November 28, 2010 in City

Potato-only dieter nears 60-day goal

Dee Riggs Wenatchee World
 

For 60 days, Chris Voigt has been on a potatoes-only diet, and he laments that “no matter how you cook them, they’re always that same soft texture.”

On Tuesday, when his diet ends, he’s going for crunch.

“An apple is just calling my name,” said the executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission.

On Oct. 1, Voigt began his quest of eating 20 potatoes a day and nothing else.

He did it, he said, because he wanted to show the U.S. Department of Agriculture that potatoes have great nutritional value.

The USDA has recently revamped its rules for people on the WIC program, which provides food assistance to people with children. It opened its coffers to purchases of fruits and vegetables – but not potatoes.

Voigt said he doesn’t know why potatoes were excluded.

“I wanted to show the USDA that ‘You’ve got this wrong. The potato is so nutritious that you can literally live on them for an extended period of time without any adverse impact on your health.’ ”

And how does Voigt feel?

“Great,” he said. “I have lots of energy, no weird side effects and I sleep good at night.”

The Moses Lake resident noted that his cholesterol dropped from 214 to 162 about 30 days in, and he’ll have more blood work done this coming week. His weight has also dropped about 18 pounds from 197.

In addition, he said, he always feels full after a meal of spuds.

“Potatoes rank very high in satiety,” he said.

So how did Voigt fare on Thanksgiving? He and his children cooked up some mashed potatoes and sculpted some of them into the shape of a turkey, then coated it in oil and baked it. They also dyed some of the mashers orange, added some spices and placed them in a pie plate, garnished along the edges with white mashed potatoes.

The dishes tasted fine, Voigt said, but he quickly recites all the other dishes on the table, where his family ate a traditional turkey dinner.

“I remember the sights and smells of the turkey, the pumpkin pies, the sweet yams and the green bean casserole,” he said.

And yes, Voigt sat with the family and watched them eat all those goodies.

“I thought it would be a painful experience but it actually wasn’t so bad. It’s funny, I have my good days and my bad days, and I was having one of my good days.”

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