About

Hello. I’m Tim Steele, host of The Potato Hack Chronicles. My goal with this blog is to present new information about gut health, potatoes, and nutrition. This blog is designed so that no matter where you land, you’ll find useful information. You won’t need to re-read every single blog post to piece together my secrets. There are no secrets, only information.

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Health is a journey. I believe that it starts with nutrition. Everyone on the planet will be healthier if they give up the three biggest contributors to modern disease: Refined sugars, refined oils, and refined flours. Focus instead on real foods. Eat whole grains and lots of plants. Stay away from shelf-stable packaged foods. Exercise, sleep well, and remove stress from your life as much as possible. Read all that you can about health and nutrition.

Our overall health is related to the condition of our intestines. Maintaining healthy guts is paramount to staying healthy. Modern foods take a toll on our guts and immune system. We have plenty of pills to help you feel better, but a better plan is to give up the foods that made you sick in the first place.

There are lots of eating plans, and there’s certainly one for everybody. But if you try one, and feel worse, move on and find another diet. Keto, low carb, high carb, vegan, plant-based, or combinations of these themes have helped many people overcome disease and obesity. I pioneered a plan known as The Potato Hack, and even wrote a book about it. The Potato Hack is a short-term intervention that works well with any diet to lose a couple pounds quickly, and to regenerate the bacteria that help keep your intestines healthy.

I have a master’s degree in biotechnology, I’m not a nutritionist or a doctor, so take any advice I give with a grain of salt. The bulk of this blog will be devoted to uncovering new research that shows the gut and its inhabitants control our health in profound ways, and that potatoes are one of the world’s best foods for maintaining a healthy gut. I like to focus on the underlying mechanisms of gut health and dig deep into new research to find pearls of wisdom that may benefit the health of all humans.

I hope you enjoy reading what I write and find these blog posts useful.

Tim Steele

46 Comments on “About”

  1. Amy Meyer August 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    Hi Tim
    I’m loving the potato hack diet, I’ve been on it now for 11 days and I’ve lost 7 pounds.. which is a great start for me. however the weight has stalled over the last 4 days. can you recommend what I can do differently with the diet to help kickstart it again?

    Like

    • Tim Steele August 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

      Amy, I think the best way to make the potato hack work best is to do it intermittently, and be happier with slower weight loss if you have lots (ie. 20+ pounds) to lose. Many dieters would be thrilled to lose 7 pounds in 2 months! I like to recommend doing the potato hack 3-5 days at a stretch, once a week or so, separated by “normal” eating, but being more mindful of bad choices and calories. Look through the variations section in the book, lots of people find that just by switching between the variations, they can keep the potato hack working better over the long run. For long-term weight loss, 3-10 pounds per month is fantastic. Losing at a slower, more controlled pace predicts long-term success. Good luck!

      Like

  2. Aleks Verdant August 22, 2016 at 1:57 am #

    Could someone use a variety of potatoes? Sweet, red, white, etc? Or its this meant to be with white potatoes only?

    Like

    • Tim Steele August 22, 2016 at 11:46 pm #

      Just not sweet potatoes, although several people have said sweet potatoes and yams work just fine.

      Like

      • Nina March 22, 2017 at 11:45 am #

        Wondering why no sweet potatoes. I’m into my third day of actual no potatoes after having eased into it with a greens/fruit drink the first two days and an almond hot chocolate on days 3-4. Now I’m working on 4 days of only potatoes but have been eating sweet potatoes as well, just a little as my last treat of the day. Probably about 20% of the daily intake.

        Oh, I also used a little almond milk to make my mashed potatoes… any problem with that or should that be avoided next time?

        Like

        • Tim Steele March 22, 2017 at 11:49 am #

          Sweet potatoes seem to be just fine, as you have found. If I ever re-write the book, I will be more accepting of sweet potatoes and yams. A little almond milk is fine, too. The problems come when you use a little almopnd milk here, a little butter there, a bite of chicken and a handful of nuts. Try to stick as close as you can to “all-potato” for best results.
          Thanks for the questions!
          Tim

          Like

          • Nina March 22, 2017 at 6:57 pm #

            Thanks for the quick response!

            I bought your book today and got to the part where it lists the difference in the composition of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. Next time I’ll try just regular, though I have gotten good results and lost 4 lbs so far, and broken my bad large chocolate bar/day habit I had gotten into the last couple months.

            My concern was if it would interfere with the science of resetting the gut as far as flora and all that sort of thing. It would be sad to think that I had sabotaged the potato hack while still depriving myself! 😉

            Like

  3. Di Rudge September 6, 2016 at 9:13 am #

    Can I drink kombuch while doing the potatoe hack? I am getting a bit sick of licorice tea and dandelion coffee (no milk of course)

    Like

    • Tim Steele September 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

      Kombucha is fine. Also kvass. And any kind of tea and coffee.

      Thanks for the question!

      Like

  4. G1 September 10, 2016 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi Tim; I purchased your book on Kindle and tried the potato hack. I was surprised by some of the results; a little loss in weight and drop in BP.. I was tired during the 3 days. Will Ore-Ida Steam n’ Mash® Cut Russet Potatoes work for the program provided no additional ingredients are added? Would a oatmeal hack work? Eat only oatmeal or oat bran with water. Maybe take it one step further and consume uncooked oatmeal with water. What are your thoughts. Thanks

    Like

    • Tim Steele September 11, 2016 at 12:17 am #

      Frozen potatoes are OK if they contain no other ingredients. I think oats and potatoes are a natural pair, and they would probably make a good combined hack, but not sure who the satiety and complete nutrition of oats compares to spuds…you could try, but I would run it through some nutritional calculators first.

      Like

  5. Herbert Simon Dachs October 2, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    Hi Tim,
    I love the potato hack and I am doing it for 3 weeks. I stubled upon the oral use of hydrogen peroxide but I am worried about my good gut bacteria.
    Some Sources say, that H2O2 is fully ingested in the stomach and does not reach the colon etc. some say that it only kills anaerobe bacteria and leave aerobe ones. And that this is good for the gut, but I am not an expert in this materia. Can you help me with good advice? Thank you, Herbert.

    Like

    • Tim Steele October 2, 2016 at 4:04 pm #

      H2O2, or hydrogen peroxide, should not be ingested! It can be used as an oral mouthwash, but even this practice is risky.

      H2O2, however, is a normal byproduct of several gut bacteria and it is used as a natural defense to kill neighboring bacteria. Lactabacillus, one of the most common probiotics, produces H2O2.

      The human body has evolved ways to detoxify H2O2 in the stomach and small intestine, as described here:

      There are other important enzymes that protect H. pylori against the ROS produced through internal metabolic processes as well as by neutrophils and macrophages during inflammation[20]. Among these are superoxide dismutase (Hp-SOD), which catalyses the dismutation of the superoxide radical into hydrogen peroxide and molecular oxygen, and catalase (KatA), which converts hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Another important anti-ROS enzyme is alkyl hydroperoxidase (AhpC), which is a highly abundant and conserved protein in H. pylori[21]. This enzyme is a member of the peroxiredoxin family that has been shown to be capable of reducing different peroxides, but its major function under physiological conditions is to reduce organic hydroperoxides into non-toxic alcohols[22].

      I would heed all warning on the bottle of hydrogen peroxide and leave using it as an oral treatment to the professionals.

      Like

  6. Robert McCall November 20, 2016 at 7:16 pm #

    Tim – Getting started on the Potato Hack tomorrow. One question – In all of the discussions about seasonings, I never read anything about the use of ketchup. Being a big ketchup fan, I am curious of whether it is permitted.
    Thanks
    Bob

    Like

    • Tim Steele November 20, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

      Ketchup is fine, in moderation. Good luck!

      Like

  7. Bob McCall November 21, 2016 at 2:16 am #

    Thanks Tim!

    Like

  8. bernadettesworld December 29, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

    At day 4 of a 5-2 hack, first time hacker, just re-read trouble shooting section of your book. Strange thing is my husband is humming along with great weight loss and great digestion. Normal diet is the same except he eats bread and jam which don’t interest me. I’ve never had a problem with potatoes that I know of nor the rest of the family peppers chili etc. Anyway problem is I’m blocked up bloated and stomach ache. I’ll keep going but wondering if symptoms still bad what should I do? I’m tempted to go sweet potato but the hunger would kick in. (My weight loss can be measured in ounces) ( I’m descended from hearty Irish farmers too) Thanks in advance, Monica

    Like

    • Tim Steele December 30, 2016 at 7:02 am #

      Everyone responds a bit differently due to the bacteria that inhabit their gut. 4 days is a great first try! Eat normally for a couple days and see if you normalize before trying again. Some people see greater long-term success even though each day does not bring huge weight loss. Good luck! Keep us posted.

      Like

  9. bernadettesworld December 30, 2016 at 3:13 pm #

    Okay thanks Tim, I’m hoping things will come good, these are old symptoms from years ago so hoping they work themselves out…

    Like

  10. bernadettesworld December 31, 2016 at 3:02 am #

    I’ve decided not to weigh myself for a bit but I measured myself before I started. Just re-measured and have lost 5 cm from my waist and 2 cm from upper thigh so after 4 days this is great. Looking forward to hacking again next week. Digestion still cranky but hopefully will reset itself. I guess it’s a detox which might have something to do with it.
    Loving having some spare money too since have found spuds on special. A cure for poverty and obesity – I think you’re onto something big here Tim. Can’t wait to be asked what I’m doing and refer people this way. All the best. I’ll check back in a couple of weeks. Happy New Year
    Monica

    Like

  11. Kim January 6, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

    Hi, I just found out about the potato hack from my sister who is doing it. I was wondering if I have to cook the potatoes or can I eat them raw?

    Like

    • Tim Steele January 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm #

      You need to cook the potatoes, if you like raw potatoes, there is nothing wrong with eating some raw, but it would be counterproductive to eat all of the potatoes for 3-5 days raw, and probably a gastric disaster, lol. Best best: read the book, lots of good ideas in it! http://amzn.to/2i2uO3C

      Like

      • Kim January 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm #

        Thank you for the response:). I actually bought the book and the kindle edition last night after I posted that question.

        Like

  12. Srinath January 7, 2017 at 4:16 am #

    I had a question about the Potato hack diet.
    I actually used to make baked potato plates by thin slicing potatoes and repeatedly toasting them in a toaster oven, freezing, repeat till they all turn crisp. Can I still do that ? is that similar to boiling them ? Also any spices OK to use ? salt, red pepper, black pepper, garlic etc etc. I al also thinking I’ll shred raw potatoes and add them in, say 10% to a batch of cooked potatoes, and when spiced right, I’d just perceive the raw as crunch. Get some RS2 in with RS3.

    Like

    • Tim Steele January 7, 2017 at 8:07 am #

      These are all perfectly fine ideas. Most spices are OK, I go into great detail in the book. Adding some raw to cooked is a really good idea, if you like it.

      Like

  13. Kim January 27, 2017 at 6:19 am #

    Hi Tim,
    I just got your book and am wondering if you have heard from anyone using the Potato Hack to cure their SIBO. Most of what I’ve been reading says to stay away from resistant starch if you have SIBO but I can’t find much more info on how a potato-only diet would affect dysbiosis. I have been eating potatoes and white rice on & off in my regular diet and feel fine afterwards but I am a little apprehensive about detox symptoms if I go on a potato-only diet. Any info or feedback on how a Potato Hack-induced shift in gut flora can benefit people with SIBO?

    Like

    • Tim Steele January 27, 2017 at 7:04 am #

      People with SIBO react differently to different interventions such as an all-potato diet. SIBO can mean many things, and not much is known about it, I suspect some bacterial or fungal overgrowths respond well to a potato diet while others respond poorly. You’d have to try and see. Here’s a good thread of comments of people discussing being helped by a potato diet: Tried the Potato Hack to Kickstart Weightloss and OMG The comments have been active this week, perhaps a comment there will get some more answers.
      Tim

      Like

      • Kim January 27, 2017 at 7:27 am #

        Thanks Tim, reading those comments was helpful. I think I am going to give it a try. I suspect I will need to do it longer than 3-5 days to really shift the gut flora so hopefully my stomach doesn’t blow up with gas during that time. I have to believe that the body can and will eventually adapt to selectively feeding the beneficial bacteria over time but there may be some detox effects first. I’ll report back with my experience, thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Tim Steele January 27, 2017 at 7:59 am #

          Please do report back, I’d love to hear your experience, good or bad. If you are doing this for your gut mostly and not weight loss, perhaps you’d do well to eat “mostly” potatoes. Potatoes making the bulk of each meal, with some other foods that are safe for you as a small side. Some potato-only meals each day.

          Like

        • Lisa June 15, 2017 at 4:05 am #

          hey kim!
          did you end up doing the potato hack? i have SIBO as well and would really like to hear how it went for you, because I’m thinking about trying that for a few days. However I definitely don’t want to make things worse so if you could share your experience a little that would be great:) thank you!

          Like

  14. Doug February 13, 2017 at 10:40 am #

    Would you ever recommend boiled potato in a can?

    I am not much of a shopper and was floored to learn that cooked potatoes could be found in a can.

    Like

    • Tim Steele February 13, 2017 at 10:48 am #

      I’m not crazy about canned food, BPA linings and all. If you find them in a can that says “bpa-free” or just want a serving or two, they’d be fine. I would not want to eat 3-5 pounds of canned potatoes daily, though.

      Like

  15. Penina March 2, 2017 at 2:50 pm #

    I started the potato hack today and tried to baked hash browns from the book with regular gold potatoes. The bottom crisped up nicely but the tops were really gummy. Did I use the wrong potatoes for baked hash browns? I’m trying to understand the difference between difference types of potatoes and the results I’m getting. It looked from the book that red potatoes might be better for the hash browns. Does that sound right? Thanks so much!

    Like

    • Tim Steele March 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm #

      You really just need to experiment with different potatoes, cooking temps, cooking methods, etc. The real trick is finding a couple ways of preparing your potatoes that’s not too difficult and you enjoy eating. Personally, I like hashbrowns fried in a non-stick pan without oil better than oven-baked hashbrowns. You have more control over the done-ness and browning in a pan. But oven-baked French fries are really good!
      Good luck!

      Like

  16. Björn Hauksson May 13, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    Hello Tim

    First – thatnk you for your good work.

    After finding your blog I ended up buying your book and spreading the word – 3 copies bought already. Over a 4 months periods 9 potato hacks (3 days each) ended with 12 kg weight loss. Quite satisfied!

    When I was reading about Chris Voigt in your book I remembered a comment Julia Child wrote in her seminar book Mastering that art of French cooking volume 2 ” … potatoes come so near to being the complete food that one can survive healthily on a diet of potatoes only, plus a very small amount of fat, for up to 5 months. Nutrition aside, the potato is an endlessly fascinating gastronomic object …”. Clearly Dr. Voight was following Julia’s suggestions!

    Send you some support to your RS test/research – very important. Looking forward to start using potato starch – but will have to find away to import it – as it seems it is not imported to Iceland.

    Greetings to the North Pole from Iceland

    Björn

    Like

    • Jo tB May 13, 2017 at 11:17 am #

      Aviko a Dutch company exporting potato starch worldwide has an office in Denmark. They may export to Iceland. Who knows you may be in luck.

      Aviko Danmark

      Danmark
      T: +45 23 85 00 95
      s.iversen@aviko.com
      http://www.aviko.dk

      Like

      • Björn Hauksson May 13, 2017 at 2:30 pm #

        Thank you – will take a look!

        Like

  17. Jo tB May 14, 2017 at 11:06 am #

    Björn, I’ve just found another Dutch potato starch exporter.

    Mariane Warnaer has Iceland in her portfolio. She may be able to tell you who in Iceland sells potato starch to consumers.

    http://www.avebe.com/contacts

    Like

  18. Karen May 27, 2017 at 6:43 am #

    Hi Tim,

    Loved the book – thanks! My 2 questions are 1-How much (food grade) potato starch do you recommend when back to a normal diet and what do you do with it? 2-Any guidelines on how to reintroduce other foods when finished with the hack and if any certain first-day-back foods are recommended?

    Ok I guess that’s technically 4 questions.

    I just completed five days and experienced a cessation of a persistent feet/ankle swelling problem and other chronic workday aches and pains. Cautiously optimistic…

    Thanks for the info!

    Like

    • Tim Steele May 27, 2017 at 8:34 am #

      Hi Karen – Congrats on a successful hack! I recommend using potato starch as a supplement to get your fiber intake to around 35g/day. Most people get less than 10g, but with some effort, it’s not too hard to get 35g from real food. Search this blog for “In search of the perfect fiber” series, it gives lots of examples and amounts. I tend to use 2TBS of potato starch, banana flour, or Hi-Maize daily, mixing them up as I run out of one or the other. Some people tolerate one type better than another, too, so it pays to experiment if you like.

      I mix my starches in with yogurt, a smoothie, or just stirred in a glass of water if I’m in a hurry.

      There’s no real concern with adding back foods post-hack. But it is nice if you are mindful about eating in a “real-food” sort of way. Learn to stay away from processed foods and sugary snacks and you’ll be better off.

      Thanks for the comments!

      Like

  19. James Proffitt July 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    Hey Tim….I wrote you last summer of a problem I encountered on the potato hack. I became extremely constipated and went on to develop an impaction. When doing a hack the year before I had large stools which easily passed. I think what was different the second time was that I had been LCHF right before. Oddly, this spring I got on a kick of eating Chinese food cooked in coconut oil with two cups of rice. I again became constipated and resorted to colonics. I read some of Dr. Ayers blog on inflammation. That coupled with advice from the colon practitioner to “eat right for my type” had me resolved to go keto again. Now I find Dr. Ayers here and he appears to support your methods. My gut is obviously wack and has me leery of jumping into a full hack. I have your ebook and will review it for pointers but do you agree with the supplement tips from Cooling Inflammation such as D3, Vit C,fish oil, bromelin, turmeric and glucosamine?

    Like

    • Tim Steele July 23, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

      Art gives good advice, and those supplements all sound good, but it sounds like you really may need a good dose of greenery in your diet. Now that summer’s here, hit the farmer’s markets and pig-out on some good local veggies. It really sounds to me like you are trying to engineer a diet that does not provide the fiber, nutrients, and chemicals that you really need.

      Like

  20. Carol Draper October 12, 2017 at 9:34 am #

    I can not find anything about instant potatoes. Is it OK to use them. Carol

    Like

  21. Carmen Kim October 13, 2017 at 7:10 am #

    Carol: Instant potatoes may say it is 100% potatoes, but it must undergo extensive processing. May not be as convenient, but make your own from real potatoes so you know what’s in it. Your health is worth the time…

    Like

  22. Gmiras November 14, 2017 at 11:18 am #

    Heard about the Potato Hack on a podcast. The guest was a scientist and recommended boiling the potatoes and then cooling them before eating. The cooling effected the resistant starch in a positive way and was found to be optimized over two or more (boiling then cooling) sessions. For me, if I’m on here and trying this hack, then I’m desperate for a resolution to a problem and would be following the Hack without question. If you’re “trying to get away with” adding salt, ketchup or other tasty condiments, then you’re not really desperate enough and you’re changing the Hack to fall within the habits that got you into this mess in the first place.

    Like

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