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The Starch Solution - A Book Review

The Starch Solution - potatoesImage by congerdesign from Pixabay

What's The Starch Solution?

The Starch Solution is a review of the book by Dr. John McDougall about how a plant-based diet can help with all kinds of health issues, including autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. We just started eating plant-based because of other health reasons which we'll talk about later, and found out that it has been helping people with MS to reduce symptoms and relapses. Wow!

We found this book after delving more into plant-based eating to help heal our bodies. We'd watched The Game Changers, and weren't that interested in getting enough protein from veggies as athletes. We needed something to help Cir with chronic pain and neuropathy from MS, and me for digestive problems, heart disease, and high blood pressure, among other things. 

If we could become more healthy, this was more than enough motivation to try this way of eating. I was super excited because potatoes are my favorite food. That and other starches have always appealed to me as comfort foods. And according to Dr. McDougall, they are the cornerstone of how the world eats. 

It makes total sense that the foods most people eat around the world are the starches which are so readily available - potatoes, rice, beans, corn, and wheat. His research and that of other doctors over the years, has shown that eating these foods are key to good health and sustaining life as we know it today.

Beans - Image by Pexels from PixabayImage by Pexels from Pixabay

The Starch Solution explains in detail why starches are so important to our health because of the way it helps our gut microbiome to be it's best. If our microbiome is the best it can be due to the type of foods we eat, then our bodies will be able to generate optimum health and wellness.

Bottom line, we feel better since we've adopted this way of eating. And it's not about what we can't eat, it's about the incredible variety of healthy whole foods that we get to choose from everyday. I'm like a kid in a toy store when I go grocery shopping. I've always been attracted to the beautiful colors in the fruit and vegetable aisles. They make my mouth water and send my creative juices into overdrive when I think of what I can make with the choices I make.

Long Story Short

The Starch Solution is part explanation of the concept, part cookbook. Dr. McDougall talks about how eating starch has "unlocked the door to good health for thousands of (his) patients over the last four decades, allowing them to lose excess weight and heal from diet-related illnesses, like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and inflammatory arthritis."

A wonderful side-effect - losing weight without exercising (although we both exercise) - is a welcome one. I've been trying to take off some of the extra pounds that have crept up over the years, and am happy that without even trying, the weight has fallen off over the last few months. 

I'm not hungry and Cir - because of dental surgery, has a simplified way of eating that is helping him deal with the pain he has been feeling for the last several years. "Beyond shedding excess weight almost effortlessly, you will look better, feel better, function better, and live better."

sweet potato chips - Image by Bernadette Wurzinger from PixabayImage by Bernadette Wurzinger from Pixabay

By "avoiding free oils (oils that have been separated from the foods that originally contained them), like olive and corn oil, and eliminating animal foods from the diet, more than 70 percent of people with inflammatory arthritis are dramatically improved or cured altogether." The same results also translated to other inflammatory autoimmune disease like multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, lupus, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, and more.

There are many stories of people healing themselves just by including more starches in their diets and removing animal products and avoiding oils on his website - www.drmcdougall.com. (This link opens a new window)

I know it may seem like another fad diet, however, we don't look at it like that. And you may have also read other pages here about other diets we've tried. And we must admit that we've only seriously been doing this for about 3 months (as of March 2022 depending on when you've arrived at this page).

We have both lost over 30 lbs each and feel so much better. Cir's pain (which he's had almost 24/7) has diminished for the first time in several years - a huge change and a reason to keep going. 

scale - Image by Vidmir Raic from PixabayImage by Vidmir Raic from Pixabay

If you'd like to check it out, here is the link to the book on Amazon. You can get it as a Kindle book, paperback, hardcover, or Audible book, whichever is easiest for you. I could go on and on, but it's probably best that you peruse his site and maybe download a sample of the book to read about it on your own. 

We're recommending this lifestyle change to anyone who has health problems because food is the real medicine. It's something we've known for years, however, this is the first time we've actually put it into action and the results are nothing short of amazing. 

We hope to add a few of our favorite starch based recipes from the McDougall Cookbook app (yep, there's even an app!) once we've tried out a few more. We had fluffy pancakes this morning! Delish! And if you already have tried The Starch Solution, please share your recipe favorites with us below.

My MS Recipe

Please note that all fields followed by an asterisk must be filled in.

A few tips for following The Starch Solution

You may be thinking that this is going to be so hard to do - eating plant-based, no oil, no dairy, no animal products. Plus eliminating processed foods and eating whole foods may be challenging, as well. Here are a few tips if you want to move forward and try this.

  • Frozen veggies (easy to cook because they're already chopped and ready to cook)
  • Read labels (if you buy things like sauces or breads, be sure to read labels to make sure there are no added oils - we've made that mistake several times)
  • Get an Instant Pot - opens a new window (this has made cooking veggies and beans so much easier and not to mention quick)
  • Look for low fat, oil-free vegan whole food plant-based recipes (these are popping up all over YouTube)
  • Find 10 to 20 starched based recipes that you and your family love to eat and rotate them (double them and freeze the other half for later)

Go from The Starch Solution  back t- A Book Review back to Book Reviews.

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Cir & Akrista

You are reading original content written by Akrista or Cir L'Bert of Life in Spite of MS. If you enjoyed reading this blog, please consider following us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. See you there!

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