Vegetarian Learnings

This month I am promising myself I will learn as much about being vegetarian (pros and cons) as possible.  It’s starting by me (attempting) to read The Starch Solution.



This book was recommended by the author of The China Study (another vegetarian advocate).

I’m only a few chapters in, but McDougall is a HUGE believer that carbs are what we were made to eat in order to be thin and healthy.  So these people…


 There are three types of carbohydrates- sugar, cellulose and starch.

1. Sugar provides us with QUICK energy.

2.  We do not have the mechanisms to break down cellulose (like plants do) to use as fuel.  And…

3.  The gold medal for the carbohydrate most beneficial to humans goes to starch. Like cellulose, starches are made up of long-branching chains of glucose molecules. Starch is valuable to us because we can break it down into simple sugars that provide us with sustained energy and keep us feeling full and satisfied. Starchy foods are plants that are high in long-chain digestible carbohydrates—commonly referred to as complex carbohydrates. Examples include grains like wheat, barley, rye, corn, and oats; starchy vegetables like winter squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes; and legumes like brown lentils, green peas, and red kidney beans.

Yes, people on a low-carb diet WILL lose weight.  Justin and I always watching My 600lb Life

and Doc Nowzaradan ALWAYS prescribes a low-carb diet.  These people NEED it.

However, you have to be careful about omitting them, especially if you work out, because they are our body’s main fuel source.  You also have to be careful when adding them back to your diet or else the weight will just come back.  There’s a time and a place for all low- something lifestyles, I am just with him that carbs can be our friends, keeping us FULL much longer than the fat and protein counterparts- as long as we eat the right ones.



Things I’m a little weary about in this book so far.  The author relates our need for starch to plants:

Plants synthesize and store carbohydrate in their roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits. Some plant parts, like the seeds (grains and legumes), roots, and tubers concentrate very large amounts of starch in the form of stored energy. This fuel will serve to sustain the plant’s parts during the winter and provide the energy for reproduction during the next growing season. Starch supports the germination of grains (rice and corn) and legumes (beans), and the sprouting of tubers (white potatoes) and roots (sweet potatoes) in the springtime.

He therefore concludes that since starch is so necessary for plants, it is also necessary for us.  He backs this up by stating:

The enzyme amylase is found in large quantities in human saliva and the intestine.  That enzyme breaks complex carbohydrate chains into simpler sugar molecules.

He also states that our bodies know how to handle carbohydrates and will only store the amount we need and NOT convert the extra to fat.  I have a feeling that my TLC friends got their 600lb life due to the fact that their bodies did NOT know what to do with those extra carbs.  But, I am no doctor.

And finally (remember I’m only a few pages in) he relates us to chimpanzees- huge starch eaters, since our DNA is basically identical.

Does this also mean we should swing from trees and scratch our armpits?  Just saying… again I am no doctor.

So far, going veggie has been VERY easy.  I only really ate fish, chicken and bison anyways.  BUT I am finding it is a bit more challenging to remember protein every meal.  I always just counted the meat.  I’m having to remember to cook the beans or grains or not run out of eggs.  A positive note- eggs and beans are far more cheaper than meat.  Maybe that can justify my latest Zulily purchases.


What are your thoughts on The Starch Solution so far?

6 thoughts on “Vegetarian Learnings

  1. Lauren George says:

    I love reading your reviews! They are always so thorough. I agree with you on the questionable comparison to plants and chimps. We live way different lives so that has to be taken into consideration, but I too am no doctor. I totally think your savings on meat justifies those cute shoes!

  2. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Yea, I’m not sure I could go low carb, I love carbs too much. I would do terrible as a vegetarian, I hate beans and lentils!

  3. megbollenback says:

    I made a delicious vegetarian (could be vegan w/o the yogurt) red lentil and sweet potato curry on my blog on Monday…you could easily serve it over rice to get a few more starches, or just eat it as is since it has potatoes in it already. Just wanted to mention it as it only takes about 30 mins from start to finish and I think would help you feel satiated even without the meat!

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