Summer 2017 Potato Hack…Gut Health

Lots and lots of people report fewer gut problems while doing the potato hack. Chronic heartburn and indigestion vanish. Constipation and irritable bowel conditions lessen.

The potato hack is providing more fiber–the right kind of fiber–than most people ever experience. Even Vegans don’t get as much prebiotic fiber as the average potato hacker. This is especially true when you eat some of your potatoes under cooked, or cooked-then-cooled. These methods create resistant starch which can triple the potato’s fiber content.

It appears, too, that when you eat only potatoes for a couple days, the probiotic bacteria in your gut…the good fellas…thrive. This creates more diversity in the gut than you’d get from eating dozens of different foods daily.  A gut with high diversity and high numbers of starch-eating bacteria is a healthy gut. This is the gut that gives the promised immune system improvements, the gut that prevents autoimmune diseases, and the gut that keeps you at a healthy weight.

You can keep these benefits going after your potato hack by including lots of high fiber/high RS foods daily.  Beans, rice, potatoes, and green bananas. Extra points if you cook and cool them before you eat. All can be made ahead of time and served as leftovers or used as a base of a meal. And don’t forget whole grains, nuts, and seeds. These will keep your gut happiest. If not, you have problems that maybe the potato hack will help cure.

To the Gut Bugs!

Tim Steele


45 Comments on “Summer 2017 Potato Hack…Gut Health”

  1. Steve August 4, 2017 at 4:14 am #

    I noticed my gout is all but non-existant since I did the hack and since I’ve included potatoes (often cooled or room-temp0 in my diet. After years of trying just about every diet and fad it basically comes back to meat, potatoes and 2 vegies which I was brought up on. Probably count me in for the August hack, I will be working 2 days of the fast but that’s no big deal.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kbseddon August 4, 2017 at 4:27 am #

    I couldn’t agree more, Tim.
    The Potato Hack is like a pure form of the Starch Solution by McDougall.
    It’s only supposed to be a hack but I think with just the occasional bit of meat, it can sustain any human, with any lifestyle, indefinitely. Even the meat is only really necessary if you’re aiming to pack on muscle rapidly (1kg a month).

    ‘The potato hack is providing more fiber–the right kind of fiber–than most people ever experience. Even Vegans don’t get as much prebiotic fiber as the average potato hacker. ‘

    100% agree. And to add further clarification for other readers I would say:
    ‘Even Vegans don’t get as much prebiotic fiber (**for which they have the necessary microbial species present in their gut able to ferment those particular fibers**) as the average potato hacker.’
    Because I think the biggest reason that the potato hack is so much more prebiotic is due to the simplicity and availability of the substrate in question (RS). As opposed to complex polysaccharides found in other vegetables, requiring numerous different microbial species working in concert. If just one is missing, it can prevent the reduction of the substrate into the desirable end-product. Art Ayers makes this point (and the following point) very nicely in some of his articles.

    ‘This creates more diversity in the gut than you’d get from eating dozens of different foods daily. A gut with high diversity and high numbers of starch-eating bacteria is a healthy gut.’
    Many people may glance over this statement without further consideration. And those who consider further may find it counterintuitive. But it’s an important statement. It goes back to the idea that constant variation in diet selects for only the generalists and reduces diversity. The constant stops and starts of different fiber substrates, constantly sabotages attempts for complex ‘production lines’ of microbes to proliferate in concert and form stable biofilm communities (because their food supply is constantly changing!).
    -Karl (ELIXA)


    • Stuart C August 4, 2017 at 5:00 am #


      What do you think of fecal transplant services such as http://taymount.com for those missing some of the key bacteria?



      • kbseddon August 4, 2017 at 5:44 am #

        Conceptually, I think it’s perfect. It would pave the way to the resolution of 90%+ of all health conditions that afflict people. Not just the serious ones, but also the mild ones: feeling better in the morning when you wake up, sleeping deeper, not having bad breath, not getting tired in the mid-afternoon, perfect skin, perfect bowel movements, etc..
        Those aren’t classed as proper medical conditions, but they would certainly add up to a huge improvement in quality of life for billions of people. And times that improvement in QOL by a factor of 10 for people suffering from serious medical conditions (depression, Crohns, epilepsy, autism, IBS, etc.).

        So, conceptually, I think that it’s the most important thing in all of health: the replacement of a functional, diverse microbiota.

        However, in practice, FMT has issues with expense, convenience, invasiveness, and taboo.
        It also still has a gap between theoretical potential and actual results. I think that is more a case of not being convenient enough for people to do for the duration and consistency (in parallel with a great diet) that will be required to cause permanent adoption of all the new flora into stable biofilms.

        I have no doubt that Taymount Clinic is among the best, if not THE best place, to get FMT done. But the expense, practicality, and taboo issues still apply. I also think the adoption of a prebiotic diet is essential. At least in the few weeks during and following the FMT course. I perhaps slightly disagree with a couple of their pre-FMT preparation recommendations. I think the colon cleansing is either unnecessary or excessive. I think evacuating a colon on any number more than one solitary instance prior to an FMT, is not useful. One correct evacuation should be all that is needed, if indeed evacuation is required. Doing multiple evacuations over multiple days leading up the the first FMT, does not make sense. New substrate arrives in the intestine all the time. And the idea of residual build-up (or something like that) in the intestine is a myth. However, I do not know their justifications for recommending this. There may be some ulterior things relating to the realities of patient compliance, etc.

        Ideally, the missing microbes could be consumed in a pill.
        That’s my personal aim with my company. The current version of Elixa may well be significantly better than the majority of other offerings, however it is still a long long way from what I am aiming for. It has always been the plan to arrive at a probiotic of 100+ (RELEVANT) species.

        In the future, probiotics will replace FMT and the ensuing explosion of increased adoption (a million times as many people would take a probiotic vs an FMT) will demonstrate how significant gut health really is and major shifts in the medical world and economy will ensue. That’s how significant the potential of all this is.

        -Karl (ELIXA)


        • Stuart C August 4, 2017 at 8:42 am #

          Exciting times ahead! Thanks for the response.


        • Tim Steele August 4, 2017 at 10:01 am #

          Hey, Karl! Thanks for the kind words and comments. I agree that we need a pill filled with actual gut microbes and not just the commonly recognized probiotics. There’s a long road ahead though. First each species must get GRAS approval to be used in supplements and then someone has to start breeding and producing the strains and figuring out how to make each one survive. To make matters worse, the right species with the wrong genes can be just as bad as a pathogen.


      • Tim Steele August 4, 2017 at 9:57 am #

        I wish the world would wake up and get moving on fecal transplants. Right now they are only approved for C.diff infections, but I believe they have the possibility of being a game-changer for many conditions.


        • kbseddon August 4, 2017 at 12:53 pm #

          People in the UK are fortunate that Taymount appears to be allowed to use FMT for a wide range of conditions.
          I imagine they get quite a few international visitors because of this.


    • Wilbur August 4, 2017 at 10:37 am #

      Karl –

      Count me as one of those who still think that Ayers’ statement is counterintuitive. However I agree with what you say 100%!

      I agree that people who do not already have bacteria able to break down many different fiber types shouldn’t immediately eat dozens per day.

      BUT, what you are saying about diversity – and what seems right to me – is the issue of starting and stopping different fiber substrates. I eat probably 20-25 powdered vegetables/fruits high in fiber every day. Plus pure fiber substrates. But the key is Every Day. The same ones. I don’t start and stop. So I agree with the starting and stopping issue, but not the issue of diversity.

      So I’d say the potato hack is great because it’s a relatively simple fiber type and because it provides the same fiber type every day. That promotes gut diversity for people who have poor gut diversity. And over a period of time, the potato hack would likely do better.

      But I don’t believe it follows that the potato hack will increase gut diversity in someone already able to digest lots of fiber types AND who is very consistent in eating them day after day.

      Also, given sufficient time, maybe the gut can begin to adapt to diversity. I started with one type (inulin) and added every couple of weeks or so. I’d stop a fiber if I had problems, but I’ve mastered them all now. I can’t see that happening with the potato hack. I mastered some fibers types (dandelion root and yuca root) by suffering symptoms (diarrhea) until it stopped. I now have them every single day.

      I’ve often been asked if I could ever stop. I don’t know because I haven’t stopped. My guess is that I’d be ok for a while, but then things would start changing. I don’t want things to change.

      Another advantage of the potato hack is that it keeps people away from preservatives, chemicals, and artificial stuff that probably hurts diversity!

      Anyway, my thoughts.


      • Wilbur August 4, 2017 at 11:23 am #

        Not yuca root. Yuca root was a bad one for a while.


        • Wilbur August 4, 2017 at 11:24 am #

          Autocorrect is killing me! Yacon root!


      • kbseddon August 4, 2017 at 12:42 pm #

        Hey Wilbur! 🙂
        I agree with you and I think that where people may be unaligned on this issue is due to the distinction between *variety on a plate* versus *variation from day to day*. I am fairly sure that Art Ayers means precisely what we are talking about here. He’s talking about chopping and changing diet causing stops and starts of different substrates.
        He is a proponent of consuming a wide varitey of complex polysaccharides in his anti-inflammatory diet.

        As you mention, having a diverse range of substrates – assuming it is maintained consistently – could not lead to a lower microbial diversity. At the least it would *equal* that of RS consumption alone. And in the majority of cases it would be *superior* to RS consumption alone.
        Having said that, RS consumption *alone* would almost always be superior to non-starch polysaccharides *alone*.

        So I think we’re all in agreement and that it’s just a case of the word ‘variety’ being used in two different contexts. (a varied cuisine vs. a constantly varying diet).

        Your last comment is a very good point for people to remember: The potato hack is just as much about what it OMITS as what it includes (imo). Gone are gluten, simple sugars, vegetable oil, etc.
        The simplicity of the diet makes it very good as an experiment to establish what may or may not be contributing to any problems you have because you remove so many conflicting variables.

        -Karl (ELIXA)


        • Tim Steele August 4, 2017 at 1:06 pm #

          Karl said, “The potato hack is just as much about what it OMITS as what it includes (imo). Gone are gluten, simple sugars, vegetable oil, etc.”

          I have said over and over that when a person eats nothing but potatoes for a week or so, they are eating the healthiest diet they have probably ever eaten since they were weaned from breast milk.

          Unless it’s been contaminated with pesticides or other chemicals, a potato is the most complete food you can get in one package. People doing these Whole 30 and other detox diets have too much choice and they end up eating in a way that’s counterproductive. We need to only look as far as babies…they only have one item on their menu for the first 6-12 months.


        • Wilbur August 4, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

          Yes, I do think that we all agree. And I think we’d agree it’s all so utterly fascinating! I love your goal and the progress you’ve made. At the same time, I’m glad I started when I had to make my own guesses. I might not be where I am otherwise.

          “He is a proponent of consuming a wide varitey of complex polysaccharides in his anti-inflammatory diet.”

          I’m seeing more and more (maybe because I’m looking) that geneticists and oncologists are recommending diets very diverse in plants to, hopefully, avoid cancer. A little bit of everything and not a lot of anything. To get as large as possible selection of phytochemicals and other stuff going through the system. Of course, diversity with consistency.


      • Curtisy August 5, 2017 at 10:33 am #

        Hi, Wilbur–I am curious about the “20-25 powdered vegetables/fruits high in fiber” that you consume every day, plus pure fiber substrates.” Could you specify what those are? I am interested in increasing gut diversity. Thank you.


        • Wilbur August 5, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

          Let’s see if I can get them all: raw potato starch, baobab, green banana flour, amla, amazing green grass, maca, dandelion root, yacon root, moringa leaf, noni fruit, blue-green algae, Hawthorne Berry, chia seed, psyllium husk, and ground flaxseed. That’s in my fiber drink. In capsule form I take a variety of mushroom powders, marshmallow root, milk thistle, blackseed, turmeric, and black seed. I eat eggs nearly every morning, and those always have cumin and black pepper. Most days I have an omelette which contains lots of garlic, red onion, and carrot greens. A spoonful of miso and a big forkful of sauerkraut or kimchi. I use provolone cheese in my omelette.

          That’s breakfast!

          My fiber drink also contains the pure fibers: inulin, GOS, larch arabinogalactan, partially hydrogenated guar gum, and glucomannan.

          The above is the constant part of my diet. Below is the variety part.

          I do not eat lunch, but I might eat a few nuts if I want to. I rotate among pistachios, walnuts, pecans, Brazil, and sprouted almonds (the best!).

          I usually drink tea or herbal tea in the afternoon. It varies quite a lot. I’m a big fan of Republic of Tea, and have probably 50 different ones. Teas are prebiotic too.

          A beer most afternoons, and wine with dinner. Good craft beers, not sterilized mass produced ones. I favor intense, thick reds. An everyday red I like is Gnarleyhead Authentic Black. It’s less than $10, but is great with lots of stuff!

          Dinner varies. Last night’s was typical: Appetizer of green gazpacho (tomatillos, poblano peppers, cucumber, garlic, and shrimp). Entree:
          Copper River sockeye wild salmon (Tim – are you close? My favorite fish!) sautéed in butter, white rice with squid ink, raw okra, and cherry tomatoes. Dessert: Whole blackberries and blueberries.

          And since it was Friday, a glass of Scotch!


          • Wilbur August 5, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

            Knew I’d miss one: I drink very strong, black coffee from a small company that sources them directly (George Howell). A few cups in the morning, but I’ll sip the cold stuff through the day.


          • Wilbur August 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

            Also forgot beta glucans as an every day one.


            • Curtisy August 5, 2017 at 4:00 pm #

              Thanks, Wilbur! Have you managed to find a product that combines all those things, and if so, what is the name of it?


  3. Rohan August 4, 2017 at 5:20 am #

    Hi Tim

    I’ve started today. I’m doing a three day hack over the weekend while my son is away on holiday.

    So far so good. I’ve been eating too much food and drinking too many beers and it’s taking it’s toll on my waistline. To be fair I’ve enjoyed the plain taste of potatoes and they really are filling.

    I’m hoping this is going to give my gut a rest and help reset my appetite. It’s not that I eat badly, but you can easily overeat nuts, whole grain, olive oil, etc.

    Thanks for reminding me of this hack. I’m rereading your book.

    Best regards


    ⁣Sent from BlueMail ​


  4. Robert August 4, 2017 at 8:38 am #


    I tried Elixa with good results 2 months ago, although the effects are not permanent. Is it feasible that Elixa would work like an antidepressant? With the serotonin in the gut and all? I tried to dig deeper, but it’s hard to find anything concrete. Some say the serotonin produced in the gut can’t reach the brain, and so can’t influence it.


    • kbseddon August 4, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

      Hi Robert,
      Some of the numbers floated around regarding % of neurotransmitter production in the gut are misleading because they are functioning as modulators of peristalsis and other more ‘mundane’ processes than inducing euphoria, lol!
      An uplift in mood is a very common item of feedback regarding Elixa.
      There are several mechanisms that I believe could be responsible for the gut connection with depression. Although I am not sure which (one, two, all) of the mechanisms are responsible in practice, I AM sure that the gut is the root of depression.

      The mechanisms vary from the simple: translocation of LPS into the bloodstream inducing systemic generalised inflammation (which I would more accurately label as innate immune response, as opposed to an antigen-specific response), all the way to autoimmune attack on 5HT receptors, etc.
      It could even be a neurotoxic byproduct being manufactured in the gut (similar to autobrewery syndrome), which is even simpler.
      Autoinflammation is interesting to me. I want to further my understanding of it. It is distinct from autoimmunity insofar as innate vs adaptive.

      I also have some hunches regarding sulfate reducing bacteria and various neuro conditions, including seizures and temporal lobe phenomena.
      Will make some vids on this stuff.


      -Karl (ELIXA)


      • Curtisy August 5, 2017 at 10:40 am #

        Hi Karl–I am really looking forward to those videos, and I am a big believer in Elixa, as you know!

        In the meantime, I’d like to better understand your comment, “The mechanisms vary from…translocation of LPS into the bloodstream inducing systemic generalised inflammation (which I would more accurately label as innate immune response, as opposed to an antigen-specific response), all the way to autoimmune attack on 5HT receptors, etc.
        It could even be a neurotoxic byproduct being manufactured in the gut (similar to autobrewery syndrome), which is even simpler.”

        Could you expand upon this a bit more? Thank you!


        • kbseddon August 6, 2017 at 1:53 pm #

          Hi Curtisy!
          That’s a LOT to expand on, haha 😉
          It will be the subject of the aforementioned vids.
          It basically covers all of the three primary mechanisms by which a dysbiosis affects health (imo).
          In fact I would like to separate them even less; resolve them down to just one single mechanism.
          But I do think 3 is about the minimum – innate immune system effects, adaptive immune system effects, and endogenous/intestinal chemical production. The middle one, in particular, contains a lot of material.
          Kind Regards,


          • Curtisy August 6, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

            Thanks, Karl! Well, I will have to wait for the videos, I guess. I am definitely looking forward to them and hope we will see them soon! Thanks–


  5. Stephen August 4, 2017 at 9:06 am #

    Fasted, in the morning, I have a shake consisting of 1tbsp of acacia, 1tbs inulin, 1tbsp phgg, 1-2 tsp larch, 1tbsp wheat dextrin, 1tsp of glucomannon. In the pm, I do 1tbsp acacia, 1tbsp inulin, 1tsp of psyllium powder. Do you think this is a good idea or is it overkill?


  6. Pamela August 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm #

    If I may, I would like to ask you Gut Gurus to suggest the most effective way to do a potato hack if, like me, one does not want to lose weight or body fat. I’m on board with the gut benefits of the PH and incorporating generous amounts of potato in the daily diet (mine has been free of processed foods and other junk for some years).

    I’ve done a few 3-day hacks and haven’t been able to reach adequate caloric intake on potatoes alone. To avoid losing weight I have included moderate amounts of fats, mainly olive and avocado oils (and have also continued with my long-standing fiber concoctions of various powders in combination with a bit of fermented food).

    It seems to me that I’ve benefited from my modified hacks, but this post has me wondering if there’s a better way to maintain weight while potato hacking. Does oil significantly blunt the positive effects of a hack?


    • Tim Steele August 6, 2017 at 6:27 am #

      That’s a great question! I would think that for gut health and not weight loss, one could simply just replace nearly all of their normal fruit and vegetable intake with potatoes for a couple days, and eat normally otherwise. You could even cook the potatoes however you like, ie. fried in bacon fat or butter.

      It sounds like you have your diet under control, but maybe have some lingering gut issues? Try a week or two of potatoes as your only vegetable, even stop taking any supplemental fiber/RS. Add a course of Elixa during this period, too. And eat a big serving of yogurt daily.

      Are there any specific problems you need to address?


      • Pamela August 6, 2017 at 3:09 pm #

        Thanks for the reply, Tim. The thought of giving up supplemental fibers is a bit frightening. Like Wilbur, I’ve built up my arsenal over a long stretch of time and haven’t stopped. But perhaps a short experiment wouldn’t hurt. Certainly it would be instructive. And I like the idea of an occasional re-set.

        No, I don’t have any specific problems I’m aiming to resolve. I’m simply looking to extend the long run of improvements I’ve experienced by tinkering with diet and focusing on RS (energy, immunity, mood, digestion). …… But wait . . . . . Now that I think about it, there are a couple of issues I’d like to deal with.

        I had to abandon potato starch several years ago because it was turning bad dreams into horrific nightmares. That problem has gradually eased as I’ve added different fibers and loads of cooked-and-cooled potatoes, but there’s still room for improvement.

        Second thing is that I’ve developed an abundance of throat mucus (maybe it’s post-nasal drip). This seems to have occurred in step with the increase in RS — it’s getting worse not better. I know that in Chinese medicine an excess of starch is associated with an excess of mucus, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to reduce my RS intake to find out if it’s the culprit. (I’m nowhere near the levels of Wilbur and some others here.)


        • Tim Steele August 6, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

          What a predicament! If you are happy, just keep on keeping on. I think what most people need is a really long run of good eating and feeling good. no sense in making drastic changes if you are eating lots of fiber, weight-stable, and feeling good.


        • Wilbur August 6, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

          I think there are some people who should not do the potato hack (sorry, Tim). Not that there is anything wrong with it, but that it just doesn’t fit some people. I’m one of them. I need saturated fats that the potato hack doesn’t provide. No big deal. Others benefit, and I am happy for them.

          Regarding your dreams: I am still in the early stages of this, but I’ve had some interesting experience. First, I’ve found that RS and fiber in general makes dreams vivid, long, and memorable. Dreams like losing my daughter in a NY subway that seems to span days. Terrible. It often spans several sleep-wake cycles too.

          Here’s the interesting part. I’ve gotten into self-hypnosis. It really works! My favorite book is “The Science of Self-Hypnosis” by Adam Eason. The crazy thing is that I can say to myself that “I don’t want to dream this.” So I don’t. But it goes beyond that. For one, I’ve leaned how to go to sleep in any environment in less than a minute. That’s pretty cool!

          I can’t speak to the mucus. Except maybe try GOS?


          • Pamela August 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

            Thanks for your thoughts, Wilbur. I may be one of those who ought not potato hack, at least not in its pure form. After a long period of keeping fats as low as possible, I found that I function better with a moderate amount – not swimming-in-it paleo quantities but to taste – so when I’ve done potato hacks, I’ve included judicious amounts (along with some other no-no’s like dark chocolate and bananas). While a strict PH is mighty tempting (as a fast-like re-set) and I might feel okay with it, I would likely lose weight and body fat, which I really can’t afford to do.

            Yeah, the dreams – in my case, nightmares – are amazing. Some are seemingly epic length with convoluted plots that would do John le Carre or Raymond Chandler proud and remarkably detailed. Interesting that you mentioned self-hypnosis. Long, long ago I underwent medical hypnosis and later some amateur sessions. Quite effective. Unfortunately I’ve never been very successful with self-hypnosis. But several weeks ago I started to work on it again, in part to deal with the dream problem. It seems to be helping, but I think I need to make a more concentrated effort. I ought to dust off my books and tapes.


            • Curtisy August 6, 2017 at 6:10 pm #

              Does anyone know why resistant starch supposedly causes these protracted bad dreams? What is it about the RS effects on the brain (which I assume would be positive) that would account for this?


              • Fiona August 6, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

                I don’t exactly know why RS would do this but there is a book by Kathleen DeMaison called Potato not Prozac that is excellent (I have a copy) and she promotes a program of which the 4th step is adding a potato 3 hours after the evening meal. It is instrumental in helping with sleeping well and dreaming. She says it is important to get the quantity correct – too much and the dreams are “too much” or too little and there is no benefit. She has a website and forum if you wanted to check it out. Lots of interesting information on there. I particularly like her research articles she has on her site.


              • Robert August 6, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

                Here’s one interesting hypothesis:


                Lots of people experience the dreaming when starting RS, but then the effects fade away, and that’s also what happened to me. I wonder why that is, a good hypothesis should explain this phenomenon also.


            • Wilbur August 7, 2017 at 5:48 am #

              Pamela – I’ve experienced those dreams! And others, like a long, boring trip to the grocery store. Even more boring than real life!

              I have read that all hypnosis is self-hypnosis. I have not been professionally hypnotized, and recorded sessions don’t seem to work for me. I keep losing focus.

              I have several things that work for me. Concentrating on breathing, of course.at night, I have a sound machine that has ocean sounds with random waves or prairie wind with random gusts. Listening for the random sounds puts me under. I enjoy it so much though that I’ve learned how to just go under when I’m still and not interacting with anybody.

              Another way that’s been successful for me is reading scripts for self-hypnosis, as in this book

              However, I find the scripts to be so relaxing that I find it hard to continue reading. I usually stop and close my eyes for a few minutes between sentences!

              I’ve also been interested in lucid dreaming. I’ve found that I hypnotize myself to sleep in early mornings, I very frequently have a lucid dream. My personal test for knowing if I’m dreaming is whether I can read. In my lucid dreams, I can see words and numbers, but I can’t them and they have no meaning. Whatever part of my brain gives meaning is asleep. Others have different tests. A fun thing to do is to ask people in your dreams who they are. Some answers were very interesting. But one was “Um, I think I’m just a character in your dream.”


          • Tim Steele August 6, 2017 at 8:12 pm #

            Oh, sure. If you have your diet dialed-in, your weight stable, and your gut is fine then there is no need for such a thing as the potato hack. The people who need it worst are the ones hardest to convince…those eating SAD and with digestive problems, inflammation, and autoimmune diseases.

            As to why RS effects dreams, good or bad, I think that it is all in the gut. Substances produced that cause deep sleep and dreams. People having bad dreams possibly have a more stressful life? I find it hard to believe there’d be a set of gut bacteria that could cause bad dreams and another that causes good.

            Prior to my fiber experimentation, I rarely dreamed or remembered them. Now I have longer, more memorable dreams. I cannot really recall having a bad dream in long time, but they happen. Usually involving a spider or being stalked, lol.


            • Tanya August 7, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

              For both my kids, nightmares (as an every night thing, not just a once in a while deal) have corresponded to other signs of wonky digestion and have gone away when I’ve made changes that showed other signs of improved digestion.

              How? I haven’t a clue. I’ve heard of other parents with kids whose nightmares stopped when a specific food was eliminated, but for mine, it seemed a more general digestion thing.

              I don’t really understand how gut bacteria can cause anxiety-type or depressive symptoms to go up or down, but maybe those types of changes can also color whether our dreams are scary or pleasant.


              • Pamela August 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

                The nightmares are a mystery to me. The only connection I’ve been able to make for myself is that there’s generally an inverse relationship between stress during the day and bad dreams at night (e.g., during a particularly stressful patch earlier this year I slept better than usual). I’ll continue to monitor the situation and try different approaches.

                Wilbur, in your most recent comment you included some sort of excerpt, but I could only see: “We’re sorry. We weren’t able to load the preview.” Do you have a link to the material?


                • Wilbur August 7, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

                  When I viewed my comment, I was surprised to see a view of the cover of the book, which, when clicked, brings up its Introduction. Interesting.

                  The title of the book, available through Amazon, is “Self-Hypnosis as You Read” by Forbes Robbin Blair.


                  • Pamela August 7, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

                    Thanks, Wilbur. I guess my browser controls are too strict for me me to see the book cover. I just made a quick search at Amazon and Google books. This looks terrific.


      • Frank August 8, 2017 at 3:30 am #

        Hi Tim! I second the question about the “modified potato hack” for someone who doesn’t need to lose weight (to the contrary, I would need to regain weight… It’s a long story) but still has gut problems, gastritis and GERD.

        Is it basically potatoes as the only source of carbs and fibers, meat/fish and a big bowl of yogurt?
        What about eggs and cheese (if well tolerated)?



        • Tim Steele August 8, 2017 at 6:36 am #

          Hey Frank – I should think that a diet filled with lean meat/fish, yogurt, cheese, eggs, and a triple serving of potatoes with each meal would work well for turning around gut problems. In fact, I should think that nearly everyone would benefit from a triple serving of spuds at each meal, no matter what else they are eating.


  7. Rob Hill August 6, 2017 at 10:37 am #

    Karls comment above: ‘Having said that, RS consumption *alone* would almost always be superior to non-starch polysaccharides *alone*.’ – strikes a cord with me. My guts started going back downhill after doing high fat, despite approx 80g fibre per day (non starch).
    After having an about turn (approx 10 bananas per day plus 500g – 1kg potatoes and other fibres) – guts have improved much in only a couple of weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

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