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Potatoes Not Prozac: Solutions for Sugar Sensitivity Paperback – January 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 296 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The same brain chemicals that are altered by antidepressant drugs are also affected by the foods we eat. According to addiction expert DesMaisons, many people, including those who are depressed, are "sugar sensitive." Eating sweets gives them a temporary emotional boost, which leads to a craving for still more sweets. The best way to keep these brain chemicals in the right balance and keep blood-sugar levels steady, she says, is through the dietary plan she describes in Potatoes Not Prozac. Her rules are fairly simple--eat three meals a day, eat proteins with every meal (especially those high in the amino acid tryptophan, which creates the calming neurotransmitter serotonin), and eat more complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains and, yes, potatoes. Not only will this make you less depressed, DesMaisons says, but it will also keep you from craving too much of the foods you shouldn't eat, making it a self-regulating system. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"If sugar were put on the market for the first time today, it would be difficult to get it past the FDA...Potatoes Not Prozac contains important information for everyone from the sophisticated nutritionist to the individual just beginning."

-- Candace B. Pert, Ph.D., author of Molecules of Emotion: Why You Feel the Way You Feel

"I very much look forward to recommending the book to all those who I know without a doubt are suffering from sugar addiction and all its myriad consequences."

-- Christiane Northrup, M.D., author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom: Creating Physical and Emotional Health and Healing

Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Revised edition (January 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141655615X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416556152
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (296 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kathleen DesMaisons, Ph.D. is the best selling author of Potatoes Not Prozac, The Sugar Addict's Total Recovery Program, Your Last Diet, Little Sugar Addicts and Your Body Speaks. She is both a compassionate coach and a social commentator, who has taken the concept of sugar sensitivity and transformed the way of looking at the relationship of addiction and food as a healing agent. Kathleen is a cultural visionary, understanding the essence of addiction in a compassionate and revolutionary way.

In 1988, Kathleen started a small addiction treatment center in Northern California. Seeking new alternatives to enhance the success rate of her center, she initiated a nutritional protocol with her clients that caused the sobriety rate to skyrocket to 92%. Following her deep commitment to understanding the biochemistry of her clinical success, she returned to school to obtain a Ph.D. She chose to attend The Union Institute, the country's oldest and most prestigious interdisciplinary university committed to connecting scholarship and social action. The nature of her work was so revolutionary that she graduated with the first degree awarded in the field of Addictive Nutrition. That work chronicled her efforts in seeing Drunk Driving as an issue of alcoholism rather than criminal action and resulted in a dissertation of the impact of her nutritional intervention on a group of multiple offender drunk drivers which was associated with a 30% drop in offense during the time her program was in place.

As the biochemical understanding of sugar sensitivity and sugar addiction have evolved, so has Kathleen's mission, transforming from a lone voice on the cutting edge of addiction treatment to a cultural leader and life guide, inspiring hope in hundreds of thousands world wide who have suffered from alcoholism, sugar addiction, depression, eating disorders, and the complexities of parenting. Kathleen's voice is caring, skilled and clear in a realm where fog, blame and dysfunction abound. She provides not only hope, but also practical skills for profound life change.

Kathleen's books have a worldwide audience from all over the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Australia and into the Far East including Mongolia, Japan and Thailand. Her books have been best sellers in the UK and the U.S. and have reached close to a half a million people. She has taught animated and informative workshops, seminars and retreats since 1988 across the country and the UK.

Kathleen's name has become synonymous with the healing of sugar addiction through nutrition. The genuineness of her vision and the depth at which people have bonded with her message have powered the development of her website at www.radiantrecovery.com into a leading voice of hope and healing throughout the world. In 1998, she set out to build a worldwide community of supportive sharing, previsioning the social networking of today. She has empowered hundreds of women and men to collaborate with her in providing support to thousands daily. The members of her community respect her as a trusted servant of truth and an embodiment of authenticity. Her unique style and vision flows out into a vibrant and empowered collective voice of recovery.

Kathleen lives with her three Golden Retrievers in Albuquerque New Mexico. She also serves as the President of the statewide Golden Retriever Rescue. She can be reached at kathleen@radiantrecovery.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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"Potatoes not Prozac" is a cutesy name for a truly wonderful book that will help millions of people heal their bodies and their lives. Her concept of "sugar sensitivity" and her 7-step treatment plan will enable readers to understand and recover from addiction to foods, drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. People who have failed repeatedly at sobriety or weight loss can succeed with this plan, as thousands have already.

Kathleen des Maisons learned about the importance of sugar through her work as a drug and alcohol treatment counselor. She was having the usual low success rate in helping people stay off alcohol. Then she discovered how certain foods lead to addiction to alcohol and drugs, as well as being addictive themselves.
She found that nearly all alcoholics lived largely on pasta, white breads and sweet things. She knew what they were suffering. Her own father drank himself to death at age 51, and she herself weighed 240 pounds and had had problems with drinking. When she discovered the benefits of a diet high in protein and vegetables for herself, she started using it with her clients. Her success rates soared, even with the hardest cases.
She realized that addictive behavior has a lot to do with food, and that sugar was the primary culprit. She believes that some people are born "sugar-sensitive," which means they don't have enough serotonin or beta-endorphin in their brains. Serotonin and beta-endorphin make us feel secure, stable, confident, cheerful. If you have low levels of these chemicals, you are likely to feel badly.
Sugar and alcohol raise your serotonin and beta-endorphin levels. So they make you feel better and more energetic, especially if your levels were low to start with.
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Format: Paperback
When I first found Dr. DesMaisons work I was actually looking for a diet book. I was deep in eating disorders and the last thing I needed was to lose more weight. So when I picked up this book seeing "weight loss" on the cover I had no idea how my life would change. I have discovered that my problems with eating had nothing to do with will power, but with a biochemistry that set me up to have no impulse control, erradict blood sugar levels, low self-esteem, depression, even my eating disorder was strongly tied in (I've vacillated between bulimia and anorexia since I was 14, and I'm 31 now).

This book gives the science and the stories behind those who share this biochemistry. It lays out a food based, that's right a *food based* and natural program to heal your biochemistry. The revision is amazing because it incorporates years of practice with thosands of people all over the world into the steps, making them even better. Not to mention you'll see quotes and stories from those who have experienced recovery all throughout the book. I don't know about you, but I find such power in knowing that others have shared the same path!

It has now been seven years since I first read Dr. DesMaisons work, I have a stable relationship, a fantastic job that I never would've thought I was "worthy" of in the past, a joy for life that I thought was only possible when under the influence--and relief from my eating disorders. It is so ironic that what I thought was the problem (food), is actually the solution. Who knew? Well, obviously, Dr. DesMaisons did, and for that I am eternally grateful.
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Format: Paperback
I have been working the Potatoes Not Prozac eating plan for about 3 months now, and have found it enormously helpful. As I read these many reviews, I felt compelled to argue with the critics. This IS different from other plans. My sugar sensitivity is strong, and my cravings have embarrassed me many times (I am 52). I have hidden candy, and I have become angry when someone else ate the ice cream I was saving for myself. I have been a closet sugar junkie. In my humble opinion, the great strength of Des Maisons' method is the order in which she arranges the steps in the program. Eating protein at every meal, spacing the meals realistically, taking a daily vitimin, and eating a potato before going to bed each night BEFORE giving anything up allowed my body chemistry to stabilize and my cravings to quiet down before I tried to adjust my carbohydrates and sugar.
I had often awakened in the middle of the night and not been able to get back to sleep, seemingly because my blood sugar level had dropped and I needed to get up and have a snack (usually an apple). Fear of not sleeping through the night often motivated me to overeat at dinner time, which usually didn't help me sleep through anyway. The potato before bed time not only raises my serotonin level, but it also puts that fear to rest and produces an uninterrupted night of sleep. What a blessing!
One critic said that everyone learns in high school that complex carbohydrates are better for us than the refined ones, but I disagree. Most high school kids have other things on their minds, and I know my high school didn't give me this information. We've learned to prefer whole wheat bread, but how many people give up pasta for a whole grain variety? How many people choose brown rice over white?
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