  12. Perplex on May 29, 2017 at 22:10

    Hi, Sorry but I don’t get it. Isn’t it a potatoes “only” diet??? If you add whatever in it, it becomes just a regular meal doesn’t it?? Or is having potatoes every day just enough to qualify, in which case all the burger and fries lovers should loose weight, which they surely don’t! Could someone explain as obviously I missed something. Tx!!

    • Richard Nikoley on May 30, 2017 at 08:06

      Strict is potatoes only, but what that really means is no other significant calories. So, some use a bit of condiment. Beef stock has very few added calories.

    • Perplex on May 31, 2017 at 03:14

      Ok, thanks! Sounds bloody good!

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