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Potatoes Not Prozac, A Natural Seven-Step Dietary Plan to Stabilize the Level of Sugar in Your Blood, Control Your Cravings and Lose Weight, and Recognize How Foods Affect the Way You Feel Paperback – January 12, 1999

4.4 out of 5 stars 299 customer reviews

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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.


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

Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Fireside edition (January 12, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684850141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684850146
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 8.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (299 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,008,656 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By David Spero on April 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"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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